Tips on How to Design and Build a Tube Guitar Amp

Building a tube guitar amp may look complicated, but you can make one too.

Building a tube guitar amp when you are not an electrician may sound impossible? Fortunately, there are DIY tips on how to build a guitar amp from scratch that you can follow to build one on your own.

Tip #1: Consider the safety measures

Before anything else, you need to understand how essential to work safely with high voltages. Remember that amp voltages can injure you, worst it can kill you. So, try to learn a few safety measures when building a tube guitar amp.

Here are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Keep an ELB (Earth Leakage Breaker) with you. This device will protect you from possible accidental contact with 240 Volts mains.
  • Never build your amplifier in a damp area; preferably, work it in a dry and safe place. Also, make sure to wear insolated shoes.
  • Insolate all the wirings of 240 volts mains. Use heat-shrink tubing that will help insulate the primary leads for mains switches, fuse holders, and even the power transformers.
  • Make sure to check if the earth pin of the mains plug and the amp chassis are at zero resistance.
  • Make sure that the transformer lugs and the top caps of the output valves are properly insulated.
  • Before working, make sure to unplug the mains lead from the amp. Also, wait for the high voltage capacitors to discharge.

Tip #2: Prepare your tools

Here is a list of tools you need to prepare:

  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Reverse-action tweezers
  • Philips-head screwdriver
  • Digital multimeter
  • Rat-tail file
  • Extractor fan (optional) to provide ventilation when soldering.

Tip #3: Look for the easiest layout

Since it is your first time building a tube guitar amp, look for the easiest design. Fortunately, there are DIY tube guitar amp kits that you can purchase, which contain pre-punched chassis, easy-to-install parts, and instructions that are easy to follow. If you are to choose a layout, look for one that is easy to understand and install.

There are two popular DIY tube guitar amp kits that you may consider working:

  • Boothill Amp Kit 

It is inexpensive and ideal for beginners. The kit contains speaker cabs, a stash of tubes, a step-by-step user manual, and more.

  • Mojotone

The kit contains several items that will allow you to install the amp in one swoop.

Tip #4: Start from the beginner’s phase

If you are new to electronics, you should consider starting from the easiest. Choose circuits with lots of parts and models that are easily available. Practice on models that you can handle well. Do not miss critical steps provided by the kits.

Finally, you may read books about designing and building a guitar tube amp. Do not rush designing your guitar tube amp. For beginners, it is always ideal building a guitar amp that is safe and easy to handle. Also, read reliable posts like this to find kits that will suit your current skills.

Degassing Wine: It is Necessary?

Are you curious about degassing wine? Is it necessary? If you are a new wine enthusiast and wanting to know wine better, you also need to know about degassing wine.

What is degassing wine?

Degassing the wine is the key step of wine-making during its final stages. It is the process of removing the carbon dioxide left from the fermentation. And even with too little amount of carbon dioxide, especially the white wines, can leave flabby and flat after taste.

Other than that, is it really necessary?

Although degassing the wine is not as big as the process of fermentation, there are several negative effects of un-degassed or improperly degassed wine, including the following:

  • Red wines that get the fizz, as white wines do, are not good.
  • Improper degassed wine will leave suspended carbon dioxide, which can cause the white wine to get a haze that can’t be solved through fining.
  • Carbon dioxide increases the sensation of acidity, but it does not taste like it.

So, is it necessary?

Yes, it is.

How does degassing wine work?

Early in the fermentation process, the yeast added to the juice will break down the sugar, producing carbon dioxide. The presence of CO2 is not that bad; however, it should be in enough level to keep the oxygen level at bay throughout the stages of winemaking. Also, CO2 contains desirable characteristics to sparkling wines. However, it should never be present in finished wines that are meant to be still including red wines.

During wine fermentation, the CO2 level can be affected by the temperature; the lower the fermentation temperature, the more CO2 is dissolved into the wine, making it more challenging to remove CO2 during the process of degassing wine.

To remove the CO2 in wines that should be still, you may use one of the following three methods:

1. Using a long-handled spoon

The method requires an effort of stirring the wine, approximately 10 minutes for every 23 L or 6 US gal of wine kit.

2. Using drill mounted-fizz (wine whip)

Using a specialized drill of 12 Volts and a wine whip, degassing wine will just take you 5 minutes.

3. Using a vacuum pump

Using a vacuum pump is the most efficient of the three methods. It efficiently removes the CO2 from the wine. The vacuum pump can produce negative pressure of 18 PSI – a requirement for quality removal of CO2 from the wine. Also, the method may take 3-5 minutes to remove CO2. Moreover, using a vacuum pump to remove CO2 can be advantageous too.

  • It helps maintain the aromatic freshness of the wine.
  • Since it is gentle on the wine, it produces a soft texture to your palate.

Take note; the process of degassing wine using a vacuum pump can only be performed in a glass carboy – a glass vessel used specifically for fermenting beverages. Also, the glass should be filled above the glass’s shoulders to avoid the carboy imploding. Check the website of Filled With Wine to get into details about how to degas the wine properly.

Final Thoughts 

Degassing of wine may not be as critical as the fermentation process, but it is a necessity in perfect winemaking.

A Closer Look at the Different Tools and Functions of Photoshop

Are you a photoshop neophyte? Find out how to get started with this image editing tool by familiarizing its tools and functions. 

What do you know about photoshop? 

No doubt you’ve heard about this term quite a few times. Photoshop is a predominant tool for editing images through software. Designers usually photoshop images for commercial and promotional purposes. However, some people just love this software for fun and hobby.

Over the years, the number of photoshop software has significantly increased. And it is continuously increasing to help entrepreneurs and organizations create more professional, unique, and creative images. Today, you can even find Photoshop free app online, which is perfect for beginners as well as businesses.

Photoshop is software that consists of various tools, wherein each one has specific functions. Here is a list of the common tools found in photoshop software with their uses.

No. 1: Photoshop Interface

Every photoshop application has an interface. The navigating interface is one of the basic components of image editing software. There you can find the different tools the software has. It allows you to begin new projects, continue doing existing ones, save drafts and finalized images, and delete tasks. Likewise, some photoshop interface also includes a demonstration video to help you get started with the application.

No. 2: Selections       

Photoshop apps have several selections; these include masking, editing, quick selection, magic wand, and lasso tool – primary toolsets found in image editing software. Also, these tools allow you to re-create and manipulate selections in images.

Also, photoshop applications consist of quick mask mode that helps refines selections in a photo. Another helpful selection method is channel isolation. Although it is a common feature in photoshop apps, this feature is not popular with hobbyists. Generally, most designers who do printed materials use this tool.

No. 3: Brushes and Paints

Brushes and paints are used for painting and drawing. Designers also utilize these tools for correcting images and altering some of their aspects.

Brushes usually come with three components, which are sizes, hardness, and preset shape. These functions likewise help in correcting, adding, and blending colors.

No. 4: Adjust Images

If you need to resize, retouch, or change image formats, the image adjustment tool can help you. These sets of operations enable you to enhance the images by manipulating their sizes, contrast levels, color balance, and saturation level. Some photoshop applications even have more advanced features to create original graphics suitable for professional use.

No. 5: The Layers

A photoshop software has a tool named layers. This function enables users to organize and manipulate specific parts of an image. The process found on this tool are altering visibility, ordering, combining layers, adjusting opacity, blending modes, and isolation.

No. 6: Colors and Gradients

Photoshop applications already have pre-existing colors, swatches, and gradients. You can alter the colors and color grading of an image using this feature. The color picker, for example, allows you to choose tones and apply them to the image. Gradients, on the other hand, mimic real-life textures to provide depth to images. Meanwhile, swatches help you to select and save colors for future use. In this way, it’ll be easier for you to navigate color combinations and textures.

Tips for a Healthy Skin

Healthy skin is skin that looks young, no matter what the age in your ID says. If you dont have time for intensive skin care, you can still establish a quick skincare routine that will help you prevent fine lines and wrinkles and maintain a healthy, youthful aspect. A healthy lifestyle and good skincare routine choices are the perfect combinations to delay natural aging. If you need some tips and tricks on how to maintain healthy skin, here are a few ideas.

1. Protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure causes aging spots, wrinkles, and all sorts of skin problems. You need to protect your skin from the sun even if it is winter. UV rays are dangerous all year long, not just in the summer. If you want to go for complete sun protection, then you need to use sunscreen, seek shade between 10 AM and 4 PM, and wear protective clothing if you need to walk in full sun.

2. Learn to treat your skin gently. You should limit bath time because hot water and long baths remove oils from the skin, avoid strong soaps, pat dry so that some moisture remains to the skin, and use moisturizer right after a bath.

3. Healthy diet. A healthy diet helps with your overall health, including skin health. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Also, drink plenty of water because it will maintain your skin hydrated.

4. Learn to manage stress. We live in a stressful world. We are forced to juggle hectic schedules, tight deadlines at work, long work hours, and endless chores for the house once work is done. It is no wonder that we feel more and more stressed. Uncontrolled stress makes the skin more sensitive and can trigger acne breakouts. If you want to encourage healthy skin, you should take small steps to manage stress. You should try to get more sleep, set more reasonable limits, scale back long to-do lists and find time for things that help you relax.

5. Vitamin C. If your skin glows, it looks healthy. If you dont know how to obtain an even, bright skin tone, vitamin C is the answer. Vitamin C helps fade hyperpigmentation, brightens the skin tone, protects against environmental aggressors and it promotes the natural production of collagen.

6. Essential oils and aromatherapy. Yes, essential oils can help you maintain healthy, young skin. You probably know that aromatherapy helps people relax and calm down after a stressful day, but they have numerous health benefits, and promoting healthy skin is just one of them. Tea tree can be used as an acne treatment, lavender helps with dry skin, juniper is an excellent skin cleansing oil that promotes healthier blood circulation, and clary sage reduces puffiness. These are just a few examples, but many other essential oils can help you maintain healthy skin. Visit the Younger Skin Guide to learn more about them.

 

Top Mistakes that People Make When Growing Indoor Plants

Are you wondering why your indoor plants do not survive? Probably, you are growing your plant the wrong way.

Growing indoor plants is more than water and sunlight. And if the indoor plants that you want to grow, keep dying on you, it is maybe because you are doing the following top mistakes that most new plant parents make when growing indoor plants:

Mistake #1: Growing the wrong plant

There are several kinds of plants out there that are aesthetically attractive. However, not all of these can grow well inside your home. One, for instance, is the bonsai plants. Even though it does not take too much of the space inside your home, it shouldn’t be kept and grown in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen area. The trimmed leaves of the bonsai plant are considered allergens, triggering allergies or skin irritation. However, if the bonsai plants have a designated room to grow, together with other plants that can trigger allergies, you may start growing two or more bonsai plants.

What are the best plants to grow indoors?

There are a lot of plants that you can grow indoors, but the following are the easiest and most popular to grow:

  • Snake plant
  • Bromeliads
  • Chinese money plant
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Jade
  • Rabbit’s Ear
  • Pathos

Also, the aforementioned indoor plants require low maintenance. So, if you are too busy to take care of plants every day but still want to grow one or more, you may consider a few in the selection. Also, at Fig & Spruce, you will find good reads about growing plants.

Mistake #2: Having not enough or too much light

Light is essential to plants. However, putting the plant under direct light for more than the recommended hours will cause the plant’s death. Similarly with growing plants that are getting not enough light.

If you want to successfully grow two or more plants, make sure you know how much sunlight it needs or if the plant requires direct light from the sun.

Mistake #3: Overwatering

Loving your plants too much can cause their death.

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for the plant’s death – all because of the perception that all plants need to be watered frequently to survive. Ironically, not all plants require frequent watering; in fact, cacti and succulents require monthly watering to survive.

So, how often most indoor plants need watering?

Generally, most of the houseplants require watering 1 – 3 times per week. Again, the frequency of watering the plant will depend on the following conditions:

  • Type of the plant
  • Size
  • The temperature of the surrounding
  • Humidity
  • The type of pot used
  • The plant’s growth rate

Final Thoughts

When growing indoor plants, you should understand their basic needs, including where it can thrive, the amount of sunlight it needs, the frequency of watering, and if it requires specific fertilizer to grow well.

Also, always remember that to become a successful indoor plant grower, you do not need a ‘green thumb’; rather, you need knowledge, patience, and proper care.

