Sunday, August 28, 2011

DIY bike tail light mod

So a few weeks ago yet again I was too cheap to spring for an proper bike light from a bike store and opted to get this unit from the two dollar shop. Soon I found out that as I rode in the dark I had no tail light.

The design fault here is that when you go over a hump it jars the unit, and the battery disconnects for a split second, turning the unit off -- or at least that's my theory.

The solution was to solder a capacitor across the battery terminals. The capacitor provides power for that brief moment as the batteries disconnect and spring back into position. It appears to do the trick.

The capacitor was salvaged from a power supply that I picked up for a dollar at The Bower. I don't remember the value, but possibly 200uF 10V, the usual power filter cap.

Huawei Sonic

-btw- this handset died on me after a month

I got the Huawei Sonic (U8650) last weekend -- from South Granville Woolworths for $188 unlocked.

I've been wanting an android 2.3 for a while, but off course the Samsung Galaxy S2 is just out of my price range.

This handset is a downgrade from my previous Ideos X5. It has a lesser CPU, less screen resolution, and a lesser camera. Nonetheless I chose to continue with the Huawei bonanza of Woolworths Android proliferation -- also all former handsets get handed down to needy friends. Anyway, I a google fanboy. This is my third Huawei android in 18 months and not likely to be the last.

  • responsiveness is sluggish at times
  • the headphones jack is compatible with ubiquitous iphone headsets (unlike my last 2 androids)
  • directional finder seems to use a proper 3D compass, so it points your gps screen in the correct direction no matter how you hold it [revision: after Maps updates, the direction finder is on the fritz, and I can't find any setting options that corrects it]
  • the Google goggles app does not work, or even install -- error message is "This item is not compatible with your device." Based on my reads, it has something to do with not having an auto focus camera. wtf, it's just just a camera
  • 11 September 2011, touchscreen suddenly became unresponsive. Rebooting did not help. Contacted the manufacturer twice via -- NO RESPONSE :: RIP 11-09-11
  • factory reset :: remove battery, insert the battery, hold down volume up and power buttons for about 12 seconds. that will get to the Android system recovery screen. use volume up down for menu and power button to select