Sony Arouje

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My Experience in E-Vaping

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I was a smoker for so many years. I tried so many ways to quit this habit, at one point I tried Nicotine gums but ended up chewing nicotine gums and smoking at same time. Recently I went to England for a business trip and one of my colleague there quit smoking and moved to E-Cigarette or E-Vaping. I thought, I should give a try but I wasn’t sure I can quit smoking. The hotel where I stayed, I met another guy with an E-Vaping device and when talking to him, he said he quit smoking a year ago with the help of this device. That night I decided, I should buy one and ordered one from Amazon. I didn’t spend much time in understanding the technical details of these devices in detail. So I ordered a beginner model named Thorvap, which cost me around 24 GBP, not a big deal, also bought some E-Liquids. After I came back to India, I started using this device, and for last two weeks I haven’t touched a cigarette.

I bought the below device

Image result for thorvap 30w

 

I didn’t regret buying this device. In my spare time I started researching more about E-Vaping and accessories attached to it. If this post inspire you to buy one then spend some time in understanding different types of systems available in the market before buying one.

What is an E-Vaping device

Any E-Vaping device produce vapor from a liquid by heating a coil. This liquid is a mix of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Some Flavor and some percentage of Nicotine. Once you moved out of Cigarette, you can reduce the percentage of Nicotine and later can use liquids with zero nicotine. Devices comes in several variations like 30, 60 or 120 watts, as per my understanding this will tell how heat the coil can produce and thus increase the vape production.

Parts in E-Vaping device

There are mainly three parts

  1. Mod
  2. Tank
  3. Atomizer

Mod: This part contains the battery and the temperature controlling system. It’s not very complicated to use it, it has an on/off button and buttons to increase or decrease the temperature.

Tank: This is the top part with the glass. Liquid get filled in this tank. Tanks come is different sizes like 3ml, 6ml etc.

Atomizer: This is a very crucial part to be decided before buying one. In simple terms, any atomizer contains a coil, cotton and a screw terminal screwed to the battery.

There are two major type of atomizers

  • RBA (Rebuildable Atomizers)
  • Non RBA

The coils and cotton will get deteriorate after some weeks, again it depends on how you vape and the sweet content of the liquid. There are so many factors that affects the life span of these coils and cotton.

In Non RBA’s, you have to buy these part and is a costly affair. I bought a pack of 5 for 11GBP. Some says, these can be reused by washing in hot water or vodaka, I haven’t tried this personally. As per my understanding vaping with Non RBAs add costs.

RBAs have rebuildable coils, that means we can unscrew it and change the coil and cotton. These coils can be easily made by ourselves. Should be careful to maintain the desired ohm of the coil, otherwise you might damage the mod. Check youtube and can see a lot of videos about how to do it, and learn more about how to maintain the ohm of the coil. RBAs are again divided into RDA and RTA.

RDA (Rebuildable Drip Atomizer), in this system there is no tank to hold the liquid. We need to wet the cotton with liquid, personally I don’t like it, as I might ended up carrying liquid where ever I go. In RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer) system, the liquid can be filled in a tank. The tank capacity comes in different variations like 3ml, 6ml etc.

After learning more about the system, I decided to buy a second device. I think a second device is always useful, in case my existing one stop working. I ordered for SMOK XCube Mini and TFV8 Baby Tank and a separate RBA Atomizer.

What Next?

Buy an e-Vaping device and give it a try. Just like me, you might quit smoking. After two weeks, I can see a lot of difference in my body. Earlier I used to struggle to breath after running for a kilometer and now I feel more comfortable running a km. I think after some time I can reduce the nicotine in the liquid and later I can stop vapping all together.

Still research is going on whether e-Vaping is healthy but it’s much less harmful than normal cigarette.

Note: If you are residing in Karnataka, then selling of E-Cigarette and liquids are banned. I feel it’s a strange decision by the government. May be you can ship it to near by state and get it through some friends. There is a will there is a way.

