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Sunday, 13 October 2019

#55 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 teardown & modding

I had fiddled with one of these a couple years back, but here's another chance to take a look inside a (1st gen) Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, their second-smallest USB audio interface of the range.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

#54 Recycled backlight LED strip ambient lighting

What with winter drawing closer, and the days (as in daylight) getting shorter up here in the north, one tends to need to turn on the lights more and earlier than in summertime. And since i'm the gathering type, i figured it's about time i put some previously collected materials to (good?) use.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

#53 JMicron JM20330-based mSATA to ZIF-ATA adapter power modding

A few years ago, in the quest for more storage space, power saving, weight reduction and eliminating sensitivity to shock, i decided to upgrade my old iPod Video (5.5G) from the stock 80GB hard-drive to a 256GB SSD, with the aid of an mSATA to ZIF-ATA adapter, and some mods to the "aftermarket" Rockbox firmware.

... Except that recently, for whatever reason, it's been kinda flaky, and ended up giving up altogether. To aid with stability, i had also performed some hardware mods on the power supply side of things (as well as on the iPod's mainboard). The rationale behind that, at least in part, was the source of the above-mentioned mods, so i'll need to transplant those to this newer one as well.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

#52 Solar A2.7 & Fishman Fluence Keith Merrow, part two

Aaaaand it's back! Not because of technical issues though. Due to chance, and the limited speed of international shipping, only the day after the owner got his guitar back, did the Fishman rechargeable battery-pack get delivered, just only too late to include it in the previous operation. But no matter, this should be far less involved than that.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

#51 Solar A2.7 & Fishman Fluence Keith Merrow & 5-way install

Local guitarist buddy time again (owner of the Fortin Grind and the Warwick bass amp featured here previously) - after taking several swings at it, he got fed up and let me have a go at installing a brand new set of Fishman Fluence Keith Merrow pickups into his Solar A2.7 guitar. Complete with some custom switching and whatnot, to take full advantage of the entire feature set the pickups offer.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

#50 Philips HTS7201 Soundhub Home Theater (2.1) teardown & repair

This just came in, with the symptom description of "will no longer turn on". Fair enough, sounds like a power supply issue then. Apparently this retailed around $400-ish when new (according to a 2012 review i found online) - not exactly bottom-of-the-barrel, but it's still very much in the mainstream/consumer range, so i'm expecting crap caps to be the root cause. But time will tell.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

#49 Joyo ZoMBie, part two - analysis and repair

It took the best part of an evening and a couple hours the next day, but i managed to lift the schematic for the whole preamp board. I also recreated the board, but that was mostly for sanity-checking. I used all the same component designators, but didn't bother measuring all the dozens of small ceramic caps, because there's only SO far i'm willing to go...

Friday, 6 September 2019

#48 JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth speaker teardown

This JBL Charge 3 came in last week in need of a micro-USB (charging) connector replacement. First thing i did was to look up how to take apart the thing, and the good people at iFixit had a comprehensible enough guide.

The connector board is totally separate from the mainboard, so the "repair" part was trivial, and done within minutes. But the more interesting stuff lies deeper inside. Sure, my photography may never get to be quite as pretty as iFixit's, but on the other hand, you're not here (just) for pretty pictures, are you? You're here to see what makes things tick. Or at least that's the curiosity that drives me to take apart stuff like this.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

#47 Joyo ZoMBie guitar amplifier teardown

My bandmate got his hands on this Joyo ZoMBie about a week or two back; it was sold as faulty. No idea how or why, but there's something dicky with the tone control - on some power-ups it works fine, but sometimes quits working (ie. sounds like the setting got stuck at some random point along the travel of the knob), no matter how much you twist it. Power cycling sometimes helps, but inconsistently, and even if it does, it just "gives up" again, sooner or later.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

#46 Tivoli Henry Kloss Model One teardown & repair

A client brought in this Tivoli Model One the other day, with symptoms of (lots of) noise. Once again, i went against the mantra of "don't turn it on; take it apaaaah't", but this time, for good reason - the thing isn't mine.