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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50
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13answers
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 ...
15
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2answers
3k views

What is this small rotating part from a cell phone?

What is this tiny rotating piece of hardware that I found inside my Samsung GE1202? It has E9C written in blue on it.
8
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2answers
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
311 views

Does a transformer use power when devices aren't attached?

I have just purchased a 45 W 12 V transformer with an integral photocell for landscape lights. I measured the voltage while it was plugged in and the photocell closed the circuit (off) and there was ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

Why are LED blinking?

If you carefully look at LED in flashlights, they are blinking at fast rate despite the batteries are DC. It's even more obvious on flashlights with separate R,G,B LED (to allow the control of color) ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Analog addressing flat panel display

Cathode ray tubes (CRT) are analog addressing displays because you can light a point on its surface applying a continuous electric or magnetic field to deflect electrons beam. Virtually, there is no ...
2
votes
2answers
748 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
606 views

Do smoke alarms become more sensitive as they get older?

From what I understand a smoke alarm works by emitting some sort of radioactive particle and then counting how many of these particles hit a receiver. When there is smoke in between, it blocks some of ...
2
votes
3answers
233 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
150 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Identifying affordable alternatives for low-frequency high-current DC-DC solid state relays

Please note, this is not a shopping question; this is a what type of component works best for this scenario question. I have an induction heater circuit and a 5A max. / 24V wall wart, and I'd like ...
2
votes
1answer
32 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.
2
votes
0answers
31 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

Why do microwaves get louder when the timer goes off?

With most microwaves I've used, I've noticed that once the timer goes off, there is a couple seconds where the "microwave sound" gets louder and it seems to be cooking more intensely before it ...
1
vote
3answers
311 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Looking for a current multiplier circuit - if possible

I used a very inexpensive circuit based on the TP4056 chip and built a Lithium Ion battery charger for 18650 batteries. The problem is, the batteries I use have so much capacity that the circuit, ...
1
vote
1answer
437 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
91 views

Is it possible that an electronic device "half-works" when the power adapter supplies too much voltage?

I work in a lab, and I've been trying to replace a lost AC-DC power adapter. I got one recently that has the exact specs that I need, which are apparently pretty rare (15V, 400 mA). However, when I ...
1
vote
1answer
95 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
65 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
60 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?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

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&...
1
vote
3answers
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 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 --...
1
vote
1answer
519 views

Can one build a custom Android TV by buying different components of the system? [closed]

With a spec as good as Nvidia Shield plus one with a build in TV tuner?
1
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1answer
40 views

How to use consumer electronics for industrial application on high temperature

I need to measure the width of a bar made out of glowing red steel (900-1200 degrees Celsius) using computer vision. In order to ensure resolution of a 0.5 millimeters/px, the camera is needed to ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

How to join between two PBX telephones wirelessly?

I have two PBX telephones. Each one has a line cables to the houses, but there is no connection between these two pbx telephones, neither wire nor wireless. How can I join between them wirelessly? ...
1
vote
0answers
28 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 ...
1
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0answers
68 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
33 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
141 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
109 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

I would like to run a smartphone using a primary battery instead of rechargeable for a project. What are the 4 contacts used for on the factory LiPo?

Most phone batteries will have a connector of some type with 4 contacts. Of course two of those I'd expect to be +- Voltage, but the other two compose some sort of mystery input to the phone (...
1
vote
2answers
62 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

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?
0
votes
1answer
67 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Why aren't these kind of drivers used in loudspeakers?

This is a driver in a headphone. These can produce every sound and beyond that humans can hear. I understand that there are full range speakers that are sometimes used, but they work in a very ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Is it possible to cook with low power PV systems (under 300 W)

This topic is slightly related to this one, with some extra details. I would like to go off-grid and therefore buy a PV kit. I can see that the prices for PV systems with a power of +3kW are very ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

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....
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
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?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

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 ...