Tuesday, 24 March 2020

N95 Respirator Masks for sale. (UK readers only)

As everyone is finding this current nasty bug is rather easy to catch and not very nice to suffer from. While our goverment's current advice about not needing a mask is fine and well, it assumes you can keep 2m/6ft from everyone, the UK is not built on that scale so the chances are you'll still be up close and personal with someone no matter what you do. 

In close quarters the chance of infection raises significantly (I was in Heathrow T3 for 3 hours the other night dropping my partner off, that was scary watching the passengers for another airline all bunched up for hours with not a mask between them). While no mask can offer full protection, wearing a mask can prevent face touching and offer some resistance against fluid spray from other people. However masks come in many grades and most of them are no use at all, as this handy image below shows... 


At a minimum any mask needs to be FFP2 or N95 rated, anything below that will offer next to nothing in blocking the particals. If you can source them FFP3 or N99's are nice but currently sell for the same price as a 2nd hand BMW.
 
From the CDC:
CDC Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment
  • What makes N95 respirators different from facemasks (sometimes called a surgical mask)?
    • READ: Understanding the difference between masks.pdf
    • N95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets. N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
    • Not everyone is able to wear a respirator due to medical conditions that may be made worse when breathing through a respirator. Before using a respirator or getting fit-tested, workers must have a medical evaluation to make sure that they are able to wear a respirator safely.
    • Achieving an adequate seal to the face is essential. United States regulations require that workers undergo an annual fit test and conduct a user seal check each time the respirator is used. Workers must pass a fit test to confirm a proper seal before using a respirator in the workplace.
    • When properly fitted and worn, minimal leakage occurs around edges of the respirator when the user inhales. This means almost all of the air is directed through the filter media.
    • Unlike NIOSH-approved N95s, facemasks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. No fit testing or seal check is necessary with facemasks. Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.
    • The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.  Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated.
Deciding to try and do our bit I started to import some N95 respirator masks to sell on eBay and Amazon (at a sensible price) However, they blocked people making listings due to price gouging and that is only right and proper. However, I was left with a load of maks and no outlet, so until I can list elsewhere I have them for sale here on my own site.




April 2nd Update: We now have an online shop, click the image below to be taken to our online store. Fully SSL encrypted, Secure PayPal payments (no account required) and new products including Face Shields. 



So unless you happen to have a Dustin Hoffman Outbreak style suit and his magic juice....


...Stay safe as best you can.





Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Blackgold Drivers for 36xx Series Cards

Wow it's been so long since I made a post, I need to get back into it all, but as a quick starter I thought I would share something with my fellow BlackGold TV Tuner owners. At some point over the last year or so BlackGold's support page has had dead links for it's downloads. I emailed them and they reckon it will be fixed 'soon' and emailed me some drivers. In the meantime I have uploaded them to my FTP for you all to use as you need. These are great cards for use with TVHeadend, Emby, Plex and so forth, it's a shame they're not getting any love from the manufacturers at the moment.

BlackGold Support page
Have a look at their site and then come back and download whichever driver you wish. NOTE: The 9.1.1.2's are meant to be the latest but my 3650 does not like them for whatever reason so personally I found the 9.1.0.5's to be more stable, you mileage will no doubt vary :)

BGT_9.1.1.2.zip (32/64bit)
BGT_9.1.0.5.zip (32/64bit)
BGT_8.1.1.2.zip (32/64bit)
BGT36xx Installation Guide
Driver Update Instructions **IMPORTANT IF CHANGING DRIVERS**
BGT3500_7.6.9.0_32bit.zip
BGT3500_7.6.9.0_64bit.zip

They are also available from this link BlackGold mailed me (hopefully will not go dead) BlackGold Temp Driver Link

Hope this helps someone :)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Kohjinsha SC3 SSD: Not all mSATA's are equal.

