About Scott

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.

Repairing a TrippLite Isobar Power Strip

TrippLite Isobar4 Repair

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

Which Alkaline AAA Batteries are the Best (in 2020)? Allmax and Fuji.

YouTube Cover - Attempt 01 - 1920x1080 - IMGP0270

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

Disconnecting the Battery in a Teradek VidiU Pro (Live)

Disconnecting the Battery in a Teradek VidiU Pro (Live) - YouTube Cover Image

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

Adding a Smart Panel to the Teranex Mini (No Mic on Purpose)

Adding a Smart Panel to the Teranex Mini - Screen Grab

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.

Building a Rig to Test AAA Batteries (Live)

Building a AAA Battery Test Rig (Live Stream) - Cover Image

I’ve been working on two things lately (well, more than two, but whatever): Live streaming and testing AAA batteries. The former is going somewhat OK, but I’m still trying to get the hang of it. The latter is coming together nicely. This video is me assembling a rig to test 15 different brands/types of AAA batteries: Duracell Optimum, Anker, Allmax, EBL, Fuji, Duracell Procell, Rayovac Industrial, Duracell Quantum, Rayovac Fusion, Rayovac, Eveready Gold, Energizer Max, Energizer Industrial, Maxell, and Amazon Basics. The idea being that I’ll shoot that test rig with a time lapse camera, observing how the voltages of the batteries decrease over time. There are light bulbs both to provide a visualization and as a load to deplete … Continue reading

Outlook / Exchange Error: Network Problems or the Microsoft Exchange Server Computer is Down for Maintenance


There are tons of posts about this subject, but none of them offered the very simple solution that worked for me: Make sure the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant is running on the mailbox server. We had a catastrophic crash of a VM host, on which our Exchange 2013 server was running as a guest. Everything seemed to come back up just fine, and all Outlook users were back online with Exchange, except for two. One user was running Outlook 2016 like the rest of the org, but one was running Outlook 2007 (don’t ask). They seemed to have nothing in common, but they both were throwing errors that network problems were preventing communication with the Exchange server. I did all … Continue reading

Clone a Dynamic Disk to a New SSD in Windows 10

Clonezilla Vomits Feces onto Other Tools Because that's Classy

This is partially just for my own reference, so I don’t have to go down this rabbit hole again. (But I hope it helps you, too!) The Situation I wanted to upgrade the LITE-ON 256GB SSD in my trusty ol’ Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop to a snazzy new Samsung 960 EVO 2TB drive. I have a version of Acronis that came with a Crucial (or Kingston?) SSD, which has worked great in the past. The problem? There was a system reserved partition at the very end of the disk, and Acronis therefore would not proportionally scale the OS partition to fill the disk; It would only scale that system reserved partition. In a moment of errant stupidity, I said, “Ah-hah! … Continue reading

240V is the Standard U.S. Household Voltage (Kinda.)

240V US Electrical System

OK, So I’m Being a Bit Facetious Obviously I and most everyone else knows that the vast majority of American household stuff is powered at 120V. Almost all receptacles and (nearly) all lights in a home are indeed supplied at 120V. But! It’s not as simple as that. So maybe the video title is a tiny bit of clickbait, but it’s also more or less true. Most Americans do indeed have 240V supplied to their home, and that is the line-to-line voltage. The transformer is rated for 240 Volts with a center tap that happens to be referenced to ground/earth, and it just so happens that the potential difference between the center tap (ground) and either of the two lines … Continue reading