Sunday, February 21, 2021

Dango A10 Adapt Wallet

As we move towards to digital payment, the way we carry our money/cards has also evolved. We carry less cash and coins nowadays. With this latest trend, the design of modern wallets has transformed from the traditional bifold leather wallets to a more minimalist wallet made from metal.

After much online shopping, I came across Dango Products and decided to try one of their metal wallets. Most of their wallets design are inspired by the open identification badge and IDs.

Dango ship their products with Fedex and shipment was fast. It arrived in bubble wrapped envelope within 4 days from United States to Malaysia.

This is what comes with the package; a product catalogue, container and the A10 chassis clip (sold separately).

Inside of the container is the A10 Adapt Wallet chassis (USD79), an instruction sheet and a paracord lanyard. The chassis come in crimson red, champagne gold, slate grey, satin silver and jet black. I opt for champagne gold.

The A-Series of the wallet (A10 Adapt Wallet) is a modular wallet with interchangeable parts and adapters. This make the A10 wallet more versatile and the add on can be attached to suit the user needs.

The A10 wallet chasis is made of machined 6061 aerospace grade aluminum and anodized. The A10 is equipped with Dango' unique patent quick release rail mechanism on both sides of the wallet that allow easy access to cards.

The chassis is lightweight (2.3oz) with dimensions of 104mm (length) x 68mm (width) x 13mm (thick)  and is made fully in the USA.

On the front side is a single card (not RFID protected), vertical oriented cavity meant for displaying identification, badge and any cards that needs scanning.

On one side of the chassis is a horizontal cavity holding up to 4 cards that us protected by a removable aluminum RFID plate.

The A10 Adapt Wallet chassis on its own is capable to hold a maximum of 5 cards in total; 4 cards (including embossed cards) on the back and 1 card on the front. 

For a new chassis unit, the rail will be a tight fit where I notice some card wear in way of the edges which come in contact with the metal rail. The problem will go away after a few uses and card slides.

When I draw out a card from the lowest layer (the one closest to the back plate), the card is unable to be inserted back to the original position. It will have to be inserted in between the other cards.

After repetitive cards sliding over the time will cause minor displacement of the edge of the rail which will keep the cards in the rail. With a rough shake, the card will be dislodged from the rail.

This part of the rail can be adjusted by using a screwdriver to nudge it inward. This will displaced the edge of the rail inward and keep the card firmly in the rail.

When I gripped the chassis in such way, the surface of my palm is actually rubbing the card and this could cause card wear in the long run.

We still need to carry some cash with us for emergency use or in case some vendors still did not accept any digital payment. Underneath the front card slot is some gap to keep some cash. With the notes folded twice, I could easily fit 3 notes into it.

The A10 Chassis Clip (sold separately for USD 15) can be easily installed with a single screw (2 stainless steel screws and Allen key come together with the clip) to hold extra items like cards and notes. With the clip attached, the total thickness will be about 20mm.The clip can be use to attach the chassis to a belt or pocket.

Neck lanyard can also be fitted to the chassis and this would make a cool ID display.

For size comparison, I had put the A10 chassis sided by side with the conventional bifold wallet. The A10 chassis is smaller and thinner compared to an empty bifold wallet.

With the clip attached, the thickness is now about the same as the empty bifold wallet.

It is about the same size and thickness with a card protector holder which can hold up to 8 cards.

Size comparison with Oppo Find X1. The A10 chassis can also be attached to the phone with the A10 phone adapter plate (sold separately).

To increase the card carrying capacity of the wallet, additional accessories such as the A10 pull pocket adapter (USD 35), A10 single pocket adapter (USD 25), A10 bifold pocket adapter (USD 35) and capsule slide (USD 49) can be purchased separately. This could easily make the whole set cost more than USD 100.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Chen Brothers Durian & Fruit

One of the most sought after durian stall in KL is Chen Brothers Durian & Fruit in Kepong Baru.

It is located at 'durian street' (Jalan Mergastua) where several durian stalls lined up on both side of the busy road. One could take the KTM Komuter and stop at Kepong station. The durian street is about 15 minutes walk away.

They sell a wide varieties of durian such as Musang King, Red Meat, D24, D101, Kunyit and Bamboo Leg.

The durian here is not the cheapest around but we had at least 5 different types of durian and the pulps turn out alright. If the durian turn out to be unsatisfactory, the owner would willingly change it.

Water is readily available on each table for free. One could order coconut too here for cooling down the body after taking durians.

The stall also package the pulp in a plastic container which is later vacuum sealed to prevent the strong smell of the king of fruits from emitting out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier

If one is investing in precious metals bullion bar or coin, it is important that what been purchased is genuine and not counterfeit. Sigma Metalytics offers a solution with a Verifier that can give a quick measurement and assurance of the bullion purchased.

This unit costs just below RM 4,000 in 2017 and the price has risen to RM 4100 - 4300 now. It comes with the main measuring unit, charger, calibration disc, bullion wand and user manual.

