Pyle o’Crap – The PCO875 Power Sequencer is Neither a Conditioner, Regulator, Surge Protector, or Noise Suppressor

Pyle of Lies - Review - Test - Teardown

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

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

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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

Like Bees, the Yellow Jacket Power Strip (by Coleman Cable) is Terrible

Another sh*tty power strip

Welp, they’ve done it again. Any by “they”, I mean people that make poor quality electrical devices. Specifically Yellow Jacket, which is a Woods brand, which is a Coleman Cable brand, which is probably somehow owned by either Warren Buffet or the Koch Brothers.

I got this for $16.22 during an Amazon lighting deal, and even though that’s not a terrible price, the poor quality construction and the basic lie about the materials is what really angers me.

Join me as I disassemble and then curse at this poor excuse for a power strip, in my newest installment of first world problems.

The Keurig HOT 2.0 K575 Plus is a Disappointment

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First World Problems I gotta start off by saying that I know that this is an extravagant waste of time and resources. I didn’t make this video because the K575 was slightly annoying, but rather because it baffles me that they became worse at designing coffee machines than before. It’s doubly confounding because Keurig has based their marketing on the K575 being a “2.0” brewer. As in a (supposedly) new-and-improved follow-up to their original line. Yes, it has a couple of advantages over the older B70 Platinum that I used for comparison. However, it seems that they increased the features without increasing the cost. That says to me that they designed these new brewers on a budget. A schizophrenic software … Continue reading

Power Strips Whatever Something Something: Furman SS-6B vs. Belkin Surge Protector [G9S12FG9]

Oshkoshbegosh!? Another long ramble about power distribution thingies for the home and/or office?!

Well it’s true. Hopefully my next video will not be about this subject.

This compares the relatively-generically-branded Belkin Advanced Surge Protector (which actually bears the handy model number of BE112230-08, like it came out of some kind of dystopian nightmare) to the easily-spoken Furman SS-6B (which itself sounds shockingly dystopian anyway).

TechnicalPro PS9U Fire Hazard? (Yes, IMO) + Completely Safe Cyberpower CPS-1220RMS

I was searching for an “affordable” power distribution unit for some video-related equipment in a rack. The Technical Pro PS9U looked very appealing with its multiple light-up switches on the front, because they made me all sentimental and wistful for the days of switched under-monitor PDUs.

It took a dark turn when I looked at the negative reviews on Amazon, wherein one person uploaded pictures of a melted-down unit. I still bought the PDU, not because I wanted to use it, but purely because I wanted to take it apart for YouTube.

And indeed the Amazon review turned out to be accurate. I would not feel comfortable using the Technical Pro PDU in my house. In my opinion as a random guy on the internet, it is a fire hazard, is poorly made, and shouldn’t even be on the market.

For my actual use, I also bought a Cyberpower CPS-1220RMS PDU. It’s a bit different than the Technical Pro in that it doesn’t have independently-switched outputs, offers surge protection, and is rated at 20A rather than 15A (though “rated” is a strong word in the case of the PS9U). That’s just on the surface, though. Inside, the Cyberpower shows every mark of quality and clearly supports its 20A rating.

In the video I open up the Cyberpower, just to show you what a quality PDU should look like. The comparison between the two products is day and night, even though I got the Cyberpower unit for a mere $15 more (on sale). It’s absolutely worth the higher price (even when not on sale).

The bottom line here is that when it comes to power distribution — be it rack-mounted or a typical power strip style — you should spend the extra money to get the higher-quality unit. Your fire insurance provider will thank you, as might your family (if it comes to that).

EBL AAA Battery Capacity Comparison

This is a follow-up of sorts to my NiMH Battery Roundup video, except this time I’m looking at triple-As, and only one brand.

I was vexed by the fact that Amazon had EBL AAA cells with an 1100mAh capacity for only 7 cents more per cell than the otherwise-identical 800mAh variety. That didn’t make sense to me, and besides, 1100mAh is rather high for a AAA package size. Hence I bought a bunch of each and tested them.

The Bottom Line

The 1100mAh cells appear to be a big fat lie. The average capacity for those clocked in at 980mAh, with one cell showing as low as 946mAh and the highest at 1005mAh.

The 800mAh cells were respectable at an average of 809mAh, and less of a variance between cells.

Despite the fact that the “1100mAh” units were well under capacity, they are of course the better deal coming in at 852mAh per dollar with the 800mAh cells giving 749mAh per dollar.

I wish I had the time, inclination, or money to pit a whole bunch of AAA brands against each other, but I’m satisfied in imagining that quality scales from my AA cell results.

Tenba DNA 8 Messenger Bag – A Quick Look and Haphazard Review

OK, I confess that I’ve only had this bag for about a day. However, this was a love-at-first-sight-type-thing. Not that I’m capable of loving a messenger bag, but you know what I mean.

I feel like I have to make this disclaimer a lot, if only because I’m naturally skeptical about anything with a whiff of promotion: I did not get paid for this positive review. I wasn’t promised any favors. And I had to pay $60 in Scott Bucks to B&H for this bag (which was apparently a great deal). In other words, this whole video came at a cost to me in time and money. So if it sucked I’d definitely rant extensively about it (and will if it sucks later).

The video pretty much says it all, but I will be updating this post if the bag falls apart or causes some grave mishap. If this sentence hasn’t been struck through, assume all remains well with this thing.

Oh, I should mention that this is frighteningly close to being a murse. Mostly due to its diminutive size and its proportions. Hence if you don’t want to be accused of carrying a man-purse, you might want to stay away.

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.