Questions tagged [consumer-electronics]

For engineering questions involving consumer electronics. Support / troubleshooting questions about consumer electronics are off-topic and will be closed.

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How do 120V AC dimmable LED bulbs advertised as "flicker free" work?

I'm a layperson, not an engineer, so forgive the ignorance. I want to replace some dimmable 120V AC G8 xenon bulbs with LED bulbs, but so far three different LED bulbs I've tried, all advertised as &...
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1 answer
37 views

How can a fan keep spinning normally but suddenly move very little air?

I have a small portable fan, around 15 cm in diameter and lately it is behaving oddly. Basically I turn it on, the airflow is good but then after 10 minutes or 30 minutes or sometimes hours, the ...
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1 answer
29 views

Why do I not get zapped when I hold my fingers on each end of an AA battery, like 3R12 ones?

When I was a kid, I got an 3R12 (or are they called R12?) battery. I don't know why, but I tried to put my tongue so that it touched both of the little metal things, which made it tingle. It felt ...
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0 votes
3 answers
75 views

How did this tape recording possibly happen on a technical and logical level?

Recently, I dug up an old C90 audio cassette from when I was a kid in the early to mid 1990s. It's possible that it was already a few years old then, used by my parents and possibly others. I set up ...
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What do the different "mA" versions of this "battery eliminator" mean?

Page in Swedish, but has a photo: https://www.jula.se/catalog/hem-och-hushall/hemelektronik/batteriladdning/batterieliminatorer/batterieliminator-409049/ This device allows you to select between 3-12 ...
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4 answers
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Time period of charging a mobile phone via car

As car batteries provide only 12 V instead of ~230-250 V, I assume it takes much longer to charge them compared to a common wall socket?
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2 answers
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How is it possible that "fiddling around with" batteries can apparently give them more power?

I have a flashlight which I use when I have to get up in the night in the pitch-black room. It takes three AAA batteries. Recently, it has been rather dim, so I assumed that I would have to switch ...
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1 answer
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How to know which opto-coupler is suitable for high current application?

I would like a suitable opto-coupler to use as isolation from a 12V and around 30A current and another for 5V and around 30A. Are there any good opto-couplers for those ratings?
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1 answer
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Why does the manual to my floor fan tell me to pull out the cord whenever it's not in use?

In the manual to my just-bought floor fan, it says this (among many other weird requirements/expectations): Pull out the plug from the power point when the product is not in use. Do not pull the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Analysing UART Signal From E-Scooter Controller

I'm currently working on a project with an electric scooter, I intend to install a larger battery into the scooter and also replace the stock 300W controller for a VESC. BUT I want to keep the ...
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1 answer
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Is it only "home-burned" CDs/discs that "expire" in a few years, or does that also apply to "professionally pressed" ones as well?

I've many times heard things along the lines of: Those CDs/DVDs won't last forever. In fact, the data will be gone/corrupted in just a few years. Does this apply only to discs that were "burned&...
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Can internal heat reduce significantly a laptop's lifespan?

Some days ago I had an heated debate (pun not intended) with a friend regarding the use of my laptops. Basically he says which I'm slowly killing them by using them for computing intensive tasks which ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do modern phone cameras apparently have three or even more different camera lenses in almost the same spot?

I saw this today: It's not the first time I see it, but I wonder what this is about. Why do they have three big what I assume are camera lenses? And what's the two smaller "spots" in the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
84 views

Why do the "LINE OUT" connectors not seem to output audio, but "HEADPHONE JACK" does?

I have a "Clas Ohlson TCD-983WEC CDMP3". It's a cheap "multi-unit" music player bought maybe 10 years ago or longer. I'm using it exclusively for its (cheap) tape player, since my ...
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1 answer
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Is it possible that room noises could end up on the recording when recording audio from an analogue source?

