A look inside a scam gadget purchased on eBay

Originally published at: A look inside a scam gadget purchased on eBay | Boing Boing


Meanwhile, somewhere in a Chinese crapware factory, an Amazon product posting is being re-written to advertise a “best quality energy efficient nightlight”.


He had a spider right there, he could have immediately done a test to see if the “magical frequencies” it generated would repel the spider.

If these things really worked at repelling insects or mice they would be a lot more popular and common than they currently are-- they have been selling these things for decades and it’s not like they put pest control companies out of business.


Exactly. There’s a double scam here. Ultrasonic insect/rodent repellers have always been nonsense, and this one isn’t even a real nonsense device.

Ultrasonic repellent devices are one of those weird pseudoscientific niches that people take for granted. People hear the idea and assume it works, without ever looking into it at all, nor wondering why they aren’t then standard equipment in every hospital, factory, and hotel.


apparently the UV sterilization stuff is quite real though, and apparently there are even some newer very specific UV-C frequencies that are very effective while not being (very) hazardous to humans/other large animals. Of course, you need to actually have a real UV-C light source in your device…


Yah, that gets more complicated. UV sterilization is commonly used in water treatment, autoclaving, and many other applications. However, every consumer grade device claiming to do that is almost universally way too low power and (as you point out) the wrong wavelengths to actually work.

Those crap devices can damage your eyes though (it takes very little UV to do that) so they really should be banned. Someday they probably will be when the right lawsuit comes along.


Recently went to a Motorcycle show, the “fairy bell” agent [you put them on your bike to ward off the road devils] selling the said bells got miffed when I asked for proof that they work.

I guess I have to live with that…



When are they available on the BoingBoing shop?



Surely the UV-C device would be so subtly integrated that it eschewed the conventional solder connections and indeed might be there if only you could see such fine work…or UV, or use a downconversion film of any blooming thing, which would go blue. Wasn’t much that.

As for the UV sterilizers, they work a bit, no biofilm gonna brew up while that 1/3 W on, if it resembles water and not kombucha.
I hear UV-C LEDs spec’d at 0.03 W and can’t imagine that doing a thing, not that I haven’t bought corncob LED UV-C lamps called for 23W duty…which I’ve put someplace invisible, I find. :frowning_face: :frowning_face:

The screws instead of press-fit! Such service to the cynical. That chunky UK mains connector Golgo 13 wouldn’t easily crush!


A zone generator!


Spiders aren’t insects.
(Not that this thing would have worked on one.)


They work alright, but you only really need them in Iceland (and maybe some counties in Ireland).


I did see that pedantry coming when I typed my post.

But I didn’t care enough to add “and arachnids”, maybe I could have just said the all inclusive “bugs.”


Well, they are generally a good idea for any women that ride. Always stopping to ask for directions…

Pedantry? This. Is. Boing Boing!


Say what now?


Well, Eoin Colfer, really.

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