Another Cheap Nuclear Radiation Tester | Voltlog #423

Welcome to a new video, today we’ll be taking a look at yet another cheap radiation detector and it’s going to be similar to the one reviewed in Voltlog 416, except it’s cheaper. It’s also not as big physically and it’s not a multifunction tester, this one just measures radiation but let’s start with our basics, this is the packaging it comes in, inside the box you will find this hard shell carry case which is a nice addition when compared to the previous model we reviewed and btw this one doesn’t really have any branding or a particular model mentioned, it’s just a generic radiation tester but because of that I would image that it’s likely you will find this sold under different names, brands or even shapes.

Inside the case the meter sits nicely in this cutout and you get a short USB-C charging cable, a hand strap and a short user manual. Like mentioned this is smaller physically which could be a nice advantage, but also comes with a smaller screen. We have a couple of rubber bands on the sides and a metal clip on the back, with the charging port located on the bottom. Plastic feels soft & decent, matte black, I quite like that.

On paper at least this seems to have better sensitivity when compared to the previous model I reviewed but realistically given the size and cost of the unit, I think it must be using a similar miniaturized geiger muller tube which is not the most sensitive tube for this type of application but it does have the size and cost advantage. We’ll be able to see more about this topic in the teardown but first let’s turn on the unit.

The screen on this unit feels a bit small at just 2 inches. I mean , in this reading mode, I can clearly see the readings which are using this nice and big 7-segment font, but the small text on the blue ribbons, that seems a bit small to easily read. On the plus side, brightness seems good, easily visible even under my bright video shooting lights. The problem is more apparent when you switch to the menu system which feels really crowded, they went with this thumbnail arrangement, the icons feel small, the text feels small. I would have probably preferred just a simple list menu for this with bigger text.

In terms of functionality you get the standard measure & display screen but you also have the options of setting up alarm thresholds and the meter can continue monitoring with the screen off for up to 20 days of battery life and it will trigger an alarm once the threshold is exceeded. It lets you configure the screen off timeout as well as the auto power off timeout which is nice and It can also do data logging although I have not seen any mention of the available memory. A couple of other settings for things like language or screen brightness are also available from the menu system.

MagicDAQ Automate Your Test & Measurements Setup | Voltlog #420

Welcome to a new Voltlog, today we’re taking a look at a device which is not typical to be found in a hobbyist lab but one that certainly has its place with the more advanced user that has some automated test setup needs. This is the MagicDAQ and it was sent in for free for the purpose of this review, I believe it was shipped from New Zealand so I think it might be made in New Zealand.

Here is the spec list for this unit, we have:

  • 8 analog inputs (14 bits, 48Ks/s +/- 10V), typical voltage resolution is 10mV. These can be connected single ended or differential between channels.
  • 8 Digital inputs or outputs (0-5V)
  • 2 Analog outputs capable of Voltage, Sine or PWM output (0-5V), 12 bit DAC resolution with up to 31KHz of output frequency.
  • 1 Counter up to 5MHz with edge detection / PWM up to 65KHz (0-3V3) I’m guessing this can be both input and output?
  • One 5V output limited to 250mA, powered from VBUS rail.
  • It’s USB powered and comes with a DIN rail mount.
  • And another important feature is the way you control the hardware which is through a Python API and everyone loves python these days, however there is one important limitation here, it is only supported under Windows because of hardware driver constraints which prevent it from working under Linux and Mac.

Inside the box I got the unit, the DIN rail adapter and a USB cable, this is good practice, to include the USB cable because users might have a low quality USB cable laying around and they might decide to use that low quality USB cable with your product which might cause all sorts of trouble and head scratching as to why your product isn’t working as expected, By including a good quality cable in the box, you limit the number of things that might go wrong for the user.

Getting all the power I need with the Blitzwolf BW-PG1 Power Station | Voltlog #417

Welcome to a new video, today we’ll be taking a look at a device which I believe is gaining more popularity, especially as summer time approaches and people are spending more time outdoors. It’s no secret that we are dependent on our gadgets now more than ever and we need to keep them charged. 

Regular 10-20Ah powerbanks can save the day for your phone or tablet but if we’re talking about multiple gadgets like multiple phones, tablets, laptops, portable speakers, lights, etc then you need something more serious with higher capacity, multiple ports, maybe even an AC outlet. 

