Category Archives: Electronics

IBM Lenovo T400 – Wont turn on! | lenovo t400 broken wont turn on bricked

I had a Lenovo T400 which didn’t boot, didn’t start at all. Wouldn’t even get to the BIOS screen.

During my research I found numerous articles with fixes.

In this particular situation it was the BIOS Battery which fixed it, apparently if the laptop is drained completely of power and left for a while the system refuses to start up again.

So you need to remove the screws from the back which hold the wrist rest and remove it. You will see the bios battery either next to the trackpad of under the keyboard.

Remove the battery for 30 seconds and put everything together again.

The best Raspberry Pi Case Ever! | single unit raspberry pi case includes power

I have looked at a number of Raspberry Pi cases, they all have one thing in common. They have a box (the raspberry pi itself), a USB cable, and an adapter at a minimum.

I wanted to create a unit which will improve these shortcomings for three main reasons.

  1. To look cleaner, neater,  and safety.
  2. Can be installed on sites where you are completing a security audit, the unit will not come under suspicion because of it looks.
  3. Cooling, performance and the ability to expand hardware inside the unit itself.

I used FreeCAD to design the 3D printable design and a Dremel 3D20 printer to print it.

I have made around three designs which I improved on each time, landing on the one published here.

The print contains a space for a Samsung USB power plug and a section for the USB connector, it contains a grove to allow it to sit firmly in place.

The Raspberry Pi sits on four poles which hold it firmly in place, and also allows you to connect the cat5 connected and four USB ports at the bottom.

I have build three slits on the bottom of the cover and three at the top, this is a clever wait to passively cool the Raspberry Pi. The air inside will heat up and rise, then exit from this top slits. This will then create a suction from the bottom, taking in the cool air. No need for a fan! Test proved to be promising.

I am really pleased with the design and use it at home.

I have plans to make it alot smaller, as you can see from the photos the biggest problems are the size of the adapter and the plug into the Pi itself. I have ordered smaller and cheaper power plugs and some L shaped USB connectors. This will allow me to design the casing to be alot smaller, ill keep you posted.

To make this project happen you need the following

Enjoy!

Review of the Dremel 3D Printer 3D20 | Dremel 3D printer 3D20 review

I have owned the printer for several months now and thought it would be a good idea to do a review.

I was completely new to the 3D printing world, I had no idea how any of this technology worked so I think it will be a useful review to help new buyers.

The units purchase price was around $1300 AUD, which I think is quite high, then again I dont have a comparison to understand what your getting for your money.

From the reviews I have read it appears to be good value for money, especially considering that most cheaper units are DIY.

When you receive the unit it come packaged in a very secure cardboard box, easy to remove. Preparing the unit is pretty easy, remove all the stick tape which keeps it secure while in transit. 

Assembly is straight forward, all the piece fit in perfectly. You will be ready to print your first design in around 10 – 15 minutes.

Once everything is ready to go, you will find an SD card with several designs which you can test.

If you want to download your down design you can, I use a site called www.thingiverse.com This site is one of the best / free available. When you decide to download a specific design it comes packaged in a .Zip file. 

Once decompressed you need to load the .stl file from that design into the Dremel software, which is typically stored on the SD card provided.

The Dremel software is pretty awesome as it comes compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Once installed you can load the .stl files downloaded online. 

In the software you can all more objects or move them around on the area which they will be printed on. Once your happy with the appearance you software the design on the SD card.

Remove the card from your PC and insert into the printer, you will find you have to storage sources available, local (On the printer) and SD card. Once you select the SD card you will see a list of objects stored, it will give you a preview of the item and its file name.

So my first print was a storm ship trooper from Star Wars, pictured above. The result was awesome, it was fast to print and the detail was amazing.

The second print was not so great. I wanted to print the storm ship trooper body, the download come in two parts (head and body). The print decided to break when it gets above the legs, the design moves while printing and eventually breaks, see image.

I attempted the print several times (x4) the result was the same, in some prints it will fail earlier.

So, taking this information into account I started printing designs which had a better base to work with. I printed an addition two designs from Game of Thrones which allows you to see the amazing detail this printer has, see below.

 

So once you get the hang of it, its amazing.

After printing the these downloadable designs I wanted to start creating my own designs. I did some research and it quickly become apparent that you need very expensive CAD software.

I came across an open source application called FreeCAD. After installing it I had NO idea how to use it, until I did some youtuding. The Tutorials are quite good online and I quickly built my own designs.

I will create a separate post showing how to do this. 

Overall Im really pleased with this 3D printer, good software from Dremel which is supported by all operating systems. I will do some further research to see if there is a way to prevent the designs from falling over during the printing process.

