Yearly Archives: 2020

How AUX / line out works on Alexa products

Also, the article will be about pairing two Amazon Echo Studios and some issues – just scroll down. Switching between line in and the internal signal source could be also a bit pain in the bottom, problem explained on the end of the article.

First of all not all Amazon Alexa products accept line IN/AUX. Please carefully see TWO paragraphs below.

Products listed below, with 3.5mm jack socket, can be only connected as a sound source, sending the sound to eg. amplifier. You cannot use the socket to receive signal eg. from tape recorder or radio or TV. Only way way to receive a signal to the products is to connect to them through bluetooth.

Devices with no AUX (line in):

  • Echo DOT
  • Spot Show
  • Echo Auto
  • old generations of Echo

Other group are devices with Aux (line in) socket, which can also work as line OUT (!) – to switch modes you need to go to the Alexa app and change the setting.

I have got only Amazon Echo Studio and it is a special one – there is a socket which also works both ways (line out or line in). It also automatically switches between a copper cable and optical toslink/S/PDIF. Amazing.

Devices with AUX (line in):

  • Amazon echo 3rd generation
  • Echo plus
  • Echo Studio

I can’t review other devices but Echo Studio is doing an amazing job for other reasons.

I have got a TV tuner and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Both are connected through the HDMI cables to my projector. My projector has got no Bluetooth. So how could I connect the projector to my Amazon Echo Studio?

I used 3.5mm jack connected to line out of my projector and the other side is connected to the AUX socket in Amazin Echo Studio. The device automatically recognises a classic 3.5 copper cable and works correctly. But… somebody may say it will be a quality drop if I use analogue cable as a signal source for my Amazon Echo Studio. So this is another place where my Amazon Echo Studio is doing a great job. The device simply ignoring AUX input from the projector and using wireless digital connection between Amazon Fire TV Stick and Amazon Echo studio. How can I know it? Because when I press mute button on the projector remote control, the mute symbol appears on the screen, but the music is still playing.

I hope it will be helpful explanation for some people.

EDIT:

After few days I decided to but another echo. Before I did it I got confused a bit and I decided to check few thing myself.

So… pairing. The process of connecting and making stereo connection using two Amazon Echo Studio is easy. However, I have had an issue with it too! When I tried to create a home cinema system, connecting my Amazon Echo Studio to Fire Stick TV – I got information the device is…. incompatible!!! Quick chat with Amazon customer service gave me the answer – I had to update Studio’s software – I just had to say: Alexa, check for software updates”. The first update took about 5 minutes, despite Alexa told me it will be 30 minutes. After that, I had to say again: “Alexa, check for software updates”. The second update took real 30 minutes or so 馃檪

After updating my (both) Amazon Echo Studios I was able to make a home cinema system by connecting together my Fire TV Stick, and both my Studios.

The sound quality and stereo effect are very good. I was very happy.

Disappointment appeared when I tried to connect my TV Box through optical, digital toslink cable. I expected the problem, but anyway I was hoping miracles will happen and it will work. I was hoping the signal for the other channel will be sent to the other speaker wirelessly, like teh Fire TV Stick does. Unfortunately not. So, you can’t really connect a single optical output from the TV box (or any other device) to both Studios speakers. Well, to be honest, you can buy optical splitters, but by doing so you will provide the same signal to both speakers…

Another disappointment become, when I tried to pair my mobile phone to the Amazon system through bluetooth. No way – you can connect only to one of the Amazon Echo Studio speakers…

The problem with my TV box and only a single connection I resolved by using old style analogue RCA cables. My TV box is equipped with toslink optical output , but it also has a good old RCA outputs, separately for left and for right channel. So, the RCA cables brought me the solution, but theoretically the sound quality can’t be as good, as the digital. However I can’t hear any diffrent.

Amazon, shame on you….

Summary – if you are using two Amazon Echo Studios paired together as a home cinema system:

  • you can have a nice stereo sound if you are connected to Fire TV
  • you cannot have stereo if you are connected through bluetooth (eg. from your mobile phone)
  • you can not have a stereo if you are connected to one of the speakers with using an optical, digital toslink cable
  • you can have a stereo sound if you can connect separately to each speaker using the old style RCA analogue cables – but you sound source must have them…

Other problem is switching between line in and the external signal source. Let’s say you watch TV box, connected to the speakers through the line in, and then you ask: “Alexa, play the best of Metallica”. So Alexa is playing Metallica from its internal network source. Later you say “Alexa, stop”, but instead of switching back to play sound from music box, you hear silence. To force Echo Studio to play line in signal source, I found the only one solution is unplug cable and put it back. I decided to send both studios back to amazon.

