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

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

Solderable LED Xmas Tree Ornament – Christmas the DIY Way

DIY Tree

I got this because it looked like a cool little project, and a neat (if tiny) gift for the missus. So that’s about the extent of my motivations. If you’re trying to put one of these together, I’m hoping that this video might answer a couple of your questions. It’s not really meant to be an educational video, though; More a demonstration of what’s involved in assembly for anyone considering a purchase. Speaking of which, if you want one you can pick one up for about 5 bucks over at banggood.com.

And in case you were wondering, this is not a paid advertisement. I actually paid them for this thing, so it’s pretty much the opposite. (If this kit were complete crap I would tell you.)

2D Version

3D Version

For viewing with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Rift, etc.

A couple of people have rightly told me that you can just set a 3D video to 2D viewing mode, and therefore don’t need to upload 2 versions of the same video.

There are a couple of problems with simply uploading one 3D video, however:

  • Because the two sides of the video are compressed horizontally, viewing it in 2D stretches one of the “eyes” to full screen. That means it’s much lower quality with half the horizontal resolution versus a regular 2D version.
  • As far as I can see, YouTube defaults to anaglyph (red/blue) mode when browsing 3D videos on a regular monitor. That’s a potential turn-off for any viewer that doesn’t know about the switch to view it in 2D instead.

If I’m off base here, please let me know. I’m still learning this whole 3D creation process.

Putting a Line Voltage Multimeter in a Receptacle Box (VA4K vs Shogun Test)

I got a Volt/Amp/Watt/Wh Meter from Banggood and wanted to put it to some use. So I decided to stick it in the back of a receptacle box, making some kind of metered extension cord.

This video shows the process of doing that, but is also a test of the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K vs. the Atomos Shogun for a review I’m working on. It’s a literal side-by-side comparison of the two. Though there’s no difference in quality (there shouldn’t be — they were both recording in ProRes HQ via SDI), I recorded about an hour of footage and neither one showed dropped frames or sync issues during that time. So far so good.

More to come on that later..

ecobee3 Smart Thermostat Install & Review

My old style programmable thermostat died last weekend, and so I rushed over to Home Depot to get a replacement. I wanted a smart thermostat mainly for its wifi connectivity, but also wanted to try out the truly “smart” aspect of it: Optimizing heating and cooling cycles to suit my needs.

They did an excellent job with the user interface, making setup really easy. And their app, though slow to connect at times, is overall well-designed and easy to use. So far I like the ecobee3, but my main concern is with reliability/longevity, and that of course remains to be seen.

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap (Left- to Right-Handed Mouse)

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap

I’m a leftie, but all my life I’ve used right-handed mice in my left hand. I needed to replace my old Microsoft Optical Mouse, and found the DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition. It’s the perfect size and shape for me, but they did the weird thing of switching the left- and right-click buttons. It’s easy enough in most any operating system to swap the buttons in settings. However — at least with Windows — the buttons are only changed locally. So when connecting to other hosts via Remote Desktop the buttons revert to their hardware configuration. That’s a no-go for me, but I liked the mouse so much that I decided to mod the hardware instead. Fortunately, it’s very easy to reconfigure … Continue reading