Bloody chip markings (#R6)

Geez. Just wasted half an hour finding a part number with the actual part in my hands. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I should have slept more or less (noon isn’t too bad on a Sunday, is it?). Maybe chip markings are getting dumber with every nonsense package invented. Maybe I should purchase components on my own so that there’s some mail history about it. Who knows.

Care to find that on your own? Now’s the time.

Hints: That’s not TO-220, obviously. It’s also not D2PAK/TO-262 (available in DPAK, though)

It’s a N-channel MOSFET with LV-TTL compatible gate threshold voltage. […]

FlowerPower LED GrowLight POWERLIGHT 400W Repair (#P8)

Yeah, sorry for not delaying this until I could declare project #P420, but sometimes I’m a little impatient to get content online. After all, I’m not as enthusiastic about this silly number as some folks apparently are. Which also means I’m getting paid in hard cash and not in kind…

So for today’s repair project I have a quad-100W growlight unit on my desk that was in mortal agony when it arrived. The thing does not have a power-on indicator (usually you do know when it’s on…), all it did was some dim, erratic flickering of the LEDs. […]

Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird “legacy” addons (#E6F3)

News from the friendly crackpots over at Mozilla:



You are receiving this email because you are listed as a developer of a legacy add-on on (AMO). Mozilla will stop supporting Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) 52, the final release that is compatible with legacy add-ons, on September 5, 2018.
As no supported versions of Firefox will be compatible with legacy add-ons after this date, we will start the process of disabling legacy add-on versions on AMO. On September 6, 2018, submissions for new legacy add-on versions will be disabled.


The SilverStone parts service is great – and terrible (#R5)

After the recent ingress of computer parts I had to sort, check and get rid of stuff before my apartment overflows. I donated quite a bit at the usual hardware forums, I sold a bit, and I trashed a bunch of older parts. One of the donated things was a SilverStone CFP52B 4-in-3 hotswap case (4x 3.5″ hard disks in a 3x 5.25″ form factor if your case can take such an unit)

Well, that was in use for quite some time. Wonky construction (we call it “lidschäftig”, which apparently is local slang straight from medieval vocabulary) with flexible plastic parts encapsulating the HDD, four rubber mounts each that get ripped apart upon insertion, and a total botch of the front “hotswap” fan assembly. […]

Mellanox ConnectX-3 3D printed brackets (WHL #42F1)

Looks like I got a project out of the 10GbE card thing

I have to admit that I was wrong in that post – the 3D model of the bracket over at servethehome doesn’t entirely fit the ConnectX-3 MCX311A. It’s for the higher-end dual cards (that I knew) with QSFPs (that I didn’t check). These are larger in physical footprint, so the bracket does fit by chance, but there’s empty space towards the PCIe connector. Also, because of the dual port architecture, these have their second mounting point shifted up higher, which means the second mount doesn’t even meet the PCB. […]

Mellanox ConnectX-3 MCX311A-XCAT 10GbE and Solaris 11.3 (WHL #42)

The heat. F*ck me.

I think post #42 deserves something nerdy. More nerdy than usual. Glad to report that I just bought something suitable – two Mellanox SFP+ cards (MCX311A-XCAT), capable of 10GbE over fibre (IEEE 802.3ae) and per DAC cables (not even sure which 802 that is – 802.3ak is Twinax as used in DAC, but thats quad-Twinax as used in CX-4 connectors, like Infiniband does). 55.00€ delivered from the Netherlands, as fast network connections are “Neuland” in Germany and therefore carry a heavy premium. Slap on some 1.5m of compatible DAC cable for another measly 17.02€ and we have 10 gigabit Ethernet between two desktop computers. […]

DHT22 WiFi (ESP8266) temperature/humidity loggers (#P7)

Guess who was busy and also did not prepare a post in advance? Yeah, lazy me :mrgreen:

Well, let’s pick up some project that I’m deploying slowly around my flat. I intend to run five of these devices, one with some light meter and maybe other outdoor sensors, the others will be indoors. I’ve been running the early prototype for quite some while now, doubling as a Blynk gateway to some LED strips in the liquor cabinet (yeah, I called it Boozy McBoozeface for a reason). Accessing lights at home from far away isn’t that important to me, so once I have time to install some more touch buttons, that one will be no longer running Blynk, probably eliminating some timing/connectivity issues. […]

Supermicro Case and Rails (#P6)

Supermicro – the case manufacturer of choice for people with money. :lol:

This is not so much about Wan Hung Lo price ranged products, but rather about construction techniques. And it’s not even about “we made it this way because it’s the cheapest” – it’s about design that yields the most profit for the manufacturer. Vendor lock-in and all that stuff.

Well, I’m more of a Chenbro guy for reasons that I’ll explain in a bit, but I recently did a classic Dave Jones dumpster dive (with permission), from which I got not one, but four Supermicro cases. […]

Fake Akasa PCIe 6pin to ATX12V 8pin adapter (WHL #41)

Ah well, we haven’t been to adapterland for quite a while, have we? :roll:

I do have more pressing things to do as of now, but whatever. I bought an adapter cable for my new server setup at home, as basically all SFX PSUs with moderate wattage (sub-500, 600W?) do not offer more than one 4+4-Pin or 8-pin ATX12V/EPS12V power plug. Well, why should they, that’s not what they usually need to have. But most server boards, especially dual and quad processor boards, do “require” 2×8-Pin auxiliary power. On the contrary, there is no powerful GPU in that system, so the 6/8-Pin PCIe power cable would flap around in the breeze. […]

Mini-Type Self-Adjustable Six Mandrel Ratchet HSC8 6-6 Crimper Plier For Wire Terminal Connector 0.25-6mm2 Multi Hand Tools (WHL #40)

Software stuff aside, back to hardware. And by hardware, I actually mean hardware. Tools. Let’s check out some crimping pliers for wire ferrules. Automatik-Aderendhülsenpresszangen, as we Germans like to say. :lol:

The unit in review was bought late February on AliExpress for 14.94€ including shipping (which took only around two weeks). When I showed it at work, I needed to order another one with the same specifications (14.89€ in early April, delivery took 3 weeks) and one with four mandrels, but 10mm² capability (HSC8 family as well, 12.13€ mid-March, two weeks). […]