skip to Main Content

DAC32: A New Squeezebox Alternative From Germany

This week I was tipped to the availability of a new streaming music player from PolyVection in Germany. Their DAC32 is a nondescript little device that emulates the venerable Logitech Squeezebox.

The company has a nice little historical explainer about the Logitech Media Server & Squeezebox. We got our first Squeezebox back in 2004 (I think) well before Logitech acquired Slim Devices.

DAC32 is essentially an embedded host for Squeezelite, the very same player that is bundled with PiCorePlayer for use on Raspberry Pi. DAC32 includes the host platform & digital-to-analogue conversion (DAC) in a tidy, integrated package. Connectivity is provided by onboard 2.4 GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Power is 5 vdc via a standard coaxial connector.

DAC32 streamer front

Read More

Notes from The Big Texas Freeze & Blackout

The week of Feb 15th was extraordinarily tough here in Houston. As you probably know, we had an unusual cold spell that took the area into single digit temperatures. This caught the state’s electric industry entirely by surprise, taking about 35% of electrical generation offline. So vast tracts of Texas were both cold and without power for several days. Eventually, also without water.

We certainly felt the cold. Our 100 year old Craftsman Cottage was simply not built for this kind of weather. We were fortunate to have gas appliances, including a natural gas-fired fireplace in our living room. We closed of portions of the house to minimize the area we needed to heat. Put an air bed in the living room and did the best we could.

After Hurricane Ike (2008) we were without utility power for about three weeks. This motivated the eventual purchase of a portable generator. We bought it used from a neighbor who was tired of it taking up space in his garage. For several years, it sat idle, occupying a corner in our garage. They’re like that.

This one recent week in February we got to know Genny really well. We came to admire some of her capabilities and a few of her quirks. These lessons are worth sharing.

As you can see, Genny is a Predator (in a nice way) which is a brand sold by Harbor Freight. She’s pretty beefy, rated for 8,750 watts starting load, and 7,000 watts continuous load. That’s not that 14 KW that I had calculated necessary to run out entire household, including central air conditioner, but it’s still quite a lot of power.

Read More

Reality Check: Vivo Offers Logitech Brio Webcam

I’ve used the Logitech’s Brio webcam since its introduction. It’s been mentioned hereabouts many times, including a detailed review. It’s a solid product. Recommended.

That said, given the pandemic, Logitech webcams have been hard to get over the past year. The sudden surge in work & school-from-home has created massive demand for webcams and headsets. Brand name products were in very short supply in Q3 & Q4-2020. The shortage seems to be easing up now.

When inventory was low or non-existent, companies like VoIP Supply offered off-brand or generic products for prices very close to the big brand names. Now that the situation is easing up, real Logitech products are once again available. Although, don’t expect many discounts.

This brings me to the real reason for this post. An ad for a Logitech Brio appeared in my Facebook feed today. Reseller Vivo, based in Utah, was offering it for $199, reportedly marked down from $218.

I find them offered on Amazon for $186, making the Vivo offer not unreasonable.

Read More

Music on the Front Porch with HiFi-Berry Amp2

If you’ve been here before you may already know that we enjoy a multi-zone music system based upon the long-abandoned Logitech Media Server and Squeezebox network music players.

Actually, that’s only partly true. We still run LMS, but the Squeezebox hardware has gradually been replaced with a fleet of Raspberry Pi SBCs fitted with HiFi Berry DACs, paired to small, powered audio monitors. The four indoor zones all follow this pattern.

Read More

Home & Office Instrumentation: The Netatmo Weather Station

We have quite a lot of IoT stuff hereabouts. One device that’s hardly had any mention is the Netatmo Weather Station. I honestly can’t recall how long we’ve had it. Perhaps as much as five years? I think it was a Christmas gift, since it does not appear in my Amazon order history. I’ve been pretty happy with it. It pretty much just works.

Netatmo Weather Station

The basic kit includes on outdoor module (House) and the main indoor unit. I really like being able to know the precise local conditions, not the exaggerated conditions local broadcasters report from northern counties or down in Galveston near the gulf. They always go for the more dramatic presentation.

Read More
Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: