My Rambling Thoughts

New 65W USB chargers

I got 4 new chargers recently:

  • Samsung 25W PD 3.0 travel charger (USB-C), $12.00
  • Samsung 65W 3-port charger (2x C, 1x A), $15.06
  • Lencent GaN3 65W travel adapter (3x C, 2x A), $32.73
  • Baseus GaN5 65W 3-port charger (2x C, 1x A), $29.26

I have enough chargers already, just "itchy hands" to "modernize" some of my older ones.

Notice a trend? All but one are multi-port 65W. The power is split 45W+20W when charging multiple devices. 45W is bare minimum for charging notebooks.

These compact chargers have a simple power splitter. When multiple ports are used, one port will get most of the power (e.g. 45W), other ports will share the remaining 20W. You don't get 35W+30W or 25W+25W+15W. Always check how power is distributed for multi-port chargers.

On the left are two Baseus GaN chargers. The one on top is a GaN2 Pro Quick Charger that I bought in 2022. The one at the bottom is a GaN5 Pro Fast Charger. The old one works well, except it has US-style plug head and is very loose as a result. The new one supports more quick charging protocols as well (e.g. PPS).

The Baseus 65W charger is pretty expensive. I saw another brand selling at $21 (at its lowest point)!

The Samsung 65W charger is surprisingly cheap and compact, but there is a catch — it charges at 65W with PPS only, otherwise it is limited to 35W (20V 1.75A). Hence, it is not suitable for notebooks as most don't support PPS.

The Lencent travel adapter has 3 USB-C ports and two USB-A ports. Only one USB-C port supports 65W. When used together, the power output is 45W (C1), 15W (C2+C3) and 12W (A1+A2). It's not clear, but I believe C2+C3+A1+A2 add up to either 15W or 20W.

I may get another 65W travel adapter if it costs around $30. The usual price is $40+. I have 3 multi-port travel chargers, but they are all 28W only (with one USB-C port at 15W).

With these, I have enough 65W chargers! :lol:

(I also have four 65W notebook chargers, but they are rather big.)

Will I get 100W chargers? They are big, heavy and expensive.

The answer is, maybe. ;-)

Transformers buying roadmap

My collection has shifted from Masterpiece to Legends. I'm not abandoning Masterpiece entirely, but I will be much more selective.

I still plan to get these:

  • FT-21 Berserk (Blitzwing)
  • FT-30D Viper (Fireflight)
  • FT-30E Jester (Slingshot) + combiner parts (Superion)
  • FT-31E Bandit (Deadend) + combiner parts (Menasor)
  • FT-61 Inquisitor (Scourge)
  • FT-62 (Chromedome)
  • XTB Constructicons (1/5 completed)

I plan to complete FansToys Aerialbots. It'll be my one and only Superion unless there is a much better one — which I doubt will happen.

I'm not that interested to complete FansToys Stunticons. I already have DX9 Menasor — one is enough. It may seem like a waste with 4/5 completed, but that 1/5 costs ~S$350.

I may not continue with XTB Protectobots — it is 2/5 completed. XTB took their own sweet time that I'm not really interested anymore.

I don't plan to get FansToys Constructicons (much less MMC) — hey it is Devastator Wars again. There was a time I couldn't imagine not getting a FansToys figure if it existed. Times have changed.

Will I buy Masterpiece Combaticons? Let's see.

Buying FT-62 implies I'm interested in the other 3 Autobot Headmasters. I doubt I'll be interested in Autobot Targetmasters, though.

FansToys showed off their Ultra Magnus. I'm not certain if I will get it. Their UM is a white "Optimus Prime" wearing armour, so it implies they will do OP too. Will I get it? I'm not sure — I already have 4 Optimus Prime!

I'm also getting more selective with Legends figures. I'll skip them if they are not up to expectations. No placeholders! :lol:

Some recent examples:

  • NewAge H55 Hughes (Powerglide)
  • Dr Wu MS-36 Sand Leopard (Sandstorm)
  • XTB-mini Fuzz (Streetwise)
  • DX9-mini Vasili (Doubledealer)
  • DX9-mini Murphy (Chromedome)

NewAge Powerglide was too panel-ly.

Dr Wu Sandstorm had a disappointing buggy mode and was a little too short. Dr Wu is coming out with Broadside, another long-wished-for Autobot triple changer. Let's hope it is better.

XTB is releasing Protectobots in Legends size — even though they have not finished it in Masterpiece scale. I'll take a wait-and-see approach and see what Magic Square and NewAge come up with first. I don't intend to get more than one set.

