Author: Arthur Froost

Cheap Laptop Batteries

There are many types of batteries that include nickel-cadmium batteries, Lithium ion batteries and nickel hydride. The price of these batteries depends on the material that is used for manufacturing them. A nickel cadmium battery is the cheapest among all the three types of batteries mentioned above.

The price of a nickel cadmium battery can range from $50 to$100 whereas a nickel hydride battery is slightly costlier compared to cadmium batteries. The price of a nickel hydride battery can range from $80 to $150. A lithium polymer battery is more expensive compared to the other two types of batteries that are mentioned above.

Another invention that is revolutionizing laptop batteries are the new external batteries that offer a run-time of about seven hours (also depends on the programs being used on the laptop) at about half the price. Many vendors on the Internet offer batteries at low cost if bought in bulk. Some companies offer discount on batteries if the same company manufactures the laptop.

Alkaline batteries are the cheapest among batteries, but incur the highest cost per cycle. Other cheap batteries include lithium ion polymer and lithium ion batteries. Cheap batteries are also available in the Chinese market and can be shipped to the US by booking them on the Internet.

The life of a battery can be increased by about fifty percent thus decreasing the price of the same. Many precautionary steps can be taken in order to increase the life of a battery such as – fully discharging the battery and recharging them again at least once a month, keeping the batteries cool and dry, and making sure that the batteries are not overcharged.

Surplus Computer Parts

Pick up any local classified, and you will find that there are literally hundreds of ads claiming to give you the best deals on surplus computer parts. When buying surplus computer parts, always be careful and buy it from a reputed dealer. This way, the chances of a part going bad or not working at all is minimized.

When buying any used part, look out for minor damages that are not visible at first. For instance, if you are in the market for a used laptop screen, look in the corners for any chipped plastic around the LCD screen. Such attention to detail is necessary to avoid future hassles. What this means is that virtually any component that you want to buy should be checked thoroughly. Wires are a good example. An overheated wire, for example, could be potentially dangerous to use. Same is the case with a melted cord or power box.

Any accessory that you need to purchase should be cross checked before you make your ultimate purchase decision. For instance, batteries may have been working for a long period of time, and it is always better to check the batteries for leaks or other kinds of damage. Hard disk drives available in the surplus markets are important accessories that are prone to disaster if not checked properly, as are the ports and other connecting devices involved in a computer. One can get extensive information on both buying and choosing surplus computer parts through a simple search on the Internet.

Computer Overheating

If you have an unused fan port of any size, from 40mm to 120mm, you can install a fan. This is easy to do. They’re mounted with just 4 screws, and can be attached by a standard Molex plug by means of a 3 to 4 pin adapter. The adapter will almost always be included with the fan. Perhaps the best thing of all about these fans is their price. They cost about $5 for an 80mm, and around $10 for a 120mm.

If you don’t have a fan port, and don’t want to go to the trouble of case modification to make one, there is still a fan you can use. It’s a turbine fan, that mounts in a PCI slot. They’re thin, only the width of a slot, and somewhat disk shaped. Despite their small size, they can pull more air out of a PC than a regular 80mm fan. They can be attached to a Molex plug, and cost about $10.

Another way to attack the problem of airflow is to remove obstructions in the case. One place to start is with the IDE cables. Often called “ribbon cables” these connect your hard drive and CD/DVD to the motherboard. They can also block air to these components, allowing heat to pool. Ribbon cables can now be replaced with rounded ATA cables, which take up less space, allow air to circulate, and are much less susceptible to damage. They cost $5 each.

Decide On A Printer

Usually the big deciding factor on what kind of printer you are going to end up with is the price. Good inkjet printers can be had for one hundred dollars especially if you are not interested in printing in color. If you are intending to print photographs however then you have to start looking for a high quality bubble inkjet printer in the two hundred to three hundred dollar ranges. If you want to find an all in one printer that can do it all or a high quality laser printer then you can expect to pay three hundred dollars or more for the unit.

