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LB-Link USB Wireless-N Adaptor Teardown

I needed a decent WiFi adaptor for my latest Pi LCD project, so after trawling eBay for cheapy USB adaptors, I found this one.

USB WiFi Dongle
USB WiFi Dongle

Unlike most USB WiFi radios these days, it actually has a proper RP-SMA antenna connector, not the low-gain built in jobbies that never seem to work too well.
There are a few versions of this adaptor, all of which seem to use the same casing, there’s a button push cut into the plastic for a WPS button that doesn’t exist on this model. This is fine, as I don’t enable WPS on any of my network equipment anyway. (It’s insecure, and can be cracked in minutes).

MAC Address
MAC Address

Here’s the rest of the essential details, the model is BL-LW08-AR, rated at 300Mbit/s.

PCB Reverse
PCB Reverse

Here’s the PCB removed from the casing, there are a pair of PCB antennas on here, but they’re not connected to the RF circuitry in this model, the links are missing.

Chipset
Chipset

The chipset used is a Realtek RTL8191SU, there isn’t much more in this device, as it’s all built into the silicon.

 

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Fire Angel CO-9D Carbon Monoxide Detector Teardown

Fire Angel CO-9D CO Detector
Fire Angel CO-9D CO Detector

This detector has now been retired from service since it’s a fair bit out of date. So here’s the teardown!

Information
Information

Unlike older detectors, this unit has a built in battery that never needs replacing during the life of the sensor, so once the unit reaches it’s expiry date it’s just trashed as a whole.

Cover Removed
Cover Removed

4 screws hold the cover on, here’s the internals of the detector. There’s a 3v CR123A LiMnO² cell at the right for power, rated at 1500mAh. A 7 year life is quite remarkable on a single cell!
The sensor is just to the left of the lithium cell, and is of quite unusual construction. Previous CO sensor cells I’ve seen have been small cylinders with a pair of brass pins. This one appears to use a conductive plastic as the connections. These sensors contain H²SO⁴ so they’re a bit hazardous to open.
There are no manufacturer markings on the sensor & I’ve not been able to find any similarly shaped devices, so I’m unsure of it’s specifications.
The alarm sounder is on the left, the usual Piezo disc with a resonator to increase the loudness.

Microcontroller
Microcontroller

The brains of the device are provided by a Microchip PIC16F914 microcontroller. This is a fairly advanced device, with many onboard features, and NanoWatt™ technology, standby power consumption is <100nA according to Microchip’s Datasheet. This would explain the incredible battery life.
The choke just at the right edge of the photo is actually a transformer to drive the Piezo sounder at high voltage.

PCB Reverse
PCB Reverse

Here’s the PCB with the LCD frame removed. Not much to see on the this side, the silence/test button top right & the front end for the sensor.

Sensor Front End Amplifier
Sensor Front End Amplifier

Here’s a closer look at the front end for the CO sensor cell itself. I haven’t been able to decode the SMT markings on the SOT packages, but I’m guessing that there’s a pair of OpAmps & a voltage reference.