A long time ago in 2014 I upgraded my trusty Kohjinsha SC3 to an SSD (Original Post), however over time it started flaking out and then it up and died on me. After a bit of testing it turned out the Intel 310 mSATA had suffered from it's (now) well known firmware issues and committed suicide for no particular reason.

Initially I replaced it with a 2nd hand Cruicial M500 mSATA and things seemed a bit off, after much testing (again) this time it turned out the drive was hitting it's thermal limit inside the very confined space of the SC3 and then shutting down, after a few hours it would naturally cool enough to work again but as soon as any real load was applied, shutdown. The drive itself is perfectly fine just it seems to like running a bit hot, again a known issue.

So I finally convinced myself to try one of the WAVE branded SSD's that keep cropping up on eBay, general word on the net is they they run cool and fast and seem to be relatively sound in terms of quality. First impressions it all looks quite good, enough words for a moment lets have some pictures.

Crucial M500 on the left WAVE 128GB on the right
The WAVE only has chips on one side, this helps with speed and temps.
The WAVE in it's mSATA to ZIF adapter, nice air gap between the two.
The Crucial M500 on the other hand is quite a snug fit.


Testing & Benchmarks:


Original Toshiba MK6028GAL
Intel 310 mSATA SSD
New WAVE 128GB mSATA SSD, sorry it's blurry was testing my new PODO camera.

Initial Conclusions:


So far so good, it pretty much beats the Intel hands down aside from 4K Q32 and it does 'feel' a bit quicker. I never benched the Crucial drive mainly because I could not before it fell over, however with a USB3>SATA dongle in UASP mode it did run roughly level with the WAVE drive so I imagine similar results if it had benched in the SC3. The temperatures are the main thing here, in the open air in my frankly freezing room the Cruicial M500 idled at high 40's to low 50's and peaked at near on 60 degrees when being benchmarked. The WAVE as you can see above hit 51 degrees in the enclosed space on the SC3 while being benchmarked so this looks like another win here.

I'm reinstalling Win 10 on the SC3 which is an adventure in itself due to chipset issues, it's loosely covered here. As things stand I can recommend these drives, UK viewers can get shop here for them Wave Gadgets @ eBay

Saturday, 28 March 2015

New download links for all files and new domain :)

I recently found out that my FTP hosting had changed the way it worked and screwed up all my links, between that and Rapidshare going weird the other year I have decided it's time to do the job properly and host the files in a better fashion.

All files will now be permanently available via my new domain nebularnerd.co.uk which for now will bounce back to this site until I decide if I'm going to stick with Blogger or not.

I shall update all my older posts and threads on various forums over the next week but for now here are the links.


Version 5 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 5

Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 5 (Lite)



Version 4.1 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4.1


Version 4.0SE page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4.0SE


Version 4.0 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 4


Version 3.1SE page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.1SE

Adobe Flashplayer 11.1.111.10.apk


Version 3.0 & 3.1 mini patch page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.1

Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 3.0


Version 2 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 2.0


Version 1 page.
Novo 8 Advanced 2.3.4 UK Rooted Rom Version 1

Sunday, 18 January 2015

TRENDnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Antenna Upgrade


A few weeks ago I managed to score a rather cheap refurbished TRENDnet TEW-812DRU Wi-Fi router, I had been eyeing this model up for a few months, while most reviews give positive marks for the speed (it is fast), gigabit lan ports and fairly decent firmware it's rather let down by the antennas which are not too great over any real distance especially if you have thick solid walls such as I have. On the whole though it's main feature is it's excellent 802.11ac wireless speeds which will beat a lot of the more expensive units around.

While reading around I came across a great review from SmallNetBuilder where they opened it up and revealed that it had pigtail connectors for the wireless antennas, this along with DD-WRT* releasing a firmware for the unit told me it was time to break open the piggy bank.

I shall make a second post with a few more details regarding DD-WRT and speed/reception performance in the next week or so.

*At time of writing (Jan 2015) you must have a v2 unit to run DD-WRT, TRENDnet offer an 'Open Source Firmware' for the v2's which is a branded copy of DD-WRT but I went with the official DD-WRT one as it's a later build.

The Build:

Click any of the pictures for a larger view.


First up you need to get the lid off, lift the two rubber feet off to expose the screws then work the lid open with a spreader. Wedge it in between the grey side and black lid and gently work your way round.


Once the lid is off you'll see the mainboard with the pigtails for the antenna, NOTE: v1 models differ slightly, check the SmallNetBuilder review to see.


These are the stock antennas hidden under the mainboard, if you live in small property they will work well enough.


Next up it's time to  mutilate  modify the lid to take some new antennas, you can buy 'Pigtail to RP-SMA leads' on eBay for next to nothing but make sure you have enough cable to position them. I decided with this three in a row layout but in hindsight I should of spaced them further apart.


Once you have the connectors mounted just pop them onto the boards connectors and close up the lid. Tape over the old leads so they don't short out on anything.


Once done all you have to do is attach the antennas, this is where things were not initially as successful as I was hoping. From my previously modded Asus WL-520G and D-Link DIR-615 routers I had some big rubber duck antennas which were meant to do 2.4GHz and 5Ghz, in short on 2.4GHZ they were excellent, on 5GHz they were truly awful.


Not to be deterred I splashed out on some rather natty Alfa APA-M25 antennas that do an excellent job covering the 3 floors of my house with 3/4 to full strength on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You can buy them on eBay. Full specs can be found here.


Much neater and much better, I might at some point alter the layout to give the antennas a bit more room to breath but they seem to be working well enough at present.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

New year, New Posts

Just a quick post to say that I'm still here and am planning to try and write a lot more this year than last. The main reason for starting the blog was to get my Ainol Novo 8 Advanced firmware out into the wild, however the device is now pretty much obsolete and there is not much more that could be done beyond where I got to so I won't expect to be posting a lot about that in the foreseeable future.

I have a few things lined up, some will be new projects, some not so new stuff and the odd review/post of bits of tech that I happen to purchase.

Posts coming up:
TRENDnet TEW-812DRU v2 Router Antenna Upgrade (new project)
D-Link DIR-615 Antenna Upgrade (old project)
Lego Car Dock V2 for Xperia Z

Planned future projects:
Mini posts on some of the stuff I repair for people (Phones, laptops etc . . .)
Retro Home Computer foot pedal to emulated Joystick/Keyboard via Arduino or similar. (Extra input method, handy for crouching, reload etc . . . in First Person Shooters)
Possibly some sort of expansion to the above, custom spinner controls for arcade games or such.
Write up about my lan/firewall setup.
Other things that may spring into my head as I go along.

Stay tuned :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sony Xperia Z Lego dock prototype.



Having got fed up with my cars headunit poor support for large MP3 collections through it's USB port I decided to use my Xperia Z to provide my tunes on the move. The main obstacle with this is that no dock or mount would support the phone in the Case-Mate Tough case for my phone and allow me to charge to phone without opening the USB flap all the time. At first I purchased one of these docks from Amazon (click picture for item page):


My plan was to take a Dremel to it to widen it enough to accept the phone and case but upon disassembly that proved to be a non starter as the phone case is just too bulky for the charge pins to reach the connectors so on to plan two.

 Borrowing the internals from the above dock and a quick mod to a couple of bricks I now have a working prototype for my in car dock, in a rather amazing coincidence it happens that my Honda must of been built with the dock in mind as it fits exactly into the width of the cubby hole I wanted to place it in.


Prototype Lego dock

Top view showing charge pins from purchased dock.


Rear view, I will eventually add a better
connector maybe something magentic.

Modded Case-Mate case to accept charge pins.




In car shot, will look much better when painted.

Somehow Honda managed to make
the flap exactly the right size :)

Eventually the design will be tidied up and painted black, safety wise all is good as the headunit can change tracks and the console recesses far enough to be well out the way of the gear stick.