Browsed by
Category: Overview

The Techin Wi-Fi LED Smart Bulb

The Techin Wi-Fi LED Smart Bulb

Hi everyone,

In the past few weeks, I purchased the Techin Wi-Fi LED Smart Bulb, as I was curious about Smart Bulbs in general. These are LED bulbs that connect via Wi-Fi, and this was a factor I took into consideration since some other Smart Bulbs require having a hub.

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

These bulbs also are RGB, and also allows configuring their brightness and white balance. This is really nice because sometimes you want to have less brightness in your room, while at other times, you want it to be well illuminated.

Being Smart Bulbs, they integrate very nice with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. This means that you can use Google Assistant or the Google Home app, as well as connect them with an Amazon Echo device, to control them via Alexa. This is another great feature because I can speak to Alexa and she will turn the lights on or off.

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

The packaging and the LED bulb looks like a normal LED bulb would look:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

Setting up the Smart Bulb is as simple as replacing your existing bulb:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

Configuring the Smart Bulb requires downloading the Smart Life app to your phone. This is before you can link them to Alexa or Google Home since you need to have a Smart Life account first. The Smart Bulbs must be linked in the app first, and then Google Home and Alexa will find them.

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

It’s as simple as following some quick instructions, however, I ran into some problems with my router. I’ll talk about this in a later blog post, but the important thing is that I was able to successfully connect them to the Wi-Fi.

Once it is connected, the Smart Bulb will turn white by default:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

By using the Smart Life app, you can configure the white balance or change colors:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

The colors are accurate. Here is a picture of it turned red and blue:

In the Smart Life app, this is how the color control looks:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

Because we have set up our Smart Life account, we can now link our account with Alexa, and Google Home. This is how the light control panel looks in Alexa:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

Alexa also allows us to change the brightness and color. It provides us with a list of colors to choose, as well as different shades of white:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

We can also speak to Alexa, and this is one of the benefits of having Smart Bulbs, as we can turn them on, off, or change colors by just talking to it.

If you prefer to use Google Home, it is also compatible. Take a look!

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb
Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

As with Alexa, we can also change the color in Google Home:

Techin Wi-Fi Smart Bulb

In conclusion, these lights work as expected and the interoperability across different Smart Home ecosystems is a plus. I’m planning on getting more of these Smart Bulbs to finish replacing the traditional LED bulbs.

One feature I like is that they are compatible also with Alexa Guard. When paired, Alexa will turn them on or off as if someone is in the house. Apparently, this helps keeps the house safe. Just a word of caution, don’t get scared if you come back home and see them turned on. It happened to me, and it took me a while to realize that it was because of Alexa.

These Smart Bulbs are not only convenient, but their power usage is really low, at just 8 Watts. Now, keep in mind that even when the lights are off, it will still consume a bit of power, since they are always-connected, but the power usage is still relatively low.

The final point would be regarding price. My 4-pack Smart LED Bulbs cost about $41.99, with a $4-dollar coupon attached bringing it down to $37.99. Almost at $10 dollars per bulb, this is one of the cheapest ways right now to replace your lights with smart, wi-fi-enabled ones.

If you’re interested in these LED Smart Bulbs, you can check them out on Amazon at the following link:

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post!

The HyperDrive: USB-C 2018 iPad Pro Edition

The HyperDrive: USB-C 2018 iPad Pro Edition

Hi everyone,

Today, I received my HyperDrive USB-C iPad Pro 2018 edition which ran on Kickstarter from December 10, 2018 to January 15 of this year.

Hyper Drive 1
The HyperDrive case.

The HyperDrive 2018 iPad Pro Edition is a USB-C Hub designed mainly for the 2018 iPad Pro, but it is also compatible with other USB-C devices. It has a USB-A 3.0 port, SD and MicroSD Card Reader, 3.5mm TRRS connector, compatible with headsets including inline buttons, USB-C Charging passthrough, and an HDMI output.

Because I backed it on Kickstarter, it was nice to have received it in a Kickstarted-branded case.

Hyper Drive 3
The HyperDrive case opened.

Immediately after opening it, we can see the HyperDrive along with another grip, USB-C extender cable, a screwdriver and some additional screws.

The HyperDrive features a grip that is removable, to make it compatible with other devices. It is attached using screws, so it makes sense to include the screwdriver. Also, since the screws are small, it comes with additional screws in case we lose the originals.

