According to Jim

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Digital Power Supply Tester

I can’t believe I waited all this time to make an investment in a power supply tester for PC computers. This tester will pay for itself in one use.

Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester
Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester Model 101530

Given that many of us have more than one PC in our homes or businesses, and the fact that given enough time all electronic items will fail and die, the quick and easy digital power supply tester is the one tool that everyone should have.

After looking at all the pros and cons and reading the Amazon online reviews of the various digital power supply testers, I decided on the Manhatton Digital Power Supply Tester for ATX, 20- or 24-pin connectors.

Here is what can be done with it:

  • Quickly diagnose power supply units, saving time, avoiding system damage, and data loss.
  • Accepts 20- or 24-pin ATX, 4-, 6-, and 8-pin CPU, 4-pin FDD, 4-pin Molex (HDD) and SATA power connectors.
  • Voltage indicator safely and accurately detects voltage presence.
  • Easy to read, backlit LDC display with audible alarms and LED indicators.
  • Sturdy, lightweight, and compact aluminum case; ideal for carrying in a toolkit or having it on the technician’s bench.
  • Lifetime Warranty.

The instructions are included with the device, though you have to look inside the sandwiched cardboard display sleeve to find them.

The directions are easy and is actually very simple to use.

  • Make sure the power supply and all the connections are removed from the computer.
  • Plug in the main 20- or 24-pin ATX connector from a power supply that you want to check.
  • Two beeps indicate that the liquid-crystal display (LCD) has updated each voltage and power-good (PG) value based on what is currently being tested.
  • The 12 V, 3.3 V, and 5 V LEDs will light if their corresponding power outputs are good, and reamian off if the power outputs fail. (The voltage sources are to be tested one by one.)
  • Test any of the component voltage cables one at a time by attaching a 4-, 6-, or 8-pin CPU connector, 4-pin FDD or Molex (HDD) connector (+12 V1 / +5 V), or SATA (+12 V1 / +5 V / +3.3 V) connector to the tester, checking the appropriate LEDs for output indications.
  • Remove each non-ATX connector after each test. Caution: Besides the 20 or 24-pin ATX connector, do not plug more than one additional power connector at a time into the tester.
Normal Voltage Range* Display Voltage Range*
Lower (A) Higher (B) Min. (C) Max. (D)
+5 V +4.75 V +5.25 V 4.0 V 6.0 V
-12 V -11 V -13 V -10 V -14 V
+12 V1 +11 V +13 V 10 V 14 V
+12 V2 +11 V +13 V 10 V 14 V
+3.3 V +3.14 V +3.47 V 2.0 V 4.5 V
+5 VSB +4.75 V +5.25 V 4.0 V 9.0 V
PG 0 ms 990 ms

* +/-5% for +5 V, +3.3 V, +5 VSB; +/-10% for +12 V1, +12 V2, -12 V.

Voltage Table and Readings

  • Abnormal voltage will not display on the LCD.
  • “LL” displays when no voltage or voltage lower than a minimum acceptable value is detected.
  • “HH” displays when voltage is higher than a maximum acceptable value is detected.
  • If the detected voltage is lower than table value (A) or higher than table value (B), an alarm beeps.
  • If the detected PG value is lower than 100 ms or higher than 900 ms, an alarm beeps and the reading blinks on the LCD screen.

The tester works as advertised. Quite a handy device.

Check it out: Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester

Jim

New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade

Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it.

BlogolifeBlogoLife 1.8 by wplook

BlogoLife is a simple and perfect HTML5 & CSS3 theme for personal blogging that supports post formats, and several customization options. The custom background, custom header, and multiple color schemes gives you the possibility to adapt your blog as you wish.
Options: Widgets | Menus | Wplook Panel | Background | Header

With the BlogoLife template, I customized it to the size width that I wanted. Though, I had to do some figuring out the widths in order to create some new graphics for the wider width that I was changing it to. I ended up increasing both the left column (main text area) slightly, and increased the width of the right column significantly to allow for the usage of wider graphics.

Prior to using the new template, I decided to upgrade WordPress to the latest and greatest. That was quite a story in itself and required troubleshooting an upgrade that went awry. If using WordPress for your website, I suggest reading about how to recover from a failed WordPress update here.

