Category Archives: Electronics

Teardown: Cowin HE5A SportFree Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Earphones

It was only a few months ago in November I was reviewing the Cowin HE5A SportFree ANC Wireless Bluetooth Headphones. While I was generally satisfied with the compromises the package entailed, I did mention that the lack of protective casing … Continue reading

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Repair: SteelSeries Sensei “Pro Gaming” Laser Mouse (62150)

I’ve always been partial to laser mice and high-DPI sensors ever since I bought a second-hand Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse. When my MX1000 gave in due to battery failure and corroding battery charge contacts, I went to the Mionix … Continue reading

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Troubleshoot, Repair: TP-Link UE300 USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter

Whenever I drop in to see some of my old friends, it’s almost inevitable that there would be some computer problems that need solving. This time around it was no exception. With this being the season for new researchers starting … Continue reading

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Review, Teardown & Test: Portable USB 18650 Li-Ion Rechargeable Fans (x3)

It’s summer in Australia and this one is another scorcher! Our summers do get somewhat hot, but not usually this hot. Data from my own weather station in my backyard shows that the temperature over the period from Christmas Eve … Continue reading

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Random: Happy New Year (2019) – Reflections, ABC/TBS Satellite Feed & Other Stuff

Happy New Year everyone! No, it’s not deja vu, we’re in 2019 … despite the blunder that occurred in Sydney’s NYE celebrations. Now that 2019 has arrived, it’s time to reflect on the year that passed and look at the … Continue reading

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Teardown: Eveready General Purpose (No. 909) 6V Carbon-Zinc Lantern Battery

While going around the house looking for things to bin, I came across an old broken “dolphin-style” torch with missing parts. Of the parts that remained, the metal had oxidised and fatigued so much that the contacts to the switch … Continue reading

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Review: EEVBlog HVP-70 (70Mhz) & Micsig DP10013 (100Mhz) High Voltage Differential Probes

Updated [7th Jan 2019] – Error in interpreting noise values due to oscilloscope 10:1 probe setting which I had missed has been fixed. — It seems I’ve been using the excuse of Christmas Sales to justify my recent increased spending … Continue reading

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Project: DIY Weather Station & Displays

It’s summer in Sydney and we’re definitely feeling it. In the west, there are often strings of 32 degree Celsius or above days coupled with dangerous storm activity, so staying comfortable is not always easy even with the modern conveniences … Continue reading

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Random: Crap Cables, USB Charger Repair, USB “Condom” & Win10 October Update

At last! Another random post … code-word for “frustrations of the past few weeks that don’t quite deserve their own posting”. This time, it’s crap cables (again), repairing a problematic USB charger, building my own USB “condom” and being subject … Continue reading

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RoadTest Review: Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04 Programmable Power Supply

Thanks to the generosity of element14 and Rohde & Schwarz, I was lucky enough to do yet another RoadTest of a pretty expensive piece of gear. Say hello to the Rohde & Schwarz HMP4040.04, a 4-channel 384W Programmable DC Power … Continue reading

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Review: Cowin HE5A SportFree Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Earphones

Updated 26/01/2019 – see end of article for more details. 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 … 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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