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).
A company called Divine LEDs (now called Vont) got in touch with me out of the blue to ask if I’d be interested in doing a review of their Solar Motion Sensor Light. I said “sure”, but with the caveat that my review would be honest, good or bad.
As it happens, I like this little light. It seems to be well designed, and does what it promises: Light up dimly when it gets dark, and then brightly when it detects motion. It has what looks like a LiPo cell inside that’s charged by the solar panel.
Of course, only time will tell if the light is any good. I’ll save my final judgement until after it survives (or not) a New York summer and winter.
For those of you that are curious, here’s a couple of close-ups of the circuit board:
I had been looking for a cheap and cheerful USB power supply for general charging of phones, tablets, and plenty of etcetera. Hence I ordered this ORICO 4-Port USB Charger with high hopes!
I never have too much optimism when it comes to crap from AliExpress, but not only did this ship from California, it also seems to be a really good buy.
Some of the testing I did on this was inspired by Clive at bigclive.com who does an absolutely obsessive number of teardowns on his YouTube channel. If you haven’t heard of him and you like that sort of this, give it a look! (Plus he has a much better accent than I do.)
And finally, as promised in the video, here are some full-size macro shots of the PCB:
This video features a review and teardown of the Intel Mini PC G2 manufactured by — uhhh — Random Chinese Company 5000.
Did it ship with tons of bloatware and malware? Is it too good to be true that it comes with a full copy of Windows 10? Are the specs worth a damn in the real world? Watch me ramble on about it to find out!
If you want to buy this cylindrical masterpiece mediocrity, a link to the original AliExpress listing is below (which may be way out of date by the time you read this). Note that this is not an endorsement and I don’t receive one penny if you do end up buying it.