Restrictions and Possible Legal Violations Concerning Dropshipping

Dropshipping has many grey areas. Learn the restrictions and possible violations of this eCommerce model to ensure a successful dropshipping business. 

Have you been planning on launching your own dropshipping business? If so, you probably started delving deeper into this eCommerce model by examining the basics of this industry, its risks, and how to maximize its opportunities. But have you considered the possibility of whether it is legal? Or have you thought about the legal restrictions concerning this business model?

Over the years, eCommerce has become more popular, which lead to the birth of new business models. Dropshipping is one of the offspring of this advancement. Many became attracted to this business because of its low capital requirement and convenience.

In dropshipping, the seller holds no inventory of the products. The seller establishes a contract with a third-party supplier who will supply and deliver the goods to the customers. Hence, there is lesser work on the part of the seller. The seller also earns usually through commissions and from what has been stipulated on the contract with the supplier. Inasmuch, dropshipping is a simple and easy way to earn income without investing a lot of capital.

Is it Legal? 

First of all, dropshipping is 100% legal. What make people doubt the legality of dropshipping are the rampant fraud deals. Likewise, many are suspicious of its legalities since it remains unfamiliar to some despite its increasing popularity in some locations. Also, even dropshippers and suppliers admit that dropshipping has a lot of grey areas.

What are the Possible Legal Issues and Concerns of Dropshipping? 

Before diving deep into this business, you need to familiarize yourself with dropshipping legalities and possible issues that come with it.

The most common issues in this industry are ethical violations. Price inflation is inevitable in this business. For example, eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay are the primary sources of exciting products. A huge percentage of these products often comes from people who have seen them on Walmart for instance. These people simply upload images of these products on eBay and Amazon for selling. The retailer to retailer relationship causes massive price inflation. Though increasing the price is reasonable, too much inflation is ethically wrong for the customer.

Another issue concerning dropshipping, which is also common in eCommerce, is selling products that a seller is not entitled to. Many sellers want to sell popular and reputable brands with the hopes of gaining more sales, when in fact, it could lead to legal fees and issues.

Problems such as infringement and copyright are possible issues that could happen in dropshipping. Some sellers upload counterfeit, replicas, and knockoff products which could lead to serious copyright issues.

Additionally, some sellers don’t obtain a business license. It is a requirement that is commonly overlooked in dropshipping since no law prohibits a seller from starting such business. However, for ethic’s sake and legality, every seller is compelled to obtain a business license. It proves the legitimacy of the store and obtaining one can help prevent the rise of legal issues in the future.

Things to Remember When Upgrading Ethernet Cable for Gaming

You have finally decided to upgrade your Ethernet cable for better gaming performance. But take note that shopping for Ethernet cables is not that easy! Remember these pointers when switching Ethernet cables.

Ethernet connections are relatively faster rather than lower latency Wi-Fi connections. However, it does entirely mean that the former can speed up internet connections. For instance, if your internet connection is at the speed of 70Mbps download speed, using an Ethernet cable won’t do any difference.

The function of Ethernet cable is to increase signal transmission at local network speeds. It speeds up data transfer from one device to another network. In gaming, connecting the router to the gaming console using an Ethernet cable significantly improves gaming performance. It limits the chances of interrupts and interferences, thereby allowing you are more enjoyable game time.

Though Ethernet cables support faster data transfer, it does not imply that all types of Ethernet cables have similar transfer rates. Older versions are slower compared to the latest cable categories. For example, Cat-5 Ethernet is slower than a Cat-7 cable. The former is prone to lagging, whereas the latter has incredible data transfer speed. If you are still using an older cable category, now is the right time to upgrade your Ethernet connections.

Take note that shopping for Ethernet cables is not that simple. Remember these tips while upgrading your Ethernet to avoid wasting cash.

Reminder #1: Check the Cable Category

Beware that not all Ethernet cables are compatible with some devices. For example, if you are using a Cat-6 Ethernet cable, it is best to upgrade to a Cat-6e. Additionally, make sure all the cables in the network are of the same category. If you choose a cable different from the rest, it could affect the device’s performance.

