A Charger Option for the Panasonic DMW-BLG-10PP Battery

The DMW-BLG-10PP is a 1025mAh, 7.2V, lithium-ion battery that Panasonic uses in a few of their newer cameras (including the GX85). In the case of the GX85 kit, Panasonic opted to not include a battery charger. Instead, the battery is to be charged in the camera body through the micro-USB port. This is slightly annoying as the flap protecting the micro-USB port is not as easy to deal with as the battery hatch.

For those who want a standalone charger, Panasonic sells it as part of a battery and charger accessory kit. However, if you have a DE-A99(B) lying around (the charger from the GF5 and a few other older kits), it will work for charging the GX85’s DMW-BLG-10PP battery pack. The battery physically fits into the DE-A99B, and the electrical interface is the same (4 pins: -, D, T, +). Despite the capacity of the DMW-BLG-10PP being larger than what the charger was originally designed for (940mAh), the DE-A99B will still charge it.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Alcatel LINKZONE 4824 and Linux

After almost 4 years of service, the time has come to replace my Netgear AirCard 340u. While it works great with my IdeaPad s405, it has problems with newer Intel systems (the AirCard falls into a cycle of infinite boot loops). Since I’m retiring the s405, it was time to find a new mobile data device. Unfortunately, the market for USB broadband modems has not advanced in the last 4 years (the AirCard 340u is still the most capable). So, I had to settle for a wireless hotspot.

The Alcatel LINKZONE 4824, at the time of writing this, is the latest wireless hotspot for T-Mobile USA. It supports 802.11b/g/n and emulates an Ethernet adapter over USB via RNDIS. On the data network side, it supports LET band 12 (T-Mobile USA’s 700MHz spectrum)—a significant advantage over the AirCard 340u in areas where band 12 has been deployed.

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Supermicro X10SDV-7TP4F Heatsink Swap

After assembling my new home server, I ran into a bit of a heat issue. The Xeon-D SOC would get quite hot under load (80C), and was a little warmer than desired while idling (40C). Attempting to cool itself off, the motherboard kept the chassis fans spinning fast enough to be annoyingly loud. Since the heatsink installed on the motherboard was designed for 1U compatibility, and the case I’m using is 2U tall, it was not getting the airflow it was designed for.

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Repairing the 24 Pin ATX Power Connector

As part of my new home server build, I picked up a used Super Micro SC216 chassis. This chassis has 24x 2.5″ drive bays in the front, 3x 80mm fans in the mid-plane, 7 half-height expansion slots in the rear, and dual PSUs. While dual PSUs are overkill, the rest of the features should make for a nice Xeon D based storage chassis.

Once the chassis arrived, I noticed that the previous owner had mutilated the 24 pin ATX power cable. The PS-ON, and the GND pin next to it, had been clipped at the connector and spliced together with a crimped pigtail splice. Typically, this is done so that the PSUs are always on when using the chassis as an external JBOD box. Since I would like the soft power button to function properly on the case, this needed to be fixed.

Luckily, I had an 24 pin ATX power cable from a dead PSU. Using that cable as a donor, I replaced the PS-ON and GND pins in the power connector. Then, I made a solder splice between the PS-ON (and GND) in the power distributor and the corresponding replacement in the connector. With the lines reconnected, I was able to power up my test board (an old core 2 duo board). Now the chassis is ready for a Xeon D motherboard.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]