DX9 is coming back! Their first release was Doubledealer. I skipped it because it was post-S3 and most post-S3 designs don't appeal to me.

Their second release Chromedome is decent in bot mode, but the car mode is terrible. I still prefer the age-old MFT Chromedome. There is also a preview image of Brainstorm in plane mode and it looks very stylized. This implies I will skip the entire series. Sorry, DX9!

I'll skip KOs, especially OSKO (Oversized Knockoff). I somewhat regretted getting the OSKO of MST Stunticons, especially at its initial price of 75% the MST set. It later dropped to 50%!

The KOs are cheap (if 50% of the original figure), but their quality is one notch down and their size don't fit in my collection. They are fine as one-off figures.

Masterpiece purge 2024

I managed to sell all the Transformers figures I put up except for two:

  • MakeToys MTRM-11 Meteor (Starscream)
  • MMC PS-01A Sphinx (Mirage)

Selling on Carousell is like fishing. You got to wait for an interested party to come along. Selling cheaply does not help much, unless we are talking about 75% off — everyone loves a deal.

I've re-listed them at rock bottom prices (they were already the lowest in the market). Let's see if they sell this time.

I sold off LG-10 too — I don't need so many Arcee.

I've put these up for sale:

  • MP-28 Hot Rod
  • MP-30 Ratchet
  • DX9 WiP Dinobots set

XTB has announced their version of Ironhide. I may get that. For Ratchet, I may wait for FansToys.

When I got the DX9 Dinobots in 2019, they were "good enough". I thought I would keep them even after MS or NA released their versions. However, the engineering has improved by so much! The DX9 versions look so dated now.

The elephant in the EV

There are three selling points of EVs. First, they are green. No tailpipe emission, so no pollution!

But that's just one side of it. It turns out it is extremely polluting and hazardous to mine the materials that make up the battery. But that's someone else's problem.

However, even without tailpipe emission, EVs are heavier, so they wear out tyres and road faster.

The second plus point of EV is their simplicity. This is from the point of the manufacturer. No engine, no gearbox, no messy oils and fuels. They just need a motor, a charger and of course a super big battery.

The third plus point is low cost per km! Generally, it costs 25% (per km) if you charge at home, 50% if you use a commerical charger, compared to petrol. But this advantage is negated in Singapore due to the high EV road tax — to make up for the loss of petrol duties.

The cons of EV all come from battery limitation: big, heavy, range, charging.

First, there are just not enough charging points. There will never be enough. If you have a dedicated charger (i.e. landed property), it works great for daily commute. Shared charging? Not so much — you got to move the car after charging.

Second, it takes too long to charge. A super fast charger can charge to 80% in 20 minutes, and that gives you around 300 km. It takes 5 minutes to refuel an ICE car and that gives you 600+ km.

Waiting while charging is one thing. As the EV population grows, waiting to charge will become common. You have to be in the car and cannot go elsewhere.

One thing that is coming up is of course battery lifespan. All batteries degrade. The usual claim is 80% capacity after 10 years. It sounds pretty good, until you realize it does not start at 100% — it starts at 110% or 120%. Yes, manufacturers over-provision. After 10 years, there is no more buffer and battery capacity will seem to drop very fast.

As a result, an old EV (above 5 years) has little second-hand value as the battery needs to be replaced and it is a huge expense (> $10k).

The biggest problem with batteries, specifically lithium batteries: fire.

Lithium battery fire is impossible to put out.

Lithium batteries are susceptible to fire at two times: charging and puncture. It is rare, though never say never, for a battery to ignite on its own.

So there are 3 things to look out for:

  • Don't park near an EV
  • Don't park near an EV charger
  • Accidents may puncture the battery

Even if the battery is not punctured, its structure may be compromised and needs to be changed.

Finally, for EV, it is crucial to learn how to open the car door mechanically — in case power is lost. If not, and a fire breaks out...

A warning for all directors

Goh Jin Hian has been found liable for US$146 million (S$196 million) in losses as director of now-insolvent marine fuel supplying company Inter-Pacific Petroleum (IPP).

Mr Goh JH is the son of ex-PM, Mr GCT.

Generally, directors are not liable for their company losses, but not when they breach their directors' duty.

What happened?

In June - July 2019, IPP drew on its US$156mil trade financing. However, at this time, it was already "insolvent". The claim was that as its Director, Mr Goh should know its financial situation and stop the transaction.

They had to mention two points:

  • Mr Goh showed a lack of knowledge about the business
  • He held 36 concurrent directorships during that time

Why was Mr Goh sued alone? Was he the only director? Did he "sign off" the loan?

Moral of the story: you can be a sleeping director until the company wants to take on more loan!