Therefore, choose a cable from the same category. If you are going to change one of the cables, it is best to change them all.

Reminder #2: Manufacture Origin

Many devices come with Ethernet connections, including gaming systems.

When you switch the original cable with one coming from another manufacturer, there is a chance that the cable will not work effectively. It could slow down the device’s performance and data transmission.

Take note of the manufacturer of the cable. Buy one from the same manufacturer to guarantee the compatibility of the cable and the device.

If you can’t find a cable from the same manufacturer, there are universal Ethernet cables in the market. These options work well and a good alternative when the brand you need is not available in your location.

Reminder #3: Are You Using a DSL Modem?

If you are using a DSL modem, make sure to go through the manual. You will have to connect the device through an Ethernet Crossover Cable if you are planning to switch cables to a different category.

Ethernet and Patch cables have RJ45 gold plated male jacks. This feature allows you to attach any category of Ethernet cord. If you were using a Cat-5 cable and decides to upgrade for a Cat-6 Ethernet, you must learn how to connect the cable using the crossover cable.

Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Beginners

A motorbike has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years. However, poor maintenance and lack of care can significantly reduce its lifespan. Find out how to keep your motorbike in the best condition and make it last longer by following these maintenance tips.

Correct maintenance is crucial for motorbike longevity. Even a little DIY maintenance could help you save money. Likewise, proper motorcycle care ensures safety when driving. Also, there is assurance and a sense of confidence knowing your motorbike is in great condition every time you hit the road.

It is easy to keep your motorbike in good condition. If you are a beginner, you can find these details online. For example, this website provides detailed guidelines about motorcycle tips and many more. To make things easier below is a detailed guideline on how to enhance motorcycle lifespan.

No. 1: Change the Oil

Motorcycle engine performance declines over time. One reason behind it is neglecting oil change. Motorbike engine requires oil change after several thousand miles of ride or at least once per year. Engines usually differ in terms of the frequency of changing oil. You’ll have to consult your manual to determine the engine’s oil change frequency.

Changing your oil at the right time helps keep the engine run smoothly and improves overall motorbike performance. Aside from changing your oil, check if the oil is at the correct level. It should be at a maximum level before you drive. If it is low, make sure to add more oil.

No. 2: Check the Tires

Check the motorbike’s tire pressure before hitting the road. Driving with underinflated and overinflated tires is risky. It increases the chances of a tire blowout and forces the engine to operate. Moreover, incorrect tire pressure can lead to road accidents since it is more difficult to control a vehicle with such a condition.

Additionally, check if there are any signs of tire wear and tear. If there are obvious damages, change your tire with a new one.

No. 3: Test the Brakes 

Always inspect the brakes before each ride. Make sure the brakes are functioning well. If not, check the brake fluid level to keep it at optimum performance.

Malfunctioning brakes are often caused by worn-out brake pads. Thus, take time to check the thickness of the brake pads and replace it if necessary.

No. 4: Drive Chain

Some newbies tend to neglect to inspect the drive chains. Without proper care, driving chains easily get damaged, and worse, it can lead to accidents.

Lube the drive chain each ride. The oil assures the drive chain works smoothly every drive. Moreover, see if there is sufficient tension on the chain. Tighten the chains if it is loose; take note that the right tension helps prolong the motorbike lifespan.

No. 5: Check the Air Filter

Clean the motorbike’s air filter regularly using compressed air. A dirty air filter reduces engine power and performance. Also, it is harder to clean the filter when it is clogged with too much dirt. If you notice damages on the filter, replace it with a new one to keep the motor’s performance at bes

The Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of a Dog

It is not unusual for people to get a dog and to then realize that they dont know anything about how to properly care for one. If you are a beginner in dog-owning and have a dog that you are very fond of but you are constantly worried that you are not taking care of it the way you should check out the list below for useful tips on how to take care of a dog pet. Also, check out this website for additional information on how to make certain choices regarding your dog and how to avoid unpleasant situations.

