How do you determine which coaxial TV cable is which when you have more than one? Here’s how.

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Too many coax cables!

NOTE: This tip is for coaxial TV cables that do not carry any voltage and where you have access to both ends of the cable and neither end of the cable is plugged in to anything — NEVER mess around with cables that carry electrical current!

If your cables do not look like the one below — with a solid centre core and an outer braid OR either end of the cable is inaccessible to you or possibly plugged in:- DO NOT…


This is a brief product review of the De’Longhi CTO4 Argento Flora 4 Slice Toaster (boy what product name!) and my personal experiences with it.

Background

We recently had our kitchen refurbished and as part of this the kitchen unit colour was changed to sage green — so naturally we wanted new appliances that matched.

After some searching around we found a number of manufacturers that made products in shades of green, De’Longhi being one of them.

So we ordered this toaster from them:

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De’Longhi CTO4 Argento Flora 4 Slice Toaster

Inital Impressions

Unpacking the toaster revealed the colour was an “okay” match for our kitchen units, but that was…


How to make a lightbox to show off your favourite arcade marquee artwork.

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The completed box with Asteroids marquee installed

So, long story short: the company I work at had a week long “Creative Jam” recently and everyone was invited to take part. I started off on the Monday with an idea for some software that by the end of the day I had decided I didn’t want to do, so switched to making something instead.

The marquee lightbox was the thing I decided to make.

Materials

12mm MDF
Wooden battens
“L” shape plastic strip
Adhesive LED strip
Perspex
Fibreboard (for back and LED panel)
Screws
Glue

Build Process

First…


This is a how-I-did-it type guide to building an homage to a Robotron Cabaret Arcade machine.

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If the headset socket fails on your Xbox controller, your only option is a headset adapter.

As you have maybe seen, I already wrote about how I fixed the poorly designed headphone socket on my sons Xbox One controller here: https://medium.com/@mrvectrex/fixing-an-xbox-one-controller-64c7ced8ca83

However the situation got worse, possibly due to frantic Fortnite playing by the kids, and it seemed the only solution was to switch to the Xbox One headset adaptors. But they are so expensive, nearly £30 in the UK, which is pretty close to the price of a controller!

I checked on ebay and found these bits:

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I bought a headset adaptor with the headset cut off and a 4 pole headset extension


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Sometimes, you have complex code where the property of an object is being unexpectedly changed. Here’s how I tracked down what was going on when we had this happen to us.

Background

So, we have a complex code base with server-side rendered React components, Node and Express, front-ending a headless CMS system. We had built a page that fetched a load of data and allowed the data to be filtered by the user. Essentially, displaying a list of news articles and allowing the user to filter to show just patch notes.

What was happening was that on initial page load, all…


So, I have two sons who LOVE the XBox. They are currently spending an inordinate amount of time on Fortnite — I am sure you can empathise with this ;-)

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The broken controller and the replacement headset socket

Anyway, over the years we have acquired 4 XBox One controllers. It’s taken some time, we didn’t buy them all at once because, hey, they’re expensive right?

Over time the headphone adaptor socket on each one has failed, rendering the plugin headsets we have useless. At first we assumed it had to be the headsets as there’s no way a Microsoft controller costing £50 could fail? …


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The completed machine

So this is a sort of story/instruction guide on how I built a small arcade machine — a size often referred to as “bartop” (presumably because it’s perfect to have on top of a bar). It uses “MAME” to play my favourite arcade ROM’s and allows 2 players to play at once.

My son testing things out
Playing Donkey Kong 3

Background

I love the colour and cabinet design of the early Donkey Kong arcade machine from Nintendo, so I decided to copy that, but make it smaller and more convenient to have in a house. …


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This is “Chunk” one of our female Netherland Dwarf rabbits

For those people considering getting a rabbit, I’d just like to draw your attention to a few things we discovered as parents of children who nagged us to get them rabbits as pets. Life has not been a walk in the park since we did, so read on to find out what we discovered.

They are not “easy” pets

Somehow, there is this idea that rabbits are easy pets to keep. They really are not. For all their quiet cuteness, they are complex creatures that have a wide set of needs. …


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So, I am speculating here, but if you are a parent you will almost certainly have been subject to your kids crushing desire to get the latest “craze”, whatever it may be.

I have twin boys aged 11 and that’s 11 years worth of chances to be subjected to the peer pressure of playground crazes. Here’s a few that we’ve had to endure: GoGo’s, Moshi Monsters, Loom Bands and now the “Fidget” craze. I feel grateful that my lads are not interested in football or we’d almost certainly have spent £100’s on those football trading cards and stickers too.

What…

MrVectrex

Developer, IT geek, gadget freak, father of twins...

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