Hyde Edge Recharge Vape Pen Teardown

Now that vape “pen” refill cartridges are (mostly) dead, roadside debris has gotten chunkier:

Hyde Charge Vape Pen - as found
Hyde Charge Vape Pen – as found

It’s a Hyde Edge Recharge vape pen or it could be a counterfeit. You (definitely not me) get “up to” 3300 puffs from the 10 ml container, with 50 mg of nicotine ensuring you can’t get enough and will come back for more. Although I don’t follow the market, “disposable” vape pens can still contain the fruity flavors prohibited in refillable pens, with the added decadence of throwing the whole thing away when the tank runs dry:

Hyde Charge Vape Pen - components
Hyde Charge Vape Pen – components

My admittedly inexperienced eye says the “tank”, which is really just a fiber cylinder soaked in fruity juice + nicotine, still has plenty of hits remaining.

The Basement Shop may never smell the same again.

Of more interest, the silvery lump wrapped in a white felt strip is a 600 mA·hr lithium cell that slurped 406 mA·hr through its USB Micro-B jack when I recharged it. Perhaps the user victim sucker tossed it when the battery “died”, being unable / unwilling / ignorant-of-how to recharge it? The yellow aluminum case seems faded on the mouthpiece end, but that might be a stylin’ thing.

A closer look at the electronics payload:

Hyde Charge Vape Pen - electronics
Hyde Charge Vape Pen – electronics

The two red wires over on the right went to the coil in the draw tube to the right of the “tank”. Not being interested enough to care, I wrecked the coil while extracting the rest of the contents. Comfortingly, the red and black wires from the PCB go to the positive and negative battery tabs.

A closer look at both sides of the PCB:

Hyde Charge Vape Pen - PCB detail
Hyde Charge Vape Pen – PCB detail

The SOT23 IC sports an LTH7 topmark corresponding to an LTC4054-4.2 Standalone Charge Controller (Analog Devices absorbed Linear in 2017). The two LEDs to its right glow red during charge and white during each puff.

The black felt disk covers an anonymous pressure sensor activating the coil during each puff. With four pins, the sensor must be far more complex than just a switch, but nowadays puff sensing could require an entire ARM microcontroller.

Speaking of microcontrollers, there’s always this fate:

Hyde Charge Vape Pen - Arduino battery
Hyde Charge Vape Pen – Arduino battery

I fought down an almost uncontrollable urge to amputate my arms at the elbows and cauterize the stumps …

High Impact Art(ifact)

At first we thought a mighty crunch in the morning meant the trash collection truck had dropped a garbage bin from a great height, but the sound of sirens and a myriad flashing lights revealed the true cause in our neighbor’s front yard:

NHR Crash - frontal view
NHR Crash – frontal view

The extent of the damage was more apparent from the road side:

NHR Crash - passenger side
NHR Crash – passenger side

Another one that ain’t gonna buff right out.

The driver was walking around uninjured and the ambulance left quietly.

A day later, the trajectory became apparent:

NHR Crash - trajectory
NHR Crash – trajectory

The right side barely kissed the tree on the right, but the front wheel hooked the utility pole (that’s the new pole in the picture), snapped it off at ground level in addition to the usual break maybe ten feet up, and bounced a piece off the other tree:

NHR Crash - utility pole
NHR Crash – utility pole

I didn’t know you could shatter a cast aluminum alloy wheel, but the missing half of the outer face was lying amid the rather scrambled stone wall along driveway.

We’re reasonably sure we know the cause. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

After the flatbed hauled away the car and everybody left, I harvested a few pounds of interesting debris from the lawn:

NHR Crash - tempered glass
NHR Crash – tempered glass

It’s tempered glass from the driver-side windows, shattered into small chunks and barely hanging together in those sheets. Laminated windshield glass is entirely different stuff.

The smaller chunks glitter like jewels:

NHR Crash - tempered glass fragments
NHR Crash – tempered glass fragments

Obviously, the window had a bit of tint.

The smallest chunk, seen from its flat surface, shows the cuboid fragments:

NHR Crash - tempered glass fragment - front
NHR Crash – tempered glass fragment – front

A side view shows more complexity:

NHR Crash - tempered glass fragment - side
NHR Crash – tempered glass fragment – side

Tempering prevents a glass sheet from shattering into long knife-blade shards. Although the edges of the fragments are not keen, we are dealing with broken glass: they are sharp.

How sharp? They make glass knives for slicing eyes and cells.

Broken tempered glass also sheds razor-edged flakes perfectly shaped to penetrate bike tires, although most roadside glass comes from ordinary beverage bottles. The tiniest flakes can make a mess of your eyes, so exercise at least some rudimentary shop safety practices.

Those slabs ought to be good for something, even if they fall apart at the slightest touch …

Kenmore HE3 Washer: End of Life

After eighteen years and one basket / tub replacement, our venerable Kenmore HE3 clothes washer has reached End of Life:

  • Kenmore washer - eroded tub A
  • Kenmore washer - eroded tub B
  • Kenmore washer - eroded tub C

I had looked in there (between the door gasket and the tub) to find any foreign objects making the horrible noise and again, perhaps a week later, when I replaced the shock absorbers, after which the corroded spider in the back finally broke enough to let the basket flop around continuously during the spin cycle and erode the tub rim.

In round numbers, we heard the first sign of trouble three weeks ago: a very loud, but only occasional, KLONK due to protrusions on the side of the basket or the fractured part of the spider on its back hitting indentations in the tub. The KLONK remained intermittent during half a dozen loads, until it became pretty much continuous.

