Yeah, Christmas in May. It’s not that I’m celebrating some sort of quasi-Christmas or anything. It’s all about the gifts.
For the last few Christmases, Jaime and I have asked for Visa gift cards. That way, we can each decide what we want, or even pool our gifts and get something big and cool.
Two Christmases ago, we spent the money right away on radio show equipment. But this past Christmas, we couldn’t decide what we wanted with the last $300 of our gifts. So, we sat on it. Until yesterday, that is.
We decided each to split the money– $100 for Jaim, $100 for me, and $100 for an item we would both use. I spent my $100 (along with $25 I had left from my birthday), as well as the combined $100. Here’s what I got:
For the combined $100, I bought something to complement another gift we had already acquired using gift cards. I had purchased some studio monitors (speakers). They are hooked up to my computer. We use them all the time to listen to music and Internet radio, and we also use them for the radio show.
Well, at least we did. We don’t anymore. Our computers used to sit in the room right next to our office/studio, but my brother is staying with us for six months or so, and that room is now filled with him, his stuff, and his cat. So, the computers are in our office, getting ready to be moved into a different adjoining room. That means that the speakers aren’t hooked up– the cables simply won’t reach. At the same time, there was no way for me to hook up both the speakers and the headphone amplifier (one signal split to four headphones, each with their own volume controls). Switching between the two was a constant cable-swap.
So, my solution. I’m building a simple parallel splitter box that will take two balanced feeds (left and right, three wires each) and split it into four balanced feeds (two left and two right, three wires each). It sounds simple, but it adds up: an enclosure, six jacks, six lengths of cable, and twelve balanced connectors. It ended up costing about $75 (and I have to build it myself). I took the remaining $25 combined money and bought some replacement XLR connectors for some failing connectors in our studio setup. Here’s a picture of what I’m building:
So now for my $100. Basically, I’m buying a boatload of electronics parts for several projects I have going. The projects are as follows:
So that’s it. Christmas in May. I’ve got a lot of work to do– building 9 cables, two guitar pedals, and a splitter box, rewiring a guitar, and overhauling an amp. I hope it goes well because I’ve already picked out my next two pedals, tentatively dubbed the “birthday pedals” (I plan on buying them with birthday gift money): a Colorsound Power Boost and a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.