I’ll admit I was charmed by the full-sized specs of this diminutive laptop (or netbook, as you will), and I have a thing for tiny laptops in general. So I couldn’t resist it when Banggood offered it up to me in a full-on tracking cookie assault of marketing. (That being said, I purchased it from Amazon to avoid paying duties.) It’s a solidly built little machine, and a solid performer save for one thing: It’s not what I would consider to be a gaming computer. Though it is indeed sold as one, what with it’s somewhat-included side controllers and advertising to that effect. Sure, it can play some games just fine, but without some kind of even halfway-decent (even mobile-optimized) … Continue reading
I’d been seeing a lot of different brands of rechargeable lithium ion standard-sized batteries on the market, and couldn’t decide which ones to buy. Hence, I bought many of them. Hopefully this helps you out of the same conundrum! I built a test “rig” (really just some plywood) which consisted of 5 each of milliamp-hour meters, 4-position battery packs, and 12 Ohm resistors. In all, I tested 7 brands of lithium cells, as well as 6 sets of alkaline batteries (as a point of reference for capacity), 1 set of non-rechargeable Energizer Lithiums, and 1 set of NiMH Panasonic Eneloop cells. The batteries were discharged until their aggregate voltage reached 3 (or 0.75V per cell) which I felt was a … Continue reading
The WAudio W-3900 Power Conditioner is a well-made PDU/power strip, with a couple of bucks worth of filtering components inside. If it were sold in the $50 price range, I’d definitely recommend it for its solid build quality, decent quality components, and retro looks. But at $180, the amount of power “conditioning” (it’s really just filtering certain frequencies of noise at low levels) doesn’t justify the price, IMHO. To be fair, the product can be found on AliExpress for $137 at the time of this writing. Though the marketing materials promise “the highest level of surge & spike protection”, in reality it is not what I would call a surge or spike protector. One weak PTC thermistor is presumably the … Continue reading
I purchased a Pyle PCO875 Power Sequencer simply to make a video about it, because I didn’t believe all of its claims. Though it does appear to be a somewhat-competently made power sequencer, the manufacturer’s statements about power conditioning, surge protection, spike suppression, filtering and so forth are all false. In the video I covered the Amazon listing’s specs for the device, but the specs are much the same on Pyle’s own website so it was no mistake in importing it over to Amazon. I’ll some screenshots here for posterity, because hopefully they’ll eventually correct their “mistakes”, and I want to have a record of what statements they were making at the time this video was created: I did manage … Continue reading
The Problem I purchased four TrippLite Isobar Ultra 4-Outlet Surge Protectors from eBay for about $50. They were all well-used, but purported to function. Unfortunately, two of them did not. They wouldn’t conduct any power to the receptacles, and displayed a fault LED. Hence the Video Fortunately the problems were identical for both, and very easy to fix. There are a pair of very robust and heavy inductors on the PCB that routes power inside the Isobar. They’re not mechanically fastened to the board, except by two relatively small solder joints. Either in their previous life of hard use or during shipping, they must have experienced some bashing around which caused inductors in both units to become un-moored. A bit … Continue reading
I needed new batteries for my pepper grinder, and ended up going down a vast rabbit hole. First, I purchased 15 different brands/models of Alkaline AAA batteries from Amazon. (This cost about $150, which means that I strongly overpaid to run a pepper mill.) Then I built a test rig for at 15 battery types. (It’s a redic long video, but you can see the process at 50x speed which only takes a couple of minutes!) And used that to make the video at the top of this page, after running a 100 hour test. The spreadsheet with the raw data and calculated results for the tests is available on Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-wWU2XRqiwQYu8Mf14S9t1k3e9BCGTiulbm4DLLoztk And you can watch me further discuss … Continue reading
I’ve been trying out different streaming tools and software lately, and ultimately I prefer the dedicated hardware approach. The Teradek VidiU Pro has been discontinued by the manufacturer, and can be had for some pretty good deals on eBay. The VidiU Pro can be used to live stream events from remote and outdoor locations using either WiFi or a connected USB cell modem. It’s also got an ethernet port (and of course a power input) for use in fixed locations. Such as my basement. The problem for me is that the VidiU has a built in battery for portable use, meaning that when I shut off my equipment at the main PDU, the VidiU stays on until the battery runs … Continue reading
This is a quickie, wherein I swap the cosmetic faceplate on a Blackmagic Design Teranex mini converter for a smart panel. I thought it might be useful if someone wanted to check out the process before buying one. But I’ll spoil it by saying that it’s just a matter of removing the 4 screws holding on the faceplate, and then pushing the smart panel onto an edge connector that protrudes from the Teranex device.
I'm a computer guy with a new house and a love of DIY projects. I like ranting, and long drives on your lawn.
I don't post everything I do, but when I do, I post it here. Maybe.