Let’s take a closer look at the HyperDrive:

Hyper Drive 4
The HyperDrive Front.

The HyperDrive Front does not have any branding in it. That’s on the back. It looks beautiful in the Space Grey color, which I chose when the project survey was sent so that we could choose our HyperDrive color.

Hyper Drive 5
The HyperDrive Back.

As I stated above, here we can see the HyperDrive branding and other regulation logos. We can see the USB-C port better since the grip didn’t allowed us to see it in the previous image.

Hyper Drive 6
One of the side.

On one of the sides of the HyperDrive, there’s nothing. However, that changes in the other side, where we can see the HDMI connector:

Hyper Drive 8
The HDMI connector.

We can plug our HDMI cable into it to duplicate or extend our screen (If we are using the HyperDrive in the PC). Now, let’s take a look at the other connectors

Hyper Drive 7
The connectors.

From Left to Right, we can see an LED, followed by the passthrough USB-C charging port, which we would use to charge our devices. We then have the SD Card slot on the top and the MicroSD Card slot on the bottom, followed by the USB-A 3.0 port and a 3.5mm TRRS jack. This is compatible with headsets and is also compatible with in-line controls.

Hyper Drive 9
The USB-C connector.

The USB-C port is pretty standard, and is centered in this Hub.

This is the other Grip that came with my HyperDrive:

Hyper Drive 10
The other Grip that came with the HyperDrive.

Altough we cannot see it in the above picture, it says that it is for use with covers. The grip that initially came with it was for use WITHOUT screen protectors. I myself don’t have any use for these grips, so I removed it from my HyperDrive.

Hyper Drive 12
The USB-C extender.

The HyperDrive came with a USB-C extender cable and grip that you can use if you’d like to connect your HyperDrive without it having direct contact with your devices.

Hyper Drive 13
The USB-C port of the USB-C Extender cable.

This way, we can simply attach the USB-C cable to our devices and the HyperDrive will fit perfectly, because when we use it without any grip or the extender, our HyperDrive will have a little gap in between.

Hyper Drive 15
The Screwdriver.

To remove the grip from the HyperDrive, we’ll use the included screwdriver.

Hyper Drive 16
The screws.

Be sure to keep the screws in a safe place! They are so tiny that they may get lost.

Hyper Drive 18
The HyperDrive with the USB-C Extension cable attached

In the above picture, I have attached the USB-C Extension cable to my HyperDrive so that you can see how it look.

Hyper Drive 17
The HyperDrive without the grip.

I have removed the grip in the above photo. The reason is so that I can use it directly connected to my laptop. I do not have the iPad and my main reason to get this is to use it in my Windows machines and other devices:

HyperDrive connected in my laptop
The HyperDrive connected to my laptop.

I attached the HyperDrive to my Lenovo Y720 laptop I purchased as my birthday gift. This laptop has a USB-C connector and you can see that the HyperDrive fits into it. You can also see there’s a bit of a gap, as I explained above. We could have solved this by using the extender USB-C cable, but I prefer to just have the HyperDrive in direct contact with it.

HyperDrive connected in my laptop with headphones connected
IEM attached to the HyperDrive.

I attached my KZ ZS7 IEM to the HyperDrive. The PC does not detect the USB Audio if there’s no headphone connected to it. Once we connect them, the laptop recognizes the audio adapter as USB PnP Audio Device.

The volume is very loud!! I always turn it down before playing back anything, and having it at just 1 or 2% was just enough.

Hyper Drive DAC 1
The Windows Audio Settings.

As seen in the above image, I have the audio at just 2%. Let’s take a look at the device settings itself:

Hyper Drive DAC 2
The HyperDrive in the Sound Control Panel.

We can see the HyperDrive audio listed as USB PnP Audio Device above. We’ll double click it and then go to the Advanced tab to see the device bit deph and sample rate:

Hyper Drive DAC 3
The HyperDrive Bit Depth and Sample Rate.

The DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) used in the HyperDrive only has a bit depth of 16-bit and a sample rate of 48 Khz. This is enough for some, but audiophiles would have preferred it to have a depth of 24 or 32 bits and a sample rate way above the 48 Khz. However, we must remember that Audio CD has a depth of 16 bit and a sample rate of 44.1Khz. Since the HyperDrive supports 48Khz, that means that Windows needs to resample the audio to 48Khz. Still, the audio quality is good.

