Category Archives: Electronics

Teardown: Generic QC2.0 15W Charger (TCAU15U-050912)

Owing to the growing market-share of Qualcomm devices sporting Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 capabilities, the market for such devices has grown substantially. As part of reviewing some power banks with QC-capabilities, it would not be possible to assess their … Continue reading

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USB Connector Resistance: Another reason for slow phone/tablet charging

It was back in 2014 when I first published about USB cable resistance as one reason why your phone or tablet might be charging slowly. At the time, quality cables with good gauge wires were hard to find, and many … Continue reading

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Repair (?): ICOM IC-R75 that won’t turn on!

Returning home from holidays is not easy. In some sense, I’d like to call it a holiday hangover. You start walking on the wrong side of the road, sleeping at odd hours, and in perpetual need of energy to unpack … Continue reading

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Review, Teardown: Mi Power Bank Pro 10000mAh QC3.0 (PLM03ZM)

At the beginning of the year, I took at trip which included visiting Hong Kong where I managed to pick up a Mi Power Bank Pro and review it. At the end of the review, I expressed the futility of … Continue reading

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An Incomplete Repair: BladeRF x40 Software-Defined Radio

My last trip to Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong kept me away from home for 80 days, in which time I thoroughly enjoyed doing things I couldn’t otherwise do from home. Despite arriving back home almost a month ago, it … Continue reading

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Review: Mixcder MS301 Bluetooth V4.2 Wireless Headset with aptX

Whenever I’m out and about, especially when commuting on public transport, I’m often listening to music or watching a video on my phone. Having a set of headphones over my head is my way of making the commute more bearable … Continue reading

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Teardown: Motorola CableComm Series II Cable Access Unit (MM1012A)

I remember when I was very young, peering outside the window and seeing a bunch of workmen and trucks pull up in front of the house. In a short time, they rigged a steel wire between the power poles, then … Continue reading

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Tested: “Compatible” Nikon EN-EL14 Batteries vs Genuine

Amongst the published articles on the site, it seems there is a fair amount of interest in the ones dealing with “compatible” and “fake” camera accessories, specifically Nikon EN-EL14 and EN-EL14a batteries. Having just recently returned from my first extended … Continue reading

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Review: Nitecore NL1835 3500mAh 18650 Protected Li-Ion Battery

If you have a collection of flashlights, the temptation to buy higher capacity protected rechargeable Li-Ion batteries is quite strong. At times, the bundled cells aren’t the most capacious and might not give enough run-time to satisfy all needs, so … Continue reading

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Repair: Cooler Master Xcraft 3.5″ External HDD Enclosure PSU (SKA-0512-20B)

When I get a little time, I like to go through the “donation” pile and do some testing. As it turns out, I was gifted a set of four Cooler Master Xcraft External Hard Drive Enclosures along with matching power … Continue reading

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Review: Uni-Trend UT210E Mini Clamp Meter

When diagnosing electronics, I often wished I could make current measurements without having to bridge out a component, or cut a wire. The inconvenience and potential safety issues are sometimes overwhelming and I just decide not to bother measuring the … Continue reading

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WONTFIX Teardowns: iFlashDeviceHD, Varta SMP-75W PSU, Powermonkey Discovery Power Bank

If there’s one thing I always need to do, that is to clean up and get rid of the rubbish. Almost constantly, broken things are taken apart and examined in my room, with some of them requiring only minor surgery … Continue reading

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Repair: Bauhn Remote Controlled Power Point & AKAI TV Remote Control

Returning from holidays, my Dad often has surprises for me. This time, it was a few items that needed attention – the first of which was three Bauhn Remote Controlled Power Point units with various faults, and the other was … Continue reading

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Teardown: IKEA Sparsam 15W CFL & OSRAM Lightify CLA60 RGBW

It’s going to be a teardown double post, although not a happy one for me for a number of reasons. IKEA Sparsam 15W CFL This particular CFL is a young globe – only just installed prior to my holidays but … Continue reading

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Great AA Alkaline Battery Test – Addendum: 25mA Constant Current Tests

For those following along, they’d probably realize by now that I have left the country and are officially on holiday in the slightly-warmer-than-average-for-this-time-of-year Hong Kong. I had originally planned to make this post before I left home, but things got … Continue reading

