BACKOFFICE Merch Store is up!

The BACKOFFICE has teamed up with teespring to get to you the iconic BACKOFFICE retro engineering T shirts, hoodies and tank tops! Be the envy of your friends in the original Royal Blue (as worn by Dr Andy himself!) or a work chic Navy! (do not worry other colours are available too!)

Click here to TAKE ME TO THE MERCH!

Replay Events - Play Expo Norbreck Blackpool 2018 (Winter)

This weekend I had a smashing time at the Play Expo event in the Norbreck, I did so much and got to chat to so many awesome people (including the Legendary Jeff Minter!) that it will take me time to write it all up!

In the mean time, have a look at the snaps and let me know what you think!

Odroid-go Audio DAC v2.0 Now Available!

** EDIT ** We are in back order again, sorry!

** EDIT ** Late September units are shipping soon!

** EDIT ** Please find these excellent youtube resources on how to setup your odroid-go to using external DACs. If you have any problems please join us on the DISCORD channel (details below)

Watch and follow the steps here: https://youtu.be/2LD-BfR9-MI and once you have the new firmware the hat will work.

This demonstrates how to switch to the external DAC from the internal Speaker: https://youtu.be/cKPM9KuZo8E

Want to 3D print an enclosure? - then this will help you https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3110057

Just what you have all been waiting for, another batch of your favourite Odroid-Go Headphone adaptor and headphone jack, but now with NEW AND IMPROVED features!

Not only have you the option of permanently mounting your Odroid-go Audio DAC in two ways, you have the option of securing a 3D printed case (see my discord).

If you like soldering projects you have the audio connections available on the top of the board, perfect for when you want to get your droid to drive an Oscilloscope to play Vectex games (someone PLEASE do this!!)

Head over to the shop to buy yours before they are all gone again! Ping me on twitter when yours arrives as you soak in the amazing high-fidlity sounds of Megaman 2!

PRE-ORDER ODROID-GO HEADPHONE AUDIO HAT + DAC Now Available!!

UPDATE (02/08/2018) - I have been busy this weekend hand soldering literally thousands of connections and I am happy to say that all Pre-orders are built and ready to be shipped next week.

UPDATE (23/08/2018) - The boards are currently being manufactured!

 

Ok, so in the space of less than an hour the initial batch of odroid-go hats sold out. I am kinda surprised at that! So I am switching the store to a pre-order, so you can just go ahead and order it now and I will endeavour to start shipping them out by mid-September 2018!

Head over to the store to grab one! https://backofficeshow.com/shop/

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Behold, the Commodore 1541 Disk Emulator Hat! - NOW WITH v2 GOODNESS!

While this project certainly is not unique, it was one of the earliest incarnations of Steve White's fabulous pi1541 Disk Emulator project and we designed it live on youTube. 

For those of you that missed the stream, you can watch it here: Circuit Stream

As a result of this and the chats on Discord the design has gone through a few iterations, but suffice to say, its easy to make, drives external displays and soon .... well .... that would be spoiling the surprise!

If you want to make your own, head over to github and grab the files:

https://github.com/backofficeshow/Commodore-1541-emulator-pi-Hat

Feel free to Join us on Discord to chat about this project, ask questions and maybe pickup a pcb or two!

Source: https://discord.gg/W272eDc

FUNANASUN Dual lens dash camera - cheap and easy peace of mind

I have bought a lot of dash cameras over the last few years for myself and family, some complicated, some with WIFI and all sorts of fancy features. I have to say the use case for anyone I know needs to be plug and play and that is exactly what you get with this setup. It just works. No silly features, just useful ones that are easy to setup and operate.

The kit contains everything you need in the box to get going, you really do not need anything, perhaps only an old credit card or spludger if you want to poke the wires behind your headlining and trim. 

The camera is available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2M3aGer

The main unit itself is well finished and importantly, quite light - as it fits over your existing rear-view mirror. At first I was surprised that there was a tint to the glass, but I got used to it very quickly and enjoyed the larger viewing area than my factory unit. this would be a nice upgrade for any car with a small pokey rear view mirror.

The unit itself requires a micro SD card to record the video or still images, so buy one to the manufacturers recommendations, you tend to need a reasonable speed card for dash-cam use and this is not one application where you want to skimp as they record continuously over the card for many cycles and you do not want to discover data loss if you have an accident.

The camera also has an internal battery, this allows it to run for a short while when power is disconnected, important to allow it to shut down gracefully and close any open files on the SD card.

Fitting the camera is easy with the attached rubber mounts, these just lash around your rear view mirror and clip to the camera, its an obvious and simple approach. Power is provided by a mini USB connector terminating in a standard 12v lighter socket. If you have an existing camera fitted it is likely you can use its power feed if it uses the same connector, good for upgrading and old setup.

There is an external AV input into the unit and this is primarily targeted for the rear view camera. This is a little more fiddly in terms of installation as you need to run a wire to a suitable (possibly external) location on the back of the vehicle. The camera itself is self-illuminated and weatherproof. I would advise hooking the wires up temporarily so you can test the best location. There is a red-wire at the camera end, this is hooked up to your reversing lamp. As far as I can tell this powers up the camera which in turn switches the display to reverse mode.

The interface is super simple, modes really only vary from video record, still record and playback. There is an option to capture or mute sound during recordings. Like most dash cameras recordings are chopped into little chunks, here it is around 3 minutes. The SD card is a little inaccessible once fitted but its easy to feel for it to pop it out if you need to take the recording to a PC.

All in all a nice little setup - By the way this model has no GPS, which is certainly a nice to have but for the money takes reasonable video and provides peace of mind at a very reasonable budget!

Footnote

The reversing camera I received in my set was better than the one in the picture and featured illumination, YMMV but I think its a nice undocumented upgrade.

I saw a few negative comments about this camera, but having owned many of these in my time I have to say for the price it really is a good piece of kit. As with all dash cameras you need to make sure you have an adequately fast and error free micro SD card. Unfortunately in my experience micro SD cards tend to have a high failure rate in general operation so check them in a suitable PC as an initial diagnostic step.

Source: https://amzn.to/2HmwQ83

Sony MSX HitBit Capacitor Replacement

I made an oopsie in today's video and soldered a resistor where a capacitor should be, no harm though, just a few mA turned into heat during operation.

Anyways thanks to everyone who pointed this out, I have added some surface mount tech to the HitBit to sort this out:

 Jobsa goodun, still seems to function, so this cap is probably belt and braces to eat any transient noise and stop the logic chip getting confused, either way, HitBit is alive!

Jobsa goodun, still seems to function, so this cap is probably belt and braces to eat any transient noise and stop the logic chip getting confused, either way, HitBit is alive!

Sorry for the blog / vlog synchronisation issue!

Ok, I dont really have any fancy pants automation to keep my Blog and YouTube Volg synchronised, I do it all myself and I have been rather lazy! I can see that I am well over a month out and will have to settle down and add these entries! However, if you are chomping at the bit you can head over to my YouTube Page at: https://www.youtube.com/thebackofficeshow

With CES2018, Hoover Dam, Detroit Motor Show and my Tesla Model 3 adventures I am pretty busy, but I promise to keep the videos coming! Thanks for your patience!

Andrew

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