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Monday, July 31, 2017

Trimming a broken cymbal

What happens when a super cheap cymbal is treated like it is not, is portrayed in the following picture.

Don't think I hit my cymbals like an animal. This is a very cheap cymbal that came with my first drum set, it feels like aluminum/aluminium and has no brand nor anything written. It was cracked badly but no crack was too far from the edges, there was sort of a healthy area in the middle.

Since the material seemed very thin, I thought trimming the cracked area was plausible.

1. Marking the healthy zone
I used a sharpie attached to a compass to mark a cutting line. I thought I could use the existing grooves in the cymbal to avoid using they compass, but the resulted to be spiral around the center, not circular.

2. Trimming
I used a Dremel like tool with a metal cutting disc to do the job (see the pic below). This is a slow process, first I cut half of the cymbal and then the other half because the tool gets burning hot and I had to let it rest for some time. Eventually I needed 3 and a half cutting discs for the labour. It's fine, they are very cheap in Ebay.

This was the result (metal dust included):


3. Finishing
For the last step, I filed the edges although they weren't too bad. I used a file accessory for the tool, but a manual file can be used as well.
File accessory and metal cutting disc
The result after cleaning a bit:


Conclusion
I'm satisfied with the result and I will try to put this cymbal to work again.

Epilogue: About doing this with a quality cymbal
After doing this procedure, I thought about repeating if in the future I need to save a thicker, harder cymbal. My opinion is that it could be done, but definitely a lot of patience and discs would be necessary. I believe that dividing the job in several parts, allowing the tool to rest, is possible to complete a cut in a standard quality cymbal.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Drumming gear tips for beginners

In the following paragraphs I'll be speaking about my personal advise for (poor) beginners regarding to drumming gear. If you or your son/daughter want to enter the drumming world, this may be useful.

1. At first, buy cheap and second hand
In your first steps, buy the cheapest set you can get, don't even think about buying new, go second hand.

Everyone wishes to be a drummer, but drumming isn't for everyone. The market is full of beginner sets second hand almost new from people that got them and played it for less than a month.

You really don't need more than a basic kit that sounds like crap to learn and play with your friends. Check that it has at least one cymbal besides the hi hat. Example of crappy generic brand 2º hand kit:

Photo stolen from here
This set was for sale on eBay for $143.

2. Don't upgrade your crappy drum set
Maybe you thought about adding a couple of cymbals to your set (you'd need a pair of stands too), or maybe you read that replacing the heads with quality ones you'll get a decent sound. Don't waste any money on your starter set, you will regret it. Little upgrades can cost you lots of money if put together and you'll end up with a piece of crap no matter what you do. I can't emphasize how important this is. Better save for the next point.

After practising a lot with your crappy kit (months or years) so you can play songs feeling confident then it's time for the next step.

3. Get some decent kit
At this point, you can upgrade your gear to something low-mid range (depending on your budget) that allow you to play gigs for money, record stuff or just develop your skills further. Don't buy generic brands, doesn't matter how fancy they look, trust famous ones. Second hand market is a great idea, good deals can be found. Drums and cymbals are robust instruments, they can take lots of abuse, don't be afraid of getting a 5 or 10 years old kit if rust isn't involved and the model gets good opinions.

One piece of advise, try to get rid of your old set. Maybe you can get half what you paid for it to invest later, it can be useful for other beginner and also, it won't take up space.

4. Upgrade your set to taste
Just some words here. From now on, try to get good quality upgrades that you can keep and use in future kits. For example, if buying a hi hat stand, get a strong good brand one. Don't buy disposable stuff anymore.

Hope you find this useful.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Marvell SDGOB-0892 Wifi card pinout

In this post I'll show you the correct pinout for the SDGOB-0892 wifi card. TIME WASTE DISCLAIMER: Be warned I eventually don't get this to work as a wifi dongle despite the pinout being right.




I found this Marvell card in an HP inkjet printer, it uses a USB 2.0, so it's possible to connect it to a PC. Seems like in the internet there are some variants with different pinouts, but not this one.

Model Number: SDGOB-0892
FCC ID: B94SDGOB0892
IC: 466D-SDGOB892




- 1 and 8: VCC 3.3 V
- 2, 5 and 7: GND 0 V
- 3: D+
- 4: Not connected
- 6: D-

After wiring, I couldn't make it work on Windows 8.1, I got unrecognised USB. In Linux it was recognised fine:



But this wasn't enough for it to work. I guess it was a driver problem. I spent hours looking for the right one with no luck and left this at this point. Hope it helps somebody.