[sf-lug] mics and webcams (was Meeting notes for SF-LUG Jit.si meeing of 2022-05-01)

Ken Shaffer kenshaffer80 at gmail.com
Fri May 6 16:30:44 PDT 2022

After cleaning the CPU fan and repasteing the CPU (and the Nvidia Quadro
chip), my old Lenovo runs 10-15 deg. cooler without maxing the fan rpm.
Hopefully that will fix my CPU overheating during the jit.si meetings.  The
PDF disassembly manual was available on line, so with one computer to
display the manual, the step by step cooler assembly was pretty
straightforward.  Some thoughts:
1) Do ground yourself, the least little static can destroy delicate
2) Have available a flash light, spudgers, and a magnet to get loosened
screws (magnetic screwdriver may not be strong enough). I had a camera, but
didn't actually need it. And of course, the thermal paste.  A little USB
vacuum cleaner easily cleaned up the dust .
3) Don't get too enthusiastic when removing screws, double check the
diagrams, some screws are to be left (no need for the display to fall
off!), some screws are hidden (the step to remove something was left out,
leaving a component hiding a screw).
4) Some components need only a partial removal (like the speakers, no need
to remove the whole harness when only one speaker is in the way).
5) Do have screw containers ready to keep the screws for each step together.

The scariest part for me was reattaching the tiny little plugs -- I was
afraid of bending an almost invisible pin.
Everything came back up without issue, and the CPU was definitely cooler,
so I guess I'll declare success.

On Mon, May 2, 2022 at 9:04 AM Akkana Peck <akkana at shallowsky.com> wrote:

> Rick Moen writes:
> > Quoting Bobbie Sellers (bliss-sf4ever at dslextreme.com):
> >
> > > Well I was on time to the meeting but through-out my
> > > microphone was out of action and nothing I could do restored
> > > its function.
> >
> > I get a _lot_ of use, for A/V meetings and otherwise, out of one of
> > these, a CMTECK G006 USB microphone:
> > https://www.ebay.com/itm/384858970058
> Early in the pandemic I purchased a Samson Go mic, which worked
> very well for me, though it's a bit more expensive than the G006,
> around $25. Plug and play with Linux (subject of course to the
> whims of PulseAudio and what device it decides to make the default).
> I've also used cheap wired cellphone earbud+mic and they work fine.
> At least for modern laptops, you want the kind with a 4-conductor
> mini phone plug, like https://www.ebay.com/itm/373968000489
> (I'm not endorsing that particular product, it just showed up first
> in a search for phone earbud mic when sorting by price, and it has a
> good picture of the plug).
> But a few months ago I bought a Logitech c920 webcam, because the
> built-in camera in my ThinkPad Carbon X1 is terrible in low lightl
> Now I'm using the mic that built into the c920 because it's so
> darned convenient to have webcam and mic both on the same USB plug.
> No one has complained about my audio or said "You used to have good
> sound, but now you sound terrible", so I guess the mic is okay.
> When I was researching webcams, I found a lot of very mixed reviews
> for the c920: some people loved it, but a lot of people complained
> of constant disconnects/reconnects. Most of the webcams I was
> looking at had similar comments in their reviews, so I decided I
> would take the chance, and return it if it didn't work. Indeed, the
> first time I used it, I had that problem of frequent disconnections.
> But I decided to try it again before giving up, and the second time,
> it worked perfectly through a 2.5-hour meeting.
> The difference? The first time, I was on the sofa running on battery
> power. For the second meeting, I was at my normal desk, plugged in
> to A/C power. I guess the camera requires more power than the CX1
> supplies when running on batteries. It works fine when either
> plugged directly into one of the laptop's USB ports when the laptop
> is plugged in, or plugged in to a powered USB hub.
> > Of course, if your problem lies at the software level, switching mics
> > won't help.
> Bobbie has had working audio at previous meetings, so I suspect
> her problem is software. But I agree with Rick that
> > Having a spare, known-good mic on hand would permit using the same sort
> > of logic to eliminate one suspect category or the other (software or
> > hardware), narrowing the possibilities greatly.
> Even if it's just a $2 earbud+mic, it's good to have options.
>         ...Akkana
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