The Need For Sleep And My First DIY Bluetooth Amplifier

I’m obsessed with getting more sleep. Partly it’s a result of being more health conscious after last year’s concerns. But mostly, it’s the realisation that after a lifetime of being a night owl, of frequently getting by with little sleep I’ve realised getting at least 8 hours a night makes me more creative, more productive, less anxious and generally a lot more fun to be around.

As I started to hack my sleep routine it soon became clear I needed to do more than just arrive at my bed a few minutes (or hours) earlier. I needed to look at my routine, when I stopped working and how long before sleep time I switched off activities that tend to keep my awake, like surfing the internet, or tinkering in my studio. I also had to look at the environment in my bedroom.

I already had some of the things I needed, like black-out curtains and a clean, largely distraction-free room. I didn’t have a TV, which is good, but I also didn’t have a sound system, which perhaps was a mistake. Having something small and warm sounding to play quiet jazz or classical music and maybe also some guided meditation would be a nice complement to my need sleep routine.

Rather than buy something off the shelf I decided to make a little bluetooth amp. There was a pair of nice old JVC bookshelf speakers I had kept from the sound system in my old London office (sadly the amplifier for those blew up in India). I picked up a board from Amazon (there are so many different options for this sort of thing), some wood from Tokyu Hands, and a few parts and cool speaker cable from Akihabara, then got to building. This is the same project I’ve mentioned a few times on my YouTube channel.

As a first build I’m happy with the results. The amplifier has a bit of noise when no music is playing, but given the low volumes in the bedroom, it’s not a distraction. It was a lot of fun and gave me an excuse to start learning to use Japanese hand tools. I’ve already got the parts for the next project of this kind.

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In his Tokyo studio Fernando combines his life-long passions for art and technology. On the road, he is always looking to take the next wrong turn, just to see what kind of images and stories might unfold. A photographer and writer, with a background in music, Fernando has lived in Chile, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Read More.


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