That’s why today we’ll be looking at this guy, it’s the Blitzwolf PG1 a true power station holding 124Ah of battery capacity(in this version which is the upgraded one) and providing you with multiple USB ports for DC output, two AC outputs, a built-in bluetooth speaker, an LED light with everything built into this nice rugged case which comes with a carry handle so this might be a true companion for a camping trip or a summer beach day or even for those unexpected long power outages.

So everything sounds good on paper for this power station and blitzwolf products are generally pretty good. I’ve owned several power adapters, usb charging cables and various other smartphone accessories from Blitzwolf in the past and they’ve been great. I would say they are similar in quality with Baseus products if you are familiar with that brand which I also show a lot on this channel. But in this video we’ll check for ourselves, we’ll do a teardown, because having all of that energy inside this power station can be dangerous if it’s not built with a certain degree of quality and attention to detail.

The unit was super nicely packed in a thick double box so it arrived in perfect condition and its own internal packaging and protection is very professional so I don’t think anything can happen to this product during shipping but it’s also not wise to underestimate what shipping companies are capable of.

Blitzwolf PG1 Teardown Pictures

Getting a Geiger Counter Radiation Detector Might Be Useful | Voltlog #416

So I looked around for a portable Geiger counter that might give some indication or warning if the radiation levels start to increase. There are a few models available online, some which are for professional use but ofcourse you would expect those to be very expensive, so I was looking for something on the affordable side of things.

This model popped up in my searches, is the JD-3001 multifunctional Geiger counter and this can monitor gamma beta as well as electric and magnetic fields all in the same unit. I’m gonna put the specs of the unit on screen while I mention that it was offered for free by for the purpose of this review and right now there is a high demand for these, but it shows in stock on, the price is discounted and on top of that if you look in the description of the video you will find a coupon code that will provide you with an additional discount for this product.

Not sure how relevant it is but the unit also includes a temperature + humidity sensor which is located in this small extremity. When compared to other units available on the market this one seemed more interesting because it had some nice features like built-in lithium battery, rechargeable via USB Type-C port. It can do data logging on its internal memory and then you can access and download the logs through the USB port and probably the nicest feature is this big crisp color LCD display.

REJOE Power monitor EMK850S+ Review & Teardown | Voltlog #415

Welcome to a new video, this will be a review & teardown of this power profiler device so this can be useful if you are trying to measure the power usage of a particular board that you are working on. It can internally generate an adjustable voltage power supply rail which it outputs on these terminals, you use that to power the device under test then by using the supplied PC software you can analyze the power usage of your device in great detail. 

As you may remember I also have a Joulescope which is an awesome piece of equipment, high resolution, high dynamic range for doing the same kind of analysis but it does not include the power supply. This guy with its included power supply is closer to something like an otii arc, cause that one also include the power supply so I might make some comparisons in terms of specs with these devices during the video.

Inside the box you get a power brick which feels low quality, a mains IEC cable with an adapter for European plugs, we won’t be needing these as I can use my own IEC cable with the proper plug, and a set of short test leads with banana plugs and J clips, The cable feels nice, flexible but the connectors are of low quality and you are likely to encounter problems if you will be using this types of clips long term so I will be replacing these as well. In my opinion, instead of including cheap test leads, you might not include any at all. Saves the final user the trouble of dealing with bad test leads.

The front panel features the two output banana plugs widely spaced apart, two rotary encoders crammed together and a couple of 7 segment displays for voltage and current so that you can get readings independent of the PC app. On the back we get the DC 12V input and the USB connection for the computer plus an on/off switch. They had plenty of space on the front panel so I think it would be nicer to have the on/off switch on the front. And the two potentiometers spaced wider apart. The model number for this unit is EMK850S+.

They don’t tell much in terms of specs but they mention Input Voltage 12V DC, Output voltage 0.5-12V,

Measure Range: 0.1μA – 2A, provides μA resolution current measurements with a sample rate of up to 10 ksps. No claims on accuracy as of now but maybe they’ll add those later, as I said this is a new product. If we compare it to the joulescope which has a 2Meg sample rate and 1nA resolution the TechRejoe unit is clearly lower specced but also less expensive

Best Affordable USB Analyzer QC/PD AVHzY CT-3 Shizuku | Voltlog #407

Welcome to a new Voltlog, In this video I’m gonna show you what I think it’s the best affordable USB Meter you can get right now in terms of functionality and build quality. The functionality built into this usb meter goes beyond your imagination and it’s hard to even remember all of the different functions this meter will support and the PC app they offer has to be one of the best apps I’ve seen from a Chinese company. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, might still have a few bugs but definitely the best choice you can make right now.

