• Dishonest manufacturing

    This no name powerbank with solar charging  came in for recycling and it is anything but powerful.  The battery is swollen and the case is bowed because of it.

    It is quite dishonest of the manufacturer to put such a small battery in a large enclosure.  Not only could the battery be taller but it could also be thicker.  There are two foam rubber spacers used to fill the empty space in the enclosure.

    The purchaser would be quite unaware of the small battery size and would assume that a physically large enclosure would equate to a larger energy capacity than a smaller one.  If I find a suitable battery I would be able to more than double the capacity of the powerbank.

    Please everybody, avoid products that are of such bad quality that the manufacturer is too scared to put their name on it!


  • Blatant and arrogant dumping

    We had this stuff dumped in front of our rubbish skip during broad daylight on a workday.

    Some rubbish

    It is a collection of stuff that is not at all related to what we accept for recycling.  There is some sort of cot, a paddle board, a bike pump (that might be ok), a home made toy train, and a few other things.  It is surprising that none of us noticed it being dumped given that we go in and out of the back door pretty regularly.

    Does the person that dumped it think they are doing us a favour?  Well they are not!  A similar thing happens at the charity shops.  All sorts of things get dumped there that are of little or no value.

    It seems that some people overlook a rational appraisal of the value of goods to justify dumping it for free.  In the case of this dumped stuff the value for resale is about 25 cents for the metal and the rest would unfortunately have to be sent to landfill.


  • Torch repair

    This small LED torch came in for recycling. The batteries were stuffed. Cleaned the battery contacts and put some new ones in. It worked but not very well. It would flicker especially if the case was pressed. I took it apart, squirted some contact cleaner in the switch but it would still flicker. And then I noticed something.

    The tab from the battery contact was shorting out to the LED PCB. It is thin metal so it bends easily. Either it was not bent down properly in the factory or it moved when the batteries were changed.

    It was easily fixed. I bent the tab down and put a little patch of adhesive foam over it. We now have yet another torch that we can use and another item is saved from being recycled.


  • New look website

    After having the same website design for almost ten years we have decided to refresh its appearance.  It still uses the excellent WordPress CMS and still has a number of plugins making a wide range of functions available to visitors.

    Ecotech services

    We have checked the site for any potential bugs but if you find any or have any suggestions on improving it please let us know.

    The upgrade was carried out by a small team of talented in-house staff members.


  • Our staff now get free public transport

    Metro card
    The Metro card is used for paying public transport fares in Christchurch.

    Ecotech Services now pays for all of the public transport fares for staff members.  This means that they get free transport for both commuting to work and for any other activity.

    This is a small measure to help with climate change mitigation by encouraging staff to use public transport.


  • Pixel TC-252 photography timer/intervalometer and customer services impresses Megan

    It’s not often that I’m blown away by outstanding customer service but today I was.

    While browsing the aisles at Ecotech Services (as you do….) I spotted a Pixel TC-252 Timer Remote Control camera remote shutter complete with its manual sitting on the shelf with the rest of the camera accessories (chargers, filters, and other bits and pieces). This device has a small LCD screen and quite a few buttons. It appeared at a quick glance to have quite a few features.

    As I’m getting into photography and getting interested in chasing auroras and shooting the Milky Way, and maybe doing time lapses, my interest was instantly aroused, so I told my partner Alan Liefting that I was going to take it home to check it out. “Where did you find that?” he asked me. (Ha I spotted it first!! but I might let him borrow it….) The device is made by a Hong Kong based company called Pixel. After a quick Google search I found their website and had a read of the info. The remote has a lot of great features. It can do a single shot, multi shot, bulb, delayed and even a timer that can do multiple time delay shots – an intervalometer – so it can do time lapse. Perfect for astrophotography! (now I just have to wait for a star tracker to turn up at Ecotech Services – dreams are free!!) It turns out that the cable is connected to the remote via a 2.5mm plug and a range of different cables for different cameras are available. I tried pressing the biggest button which turned it on, and it fired up with a logo, then appeared to shut down after a short period.  I wasn’t sure if this was normal behaviour or if it had a fault.

