Gas station without pumps

2020 July 3

Twelfth video for electronics book

Filed under: Circuits course — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:41
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I’ve just published my twelfth video for my Applied Analog Electronics book.  This video is for §34.2, which is the first part of Lab 10, and shows how to solder the FETs onto a breakout board.

I filmed the video using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), and this is the unedited 3rd take. The first take stopped before I did any soldering, because I had forgotten to get blue tape out. The second take was complete, but had garbled sound for the intro and exit music, because I had the mic on while playing the sound, so I got a delayed superimposed sound.

I spent most of yesterday composing the 7 seconds of sound, because it has been a long time since I composed anything or used Finale Notepad. I’m not very happy with Finale Notepad, since it no longer runs on Macs (and so I had to use the “Barbie” laptop), and you can’t record the sound nor print the sheet music (it is deliberately crippled to induce you to buy the full-featured Finale). I got frustrated trying to produce the sound using online MIDI-to-MP3 converters, and ended up looking for another solution. I found MuseScore, which is freeware that runs on macs. I could import the music XML file that I had exported from Finale Notepad, and produce the sound using it—it even has a simple mixer panel that let me change the volume of the different instruments to get a slightly better balance and control the reverberation. I did have to edit the final sound with Audacity, in order to get the initial fade in. If I need to compose another short piece, I’ll try to do the whole thing in MuseScore, since it has more of what I need than Finale Notepad does.

I would upload the audio here, but wordpress.com only allows that if you have a paid plan, which I’ve been too cheap to do—you can hear the music on the YouTube link.

This video is the second one in this series using a green screen, and I’m still having problems with the lighting on my green screen not being uniform enough for OBS—even at night with only artificial light. The chroma key in OBS is nowhere near as easy to use as virtual backgrounds in Zoom. I have found some tricks to make adjusting the key color a little easier, but nothing that really handles the shadows and uneven lighting caused by wrinkles in the green-screen fabric.

2020 July 1

Forty-fifth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:25
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

My weight has finally stabilized—I’m not packing on the pounds like I did in March, April, and May.

I’m not quite at my highest weight ever, but I’m about 15 pounds heavier than I want to be.

My exercise has been very limited—I averaged only 0.97 miles a day of bicycling in June (slightly better than the 0.75 miles/day for April and May, but less than a fifth of January), and probably not much more in walking (about 115k steps for the month—again, slightly better than the two previous months, but less than half of January). I have not cycled up the hill to my office for several months now—and bike commuting was my main source of exercise!

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