The absolute cheapest option for what you get are the inkjet printers and you can get one for fewer than fifty bucks by shopping on the Internet. These cheaper printers are slower and only print about ten pages a minute and have a reasonably high resolution of 1200 dpi resolution (dpi means drops per inch.)

The best inkjet printers that have the best value when it comes replacing the cartridges will be the ones that come with two cartridges – one unit for color and another for black and white. If there is only one cartridge you almost always end up using up all of the black ink and throwing out a lot of perfectly usable color ink. Color ink is considerably more expensive than black, so using a combination of colors rather than black ink to print out documents will also add to the cost of the use of your printer. Keep in mind too that the cheaper; the printer is the more ink it will probably eat up as it processes tasks.

If you are willing to spend more than a hundred dollars on a printer your options open up considerably. Printers are available at higher printing speeds and are able to print on different types of appear such as envelopes or business card stationery.

Sometimes if you are a savvy shopper, especially on the Internet you can find black and white laser printers for about a hundred dollars. These are best for people who print in bulk and don’t need to print out in color.

If you are willing to spend between $200 and $400 on a printer then you can get a very high quality inkjet printer that will print excellent quality graphics and photographs at a very fast speed. This price will also buy you a low-end color laser printer. A good quality one will print out between ten and twenty-five pages a minute. Any less pages printed out per minute and the laser printer is not a bargain for the price!

Electronic Locksmiths

There are various types of locks available today in the market. The fascinating part is that for almost all types of locks there are special locksmiths. One of the most popular types of locks today for consumers is electronic lock. Hence, we get electronic locksmiths. What exactly is an electronic lock? Well, it is basically a locking devise which works with the assistance of electricity or electric current. These locks are connected with an access system. The main advantage of locks with electronic properties is that they can be connected to the access system is that they can be keyless. If required, changes can be made in the access system and keys can be used too. The best part is that no changes are required in the lock when one shifts from keyless to with keys.

Opening an electronic lock is like pressing a button. Electronic locksmiths can add a lot of variation to the electronic locks. Electronic locksmiths can actually add codes or passwords to the locks as per the consumer wishes. The most popular mode of authentication in electronic locks used by electronic locksmiths is numerical code.

Another mean of authentication used by electronic locksmiths for their customers is usage of a card or a token. Electronic locksmiths can add or create a token or card specially designed to be swiped on the lock in order to open it. This card or token acts like a key for the lock. Card swipe electronic lock is often used in offices for employees.

Electronic locksmiths are trained professionals who work on locks and keys. The designs are made keeping in mind the end use or requirement of the customer. Today people are opting for electronic locks for their homes, offices, workshops, in government offices etc. Electronic locks are very safe and secure. People use them today because they can get their peace of mind once they install it.

The best part is that no key is used in such types of locks. There are codes and passwords to protect. However, in cases when there is a key in the form of a swipe card or token, it is still safe and secure. The reason is that there is unique software installed in the smart card or token by the electronic locksmith. This software is difficult to be copied. Hence, a duplicate key can not be created for the electronic lock.

People today want the best lock services to ensure that they do not suffer any loss because of theft or robbery. Electronic locks can help them to get a peaceful sleep.

Video Conversion

DVD players are taking the place of VHS players. The old video machine we are familiar with is becoming redundant in the face of the DVD player. This means that DVD’s are generally replacing videos. Certainly, there are a number of beneficial factors for DVD’s over VHS tapes. To name a few, these include longevity, hardiness, storability and picture quality. This means that Video tapes do not last as long as the DVD disk, they are more durable when compared with video tapes, they are smaller and easier to store, and finally, the quality of your DVD picture can be better than that of the VHS tape.

Thanks to modern technology, your old video tape can be digitally re-mastered, and edited to improve the end result and viewing appreciation. This means that the overall effect, and the degree to which you enjoy your movie, can be improved when converting your old VHS video to DVD. So, if you think video conversion would be beneficial to you, consider the following as your options.

