Saturday, 5 May 2018

Kartell Bourgie Lamp Dimmer Switch Replacement

I have a pair of Kartell Bourgie Lamps which I blogged about here.  The old Bourgie lamp has a very bad dimmer switch. It does not last long, which I also blogged about here

Thankfully, Kartell has a replacement dimmer switch is so much better than the original one. It is not cheap though but it is definitely worth the change.

I bought 2 replacement dimmer switch.

The dimmer switch with instructions.

The original dimmer switch on the left. The problem with it
was the roller was very flimsy. The new switch is a slider. 

Another view.

The back view. Its quite cool that it has PC board.

Instructions with no words.

Need to be careful in removing the original wire.

On the left of the switch, it is indicated L for Live and N for
Neutral. So the wire that is removed from L, I have labeled
with Red tape, as can be seen on the bottom left hand corner.

On the other side of the switch, take note of the N - Neutral

The broken switch that needs to be replaced,
The Red labeled wire is the Live wire.

The tools that I used for this project.

The wires properly labeled.

Using the spudger to lift up the slider switch.

Once the slider is taken off, the 2 screws
underneath needs to be removed.

With the cover removed.

With the white wire holder removed. You
can see a small N letter on the bottom

So the blue wire goes to Neutral.

With both ends connected.

With the back screwed back and the slider in its place.

Thankfully, it worked when turned on.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Kartell Louis Ghost Chair Replacement Rubber Glides

I have four of the Louis Ghost chair in clear polycarbonate, used it as dining chairs. The wife and I choose clear so that it gives an illusion of space, that was what the guy at the store said.

The chair uses a rubber/silicon stopper as glides on the its's legs. As expected in this harsh humid weather, the rubber glide began to perish. Bits and pieces started to fall out from the original rubber glide. It is quite unfortunate that Kartell would use such material on its chair. Maybe it did not consider how heat and humidity would affect its material. Luckily, the whole polycarbonate material is still in good condition.

Searching online, I could not find any resources on getting replacements. I have read about owners placing socks over the crumbing rubber glides. But it is very ugly. The design of the chair is very nice but you do not want to mar its design by putting 2 pairs of socks over the chair's legs.

The rubber glide has disintegrated slowly, exposing the clear
polycarbonate around the edge. 

I bought the Steve and Leif Felt Sliders from the local DIY store to see if it is a suitable replacement for the chairs. For me, felt is much better than rubber as it slides with no resistance. It has an adhesive at the back, which means I can remove and easily replace it.

Felt sliders.

The ones that I bought was a diameter of 38mm.

There were a lot of trial and error in getting the right dimension of the leg end. But I find the following to be the easiest.

I would need to remove the old rubber glides. I cut off the protruding pieces with a sharp penknife, making sure it is flush with the polycarbonate edges. However, I leave the main part within the leg. I did not remove this part so that it does not become hollow inside the chair.

Removing the edges with a sharp penknife.
Making sure it is flush with the edges.

After I have removed any stray strands and cleaned it, I made an imprint of the leg's end. I used a masking tape.

Using a masking tape to make an imprint of the dimension of the leg's end.

Removing the masking tape, I cut the edges and the excess.

As you can see, the chair's leg is not a square but a trapezoid. Making
an imprint gives you a better image of it.

Next, I will place the masking tape over the felt adhesive side.

With the masking tape over the felt.

Cut off the excess edges.

Edges are cut off with a sharp penknife.

With the felt slider cut into shape, I remove the adhesive paper and stick it to the edge.

Making sure that the tapered sides are correct.

I have replaced all 4 rubber glides with the felt ones for this particular chair. It is much quieter and it slides in and out faster.

The most important part is, I do not need to buy actual replacements from Kartell. The colour of the felt does not affect the overall nature of the clear polycarbonate Kartell chair.

Rad about my other Kartell posts:
Kartell Bourgie Lamp
Kartell Optic Container

Monday, 18 September 2017

Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Stealth 2014 Keyboard

I have a very old keyboard that I used for my home PC. I think it's more than 10 years old. I cannot remember when I first bought it but it was very reliable. It's an Acer Wireless Keyboard. It was catered for home entertainment because it has an integrated mouse knob on the top right hand corner of the keyboard with 2 buttons for left and right mouse click. It was using infrared and the sensor has to be line of sight for it to be effective. The sensor is connected to the PC via the old PS2 port. This was long before bluetooth was the norm. The keyboard uses 4 x AA batteries and it lasts for about 3 months.

My old keyboard with the huge infrared
dongle connected via PS2.

Unfortunately with all things, the keyboard finally died on me. It simply refuse to give any response. I tried everything to resuscitate it,  to extend its life just a little longer. New batteries, bought a new PS2 adapter to USB. But there was simply no response.  It  was with a heavy heart that I had to accept its demise . I am being sentimental because the keyboard was like an  old friend to me.  All the times we played games together. All the work that we did together. 

