10 years ago, I started this blog retrostuff.org to record what I was tinkering with in my spare time. It was initially meant to be some sort of diary and also include everything that I bought related to retro- and game consoles (see category New Arrival), but that turned out to be way too much work, so I focused on technical articles. Over the years, I had so many projects that not everything could be properly documented and put in an article. The backlog is huge and I’m always trying to review and improve old articles as well.
For the 10th anniversary, I took a trip down memory lane and selected one or more articles that were important to me. Be it because they are about a favourite device or an important discovery or milestone in research.
When looking for an affordable and reasonably accurate device to measure the (standby) power consumption of old power supplies, I came across the ELV EA 8000 Energy Analyzer. It’s being sold as complete device or as a kit; I went for the kit to spend some time with it and have a better look inside.
It has two power measuring ranges (40 and 3680 VA), several measuring functions (e.g., active / reactive / complex power, power factor, costs), storage space for 10 devices and up to three different electricity tariffs. Before buying, I was already aware that it has some flaws, but more about that after the assembly.
These two foul language filters have been in my possession for quite some time. I bought the TVGuardian 101 in 2014 as alternative to a Closed Captioning decoder to view subtitles of some NTSC LaserDiscs. In 2015, I got a Pioneer DVL-909 LaserDisc player with S-Video output together with the newer TVGuardian 201, which supports both composite and S-Video. I never got around to write an article about it, but now it’s time to remove that from my to-do list.
The Cuckoo CRP-N0681F rice cooker doesn’t run Doom (yet; see below), but it can talk, sing and chuff like a steam locomotive. It also prepares all kinds of rice. One day, the display went blank. The next time I plugged it back in, it greeted me in Korean and wanted me to set the clock. It seemed that the internal battery had died and the user manual agreed with that:
About Lithium battery – This product contains lithium battery for improving blackout compensation and time. Lithium battery lasts 3 years. – When current time is not displayed on the screen, it means the battery is exhausted. It should be replaced.
Unfortunately, that’s all what the manual had to say about this topic. A quick search on the internet didn’t reveal any clues about the battery replacement, so I opened it up to have a look inside.
The Puhui T-962 is a cheap IR reflow oven that has been around for many years (the earliest occurrence that I’ve found is from 2007). It has some serious and not so serious flaws that many blogs have already addressed. Known modifications include: Proper grounding, replacing the insulation tape, custom firmware and additional temperature sensors. Some people go even further and replace the system fan and controller board, add more powerful infrared heating elements or an additional fan for better heat distribution. I have included links to all of these modifications at the end of the article.
I bought the T-962 last November to have some support when soldering SMD components. But before I could use it for the first time, I had to take care of the most critical flaws.