I’m using Tidal to stream CD-Quality tracks and I’m not noticing any quality degradation. In fact, it sounds excellent, altough I do need to turn down the volume further down. Also, there’s a little background noise, but it’s barely noticeable when there’s audio playing.

Tidal using Hyper Drive
Tidal using the HyperDrive and with the volume turned down.

So, the HyperDrive does a great job handing audio. It even works in my Nintendo Switch!

Hyper Drive connected to the Nintendo Switch
HyperDrive connected to the Nintendo Switch

What does the HyperDrive looks like with its ports being used? It looks like this:

HDMI, SD Card, USB, and 3.5mm connected to the HyperDrive
HDMI, SD Card, USB, and 3.5mm connected to the HyperDrive.

It’s been less than a day using this USB-C Hub, and so far it is handling everything great. I have experienced some problems, but it’s most likely problems related to the operating system rather than the HyperDrive. My laptop sometimes would not detect the HyperDrive or would not show any image in my external monitor, but now it’s all working fine. Also, it’s worth noting that the HyperDrive heats a little. You’ll not get burned while touching it, but I would also not have my hand at it. Even with it being warm, I wouldn’t say it overheats. It’s also working fine and haven’t experienced any disconnection issues with it.

The Kickstarter experience with this project was great. It is usual of the start of the year to get some delays due to China celebrating the Chinese New Year holiday, but this was a project where the holiday didn’t affected them so much. We are just starting March, and today I received it. Delivery was quick and they sent the tracking number very fast. It was also working at the moment they sent it to me.

I’ll definitely consider backing another of their projects, supporting them while having another gadget to play with.

The Hidizs Sonata HD USB-C to 3.5mm DAC Cable

The Hidizs Sonata HD USB-C to 3.5mm DAC Cable

Hi everyone,

Today, I received the Hidizs Sonata HD USB-C to 3.5mm DAC Cable.

Hidizs Sonata HD 1
Hidizs Sonata HD Box

This is a cable (or dongle) that allows you to connect your 3.5mm headphones to your devices that have a USB-C connector, or to a USB-A connector by using a USB-C to USB-A adapter. It features a sample rate of up to 24-bit and 192khz, but you’ll need to update the firmware to be able to use it. We’ll see more about the firmware update process later. First, let’s proceed with the unboxing.

Opening the box reveals a carrying case:

Hidizs Sonata HD 2
Carrying Case inside the box

Taking it out we can clearly see the Hidizs logo in it:

Hidizs Sonata HD 3
Hidizs Sonata HD Carrying Case – Front

The back is just plain:

Hidizs Sonata HD 4

Hidizs Sonata HD Carrying Case – Back

Inside, we can see the Sonata HD Cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter:

Hidizs Sonata HD 5
The carrying case content

A closer look at the cable and adapter inside the carrying case:

Hidizs Sonata HD 6
A closer look at the contents inside the case

A closer look at the DAC We can see the Hidizs Logo at the USB-C connector side:

Hidizs Sonata HD 7
DAC – Front

We can also see the Hi-Res Audio logo on the other side at the USB-C connector:

Hidizs Sonata HD 8
Hi-Res logo on the back

Side by Side comparon with the Google and Apple DACs:

Hidizs Sonata HD 10
From left to right: Google DAC, Apple DAC, and the Hidizs Sonata HD DAC

Now, let’s see the USB-C to USB-A adapter closer:

Hidizs Sonata HD 9
USB-C to USB-A adapter

I connected the cable to the adapter and to my USB Hub which is connected to my desktop PC:

Hidizs Sonata HD 11
DAC connected to USB Hub

And I then attached my headphones:

Hidizs Sonata HD 12
DAC connected to the USB Hub and the headphones

The Firmware Update process

First, we need to go to https://www.hidizs.net/apps/help-center and download the Sonata HD Firmwares. We then need to extract the ZIP files:

The firmwares
  • Sonata HD A: Prioritizes the Call. When I tested this firmware, it allows simultaneous voice and music. This is the firmware you’ll want to use if you’re going to stream on YouTube, Twitch, etc.
  • Sonata HD C: Prioritizes the Audio. When I tested this firmware, it was similar to the Sonata HD A firmware but I could no longer use the microphone as soon as the system produced audio. This firmware has a sample rate of 24-bit/192khz
  • Sonata HD D: Pure Music. This firmware will also provide 24-bit/192khz but it will disable the adapter input function. You’ll still be able to use earphone inline remote control.

To update the firmware, you’ll want to launch the respective executable. You’ll be presented with the firmware flashing utility:

Hidizs Sonata HD Firmware Flashing Utility
The Hidizs Sonata HD firmware flashing utility

We should write in the Vendor ID: 22e1, and on the Product ID: e202. You can check these values by going to the Device Manager and selecting the Sonata HD Cable under the Sound, video and Game Controllers section:

Hidizs Sonata HD Firmware in the Device Manager
Sonata HD DAC in the Device Manager
Hidizs Sonata HD Hardware IDs
VID and PID of the Sonata HD Cable

We can press the Write EEPROM button on the firmware flashing utility and we’ll be shown with this message:

Hidizs Sonata HD Firmware Flashing Utility 2
Firmware Flashing message

We’ll simply disconnect the DAC, connect it again, and press OK. The firmware flashing will begin:

Hidizs Sonata HD Firmware Flashing Utility 3
Flashing the firmware

If it finishes successful, you’ll see a successful message:

Hidizs Sonata HD Firmware Flashing Utility 4
Write to EEPROM OK! Message

That’s it! We now need to unplug it and connect it again and then we can go to the sound settings and check that we can choose a sample rate of 24-bit/192khz:

Hidizs Sonata HD in the Sound Settings
Hidizs Sonata HD in the Sound Settings

We click on Sound Control Panel and double click on the Sonata HD:

Hidizs Sonata HD Sound Settings 1
Sonata HD in the Sound Settings

Now, we can go to the Advanced tab and select 24-bit/192khz:

Hidizs Sonata HD Sound Settings 2
24 bit and 192 Khz mode in the Sound Settings

We can also use Tidal’s WASAPI mode with this adapter. Just be sure to turn the volume very low. This DAC is very loud!!!

Tidal using the Hidizs Sonata HD Cable
TIDAL with the Sonata HD cable

Just select the Exclusive Mode button and that should be it. Now, you can enjoy your music!

Tidal using the Hidizs Sonata HD Cable 2
Tidal

Sound Impressions

Listening to this DAC the sound is detailed, but the vocals seems to be more forward. It has a good sound separation, and it is very loud, which is why I have my DAC at just 2%. My headphones (KZ ZS7) are high sensitivity, low impedance IEM’s, so they will sound loud at low volume levels. The Bass is great, and so is the treble. No complains here. I also own the Hidizs DH1000 and their AP80 player and they all sound excellent. The Hidizs DH1000 provides a more neutral sound and the AP80 just shines at all of the frequencies, altough the DH1000 is still a more neutral and extended treble option.

I hope you liked this post. Do you own the Sonata HD Cable? Let me know in the comments.

If you don’t yet have this dongle, you can get it on Amazon using the following link:

The Hidizs DH1000 DAC / AMP

The Hidizs DH1000 DAC / AMP

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’d like to talk about the Hidizs DH1000 which is a Digital to Analog converter and an Amp for headphones.

This device is a USB digital to analog converter (DAC) that can improve the sound quality of the music thanks to its advanced dual ES9018K2M DAC chips as well as its dual Amp chips. It features a balanced 2.5mm headphone jack as well as the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and works with any device that supports USB Audio, be it a PC, Mac, Android, or a music player that supports USB DACs.

As you may have seen in my previous posts from several months ago, I like to listen to music a lot, so I decided to pledge to this product originally launched in Kickstarter.

Here are some pictures of the DAC:

Hidizs DH1000 1

Plugged via MicroUSB to my PC
Hidizs DH1000 2
Plugged to a USB 2.0 hub and also to a charger
Hidizs DH1000 3
Plugged to the Hiby R3

The device features dual USB ports for simultaneous music playing and charging. It has to be noted that this is not only for music but for anything audio-related since it is detected as USB Audio Class 2.0 device in Windows as well as an audio output in Android. For iOS devices, you must use the Hiby music app.

More photos:

The other device shown alongside the Hidizs DH1000 is the new Hiby R3 player, which I’ll show you in another post.

How’s the sound quality?