I have a VCR with a tape cartridge playing in it. The video output (SCART/RCA) goes from the back of the VCR into my Elgato video capturing device's RCA cables. The Elgato device is then connected via ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What are these mysterious switches on my old VCR? [closed]

I have a Samsung VX-306/EDI (VHS PAL) VCR bought in/from the 1990s. I have lost the physical manual and was unable to find any digital copy of it online (what a shocker...). Now I'm wondering what the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
56 views

What version of Bluetooth does the Echo Show 5 support? [closed]

Title says it all. I can’t find the Bluetooth version, only that it supports Bluetooth. Also, forgive me if this question is off topic here.
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Is there such a thing as a modern-manufactured, flat, fake CRT TV? [closed]

CRT TVs were great, and an absolute must for all classic video games. However, it cannot be denied that it's impossible to buy a new CRT TV today, at least in any kind of normal store, and you rarely ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Unknown metal-piece connected to the case of an iPod Nano 2

I disassembled an iPod Nano 2 yesterday and was surprised to find a round brass-coloured plate glued to the back. I didn't find any mention of it at the teardown over at ifixit.com, as they didn't cut ...
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1 answer
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Does a stove which has started emitting heat on the non-circled areas have something wrong with it?

We have a electric stove which looks like it was designed in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and probably was made in ~1995. It has physical knobs that you turn around to change the heat for each plate....
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1 vote
1 answer
162 views

Is using your mouth and lungs to blow away dust inside your computer somehow bad for the computer?

Bottles of compressed air are very expensive where I live. While it would be nice and ideal to have and do a "proper" cleaning, I've always used my mouth and lungs to blow air onto the dust ...
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1 vote
0 answers
43 views

How long can I reasonably expect my external USB HDDs and memory sticks to last?

I have a number of external USB HDDs (nearly all of them 2.5") in my fireproof safe. They are between 7 and 9 years old. (For a period of two years, I bought one almost every month until I had ...
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0 votes
1 answer
71 views

What has changed since the 1990s that made "LED lights" possible?

I keep seeing all kinds of objects now having small but very bright LED lights in them, seemingly never burning out, requiring almost no batteries/power, and extremely durable. I remember being a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
64 views

Is there no longer such a thing as varying quality of hardware for USB memsticks? [closed]

I'm trying to buy a new 128 GB memstick, for the first time in a very long time. It's going to store important files, and while I will have at least one "copy", I still don't want either of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
34 views

Is there yet such a thing as a "dynamic sheet of paper"? [closed]

I know about "e-ink", but I haven't heard anyone even mention that since like 2006 or something. I'm looking for essentially a single A4 (or "Letter" size) sheet of paper which is ...
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Has there been any deliberate implementation of combinational logic soft error correction in any consumer-level product, like a CPU/microcontroller?

It is well known that many error detection, mitigation, and correction methods, such as parity or ECC, have been available in large memory banks, like for RAM, for decades now, and even in CPU caches ...
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0 votes
1 answer
58 views

How do I reduce the mains spike in a switched mode PSU?

I have a switched-mode PSU for a gaming laptop. It has a bad habit of burning out the switches on mains extension panels when I turn it on (two in the last four days). The turn-on surge is always ...
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1 vote
3 answers
424 views

Why Sony headset's charging station doesn't charge other NiMH batteries rather than which came with it?

I've got a Sony MDR-RF4000 wireless headset, which is already 7 years old, so obviously its NiMH battery (Sony BP-HP550-11, basically a pair of AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries tied together) shows the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
33 views

Electrical component most likely to fail in window AC unit after power surge?

I have a window AC unit, 115 VAC, 10 amps. Power went out earlier in the week due to the big storm on the east coast and once it came back on every LED on the control panel was lit (not typical) and ...
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1 vote
2 answers
67 views

Why was air conditioning so early and wide-spread in the USA specifically?

As far as I understand things, air conditioning was standard in cars in the USA as early as by the mid-1950s or so. Perhaps even sooner. In the late 1990s, our car (common model of Volvo, albeit a few ...
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2 votes
3 answers
365 views

Did toasters ever make the toasted bread jump up in the air when done?

In numerous cartoons, video games, movies, etc., I've seen how a toaster makes the toasted bread jump high up in the air when done, forcing the user to catch them mid-air or pick them up after they've ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
63 views

As a rugged and waterproof device, how does gopro dissipate heat?

I am new to designing rugged + waterproof products. I am curious about how to dissipate heat when the electronics are running and the ambient environment is even hotter. It seems like the mode of heat ...
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50 votes
13 answers
13k views

Are toasters really electrified inside of the "slots"?

