Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Dewalt 12V Battery

So far I only have Dewalt 20V tools, but with the addition of a 12V Ratchet DCF503B, time to add a Lithium Ion 12V pack.

I settled with a DCB124 (12V 3.0Ah) because it is the slimmest profile and new higher capacity than the older 12V 2Ah pack.  However, does this mean the cells have lower discharge current as a tradeoff for increased capacity?

Let's take the pack apart and identify the cells used.  

  • 4x T10 screws and the shell easily comes apart.  The battery assembly lifts out of the lower shell.
  • The pack is entirely made of PC/ABS (no glass filled plastics).
  • The BMS has a nice button and 3 LEDs aimed at a nearby light pipe.

Cells used are 3x Samsung INR18650-30Q in series (3S1P configuration).  3000mAh, rated for 15A discharge. 1.5A standard charge rate and 4A rapid charge rate.

Details for 12V pack sizes:

Working on compiling a list of cell types in other DeWalt packs since I did not find a readily available list.  The 20V packs are 5S1P or 5S2P.  Flexvolt can have an extra row for 15 cells total.
  • DCB203 20V 2Ah: Sanyo UR18650RX 1950mAh, 20A discharge. 1.36A charge.
  • DCB200 20V 3Ah 5S2P: LG HB4 18650 1500mAh, 30A discharge (60A effective) per here.
  • DCB230 20V 3Ah 5S1P: Samsung INR21700-30T  3000mAh, 35A discharge. 
  • DCB204 20V 4Ah 5S2P: 
  • DCB240 20V 4Ah 5S1P: 
  • DCB205 20V 5Ah 5S2P: Samsung INR18650-25R 2500mAh, 20A discharge (40A effective).
  • DCB206 20V 6Ah: Panasonic/Sayno NCR20700A 3100mAh, 30A (60A effective) according to this blog post.
    • Switched early 2019 to Samsung INR21700-30T 3000mAh, 35A discharge (70A effective). The first packs had 20700 in a holder that was meant for 21700.
    • The DCB206 with the 21700 cells will say “6Ah” in large white lettering on its side sticker, the 20700 based battery will say “6.0Ah” in smaller yellow lettering.
  • DCB208 20V 8Ah 5S2P: Rumored to be a Samsung INR21700-40T rated for 35A discharge.
  • DCB210 20V 10Ah 5S2P: Samsung 21700-50S, 25A discharge.
  • Flexvolt 6Ah: Samsung INR18650-20S 2000mAh, 30A discharge (60A effective).
  • Flexvolt 9Ah: Originally used 20700.  Switched to Samsung 21700-30T in 2018/early 2019.
  • Flexvolt 12Ah: Panasonic NCR21700A and B cells.
  • Flexvolt 15Ah: 15x Samsung 21700-50S, 25A discharge (TBC).  Or maybe 30x 18650.
  • 40V 4Ah: Samsung INR18650-20R 2000mAh, 22A discharge per here.
Charge rates for cell types:
  • Sanyo UR18650RXL 1.36A.
  • Samsung INR18650-25R 1.5A standard 4A rapid.
  • Samsung INR18650-30Q 1.5A standard 4A rapid.
  • Panasonic NCR20700A 2.2A.

Photo of the new DCF503B 12V 3/8" ratchet alongside the 1/4" version and the 20V 3/8" version:

Photos of the DCB124 pack:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

APC BN450M Back-UPS 450 battery backup

I recently bought this APC BN450M battery backup on sale from B&H for $29.95 with no tax + free shipping.  In hindsight, I should have ordered 2-3 units and used one for each computer.

The unit supports 255 watts / 450VA loads and has four battery backup outlets and two surge only outlets.  I only need to survive the several second outages every month or two that bring servers offline, there isn't a need for extended runtime here and if that were the case I could shut down the equipment.
Here is the runtime graph:

The battery is user replaceable with 4 screws to remove the bottom of the housing, and uses a standard 12V SLA battery.  In this unit, it is 4.5Ah.

This battery is listed as a replacement and may give a slight runtime boost given the 5Ah capacity.  The shape looks similar but I did not measure the original battery when it was apart to confirm fitment.

Here are a few photos of the unit disassembled.
I took a quick look at the board and did not see any issues with the solder quality.  I do not have the EE knowledge required to analyze the design.

The only issue I saw was the negative wire pinched against a rib in the plastic housing by the weight of the battery.  The insulation does not appear to be damaged.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Adobe Lightroom Lens Profiles

I recently ran into an issue where Adobe Lightroom 6 did not have the lens profile for a Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM lens when importing JPEG photos.  However, the profile is present for RAW files.

There are a few methods to copy over the RAW lens profile to use on JPEG images, two of which follow:

1. Use the Adobe LCP downloader (requires Adobe AIR which I did not want to install) to check for a suitable JPEG correction profile.

2. Manually edit the RAW .lcp file with a text editor and enable use for JPEG images.  This is the method I used.

You'll need to locate the original raw correction file from either of these locations, and copy to a temp location:
A. /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/Canon
B. /Applications/Adobe\ Lightroom/Adobe\ 

The file I copied is named:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II (Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM) - RAW.lcp

Then open up the file in TextEdit and find the string containing stCamera:CameraRawProfile.
The value reads 'True', so change it to 'False'.