Written by Sony Arouje

December 9, 2016 at 1:08 am

Posted in Misc

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Some experiments in Cyanotype Photographic printing

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Last week I got interested in Cyanotype photographic printing and started investigating about the chemistry and the whole process of doing it. It’s real fun and cheap way of printing photographs. In short Cyanotype printing involves sensitizing Paper/wood/cloth/glass with some chemicals and expose it to UV radiation/Sun light with a negative film covering the print area.

There are hundreds of tutorial talking about the whole process, here I merely repeating the process again. In Cyanotype process two major components are the sensitizing chemical and the paper. Let’s talk about the steps in Cyanotype.

Sensitizing Chemistry

I followed the old Cyanotype process. The two chemicals I need for that is

  • Ammonium Ferric Citrate
  • Potassium Ferricyanide

Most of the tutorials of Cyanotype process talks about Ammonium Ferric Citrate (Green), I couldn’t find Green version instead I used the brown one.

These two chemicals comes as powder, so need to mix it to create A and B solution.

  • Solution A: 100 ml water and 25g Ammonium Ferric Citrate mixed together.
  • Solution B: 100 ml water and 10g Potassium Ferricyanide mixed together.

Note: some sources says, use distilled water, I used the normal filter water for mixing.

Both A and B should be kept in separate containers. This can be reused to create working solution. To create the working solution, take equal parts from two (A and B) solutions and then mix well.

 

Sensitizing the paper
Paper type is very important in Cyanotype process, I used different types of paper for this process. I got really good result from very cheap drawing paper sells at normal stationary shops, which cost around 8₹ for a large sheet and can cut 6 or more A4 sheets. I also tried with A4 paper which cost around 12₹ each and got a very dirty yellow look, which I didn’t like. I suggest start with cheap drawing paper.

Next we need to sensitize the paper with the working solution we created from the A and B solution. I used a normal paint brush and paint the solution to the paper. Make sure to use a moderate dark room. Keep the paper to dry in a dark place, I used my bookshelf to dry it completely. You can also use a hair dryer and can be used immediately, I don’t have a hair dryer instead I used a hot air gun in very mild temperature. The paper will turn yellow once it dried.

 

Printing or Exposing

I experimented with A4 size paper. To print photos, we need to create a negative of A4 size. To create the big negative I used a black and white photo and invert it in an image editing app. Then adjust the contrast to get a desired look for the negative. This negative should print on a transparent sheet, I bought couple of OHP sheet and print the negative using my laser printer.

Next we need to expose the sensitized paper with UV rays. I used an A4 size plywood and transparent plexi glass to keep the paper and negative in position. Here is good video showing the whole process.

Sun light is the best resource for UV rays. But I live in an apartment and I don’t get enough sunlight in my balcony. So I used a light source created for my Aeroponic system. My Light source is an array of 3W red and blue LEDs, which I sourced from Aliexpress and assembled by me and my father. Also this artificial UV source helped me to experiment at night as well. Below is my UV light source, it’s not very fancy, a DIY system. Important part is, it’s shock proof :).

IMG_1616

 

In normal sun light, we need to expose the paper for about 8-10mins, in my light source I need to expose for around 50mins. I experimented with different exposure time and came to 50mins as ideal.

Developing

Developing the paper is an easy process, just dip the exposed paper in water for 3 to 4 mins. My tap water is bit Alkaline, Cyanotype works well in Acidic water, so I put couple of drops of Phosphoric acid to water to make it acidic and wash for a minute then wash it in normal tap water for about 3 mins. The timing can only determined by trial and error, when you see the blue color is fading take the paper out and keep it for drying.

 

Some prints

1. Dirty yellow stained print, this caused by the paper type. This A4 sheet is around 12₹, but gives me a very bad output.

Cyanotype_stained

 

2. An over exposed print, highlight become mild blue. Under UV Light for around 2hrs

Cyanotype1

3. Reasonable good print, exposed for around 50mins.

Cyanotype2

 

All the above photos are scanned using a normal scanner not from a good photo scanner. Later I will post some photos from my photo scanner. The actual image looks a bit more bluish.

