WD My Passport Teardown

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I have smashed my external hard drive into a sofa table, because I forgot that it was plugged into my laptop. The hard drive has stopped working, and was only making some repetitve noises. I haven’t lost any data, and wasn’t very disappoined, because it was couple of years old and had capacity of just 1 TB. I got curious if there was any visible damage on the platters, so I disassembled it. There was no visible damage.

Satechi 72W TYPE-C PD car charger teardown

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I have been using Satechi 72W car charger in my solar home project to power my laptop for about 3 months. I have noticed that at high load it gets too hot, and I suspected that there might be a bad connection in the car lighter socket, which would contribute to the heat generation. I have decided to take the charger apart, and solder wires directly to the PCB, to eliminate risk for a bad connection. Doing a tear down was not as effortless as expected. It was relatively easy to remove the aluminum cap, but I was struggling with removing the PCB. I had to remove the plastic piece by piece only to find out that I could easily remove the PCB by pressing the ground contacts, so that they go inside of the case. The PCB then just slides out. I was a bit surprised to find that the whole board was coated in a soft and thick material. It was easy to remove, and it didn’t seem it would provide any protection against moisture or condensation. The material did feel cold to touch, so it is probably used for improved thermal dissipation. I could identify the key …

IKEA LIVBOJ Qi charger melted and burned!

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I have been using my 3D printed wireless phone charger stand for couple of month now. It has two IKEA LIVBOJ 5W Qi chargers, and of them decided to make some smoke. It took me some time to figure out where does the burning plastic smell comes from. Teardown Of course I couldn’t wait to disassemble the charger to see what has happened in there! The component in crime is a polypropylene (PP) film capacitor with part number 404J100V, also found on Alibaba. To my experience and knowledge it is quite unusual for PP film capacitors to explode. What most likely happened is that the capacitor got internal short, which caused a short circuit between positive side of coil and ground. As you can see, the MOSFET next to it doesn’t look good either. I know that this is the cheapest Qi charger one can possibly find, but such a fault that can potentially cause a fire was not expected. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anyone else having this issue on Google in English. However, if one searches in Swedish, there are several people claiming that their charger has melted, look here, and here. Components I could identify only two additional …

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 teardown

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I have had the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 power bank for almost 3 years, and have been happy with it. The only feature I have been missing was a lack of pass-through charging. Pass-through charging is useful when one wants to charge their device of choice (or many) and the power bank at same time. You would only need to carry one wall charger, and would need only one socket. The overall charging power will be, of course, more limited compared to several power adapters. But, for leaving everything to charge over the night it doesn’t matter much. Another case, where pass-through charging is useful, is while using a solar panel as the only power source. The power bank will act as a buffer, and all connected devices will be charging continuously, no matter if a cloud covers the sun. The time has come I was unfortunate and left my backpack on the beach too close to the ocean, while swimming. A high wave has decently washed over it, and a little bit of water came inside. My phone and power bank was the only electronics in the backpack. While my water-proof phone was just fine, the power bank wasn’t. Some …