Author: Bzzz

The 2022 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and another useless FLIR video (#R16)

Do I rant too much? I probably do.

Is it unfounded? Probably not.

So, I’ve done a slightly insane yet enjoyable trip to Scotland and covered 2000 miles in 8.5 days, thanks to the wonders of free lifetime supercharging on my Tesla. End point of the trip was the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo show on 25th of September, for which getting a single ticket on the desired “7” block was a bit tricky, but worked out in the end. And while literally hundreds of the crowd of around 9000 people had their phones up quite a lot of the time (does anyone watch those hour long videos of wobbly footage?), […]


Dremel 575 Right Angle Attachment (WHL #78)

I recently got a Dremel 575 90° adapter for tackling a problem that would have been much easier to solve in 4D space – and I returned it the next day for a new unit. It was running pretty rough due to the input shaft actually wobbling around by a millimeter, but even with that fixed in the second unit, it still has a very harsh, grinding, mechanical sound to it. I do not dare to run this at full speed of my 35krpm Dremel 4000, although the one-page manual does not specify any restrictions.

(I know, colors are off, I twiddled with the camera settings on my recent vacation…that made me miss a blog post on top of that!) […]


DC DC Step Down Power Module 5-16V To 1.25V/1.5V/1.8V/2.5V/3.3V/5V Universal Adjustable Buck Voltage Converter Board 3A For LCD (WHL #77)

Just a brief service tweet announcement for today, no in-depth review of the thing – these super helpful, small and cheap “CA-1235” DC-DC buck converters, commonly available for 50 cents a pop (plus postage), do use a Monolithic Power MP1495 TSOT-23-8 control chip labelled “IACSE” – or a clone thereof. While that connection is not immediately obvious and not mentioned by MPS (it says chip labelling “ACS”), teh Googles knows about this and leads to a suitable datasheet. Some variants of the chip itself are not recommended for new designs, but of course there’s still a lot of stock and probably clones available out there, even Mouser lists a couple of original parts with hundreds of units available. […]


L40 Mixed Color Cube Various size For Home Or Office Toy Science Learning Cube Easter Prism Desktop Toy Home Ornament (WHL #76)

Electronics-free interlude for today.

That shameless advertising video from Vsauce

kickstarted my interest in those color-mixing (well, subtracting) “CMY” cubes.

A quick check of their website reveals their equally shameless pricing of 20/30/70 USD for 30/50/95mm cubes, ten bucks on top for international shipping, and, outside of their control, the local government slaps on another shameless 19% of VAT. Well, that’s 36, 48 or 95 USD=EUR for a novelty gadget. 1.32/0.38/0.11 € per cubic centimeter, to be precise. OK, cool but a bit steep. […]


The bk Group supercharger lounge revisited (#R15F1)

Well, told ya I’ll be visiting the strange bk world supercharger lounge again. I actually did a month ago, but here we are.
So, the good news first: It’s actually working now. It did require re-registration, but after a couple of minutes of fiddling on the smartphone, I finally got a barcode that unlocked the doors! Let’s just hope this isn’t required ever again, e.g. due to killing inactive accounts or a system migration…

The outside of those two wooden cubes was already featured in the original post #R15, so let’s start inside. […]


Fried Meilhaus ME-8200 Digital I/O card (WHL #75)

I can’t stand throwing away allegedly damaged stuff without proper diagnosis (or even working surplus items) at work. For today, I took home a pretty nice I/O card for final testing before sadly putting it in the bin. It’s a ME-8200B PCIe card from Meilhaus, a German test equipment specialist. It’s red (which makes it faster), and it retails for 680€ plus VAT at the moment, so certainly not something you’d throw away without second thought. However, due to our overpriced fancy standard clients at work, testing PCIe cards is basically impossible – you can’t do that inside those tiny cases, and I’d hate to completely disassemble one of those things (short cables to fit the envelope!), […]



Disqus and their WordPress integration are a joke (#E17F1)

There, I said it. I did use stronger wording in the first revision, though.

In no particular order:

Disabling the plugin and re-enabling breaks the comment integration. The three comments made via Disqus are still available on their page, they can still be exported to an XML file that cannot be imported anywhere, but they don’t show up here. That’s a fundamental no-go. It’s broken if it cannot do that. I will not enter a vendor lock-in when my benefits are ads over which I have no control or paying 132 bucks a year.

The Disqus plugin settings menu is utterly pointless if something goes wrong. […]


Disqus comment system (#E17)

I just pulled the plug on the onboard WordPress comment system in favour of a Disqus plugin. While I’m not entirely sure if that is a good idea and will stay that way, the regular comment system is utterly broken in today’s internet. There’s not too many visitors to the site in general and registering for a comment is a hassle, but leaving the comment system open to any bot out there simply doesn’t cut it. Even with the former regulations in place, the spam-to-comment ratio was around 150:1, and the spam detection isn’t 100% accurate as well. […]


ioBroker adapters and Raspberry Pi hardware pricing (#R14)

A quick service post for this week: RPis are pretty expensive nowadays because of “the chip shortage” (and people cashing in) – and maybe you don’t even need an upgrade when just running a couple of ioBroker things on your 1GB unit.

Well, I’ve upgraded my 3B+ from stretch to buster to bullseye earlier today, broke a few things (php8.0-mysql…not a database upgrade issue on ioBroker despite (null) values everywhere), changed swap size from 512M to 2G, and finally installed a docker image (why…) of teslamate. […]