Tag Archives: diy

DIY Geek: Home Speakers

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Every so often, I like to get my hands dirty. I needed to replace the ceiling speakers in my bedroom and bathroom ceilings. I had been having issues with audio quality in the bathroom, and found the culprit when I removed the old set: oxidized wires. After talking to my audio/video genius friend Brandon, I knew that my amplifier was over-driving the speakers. It was just time to replace things in general.

While removing the old set of speakers, I learned that the person who had originally installed them had somehow crossed the black and red wires. Could this have led to the audio issues we experienced? It’s hard to tell, but I’m glad to see that the speakers themselves are fine. They are still in great shape, and I’m not even sure what I’m going to do with them at this point in time. Anyone have ideas?

I chose to go with some new Polk Audio RC60i’s and the slightly larger RC80i in-ceiling speakers. I’ve heard some excellent things about these particular products, and the reviews were fantastic. The price point was pretty good, as well.

I happen to have some paint left over from the last time the rooms were done. I keep these handy in case I do a project such as this so that I can touch up any messes I make. I admit that I’m definitely not a professional, but I think it looks okay!

These new speakers sound great – they have a deeper, richer sound. Unfortunately, I couldn’t show off their audio quality since I’m not licensed to share anything with you. I’m totally glad that I did this project.

I love doing DIY projects around my house. What things have you done to improve your home?

DIY Digital Camera Repair

Joseph Manchor gives hope to those of us who have run into problems with our digital cameras, which are increasingly becoming disposable. That is to say, it’s often more affordable to buy a newer version of a digicam rather than repairing the broken one!

Many people have unused digital cameras hidden from view in a drawer somewhere. Their only fault that for whatever reason, they stopped working. They may have been ineligible for warranty repair, and professional repair was usually found to cost more than the value of the camera. But most people don’t realize though that almost half of these hidden cameras can be easily and quickly repaired at home. Most repairs do not even require opening the camera’s case. All that’s required is a little patience, and background knowledge.

I collect Canon digital cameras. This could be an expensive hobby, except most of mine were previously broken and acquired at very little cost from ebay. To make this work, I had to become proficient at camera repair. But having no background or knowledge in this area, you guessed it, a blog was started http://camerarepair.blogspot.com. The hope was that camera repair hobbyists would contribute to the blog, thus enhancing my reader’s (and my own) knowledge in the subject to help fix an ever expanding inventory of broken cameras.

Unfortunately, it turned out that most repair experts were rather secretive on this subject, viewing it as trade secrets. But thanks to Google, was able to find little tidbits here and there. Whatever gems were found were collected and shared on the blog. Have focused the blog on dealing with the most common problems that might be experienced. Have also tried to focus on the simplest of fixes that would work for these problems, hopefully without requiring the reader to even open their camera’s case. Happily about half the readers have reported success with the fixes listed in the blog. Noticed that you have mentioned in previous videos that you have a few Canon’s yourself. If any of them are hidden from view (they were dropped, or just stopped working), stop by the blog. Who knows, you might get lucky with one of the listed fixes.

Thanks, Joseph – you’re a hero! I’m more than happy to pass your resource along to my friends.

Remember to Write it Down

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Any time you have to work with electronics and take things apart, make sure you plan what you’re doing. Don’t get over-anxious and just start disassembling something you may not later remember how to properly put back together.

Ponzi and I recently got some new shelving units for our basement media room, which is still coming together. I have 7.1 surround sound, and had to unhook all the wires from the back of the receiver. Had I just started pulling them out, putting it back together could have been a nightmare. Here are some things I did to help me remember, and are my “tips” to you when doing anything similar at your home.

  • Have plenty of light. Make sure you can see what goes where, the proper color wires, and the proper holes.
  • I recorded myself with my video camera. This gave me a visual and audio backup to refer to if needed.
  • I grabbed some stickers out of Ponzi’s desk drawer. Little color-coded stickers are a great little thing to use to keep things organized. You can actually buy wire labeling kits that you can write on the long, thin sticker what the cord is for, then wrap it around the cord permanently.
  • Write. It. Down. Yes, write! I even drew a little diagram in one instance.

If you take any or all of the above steps, you shouldn’t have any problems when the time comes to reassemble what you’ve taken apart.

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Pirillo's Picks for 02/28/2007

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Home Improvement Tools

So, if one wanted to take home improvement into his or her own hands, where should one begin to look for help online? I really want to become my own handyman, if only because I’d rather “DIY” than wait around for someone else to do it for me. I can change light bulbs like none other, but beyond that – I’m useless. Awl I know is that I need to start collecting simple tutorials for common problems around the house. Let the link love begin!

How to Get 75,000 Page Impressions in a Day

Doing It is really doing it, apparently – generating over 75,000 unique page impressions for a single post today. Our post on How to open a beer bottle with a piece of paper got Fark’ed, and now that link is leaking out into other social news services. We went from zero to sixty in a matter of hours, and it looks as though that momentum will carry us through to future farkable finds. Yes, we’re expanding our search for the wackiest ways to do things – be that in video, audio, or plain text format. Since anybody can contribute to the site, you’re welcome to join us in our quest for the holy grail…

Doing It Differently

Okay, I love what Gina and pt do – who doesn’t? Jake and I have been kicking an idea around for a while, and I think we’re ready to unleash it. Nothing revolutionary, mind you – just an idea that might (or might not) work.

We’re Doing It – a DIY/GTD group blog that anybody can join at any time. Sign up, post a draft immediately, and never post again for all we care (or continue to post, if you get enough cross-promotional or search engine traffic from the coverage).

So, let’s just see if this “wisdom of crowds” thingy works – and not just for geeks!