Tag Archives | cheap

Dirt Cheap Factory HID Lamp Replacement (Subaru Legacy)

**Update Feb 2016 – Right side bulb failed!!!! **
Replaced with these genuine Philips bulbs from Amazon:
 

 

**Update July 2015 – Cheap bulbs still going strong**

**Update July 2014. – Cheap Bulbs still going strong**

LampsDon’t touch the glass part of the lamp
I only discovered today when I went down to Repco to get a replacement lamp for my dead headlight that my car takes HID lamps. Both Repco and SuperCheap Auto gave me a cost estimate of around $250 NZD per lamp! And if I wanted the colors to match I would really have to replace both lamps at the same time.

$500 for 2 lamps!? No thanks! So I looked on TradeMe and found lamps for $49/pair. I’m not sure if this is a “get what you pay for situation” or an “HDMI cable scam” situation. Either way I thought it was worth a punt so I picked up a pair. Here’s what I got:

The box indicates D2C but the seller assured me that they were a suitable replacement for my D2R lamps and of the highest quality!

 

Old and new (Left and Right)

I’ll report back in a few months as to how well they’re going/lasting.

 

Replacement

Well this is basic stuff but if haven’t done it before and you were expecting it to be a 5min job requiring no tools then this will really help. Having said that, if you’re lucky this might still be a 5 minute job.

 

The HID lamp is behind the gray cover. Try to turn it anti-clockwise to release it. If you’re lucky it will turn and come off, and you can proceed to the lamp replacement section.  If it won’t turn (as mine didn’t) then it’s because there’s a security torx screw at the bottom of the gray cover preventing it from turning and unlocking. The easiest way to deal with this is to remove the headlight unit which is fairly easy.

 

Disconnect the 2 accessible cables/plugs at the back of the unit. Remove 3 bolts as shown and wiggle the headlight unit out. When it’s out disconnect the other 2 cables.

 

 

Remove the screw and rotate the gray cover anti-clockwise

 

Press the metal tabs on either side to remove the metal cap.

 

Unlock and remove the high-voltage cable to expose the lamp.

 

Unhook the wire spring clip to release the lamp.

 

Carefully install the new lamp. Don’t touch the glass with your fingers.

That’s it.  Now just resemble everything.

 

 

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$10 USB DVB-T Receiver Review

After about 2½ years of constant use my trusty Hauppauge HVR-2200 dual DVB-T tuner card started to fail.  Just for fun I bought a dirt cheap USB receiver off eBay.

Total outlay was $15.09 NZD shipped.  That’s $10.33 for everything you see above except the MCX to ‘F’ adaptor which was $4.77.  It took almost 3 weeks to arrive from China.  Given the price, I wasn’t really expecting much, but it was so cheap I thought it was worth getting it just to play around with.

Apparently there is a variety of different chipsets used in these devices, all of which come wrapped in the same outer casing.  One difference between the various types is the LED, on some of them it’s red, other’s its clear. From what I’ve gathered these are the possible chipsets:

  • Intel CE6230 (Intel CE9500 reference design)
  • e3C EC168
  • Afatech AF9015

I got the one with the Afatech AF9015.  I didn’t want to plug it straight into my nice, clean, recently rebuilt HTPC server in case the drivers got all ‘tangled up’.  Instead, I plugged it into my laptop running Windows 7 Pro x64. Windows immediately detected the device as a Leadtek WinFast DTV Dongle Gold. I was happy to see this, because I had no intention of using the bundled driver mini-CD – who knows how old and buggy that driver is!

The device installed cleanly without any issues, so I decided to to plug it into my HTPC server which is running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.  Of course I expected the device to install automatically,  as it had on my laptop, but it didn’t, despite using the search online option.  Fortunately I now knew that the Leadtek driver was compatible, so I went to the Leadtek site and downloaded the driver.  As always, I extracted the setup package using 7-zip which gave me the plain driver folder as opposed to running the setup, which will install who knows what!

Windows found the driver and installed it correctly!

After restarting the MediaPortal TV Server service, it detected the device and I set it to highest priority so I could put it though its paces. The first time it tunes a channel after a reboot it takes approximately 30 seconds, but subsequent channel changes are quite fast ~3 seconds.

I’m pleased (and surprised) to report that this cheap little tuner has been working flawlessly for an entire week. How long it will last remains to be seen!  For $10 I can definitely recommend this device – the only issue is that you might get a totally different chipset;  that is, a totally different device for which none of the above would apply.  If you purchase from the seller I linked to at the beginning of the post there’s a good chance you’ll get the same device.

The included antenna and remote are complete rubbish and will quickly find their way to the bin!

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