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January 8, 2009
about 8 months ago
And it is worse than you describe – forward voltage is highest on a cold LED, so if one string’s Vf is fractionally lower than the others, it comes on first, warms up first, falls even lower, and really hogs all the juice.
about 2 years ago
Is 1.4 watts enough to make an alarm, perhaps playing an MP3 yelling “help, stop this bike thief” over and over? So not necessarily ear-piercing, but attention-getting.
about 6 years ago
Since I grumbled about another product, I ought to say something nice about a good one. I just finished soldering 16 gauge wires outdoors in the wind, with lead-free solder, and it just went and did it. Got hot fast, and pumped out heat against all that loss.
I’m still getting the hang of a soldering iron that lets me set its temperature; I think I was a little conservative at first, but since I was soldering plain old wires, I just turned it up (450C, should you find yourself in a similar situation). My old (25 years!) iron was a 33W chisel-tip, I had upgraded to a 45W tip, and it was not coping.
about 6 years ago
This is NOT a reliable choice for a Mac unless you can be sure the firmware is recent. Old firmware programmers won’t talk with the Mac, which means that you can’t upgrade the firmware from the Mac either – you need a box running Windows XP to do the upgrade (though apparently XP on Parallels on Mac will get the job done).
The symptom of “old firmware” is that the device shows up in System Profiler, but not in /dev. If the “Version” in System Profiler is 1.03 or less, the firmware is too old to work on a Mac.
If you would rather use a soldering iron than Windows, a USBtinyISP kit might be a better choice for you.
about 7 years ago
I cannot get this device to recognize on Mac OSX (latest), despite downloading two different versions of the FTDI drivers (2.2.9, 2.2.10). I suspect it is using a non-FTDI USB chip (System Profiler claims it is a Microchip device, VID 0x4D8).
Is any help available for this problem? The value of the time I have spent on this far exceeds the cost of the device. Without better installation instructions, I would not recommend this to anyone else with a Mac.
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