Random thoughts.... [Tech Edition]

Matt2000

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Never assume it’s safe to handle carelessly but short every cap with a screwdriver, one without any metal on the handle (not those ones you can hit with a hammer as you might be touching the metal part by mistake).

Do that big one first before unscrewing the board as that’s likely to be the most dangerous, then to the others from behind once it’s unscrewed. While it’s then theoretically safe, best to put it in a box out of the way of any stray fingers.
 

NecroJoe

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Super annoying that this TV only lasted 2 years (to the day, actually).

Definitely just disposing of it by bringing it to an e-waste facility.

I wasn't aware caps could hold a charge for that long...I assumed days, at most. Well, I'll just throw it in a FedEx box or something, until I can get it to the e-waste folks.
 
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Matt2000

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You may have already mentioned but what TV is it? I've had this Samsung for a few years now but I'm aware that the power supply is always the weak spot.

-------

In other news, I finally gave in and attacked the USB DAC I have with the optical input and attempted to fix the crackly and inconsistent output on the left channel. I was originally going to RMA it and got the Behringer DAC instead, however after using this again for a while it really does the job better.

I stripped it apart and sprayed some de-oxidising contact cleaner into the volume potentiometer. These look like pretty cheap pots so I might look replacing them in the future but the spray cleaned it up. It also loosened up whatever grease was in there so the volume control is really loose, bit of a shame but the sound is clear.
 
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DanRoM

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Never used it but Basecamp is free for up to 20 users
Thank you, I've had a look at that. And also at Todoist, on the recommendation from a colleague. The jury is still out on the decision, but the major points are:
  • Todoist has the easier web UI in my opinion, Basecamp is already a bit cluttered
  • Todoist offers a German UI, Basecamp is English only
  • Basecamp includes a message board and document storage
  • Todoist has freely configurable task boards, meaning you can push tasks through different statuses ("to do"/"in progress"/"done" or something like that). In Basecamp you can only create an open task and mark is as done once it's done.
  • Basecamp is free for up to 20 users, Todoist costs a negligible €3/month for up to 25 users.
That said, I seem to have trouble to make the tasks visible to other users in the project in Todoist even though all users are members of the project containing the task. Which is the one feature I can't do without. Support ticket has been opened... (yes, sometimes I enjoy playing the dumb end user)

And once again, I love having my own domain and therefore unlimited mail addresses. Very handy for creating test users for this scenario. :)
And yes, I know "username+suffix@domain.tld" notation exists at some commercial email providers. ;)
 

NecroJoe

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You may have already mentioned but what TV is it? I've had this Samsung for a few years now but I'm aware that the power supply is always the weak spot.
It's a Vizio. But, I've had power supply issues with 2 previous Samsungs (one TV and one PC monitor).

So, I got my replacement power supply board in! Huzzah!

Wait...
20220116_130757.jpg 20220116_130751.jpg

200.gif


So, now that I've actually taken the old board out to look at it more closely, I can see some browning around this component, with matching marks on the back on both leads:

20220116_130714.jpg 20220116_134744.jpg


Questions:
1) Can this individual component be replaced, or does that browning indicate that the board isn't really repairable by just replacing this part? I don't know a *whole* lot about circuitry, but this appears to be a rectifier diode.


2) The back of the board also looks like it has some sort of coating. Would I need to replace this coating over a newly-installed component? This is the BACK of the board, which is about 1/4" away from the surface it's screwed to, so it doesn't seem like much dust/contaminates/moisture would ever get back there...

20220116_134737.jpg
3) If I'm replacing one of these...should I just go ahead and replace all 4 of them, assuming Vizio used the cheapest garbage they could find for this TV, and the other 3 have the same 2 years of wear as the one that blew?
 
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Matt2000

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That component is indeed a diode, browning means the area is getting hot. As there are two diodes between those traces it's possible that one diode silently failed, increasing the load on the other until it failed or something else did. Easy to test with a multimeter set to diode/continuity, you should get a voltage reading with the negative lead on the silver stripe side. I don't think they're being used as a rectifier because they would have to be in different directions to rectify AC, most rectifiers are just single packages now. I could be wrong, I'm no expert. :p

You can replace them easily enough, that small amount of browning won't hurt the board but you'll either need flux core solder or some extra flux to get the shitty lead-free solder flowing. Replacing all four would be wise but I wouldn't set your hopes too high on it fixing the entire issue.

