Joined on 01/12/07
Nice inexpensive panel
Pros: A nice sized panel to use with a media player in a not-overly-bright room. Has a headphone / audio out jack, which is good because it does not have speakers. Slim design fits nicely on a wall mount in the corner.
Cons: No speakers, as I mentioned. Only has VGA and HDMI, no DVI connection. The brightness spec (200 cd) is less than most competitors. Wall-wart power block with a rather short cord.
Overall Review: I'm got this for 180 to use as a media player in a basement rec-room; add a pair of speakers and it makes a nice upgrade from the 23" monitor it replaces.
Turtle Beach earbuds
Pros: Excellent deal at ten bucks. Fit my ears nicely, looks cool until the mod below. Like the design to route the cord over the ears, keeps them from coming off at the slightest tug. Braided covering on cord feels nice, sturdy. Construction looks reasonably durable.
Cons: Unexpectedly poor bass response. I hear a lot of static if I touch the wire near the ear, particularly on the right side... but see below.
Overall Review: The static I hear is certainly mechanical rather than electrical. It is damped somewhat on the left side by the microphone piece. I discovered I could practically eliminate the static by wrapping a bit of cloth around the cord just below my earlobe, and securing it in place with a bit of wire. This effectively damps the noise, and the bit of added weight helps it feel secure on my ear; but it makes me look even more like a geek than the tape on my eyeglasses. I will be experimenting with alternatives. Advice from others is welcome.
Nice portable speakers, not true stereo
Pros: I got a pair of these hoping I could configure as stereo, but no. They sound nice paired up and have nice musical presence, but left and right channels come out of both. They are about 3.5" dia and 1.5" tall, weigh about 5.6 oz, solidly built and deliver decent sound for their small size. Bungee cord makes it handy to attach to a post or railing.
Cons: A bit fiddly to set up the pair... If you have both connected to your phone, you can see battery levels and choose one to play, but you have to "forget" one speaker before it will synchronize with the other speaker. You'll want to mark which one to power up first, connect to your phone, power on the other, and it will usually sync pretty easily... but again, no true stereo.
Overall Review: Frequency response from about 90 Hz to 15 Khz, not bad for this format.
W Y S I W Y G
Pros: Simple, sturdy, nicely painted. Comes with 4 tiny machine screws to mount the 2.5 drive by its sides and 4 small self-tapping screws to mount the piece to your case by its sides. Came with a fan that I don't need, it was easily removed.
Cons: The tiny screws are a bit too long for my Mushkin SSD, I was reluctant to tighten them down once I felt them bottom out in the sides of the drive. If I were OCD I would find other screws or some tiny washers or use a tiny drop of thread lock, but I prefer to get on with life.
Overall Review: Bone simple product. Don't downgrade it because you didn't check your case for compatibility.
Rosewill R379-M case PSU replacement
Pros: The original one that came in my case lasted through 6 years of nearly continuous use. It runs quietly, can only hear it if I shut off the other fans in the case. The new one has one more SATA drive connector and one less molex, and it still has a 3.5 floppy drive connector. Are those still used for anything?
Cons: The original didn't run forever.
Overall Review: The R379 Is still a good case, so I decided to replace the PS rather than scrap it. Considered fitting a larger TFX style unit into it, but doing so would block the only case fan.
A good value to get started
Pros: A good value, a little over $20 to add a warm glow to your project. The thin LED strip is adhesive-backed and can be wrapped around corners, or cut as small as 5 cm / 2 in / 3 LEDs. Cut pieces can be joined with clip-on connectors, or soldered using jumper wire if you're patient and careful. The "warm white" LEDs have an attractive color and appear to have good color rendering. The dimmer control provides a good range of adjustment.
Cons: The power supply originally sent (Model SAW24-120-2000) made a buzzing noise and would cause the lights to strobe when turned up to full brightness. I complained to HitLights, who promptly sent me a different power supply (Model JY30-120-200-UD) which appears to be the supply pictured. This supply gives decent brightness, a full range of adjustment with the dimmer supplied and silent operation. Both power supplies are tagged as 12V 2000mA, but read on...
Overall Review: Checking with my kill-a-watt tester, the replacement power supply draws only 14-15 watts. The original (buzzing faulty) power supply could be coaxed up to about 18 watts before it started flashing. Since you can't get something for nothing, I'd bet that a better power supply that could drive a full 20-plus watts would produce better brightness. The strip is rated for 24 watts, and at that power would probably produce about the same light level as a 2-tube 4' fluorescent fixture, which draws about 75 watts. But this kit is more for decoration than illumination, and for that is a good value.