q-m.org

It stands for "my domain is shorter than your domain"

14 February, 2014
by mpj
5 Comments

Radio 4 without the Archers

As requested by @libbymiller, here is my Python script that plays the best radio station in the world: Radio 4 without the Archers.

It works out the time until the next Archers episode, then plays the Radio 4 stream, slowed down just enough to allow you to skip the next episode.

Note that if you are unfortunate enough to start the script while the Archers is already on, there’s little we can do but ensure you won’t be subjected to the next episode.

It’s very crude, has no error checking and just runs on an infinite loop. It requires VLC for playback. It’s been tested on Linux and Mac (I think).

Feel free to improve upon it. It should be easily adaptable for other programme schedules too. Gardeners’ Question Time comes to mind.

Full source code below the fold. Save it as archless.py. I hereby release it under the WTFPL.
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The movement in the holder. Still running!

28 October, 2012
by mpj
2 Comments

Seiko watch movement, Part 1

Nicholas Hacko, an Australia-based master watchmaker, is in the progress of publishing a fantastic tutorial on the inexpensive, ubiquitous Seiko 7S26 automatic watch movement. The tutorial is a guided stripdown and rebuild of the movement with the goal of learning what makes watches tick. I am attempting to follow the tutorial and post some pictorial status updates here.
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Ready!

1 November, 2011
by mpj
16 Comments

My DIY Brain Stimulation Headset


With nights drawing in, many people particularly in the northern parts of the world are being affected by seasonal affective disorder. A Finnish company called Valkee claims to cure the winter blues with its bright light headset. According to the company, shining a bright torch in your ears has been shown to have a therapeutic effect.

I won’t comment on the bogosity of Valkee’s claims. I did, however, decide to see how cheaply I could build something similar to their £185 device.

My headset isn’t the same as Valkee’s. Theirs seems to use fiber optic, presumably to keep the size and temperature down. Mine uses ultra-bright LEDs. Their’s has a fancy timer. Mine doesn’t. Theirs has a rechargeable battery. Mine draws its power from a USB socket.

On with the show!
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8 April, 2010
by mpj
19 Comments

DIY PID controller for sous-vide

Here are a few pictures of my sous-vide PID controller project. Inspiration came from the Seattle Food Geek. Being an engineer, I wanted to create a standalone system so I added sockets for the heater elements, pump and thermometer probe. I also didn’t see the benefit of hanging the mains-powered system above the bath, so I made the controller a separate tabletop unit.

image
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