You can choose to make the conversion yourself, by using bought software or hardware, all available from your computer shop. In these cases you should conduct research to ensure that you get the correct converting equipment to give you a good result. This can be the more complicated, and sometimes, if you cant get good advice, the more costly route to take. The other option for your video conversion is to use a reputable video conversion company.

A few companies specialize in video conversion to DVD. These companies offer the expert, professional video conversion services to provide you with an impressive and often improved end result. These professionals also offer a number of different services, all related to video conversion. These include video archiving, all format conversions, corporate DVD authoring, video to flash, video for web and High Definition Digital Video.

Therefore, these professionals offer services and provide the necessary skills that digitally re-master any video recording that you may want to preserve. They will convert your movies to any format you may require. Why not take the easy route for video conversion to DVD, by using a company that can improve your videos and offer you convenient services to keep your memories for longer.

Choose Suitable Wireless Router

Check What Wireless Standard you Need

There are many wireless routers supporting different wireless standard, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n (draft n), so which standard should you use?

The most popular and mature standard is 802.11g but the latest is 802.11n (draft n), however I would advise to choose the one with 802.11g standard if possible.

802.11g can support bandwidth up to 55Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. It’s compatible with 802.11b products because they both use the same radio frequency. That means 802.11g wireless router will be able to talk to 80.11b wireless adapter. The only problem of 802.11b/g is its interference with other electronic devices that utilize same 2.4GHz radio frequency and this will affect the wireless signal strength.

Then how about 802.11b? Since 802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11g, so I don’t recommend you to use 802.11b product. 802.11a wireless router is not so popular and normally used by business users, so you can forget about it.

As for the router with 802.11n (draft n) standard, it’s still new and the standard is yet to be finalized by IEEE. The expected speed is 10 times faster than 802.11g and the coverage is much wider. If you plan to buy it, be prepare to pay more as the price is expensive.

Compatibility with Other Wireless Devices

Think about the compatibility with wireless adapter, access point or other wireless devices when you choose the router. That’s no point you bought an 802.11g wireless router when other wireless devices are 802.11b aware only.

Always take into accounts of how do you plan to deploy the wireless network, what wireless devices you have and what others you plan to buy when choosing the wireless router.

Wireless Encryption Support

You must always enable encryption on your wireless router, so choose the router with at least WAP encryption. The best you can choose is the one with WPA2 encryption support. Having encryption in your wireless network would allow authorized users with correct encryption key to join the network. It would also avoid your network bandwidth from stealing by neighbor or strangers.

Don’t use WEP encryption on your router if you have better choices, this type of encryption is easily to be hacked by using hacking tool that freely available on Internet.

Other Security Features on Wireless Router

Look for the router that provides firewall feature! This will add an additional layer of protection to your network. If you manage to get the one with stateful inspection support, that would be the best. Stateful inspection firewall will inspect every state of the connections providing better capabilities to drop the malicious traffic.

Check also about the URL, IP and MAC address filtering features. These mentioned security features should be common nowadays, but just check about it to make sure the features are there.

Buy a Flat Panel Monitor

Arguably the best thing about the flat panel monitors is that they save over a square foot of room on your desk. Old school monitors are big, bulky and outdated. Most people are looking forward and changing over their offices to flat panel monitors. If you are looking for a new alternative for the large, bulky monitor you have in your home, a flat screen is the perfect solution. Many models are able to covert to a televison screen simply by pressing a button! This way you can have a high def experience while sending emails or watching your favorite show!
Another great feature about the flat screens are the USB ports. Say goodbye to the old days of having to move your big bulky computer around to plug in your digital cable. Today’s flat screen monitors have USB ports right on them so it’s easy to plug and play.

Flat panels are quickly becoming more known for their clear picture. The flat panels are brighter which makes graphics and text easier to see. Although the flat panels are generally crisper, some come with the option of digital or analog. Most have capabilities for both, but digital is sharper and has the better image. The digital flat panels usually run a little bit higher in cost, but any digital user will tell you, they’re worth every penny.