Once I was upgraded with WP and all the Plugins, I tackled the template area. As with any website, there are tons of things behind the scenes, which are not seen by most folks visiting a website. However, if you are a website developer, you know what I am talking about. Spacing, alignment, color, graphics, text size, and even the header and footer spacing is a puzzle with having to make sure all the pieces fit together properly. Everything is looked at with a critical eye (mine), and still there are always things that you want to improve. Then on top of all of that, making sure that Web functionality is still intact, navigation, analytics, and other smaller items of importance such as how the admin area for comments, access, and page and post edits work in conjunction with the template are all inner-linked and functioning well together.

So, I hope you like the new design to the website. In this template, you might see some different colors every once in awhile, along with different header images too. Let me know what you think.

Regards,

Jim

Cisco – Linksys E2000 Advanced Dual-Band Wireless-N Router

Cisco Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router – “Cisco Factory Refurb”

Cisco Linksys Router

Cisco Linksys E2000 Wireless Router

I remember the days when routers were not even allowed on Comcast. At least that was the official line. Then like everyone else, Comcast realized that was a silly terms of service requirement. Today just about everyone has more than one computer and many folks are running a combination wired and wireless home network to hook up their PC and Apple desktops, laptops, Nintendo Wii, iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and even new high definition flat screen televisions are configured for wireless access for Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming video services. Making the best choice for a wireless router is most important when it comes to making sure all those devices work well for Internet connectivity.

Like many of you, I did tons of research on the pros and cons of all the available routers for sale. Trying to decide what is important is difficult when there are so many choices. However, the important stuff to me came down to reliability, cost, signal strength, and ease of use.

Reliability:

Like one of the Amazon reviewers stated in the feedback area online, since it is a refurbished unit, they felt that Cisco would have gone completely through it to test everything out. That gave me the confidence on the reliability aspect. Plus, having the backing of the good customer service through Amazon was icing on the cake for peace of mind.

Cost:

Wow, what can you say here! Such a great deal! Why would I want to spend more for a router?

Signal Strength:

Signal strength was part of my criteria for judging the various routers on the market. However, there are many issues which can affect signal performance. Location, location, location is everything. If you place a router behind some shielded wall, signal strength will surfer. Also, depending on the band usage, i.e. 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz, 2.4 GHz goes further no matter what router you get. Remember, the lower the frequency, the greater the distance given the same power output. I operate exclusively on the 2.4 GHz band. Note that only one band is selectable at a time (which is no big deal in my mind). While the signal strength on the 2.4 GHz might (and I say might) be a little bit less than my old Linksys SRX200, there simply is no comparison as far as the performance is concerned. The Linksys SRX200 was constantly dropping signal. The Cisco Linksys E2000 has never dropped signal on me at all.

Ease of Use:

Let’s face it here. Once you set up the router, how likely are you going to have to keep changing things in the future? However, with that being said, the Linksys SRX200 was a piece of cake to set up. I use the router login through any web browser to set up all routers anyways. No, I did not even insert the setup CD in the computer. So, I can’t tell you how that goes, but from my standpoint, it is simple to login [ http://192.168.1.1 ] to the router IP address through the browser and set up what you want. Refer to getting a new IP address from Comcast for more information on various router brands and accessibility through a browser.

The Cisco E2000 has extended coverage with an additional internal antenna designed for larger homes.

Features Include:

  • Wireless-N Selectable Dual-Band (2.4 or 5 GHz)
  • Gigabit Ethernet 4-port switch
  • Additional antenna for extended coverage
Model: Linksys E2000
Technology: Wireless-N
Bands: Selectable 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz
Transmit / receive: 2 x 3
Antennas: 3 Internal
Ethernet ports x speed: 4 x Gigabit
USB port: No USB port
Software setup: CD Install
Cisco Connect software: Yes
Support: 24/7 Award-winning Online Support Resources
90 days Complimentary Assisted Support
Warranty: 1 year hardware limited warranty
OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Minimum System Requirements: Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 6, Safari 3 or Firefox 2 for optional browser-based configuration
PC: Wireless network enabled PC with CD or DVD drive, running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7
Mac: Wireless network enabled Mac with CD or DVD drive, running OS X Tiger 10.4.11, Leopard 10.5.8 or Snow Leopard10.6.1
Package Contents: Linksys E2000 Wireless-N Router
Setup Software and User Guide on CD-ROM
Ethernet network cable
Quick Installation Guide
Energy Star power adapter

Bottom line, it has been working great for a couple of months so far. I am extremely pleased with the performance at this time.

Regards,

Jim

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