Category Archives: Electronics

Review: Cowin HE5A SportFree Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Earphones

With most new phones beginning to omit the headphone jack, most users have begun a mass migration to Bluetooth wireless audio solutions. Many of these are traditional headphones which are somewhat bulky, but there has been an increase in interest … Continue reading

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Project: Words vs Numbers “Art” with an Arduino & HD44780 LCD

I’m definitely no artist – I don’t normally go on “artistic” endeavours, but I try to do practical things as any engineer would. But it’s been a while since I’ve had the time or inclination to build something … and … Continue reading

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Teardown: A Sick Cooler Master SickleFlow X 120mm Green LED Fan

It hasn’t even been a year since I built my new workstation and already, something seems to be amiss. Lately, it seems I haven’t been sleeping so well, because there seems to be an angry beast in my room. “Grrrrrrrrrr … Continue reading

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RoadTest Review: B&K Precision BA6010 Battery Analyser

If you’ve been wondering why it’s been quiet around here for a while – it’s because I’ve been unusually busy. One of the things I’ve been working on is a review of the B&K Precision BA6010 Battery Analyser I received … Continue reading

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Visited: ElectroneX Expo (5-6th September 2018)

Every two years, the ElectroneX Expo comes to Sydney. This expo is like a trade show for those involved in electronics design and assembly with a number of stalls from relevant vendors, free talks and is held in conjunction with … Continue reading

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Repair: Soyoung S-C18 Soymilk Maker

This weekend, a friend of ours had a small emergency – her soymilk maker stopped working and was completely dead. The particular unit was a Soyoung S-C18 which claimed to be a unit specially made by Joyoung for the Australian … Continue reading

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Note: Bosch Sensortec BMP280 vs BME280 Sensor Confusion

While looking around for some cheap environmental sensors, I came across the seemingly ideal and relatively popular Bosch Sensortec BME280. This is a digital I2C sensor that can operate at 1.8 or 3.3V, providing temperature, humidity and barometric pressure measurements … Continue reading

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Project: Examining Capacity of Recharged Alkaline AA Batteries

As a young kid, my parents had told me about how great NiCad rechargeable batteries are for reducing waste and saving money. While we did have some alkaline cells around, we used rechargeable batteries whenever possible. Because these were quite … Continue reading

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Teardown: Grandcell Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese Battery Charger (GBTL208MB)

Batteries have always been an interesting subject for me and after the test of disposable Alkaline cells, I felt there was another unanswered question. To help answer it, I dug up my old Grandcell Rechargeable Alkaline Manganese Battery Charger (GBTL208MB) … Continue reading

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Tech Flashback: Ethernet Hubs & Switches (Netgear DS104 & Skymaster 8320-030)

Ethernet has been around for so many years that we hardly ever take the time to stop and think about it. We take it for granted that most desktop PCs come with Ethernet ports integrated on-board, Ethernet switches are cheap … Continue reading

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RoadTest Review: Rohde & Schwarz RTM3004 Oscilloscope (with Options!)

Over the past (nearly) two months, I’ve been kept quite busy in my spare time. What was it that was so exciting? The Rohde & Schwarz RTM3004 oscilloscope with all options (except RTM-K18) included – that’s the answer! This is … Continue reading

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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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