Replacing the battery on Apple Macbook Pro 13″ MC374LL/A | replacing a macbook pro 13″ battery in 10 minutes MC374LL/A

My battery started dying, I would get around 1 hour of life out of my Macbook.

Changing the battery takes around 5-10mins and requires very little knowledge.

First place the laptop screen down and locate a small philips head screw driver.

Remove the 10 screws, see locations in the image.

Once removed you will see this.

Remove the two screws holding the battery down.

Disconnect the cable from the main board and remove battery.

Insert the new battery and reverse these instructions.

Your done!

 

Review of a 50000mha solar USB Powerbank | testing a solar panel usb powerbank

I have developed an unnatural obsession with powerbanks, I have a large number of them for different purposes.

I decided to start reviewing them to give people information before making a purchase, often these cheap devices are sold with a number of features which may or may not be useful of even work at all.

So ill start off by listing the locations where you can purchase them, and the costs.

So for this experiment ran two tests, one with the unit on its own and another with an external USB Solar panel attached to assist in the charging.

Here are the links and costs to the products.

  • Powerbank 50000mha dual usb with LED – $24.99
  • Solar Panel 6volt 3.5watt – $7.38

01. The first test was conducted in the following way. I put the powerbank in the sun during an overcast day for six hours facing North (10am-4pm). Then I connected it to my phone can checked to see how much charge was given.

Results: 12%

Conclusion. The charge isn’t that much, but its enough to get you out of a sticky situation.

02. The second test was conducted in the same way as test one, but also installing the Solar panel listed above.

Result: 40%

Conclusion: I’m impressed, 40% is decent charge levels for 6hours in the sun.

Overall Conclusion:

Im pleased with this product. I have tested it in the rain, I can confirm its was resistant. Its a tough product, it needs to be if its going to survive in my world.

Powerbank endurance test for Raspberry Pi 3. | testing how long a raspberry pi can be powered via a powerpank

Iv like to test and know how much uptime can be achieved by different powerbank.

I purchased this powerbank case on ebay and then purchased the 18650 3.7v batteries separately.

I have built two powerbank with identical cases but different batteries. 

  • Powerbank – $5.35
  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – $24.80
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – $22.49

The results?

  • Batteries 18650 9600mha – 23 Hours
  • Batteries 18650 6000mha – 18 Hours

It should also be noted that the Raspberry Pi is online via wifi during the whole test while getting pinged every minute.

How the CMTPO2 solar charge controller works. | how to use a cmtpo2 solar panel controller

I bough a solar panel which came with a CMTPO2 charge controller.

Unfortunately the instructions were difficult to understand, and faultfinding was impossible, so I have written this post to give you a quick understanding. 

Relate the letter in the below picture to the functions.

a.

  1. Solid green light: This means its collecting energy from the sun and charging
  2. Flashing green light: This means it collecting energy from the sun but no required as batteries are full and not required by load device.

b.

  1. Three solid red lights: Batteries are full
  2. Two solid red lights: Batteries are half full
  3. One solid red light: Batteries are approaching empty
  4. Flashing red light: Batteries are dead not providing any power

c.

  1. Solid green light: There is a device connected and drawing power.

d.

  1. Connecting the device which requires power.

e.

1. Connection to the battery

f.

  1. Connection to the solar panel.

Building a Apple Macbook Powerbank | apple macbook powerbank charger

Iv been looking for a powerbank for my Macbook Pro for years. I managed to find one years ago at the price of $300, too much.

I recently purchased a powerbank from ebay and noticed it has a 15 volt option, considering the Macbook chargers are 16.5 volts it should have enough grunt to charge it.

The only component I ordered was the custom Apple cable. Here is the shopping list.

Ok, lets get started with the project. This project can be completed by a beginner, its not complex at all. You just need to ensure its completed correctly as it may cause damage to your Macbook is connected incorrectly.

So i found a Coaxial power cable in my garage, this is the cable connected to the powerbank. We need to fuse this cable with the custom Apple charge cable.

Once we connect the two, we must ensure we seal them correctly using some shrink seal.

I finished and connected it to my Macbook Air 11″, worked straight away. You must ensure that positive and negative is connected correctly. This is achieved by using a multimetre.

When you have completed the project before connecting to your laptop, using a multimeter compare the created cable with the power adapter. You should achieve readings like this.

If your happy with the results then you can connect it to your laptop, you should see the green light which will then turn to orange indicating that its charging.

Results?

Im really happy with it. I did a test of it charging capabilities. I charged the powerbank 100% and then connected it to my Macbook Air which had 15% charge. It charged it to 48%. Its probably around an extra hour of operation on the Air. Enjoy!