The coating is a conformal coating to help prevent corrosion, you don't need to worry about it for the small amount of work you're doing here.
 

Matt2000

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So, I'm planning to buy a 12.9" iPad Pro.

Should I buy an M1 512GB or for slightly less get a 1TB 2020 model? Reviews say that the differences aren't particularly noticeable, I have nothing to compare it against and won't be working on HDR or things that would especially need the 'improved' screen. I know either will be bloody good for my use, I would probably benefit more from the extra storage as my current photo catalogue is around 200GB. Any particular reason to stump up the extra cash for the M1?
 

Perc

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I haven’t done any tests but it feels like my MacBook Air M1 gets better battery life than my iPad Pro 11” 2020, especially in standby. I’m sure that if I buried my Air in the ground and some archeologist dug it up in the year 3000, it would still have 79% battery left and ask for my fingerprint.

Performance wise I think most agree that the previous generation Pro is hugely overkill for what people use iPads for, and the M1 even more so.

As for storage, my iOS devices are never out of space because they offload pictures to the cloud. My Macs keep a full copy locally.
 

Matt2000

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If Apple fixed iCloud for Windows so it didn't download puny 3MP copies of photos I would also only keep low-res copies on my phone, as it is I have to keep the full-resolution copies as to sync them over Wi-Fi with a 3rd party app. I wouldn't necessarily need the full-res pictures on the iPad though.

I have a thunderbolt dock right here that's designed for my work laptop, so having that work with the M1 iPad might be an advantage at some point.
 

Tram

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So, I'm planning to buy a 12.9" iPad Pro.

Should I buy an M1 512GB or for slightly less get a 1TB 2020 model? Reviews say that the differences aren't particularly noticeable, I have nothing to compare it against and won't be working on HDR or things that would especially need the 'improved' screen. I know either will be bloody good for my use, I would probably benefit more from the extra storage as my current photo catalogue is around 200GB. Any particular reason to stump up the extra cash for the M1?
Some thoughts:
-It mainly depends on how much you're planning to use it. iOS and iPadOS seem to be so well optimized that a year or two difference between SoCs doesn't seem to make a big of a difference.
-The XDR display on the M1 12.9" is apparently showing a bit of blooming for some users. Now, I couldn't find much info on that, so they might've fixed that, but I cannot forget the images of blooming MiniLED displays on Twitter or somewhere.
-If you need Thunderbolt, 5G, MiniLED and an SoC that will seemingly last forever, go for the M1. I'd personally rather save some cash and go for the 2020 model.

That being said, I agree that the 2020 is already overkill for most people, and that the M1 is even more so. But as I told to my friend who is also planning to buy a 12.9" iPad Pro, the 2020 model would probably be more than good enough and the price difference is greater than benefits you get, IMHO. I'd rather get an Apple Pencil and either version of the Apple Keyboard for the price difference.
 

Perc

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I have the Pencil and I basically never use it. I don't like writing on glass, can't get used to it. I should have spent the Pencil money on the better keyboard with the trackpad in it instead of the cheaper*cough*less expensive folio with the membrane keys.
 

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Have you a moment to talk about our lord and savior Brydge?
 

Matt2000

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Thanks for the advice, I think I'll grab the 1TB 2020 model. Price difference on Amazon is £12 between 512GB and 1TB so it's a no brainer. I will be getting a pencil as that's the point of buying it, I want to learn to use it for art. Don't think I'll be needing a keyboard but having the option is always nice.

The Brydge products look great, however the photo album sorting I was referring to is a function of MacOS.

Unrelated, I ordered an Inky Impression 5.7" 7-colour e-ink display to play around with, I have this Pi Zero W sitting here unused.
 

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Have you a moment to talk about our lord and savior Brydge?

Isn't the Brydge bluetooth? That makes it a non-starter IMO. The Apple keyboard has a physical connection and doesn't need pairing or charging.

I use my iPad on the go and sometimes outdoors, so in that respect the membrane keyboard is an advantage. Dust and dirt can't get between the keys, it's all sealed. It's also better to type on than you think. But obviously not as good as the mechanical version and you don't get a mouse.
 
