Friday, January 20, 2017

The update on the Turtle Beach Impact 700 keyboard purchase

In the previous post I mentioned that I placed the order for my first mechanical keyboard. It arrived a day earlier than the seller predicted. The postman was kind enough to deliver it to me just before I left for work. But I had to rush to work, so I decided to play with it when I returned home from work.

I unboxed the keyboard with my son sitting along side. It was way more fun for him than myself. I am not that amused by unmoving packages; I just want to to get it working asap. But I took some photos just to post here.

The keyboard has two USB ports. I think you can do with just one, because the second one is just for USB passthrough. But I connected both because I have ample USB ports on my PC.

To test the keyboard, I opened up notepad and started typing some words. I noticed that the spaces weren't registering between them. I hit the space bar several times and I wasn't dreaming: the spaces really weren't registering. I disconnected the keyboard and reconnected it to see if it was just a random Windows error. But the space bar still wasn't working. I connected the keyboard to two different ports on the back as well as the front. Same story. Then I tried it on the MacBook Air, and no change. The space bar was not working!!!

Yikes!

The keyboard doesn't have a companion software. That was one reason why I was happy to buy this keyboard in the first place. An additional software layer means more input lag. So this wasn't caused by me forgetting to install a companion software.

I went through the manual to see if I was doing something wrong. Honestly, what more should one do to get a keyboard working with a PC? Anyways, the manual did not mention anything special we had to do, nor any troubleshooting guides, so it wasn't a setup issue.

Conclusion: the keyboard was a DOA!!!

I have not had a DOA in a long time. The last one was a MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G which had one of its fans not working, but it wasn't totally DOA.

I wanted to see if the space bar was the only key that was not working. It was not. Several keys were not registering the key strokes. Namely, the Delete, down cursor, Num Lock, Num7, Num4 and Num1 weren't working. If I had to guess, all these keys were connected through the same electrical wiring to the controller.

I uploaded a video to YouTube showing the fault.

I went online to see if there were similar claims, but it seems I was the only (un)lucky one.

It was time to RMA the keyboard. I first messaged the store through eBay. I was told that they would most probably have to refund due to stock being exhausted. I asked how to proceed with it, but I did not received a reply back. It was late night anyways. I was lucky to have received the initial response in the first place.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Finally...placed an order for a mechanical keyboard

I had not bought anything "fun" for myself in almost a year and I finally had to do something about it. Today I received a $20 off coupon code from eBay and I thought this was my chance. I looked around for deals on Ozbargain because a great number of deals pop-up when there are discounts on offer from major retailers.

There were few for SSD and hard drive deals, but I was not in the market for either. Well, I am in the market for the 4TB hard drive, but I still haven't had time to go over the idea of strengthening my backup policy I discussed here. There were two deals for mechanical keyboards: one from JB Hi-Fi and one from eBay. The JB Hi-Fi offers weren't really cheap because you could find the products they have on sale for cheaper if you knew where to look. But the one on eBay (well, it wasn't directly from eBay but you could buy it from their eBay store as well) looked solid. A backlit mechanical gaming keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches for AUD 100. While it still sounded expensive, it was not as expensive as the AUD 150+ normal price for mechanical keyboards from well-known brands like Corsair and Razer. Hence I decided to take a look at reviews if this was my chance to own a mechanical keyboard for the first time in my life.

The keyboard on offer was a Turtle Beach Impact 700, which was unheard of. (Note: If you visit that link, you would know that there is a huge discount on offer on Turtle Beach's US store as well) If you are into gaming, you would know about the brand "Turtle Beach" mostly from their headset lineup. But I didn't know that they made keyboards until today.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

How I mount my Galaxy S7 phone in the car

I had been complaining about the GPS issues with my phone in the past (read about it here). That's because I use them for navigating when I am driving the car. The GPS issues were resolved after buying the Galaxy S7 and disabling the My Optus app (read about it here). But I never talked about how I was mounting my phone in the car.

Initially, I ordered a Handsfree Bluetooth Smart Phone Holder from Kogan as per my cousin's recommendation. However, the ETA for it was a bit too long, so I cancelled the order.

I then went to the JB Hi-Fi and bought the Cygnett Dashview Universal Car Mount which was much cheaper and I could buy it on the spot. It wasn't a great product and the price probably reflects that. The arms of it which held the phone in place scratched the body of my phone's case because they were so tight. The tightening dial (I don't know what it is called, you just have to tighten it for the mount to stay fixed on the windshield) would loosen every now and then, although the mount never came off all by itself. But it at least got the job done.

But few weeks ago, I ran into a new problem.

I was in Beaconsfield and heading towards Melbourne City on the Monash Freeway M1. The phone lost GPS and never recovered. The phone felt hot and very sluggish, so I cleared all apps and when it didn't do anything, I rebooted the phone. Still it did not recover, so I just switched to my wife's phone for the rest of the trip. A few days before the first incident, I installed Optus Sports app to watch cricket on the phone. (I could use it freely with my plan) I thought that app messed up my GPS, just like the My Optus app did a few months ago. The phone had gotten a bit slow as well over the months, so I decided to do a complete factory reset and start from the scratch. I didn't get any issues with GPS afterwards, and I thought that it was just a software issue and that it was resolved.

And it occurred again on another day, around the exact area!!!

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