Way better than using the headphones plugged into my phone or other audio devices. For me, everything sounds very detailed and impressive. You can head the vocals very clearly, be it a male or a female singer. The treble also sounds very nice, and the bass is perfect. Of course, everyone will have different opinions on audio quality, but for me, this sounds very authentic and provides an awesome sound.

One thing that I also like about this DAC is that the volume buttons are independent of the source device. This means you can change the Hidizs DH1000 volume and it will not change the volume of the device it is connected. I usually just set the device to output audio at 100% and then control the volume in the DH1000 DAC.

Where did I heard about this product?

Kickstarter. I always browse the “Technology” category in Kickstarted and almost every month I find something I like. That’s where I found this DAC there:

Hidizs DH1000 12

Check out more of the product here.

Unboxing video

To conclude this post, here’s the unboxing video that I recorded which shows the DAC, the box, and its content. Enjoy!

In the next few days, I’ll share with you the unboxing video and photos of the Hiby R3, an awesome portable music player filled with lots of features.

See ya next time!

The JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter

The JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter

Hi everyone,

Some time ago, I purchased the JET-5608AK SODIMM to DIMM Adapter. What this does is convert a SODIMM RAM module into a DIMM module. SODIMM is the RAM used on laptops, while DIMMs are the RAM used in Desktop computers.

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 1

Unboxing:

The product came in a very simple box:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 2

And opening it shows just the SODIMM to DIMM adapter very well protected:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 3

The front of the device can be seen at the start of this posts but here it is again:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 1

And the back of it:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 4

Product usage:

I’m going to use this with an 8GB Samsung SODIMM DDR4 module from my laptop:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 5

This is the front of it with the RAM inserted:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 6

And the back:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 7

Inserting the module in the machine:

I’m going to use this module with an ASUS B350M-A motherboard and an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU. I currently have 32GB of RAM in it. Using this would raise it to 40GB as I’m using an 8GB Samsung DDR4 SODIMM module:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 8

But because some machines have compatibility issues, I’m placing the RAM alone:

JET-5608AK DDR4 SODIMM to DIMM Adapter - 9

But…

It didn’t work.

That’s right. This module is NOT compatible with this motherboard or CPU, it seems. Even when placed alone or with the other RAM modules, the machine refused to boot. This could very well be the BIOS or can be the CPU itself not supporting SODIMM modules. After all, this CPU was released before the mobile AMD Ryzen CPUs were released.

Some people have got this adapter to work on their machines. You can read one of such reviews in Newegg, and there is a Reddit discussion of it over here.

Anyway, the adapter is not expensive and it was worth getting it to see if it would actually work. It would have been nice to use spare DDR4 SODIMM modules with my desktop.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post and be sure to follow me for more tech stuff!

All photos were taken using a Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Unboxing and Overview of the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-Performance Headphones

Unboxing and Overview of the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-Performance Headphones

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’ll unbox the Symphonized Hybrid Wireless/Wired High-

Performance Headphones and give you an overview of the product.

Symphonized Hybrid - 1

As the name says, these headphones are hybrid, meaning they work either by Bluetooth connection or wired by connecting them with supplied AUX to MicroUSB cable.

Usually, you’ll find the ability to use the headphones either by Bluetooth or Wired in Over-The-Ear headphones, but not on In-Ear headphones. These ones do just that, so if the battery dies, or you prefer to listen to your music wired, then these headphones are perfect for you.

Symphonized Hybrid - 2
The cable that does the Wired-mode magic
Symphonized Hybrid - 3
Charging cable
Symphonized Hybrid - 4
The Headphones with no cables attached

These headphones were part of a Kickstarter campaign, and the shipping of it was pretty fast. Delivery was done in just 3 days!

The battery is stated to last 5 to 6 hours when continuously listening to music. I’m still testing them, as yesterday I started using them before charging them and then I started listening to music via the wired cable. Today, I started the day listening via Bluetooth.

Some things I’ve noticed of the headphones so far:

  1. The headphones MUST be turned off in order to use Wired-Mode. Otherwise, they make some noises.
  2. When charging, it also makes some noises if you turn them on.
  3. I believe this is because Symphonized decided to use the USB Data Lines as AUX Left/Right channel connections, so when you plug this into a computer to charge, it makes some noises, maybe due to “data transmission”.
  4. The AUX to Micro USB cable is only for listening to audio/music. The mic and control buttons will not work when using the headphones in wired mode.
  5. However, the concept is really good, and the sound is pretty awesome as well.