Although the flat panels may be a little more pricy up front, they are actually quite practical in the long run. Since the flat panels are smaller are more efficient, to run, they will save you money in energy costs.

They’re not cheap (though they save in energy costs).

While they’ve come down in price, there’s still no getting around it: You’ll pay a bit more for flat panels (although the gap in prices from CRT monitors has narrowed). That’s because they’re more difficult to manufacture.

Electronic Equipment Repair

Do not give in to pressure from parents or other forces or base your decision on the money will make. You may get a good paying job but you may not necessarily be happy. If your work does not match your values, interests and personality, it will not be long before you feel the strain. You need the passion in you to keep yourself going on bad days.

Sometimes being passionate about your career is not good enough. You should consistently plan and prepare to ensure that your technical skills and abilities are on par with your career ambitions. Let’s take this for example, if you want to be a good electronic repairer, you need to stay ahead of the learning curve and update yourself on new technical issues.

Ok, let’s come back the topic of “You can do all kinds of electronic equipment repair”. Why I want to bring up the word “Passion” because only passion that can help you to repair the equipment. Passion in you will tell you not to give up and continue to find the answers for the electronic problems. Passion in you will drive you to even a greater level of learning and understanding of electronics troubleshooting. Passion in you that motivates you to come out with new ideas of repairing and passion in you will help to guide you on what are the next steps you should make.

If you do not have the passion for electronics, I guess you will find this article boring and immediately exit this article as fast as I sent it to you. Well, I hope you are not because I presumed you love electronics otherwise you would not have subscribed to become the ERG member.

First you must know how to test and measure electronic components. There is no point for you even if you could able to identify the defective circuit in the equipment if you don’t know how to check and measure basic electronic components. Assuming you have locate that the vertical section was at fault causing one horizontal line in the display, but because you are weak in testing electronic components, voltage checking or even scope probing, your percentage of able to repair the Monitor would be not high. In order to overcome this problem, you must be able to test and check electronic components accurately by doing lots of practical test and read more information about electronic components either from the repair books or from the internet. You must pass this test first before going further. Once you had grasped the techniques of accurately testing electronic components, you have won 50 % of the battle.

Second, no matter what kind of electronic equipment you are repairing it will always start from “how this electronic equipment works”. If you don’t know how the equipment function or work, you will have the disadvantage and may completely can’t repair it. Take a look at this example, if the Monitor problem is in the horizontal section and you conclude that the problem is in the vertical section, you will lost countless of hours trying to find the faulty parts where actually the caused of the problem is in the horizontal section. In other words, if you do not know how electronic equipment works you will not know at where you want to begin the repair.

This scenario happened very common to beginners where they just started out in the repair field. In order to solve this problem, get the electronic board back home or whatever place you find convenience where you can slowly analyse the electronic circuits. Ask yourself these questions such as “why this board need to have the optoisolator in the power supply”? Is the optoisolator functions are for overvoltage or overcurrent protection and etc? What is the part number of the optoisolator? What is inside this optoisolator and how to test it to confirm whether it is good or bad? What would happen if the optoisolator developed a short circuit? Will it cause the power supply to shutdown, produce low power or even power blink?

Hope you get what I mean. By asking questions yourself, you are actually training your mind to understand more about electronics (in the above case is the optoisolator). Using this way on other parts of the circuits in the board and I’m sure one day you will definitely truly understand the electronic equipment that you are trying to repair. If you can’t find the answer, refer to electronics books, electronic repair forum or just surf the internet from different search engine (we have google.com, yahoo.com, msn.com, ask.com and etc) to get the answer you want.

Third, you need a schematic diagram to back up on what you are trying to understand on that particular electronic equipment. If you want to understand how LCD Monitor works then you should buy or download free LCD Monitor schematic diagram and start to practice how each of the circuits works. Break the circuits into different sections thus we have the power supply section, inverter, LCD panel, mainboard and etc. Study and understand each of these circuits and start to ask questions as explained in the above. Similarly, this example is applicable to you if you want to repair Plasma or LCD TV or whatever electronic equipment.