I found here a lot of people had the same issue: https://www.amazonforum.com/s/question/0D54P00006zSv5USAS/echo-studio-optical-input-commands

Braki u ro艣lin akwariowych

Niniejszy poradnik napisa艂em przede wszystkim dla samego siebie, jako zbi贸r wiedzy. Je艣li masz ochot臋 z niego skorzysta膰 – to prosz臋 bardzo – oczywi艣cie na w艂asn膮 odpowiedzialno艣膰 馃檪

Oczywi艣cie problemy z ro艣linami w akwarium to nie tylko nawozy, ale i prawid艂owe o艣wietlenie, poziom CO2, testowanie wody, pod艂o偶e, dzia艂alno艣膰 ryb i 艣limak贸w.

Jedn膮 z najwa偶niejszych podpowiedzi w szukaniu problem贸w z ro艣linami, jest podzia艂 sk艂adnik贸w od偶ywczych ro艣lin na mobilne, i niemobilne.

Sk艂adniki mobilne:
nowe li艣cie potrafi膮 zabra膰 sk艂adniki starym li艣ciom, przez co stare li艣cie obumieraj膮.
Sk艂adniki niemobilne:
nowe li艣cie nie potrafi膮 zabra膰 sk艂adnik贸w starym li艣ciom, przez co nowe li艣cie rosn膮 nieprawid艂owo
Azot (N), Fosfor (P), Potas (K), Magnez (Mg), Chlor (Cl), Cynk (Zn), Molibden (Mo)Wap艅 (Ca), Siarka (S), 呕elazo (Fe), Bor (B), Mied藕 (Cu),
Sk艂adniki mobilne / niemobilne

Sk艂adniki dzielimy tak偶e na makro i mikroelementy

Makroelementy:
Makroelementy s膮 najcz臋stsz膮 przyczyn膮 niedobor贸w
Mikroelementy:
Rzadko s膮 przyczyn膮 niedobor贸w (wyj. Fe)
Dwutlenek w臋gla (CO2), Azot (N), Fosfor (P), Potas (K), Wap艅 (Ca), Magnez (Mg), Siarka (S)Chlor (Cl), 呕elazo (fe), Mangan (Mn), Cynk (Zn), Bor (B), Mied藕 (Cu), Molibden (Mo), Nikiel (Ni)
Makro i mikroelementy

Terminologia:

chloroza – kiedy stary li艣膰 przestaje by膰 zielony lub gdy nowy li艣膰 nie mo偶e si臋 zazieleni膰. Li艣cie takie s膮 偶贸艂te lub bia艂awe. Zielone s膮 tylko 偶y艂ki. Brak jest chlorofilu.

nekroza – gdy ze starego li艣cia uciekaj膮 sk艂adniki mobilne, zielony li艣膰 robi si臋 偶贸艂ty a w ko艅cu czarny , albo zaczyna gni膰

Cz臋sto li艣cie z chloroz膮 lub nekroz膮 s膮 atakowane przez glony. Pozosta艂e w nich sk艂adniki s膮 dobr膮 po偶ywk膮 dla glon贸w.

Akwarystyczna wyliczanka – 艣wiat艂o, nawozy, CO2 i konsekwencje ich z艂ego balansu

W artykule na moim blogu TUTAJ pisa艂em o zale偶no艣ciach pomi臋dzy fosforanami a azotanami w domowym akwarium tropikalnym. Teraz pora na inn膮 akwarystyczn膮 wyliczank臋 – troch臋 o konsekwencjach zbyt du偶ej lub zbyt ma艂ej ilo艣ci 艣wiat艂a, nawozu i CO2.