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Experiment: Sylvania Lynx CFTE 42W Cool White Deluxe CFL Tubes

Every so-often, I drop into my local thrift shop because I just so happen to be passing by on another errand and have some time to spare. It’s often a good experience to sift through the random items for sale, … Continue reading

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Repair: Click Surge-Protected & Sansai Switched 4-Outlet Powerboards

Powerboards are very simple and inexpensive devices used to convert one socket into multiple sockets on a (supposedly) temporary basis. Every house has a number of these devices, with basic devices simply bussing together the pins and more complex devices … Continue reading

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Teardown: RadioShack Amplified Telephone Earpiece (43-229)

After my experimentation in building a T-coil receiver on my own, it seemed that the unit did have some issues which I eventually corrected. While it seems the schematic may have been a victim of a transcription error, I thought … Continue reading

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Teardown: FiiO E5 Headphone Amplifier

The FiiO E5 was a low-cost but decent performing compact headphone amplifier a few years back. The unit bore a vague resemblance to an iPod Shuffle clip-version, and was relatively compact with integrated rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. Since someone didn’t want … Continue reading

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Teardown: Swollen Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 BM45 Battery

While I was using my Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 the other day, I realized something strange was happening. It didn’t quite fit in its case as well as it used to, the screen felt a little like it was bowing, … Continue reading

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RoadTest Review: Texas Instruments TPS56C215EVM-762 Evaluation Module

It’s new year’s eve and I’m busy working away. Why you ask? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to be the recipient of another RoadTest item – this time, it’s a Texas Instruments Evaluation Module. The module in specific is the … Continue reading

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Salvage Season: Pt 5 – Fisher-Rosemount Systems Model 275 HART Communicator

“All this gear … and I still can’t get to your heart.” Welcome back to the salvage season series of posts. Lame joke aside, this post will be about a Fisher-Rosemount Systems Model 275 HART Communicator. So … what is … Continue reading

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Salvage Season: Pt 4 – Lighting & AV Stuff

The salvages continue with lighting and AV related equipment. Of course, some of this isn’t that useful nowadays, but it’s more interesting from a “wish fulfillment” and philosophical perspective. Lighting (with Philosophical “Light-Bulb” Moments) It’s no big secret that LED … Continue reading

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Power Bank Endurance Test – Hillo Power Jin Gangxia (Part 20 – Final)

It’s Boxing Day, and while a lot of people are outside partaking in the shopping frenzy of underwhelming discounts, I’m firmly sitting at home plodding away at some data analysis to deliver this last part of the power bank endurance … Continue reading

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Great AA Alkaline Battery Test – Pt 4: Cell Physical Characteristics

After the rather interesting results in the previous section, I was curious as to who actually manufactured the cells for the lesser known brands, and whether that could be determined just by examining the physical characteristics of the cells. Given … Continue reading

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Great AA Alkaline Battery Test – Pt 3: The Results

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you’ve earned the right to read the results! If not, you could be doing yourself a big disservice and not understanding the true intricacies that underlie the subject of battery testing and the … Continue reading

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Great AA Alkaline Battery Test – Pt 2: The Contenders

Welcome to the second installment in the Great AA Alkaline Battery Test series, where the contenders for testing are presented. This post is one of the most image heavy posts I have ever delivered, so apologies if my webserver falls … Continue reading

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Great AA Alkaline Battery Test – Pt 1: Battery Testing Fundamentals

Regular readers would probably know that I have a love of batteries, and their associated test equipment. Maybe it was the fact that they were expensive, but pervasive, and my enjoyment as a child relied quite heavily on batteries to … Continue reading

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RoadTest Review: B&K Precision Model 8600 DC Electronic Load

It’s a rather late night for me – as it has been for the past few weeks. But that’s not without reason, as a rather useful piece of equipment headed my way and my review was due. I had a … Continue reading

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Power Bank Endurance Test – Hillo Power Jin Gangxia (Part 19)

This is one of those ongoing experiments which just seems to keep dragging on and on. Initially, I thought I’d torture a relatively unknown power bank by cycling it over and over on the test rig, expecting to see it … Continue reading

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