I had to get a replacement. 

I bought the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition Stealth 2014 on a trip to Lowyat Plaza in KL in Oct 2016. The shop I bought it from was having a Razer promo and I got the keyboard for RM198 which costs around SGD66. In Singapore, it costs around SGD149.90 at the Computer Exhibition in September. 

The Razer keyboard is a ten keyless (TKL) format which means there is no number keypad. I hardly used it because I use the keyboard for gaming purposes. Another key requirement is the keyboard has to be silent. With a family, I can only play late at night and having a noisy keyboard is ineffective for me. However, despite it claims to be a silent keyboard, there is still a distinct keyboard clickety sound. Well, so much for being silent. I had to do away with a wireless keyboard. Keeping stock of batteries is quite a hassle.

The specs for the Razer Keyboard:

  • Razer™ Mechanical Switches with 45g actuation force
  • 60 million keystroke life span
  • Compact layout
  • 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting
  • Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Detachable braided fiber USB cable with cable strap
  • Carrying sleeve for protection
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • Approximate size: 366mm/14.40” (Width) x 154mm/6.06” (Height) x 30mm/1.18” (Depth)
  • Approximate weight: 950g/2.09lbs
  • PC with USB port
  • Windows® 8/ Windows® 7 / Mac OS X (v10.8 - 10.11)
  • Internet connection (for driver installation)
  • At least 200MB of hard disk space

Box Front

Box Front

Box Back

Box Back

Comes in another box.

Inside is the keyboard in its cloth bag.

Braided cable and instructions.

View of the keyboard.

Another view of the keyboard.

Comparing the Razer with the old Acer

Comparing the Razer with a normal
layout keyboard.

I just have to live with its clickety sound.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Minix Neo A2 Lite Remote

In my previous blog, I mentioned about the Minix Neo U1 Android Box. It comes with a remote which is, in essence, just a pointer.

The included Minix remote.

I bought the Neo A2 Lite remote. 

Six-asix gyroscope accelerometer
Spacious keyboard
Advanced power management
Uses 2 x AAA battery
Operating range up to 10 meters

For me, the dealbreaker is the the keyboard. During the setup of the Minix, I had to input numerous URLs and navigate the settings. Although using the included remote pointer would suffice, the NEO A2 Lite makes things much faster.

Box Front.

Box Back.

Remote front

Keyboard behind.

The 2 remotes front.

The 2 remotes behind.

Location of battery

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Minix Neo U1 Android TV Box

I bought the Minix Neo U1 android box from Comex 2016 PC Show in September. Although the Neo U1 comes with its own remote, I bought the Minix A2Lite Airmouse.

I have an AC Ryan Playon HD2. You can put an HD into the AC Ryan and it becomes a media storage. So you can download movies and songs direct into the HD and the AC Ryan can play the movies straight to your TV. I have a NAS at home, so I placed all my movies into the NAS. So the AC Ryan becomes a media streamer. Although it can work on wifi, it is very slow sometimes with numerous buffering. The AC Ryan has served me well but its time to move on. I realised from the AC Ryan that I just need a media streamer.

That is one the reason I bought the Minix. The other reason is to watch Live TVs from the neighbouring countries, channels which I cannot receive from my current cable provider.

However, I found out that there are load of other channels which I can have access to and watch i.e. movies, tv series, sports, documentaries. Its features and abilities are worth it.

The cost of the Minix together with remote was SGD229. It comes with 3 years of IPTV which I hardly used.

Android 5.1.1 OS
Gigabit Ethernet
64-bit Quad Core
2 x 2 Mimo ac-Wifi
4K Video @60fps
XBMC Minix Edition - Kodi

Box Content:
Minix Neo U1
Minix IR Remote
Dual Band Antenna
Power Adapter
HDMI Cable
Micro-USB Cable
OTG Cable

Minix Neo U1 Box Front

Box Back - Specifications

Box Side

Box Other Side

Box Content


There are 3 USB ports. TF slot is for SD Card. OTG port is to connect directly to a PC. The Minix box can be control with the following
- Wired mouse
- 2.4GHz USB wirless mouse and keyboard set
- 2.4Ghz USB air-mouse/gyro mouse - Minix product 

Ports- Other side

The Minix is connected to the TV via HDMI. There is a SPDIF port to connec to an amplifier.

Antenna Connector

Minix IR Remote.

The Minix IR Remote is sufficient for light use. If you need to input URL or commands, it does a good job of pointing to the screen keyboard. Otherwise, the Minix Air Remote is very useful. I will show that in my next blog.

Overall, I find the Minix box very useful.There are a lot of resources online that can help you with what you want to watch. I try to avoid doing any upgrades until I really have to because I have read that the links may not work after upgrades. One app that I used extensively is Kodi. That is a must have. It is open source and there are lots of links that work on it.

If you have an Android box, let me know what you used it for.