Category Archives: Electronics

Tested: MINI-360 (MP2307-based) “3A” Buck Converter Module

As mentioned in my earlier Canton-Power buck-boost module review, voltages from batteries are rarely exactly the voltages you need to safely and reliably power your electronic creations. While that converter was rather acceptable, the efficiency wasn’t exactly stellar. In the … Continue reading

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Tested: Canton-Power DDO603SA 3.3V Buck-Boost Converter Module

If you like to experiment with electronics, sooner-or-later you’re going to build something you’d like to use in a portable way, perhaps running off batteries. While things that run off 5V are easy to cater for, as USB is ubiquitous, … Continue reading

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Analysis: Mains Power Quality – Voltage, Frequency & Crest Factor (10-19 May 2018)

A little more than two weeks ago, I was sitting at home in front of my computer going about my business as usual, when suddenly … the lights flicker, everything around me made an intermittent 50Hz buzz like morse code … Continue reading

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Project: Generic Electronic 57 LED Hourglass Kit (TJ-56-205)

I couldn’t help myself, so once I finish one kit, it’s often straight onto another. This kit was sold as an electronic LED hourglass and was a little more expensive at AU$3.07 including postage. Compared to local suppliers, this is … Continue reading

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Project: Generic 18 Red LED Flashing Love Heart Kit (TJ-56-30)

Another day, another classic kit. It seems that LED heart-shaped displays are a timeless novelty, so after building a multi-coloured chasing heart and a breathing heart, why not a flashing one? For just AU$1.68 including postage, I managed to score … Continue reading

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Project: Unbranded Generic NE555+CD4017 SMD LED Chaser Kit (YL-117)

I had a little time this evening, so I thought, why not crack open a kit? After all, I did buy a stack of cheap eBay kits to keep me amused and give me something to write about … so … Continue reading

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Project: EQKit HBL-22 Breathing Green LED Heart Kit

I just can’t help myself, so I grabbed another kit off the pile and decided to build it. This is yet another “cheap” kit from eBay intended for educational use. This particular kit is an EQKit HBL-22 “breathing” LED heart … Continue reading

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Project: Unbranded 38 x 5mm LED DIY Lamp Kit

Trawling eBay listings for some more cheap kits to build resulted in some rather interesting discoveries. The kit in question was a 38 LED do-it-yourself LED lamp kit for AU$1.47. At that price, I thought I’d jump on it despite … Continue reading

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Project: Generic Chinese Electronic LED Windmill Kit

I’ve always been someone to enjoy constructing electronics kits from a young age. Even though I’ve become more experienced at soldering and more knowledgeable about electronics, I still find constructing new kits therapeutic and enjoyable for a bit of weekend … Continue reading

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Repair: Mezzo ESM-008 Sewing Machine Power Jack Assembly

Sometimes, the best thing in life is not knowing what might happen next. After I repaired a washing machine using some rather funny trickery, this week, it was the sewing machine that needed attention. The particular sewing machine was a … Continue reading

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Failed Repair: Samsung U28D590D 27″ UHD 4K LCD Monitor

It’s amazing how busy I’ve been lately, to the point that things are just piling up without a chance to get posted. Luckily, it’s now Easter break and I have a little time I can spend catching up. On Thursday, … Continue reading

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Repair: LG WF-T552A 5.5kg TurboDrum Washing Machine

In what seems to be just another day at the office home, something always manages to need my attention. This time, it was our washing machine which was behaving strangely. This particular machine was an LG WF-T552A TurboDrum 5.5kg with … Continue reading

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Review, Teardown: LaCie 2200mAh Promotional Power Bank

Earlier this year, I attended the SMPTE exhibition and was lucky enough to receive a power bank as part of the bag of goodies that I snagged, thanks to LaCie and Silicon Memory Technologies. As a result, I thought I’d … Continue reading

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Tested: Fake(?) Motorola ED30 Battery for Moto G (XT1032) 1st Gen

The Motorola Moto G was quite a popular “value” Android smartphone. It had a good value-for-money factor, and as a result, it became the phone of choice for my Dad who was an “intermediate” user that didn’t demand the power … Continue reading

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Salvage, Teardown: DingTong DT-98 8W 403-470Mhz Handheld Transceiver

Imagine my surprise when stopping to catch the bus one day, I see a hand-held radio in the grass not far from the bus stop. I was in a hurry and had to leave, so I hopped on the bus … Continue reading

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Teardown: Philips BDP2180/79 3D Blu-ray Player with Stuck Tray

Around three or four years ago, coincident with my purchase of a 3D TV, I decided to buy a Blu-ray player. I decided to opt for a 3D capable unit, so as to have something to watch on the new … Continue reading

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Review: Weekend with the Asus Tinker Board

I’m not the person to have a lot of desires around Christmas time, as most of the time, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are only exercises in leading the less-scrupulous to part with their money through “false markdowns”. However, … Continue reading

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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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