  • Dont overfeed your dog. Unfortunately, this is something that often happens not only with first-time dog owners but with experienced dog owners as well. Overweight dogs are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic abnormalities, lowered immune system, are less mobile, and they cant run or play.
  • Touch your dogs nose. If it isnt wet, this is a sign that something is wrong.
  • Make annual vet appointments. Even if your dog is healthy or seems to be healthy and happy, the annual vet appointment is still necessary. Experts will screen your dog for any health issues, and this is the best way to either avoid severe health problems or diagnose them in incipient phases. We all know that a disease diagnosed in an incipient phase is easier to treat than a severe one.
  • Get pet insurance. Pet health care is expensive, and it is best to have insurance. If you want to make an idea about how much it can cost to treat your dog in case of a health issue, it is useful to know that an ear infection costs up to $800, stomach issues lead to invoices of up to $6,500 while limping can cost up to $20,000.
  • Make sure that your dog has a safe space in the house. A dog needs comfortable temperatures, a blanket, some toys, and a water bowl. All these can help your dog self-soothe during stressful situations when it is home alone.
  • Keep your dog away from human food. You might find it funny that the dog stole an onion and ate it, but numerous foods are toxic for them, and that can lead to severe health complications. Avocados, onions, or chocolate are toxic for dogs.
  • Your dog needs exercise and daily walks, and playtime. These are important both for their health and happiness.
  • Fight boredom by adding variety. Dogs get bored, and you can help them fight against boredom by breaking up their normal routine. For example, you can add extra walks or new, fun games.
  • Learn to mentally challenge your dog. If you want your dog to stay happy and healthy, then you need to provide plenty of mental stimulation. You can do this by playing games that keep them engaged or by teaching them new tricks.

As you can see, there are numerous things that you need to consider if you want to have a healthy and happy dog. If you feel overwhelmed with the task of owning a dog, you should ask for professional help and guidance.

What Kind of Web Hosting does Your Organization Needs?

It is a misconception among rookies that any web hosting service will work just fine. Here is a take on the different types of web hosting plans and their differences. 

Web hosting is a service provided by web host companies. To quickly grasp the idea of web hosting, here is a simpler way of understanding this service.

You are renting a space in the physical server of the web host when you pay and sign up for a web hosting service. Servers are physical computers that store data of your website and ensure it runs without interference 24/7.

Different Types of Web Hosting Services

There are five main types of web hosting services.

It is necessary to understand the uses of every web hosting service before choosing one. In this manner, you can easily identify which type of hosting service matches your website and goals.

After learning the differences in web hosting types, check this link here to find out the leading web host providers this year.

#1 Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting service. It is the least expensive among the five options, which is a good choice for rookies and individuals who only want to build a personal website.

In a shared web hosting, several web host clients share one computer or server. Hence, data from several websites are stored in the same drive.

Since the cost is lesser, shared hosting comes with many limitations. The serving company offers few resources to clients. Likewise, clients are competing for the same server, which results in poor performance and frequent website crashes.

#2 VPS Hosting 

Virtual Private Server (VPS) is somewhat similar to shared web hosting. However, in VPS, the web host allocates a separate space for your website on the company’s server. Thus, your website acquires a server space, resources, and memory. Hence, your website won’t fight for resources with other clients.

VPS is suitable for medium-sized businesses or organizations. Since the web host offers a separate memory on your website, VPS is more expensive.

#3 Dedicated Hosting 

In dedicated hosting, you get a separate physical server dedicated to your website. It is more flexible and has a higher performance rate compared to other options. Dedicated hosting also allows you to configure your operating system, software, and other resources.

Dedicated hosting is more powerful and reliable in terms of security options. Unfortunately, it is more expensive. But if your organization or business is operating on a large-scale, this hosting service is the best choice.

#4 Cloud Hosting 

It is the most sought out web hosting today. Many businesses prefer this option due to its reliability, performance, and allocation of resources.

Cloud hosting services are more scalable than other web hosting services. Moreover, server failures do not affect the web site operation in this hosting type.

The only issue with cloud hosting is the actual cost; it is difficult to pinpoint the actual cost.

#5 WordPress Hosting 

A WordPress hosting is specifically designed for WordPress site owners. The hosting service includes pre-installed plugins, as well as website building tools.

WordPress hosting is quicker and has limited issues. Likewise, the web host provides a customer support team to help you resolve WordPress issues.

The only downside of WordPress hosting is that this service is only limited to WordPress sites.