My UPS started squawking one Friday evening, the tell-tale sign that the battery was dead or dying. When that happens, it’s time to either replace the UPS battery, or replace the entire UPS. Hopefully you can just replace the battery. Here’s how to replace your UPS battery.
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I got a scary message from my 2011 Toyota Camry. “Key battery low,” the message on the dashboard read. You can read that two ways. “Key” could mean they key fob that unlocks and starts the car. Or “key” could mean “critical.” Fortunately, when a Toyota says key battery low, it means the key that unlocks and starts the car. Or the key fob, if that’s what your car uses.
You can fix this yourself and you don’t have to find a Toyota dealer.
The new owners of what’s left of Radio Shack want to specialize in batteries. Although this isn’t a guaranteed survival plan, it makes sense to me.
Last week, I went to one of the few remaining Radio Shack locations to get some overpriced diodes and D-sub connectors for a project. My oldest son tagged along. He asked about the store. I tried to describe it, and finally I said, “It’s kind of like Batteries Plus would be if it sold electronic parts too. And phones.”
I’ve tried several times to write a eulogy for Radio Shack. It’s not easy. The demise has been a foregone conclusion for a very long time, and it’s clear they could have done any number of things differently and survived in some form.
But they didn’t. Let me tell you about the last time I almost went to Radio Shack. Yes, almost.
AC adapters inevitably break or get lost. That means you have to replace them to get your devices working again. But a lot of people don’t know how to do that safely. Here’s what you need to know when you need to substitute AC adapters.
This is important. Getting it wrong can damage your equipment, the adapter, or both. The damage can be immediate, or it can appear over time.
The specifications for your AC adapter (also not affectionately known as wall warts or power bricks) should be printed on the old one, and hopefully on the device too. If you lost the adapter and the specs aren’t on the device, try a web search on “ac adapter specifications” and the name of the product.
It used to be you could take the device to Radio Shack, and $25 and five minutes later you had a good replacement. Today you might try Batteries Plus for a similar experience. But if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself, often you can find a close-enough match for closer to $10.
So, with all that said, here are the handful of things you need to know when you’re shopping for an AC adapter. The specifications don’t have to match exactly, but you have to know when you can cheat and when you can’t.Read More »What you need to know to safely replace or substitute AC adapters