DIY Chip Quik style desoldering alloy (#P37)

And finally closure on the fake China solder wire topic back from WHL #68 / WHL #68F1. I bought a bunch of Bismuth metal in early June (1KG Bismuth Metal Ingot 99.99% Pure Crystal Fr Making Crystals/Fishing Lures – 20.03€ including shipping, before the “no more VAT free imports” EU legislation went into effect) and with the high lead content solder from the other review, I should be able to make some low-melting point solder.

First of all, the Bismuth was delivered in a big chunk as advertised, which I did not expect. They are somehow able to split that crystallized cake precisely into pieces of slightly below 1kg and then add in small bits to make exactly 1000g (at 2 cents a gram, they clearly do not give away free stuff). […]


Powerbank 10000mAh mit Solar Ideal für Outdoor und Reisen alle Geräte – USB (WHL #69)

In celebration of product review number 69 I decided to exceed the regular scope and make a full-on video review of this very helpful item, showing its use in a real-world scenario with additional audio commentary available on my second channel. […]


Philips 46PFL8008S/12 to 55PFL8008S/12 screen upgrade (#P36)

Back in #P15, two years ago, I replaced the damaged screen of a Philips 46PFL8008S/12 Ambilight TV with a working one from a braindead unit. Classic failure mode of this generation, ideal opportunity for a 2-to-1 repair.
This week I’m going to upgrade the screen from 46″ to 55″. Because I can. And because the wall mount supports the larger unit (which of course I didn’t check beforehand…). And, funnily enough, because I earned ten bucks that way. And because a larger TV is slightly more entertaining in the rare event of watching a movie. […]


The Contorion promise of precision (#R11)

A quick mocking rant to fill this week’s emptiness a little bit – slightly more enjoyable for those that speak German. Since German engineering was/is synonymous to precision and quality, often times really bad fixes caused by lack of time, materials (including tools) and knowledge/amount of residual fucks are ridiculed by linking them to non-precision materials such as expanding foam (“Bauschaum”) and sanitary silicone (“Silikon”). Both are applied in abundance, more is considered better(er), and of course no excess material is removed afterwards. […]


250g-500g 1/0.5mm Lötzinn Lötdraht Löt mit Flussmittel Lötkolben Lötstation DHL (WHL #68F1)

(Follow-up post to the solder test of WHL #68)
While we’re at it – I couldn’t resist testing the flux percentage. Which also resulted in having large samples for a visual comparison. Contrary to my expectations, the lead-free solder wasn’t the one that stood out…

First things first. New batch, same naming scheme as before. Since I already measured weight per meter, I just picked one sample length from a (new) lead-free U1.0 wire and cut the others to expected length. 100cm of that stuff is 5.42(196)g, for comparison. […]


250g-500g 1/0.5mm Lötzinn Lötdraht Löt mit Flussmittel Lötkolben Lötstation DHL (WHL #68)

(Updated, see note at the bottom)
A fancy German item description for today, as I got it second-hand after even a soldering novice noticed this is total BS. “250g-500g 1/0.5mm Solder Solder Wire Solder with Flux Soldering Iron Soldering Station DHL” would be the closest translation. It’s solder – fake Wan Hung Lo leaded solder. Sold on eBay (probably all over the world), not even super cheap at 14€ a roll (250g, large diameter).

It is labelled “JINHU SOLDER CORE WIRE”, Type CF-10 Model B-1, comes in diameters of 0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6/0.8/1.0/1.2/1.5/2.0/2.3 (not necessarily true) with 2.0% flux (probably also not true), and proudly states “MADE IN CHINA”. […]


JMB363 2 Port PCI-E SATA II 2.0 RAID & 1 IDE 3.5″ to PCI Express Adapter Converter Card Expresscard (WHL #67)

Time-incorrect retro computing time! We’ve had a lot of computer-related stuff recently, but this one is an elegant mix of old, niche and Wan Hung Lo. It’s perfect.

First of all, what is it? It’s a PCI Express 1.0 x1 card with (according to Wikipedia) the only native PCIe to PATA and SATA interface chip there is, a JMicron JMB363. The “confidential” three-page datasheet floats around on the interwebs if you want to take a look. PCIe 1.0, AHCI and IDE compatible, HotPlug, NCQ, UDMA6 = ATA133 (1 port, so 2 devices), SATA2 (3 Gb/s and 2 ports, so 2 devices as well), RAID 0/1/0+1/JBOD functionality. […]


Kingston memory RMA packaging (#R10F1)

Okay, I admit, this is a cheap post this week. But Kingston asked for it.

After last week’s mail, I got two answers.
#1 from the RMA/tech support guy that I discussed the entire exchange procedure with.

Wir bedauern sehr, dass Sie den Ersatzartikel in einem solchen Zustand erhalten haben.
Das hätte nicht passieren dürfen.
Selbstverständlich werden wir Ihnen den Artikel umgehend ersetzen, denn verbogen sollte er auf keinen Fall verwendet werden.
Ich habe in dieser E-Mail die Kollegen der RMA Abteilung mit kopiert, denn nur dort kann etwas in dieser Sache unternommen werden.

[…]

Kingston memory RMA packaging (#R10)

We haven’t had a rant for over a year now and I just found the perfect topic to change that. Excellent! (change internal voice to Mr. Burns or Big Clive for maximum enjoyment)

A couple weeks ago one of the DDR3 DIMMs in my Fujitsu machine died. Not explosively or anything, and I probably even didn’t notice right away – I just ran low on free RAM and wondered why. The system uses 2x Kingston KVR16E11/8, so DDR3-ECC (non-Reg, just UDIMM), 8GB 2Rx8 1600 MHz CL11, but in 1Gx72 bit instead of 64 bit fashion, as it has that good ol’ parity chip. […]


Lenovo ThinkPad T400 R400 42X4861 Scharniere Left and why eBay is a POS (WHL #66)

Two weeks of repairs and tidying up the place – not much time for new content. Let’s use something canned instead – from a repair, of course.

My Thinkpad T400, which is still on the to-be-replaced list but no T25 Anniversary Edition or similar Frankenpad has showed up so far, recently experienced the second broken hinge. It was replaced like four to five years ago with a used part from the TP forum, when I thought it would be replaced entirely by the time this part would fail again. Well, it’s still in use as my main machine. […]