My mother was born 1950. Me in the mid-1980s. All my life, she's been saying that I must never stick a metal object, such as a knife, into the toaster, because it will electrocute me. I've always been ...
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2 votes
4 answers
201 views

How can the ink dry so quickly after it comes out from an inkjet printer?

Every time I print a page with my inkjet printer, knowing that it literally "jets" ink all over the sheet, I'm baffled by how it's immediately dried. I cannot smudge it with my fingers even ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
123 views

How are the electronics and chips inside the microwave protected from the microwave radiation/energy?

Let's say I put in an endoscope like camera with the lens at the inside edge of the box and the wire behind metal sheet. Here's a mockup: Could use microwave reflecting or absorbing wrap to wrap the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Was our wireless home telephone in the 1990s encrypted or completely insecure? And how did it work so far from home?

In the mid-1990s, our family got a cheap (I assume, since we weren't rich) but at least brand new telephone which either had two wireless "units", or one (my memory is a bit foggy on this detail), but ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
172 views

What is the plastic cover thing for in microwave ovens?

With every microwave oven I have ever had, it has come with a plastic thing that you are (apparently) supposed to put over the food when microwaving it. Some food products mention this and tell you ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do modern consoles require active cooling when old consoles did not?

I grew up with the Pong, NES, SNES, Mega Drive, Saturn, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Game Boys, etc. None of these made any kind of noise when powered on. They were 100% silent. You just flicked them on, ...
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2 votes
3 answers
135 views

Why does audio equipment buzz/humm when a long signal cable is used and how do I eliminate it?

I have two 5.1 speaker sets, one in the front and one in the back of my living room. I have connected them together with an "audio wire" (non-shielded unfortunately) that's 12 meters in length. Since ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
73 views

What is this gigantic high-tech cylinder in the corner of a middle-class Chinese family's living/dining room in Shanghai? [closed]

My guess is that it has something to do with the climate, but why is it so big and cylinder-shaped? I guess it could actually be a fridge, but it looks too oddly shaped to be that. But maybe. The room ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
82 views

How is digital image-data converted to a laser projection in laser printers?

By laser projection I mean the laser beam that is projected onto the photosensitive drum in the laser printer. The printer receives digital image data from a computer processes it and projects it onto ...
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1 vote
1 answer
58 views

Is it still a bad idea to keep modern electronics plugged into the charger cable for longer than necessary?

I have an "DaVinci IQ" portable vaporizer. Since the battery quickly runs out of power, I often keep it lying next to me, plugging from the computer into its USB-to-Mini-USB (or maybe it's Micro-USB --...
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0 votes
0 answers
58 views

How to add external sensor data to pictures, canon DSLR, hot shoe, electronics

Here's a challenge - I am trying to add different sensors data (height,temperature,distance by laser) to pictures i take with a canon DSLR camera. Would it be possible to connect different sensors ...
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1 vote
2 answers
61 views

Electronic component datasheet handling

What is $V_{IH}$ and $V_{IL}$ in datasheets? I found High-level input voltage and Low-level input voltage on the datasheet?
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0 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the range of frequency used in TV remote?

Household TV remote control use Infrared rays. Infrared rays have frequency from 300 GHz to 430 THz. What is the range of frequency used in TV remote?
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2 votes
0 answers
29 views

Health hazards of disassembling electronic devices?

I´ve been disassembling a lot of electronic devices in order to recycle them, separating plastics, electronic boards and bolts/other metal parts. Is there any proof of health hazards for doing it ...
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1 answer
45 views

What is the mechanism of transition in applications of finite state automata?

Just began studying automata. I've already seen several examples of the applications of finite automata: pattern matching, automatic doors, etc. And so far, I understand the logical connection between ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Pathway for drone racing

How can I build a v shaped pathway for drones? It would be a sort of racing path and there would be multiple drones flying over the pathway at the same time. The race would be a relay race. So there ...
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  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
152 views

LED Lights Dimmer Electronics

I have a Wemo Smart WiFi Smart Dimmer with me that can control CFL, Incandescent and LED lights. (https://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F7C059/). I am curious to know how one device can handle all type of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
121 views

Compensating for a magnet in a device with a magnetometer

I'm working on a device that relies on data from a magnetometer. Unfortunately, the device also needs to have a fairly powerful magnet on it. Given that the design is fairly flexible, and within ...
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