Hardware

BanaNAS – Homebrew Network Attached Storage

Interior - Messy but reliable

Since their release I have always been interested in the Raspberry Pi single-board computer and the numerous iterations and copycats that followed. One idea I had for using them was to build a low-power Network Attached Storage (NAS) to serve as a backup solution, media sharing centre and download client. I was already familiar with… [ Read More ]

 

Bluetooth Earphone Repair

Extended orange antenna wire

I regularly go running in theĀ evening and music is the perfect companion to keep me going. After many different setups I settled on a minimal pair of Bluetooth earphones that pair to my Android Wear watch. However, after a few months of use they stopped working. The manufacturer sent me a brand new set straight… [ Read More ]

 

Broken Laptop Screens

Screen damage that formed a bizarre shape

An all too common sight when working on laptops is the broken screen panel. Whether it was kicked, sat on or dropped from the sofa the result was the same: it needed replacing. This is often fairly simple and much cheaper than a new machine. Some, such as Apple Macbooks required a seriously lengthy disassembly… [ Read More ]

 

Dust – Laptops and Desktops

Dust clogging the case and PCI slots

Dust has been the cause of numerous problems that I have solved over the years. Some machines were very old and had never been opened up. Others just came from dusty work environments such as printing specialists or woodworkers. This dust could clog fans, block vents and ultimately cause components to overheat or become noisy…. [ Read More ]

 

iPad and Tablet Repairs

Glass breakage from a minor drop

Since their release changed the face of mobile computing, the iPad (amongst other tablets) has been a regular patient of mine over the years. They are often shared by a household or taken on trips and suffer from the same issues as mobile phones and ice creams – being dropped. This often shatters the outer… [ Read More ]

 

Laptop DC Socket Repairs

Broken socket example

Despite their portability, many laptops spend most of their lifetime being plugged into their DC adapter. This means that they are prone to being knocked, tugged or dropped whilst attached to the wall via their small round charge socket. Inevitably this leads to damage on varying scales and has been a very common sight. The… [ Read More ]

 

Mobile Repairs – Fixing Poor Work

New battery (left), previous 'new' battery (right)

Some mobile phones that came to me for repairs had been worked on previously by other people. Much of the work was fine but a handful of these ‘repairs’ were so shocking that they necessitated extra work before the new issue could be fixed. Whether it was lack of knowledge or incorrect tools, some of… [ Read More ]

 

Moving PC Cases – Antec to Corsair

Graphics card diagnostics in progress

After working on several water-cooled PCs I built my own in a similar fashion to a design that I made for a customer, using an Antec 1200 case with exterior radiators. This worked great for several years until the graphics card failed (due to faulty memory chips) and needed replacing. I had learned a lot… [ Read More ]

 

My Biggest PC Build – Corsair Case

Corsair 900D next to my MIDI-sized Antec 900

On a work day like any other I received an odd request from a long time customer: “Build me the biggest PC you can”. After some questioning I discovered that he wanted a PC that not only looked impressive but would give lots of upgrade options in the future. After having some great results with… [ Read More ]

 

Raspberry Pi Media Center

The media centre and remote control

Myself and my friends regularly get together to watch films, usually of the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ variety. We rotate locations for each film night and I am often in charge of picking and delivering the films. After a few of these nights I decided that I needed a more portable solution – some films were only available… [ Read More ]