艢wiat艂o OK, naw贸z OK, CO2 OK = brak glon贸w i sinic

艢wiat艂o OK, naw贸z OK, CO2 za ma艂o = glony

Swiat艂o OK, naw贸z za ma艂o, CO2 OK = braki w ro艣linach oraz sinice

艢wiat艂o za ma艂o, naw贸z OK, CO2 za ma艂o = jest jaka艣 szansa na opanowanie akwarium

艢wiat艂o za du偶o, naw贸z OK, CO2 OK = sinice oraz glony

艢wiat艂o OK, naw贸z OK, CO2 za du偶o = ????????????? kto艣 pomo偶e?

Jak zapobiega膰 sinicom oraz glonom – wsp贸艂czynnik Redfielda

Nie b臋d臋 z siebie robi膰 eksperta w zwalczaniu glon贸w i sinic. Nie b臋d臋 si臋 rozpisywa膰 o wszystkich mo偶liwych przyczynach sinic i glon贸w. Natomiast chcialem zaprezentowa膰 powy偶sz膮 tabelk臋, kt贸ra pomo偶e zrozumie膰, 偶e si艂owe zwalczanie NO3 mo偶e przynie艣膰 katastrofalne skutki.

Do rzeczy – opisz臋 to na swoim konkretnym przyk艂adzie. Mieszkam w UK i w kranowej wodzie mam fosforany PO4 – 1mg/L, a azotany NO3 pomi臋dzy zero a 5mg/L w zale偶no艣ci od tego, jakich u偶yj臋 test贸w – patrz “afera” TUTAJ. 呕ywe organizmy w moim baniaku dodaj膮 kolejne 1mg/L fosforan贸w i 艂膮cznie mam 2mg/L fosforan贸w PO4.

W akwarium mam bardzo du偶o ro艣lin, kt贸re w ca艂o艣ci wsysa艂y wytworzone przez ryby azotany. Mia艂em ich naprawd臋 艣ladowe ilo艣ci – oko艂o 5mg/L. Super. Czy艣ciutka woda bez azotan贸w = glony nie b臋d膮 mia艂y co je艣膰. Teraz pojawia si臋 problem – nie ma tak 艂atwo… Sinice!

Je艣li spojrzymy na powy偶sz膮 tabelk臋, azotany (nitrate) 5mg/L i fosforany (phosphate) 2mg/L – linie przecinaj膮 si臋 na warto艣ci 4 – a偶 trzy pola w lewo od warto艣ci bezpiecznej. Tabela pokazuje, 偶e mia艂em szcz臋艣cie, 偶e nie pojawi艂y mi si臋 sinice.

Rozwi膮zanie problemu?

Na szybko zacz膮艂em stosowa膰 naw贸z azotowy:

Uda艂o mi si臋 dobra膰 dawkowanie tego azotu tak, 偶e warto艣膰 azotan贸w w akwarium podwy偶szy艂膮 si臋 do 20mg/L. No i nie by艂o ani sinic, ani glon贸w – no mo偶e tylka kilka zielonych kropek tu i tam.

Ale co dalej? Co prawda poziom azotan贸w 20mg/L nie jest tragiczny, ale zalecane jest max. 10mg/L, wi臋c co zrobi膰? Powiedzmy, 偶e chc臋 mie膰 5mg/L azotan贸w, co 艂atwo osi膮gn臋 poprzez obni偶enie nawo偶enia nawozem azotowym. Musz臋 jako艣 obni偶y膰 poziom fosforan贸w PO4 do oko艂o 0,5mg/L. Tutaj z pomoc膮 przychodzi Seachem Phosguard:

S膮 to malutkie oko艂o 2mm kulki w a偶urowym woreczku, kt贸ry w艂o偶y艂em do filtra kube艂kowego:

Generalnie producent zaleca opakowanie 100g na 235L wody.

Produkt obni偶y艂 mi fosforany PO4 do oko艂o 0.5mg/L, wi臋c staram si臋 utrzymywa膰 azotany na poziomie 5mg/L. Ponadto produkt ten obni偶a poziom nie tylko fosforan贸w, ale i krzemian贸w, dzi臋ki czemu przesta艂y u mnie wyst臋powa膰 okrzemki (taki glon), choci膮偶 i tak nie mia艂em ich du偶o.

Nie mo偶esz znale藕膰 tabelki pokazuj膮cej fosforany i azotany? Nie szkodzi. Bardzo 艂atwa regu艂a do zapami臋tania:

Fosforan贸w PO4 ma by膰 zawsze 10x mniej ni偶 azotan贸w NO3 馃檪

Aczkolwiek najbardziej po偶膮dana ilo艣膰 azotan贸w to oko艂o 5…10mg/L – i odpowiednio nale偶y mie膰 0.5…1mg/L fosforan贸w.

I love co2 in my tropical aquarium

Co2 supplied from… extinguisher 馃檪
CO2 Regulator

What’s a point to pay extra for the posh original aquarium co2 system?

I made the complited co2 set for my tropical aquarium from the following items:

Co2 extinguisher – the bottle with co2 inside

CO2 regulator – the pressure in the extinguisher cylinder is much too high to cope with. This device reduces the pressure to a sensible value. Also it has a precise valve which let you adjust the dosage. Two manometers let you control the pressure. The bubble counter is the best way to check amount of gas going into the fish tank.

Adaptor – accidentally i bought a regulator with G5/8 thread. My extinguisher come with W21. 8 thread. The adaptor does a great job and connects both together.

Diffuser. A small device diluting gas in water. Nice, smart device with a reflux valve built in. However it’s another unnatural item in the tank. I am going to replace it with a i line reactor from here.

This is not a subject of this post, but co2 is not everything. It must be balanced with strong enough light and plant food, like micro fertiliser and also I add an extra liquid nitrogen. Some plants grow even 30…40mm a day!!

Anyway, I really recommend co2 in a fish tank 馃檪

api-nitrate-no3-test-kit

API nitrate NO3 test kit – tap water result…

The message is very simple. Do not buy API NO3 test kit. No. Do not do it. The reason is simple, let me explain.

The reason of buying a separated test was I do some experiments with liquid nitrogen so I need to measure results. I do not need a extremely accurate results, but a rough idea of the water in my fish tank could help. So I use NT Lab set of 8 different test, but because I use a lot of NO3 test, I started to run out of the test liquid. So I decided to but a big NO3 test. I chosen API.

First issue I found straight away is the chart. They printed the scale for 10/20 and then for 40/80 ppm using the same colour! How stupid it is!

Look at the picture:

Colours for 10/20 and then for 40/80 printed using the same colour.

Anyway, regardless the problem with the chart, I decided to do the water test straight away. Result was very scary. It told me that the water in my aquarium contains 160 mg/L of NO3. NT Lab test showed results of around 10ppm. Which one was lying then? I decided to do the tap water test. I know, my water supplier declares not more than 10ppm. In reality it means 10ppm of NO3 may happen, but usually it should be much less. I did tap water NO3 test and NT Lab showed what I expected: 0ppm, and result shown by the API Nitrate NO3 kit is… 40 or 80. No way.

One more time: DO NOT BUY API NO3 test. No. Do not. 馃檪

Edit: 20.06.2020. Just to make the API test are really crap, and NT Lab test was OK, I decided to spend extra 拢15 and buy another NO3 test – this time I decided to buy JBL. It is actually a brilliant test with amazing idea of using a dummy test tube.

As a confirmation JBL and NT Lab test showed very similar result for a tap water: 5mg/L@JBL, 0mg/L@NT Lab.

How to clean front door and spout on De’Longhi ESAM 4200

After I year of using I know the machine has a serious hygienic issue. Despite of cleaning the machine every month, as recommended, inside of the machine, on the infuser and inside of the chamber I experience a mould.

Also the front door is not removable, so you can’t properly clean it, as the door should be soaked in the water for a proper cleaning.

Unfortunately I have cleaned the mould from the infuser before I decided to do this review so I can’t show the problem in the pictures, but it was quite bad. My guess is the infuser should be perfectly dry before attaching back to the machine.

But I managed to upload the pictures of the front door and the spouts. Also the chamber inside is so complicated than it is almost impossible to clean it properly. Please trust me, the front door is impossible to clean properly if you can’t remove it from the machine.

This is why I decided to find the way how to remove the front door together with spouts from the machine. What had to be done was to drill a small hole at the bottom of the door and then I managed to remove the hinge pin with a small pliers. Do not try to use a standard size pliers as they are too big.

After cleaning, it is easy to put the hinge pin back, it sits quite tight, so I do not think it will keep moving out while the door opens and closes.

Good luck – please remember, you do it on your own responsibility 馃檪