Pavlok Teardown

Welcome to the new teardown series on my channel, where I take apart gadgets and share what I find inside. First up is the Pavlok, a shocking wearable designed to help you break bad habits.

The Pavlok comes with the main device itself, as well as two silicone wristbands.

The Pavlok pairs over bluetooth with your phone to control the settings through an app, which is also designed to keep you motivated to use the device in the most effective way possible. You can deliver an electric shock to yourself via the app or by pressing the top of the device. It also can supposedly detect when you move your hand to your mouth, say during smoking or nail biting, which are two of the habits its designed to help break.

To take it apart, I started cutting the plastic around the little metal nubs. The tricky thing about taking this thing apart, at least before the battery’s died, is that it is easy to shock yourself while holding it in place. It’s so small that one of the only flat surfaces by which to grip it is also the activation button. So I had to use the phone to make sure it was on a low setting, and try to avoid pinching it while cracking open the plastic.

The electrodes are also the case, which makes for a straightforward three-piece case. I was also able to put it back together again, which is a rare occurrence in one of my teardowns.

My friend David Cranor, an electrical engineer, came over to help examine the circuit and research the parts we could identify.

Here’s a list of tools we used:

Read on to discover the components we found…


Rode Procaster Microphone Setup for Voiceover Recording

It’s time for a change.

For the last decade, the microphone I used for voiceovers was the Zoom H4N, connected to my computer as a USB audio device. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but I’m ready to go to the next level with my voiceover recording, so it was time to get a professional quality microphone and the right accessories to bring out its best.

I picked out the Rode Procaster dynamic microphone because in my research, it would be good for female voiceover recording (me) in places with background noise (pretty much everywhere in NYC). Since I just got it I can’t pass judgement on those factors yet and don’t have its competitors to compare it to, so this isn’t a review– the proof will be heard in my YouTube channel’s voiceover quality, so you be the judge!

Here’s a list of all the bells and whistles that go with a microphone like this, in case you’re looking to create a similar setup yourself. Amazon carries a bundle of mic, arm, and shock mount.

But that’s not all that’s needed to make this mic work for home recording into a computer…


Wire Cutters (Watercolor Speedpaint 01)

Welcome to a new video series on my YouTube channel, all about watercolor painting. I’m working on a series of illustrations of beloved tools, like these flush diagonal cutters.

What I like about watercolor is how relaxing it is. Finding time to paint a little each day helps me unwind. In case you want to get into watercolor painting, I’ve made a post cataloging all the supplies I use to create watercolor paintings.

When I’m done painting, I scan it in, touch it up, and upload it to my print shop, in case you are interested in owning a copy of this design. I’ve also made a poster featuring all the tools in this series so far. You can get a discount to my print shop by signing up for my email newsletter or joining my Patreon.


Watercolor Tools Poster

I started trying to paint a tool every day in the month of December. I did ok, holiday travel notwithstanding, and made 22 paintings in 31 days. The best of this set went into this watercolor tools poster, now available on my Society6 print shop. What tools should I paint next?

Vegan Chocolate Tart Recipe

Crust ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup unrefined sugar such as coconut sugar or Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 ripe banana (I keep some on hand in the freezer)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Ganache filling ingredients:

  • 9oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1.25 cup coffee (I used decaf)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tools used: