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manchu

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Everything posted by manchu

  1. This bloody machine is cursed! (or maybe I just shouldn't be DIY servicing...haha) I went to make a second coffee on sat morning only to find the machine had no power and a scalding hot casing. Turns out the steam thermostat was buggered and because I'd left the steam switch on after my earlier coffee the elements stayed on until the thermal fuse blew. The thermostat was cracked so I guess I knocked it in all my rooting around recently but I don't recall doing so. New fuse fitted and back to pulling shots, but I've disabled steam until a new thermostat arrives . I ordered a full service kit for $48 from the UK ( 2 thermostats, shower screen, all O-rings & seals, descaler) which is great considering the single thermostat was ~$40 locally.
  2. Google is taking over!!. I nabbed an even better deal on Google Nest Mini + Chromecast 3 bundle and I received a Nest hub for fathers day. One thing I've realised (especially without an android phone) is that you need a few google eavesdropping speakers around the house. The hub is good for physical control of lights etc, and managing where music is cast to, but not good for much else. It does make a nice digital photo frame though. One nest mini is on our balcony and extends the multi-room audio into the outdoors quite well, although sounds very average. For better sound outside I can set the nest mini default speaker as my Bose soundlink revolve+ speaker, over bluetooth. Much better sound, but you loose sync if playing multi room audio due to the combination of BT and wifi. A few new smart plugs too. - coffee machine - power board serving for home office / living room hifi . - power board serving main TV/entertainment system. The plugs on powerboards each save around 40w standby power (amps, monitors, printer, set top box, gaming consoles etc etc),. I have these set to off for the 1/3 of the day we're usually asleep. Next I might look at some roller and Venetian blind automation, but don't expect that'll come cheap.
  3. I happily drove my wife’s Peugeot 206 3dr manual shitbox for years. Not the GTi but it was still a hoot.
  4. That's not surprising really, except for the stark contrast Bottas ' inability to do much of anything in the race.
  5. There's a range of reasons why I gave up on surround including: $$, difficult room, too much fiddling , not watching enough content that significantly benefited from more speakers, kids. My 5.1 speaker pack is now giving much more total enjoyment since being repurposed into 3 stereo systems. around the house. I'd like to have a nice surround system, but the numbers just don't add up for my circumstances. I think sound contributes ~30% to the movie watching experience, but out of the 5.1 speakers the 2.0 contribute a much higher portion of sound experience than the other 3.1.. For some viewing (news etc) the +3.1 speakers give negligible benefit, and on the high side (eg. action movies) I guess they only improve good 2.0 sound by ~25%. Crunching those imaginary numbers and considering my spread of media consumption, including lots of music, tells me that 5.1 required ~100% increase in $ invested, for about ~1% increase in total enjoyment..
  6. Well I’m pretty happy with myself at the moment. Since starting this thread I’ve tacked a few issues with the gaggia, including: replaced broken handle ($20), clear out solenoid valve to fix low flow problem (free), replace leaking steam valve ($70). The machine has been fine for months and getting heavy use due to mrs and I both working from home, but earlier this week I had another low flow problem. After a few days of head scratching and swearing I concluded it was the pump not building pressure. Flow was ok without load, but a dribble when trying to pull a shot. Before spending $50 on a new pump I had a closer look, even though it didn’t seem to be a serviceable part. I dismantled what i could and found tiny piece of foreign plastic inside so removed it, put it all back together and the machine is running like new again. Woo hoo! Time for a coffee.
  7. I've given all 3 of my 'vintage' stereo systems the same sideways update by adding a Google Chromecast to each for some wireless & multiroom audio streaming. A whopping grand total about $130. I say sideways because they each already had an Apple Airport Express connected to give similar functionality using Airplay2, but that has some annoying limitations hence the change to google. Since getting those I've also dug out a Synology NAS purchased from an SNA member years ago but never really used. That's now loaded up with ALL my music and using PLEX media server which works really well with the chromecasts. Next on the list are: - resurect my record cleaning machine which has been in storage since moving house ~3yrs ago and give some vinyl a clean. - Re-foam a pair of speakers and get them mounted and wired up for our outdoor entertaining area (not that there'll be much entertaining going on for a long while)
  8. Item: Rega tonearm spacer Price Range: Free (donation to SNA) Item Condition: New Extra Info: I bought this for a Rega P3-2000 to adjust VTA for the RB300 tonearm & Garrot Bros. K3 cartridge. It was no good for that because the 5mm lift caused the counterweight to foul on the closed lid . It should work fine with the tungsten counterweight. Dimensions (as best as I can measure) are 34mm OD x 29mm ID x 5mm high. material is aluminium. it's a nice neat fit and barely noticeable from recollection. Free to a good home, but preference will be given to members with a decent SNA community reputation and those willing to make an appropriate donation to the site.
  9. A combination of two things I quite enjoy. Sorry about the sideways pic. Can’t seem to fix it
  10. new kitchen light wired up and working well. I added a chromecast audio to two hifi systems in the house. It seemed the best way to overcome the issue of google not playing nice with my existing airplay2 setup for wirelss multi-room audio. I've still got the airport expresses in place because they're extending my wifi, so I've got the airplay option but I really can't see me using it often. On a side note I tried to replicate the google assistant/casting functionality with Siri/Airplay but it doesn't seem possible to even add the airport express as an apple homekit accessory. I'd have been mighty pissed off if I'd started investing into apple homekit gear before realising this shortfall. (note: it should work according to apple, but doesn't for me)
  11. Cheers pops but I’m all sorted as of this arvo.
  12. Item: Google Chromecast Audio Price Range: <$50ea. looking for 2 units Item Condition: New or Used Extra Info: I've implemented some Google Home based smartness throughout my house so want to add a couple of chromecast audioss Until recently Kogan were selling refurbs of this discontinued product for $50 so that's about the price I'm thinking.