    The manual didn’t really shed any light and a quick Google search found the Pixel website which had a chat feature so I thought I’d give it a go. The person on the other end was more than helpful. After I described the situation, they got me to send them a video of what the remote was doing, checked it against the behaviour of one they had at their end and got me to do some testing (see what happened when the batteries were replaced – it fired up). It turned out that what was happening was normal in single shot mode. I then tried clicking into the other features of the device and the appropriate displays came up on the screen, so it appears to work. The Pixel rep then gave me the specs of what cable I would need to find. They gave me their model number, which I expected, but also the specs of a generic cable that will do the job and make this remote work with both of our cameras. I was extremely impressed with the level of help given to a random customer who had not purchased their product, nor was likely to purchase a cable from them (they even said to me that the freight to buy from them directly would kill it).  If you are into photography and are looking for a good quality remote timer/intervalometer, look into the Pixel.

    Here is a review (should have watched that first!):

    Pixel TC-252 – BEST VALUE INTERVAL TIMER for any camera! – REMOTE FOR TIME LAPSE

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  • Price increase

    EDITED

    As of the 1st of April 2023 some of our prices will increase due to increased costs.

    Item code Description Old price New price
    00100 Admin – per 10 min $10.00 $12.00
    30100 Recycling labour – per 10 min $11.00 $12.50
    34234 LCD television recycling $20.00 $25.00
    34160 UPS recycling $0.00 $10.00
    32112 Alkaline battery recycling $3.50 $4.50
    32190 Battery recycling – unsorted $4.50 $5.00

    We attempt to keep our prices as low as possible so any increasing costs must be passed on since they cannot be absorbed by us.


  • Minimum fee reduction

    In order to promote minor electronic and electrical repairs we now have a minimum fee of $15 instead of $45.  We have always charged a low price for minor repairs.  This announcement is to formalise it.

    If we have a technician available we are able to do some repairs immediately.

    There will still be a $45 inspection/assessment fee for large items that require time to diagnose the fault and to supply a quote.

    The $15 fee does not generally apply to computers, laptops, and tablets.  These items have a $54 inspection/assessment fee.

    See our price list for more information.


  • Life and death

    A stack of tower style PCs.
    These patients are waiting patiently to be triaged.

    When we receive our patients they all go through a thorough and careful process, and we are usually able to give them a longer, healthier life.

    Sometimes the sheer numbers overload our facilities and so we firstly carry out a quick triage of all the incoming patients. Some of the better Windows 7 and 8 machines go straight to the operating theatre for a Windows 10 upgrade to give them a new lease of life. Core 2 Duo patients are deemed to need palliative care but we euthanise them with the dismantling process. There is rarely a need to keep doner parts from them for other sick PCs. Some of the Windows XP patients are still quite healthy after quite a long life and a few humans like and need their company. We give them a new lease of life with a wipe, an operating system reload, and sometimes a little cosmetic surgery.

    During the triage we find that some patients are DOA, in some cases it is because they have been butchered for parts.

    A dusty PC
    We euthanised this patient.

    It is disappointing that we get some patients who have led an unhealthy life. They quite obviously have been cooped up in a dusty environment and kept working all day and all night. This leads to overheating and possibly to a premature death.

    We do the best we can with all our patients by reviving them and ensuring that they can be a healthy part of the home and the workplace. However, it is quite depressing to see that some of them will never again be gainfully employed. A very satisfying part of our job, on the other hand, is to take some of the geriatric computers into our care. We know full well that they will never be employed again but being so interesting we keep them ourselves for the good company they provide, or we pass them on to those who will lavish them with love and care and attention.


  • International Repair Day – 2022

    Saturday the 15th of October is the 2022 International Repair Day.

    Staff from Ecotech Services will once again be helping out at Repair Day events.