Fourth, investing in you-Invest in yourself. Notice that the first rule of investment isn’t “invest in your business” or anything else other than yourself. While investing and reinvesting into your repairing business is important, investing in yourself is your first priority of investing. You may ask “What to invest in yourself”? When I said, “invest in yourself”, I really meant that you should invest in your education (electronic repair courses), testing equipment, electronic repair books (either eBooks or physical books as long as the information are very helpful), schematic diagrams, tools and other necessary things making yourself better than you were yesterday. I think that by not investing in yourself by saving the little money you have actually had robs you of your technical knowledge (that you should know) or even financial independence! Why allow the excuse of not having money steal your technical knowledge (that you should add more) from you? In the technical line, one should have to go forward and not backward or “still” for such a long time. That kind of “still” mindset not only didn’t bring improvement to your technical knowledge but also your life.

There was a saying which I found it to be true-“There are three types of persons in the world:

  • The one who make things happen.
  • The one who wait for things to happen
  • The one who doesn’t know what happen.

I wish that you are not in the third category. You should be in the first category where you make things happen and not to wait for things to happen. Make your decision now as not to wait for things to happen. If you found that there are websites selling information like the training manuals, schematic diagrams or even repair tips that can help you to understand more about the electronic equipment you are repairing then buy it. Let me tell you another fact is that “no one will walk to you and show you how this or that functions in full details” you just have to make things happen by finding your own answers from the information you had bought. How many times have you post questions in the repair forum and you did no get the reply? If you are the one in the second category (wait for things to happen) I can guarantee that even after many years in the electronic repair line you will still loose out to a beginner who has the mindset of making things happen. Those beginners have the mindset of moving forward, invest (time and money), never give up, and willing to learn.

Conclusion-Do you believe now that you can do all kind of electronic equipment repair? I believe you can if you carefully follow the steps that I had explained above. The reason I write this article is to tell you that do not limit yourself, give yourself a chance to change! People just don’t like changes, they like their routine things but if you are able to make changes in your mindset, you can actually go further of what you are doing RIGHT NOW! Think about it my friend.

Bar Code Label Printers

Bar code label printers are generally the most common dot matrix, laser, and ink jet and thermal printers. Dot matrix printers are one of the oldest printers used for printing bar codes. In these printers, the lines are built dot-by-dot as a solenoid-driven needle strikes an ink ribbon, transferring the ink to the paper. These printers are inexpensive, can print any form and are easily accessible. However, the quality dot matrix printer is unacceptable today. Ink jet printers are one of the most commonly used printers, especially for high-speed applications. They can also be used to print directly onto a carton where a label has already been affixed.

However, they are suitable for only high-speed printing and may not be very cost-effective for small-scale bar code printing operations. Ink jet clogging, limited barcode resolution, “bleeding” ink, and poor contrasts are some of the disadvantages. Laser printers are quite good as far as the quality of the print is concerned. They have very good resolutions and can scan quite well. However, they cannot effectively print smaller labels. The adhesive on the labels has to be good enough to take the heat and pressure from the printer as most label adhesive tend to melt. Thermal printers for bar coding are of two types: direct printing and thermal transfer.

Bar code printers have to be analyzed on the basis of: quality of the print, readability, initial installation cost, speed, long-term maintenance cost, materials waste. Each of these printers has different results. Thermal label printers score well on all aspects except for material waste. They are most suitable for applications that have variable data fields, point-of application systems, varying label sizes, graphical and scalable text fonts, and high-definition bar codes. They are also compact, quiet, and have lower operating costs.

Today, there are special bar code label printers available with various options like different print modes, label cutter, liner take-up, peel, rewind, tear, real-time clock (for printing time and expiration dates); alerts for maintenance; portability, compatibility with parallel; serial, USB, wired or wireless Ethernet, twinax or coax cables; memory for storing frequently used data; font options like styles and colors; multi-lingual options; sensors and many more. These printers are also compatible with different sizes and materials of labels, including water-resistant, fabric or acrylic.