The Telos One X Six – that’s dedication

We had a Telos One X Six blow up on us, sadly.

A second unit that needed a power supply was sent over from our other stations down south. as I replaced the power supply, I admired what insane dedication to electronic design went into this monster. Image heavy post follows.

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Dark absorbent

I got a box of LED light bulbs at the local DumpshitMart and the first one I pulled from the box was a dud but flickered several times as I screwed it in. Strange. I suspected a bad solder joint, and noticed the bulb part felt like plastic and not glass.

I started prying on it a little and it popped off revealing the emitter board.

Interesting construction. Spring contacts are used for the capacitors, and presumably for the power input. I noticed right away that one of the power input pins wasn’t visible in its terminal.

I wonder what these regulator ICs are? No visible inductors are present (and I can’t see any signs that they used a multi layer board with a pancake inductor) so it’s not a buck converter. Might just be a linear constant current driver or something.

16 LEDs in series assuming Vf = 3.2v each would be an operating voltage of 51.2v. This would imply that either those led packages contain more than one diode in series, OR most of the voltage is being dropped by the current drivers!

The two caps behind. Strangely, once you’ve unglued the bulb, these would be the easiest caps to replace that I’ve ever seen. They’d just slide right out.

I didn’t get a picture behind but all the bulb needed was for the lead wire to be pressed back into the terminal. I didn’t have the same white silicone goop the thing was assembled with so I just used silicone gasket sealant to stick it back together and returned it to service.

I took this before gluing the bulb back on. Operating the bulb like this in an open fixture, as nice as it looked, would likely lead me to accidentally stick my fingers into it. I’m very prone to accidentally sticking my fingers and hands into the ceiling fan. I’m working on my Horrible Klutz merit badge, you see.

Interestingly this bulb has the metal heatsink cone for a base that I was used to seeing on earlier LED bulbs, it’s just covered in plastic. This kinda implies that their bulb just doesn’t dissipate much as heat and possibly that the metal core circuit board is not acceptably (or not at all) electrically isolated from the AC line voltage to allow it to safely remain exposed.

The old LED bulbs with the huge heatsink fins are noticeably few and far between, after all. They’re getting pretty dang good. Now can we have some build quality??

I love Behringer. I love them so much.

why you may ask? because they make audio FULL OF SURPRISES

Plugged in power to a Eurocom SPL3220 that had been sitting on my shelf a few months and it went snap! tweet! and went dark. These DECON capacitors are lovingly referred to as “rat poison caps” after the D-Con brand pest control products, and they are pure garbage. These are just used for dc blocking on the audio inputs and outputs though.

 

So is this some kind of weird joke or… just dumpshit? CoolAudio is a company under Behringer’s parent “Music Group” company and their website proudly advertises a bunch of chips they market as being functionally identical to a number of other audio ICs by Cirrus Logic, THAT Corporation, etc… but probably just super low quality dumpshit they had fabbed up to compete only on the basis of price.

I’m guessing the pop and screech came from one of the “CapXon” brand Taiwanshitlytics on this SMPS board but it’s only Monday and I’m already tired of this shit ok

 

 

 

 

Maximum muddled miniaturization

From inside an MSI gaming laptop….

Of all the laptops I’ve worked on (and usually had a powerful sense of dread over doing so with) this one’s remarkably not awful at all. It just has a Lot ‘O’ Stuff under the hood. Everything’s modular and easily replaced if needed. The wireless radio is off the board to the left, it has space for two SSDs (they’re either JBOD or striped?) and a big mama subchassis that holds the heat pipes in place for cooling. My only complaints I guess would be that access to the RAM and the screws for the cooling fans requires removing the whole motherboard and flipping it over.

The bottom cover has a TON of screws (like 20 or so), but I’m guessing this was done more for stability— the thing feels like one solid piece of metal when it’s assembled.

 

The battery is in no way glued or even taped in place. Once you remove the bottom cover you can unplug it from the motherboard and lift it right out.

If I were writing a thing for ifixit.com I’d give this a very good repairability score. 🙂
Only tools needed– a spudger (for gently lifting the MHF / U.FL connectors on the wifi antennas), PH0 and PH1 screwdrivers. That’s it— seriously!!

I’m not a gamer but I kinda already want one. I’ve used MSI motherboards in a few computers over the years and have never had any problems with them – they’ve only ever been removed from service due to eventual hopeless obsolescence. The reason we had to dive into this one was that the GPU cooling fan bearing had gone bad and it was starting to sound like some kind of moaning banshee.

Let’s play Wheel of Dumpshit!

Tonight’s contestant: a Lutron dimmer switch.

This switch was pulled from a studio after it made the lights flicker. Sometimes tapping it would change this but moving the slider didn’t.

Let’s see what’s inside.

Well that’s unusual. A small snap switch is used behind the lights on/off toggle. But wait, aren’t those momentary switches? Clearly a mechanical latch is used. Let’s see that latch….

Wait just a NOPEing minute. They used a cheap and nasty no name Chinese latching push button to latch the light switch…. and it’s worn out and gotten loose, letting the snap switch flicker.

Let’s have a look at the actual switch contacts. Hmm, that switch smells funny and the Bakelite fractures very easily….

Superderp.

This could have caused a fire if it were powering a high wattage bunch of incandescent or halogen lamps.

Yeeeep, it’s dumpshit. Thanks for playing.

CAT Scan!

So I have melted from cute when Cassie here helped me turn a screwdriver, but now she’s also helping me with component level repair….

Warming up the Cattoscope….

Sniff snuff sniff snuff hey, what’s this? She stopped and gave me a look after sniffing right here….

Yep, that old Sprague cap has signs of creepage around its seal!

Clearly I am but part of a team of two, and the other member of the team has toes that look like beans.

I should also mention she likes turning on my GW/Instek GDM-8251A multimeter. I think she likes the feel of the power switch and the little relay plinks it makes as it powers up. She leaves it on a lot, so I have the default power up state set to come up with the display dimmed to reduce phosphor burn in. (It’s a thing with VFDs too! Look at your old VCR!)

The Subaru and Nissan brake light switch… Of DRAMA

The contact that turns on the brake light, turns off cruise control, and triggers the solenoid that lets you shift out of park got all pitted! Ewww. Needless to say this was a show stopping bug… but it died at a gas station in walking distance of a Walmart where I was able to get some CRC QD cleaner and 2500 grit sandpaper and burnish it back to life. Here’s the before state. The contacts are actually proper silver buttons and the switch can be disassembled to clean it.

What a right mess though.

Not sure why the CRC QD cleaner turns my skin all weird looking like that.

The switch has a Nissan logo on it so I’m guessing some Nissan model out there in addition to the 2014-2017(?) Subaru Forester have the same thing.

66 block stupidity

I need to find whoever decided to make both 66 blocks with the split down the middle and blocks without it with no identifying mark as to which type is which and pour glitter* over their head.

At left: no split. I’d been putting bridge clips on it for no reason and got a rude surprise (Zeppelin on a country station!) when I expected to have the left three pegs and the right three isolated.

At right: has the split. You have to install bridge clips to join the two sides.

* Biodegradable glitter of course – the sugar or seaweed based kind

ZEEKY BOOGY DOOG

I have no clue what happened to this module but it must have been a spectacular audio-olfactory experience.

I wonder if the SD2942’s survived the ordeal or if the gates are all snapped. Oh well… The rig runs fine with one module down for now.