Tips & Tricks

Raspberry Pi portable power from $2 USB emergency charger


The Raspberry Pi is easily the most popular mini PC by numbers sold – according to reports its quickly closing in on 1.5million. But while it’s normally powered by an AC USB power brick, there are plenty of occasions when battery power would be far more convenient.
One simple Raspberry Pi portable power option is what’s often sold as a ‘USB emergency charger’, which is basically two AA size batteries connected to a step-up DC voltage converter, outputting 5VDC at up to one amp (1A).… Read more

Raspberry Pi overclocking and heatsinking


The Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular ARM-based mini PCs of all time with news that the tiny single-core computer is about to log up 1.5million sales, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
However, one of the most common complaints is the fairly low performance, which given the 700MHz single-core CPU on-board, is understandable. But there is a way to expand that performance by a fairly simple overclock.… Read more

Which mini PC – MK809III or MK802IV?


There are plenty of mini PCs on the market and two that often seem to come up in decisions are the MK809III and the Rikomagic MK802iV.
These two are so close in their features and specs that it’s almost redundant having them side-by-side in our table below. They’re both built around the quad-cor Rockchip RK3188 SoC CPU; they both have 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of flash and preloaded with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) OS.… Read more

Q&A: Can I overclock my mini PC?


Q: Can I overclock my mini PC?
A: Possibly. It depends firstly on having the right kernel features. Clock speeds in ARM processors – in fact, in most processors – running under Linux are controlled by the cpufreq driver, which governs how the clock speed is managed. Apps such as SetCPU (available in Google Play or free if you’re a member of can allow you to overclock or underclock the CPU rate by working with this driver.… Read more

IP dust water ratings – what they mean


Ruggedised phones are starting to take off, particularly since the launch of the Galaxy S4 Active and the new Sony Xperia ZR, with one of the main selling points in this area usually being the special IP or Ingress Protection rating. For example, the Galaxy S4 Active is IP58-rated while the Xperia ZR is IP67-compliant.
So what do those numbers mean?… Read more

Simple MK802IV Wi-Fi signal fix explained


Last week, we wrote up news of Rikomagic’s blog post on fixing the Wi-Fi signal issue on the MK802IV mini PC. At the time, it wasn’t clear to us just what users were supposed to do but as it turns out, has managed to get to the bottom of the situation.
When Brad Linder opened up his MK802IV, he noticed the positioning of the antenna more towards the HDMI plug end of the case.… Read more

Rikomagic issues MK802IV Wi-Fi connection fix


The MK802IV was one of the first quad-core TV stick mini PCs on the market, but one problem that has affected at least some models has been an issue with Wi-Fi connection.
The problem has reached a stage where Rikomagic itself has had to issue an MK802IV Wi-Fi connection fix with what has to be said is a very basic self-help guide on fixing the problem.… Read more

Q&A: Can you run Raspberry Pi outdoor continuously on battery power?


Q: Can you run Raspberry Pi outdoor continuously on battery power?
A: Yep, no reason why not but you’d need a combination of battery large enough to run for extended periods and a charging mechanism fast enough to recharge the battery during daylight hours.
The best type of battery for this sort of job would need what’s called ‘deep discharge recovery’, which means if the battery is completely drained, it can be brought back to life with a simple charging.… Read more