Monthly Archives: April 2016

Thoughts: Replacing PROMs with Modern-Day Parts

Because of my interest in some older computers and their peripherals, dealing with ROM-chip based firmware is a fact of life. Ever since purchasing a programmer to explore the contents of some of the ROMs, it came to mind that … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Teardown, Repair & Test: AY/Generic UV EPROM Eraser

With many older computers and their peripherals, the firmware code is stored inside a ROM chip of some sort. These were unlike the later EEPROMs and Flash chips which could be electrically erased and reprogrammed. Instead, these chips were often … Continue reading

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

Review: XG autoelectric TL866CS MiniPro Universal USB Programmer

In terms of tools, I’ve always wanted to have something to work with various ROM and Flash chips within computers and peripherals as this can often come in handy for recovering from a bad flash, updating an old ROM chip … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Event: Celebrating My Birthday with Taronga Zoo

It’s that time of the year again – that’s right, it’s my birthday. I get another year older, and I’m reminded that time is ticking, so I better make good use of it. Probably not the most inspiring first-paragraph, but … Continue reading

Posted in Event, Photography | Tagged , | 2 Comments

At Last: PennyTel accounts to be migrated to MyNetFone

Back in October 2013, it was reported that PennyTel was in financial trouble and was ultimately bailed out by MyNetFone with an uncertain future. Since then, despite some trepidation, it seems that PennyTel services continued reliably for existing customers, with … Continue reading

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Reverse Eng Pt 2: Watts Clever Easy-Off w/SMART Box (ES-AUS1103)

Continuing on from my last post about the Watts Clever Easy-Off Sockets with Smart Box, there were a few things still bugging me in the back of my head. After all, they do advertise that their other system has >1 … Continue reading

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Review: Three Cheap Unbranded 1×18650 “DIY” Power Banks

A common theme I hear from readers is “well, those cheap power banks are rubbish, so why don’t I build my own?” I suppose that is not a bad thought, although designing one properly takes a bit of skill and … Continue reading

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Reverse Eng: Watts Clever Easy-Off Sockets w/SMART Box (ES-AUS1103)

Internet-of-things and home automation seem to be the cool thing nowadays, and remote controlling things is something many have been dabbling with, sometimes rather unsafely. Imagine my surprise when I walk into a Jaycar, and see a kit of IR-and-RF … Continue reading

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

Teardown: Failed MovNow W79 (Counterfeit Xiaomi) Fitness Tracker

Someone had commented on my review of the MovNow W79 about that to do about his fitness tracker which suddenly stopped working. An interesting coincidence? Mine also stopped working for some unknown reason. I tried my best to revive it … Continue reading

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Teardown: Sony MP90 Video8 Cassette (and other cassettes)

We come to the end of a line of cassette-inspired posts with an examination of Video8 cassettes. These were the consumer-favourite which succeeded VHS-C in portable applications, being smaller and allowing for longer duration recording while providing a similar level … Continue reading

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Tech Flashback: My Collection of MiniDV Cassettes

Seeing as I broke inside of a Mini DV cassette earlier, and found little of interest, maybe it was time for me to admire the various different exteriors from different brands. Here is my collection of cassettes. Panasonic Panasonic’s consumer … Continue reading

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Teardown: Fuji DVM60 MiniDV Cassette

The teardown train keeps rolling along, with this post focusing on MiniDV, a format of metal evaporate cassette used for recording DV (standard definition), DVCAM and HDV (high definition) formats. This compact tape is 1/4″ wide, has a recording bitrate … Continue reading

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Teardown: Sony BCT-124HDL Large HDCAM Cassette

The second victim of my teardown series is a large format HDCAM cassette. HDCAM is a high definition digital video version of Betacam, introduced in 1997, utilizing a bitrate of 144Mbit/s and a 1440×1080 recording resolution with chroma subsampling. This … Continue reading

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Teardown: Imation DDS-120 Data Tape (4mm)

I love doing teardowns as it can be quite interesting to peek inside of certain items. Seeing as the relevance of tape media is fast waning in the consumer market, I felt it would be interesting to purchase or collect … Continue reading

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Teardown: A Failed PAG024F 12V 2A Power Adapter

This week, my internet connected was knocked out for about an hour after achieving a record 60+ days continuous uptime. The cause was quickly traced down to a failed power supply which runs my ADSL2+ modem resulting in a boot-loop. … Continue reading

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Quick Review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 2

After my Samsung Galaxy SIII gave up the ghost some-time early 2015, I was on the look-out for a new phone. Being the thrifty sort of person I was, I wasn’t going to spend any more than about AU$250. I … Continue reading

Posted in Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Experiment: Telstra Free Data Day Redux (3 April 2016)

It seems like Telstra hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to network problems. I like to joke about it as The Network without Equal (outages) at least, this past few months. They had further issues with voice … Continue reading

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Big-Random: Public Transport, UNSW Electrical Upgrades & Vending Machines

It’s been ages since I put out one of these random posts filled with random observations. That hasn’t stopped me collecting random observations, although the pace of collection had slowed down as I wasn’t sure if I would ever get … Continue reading

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Opal’s New Top-Up Machines and Single-Trip Tickets

Sydney’s long march to a paper-ticket-less transport network just got one step closer with the announcement on 23rd March 2016 that they are trialing new top-up machines with single-trip tickets. While this was always considered as the next step, it’s … Continue reading

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Power Bank Endurance Test – Hillo Power Jin Gangxia (Part 11)

It’s been ages since I last posted about the fate of this power bank. When I last posted, we were up to 500 cycles in the experiment, and 516 in total from new, and the unit was doing very well. … Continue reading

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Retired, Teardown: Uniden XSA660 Analog Cordless Phone

On the whole, the rapid pace of technology means that, inevitably, there will come a time when you will need to upgrade to newer devices. But some systems have stayed the same for so long, that sometimes they escape being … Continue reading

Posted in Audio, Tech Flashback, Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments