99 LEDs E27 Flame Lamps 9W 85-265V 4 Modes Ampoule LED Flame Effect Light Bulb Flickering Emulation Fire Light Yellow/Blue Flame (WHL #53)

For a quick feasibility check for a work project I somewhat recently (end of September) ordered a pair of E27 “flame” lamps. 4.35€ each including shipping, one of each available color – yellow-ish (very warm white) and blue (being a company color).

Big Clive demonstrated these a while back and I had hoped for a bit more oomph. Hence I bought the 9W version. Which turned out to be 9 China-Watts. Well, not even that, which is disappointing and kicked these out of consideration. Too bad, my colleagues liked the effect quite a bit, but it’s clearly too dim for any ambient lighting in larger spaces. […]


Tesla Model S Pre-Facelift OBD port access (#P18)

You know what…I’m done being busy. From now on, I might be busy because I want to travel, but not because there’s mandatory stuff to be done (in time) with banks, insurance companies and getting ahold of my new…old…Tesla Model S :mrgreen:

I’ve been hooked on buying a Tesla since pre-unveil of the Model 3, but I never came to like the 3 for what it costs here in Germany. Might be different in the US, will be different in the future when buying used will be a serious option. But for now, it was buying a new M3 vs. a used MS, and the latter clearly offers more bang for the buck for me. […]


CAT S60 Telekom Single to Dual SIM unlock (#P17)

Short but rambly one for today, as I’m a tad busy at the moment…
As shown previously, I got a blank CAT S60 phone from work, which got a SIM card added just this week, so this is now my official mobile phone. I wouldn’t normally get a company phone despite all of my colleagues being kept on short leash for quite some time. That’s because my stuff is handy and can be replaced entirely when something goes wrong on graveyard shifts or the weekend, whereas the main production machines are one-offs and need to be fixed asap. That’s why the colleagues get a nice phone (and the occasional stand-by duty), and I got a 600×90 work bench that’s more often than not flooded with broken equipment. […]


MikroTik wAP ac door jamb bracket (#P16)

$ThingsIWantedToDoForALongTimeButDidntUntilIPaintedMyLivingRoom++;

When upgrading my laptop to the QCA9880 3x3ac card, I had the need for an 3x3ac access point. I went for the MikroTik wAP ac at the time, my first dedicated AP, as I always was a FritzBox AIO dude. In the card review I said I wasn’t planning on in-depth reviewing the AP, but I still need to scratch a little on the surface here, literally.

The AP is sitting next to the excellent FritzBox 7362SL and in fact is sharing the power supply with it. As the MikroTik is a PoE device, it doesn’t have a fixed input voltage; instead, it’s a 11-57 V wide input (“12W max”). […]


33pcs Security Bit Set with Magnetic Extension Bit Holder Tamper Star Screwdriver Bits Set (WHL #52)

Ever had problems removing second-gen security screws, you know, those with the asymmetrically placed security pin? “No”, you say, these don’t exist?

Well…that might be true, but AliExpress already has bits for it. Bought in mid-August for 3.75€, fully refunded after my complaint.

Comes as a really dense item packaged in the usual grey plastic envelope thingy. Mould quality beyond scrap, bottom piece is held in shape by the bits for the most part. Well, will do as a free bit holder for my existing bits, always hard to complain about freebies. […]


CITYSAX 160Ah LiFeYPO4 battery discharge and teardown (WHL #51)

Speaking of electric cars: A colleague recently bought a used electric car and (obviously!) contacted me in order to diagnose/troubleshoot it. Sadly he was able to sell it for a profit before we got it fully fixed, so no live data recordings, no power/torque graphs, no nothing to show here. But he left me a dead cell for which he got a replacement from the seller right away, as the traction battery had voltage dips under load that indicated (at least) one damaged cell.

If servicing individual battery cells sounds a bit strange for a modern electric car, that’s because we’re talking about a CITYSAX from a company that is conveniently named the same. […]


Driving a Tesla Model S and visiting tech museums in Sinsheim and Speyer (#E11)

This week I was on vacation, actually one of the first days of annual leave in 2019. Technically it was only four out of the five days and I visited the company once (for personal gain of myself and others), but I finally got away for significant amount of time. And to make it a fun experience, in additional to figuring out which car to buy, I rented a Tesla Model S 85, 12/2014, equipped with AP1 and Tech Package only. Booked via Turo for an amazing 58€ per day (three days minimum).

Enjoy an incoherent assortment of photos from those three days, in which I visited Technikmuseum Sinsheim and Technikmuseum Speyer (same association, pretty close to each other – 6h+ required each), did some 200km/h on the Autobahn to and from those locations, and generally had a good time. […]


HP 6644A refurbishment – front panel, back protector (#P14F)

Time to finish the HP 6644A revamp!

tl;dr for the last post: Here’s where I stopped refurbishment after cleaning and replacing caps and fan:

First off, those leads stick out quite a bit at the back as well. I can’t really say which diameter I used, judging from the yellow cable lugs these were 4mm² for the power lines and 1.5mm² (red lugs) for the sense lines. Apart from not fitting the old protector, that one already has seen some damage. Probably because it is so tiny…

So: Redesign. Twice, as the first version that closely resembled the original design had really flimsy legs that suffered the very same fate. […]


AliExpress order list aggregator script and more (#R8)

Things you might already know: AliExpress is a shitty website.

Don’t get me wrong, I shop a lot at AE. But the page is extremely slow due to massive amounts of JavaScript bloat, and aside from JS, it’s hacked together like I would do for a quick proof of concept. That shit would never fly with me, but for AE, it just does the job. When adding bling and JS spinners has priority over code quality…

It also annoys the fuck out of me for resetting to German translation pretty frequently. I. DO. NOT. WANT. YOUR. FUCKING. TRANSLATION. DC-DC buck modules are not money modules. […]


Hiland M644 Multifunctional Transistor Tester LCR Resistance Inductance Diode Capacitance ESR Frequency Meter PWM Signal Generator (WHL #50)

Another component for one of the upcoming projects – a refreshed transistor tester.

I’ve been using these for ages now, I actually built two of them before they got popular (what a hipster thing to say?) and every Chinese seller decided to roll his own. The original thread on mikrocontroller.net dates back to early 2012 and the SVN repository even contains a few fixes of mine to the manual, as I was proofreading this thing at the time.

Times have changed, and the ready made versions are so cheap nowadays that homebrew really doesn’t make any sense any more. […]