Air ionisers make a mess

From bigclivedotcom. A real air ioniser (ionizer) puts a mild electrostatic charge into the air that causes dust, pollen and other microscopic airborne contaminants to precipitate out to adjacent surfaces. The best way to test operation of one is to put a clean sheet of white paper under it. After a while the sheet of…

Unusual street light failure

From bigclivedotcom. I’ve never seen this happen before. The aluminium core LED panel has actually delaminated. I don’t know the full history of this light as it was sold as untested, although a flex had been Wago’d onto the original wire stubs! So hopefully it wasn’t powered up with a saturated electronic driver. As supplied…

Adding remote control to a 12V fan

From bigclivedotcom. I’ve been experimenting with a system called PIV (Positive Input Ventilation) where a fan draws outside air into the attic, filters it, and then pushes it into your home to create a slight positive pressure that results in a steady airflow that displaces stale air out through natural building leakage. Unlike America, where…

Shonky CCTV power supply teardown

From bigclivedotcom. This is a generic imported CCTV power supply bought from eBay. There are a few issues with it, mainly the quality of manufacture, electrical isolation and wire colour choices. The large holes to allow a wide tolerance of the mounting pillars may shunt the positive rail to ground if too far off centre.…

Interesting modular connector with a few issues

From bigclivedotcom. This connector has one potentially fatal flaw, plus a few other weaknesses. As always with uncertified connectors I do not recommend that these get used in safety critical situations or where liability could occur. This modular connector system is quite neat. It can be stacked in various combinations, and the one connector acts…

Inside a Chinese street light from eBay

From bigclivedotcom. It’s six years since I’ve looked at one of these, so I thought I’d buy another and see if the construction has changed much. It has changed a bit, but not much. It turns out that even six years ago they were using the new flip chip style LED modules, so the only…

New LED flame bulb – with schematic

From bigclivedotcom. The neon based flicker-flame bulbs have been around for a very long time, and although they were an interesting effect, they tended to be a bit unconvincing. So now it’s time for the LED version with a much better emulation of a flame. The power supply is very typical of the type found…

This connector can kill you

From bigclivedotcom. An interesting, but flawed connector from eBay. This one has the exciting feature of being able to be plugged together incorrectly, with a risk of making the case of the connected item live at mains voltage.

6000W solar flame light – with schematic

From bigclivedotcom. Another slightly overstated eBay solar garden light. This one has options of the central dome being colour changing, flame emulating or red. The circuitry is very similar to a light with equally ambitious power ratings, with the flame effect having its own processor. First mod to make to these units is to add…

ALDI Ferrex cordless hot melt glue gun teardown

From bigclivedotcom. This hot melt glue gun was seized by security when I took it through as hand luggage (for safety!). They implied that I might brandish it and hijack the small island-hopper propeller plane. I’m sure my movie-villain appearance had nothing to do with the decision. Fortunately I was able to pay to have…

Very minimalist light sensor with flicker issue

From bigclivedotcom. Dave sent this for our exploration. It’s a dusk sensor that was built into a wall mounting bulkhead light, but the very minimist circuitry means that at the transition from day to dusk (and dawn) the light will flicker. This module was probably intended for tungsten bulbs, but has survived the transition to…

Mini meteor lights – with schematic

From bigclivedotcom. These are a super-minimalist version of the classic meteor shower Christmas lights. They are very simple and operate from about 3V, meaning you could use these on a costume, or make strings of them. If running from 5V a series resistor is required. I tested one next to another running at 3V and…

Very advanced Indo street light

From bigclivedotcom. First correction – the ACRICH (AC-rich) chips have a 2V analogue input, so a microcontroller can drive that directly without level shifting. The power factor is a stunning 0.99 due to the way the LED current rides the sinewave in sync with the voltage.

Ultra-fast sweet peanut-cream dessert

From bigclivedotcom. One of the fastest and simplest desserts that works by the interaction between peanut butter and double cream. I chose a low calorie sweetener because it dissolves very quickly. It also means that due to the peanut being a complex carbohydrate, this dessert may be compatible with a low carb diet. I accidentally…

Inside a SpliceLine push in cable connector

From bigclivedotcom. A look at an alternative to the classic Wago style push-in wire connectors. The design is reassuringly simple, with what appears to be a copper contact plate with springy steel tangs that grip the wire and hold it firmly onto the copper. The way the spring metal is attached to the copper is…

Can we fix a dead nebula projecting spaceman?

From bigclivedotcom. This unit is completely different from the other unit I looked at. It has different circuitry and a very odd optical system for the nebula effect. Thanks to Christopher for sending the faulty unit for us to explore. The manufacturer might be inspired by the video, as two of the optical components can…

High power ultraviolet LED experiments

From bigclivedotcom. Some experiments to see how a selection of series capacitors affects the power dissipation and output of a 50W near-ultraviolet LED. The small motor-run capacitors look very promising for reducing the heat dissipation and extending the LED lifespan of these LED modules. Be aware that these capacitors do not have discharge resistors and…

2032 lithium cell charger with reverse polarity test

From bigclivedotcom. These USB powered chargers are only suitable for charging the LIR2032 rechargeable versions of the lithium button cells. Do not put a non rechargeable cell into them. Note that the rechargeable cells are not suitable for all devices intended for a CR2032 non-rechargeable cell. Instead of providing a fairly consistent 3V for the…

Inside a Bumble Ball – with schematic

From bigclivedotcom. The circuitry in this toy was more sophisticated than I was expecting. Mainly for safety and electrical interference reasons. These were apparently first marketed as a dog toy, then evolved to become a kids toy too. The construction is mechanically quite complex to allow activation of a free spinning assembly inside the ball.…

How to use the XH-M452 temperature and humidity module

From bigclivedotcom. This very common general purpose module has two sections – temperature and humidity. Each section has its own volt-free relay contact. The heating section can control either heating or cooling (but not both) and the humidity section can control humidifying or dehumidifying. If switching mains power or high loads I recommend using an…