The meter is branded AVHzY, the model number is CT-3 and full disclosure here, they offered this unit for free for the purpose of this review but they don’t pay me and I have full control over this review. The meter comes in a hard shell case so it’s well protected during shipping and to my surprise I got this in just under 2 weeks while the usual transit times for my packages are in the 3-4 weeks. Inside you get this english quick start guide, there was also a screen protector film which I already installed, it went in there perfectly and I really appreciate having that included because it was the perfect size.

This is the typical USB meter sandwich construction with different layers, this one seems to be using a single PCB in the middle with a couple of metal sheets on the outer layers which makes it feel premium and more rugged than simple plastic. We have the typical USB Type-A connectors for input and output , USB Type C input and output and also a micro USB for PC connection. The LCD is 128*160 pixels at just 1.77” which is not a lot, you can definitely see those pixels but for a small USB Meter I can’t complain, it’s still readable.

Owon SPE6102 Power Supply Review & Teardown (SPE Series) | Voltlog 400

Owon have had a bunch of power supply models in their lineup for a while but this new addition, the SPE series caught my eye because it’s in the affordable budget range and I really wanted to give this one a try to see if any good and if it will earn it’s spot on my workbench. So join me in this video to learn more about it.

Is A Genuine JBC Station Better Than A Clone? | Voltlog 401

If you are a subscriber of the channel you’ve seen me review this Best soldering station in Voltlog #340 This is a clone of a JBC station and I’ve been happily using this station for the past year as my daily driver. But is this very different in terms of performance or build quality from a genuine JBC station? In this video we’re going to answer that question because thanks to I was able to acquire this JBC station for a 50% discount so if you are looking to get yourself a new soldering station please check them out, they have a pretty good offer, a link will be in the description below.

So as you can see these two have a fairly similar size & shape but upon comparing their weight I discovered the JBC original is 2.5KG while the Best station is 3KG. The soldering hand piece which is model T245A is fairly similar for both units if not identical, you don’t get the soft foam padding for the BEST but otherwise very much the same plastic, same silicone wire, same length. However as you may know, the handle piece from my BEST station failed at some point soon after I got it and I did an autopsy in Voltlog #387.

I’ve replaced the failed handle with a genuine JBC T245 which I got for like 20EUR from ebay as new old stock. So generally speaking while the two handle pieces are almost identical, you can expect lower quality control on something like the BEST and you might be unlucky enough to get a bad handle that will fail at some point like mine did. There is ofcourse a bunch of happy users who didn’t have this issue but the bottom-line is, there is no guarantee on the quality control.

Gopher PPS-1610 PPS-3205 Review & Teardown | Voltlog #391

Welcome to another power supply review video, today it’s about the Gophert PPS-1610, I’m not sure how new this model is, I don’t know the exact date it came out but it’s fairly new and full disclosure this has been sent to me for free for the purpose of this review by a seller on aliexpress so should you decide to order one of these, there will be a link in the description below.

You may know I am a big fan of Gopher power supplies, I have like 5 units on my bench and they are generally my preferred way of powering stuff around the bench, unless I’m dealing with super sensitive analog stuff in which case I’m probably using my old trusty HP linear power supply. The gopher power supplies have been super reliable, for example I have been using my first one since 2015, that’s 6 years of usage already, I have subjected that power supply to multiple assembly/disassembly cycles for various teardowns and reverse engineering and to various noisy and spikey loads and full load conditions it just hasn’t failed me so far.

Teardown images below:

Best T245 JBC Clone Handle Teardown | Votlog #387

Welcome to this short Voltlog where I plan to take a look inside this JBC clone soldering iron handle. This is the handle that came with the Best-933B JBC clone station, I reviewed this in Voltlog #340 a year ago and I’ve been using this station as my main soldering tool for the past year. I plan to do a future video where I tell you my opinion about this station after 1 year of usage but the short story is obvious due to the fact that it’s my main soldering tool, I like using it.

The soldering handle that I received with this station had a problem since day one, first use, when I inserted the soldering tip into the handle I could kind of feel like there was something wrong, there wasn’t a clear stop when pushing it in and after powering on the station the screen was flickering, it couldn’t read the temperature and this cable got hot which is a good sign that something is shorted inside the handle.

I’m not sure if I am to blame because I might have pushed the tip too hard into the handle the first time. It’s also possible that it had a factory defect inside the handle.. Other users of this station don’t have this problem but long story short ever since I got it, I had to be really careful when switching tips because I needed to seat the tip very accurately in a certain position, otherwise it would short circuit causing the station to go crazy.