September 11, 2014

Charging Electric Car from Portable Generator

This video of course is cool, but if I had a BMW I would not risk charging it from a portable generator, even from a sinewave inverter-generator like Honda. And I would never run a gas generator inside a car even with an exhaust hose.

September 9, 2014

Never Refuel a Portable Generator While It Is Running

If you need to refuel a portable generator, you need to turn it off, wait until its case cools down and only then add the fuel. Refueling a generator while it is operating presents serious fire and burn hazards as one can see from this news report.

August 26, 2014

HP Recalls Notebook AC Power Cords Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

According to, HP recalls more than 5 million power cords for HP and Compaq notebooks due to fire and burn hazards. I can understand how a sloppy designed power supply can overheat. But a power cord? Could not HP genius figure our proper wire rating?

May 26, 2014

One Million Dollar Prize for Next Generation of Power Inverters

Google recently announced their so-called Little Box Challenge, a $1 million prize to develop the next generation of power inverters. If you want to know what power inverter is, here is the basics. Unfortunately, they did not provide any technical details on what exactly they are looking for. The referred website as of today provides zero useful info either. Hopefully, they will clarify the competition shortly.

May 23, 2014

Another Portable Generator Stolen

Here is another reason to look for a permanently installed standby generator- a portable one can easily be stolen. Here is a video on how two guys took a 300-lb device. By the way, in Louisiana, flashlights, batteries, portable generators and other emergency supplies are exempt from the state sales tax this weekend.  They give Louisiana residents a chance to get ready for storm season before the Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1.

January 30, 2014

Power Supply Seminar 2012/13 Textbooks Online

Those who missed Texas Instruments latest 2012-2013 power supply design seminar can now download all the materials here. This time they archived online both the manuals and the presentations, which are quite handy. Unfortunately, TI is doing a pretty good job making it very hard to find these files in their website. If you want to read past TI (formerly Unitrode) seminar manuals beginning 1983, I listed them all here. I kept maintaining and updating these links for over a decade now. Originally I got the list of their topics (which at that time was much shorter) from one of TI application engineers who interviewed me for a job. I did not get the job back then, but I got a list of the links. It was a good deal. (-: