My wife Katie‘s acoustic guitars both had active pickups installed. We weren’t completely happy with how they sounded, so I swapped them out for passive pickups from K&K Sound.
K&K Sound Pure Mini passive pickup
They don’t require 9V batteries, which is a major plus, and sound very natural. I typically scoop out a bit of the mid-range (around 400 Hz) to clean up the sound, but otherwise leave the signal mostly untouched.
The hard part about installing new pickups in an acoustic guitar is trying to perform the whole operation through the sound hole. Tried-and-true luthier methods involve lights, mirrors, and special tools to see and reach into the inside of the guitar. I’m definitely not set up for the real way of doing it. My hands are big and my forearm gets stuck easily.
This is a screenshot of the video my phone was streaming to my iPad.
There was a bit of delay in the video (a half a second maybe), but not enough to make it impossible. As with all guitar surgery going slow is best anyway. Using the FiLMiC apps on my iOS devices I was able to super glue the pickups in the correct spots under the bridge with confidence. Installation was quick and the pickups sound great.
This trick would probably work similarly in other scenarios too—auto mechanics, contruction & remodeling, exploration, etc. Hope this helps someone out there. Comment below if something like this has helped you with a difficult problem.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not affiliated with K&K Sound nor FiLMiC Inc. I’m just a satisfied customer happily using the great products these companies have made.
I broke the front glass on my iPad mini 2. Things like that happen. Instead of slowly bleeding to death from the micro cuts the broken glass was giving me, I ordered a replacement screen from iFixit.com and followed the replacement guide as best as I could. When everything was put back together the lock button didn’t work.
The problem was likely due to the mysterious loss of one of the magnets that triggers the Smart Cover lock. When I opened the iPad, it simply wasn’t there. I don’t know how that happened, but the fact that it was missing caused a problem. Pressing the lock would not make the iPad sleep and because a magnet was missing, closing the Smart Cover didn’t work either. So unless I turned on some of the accessibility features, my iPad would be stuck on all the time. That was less than ideal.
Here’s a work around I discovered. In System Settings under Display & Brightness there’s a Lock/Unlock switch. When I turned that off, the Smart Cover would no longer lock the iPad, which wasn’t a problem because it wasn’t working anyway. But once I turned that switch off, the lock button suddenly started working again. I don’t know why. I only know that it works. Maybe this will be helpful for you too.
A recent gig required live video and audio streamed from one building to a projection screen in another building some distance away. The gig came as a last minute request (the night before a morning event). I had little time to prepare. They were in a bind and didn’t have anyone else they could count on. Though I did not own very much video equipment, I knew I had to help. I had to be creative in order to accomplish the task. Here is what I did.
First, I broke the problem into 2 parts: audio and video. Figuring out an audio solution was easy, since I’m primarily experienced in audio and had all the gear for that portion. So the tough part was figuring out video. Another factor to consider was that the signals needed to be fairly secure (to prevent easy hacking), so wired was preferred over wireless options. My plan was to send audio over balanced audio cables and video over ethernet/Cat5e cable to reassemble on them together on the other end.
Second, I scoped out the location. The buildings were two small structures set on opposite sides of a small parking lot. A quick reading with my super handy laser distance measurer revealed the buildings sat about 100 feet apart. This measurement was helpful for figuring out how much cabling I need to run between the two locations. In addition to the distance between the two, there was also a height factor (the receiving location was on the second floor), plus there were interior distances that needed to be run. Altogether the total distance from the source to the destination required enough cable to reach somewhere in the ballpark of 200 feet.
Third, I needed to inventory my equipment list to figure what I needed to buy, if anything. Luckily, I found a nice iOS app that streams video quite reliably.
Video Signal Flow
This is the basic routing I came up with:
iOS Device with Video Source App > Wifi Router > Ethernet Cable > Computer with Video Destination App > HDMI Cable > Output Device (Display or Projector)
And here are the specific details of my setup:
a newer iOS Device (iPad/iPhone/iPod touch) with good camera (I used an iPad Mini 2.)
a video streaming iOS app (I used AirBeam by Appologics UG with its companion desktop appAirBeam Pro.)
a wifi router (I used an older AirPort Extreme Base Station A1354. For increased security, I also made sure the SSID was not broadcast, the network required a WPA2 password, and the password was fairly long and complicated. Not a perfect solution, but much better than an open wide, password-free network.)
Cat5e cable (I used cable rated for outdoor use since it was kind of rainy and wet outside.)
Can’t get your Apple Bluetooth keyboard to pair with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? I couldn’t either. My A1255 keyboard wouldn’t connect at all. The iPhone would find the keyboard, but wouldn’t update the name of it, nor ever present the four digit code for pairing. I could only get this error:
Pairing Unsuccessful Make sure “Keyboard” is turned on, in range, and is ready to pair.
I tried a bunch of fixes I read about online and none of these worked in any combination nor configuration:
turning Bluetooth off and on
rebooting the iPhone
holding the power button on the keyboard
deleting other Bluetooth device pairing from the iPhone
clicking ‘Forget This Device’
connecting to another device and then my iPhone
replacing the batteries
holding the V, A, and R keys while powering on the keyboard
turning off Bluetooth on any other nearby devices
It seems Bluetooth under iOS 7 is broken. Lots of people are having issues with Bluetooth on iOS 7 that weren’t there in older iOS versions. Unfortunately, Apple is apparently ignoring this problem.
Here’s how I finally connected my keyboard to my iPhone.
Switch off Bluetooth on iOS device under Settings > Bluetooth.
Shut off the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
Switch on Bluetooth on iOS device.
Turn on the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button until it green light blinks.
The keyboard should appear listed under the DEVICES heading in the iPhone Bluetooth settings screen with “Not Paired” in gray next to it.
Now at this point you’re supposed to just tap on the listed device on the iPhone to begin the pairing process, but when I would do that it would time out with the “Pairing Unsuccessful” alert. Here’s the trick: repeatedly tap on the listing (maybe 5-6 times) and hopefully the “Bluetooth Pairing Request” alert will appear with the four digit code you’ll need to enter.
The pairing may fail the first time. Try again.
I also found that subsequent attempts to connect after forgetting the device worked much better after that initial connection.
I hope this fix works for you. Let me know if it does.
My brother Eric Troyer is the Mobile Design Manager at Angie’s List, a service provider ratings and review site for consumers. He has been redesigning the iOS app and it looks really nice.
Eric asked me for some sound effects to add to the ratings UI. I created a variety of blips and ticks and Eric chose the ones he liked. If you’re an Angie’s List member and have the free app, you can hear the sounds in the latest version. For non-members and non-iOS users, here’s a video of the ‘Write a Review’ process.
If you’re a homeowner, check out Angie’s List. The site requires paid membership, but can prove to be really helpful for finding a great service provider (like my brother Matt’s company Emergent Investments) when your kitchen needs remodeling or the furnace goes out. Get the Angie’s List app free on the iTunes App Store. If you want to make an app or improve your current app, consider hiring Eric to design your app. He’s really good.