Save the file with a new name of your choice and be sure the extension is correctly appended:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II (Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM) - JPEG.lcp

Now copy this file to the location for user created lens profiles:
~/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0 

You may be copy to any of the above locations where we found the original LCP but I did not test it.  I did test this, and it works.

And just like that!  LR will now find and automatically load the lens profile for JPEG images (if you have your Defaults set to enable lens profile correction).

I never did find the actual location for JPEG correction profiles so I'm not exactly sure if there is a database list of which RAW files can be used, but this method does work.

I also took the opportunity to delete default Lens correction profile and Camera correction profiles for obscure brands I have never heard of and will not use.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hard Drive Load Cycle Count

I finally found and downloaded a Mac SMART utility (DriveDx) that works with compatible external enclosures to check the status on a few external media drives on my Mac Mini server.

To my surprise, a 1TB WD10EARS with 55,395 hours (77 months) had a life-span warning due to load cycle count.  It has 1,228,872 load cycles, and the drives are rated for 300,000!  Wow.

I since obtained a 1TB WD10EVDS to replace the drive.  After research, I grabbed a usb drive with Hirens 15.2, connected to a PC via SATA, and opened the WDIDLE3.EXE utility to confirm the head parking is disabled.  To my surprise, the head parking is disabled from the factory on this WD10EVDS drive.

It took a few minutes to figure out how to launch the utility on Hirens.  I needed to select hard drive tools -> more -> more -> WDIDLE.  After reaching a DOS prompt, cd tools/wdigital/.  Then you can run WDIDLE3 and then follow the flags:

Now that the 1TB WD10EARS has been replaced, I checked the head parking.  It was set to 6 seconds and has been trying to slowly kill itself for the past 7 years.  I disabled it with the /d flag, checked the status again to confirm, and then reconnected to my Mac.  All data is in tact, and no data is lost when changing the idle timer.

Checking other drives:

  • 2TB WD2002FYPS with 13,171 hours (18 months) and 79,413 load cycles.  This is clearly parking.  The timer was set to 12.8 seconds, which equates to 30s.  Now disabled.
  • 2TB WD20EARS with 51,220 hours (71 months) and 322,228 load cycles.  It is clearly parking and is already past the rated 300k cycles so it will be replaced.  Timer set to 8 seconds and now disabled.
  • 1TB WD10EALS - WDIDLE3 timer is set to disabled from the factory.

I also ordered a WD40EFRX to replace the aging WD20EARS.  Once received, I will read the timer setting and confirm it is disabled.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hard Drive Benchmarks

I haven't posted for a while so I decided to upload a few benchmarks for drives I have tested:

Here is an HDTune Pro 4.60 screenshot showing the read speed of a Western Digital WD2002FYPS 2TB RE4-GP I recently purchased.  (Connected via SATA)

Edit: I just realized this test was ran with a short stroke of 220gb.  I will re-upload the full test soon.

Full test:

Here is the read speed of a Western Digital WD1002FAEX 1TB Caviar Black.  (Connected via SATA)

Here is the read speed of a Western Digital WD1500ADFD Velociraptor 150GB.  I know there was some drive activity occurring in parallel so I wish I would have re-run the test.  But looking at the top of the curve you can still get an idea of the speed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mac OS X: Show / Hide files in Finder

I always forget how to do this and have to read back through my notes or look it up online.  By placing it here I can easily look it up and also list it for other people to see.

These commands are run from the Terminal app, found in ~/Applications/Utilities.

To show hidden files in the Finder, type or copy/paste the two lines of text below, pressing enter after each line:
1. defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
2. killall Finder

To hide hidden files, paste these two lines of text:  (This is the system default)
1. defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

2. killall Finder
If you have hidden files set to on or off, it will remain that way even after reboots until you change it again.  There are no adverse effects from running these commands.  If they were dangerous you would probably need to log in as root before running them or a password window would pop up.

Here is a screenshot of both:

Launching Terminal:

Showing hidden files:
Hiding hidden files:

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I decided to write a quick review of the new Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB WD10EALS drive because there are none currently that I came across.  I purchased it on Newegg a few days ago and it had the lowest dollar/GB out of any terabyte drives.   For $75, it was $5 cheaper than a Caviar Green 1TB, and $25 less than a Caviar Black 1TB.

It is a 1TB 7200 rpm drive with 32MB cache from the Caviar Blue family.  This is the first 1TB Blue, so I expected it to have the latest technology and be fairly fast.  These come with a 3 year warranty.  Not as long as the 5 year warranty Caviar Black's come with, but 3 years is still a long time (And the drives are a fair bit cheaper vs. the Caviar Blacks).  I tested the drive in a LaCie external enclosure connected via eSATA.

At a max read speed of 140 MB/s and average of 111 MB/s it is very fast.  The drive is actually faster than a Caviar Black WD1001FALS and RE3 500GB WD5002ABYS.

Here is a shot of the HDTune read test for the WD10EALS connected via eSATA:

And the Western Digital Caviar Black 1001FALS for comparison connected via SATA:

Also, a Western Digital RE3 500GB WD5002ABYS drive for comparison connected via SATA:

Dewalt 12V Battery

So far I only have Dewalt 20V tools, but with the addition of a 12V Ratchet DCF503B, time to add a Lithium Ion 12V pack. I settled with a DC...