It’s load shedding weekend again nerds, and this time it’ll be with us for at least another year according to Eskom. What’s a Saffer to do during the dark hours when the braai is over and you can’t harness the power of firestarting to make coffee? Well, I’ve got a few things to help keep you entertained. Hit the jump.
Geil anounces new Super Luce RGB DDR4-4133 memory
DDR4 is slowly coming down in price thanks to market pressures, and we’re seeing some of the fastest-ever RAM coming out of factories to date. One of those kits is Geil’s DDR4-4133 Super Luce RGB series and their cheaper DDR4-3600 and DDR4-3200 kits, also with RGB. The DDR4-4133 kit is clocked at 1033MHz with latencies of 19-19-19-39 at 1.40v, which is very good for that speed. The DDR4-3200 kit will be the most interesting for value-conscious buyers on the AMD Ryzen platform because of its latencies set at 14-14-14-34 at 1.35v. All Super Luce RGB memory is compatible with RGB software controls like ASUS Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, and ASRock Polychrome. Geil has been difficult to find locally in the past, but with the company’s expansion into North America and Europe starting in 2016, that should be a thing of the past pretty soon.
It’s load shedding season, folks
Our favourite SOE, Eskom, has been implementing load shedding nationwide for exactly one week today. We were up to stage 2, where 2000MW was to be saved through shutting off suburbs according to the schedule defined by Eskom, and they say we can expect this to go on for another year at the least. While we have been moved back down to stage 1 for now, it could get worse as coal shortages and poor maintenance catch up with Eskom. That’s why this week’s Mosh Pit is all about keeping you connected and occupied during the dark hours.
Cooler Master’s MH751 and MH752 now on sale
Cooler Master has been making headsets for half a decade now, and they’re pretty good at it. Their recent entry into the mid-range gaming headset market is the MH751 and MH752. The MH751 is a stereo headset with an adjustable headband and soft ear cushions covered in a leatherette material, 40mm drivers, swiveling earcups, and a detachable microphone and 3.5mm audio jack for traveling and keeping things tidy. The MH752 is all that and more, with a second USB Type-A cable to connect to laptops and desktop computers, 7.1 virtual surround sound through a USB sound card, and more functional in-line volume controls. Perhaps one day that will be a USB-C cable instead, but for now the ability to use a 3.5mm jack instead means you can use the MH752 on tablets, phones, and your Nintendo Switch to keep you entertained.
Huawei’s P20 Pro has long legs
There used to be a time when smartphones had horrible battery life. We’re talking less than three hours of screen on-time, less than five watching Youtube and it wouldn’t last you a day of use. That’s changed in a big way over the last decade, and we now have phones like Huawei’s P2o Pro scoring endurance ratings of over 80 hours, meaning that this friggin’ thing will last you just over three days of light use before it starts to really complain. The IP67 water resistance, 40MP camera, Leica lenses, audio quality, notched display, Bluetooth aptX compatibility aside, this phone should get you through the day’s load shedding with power to spare. Get yours on the Huawei Store.
Nintendo’s Switch has a 6-hour battery life, hint hint
At an average of R6,499 the Nintendo Switch is not cheap. But it is Nintendo’s best handheld system on the market, and as a bonus it has an average runtime of about six hours depending on the game you’re playing. There’s so much good stuff on the Switch platform that it’s hard to keep up. You’ll have fan favourites like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Undertale, Diablo III: Eternal Collection, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Civilization VI, Dark Souls Remastered, Pokemon: Let’s Go, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to choose from.
Ellies inverter, charger, and batteries
One of the possibilities you could explore to work around the load shedding is backup power, but this is an expensive avenue to explore. One of the places you can start is with a simple inverter and charger setup, like this 1200W modified sinewave inverter kit from Ellies. It’s not cheap, and you can get cheaper systems that deliver a lower wattage, but these prebuilts with a trolley for batteries will allow you to move it around the house as needed, or keep it somewhere that it’s out of the way and regularly used. Y0u can build your own system using your own inverter and battery charger, but the allure of these prebuilts is that there’s a warranty attached and there’s no ambiguity about which batteries will be better for the charger type. Depending on your use of the system, you should aim for a high cycle battery if you intend to use the battery backup often for short periods of time, or a deep cycle battery if you expect the power to be off for longer periods of time. If you’re still unsure, call up any of the Ellies centers in your area to find out which battery type you should use. Also, remember that modified sinewave inverters are better for electronics than they are for motors, so don’t plug your hairdryer into this thing.
Battery banks for phones, tablets, and laptops
If you’re not up to picking up a full inverter kit just to give you a little bit of juice for your phone or tablet, you might want to pick up a battery bank. Making batteries larger than 10,000mAh has been easy peasy for a while, but not everyone wants to carry a bulky one around. Romoss makes the Sense6, their largest battery pack for portablets with a 20,000mAh battery. To put that in perspective it, it will charge a Samsung Galaxy S6 five times before needing to be recharged. The Sense6 has a tiny LED status indicator and two USB Type-A ports that supply up to 2.0A to devices. If you’re living in the Apple ecosystem, you might also want to try this Kanex GoPower battery pack for Macbooks and iPads. It delivers up to 3A off the USB-C connection, which makes it ideal for charging iPads and iPhones quickly.
Ecoboxx Portable Solar Charger
So let’s say your power banks are dead and you’re still without power. Well, that’s when you haul out your tiny little 20W solar array and use that to charge your phones with the power of the sun. Ecoboxx’s kit is very barebones and it’s definitely not going to power your laptop or kettle. But as a backup energy source for when you have nothing else to charge your phone with (because you leeched all the juice from your laptop already), this kit isn’t a bad idea. The included 12Ah battery can run a 30W phone for up to three hours, so it’s a good option if you want to keep your router powered for a bit to watch cat videos while you wait for the power to return.