  13. I checked out the DETA switches yesterday and they seemed fine (as much as I could tell through the clear plastic packaging), but they were sold out of the 4 gang so I didn't grab any. I did get a floodlight globe for rear garden and an oyster light ($55) for the kitchen, both Arlec grid connect. Even though I'm planning on smart switches for those circuits I wanted smart globes too for the dimming / colour control features. I've now got smart lights in all the important locations (living, lounge, kitchen, front and rear garden). I've noticed us getting into the habit of leaving switches ON so will see how that goes for a while before deciding on the switches. I guess I've only spent 25% of the total originally expected and achieved 75% of the functionality I really wanted. I had a xiaomi Android TV box sitting idle in a drawer so hooked that up to the rumpus room TV. Works well, including the remote with dedicated google assistant button (& mic), but unfortunately it can't be included in speaker groups for some reason. I only added the Chromecast because it was effectively free with the nest mini, but the media consumption benefits have proved to be a great unexpected side effect of this smart light business.
  14. nest mini and chromecast both set up without much trouble and working well. Grabbed a few more globes too. The only issue so far is with Spotify playback, because I currently use airplay for audio (3 airport expresses into stereos around the house, also extending my wifi). When google assistant plays Spotify it plays on the nest (or chromecast) as expected. However, I’d like it to be able to ‘control’ the Spotify playing on my iPhone, not take over the playback. That sort of multi user control is certainly possible with other devices. Maybe there’s a way to force Spotify onto a particular player (spotify connect device), or some other way to do, but I haven’t worked it out.
  15. I can’t imagine it being much cheaper, and there’s a few unnecessary luxuries in there. I reckon I can get it down to $500 for the bare essentials. Excluding sparky, but I’ve got mate whole do that cheap. These smart things really should come in plain packaging with addiction warnings like smokes.
  16. I think I just might, but thats taken me down a rabbit hole. see. . .
  17. Mrs asked me to grab some milk on the way home so I picked up one of these too https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/807785/mirabella-genio-led-bc-ww-800lm Easy setup and I could use the same grid Connect app which saved installing another. Dimming etc works through google fine At $10 each I’m tempted to grab a bunch.
  18. lucky I'm not a sparky! ( I know what you mean though. I've always opted for the more expensive HPM stuff over Deta, for no reason really because I've got no experience with Deta. I figured that grid connect would be a reasonably safe bet considering thats what the ARLEC stuff is, and they've been around for ages.
  19. any thoughts about these Deta grid connect switches? much much cheaper than Ctec and I actually prefer the look of them https://www.bunnings.com.au/deta-grid-connect-smart-quad-gang-touch-light-switch_p0161015
  20. I now I'm trying to work out the best way to smarten up various the types of lighting I have. - Outdoor fixed floodlights x 5 par38 globes. - Indoor fixed Lights x 10 . Mostly Bayonet globes in a range of fittings (oyster, batten holder, downlight), plus one chandelier with 7 x E14 globes For the fixed lights I think the general plan will be to leave the existing globes and change the switches to smart ones. For lights where I want extra features such as dimmable or colour change I'll replace the globes or the entire light fitting on a case by case basis. - Indoor lamps x 5. Mix of screw & bayonet globes. replace globes only I guess Im sure it will. cheers
  21. https://www.jbhifi.com.au/pages/smart-home-bundles
  22. Dipped toe in and bought a smart plug to control some outdoor lights. The old timer died and a smart plug was the cheapest option to replace it. I got a power meter one so it’s even more useful. Bargain for <$20 I reckon. https://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-grid-connect-smart-plug-in-socket-with-energy-meter_p0135442 All set up using the Arlec app and then Google home easy enough, plus the shortcut to Siri in my phone. Voice control is a bit clunky saying “Hey Siri” followed by “ok google. Turn on the garden lights” , but good enough for now. I hoped to set up the plug to automatically switch lights on for 2-3 hrs from dusk, but cant work out how to do it easily. edit: Played around a bit more last night. I’ve worked out that I can setup a shortcuts in siri to activate pretty much whatever routine I want from google assistant so i don’t need to say the ‘ok google’ part. Works well, but it introduces a little delay vs direct to google assistant. (No big deal). ive also linked some xiaomi devices via mi-home app to google home, including a robot vac and a smart pedestal fan. I get pretty much full control I need of the vac (start/stop/dock), but only on/off for the fan. Via the mi-home app i can set speed 1/2/3/4 and oscillation on/off/degrees so I’ve set up inividual shortcuts for all the fan actions in Siri (without google in the middle), so I’m talking to Siri directly for everything and it’s either activating google assistant of mi-home . That works well for me because we’ve been using Siri for shopping lists, reminders, timers, playing music (via airplay to 3 airport expresses on hifi systems around the house. I had thought I’d get a google nest mini but if Siri can work for most things I won’t bother.
  23. I just signed up so make that 4. (well 12 actually as I'm writing this). I've only dabbled a little in solar so far (very small system for an old camper van I bought recently), but plan on some panels for the home in the near future.
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