Saturday, July 27, 2013

The 10 Dollar Light Bulb

A few months ago, Cree issued a press release stating that they finally broke the 10 dollar price point for a 60 Watt replacement LED light bulb. It's reported to only consume 9 watts of power- nice. Well, there are finally a few stores like Home Depot making good on that promise, though $12.97 is not $10.00, FYI. They can be had from Amazon, but it looks like Home Depot is the best place to get them right now.

In addition to possibly lasting 20 years or more, they can also be dimmed, unlike compact florescent bulbs. Also unlike florescent bulbs, they come on to full brightness immediately; there is no warm-up period.

The new bulb is available in different tints, and the warm tint is reported to have a very similar tint to a classic incandescent bulb, unlike the hideously tinted florescent. I've always thought that compact florescent bulbs were just a stopgap until LED technology caught up with it in output and efficiency, and now here we are.

As a longtime LED enthusiast, it's very gratifying to see LEDs come into their own. They give us just about everything we could want in a lighting application. Now, we just need to get those bulbs closer to $5.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Charging Cable For ZTE and Huawei Phones

It took me a long time to find this cable, so maybe others with a ZTE or Huawei phone might find this
Waka Waka Solar Powered Lamp/Mobile Charger Connected To ZTE Engage Smartphone
Charging the ZTE from my Waka Waka Solar Charger
information useful. The problem is that these phones are very picky about the chargers you can use with them. I've been building battery packs and about 3/4 of them do not charge my ZTE Engage smartphone ... until now.

Fast Charge Micro-USB High Speed Charging Cable

With this cable, I can now charge my phone from any USB battery pack or charger that gives 5V to the USB port, and I don't have to worry if my phone will like the charger or not!

This was a very annoying issue for me, and nobody seems to know jack squat about what exactly these phones expect from the USB cable that most chargers don't have. Obviously it has something to do with power to the data pins, but at least know I have a good clue, and a cable that lets me use the chargers I want, like my Waka Waka lantern/charger.

From talking to a few experts, this cable most likely just shorts out the data pins using the DCP (Dedicated Charging Port) spec.