Tag Archives: improvise

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

Posted in Computing, Electronics, Power Bank, Tablet, Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repair, Teardown: Edimax IC-1520DP Network Camera

A long time ago … maybe even eight years ago in 2009 … a computer shop I was shopping at had a network camera on sale for the low low price of AU$30 and I decided to buy it just … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Computing, Electronics, Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Raspberry Pi 3 – More Pi, No Cables Attached?

It’s been a while since I checked out the Raspberry Pi, as my fleet of original Raspberry Pi Model B, B+ and Pi 2 Model B’s have all been working well doing their little jobs around the house. I haven’t … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics, Raspberry Pi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hack: Customize the LED Shake-Stick Images

As I managed to construct the LED shake-stick kit just yesterday evening, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with its operation. For one, the images weren’t particularly inspiring. I mentioned that it should be possible to replace the images in the ROM … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project, Reverse Eng, Repair: ATmega328-based “Transistor Tester” Kit

A common complaint and reason for the falling popularity of electronic kits is that none of them really let you build something that’s really useful that you couldn’t buy pre-built at a lower cost. I believe this complaint does have … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Review, Teardown, Reverse Eng: Generic Battery Tester

As a kid growing up in the 90’s, one fond memory I had was sorting through piles of batteries to see which ones were good and which ones needed to be discarded or recharged. With many toys and appliances using … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Modification: Manson HCS-3102 Power Supply Output On/Off Switch

Three years ago, I purchased a pair of Manson HCS-3102 programmable switch-mode power supplies. These were not particularly expensive supplies, and judging by some of the noises they made and the granularity of the programming and read-back, weren’t particularly high … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fail, Teardown: LG G Pro Lite Dual (D686) BL-48TH Battery Swelling

Aside: Given that I’ve got a PhD thesis to hand in on Thursday this week, what the hell am I doing posting blogs? Well, as it turns out, in-between putting-out fires, I need to recharge and it seems that posting … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Tablet, Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Project: Make a Netcomm RoadsterII USB Modem work in Windows 7 x64

Over the weekend, I had some hankering to get some voice-band dial-up modem action happening just for curiosity sake. I stumbled across my pair of old-reliable Netcomm Roadster II USB V.90 56k modems which seemed like good candidates for an … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repair: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 Noise-Cancelling Headphone Ear Cushions

For someone who travels a lot on public transport, having a good set of noise cancelling headphones is indispensable for making the trip a lot more enjoyable and stress free. By shutting out the external noise with passive cancellation, and … Continue reading

Posted in Audio | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Experiment: LG D686 Battery Charging Investigation

Earlier, in my article about modifying a USB charger doctor as a USB current shunt, I elaborated on the possibility of microcycling occurring in the battery of my mobile phone due to the irregular current profile after the phone had … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Compu-Maintenance: Dusty PC & Stuck Power Button

Computers and their peripherals around my place are generally reliable, but occasionally some things do happen. As a result, I’ve grouped these two recent happenings into one posting. PC: “… help me!” Just last weekend, my brother barged into my … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

How To: Remove WD Hard Drive from MyBook Enclosure

Well, seeing as I purchased four of the 6Tb MyBook drives, you didn’t think I would just leave them in their external cases, being strangled by a USB 3.0 bus without UASP, right? Well, of course not. The main reason … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , , | 46 Comments

Teardown, Modification: Sony AN-LP1 Active Loop Antenna

When an engineer isn’t happy with something, they often try to “fix” it. Sometimes this ends up in hilarious failure where the said object becomes more broken than when they started. Sometimes it ends up in success, but most of … Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech Flashback: The Microcasette – Part 2: The Recorders

If I had just a bunch of tapes but nothing to use it with, it wouldn’t be that exciting. After all, the last thing I had (prior to this batch of donated gear) was a Computec branded single-tape answering machine … Continue reading

Posted in Audio, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Project: Physically Damaged USB Drive Repair & Data Recovery

A while back, on 16th July, I was contacted by a fellow Sydneysider, and a fan of my blog with a request for help. While, ordinarily, I don’t respond to these, there was a rather long story behind this particular … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, DIY, Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

DIY: Vertical Blind Hanger Repair

Rats! Don’t you just hate it when the hangers that hold your vertical blind strips suddenly fail, leaving you with a gaping hole in your blinds?! I certainly do. The plastic that the hangers are made of don’t seem particularly … Continue reading

Posted in DIY | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Review & Test: Philips LEDbulb B22 14w 1400lm LED Globe

Sometimes you need to solve your own problems around the house, and the best place to visit is a hardware store. Just last week, I took a trip to Bunnings, and I couldn’t resist surveying their array of LED light … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Lighting | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Project: A Fluorescent Starter Based Glow Lamp

This week marks the official opening of the Vivid Sydney outdoor light show for 2015. Sadly, the weather is absolutely horrible today, with scattered heavy showers all over Sydney meaning it’s another “stay at home” day. This got me thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Lighting | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Repair: Samsung ARM Chromebook Trackpad that Won’t Click

While most people seem to have a mixed relationship with Google’s Chromebooks, I’ve been a user of the Samsung ARM Chromebook for a while, and it serves quite a few specific purposes. For one, it’s a low-cost, thin, low-power consuming … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Tech Flashback (& Experiment): Fujifilm DLTtape IV Cartridge

Thanks to one of my friends at the university, while I was out of action due to my ankle, he managed to save me quite a few “old” things that were thrown out. One of them was this – a … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Project Kryoflux – Part 6: Dealing with Difficult Disks and Drives

In a twist of fate, it turns out that one of my colleagues (Robert) had a collection of old Amiga floppies from the days he owned an A500. Unfortunately, he had given away his Amiga, and all he had left … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Salvage | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Keeping Old Machines Going – Adapt-ing to the times …

For retro-enthusiasts and hobbyists like myself, it can be difficult at times to keep old computers going. As the old AT form factor met its demise about a decade ago, parts for these machines can be hard to come by, … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

No computer case? No worries!

A couple of times, I have had old computer parts turn up at my house, and nothing to build it in. Sure, you can leave it lying over a bench (and I’ve done that countless times), but when bench space … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Tech Flashback: Kaypro Keyboard – It’s still alive!

After writing my last post about my efforts to bring the Kaypro (donated to me) back to life – one thing still nagged me. Why was the keyboard dead? Was it really dead? It didn’t look dead … Seeing that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech Flashback: Reviving the Kaypro 4

Just yesterday, the RJ10 phone cables arrived. I unpacked them, and they laid on the desk, staring at me. I decided to take the plunge – I decided to start the Kaypro 4. (For Physical details, see my last post … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Printers: What to do with them?

So over the past few years, printers have gotten stupidly cheap, and cartridges (genuine ones) have remained stupidly expensive. The solution, as any high-printing-volume student would know, is to buy a few cheap printers, and use the cartridges in your … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Obituary | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Operation Bake Raspberry Pi

Originally having given up on my Raspberry Pi from RS, a very helpful post from Dilligaf at the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Forums gave me this advice: If you’ve given up on the warranty you could always try baking it in … Continue reading

Posted in Raspberry Pi | Tagged , , | 8 Comments