Misspent youth – the Yihua YH-305D

Boy, was I ever young and stupid. It was the summer of 2004 or so, and various Chinese electronics vendors were just starting to flood the US market with some really cool looking toys, and the quality hadn’t faded to zero on them yet either! Mostly….?

At the time I’d just gone through a big mess with most of my workshop having been left out in the rain for several days in my absence, so I didn’t have a power supply. I bought this Yihua YH-305D on eBay and thought it was pretty great for the price, even after it arrived with the instruction manual calling it a “DC POWRE SUPPY” and the plastic nuts on the front panel binding posts don’t actually… work. (I got around this using banana plug leads.)

Years later it finally occurred to me to be suspicious of the fact that the constant current regulation is sloppy as hell, and the cooling fan starts to run if you draw more than one amp off it continuously. At five amps steady draw, the Powre Suppy doesn’t get noticeably warm, but the fan continues to howl forever.

I opened it and realized just how misspent my youth truly was.

wp-1483573643309.jpgThis… beautiful… board greeted me right away. There are places where traces kinda got half etched over there on the side then subsequently, but incompletely, covered with solder to fix it. Ummmmmmmm yeeeeeaaaaah D-

wp-1483573603318.jpgThe underside of the regulator pass transistor assembly. That’s three *supposed* 2N3055 transistors, paralleled. Why would you need three 2N3055’s for five amps?? You can run 15 amps through ONE real 2N3055 if it’s heatsinked properly. Oh wait, I forgot the key word… real. Genuine. Official. Not Pure Unadulterated Chineseium. I couldn’t get a picture of the labels on these “2N3055” transistors that were SO GOOD that they had to put three in parallel to pass 5 amps, but I was able to get a peek at it and they were printed in a gray looking ink with a nonsense logo– it looked like the Marvell Semiconductors logo??!! Either way, this video details what I’m probably actually looking at and why they are… very… very… derated.

The heatsink they are bolted to also explains the fan behavior. It’s nothing more than a flat plate with very little mass and surface area.

wp-1483574274591.jpgThe fan sucks up air from right above it and exhausts it out the back when the thermal switch seen in the background snaps on. I’m not sure how hot it has to get to trigger that, but it sure gets there in no time.

wp-1483573638001.jpgThe main filter capacitor looks underwhelming and I have my doubts it’s actually a Rubycon as its clothing would suggest.

 

This is paired to, uhhh, the death capacitor, as I lovingly call it. If you are using a power supply like this as a limited current source and you lose connection to the load momentarily, and the voltage limit is significantly higher than the voltage the load pulls it down to, any capacitor on the output will be charged up to that level. Once connection is reestablished to the load, it is presented with very high available current at this higher voltage. I detonated some high efficiency white LEDs under test with a power supply like this years ago while trying to develop a boost converter based driver for solar lighting applications and was royally pissed. So, without further ado, the death cap…

wp-1483573631845.jpgand…. the… rubber cement disaster of the century. The entire front of the supply is just…… bespooged with this cement…. Another red cement is found splattered all over the place as well. At left in the above picture is the digital meter board which I am not even going to touch let alone try to calibrate the screwed up zero point on, FORGET THIS

 

wp-1483573620558.jpgThe board is supported only by one small bracket from the rear; if I drop this power supply it will experience the sweet release of death it so sorely longs for.

 

Yeah. I was young and stupid and I bought this.

 

There’s a great thread on EEVBlog’s forum about these, including the wonderful thing that happens when you switch one on and it goes wham, overshoot, boing, boing, boing, and either stops bouncing or… not…

 

American Dream… I’m so done

I’m so very very DONE and so are your chances of ever getting anywhere on the roads in northwest Miami-Dade in 2020. I had heard nothing but radio silence on this project for over a year, and this is probably why– they were trying hard to apply decorative wallpaper to an elephant in the room to conceal it.

“It is unlikely that all needed interchange improvements will be approved and constructed by 2020, the build out year for ADM,” Lisa Colmenares, a state transportation planner for South Florida, wrote in a Nov. 23 letter to Miami-Dade. “If any of the interchange improvements fail to be approved … by 2020, the base transportation network that is the foundation of [the county’s] traffic analysis will be invalid.”

They don’t even know—–

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Here’s its likeness in cable nightmare form.

Bang!

I’m still baffled by this one. I’m going down 595 eastbound past Davie when there’s suddenly a massive bang… I didn’t see any objects in the road prior to this but something must have hit hard. I pulled over and found the wheel well liner wrapped around the wheel and what’s left of the front bumper unsnapped from its tracks.

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There was once a big black plastic pan here.

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Flapping in the breeze.

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I do hope that dangling wire would have been for the fog lights on a fancier trim model

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The remains of the pan I had to remove because it was dragging and there’s nothing left to attach it to

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There is no real evidence of what may I may have hit in the road, but it sure did a nice job of demolishing all the plastic parts.

Oh well. Likely coming soon: a post in which I detail reassembling the front of a car in 88 degree December weather.

Crap Power Strips

This has significantly bothered me for a while.

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This is one of the most common power strips available now, as it’s the least expensive available out of China. Note what happens if you miss just a little plugging in a two prong plug. If you touched the prong here and any grounded object, hi diddly shockarino, neighbor!