The size of it is just right and can be hold in a palm. This makes it really convenient to move around with it. In fact, to measure any standard 1 oz coin, this main unit alone is sufficient

A brief operating instruction is available at the back of the unit. It is quite easy to use and only a few buttons to play around.

This is the main sensor where the coins are placed for measurement. 1 ounce coin will fit perfectly whereas smaller coin will give inaccurate reading and small bullion wand is required.

The Verifier can measures gold and silver of different purity as well as other precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The unit measures the electrical resistivity of the metal as different materials have different resistivity.

Results interpretation is rather straightforward. The metal is genuine as long as the black cursor box is between the brackets. Should the black cursor box is slightly outside the brackets, the metal require further test and check for confirmation.

When a left or right arrow appears, the metal is likely not the selected metal.

For bars and smaller coins, bullion wand can be used to measure the metal. The wand comes in 3 sizes.

Connect the wand to the main sensor and slide it across the metal sample and the reading will appear.

The Verifier can works with the bar or can inside a plastic cases and bags. Hence, the protective covers remain intact and need not to be opened up.

The Verifier has another feature which is not mentioned in the manual. It is able to show the resistivity reading of the measured metal.

Shown here are the resistivity measurement of gold (2.17) and silver (1.62)

It has a few drawbacks and one of it is that the Verifier only measure the surface of coins and bars. Hence, counterfeiter could use Tungsten or Lead filled bars to fool the Verifier. The electrical resistivity of silver (1.59) and copper (1.68) are quite close and the sample could be manipulated in order to make PMV to give inaccurate reading.

To overcome these shortcomings, Sigma Metalytics has introduced Previous Metal Verifier Pro (approximately USD 1380) last year which actually measures completely through the sample as well as confirms the metal density is correct. By taking the density into consideration, it will be hard for the sample metal to be counterfeited.

Having said that, I still find the original Precious Metal Verifier to be useful as the first line of defense by screening all the bullion. With additional devices such as magnetic slide (for silver coin), jewellery digital scale and thickness measurement tools, it will complement the PMV for re-assurance of the metal content in the sample metal.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

LifeStraw Go

It is always a good idea to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances and emergencies that may arise. Water is an essential part of our life and hence clean potable water is crucial when disaster struck where clean water is not available. LifeStraw is one of the leading brands which offers products that are capable of filtering dirty or contaminated water for human consumption.

LifeStraw Go (RM 187) is one of product which I opt to be included in my inventory for emergency preparedness. This is an upgraded version (or should I say version 2) of their earlier LifeStraw Go where the updated version comes with 2 stage filtration.

The specification is well define in the package. The filter consists two parts. The first stage is a hollow fiber membrane which removes 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of protozoa and with filtration capacity of 1000 liters.

The second stage is an activated carbon capsule which reduces chlorine, bad odor, taste, organic chemical matter and with filtration capacity of 100 liters.

The filter do not have the capability to filter out viruses.

With each purchase of LifeStraw product, one school child in developing countries will receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. This is one of the company's give back program.

Each LifeStraw Go come with bottle, cap, filter, carabiner and user manual. It looks like any sports or outdoor bottle in the market with the exception of the filter instead of a straw. The bottle can hold 650ml of water in it.

The main component of this product is filter which is made up of a hollow fiber membrane and activated carbon. I always feel better if any contaminated water had passed through an activated carbon filter before consumption.

Carbon filter will improve the drinking experience as it eliminates odour.

The activated carbon filter capsule can be disengaged from the filter unit, revealing the holes at the end of the hollow fiber membrane. There is no expiry date on the filter. Hence, the filter can be stored for a long period of time when not in use.

The complete replacement filter (RM 93.40) can be purchased separately. Since the activated carbon filter capsule has a shorter working life, keeping a few carbon filter replacements would be ideal.

Silicon mouthpiece at the cap for a more comfortable sipping of the filtered water. The silicon mouthpiece is replaceable.

LifeStraw Go is one way to reduce plastic waste while travelling by avoiding buying or using bottled water. Instead, just fill up with tap water or available water source and drink it from the LifeStraw Go.

The fabrication month and year can be found beneath the cap. The units I purchased today were made in December 2018. It is to my best understanding that the whole unit is produced in Switzerland.

LifeStraw Go offers a lot of convenience as one can simply scoop water from lake, river, water fall or pot holes and store it and drink when ready. The portability is definitely a big advantage for this bottle which made it ideal for travelling, camping, hiking and emergency preparedness. I would definitely carry one of this when travelling in a country where the quality of the tap water is questionable.

On the down side, LifeStraw Go is not capable to filter viruses. In the event of emergency, where one need to store clean water to cook, this product might not be ideal (LifeStraw Flex would be more suitable). Nevertheless, it is a great product to have in case of emergency or any outdoor activities.