About the sound quality…

The box says the frequency response is 200Hz-8Khz. I’m assuming this is a typo, because the sound is very good, actually. You can hear everything from bass to mids to treble.

Symphonized Hybrid - 5

The headphones also make use of the APTX Audio Codec. I tested this by using my Avantree Leaf USB adapter, which, depending on the Audio Codec used, the adapter’s light either is blue, or orange, and flashes either one or two times. When it flashes orange one time, it means it is using APTX codec. If it’s orange and flashes two times, it is using APTX Low Latency codec. Thanks to that, I can prove it is using the plain APTX codec, so there’s no support for APT Low Latency, but the latency is not very noticeable, however.

These headphones make use of a CSR chipset. Specifically, the CSR8645 chip. CSR was acquired by Qualcomm in 2015, and they make quality Bluetooth chipsets. Because these headphones use a CSR chipset, you can expect spectacular audio quality, especially when paired with an APTX-enabled device.

Showing the sides of the box:

Overall, I’m enjoying these headphones a lot.

Symphonized Hybrid - 8
The PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge

The PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge

Hi everyone,

Today, I’ll show you the PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge.

This is an adapter that, as the title says, blocks Data. This means that when you use this adapter in a PC USB Port, it will allow your tablet/phone to charge at the port maximum speed, overriding the 500mA USB limit. This is because when a PC detects a data connection, it negotiates the power with the controller. Some devices uses 100mA, like mouses and keyboards, and other more powerful stuff uses the full 500mA from the port. However, since this adapter blocks data between the device and the PC USB port, it doesn’t negotiates the power needed and as such, passes the full power the USB controller can supply.

The SmartCharge meaning in this device is because there is a controller that can check what device you have connected. There’s several charging standards like Samsung, Apple, and others. The adapter will detect that and because of this, allows fast charging for your device.

Please bear in mind that you must use a high quality USB cable or your device may not charge at full speed.

Let’s take a look at the adapter:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 1

I purchased the 2-pack PortaPow Data Blocker on Amazon, so that’s why you see 2 adapters there.

Taking off the package contents, we can see again the 2 adapters plus a product overview sheet:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 2

That sheet also has some important information, like that you need to use a high quality USB cable and that the USB port must be able to supply enough power, or your device may not charge at fast speeds:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 3

A closer look at the adapters:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 4

The USB Male connector:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 5

The USB Female connector, where our USB cable will be connected:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 6

Testing the adapter:

For this test, I’m using an Aukey Micro USB cable, which is of good quality. I’m also using my Lenovo laptop USB 3.0 port. The app being used in the phone is the Pro version of Galaxy Charging Current, which is an excellent app to measure how much power our device is consuming from the USB charger.

Here, I’m charging my Samsung phone by directly connecting it to the PC USB port. You can see that the power being drawn is 433mA because the PC detects there’s data and negotiates the power to 500mA:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 7
PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 8

However, when I plug the PortaPow Data Blocker, we can see it charges normally at 1200mA, or 1.2A. This is normal for this device when not using Qualcomm Quick Charge. The device is charging at 5V here:

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 9

See the difference between using the adapter and without it? Now our device charges faster and comes in handy when we can’t use our wall USB charger.

PortaPow Data Blocker USB Adapter with Smart Charge - 10

That’s it!

I definitely recommend this adapter. It is cheap too! The 2-pack costs only $12.99 on Amazon.

Get it here!

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable Overview

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable Overview

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’d like to show you this product I found on Amazon.com.

If you have ever had a laptop, you may have recycled them when they die or it’s no longer usable, but some people remove their parts like RAM, Hard Disk Drive/SSD, and Optical Units, or maybe you have got a new shiny DVD or Blu-Ray drive to replace your laptop drive. In any of these cases, you may have DVD drives around you that you are not using anymore but they work perfectly.

Meet this USB to Slimline SATA Cable:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 1

This cable is a Y-type USB cable, meaning that you have 2 connectors. One of them is used for Data and the other is used for Power in case the USB port on your machine can’t provide enough power. On the other end, we have the Slimline SATA connector, which fits our Slimline DVD drives:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 2

It also came with a cloth to clean our disc media.