We installed the washer in early 2004, replaced the tub and basket in 2010, and it’s now 2022: the first spider failed after six years and its replacement lasted twelve. After nearly two decades, the tub and basket are no longer available from the usual appliance part sources, so (even if I wanted to) I cannot repair the washer.

Another washer, also a front-loader, also highly rated, will arrive shortly. For the first time ever, we bought an Extended Service Plan good for five years. The alert reader will note the difference between the first failure and the length of the plan, but reviews of similar new machines suggest having Lemon Replacement coverage. In this situation, I am willing to pay for the talismanic effect of coverage that may never pay off, if that makes any sense.

Memory Is the First Thing to Go

An email from Amazon arrived a few days ago:

Purchase Reminder - not found
Purchase Reminder – not found

I suppose we’re even, because I have no recollection of setting a Purchase Reminder on anything at any time.

By default, my email client does not display remote content in messages, which chops out the cute pictures, as well as killing all the cruft and tracking widgetry infesting commercial email these days.

Sunbeam 3035 Clothes Iron: Rusted Spring

Some weeks ago the Sunbeam clothes iron Mary uses for her quilting projects stopped retracting its cord and a few days ago the entire compartment holding the cord spool simply fell off:

Sunbeam 3035 Iron - detached cord compartment
Sunbeam 3035 Iron – detached cord compartment

One plastic stud and two thin plastic tabs held the compartment onto the rest of the iron. How they lasted this long I do not know, but they are neither replaceable nor fixable.

When you see badly rusted screws in an electrical device, you know the story cannot end well:

Sunbeam 3035 Iron - cord connections
Sunbeam 3035 Iron – cord connections

And, indeed, it hasn’t:

Sunbeam 3035 Iron - retraction spring rust
Sunbeam 3035 Iron – retraction spring rust

This being a steam iron, it has a water tank that gets filled through an awkward port with a sliding cover. Mary is as conscientious a person as you’ll ever meet, but the occasional spill has certainly happened and it is painfully obvious the iron’s designers anticipated no such events.

The coil spring had rusted into a solid mass:

Sunbeam 3035 Iron - spring rust - detail
Sunbeam 3035 Iron – spring rust – detail

I removed the spring, soaked it in Evapo-Rust for a few hours, then cleaned and oiled it:

Sunbeam 3035 Iron - relaxed spring
Sunbeam 3035 Iron – relaxed spring

Rewinding and reinstalling the spring showed it has lost its mojo and cannot retract more than a few feet of cord.

She’s in the middle of a quilting project and will replace the iron with whatever cheapnified piece of crap might be available these days. Similar irons have reviews reporting they begin spitting rust after a few months, which suggests the plastic tank or stainless steel hardware in this one have been cost-reduced with no regard for fitness-for-use.

Inkjet Refilling: End of an Era

Just before the turn of the millennium, I bought what turned out to be a never-sufficiently-to-be-damned HP 2000C inkjet printer that served as my introduction to refilling inkjet cartridges. A few years later, a Canon S630 printer joined the stable and worked fine for perhaps five years before succumbing to a printhead death. An Epson R380 that might have cost fifteen bucks after rebate took over, drank maybe a gallon of knockoff ink through a continuous ink supply system during the next thirteen years, and finally suffered progressive printhead failure during the last year.

Something recently changed in the inkjet market: Epson (among others) now touts their “Ecotank” printers featuring large internal reservoirs refilled by 70 ml bottles of color ink priced at perhaps 20¢/ml, obtained direct from Epson via Amazon. They proudly note you can save 90% off the cost of cartridges (“Kiss Expensive Cartridges Goodbye”), without mentioning how their previous extortionate cartridge business made that possible. Of course, Ecotank printers cost far more than cartridge-based printers, but that seems reasonable to me.

Because the ink bottles fit neatly into the printer through a push-to-flow valve interlock, I can finally retire this relic:

Inkjet refilling towel
Inkjet refilling towel

That’s maybe fifteen years of accumulated splotches.

I hope my refusal to buy their cartridges helped immanentize their eschaton, just a little.

Good riddance.

Mystery Not-Copper Line Cord

Harvesting a line cord for a widowmaker test setup revealed its inner secret:

Mystery not-copper wire - as found
Mystery not-copper wire – as found

The conductors are as thin as I’ve ever seen in an AC line cord, with 0.5 mm² = just under 20 AWG. The color code doesn’t match USA-ian standards, but neither does the labeling, so I’m not surprised.

If the individual strands seem unnaturally straight, they are, because they’re made of (presumably) copper plated on a (presumably) metallic core. Here’s what they look like after bending them sharply around my fingernail:

Mystery not-copper wire - bending
Mystery not-copper wire – bending

Wonderfully springy, utterly non-magnetic, and surprisingly durable.

Scraping the 0.02 mm strands with a sharp blade reveals a silvery interior, so it’s (presumably) not copper-coated plastic. Aluminum springs (ahem) to mind, but I’d expect tiny aluminum strands would snap (or at least deform) when bent and erode quickly when scraped.

Each wire measures about 1 Ω / m from the plug (a convenient 40 inch = 1 m away), which is the resistance you’d get from a single hair-fine 5 mil = 0.13 mm strand of 35 AWG solid copper. An 18 AWG aluminum wire would have the same resistance as a 20 AWG copper wire, both of which should be 32 mΩ / m: a factor of 30 less than this crap.

I have no idea what low-end Chinese factories use in place of copper, but it’s gotta be really cheap.

A hank of the wire goes into the Box o’ Springs, in the event I ever need a tiny straight spring rod; you definitely can’t wind this stuff into a coil! It might be fine enough for a crosshair / reticle, at least for crude optics.