DIY USB and SATA panel mount connectors (#P13)

Next batch of connectors incoming! (yes, I’m onto something)

I bet most of you are familiar with USB panel mount connectors, which (I guess) are a by-product of the slot mounted USB ports of PC mainboards in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Back then, boards had none or few USB ports on their back I/O panel, but often one or two available via pin header. So people obviously needed some slot adapter for them, something like this:

If you slap on a different connector on the other end and omit the metal bracket, this is basically what you get these days when buying USB panel mount connectors. […]


DIY Phoenix VS-PSC style connector (#P12)

Okay okay, “project” is a big word for this. It’s a teeny tiny DIY thing, sparked from MOQ/packaging size worries of a rather unique connector.

In preparation of other things, I wanted access to the data lines of an USB port that is panel mounted. Just tinkerer stuff, you know, seeing if there’s any communication effort happening at all, being able to set current (allowance) sense resistors, you name it. I could have looped all wires to a second/third USB port and made an adapter for it, but that would be a lame one. Instead, I googled for IDC connectors, ideally female to allow easy resistor insertion, which can be panel mounted. […]


Bosch Professional GAA 18V-24 USB charging adapter 1600A00J61 1600A00J5W (WHL #49)

Something out of the ordinary for today, a brand new item, bought for disassembly and kind-of off-label use. A Bosch Professional USB charger which happens to have a 12V port also…

Contrary to my very first thought when I found this charger, it does NOT allow 18V batteries to be charged from USB or a 12V source. Maybe I should test that, but I doubt it. However, it does convert the other way – stick in a 18V power tool battery (ranging from 1.5Ah to 12Ah as of today) and get a USB charger with a lot of oomph, or a “heated jacked” power source with a lot of potential for baggy pockets. […]


Fujitsu P20-2 finalized CCFL to LED conversion (#P9F1)

Canned content, for when I’m busy with stuff that’s not definite yet.

A while back, I tried the CCFL to LED conversion on one of my Fujitsu 20″ monitors. I only had warm white LED strips available at the time, mostly because I no longer require cold white DO STUDY NOW atmosphere at home ;) However piss-yellow doesn’t really shine behind an LCD, so I ordered some cold whites. AliExpress -“2018 New 1m 1200LEDS 2835 SMD LED Strip 24V 1900lm 240LED/M Gold Line LED Ribbon LED Tape Light Cool White Warm White Natura”. 6000K color, 12V, “14-18W”. […]


APC Back-UPS capacity upgrade (#P11F1)

Was that foreseeable? Not sure, but the design called for it…

Now that my modified APC UPS is running smoothly again (#P11), I still had two pairs of these nice XT60 connectors laying around. And as old, to-be-recycled lead acid batteries from UPSes pile up at work, I took one or two of them with me for testing at my electronic load. Like previous batteries, quite a lot of them are really toast, but some of them are in decent condition. Not as in “like new, ready for another year of service in a commercial fire alarm system”, but still holding a significant fraction of their original capacity and delivering a suitable amount of current. […]


150W Welding Repair Tool Titanium Plating Lead-Free Solder Pot Adjustable Temperature Tin Furnace with EU plug (WHL #48)

What’s worse than lead-free solder? Lead doped lead-free solder… :roll:

Today’s item is a “500g” solder pot that I bought during the Christmas/annual leave shopping spree mid-December for 12.06 USD including shipping on AliExpress. Prices have even dropped a bit since then.

I’ve always been collecting residue from desoldering stuff as I want to minimize contaminating ordinary trash with lead. Not on a crazy level like the EU tries forcing us to, but if I can avoid PCBs and electronic components getting mixed with domestic waste, I’ll keep them separate. […]


USB LiPo battery BBQ arc lighter – CCFL test device (WHL #47)

Fun with high voltages.
[NOT a sponsored post! They’ll probably do not want me to do that in the first place…]

This week (at work…), I repaired an old Siemens PLC unit with a failed display backlight. Good old CCFL crap that literally burns out over time. As this wasn’t time critical (unlike the last unit), I ordered some CCFL to LED conversion kit from China, modified that to fit the tiny display, threw away the crappy “converter” PCB and installed some homebrew.

While fiddling around, my mind wandered off. […]


APC Back-UPS external battery mod (#P11)

Good thing I’m a doofus. While tidying up cables after some keystone module action, I also moved the bulky power supply of my monitor. And then I noticed that the only thing that absolutely has to be on the battery backup outlets of my UPS unit was in fact…assigned to the surge-protected ones that fail when mains power is gone. D’oh. After some cable identification in that tight space, I moved the UPS around a bit and I discovered a drop of liquid. A very dubious drop at a place where liquid would have to seep through 4 centimeters of a wooden table, or somehow permeate 1.5mm of solid steel against gravity’s pull. […]


Revox Evolution front panel repair (#P10F1)

Soo…the Revox thing from #P10 wasn’t done at the time, and when the missing cable arrived from China (“DB9 Male to Female Gold-plated Extension Cable Pure Copper Line RS232 9 Pin Serial Connector Wire COM Core with Double Shield” for a whopping 4.53€), it didn’t really work as expected.

I wondered: Did they do fancy things with the shielding, in order to squeeze out one more connection from this otherwise 9 pin cable? The cable might have different characteristics compared to the metal-to-metal contact of the serial connectors directly sitting on top of each other. […]


Sony to the rescue! (#E9)

I’m back, with more pixel power than ever ;)

After a bit of research in addition to the thoughts back when I bought my very first dedicated camera, I decided to go the Sony route. Sony RX100, to be specific. There are three models that fall in my price bracket for “new camera without being able to sell the old one”, that is the original RX100, the RX100M2 and the reasonably different RX100M3. There’s a very handy feature comparison over at Reisezoom which also adds data to the newer RX100 models, so before regurgitating everything for the interested folks, please pay them a visit. […]