Here’s a closer look at the cable:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 3

You can see all three connectors there. When browsing on Amazon, almost all of the cablers were a standard cable with 2 ends only, but I believe these Y-type cables should still be sold as there are some situations where a port can’t power a device like when using an unpowered USB hub. This is a real deal to me when it comes to purchasing these types of cables.

A closer look at the Slimline SATA connector. You can clearly see that it says Slimline SATA in it:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 4

A closer look at the pins:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 5

Now, it’s time to test this cable. Here, I’m using an LG Super Multi DVD Drive, model GT20L. This is an excellent drive I’ve had for years and the reason I got it was because it has Lightscribe in it, allowing me to etch labels on the unfortunately abandoned Lightscribe media:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 6

We’re going to connect the cable to the drive:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 7

Cable connected:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 8

And finally, the drive connected to this USB 2.0 hub, while the other USB end is connected to a USB Extender to a Wall charger:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 9

So, with this cable, I’m now able to use this DVD drive at USB 2.0 speeds. I’m using it mainly to listen to my Music collection. I still prefer to buy music CD’s instead of digital versions of the albums:

USB 2.0 to Slimline SATA Cable 10

I haven’t had any issues at all with this cable, which I got and it didn’t had any review on Amazon at the time I purchased it.

You can get this cable on Amazon here.

Hope you enjoyed this article!

The SanDisk Ultra Flair 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

The SanDisk Ultra Flair 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’ll talk about the SanDisk Ultra Flair 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive.

This is a USB 3.0 drive meaning file transfers should be fast. However, is it worth it? Let’s find out below, but first, let’s see a few pictures of the product:

This is the USB Drive in its package:

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB 1

Opening the package:

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB 2

The USB Flash Drive (Front):

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB 3

The USB Flash Drive (Back):

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB 4

And now, to the benchmarks!

Here, I’m testing with CrystalDiskMark 5 when the USB Drive is plugged in a USB 3.0 port:

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB Benchmark - USB 3.0

And here’s a test when plugged in a USB 2.0 port:

Sandisk Ultra Flair 16GB Benchmark - USB 2.0

Conclusion:

We can see that Read Performance is fast when plugged into a USB 3.0 port, reaching 120MB+ per second, but Write Performance is poor for such drive, writing at speeds of a little more than 30MB/s. The package does specify that the Write Speed of the 16GB version is slower than the other capacities, which may imply that they’re using a less expensive flash component or something.

However, looking at the USB 2.0 performance, it performs good as well. Write speeds are 10MB/s slower than when writing files via USB 3.0, but read speeds almost reaches 40MB/s. This makes it ideal for use on USB 2.0 ports unless read speeds are more important than the write speeds, in which you should use this in a USB 3.0 port to take full advantage of the read speed.

That’s my thought on this, as I’m using this drive on a first-gen Intel Compute Stick which shipped with Ubuntu and only has a USB 2.0 port. That Intel Compute Stick only has 8GB of storage, so I’m using this flash drive with a Windows To Go installation to run Windows on that stick. I can definitely say this drive performs really good compared to other cheap USB 2.0 16GB sticks, and I do recommend it, but don’t recommend it for cases where you want write speeds to be a priority.

Final Words:

Again, if Write Speed is important, this is not for you, but if Read Speeds are more important, then definitely you should pick this drive.

Where to Buy?

You can get this Flash Drive on Amazon here.

fit-Headless, an HDMI Display Emulator. Unboxing and demonstration

fit-Headless, an HDMI Display Emulator. Unboxing and demonstration

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’d like to show you the fit-Headless HDMI Display Emulator.

This is an HDMI adapter that emulates a display, which is perfect because sometimes, you need to have a monitor attached to a GPU in order to overclock it, or to use remote features on the PC. For example, I use TeamViewer to remote control my computers and Single Board Computers, but since they don’t have a monitor attached to them, they have the very basic resolution of 640×480, which is too low. With this HDMI adapter, it tricks the GPU into thinking it has a 1080p monitor attached and the resolution is then changed to 1920×1080.

Here’s the video of the first adapter I got to be able to overclock my AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU, since it wouldn’t let me overclock it without a monitor attached:

And here is the second adapter I got, which surprisingly, is smaller than the first adapter I got. Here, I’m using the adapter for my UDOO x86:

Hope you enjoy the videos!

You can get this item on Amazon here.