Category: whats inside

Some of the more interesting air conditioners I have met

Almost all air conditioners and refrigerators on the planet work basically the same way, but some units have their own unique charms. Click on to through to see inside the thinnest, quietest, tiniest, and crappiest units I’ve ever met.

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The inside of the cheapest ($99) AC I’ve ever seen. Most of the internal structure is styrofoam and the vibration dampeners are squished on plumbers putty. But it works!

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Capacitive Coupling Casestudy: Programming The Public Radio without removing it from its sealed shipping box

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You’ve probably heard about the refreshingly simple Public Radio (TPR). There is no tuning knob needed since your TPR magically knows your favorite station straight out of the box.

Like most magic, this illusion of simplicity involves a lot of work behind the scenes. Each TPR has to be custom programmed by hand, assembled, and then lovingly packed before being shipped to your door. If only there was a way to program an assembled TPR without opening the sealed box…

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NYC CitiBike Token – What’s Inside?

Just got my new CitiBike token… and was wondering why it is so big? (I’m really wondering why I have to carry anything at all. Can’t I use a PIN code or unlock the bike via an SMS or something? Anyway..)

I don’t carry keys, so this giant token is kind of a hassle. Let see what’s in there…



(Yup, I am a founding member!)



Nothing but plastic and a tiny 11.5mmx11.5mm piece of white tape.

Peeling back the tape, we see where the magic happens…


I don’t envy the elves who have to solder those coil connections. I wonder if that extra single small loop near the top connection point is functional, or just an artifact of the construction process.

After a half hour bath in a capfull of alcohol, the tape slid right off…

Alcohol bath

And close-up of the newly liberated chip and coil…


The chip dimensions are 3.5mm x 2.2mm and it is labeled SY2U 272.

Tune in next week for instructions on how to do an RFID chip transplant!