But guess who doesn’t seem to have a problem with this.

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Genuine meaningless hologram.

This strip is available under a number of brand names including General Electric, Westinghouse, Belkin, Sunbeam, whoever the retailer licensed a brand name from that week. You should not buy it.

So sad. So messy.

It’s always sad when you see that one of your most carefully crafted fixes no longer works.

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Even my amusing low grade British swearing has ceased to have an effect and everyone’s overflowing the recycling bin again!

Two Giga Hertz Super Bowl

Breaking news near Downtown Miami! Okay, we’re good here, just tell the live truck to send us a signal on one of our ENG channels to the downtown repeater aaaaaaand… BLITHERFART!!! WHAT IS THAT?! Our truck’s signal gets smashed, and there are No Excuses On ‘Da Bowl!

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Someone else’s live truck is feeding a tape from hours earlier on the day. Spin the receiver around a bit and it’s clear that they’re aimed at the same receiver site or thereabouts. The station responsible has a receiver up there too, I believe.

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Okay, so let’s see. How many people had to FAIL to accomplish this?

1. The studio ENG operator. The studio ENG operator would have been the one responsible for directing the truck to use this channel; or, they would have been able to tell the truck, hey, change channel, we ain’t down with O P C. (Other People’s Channels)

2. The truck’s crew. They should have also known better.

They continued to send the footage from tape for a couple minutes then just sent black for a while after that before *finally* coming down….. after any hope of us getting our shot waned. Fortunately, the story turned out to be a total non-event. But still, FAILURE.

 

The station responsible called us and apologized so I won’t yell at them specifically here, but come on— don’t just grab someone else’s channel, and at least, not without asking nicely first! News happens, man!

Does the shit run red or blue?

(Working title I’ll probably never bother changing)rainbowtoilet

Florida was just called for Trump. The Hillary Clinton campaign had stated they don’t *need* Florida to win, but that makes the results even more uncertain since Florida has a big heaping slug of electoral votes.

The future of the US economy even rides on this shitshow of an episode of election theatre.

If Trump wins, it will be a massive blow to… pretty much everything. If Clinton wins, it’s hard to say what will change. Sure, she’ll be the first female president, but it’s hard to say if we’ll notice anything else.

I probably don’t get to go home tonight (or will it be tomorrow?) until we know who we have as a president. Now, one interesting thing I noticed— I went over into our breakroom where the television there is tuned to another station, the local ABC affiliate. (It’s usually just left there so some of our employees can watch daytime soaps on there). They were speaking on there about the results of some very interesting polls – not as to who someone would choose as president, but rather, whether or not they hold any confidence in their current system of government.

The results were pretty much a resounding NO.

I don't even know anymore
I don’t even know anymore

Oops, I guess not everyone likes oligarchy, unless they’re on the rich side of the wall. (Sorry, Drumpf, I will never forgive you for your desire to wall off Mexico.)

In the end— does it even matter who is elected president? No matter what, we will still wake up tomorrow in a system of oligarchy. Both houses of Congress will be dominated by the GOP. The sun will still rise, but at least we didn’t lose our ability to catch it on solar panels. (Florida Amendment 1 crashed and burned, good riddance.) The tolls will keep rising, well, exponentially faster.

Speaking of which, Miami-Dade voters re-elected Carlos Gimenez. Uhh, enjoy that, guys.

Medical marijuana was approved in Florida. We’re going to need it. Actually, at this point, we need to go ahead and approve recreational because we REALLY need that. If we grow it domestically that will probably be our one remaining reliable industry. 😉

At this point I think it’s not worth worrying over who gets the presidency as much as how we’re going to deal with the Republican House and Senate. The GOP has historically been associated more with rule by the corporation, not by the people. They were opposed to, and responsible for watering down, the Affordable Healthcare Act.

I made the mistake of turning on a ham radio earlier today and … regretted this within minutes. I decided to suffer through the pain and listen anyway. The usual concerns came up – “they’re gonna take away our guns!”, “lazy people on welfare are destroying everything”… I get the feeling these voices will change very soon upon a harsh reality check as the world’s economies start to… “adjust” more heavily and the BEAUTIFUL new plans for privatized infrastructure optimized to serve the rich start to kick in.

To summarize my predictions:

If Hillary wins:

  • Very few changes and PAINFUL bickering between the Executive branch and the houses of Congress due to partisan conflict
  • Slow but gradual economic growth as the American consumer and financial market regain some confidence

If either win:

  • Gradual loss of individual freedoms and personal wealth among working class and low income citizens as the fucking wankstain oligarchy continues to become more oppressive and finds new ways through rent-seeking measures to squeeze citizens harder and harder. It’s hard to say whether the public support could be gathered to stop this process but I could see it being possible via extremely large, coordinated campaigns for public transparency and input into government.

If Trump wins:

  • EXTRMELY RAPID, unstoppable destruction of individual freedom and personal wealth among the working class. Rapid removal of the middle class and widening of income inequality. Basically, at this point, anything that’s profitable to your bank goes, and you can go fuck yourselves.
  • Sudden creation of, and/or involvement in international conflicts.
  • HEY AT LEAST YOU GET TO KEEP YOUR GUNS. For now. Shitpouch.

 

This session of angry posting shall terminate now as the boss is behind the rack next to me.

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