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Matt2000

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This 7 colour E Ink display is pretty amazing. Hard to believe this is only 7 colours, black and white included. It works particularly well for Jim'll Paint It images.



The dithering is quite obvious in this photo but from about a foot away it's much less obvious, obviosuly. It does absorb more light than paper and more than the e-paper on my old Kindle Paperwhite does, but that's to be expected really. There is a plastic film over the screen at the moment but removing it doesn't make a different, so I'm leaving it on for now.

Also the iPad arrived today, it's a really impressive bit of kit. It easily handles opening big PDFs of old magazine scans, which is something I originally got my Lenovo ThinkPad Helix for years ago. That couldn't handle it properly, this doesn't break a sweat.

I went for a certified refurbished 2020 1TB 12.9" iPad Pro, the discount for refurb was enough to include a new Apple Pencil and still pay £1 less than the new price on Amazon.
 
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NecroJoe

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It's a Vizio. But, I've had power supply issues with 2 previous Samsungs (one TV and one PC monitor).

So, I got my replacement power supply board in! Huzzah!

Wait...
View attachment 3563694 View attachment 3563695

200.gif


So, now that I've actually taken the old board out to look at it more closely, I can see some browning around this component, with matching marks on the back on both leads:

View attachment 3563696 View attachment 3563698


Questions:
1) Can this individual component be replaced, or does that browning indicate that the board isn't really repairable by just replacing this part? I don't know a *whole* lot about circuitry, but this appears to be a rectifier diode.


2) The back of the board also looks like it has some sort of coating. Would I need to replace this coating over a newly-installed component? This is the BACK of the board, which is about 1/4" away from the surface it's screwed to, so it doesn't seem like much dust/contaminates/moisture would ever get back there...

View attachment 3563699
3) If I'm replacing one of these...should I just go ahead and replace all 4 of them, assuming Vizio used the cheapest garbage they could find for this TV, and the other 3 have the same 2 years of wear as the one that blew?

imendedsomething-mended.gif


I was feeling over my head, so I contacted the best (according to Yelp and google reviews) electronics repair shop in the area. He replied and said I was probably wrong with my thinking it's a power supply issue, that it was more likely the lights itself, and it would take $280 to repair it. Since the TV was only $370, it felt like a waste to spend that much, but so would getting rid of the TV.

So I thought, "Eh, what the heck...let's try", and I took the damaged replacement circuit board, put some two-part epoxy on the crack to keep it from breaking any further, scraped off the conformal coating over the broken trace on the back of the board, and laid a small bead of solder over the broken trace.

Put the board in, re-connected all of the wires to the circuit boards, and re-installed all 32 screws to close it all back up. Plugged the power cord in, and crossed my fingers as I pressed the "POWER" button on the remote.

Nothing. *panic*

Oh...wait...I turned off the switch on the surge protector when this all started.

Flipped the switch on, hit the TV remote button, and...Huzzah!

1642816217128.png
 

Perc

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Always a good feeling when you accidentally repair something.
 

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Looking at Crutchfield to see different types of Car stereos available today. Who the hell in this decade is looking for an in-dash DVD stereo, or a seperate navigation stereo to a multimedia stereo that somehow is not touchscreen? Honestly?
 

Tram

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The last time I said I fixed my GPU issues by repasting and updating GPU drivers and PC's BIOS, I spoke too soon.

And only after that I did some actual googling on what could be causing the problem. Apparently VT-d (some sort of virtual machine setting, which apparently makes the GPU draw too much power) needed to be turned off. No crashes since, fingers crossed I didn't speak too soon this time as well.
 

Matt2000

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The last time I said I fixed my GPU issues by repasting and updating GPU drivers and PC's BIOS, I spoke too soon.

And only after that I did some actual googling on what could be causing the problem. Apparently VT-d (some sort of virtual machine setting, which apparently makes the GPU draw too much power) needed to be turned off. No crashes since, fingers crossed I didn't speak too soon this time as well.
I've got my fingers crossed for you too. I would love to go back and try that on the Precision T7600 we have at work that would crash at the start of 3D renders. No use now as the guy who did them left years ago.
 
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