Random teardowns of things

Genius ECO-u261

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Epson Stylus SX115


NoName TY1178-T48L-B52L-V3

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Claims double-shielding (there is none), returned after shock from live power on chassis (return was rejected, but the unit was silently fitted with an insulation sheet under the power supply circuit), died after few weeks with smoke, power supply circuit components exploded, no fuse (fire hazard).

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SanDisk Ultra Flair (32GB)

These are nice and take a lot of abuse. The only flaw is, that the five USB3 rear contacts tend to bend up in certain USB2 sockets (mostly those that have no chamfer on the tab's front edge). Fortunately, these are really very easy to take apart and put together without any compromises on build stability. If you decide on bending the contacts back, do that only with the memory module out of the housing. Also note, that if the contact is bent too much, bending it back will most likely break it. With some luck you bend the remnant of the contact by putting a thin shim (needle or toothpick) under the root of the contact and pressing the center of the contact with something else, until it is below the height of undisturbed contacts.

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Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000

This mouse is nice at first. It fits your palm, has soft-clicks and works on pretty much any surface except reflective ones. The trouble comes right after the end of warranty of this expensive and complicated piece of hardware; it becomes slimy. While this might be a bit biased, because I came to hate rubber parts on electronics, as they become brittle over time, this one has surpased everything. The rubber is actually dark blue, painted black. Why not just make black rubber like everyone else is beyond me. At first it only becomes soft to touch, but then increasingly sticky, until one day you take it out of the included pouch and see it stringing from both sides. You can wash both the pouch and the sides of the mouse (and your hands of course) covered in slime with warm water and help with some detergent, but that only helps until it dries and starts getting soft again. The only solution is to wear down all of the paint from the rubber parts. Since you need a lot of force and water (your sink will turn black for a while) for that, do not skip on disassembling the mouse, since the sensor is not water-proofed and will get ruined if it comes in contact with water.

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Never opened a mouse, that had so many parts. Normally you have 5; the bottom, the top (maybe separate buttons), the lens, the wheel and single-board electronics, optionally connected to a cable, everything held together by a single screw. This one has 19 parts, not counting the individual boards of the mainboard sandwich. There is also a bunch of screws of two types; equip yourself with PH0 and TX6 screwdrivers and something thin and flat like a nail file. The shots below are from the assembly, because the disassembly was too slimy.

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iRobot Braava 390t

This one suffered a strong hit from a door to its side while it was dutifully cleaning the floor. The rubber on one of the wheels stretched and peeled off, causing the robot to drive backwards in circles. You do not have to remove the battery to open the robot, but do it for safety's sake. Taking this apart is easy, remove four philips screws and you are in, just do not forget to unplug the cable for the charging contacts. Beware of booby-traps in the rear of the chassis in form of grease for the suspension mechanism. Also if some screws go missing, check the inside of the front assembly (another four screws), there are two permanent magnets for the mop. Taking the front apart is also useful for greasing the dry rails, that support the collision checking mechanism.

If you plan to replace the wheels, do not force the wheel-cover off by peering into it with a screwdriver (as suggested elsewhere), as that will break at least two of the three tabs (as indicated by the markings on the cover edge). Instead rotate the wheel-cover clock-wise about 10 degrees to open. This can be hard to do with fingers alone, use something hard and wide to get hold in the cover pattern (such as a nail file). There are no tools needed for the clip that holds the wheel, just pull on the round side with a screwdriver.

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