 

What next?

I need to spend some time experimenting the bleaching and tanning process. The whole process is real fun, need to experiment with different photos as well.

Written by Sony Arouje

September 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm

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First time experience with Analogue Photography

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I was shooting in DSLR and mobile phone for quiet a long time, I started with D40 and some years ago moved to D7100. Photography is my hobby and I am not a pro. One of my long time wish was to shoot in Film but I never got a chance to realize my dream. Thoughts that kept me away from buying an SLR was

  • Is it worth to spend money on some thing that is difficult to use
  • Cost of the film
  • Who will process the films and cost involved in processing and digitizing

A month ago, my CEO Simon Weeks visited India and he gave me a very surprising and one of my most valued gift, a Nikon FM3A along with couple of Black and White films. It’s one of the greatest Camera ever made, Ken Rockwell has a great post about this camera. With this Camera, my journey starts in Film photography. At first I didn’t knew how to load a film, Simon gave me a short introduction about loading the film and theoretically he take me through the processes of washing the film.

Capturing

As a DSLR user, I am habituated to check the LCD to see the preview of what I captured and adjust the exposure settings, if I am not satisfied. In film world I have no preview, so I should be very clear about the metering techniques and exposure. I have a good knowledge about Exposure but I refreshed my knowledge once again to make sure I will not do any mistake while capturing in film camera.

Photographing in FM3A is quiet a new experience. This camera will not autofocus, but the split screen focusing system is a great feature, which allows me to focus easier. Still I get some out of focus photos and learning my focusing skills. I really enjoy photographing with FM3A, it’s a very simple system, not many settings to fiddle with. Adjust the exposure and Aperture (if needed) and click shutter release, as simple as that.

Note: Shouldn’t try film SLR, if you are shooting in DSLR with Auto mode dialed in. It’s like sitting in a driverless car, in this case camera adjust Aperture and Exposure by itself, photographer only need to do is simply click the shutter release button. Instead in SLR world, you need to adjust the exposure yourself.

Processing

I went through a lot of articles and videos explaining the film processing. First thing to do film processing at home, is a developing tank, I checked most of the Indian ecom sites and they were pretty expensive or I didn’t like it much. From one of the facebook group I came to know about fotosingstore.in and ordered a Paterson Developing Tank

In my searches I come across film photographer named Prasanna Subbarayan,  in one of the post he talk about developing film using XRay developer. I contacted him via email and later I talked to him via phone. He gave me the chemistry of developing using XRay developer. I got some developer from my Dentist and developed the first film roll. The result was good. First of all I cant judge my developing skills yet, learning from mistakes.

For developing my second film roll I bought Sterling Universal Film developer from GG Wellings, Sterling developer cost 60 Rs, to create 1 litre stock solution. I used XRay fixer to fix 35mm film.

Ofcourse I need a dark room to load the film, as of now I used one of my room at night with all light switched off, to make complete light proof, I cover myself and film using a blanket. It’s too hot : ). My father is making a setup to load film, I will update the photo of it later.

Digitizing

I used my DSLR to photograph the negative, then invert it via any processing application. But I didn’t get a good quality from it, to get good quality I need a macro lens. Then I tried with my iPhone camera and started getting satisfactory images. To capture the film, I created a small light box using an empty cardboard box. I felt like, I am getting a better result than anticipated, I decided to buy a dedicated Film Scanner. I got a good deal in Amazon.in for Canon 5600f and bought the scanner too. I did some scanning and I am getting pretty decent photographs.

How to reduce cost in Film photography

Every one knows film is the costliest part in film photography. In India, an ILFORD 100 cost around 800 INR. It’s pretty expensive. One way to reduce cost is to buy bulk 100ft films and use a day light film loader. This will reduce the cost to around 60INR per roll. My next item to buy is a Film loader and couple of reusable cassettes. Then I can be a full time Film photographer 🙂

What I love about Film photography

When I edit my DSLR photos, mostly I convert my photos to Black and white, I tried to achieve a film feel with a bit of grains. Now with film, I got what I really wanted. Also the process of developing, and after 15 to 20mins of development process, the moment you see the washed negative, it’s all real fun. I really didn’t get that anticipation in Digital world, I know what I got from the Preview screen of my Digital camera.

Some of the photos I shot in FM3A

 

 

You can also see more photos of mine at lumiagraphs.com

Written by Sony Arouje

August 30, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Misc

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Logitech M570 Button click issue

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I am using a Logitech M570 for last two years. It’s a pretty good mouse and a bit expensive. Unfortunately Logitech uses some pretty cheap crappy switches for left and right buttons. After a year the mouse wont register button clicks properly, it’s a nightmare to use it. I did every thing I can but no changes. I live with that situation for some time and then decided to change the mouse, but couldn’t found any mouse that’s very similar to M570. Recently I did some searches and found one video that shows, how to rectify this issue by changing the switches. The video was very explanatory and guide me to open the mouse and successfully taken out the board.

Board

IMG_1422

I have to remove those switches outlined in Red, those are very cheap switches. Logitech taken us for a ride with these switches on an expensive mouse.

I have all the necessary tools to desolder these switches from the board and in some time I taken out those switches. I need to give a little pressure to remove this switch after desoldering.

IMG_1426

 

Omron D2F-01F

To replace the switch, I bought couple of Omron D2F-01F switches, these are very high quality switches made in Japan.

IMG_1425

After fixing the new switch, my mouse is good as new. Both left and right clicks works perfectly.

 

Is it worth the fix?

For me yes, buying a new mouse is a costly affair and I have all the necessary tools to replace these crappy stuffs. Even if I buy a new one, most probably Logitech will be using the same switches and I will be in trouble sooner or later.

 

Note: Try to get the Omron Switches from any dealer, do not buy from Amazon or any online sites. The cost of these switches are less than 80.00 INR, in Amazon these switches cost around 319.00 INR.

Written by Sony Arouje

August 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

Posted in Misc

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My modified Royal Enfield Electra 5s

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Last couple of months my Royal Enfield was in Kerala with my friend Shibin, a highly creative Mechanic. I better call him an Artist, his eye for details is highly remarkable. Also he is very passionate about his job.

The restoration was a lengthy process. Almost all the parts has been replaced. The major modifications are.

 

bulle1_copyright

Crank Weight: Added 6kg more, now the crank weight is around 11.7kg. The increased crank weight allow me to ride slow speed in higher gear without knocking. Now the riding is smooth without much gear shifting. Also the kind of beat the machine produce is awesome. I need to get accustomed to a new riding habit. Increased weight also need a good bearing, I used SKF bearing. The cost of the bearing is higher but I don’t want to sacrifice quality over cost.

Matte Black Paint: I am a hardcore fan of Black. So I decided to paint my RE with Black. I loved the Matte colors of Harley, so asked Shibin to use the same kind of Black in my RE. He did an awesome job.

Buffing: This is the idea of Shibin to buff the Engine section. I asked to paint Engine as well, he advised me not to. So he went ahead and buffed it, after seeing the result, I realized that my idea of painting was not good.

Delco: My RE was fitted with Electronics timing system (CDI). Shibin decided to replace it with old mechanical Delco. The Engine has slot to fit it but he had to drill some holes and customize the engine to suit the Delco.

Front Suspension: From the beginning I didn’t like the design of the Suspension in my Electra. I always admire the look of old RE. So I asked Shibin to replace the front suspension with the Classic one.

Mudguards: I didn’t like Electra’s mudguards either. The mudguards are replaced with the Standard model.

Fixed some other major Issues:

I was complaining about the burning color in my silencer but no service centers could fix it. Shibin had a look and said it’s the issue with the timing system. When he dismantled the engine, he told me that Carburetor was irrecoverably damaged. I assumed this should have been captured in the prior service 3 months before that. Also a lot of issues with the timing system.

One of the Oil pump holes where closed with some Engine sealer. From the beginning I had these Engine leakage, I complained it several times as well. So they might have added the sealer more and some how it went into the oil pump. Some say that it’s not leakage, it’s marking the territory but for me it’s a mess, also I am social being no need to mark the territory :).

A Word to Eicher motors: Royal Enfield is a great machine but the major issues are with the Authorized service centers. The service persons are not at all experienced. Because of high demand service centers are employing very less skilled persons. These guys are learning from the mistakes, but unfortunately our bullets are bearing their mistakes. Every one is jumping to buy an Enfield but they are not realizing the trouble they have to face in the future from these so called Authorized centers. I am pretty sure none of the issues in your Enfield could be fixed in any Authorized service centers. Try and find a good mechanic in your area or pack your RE to Shibin :).

 

Happy riding…

Written by Sony Arouje

September 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm

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My home entertainment network with NAS and Raspberry Pi

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This post explains how different devices at my home connected via Wi-Fi and provide an easy way of streaming media contents. In this setup I created the playlists in one location (NAS) and all other devices can consume it.

Home network Topology

topology

 

 

Router

All my devices are connected to Netgear’s gigabit router. Earlier I had a 10/100 Netgear router and I replaced it with 10/100/1000 router. If you are planning for a streaming network at home its worth investing in a very good gigabit router.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

The integral component of my streaming network is the 4TB WD My Cloud. It host twonky DLNA server and iTunes server, any DLNA complaint devices can connect to it and stream audio or video. Some devices at my home is not DLNA complaint, like docking station and Home theatre. That’s where Raspberry PI will be helpful.

Raspberry Pi

I knew about Raspberry Pi since it launched but never used it until recently. I decided to use Raspberry Pi to make my non DLNA devices to play media from my NAS. There are so many tutorials available in the internet to setup a Raspberry Pi, using noobs installer and using  Raspbian image, I use Raspbian image to setup.

Next is setting up my Pi to play media from a DLNA server, Stephen Phillips has a very good post explaining how to do it. Follow the steps and you will have a device that can connect to any non DLNA device to play media from a server. I then connect the Pi’s audio out to my Home theatre and could play audio from the NAS. Without raspberry pi I have to switch on my TV when ever I want to play audio, with this setup my TV can be switched off when I am listening to music, also it saves energy.

I can use my Android Tab as a remote to paly media using BubbleUPnP (paid and free) or from my Lumia 920 using AV Remote (paid and trial available) or a free app called myMediaHub. You can use any similar apps you want.

 

 

Written by Sony Arouje

June 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm

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Enable Stratus player in Tumblr

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I wanted to install stratus player for my site lumigraphs.com. I tried all the options mentioned in the stratus site but the stratus player is not showing in my tumblr site. I even tried with different versions of jquery and moving the script to Header section from Body, but nothing really worked.

Here is what I did to get it working, it’s very simple.

In stratus site the script to add to the body was like below.

<script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function(){

$stratus({

auto_play: true,

download: false,

links: 'http://soundcloud.com/qotsa',

random: true

});

});

</script>

 

To get it working we need change it as follows and put it inside the body. Below I am giving the whole script including the jquery reference I used.

 
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-migrate-1.2.1.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://stratus.sc/stratus.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
$(document).ready(function(){
    $('body').stratus({
      auto_play: true,
      download: false,
      align: 'bottom',
      links: 'https://soundcloud.com/sony-arouje/sets/fortumblr',
      random: true
    });
});
</script>
 

The only change I did was appended $(‘body’) just before calling stratus (marked in bold above).

Edit

When I put the stratus plugin in the body, tumblr is not loading all my photos, only few is showing. So I moved the above script to head, the only change is, instead of $(‘body’).stratus(… to $(‘head’).stratus…

Written by Sony Arouje

March 7, 2014 at 6:57 pm

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