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Electronic Music Production: A Trance Track

I have started to play with making electronic music. This is a trance track based on a really nice tutorial from Sadowick Production. It's pretty beat heavy and slowly builds up. I used Ableton and a number of different synths to create the sound. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement. Anyway, enjoy!
Categories: News
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Nektar Panorama T4 and loose USB connections

I have been using the Nektar Panorama T4 as midi controller for my DAW. It connects via USB and at least for Cubase has a great integration where it's possible to navigate tracks and change many settings in Cubase directly from the midi keyboard. Unfortunately, the keyboard has a major design flaw. The USB B female port is too shallow. It's where the cable connecting the midi controller to the computer plugs in. The weight of the cable is sufficient to rotate the cable out of the USB-B port and that leads to constant disconnections from the computer. While it usually reconnects, it means that it's not reliable and super frustrating to get to work.

Today, I finally had enough and decided I either had to get rid of the T4 or figure out an alternative solution. Via Thingverse I found a USB-B port support and with some modification I made it fit with the Panorama T4. Some epoxy and a few hours of cure time, I finally have a more reliable midi controller. At least, it's not disconnecting constantly.

I hope somebody from Nektar Technologies reads this blog post and fixes the design of the USB port.
Categories: Hacking
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Tool Making: Bottom Swage and Flatter

Blacksmithing - even for a beginner and definitely for more advanced practioners - is mostly about tool making. I recently needed a few new tools to get ready for forging axes. So, I decided to forge a bottom swage for the power hammer and then used the bottom swage to forge a great flattener for the power hammer. I used 4340 as tool steel which was quite tough to work. Enjoy the videos.

Categories: Forge Diaries
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Making Mandalorian Beskar plus Giveaway for Subscribers

To change it up a little for 2021, I made a Mandalorian Beskar ingot using pattern welding techniques. There is a giveaway of this ingot for subscribers of my channel. If you are new here, the techniques I am using to make the ingot, e.g. forge welding to create patterns, are the same as I use to make Viking-age inspired swords, knives and spears. If you are interested check out my other videos.

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Official Giveaway Rules for Subscribers:​ (TL;DR: you need to be subscribed + comment)

Beskar for Charity: For a $2000 dollar donation to Second Harvest, I will make a Mandalorian Beskar ingot on demand.
Categories: Forge Diaries
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Disinfection of PPE such as N95 respirator masks

An article from Consolidated Sterilizer Systems starts with: "With the global Covid-19 pandemic everywhere in the news, many healthcare professionals and concerned citizens are grappling with the shortage of respirator masks, vital tools for ensuring that healthcare workers are not infected by the people they’re trying to help."

The article suggests that microwave steam based disinfection has been effective at disinfecting, specifically removing H1N1, from non-metal N95 respirator masks. Here is a 3D grid that can be placed into a glass tupperware container filled with some water and then put into a microwave. Don't put anything with metal into the microwave. Alternatively, you can use this grid in the oven as well; see the description in the article.

This grid is 4.4" square and 1.25" tall. It's easy for me to produce any other dimensions.

The log reduction for microwave steam is around ~5, i.e. 100,000 times less viable virus. The article does not give a protocol. I put the filter in the microwave for 3 minutes which was sufficient to boil the water for 2 minutes. For oven steam, the protocol requires 3 hours under warm water steam and let to a slightly smaller log reduction of ~4.8, i.e. 63,000 times less viable virus. This requires an oven that has good temperature control.

Disclaimer: It is unclear if this is effective for disinfection. Even with high-temperature filament, it is unclear if a 3d printed grid is appropriate for this application.
Categories: Hacking

Forging A Viking Broad Sword: from start to finish

This is a video completing about two years of work in creating a single-edged pattern-welded sword or seax that could plausibly have been created during Viking times. It shows alls steps from assembling pieces of steel, twisting and forging until the sword blade is complete and tested with a simple cutting test.

It’s about 30 minutes long and shot on a Sony FS7. It’s 4K and color graded for high-dynamic range (HDR).
Categories: Forge Diaries
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