September 24, 2023

Sun King: let there be light.

Filed under: News — csadm @ 8:15 pm

If you follow Cool Stuf’s Facebook page you would already be aware of a company called Sun King, which offers a range of affordable solar products.

Globally, Sun King designs, distributes, instals, and finances solar energy solutions for approximately 1.8 billion consumers who cannot reliably access or afford traditional electrical grid connections. 

Papua New Guinea, with its unreliable and very limited power grid, is no exception. The good news is that people in PNG are now among the beneficiaries of Sun King’s solar technology, through Cool Stuf and its suppliers.

What is off-grid power?

Off-grid power refers to the generation and use of electricity without relying on the traditional electrical grid. Off-grid power systems are commonly used in remote or rural areas where connecting to the grid is impractical or too costly, as well as for emergency backup power and in eco-friendly, sustainable living situations.

Typical sources of off-grid power include: solar, wind and hydro.

Off-grid power systems are versatile and can range from small-scale setups for a single home to larger systems that power entire villages, communities or remote facilities.

What is Sun King?

Founded in 2007 as Greenlight Planet, Sun King sets the gold standard for off-grid solar technology. Products include solar-powered lighting, solar-powered systems for homes and small businesses that combine lighting with appliances such as TVs, radios, fans and motion detectors.

Since its inception, Sun king has installed 109 megawatts of solar, globally sold over 22 million solar products and powered 19.5 million homes throughout the 40 countries in which its products are available.

These are big numbers, but the task is even bigger, with over 1.8 billion people throughout Africa and Asia lacking access to reliable electricity.

According to the World Bank (April 2021), in Papua New Guinea it is estimated that only an estimated 13 percent of PNG’s 8.6 million people have access to grid-connected electricity.

Against this background, Sun King products enable families, households and small businesses to function as effectively as possible. Most importantly it provides children with an opportunity for a better education, as adequate lighting is essential for greater access to reading and learning.

Home 500X: a typical Sun King system

As a typical Sun King solar system, Cool Stuf is currently promoting the Home 500X. The system includes a 50W solar panel, USB mobile phone charging, 4x lights offering 900 lumens of light, 1x motion-sensing security light. Sun King Home 500X can be purchased for K1265. The system is compatible with the Sun King 32″ Solar TV which can be purchased for an additional K2101.

Sun King solar products are distinct by their bold yellow colour.

The most basic Sun King solar lamp, the Pico Plus is available for as little as K40. Pico Plus is five times brighter (and a whole lot safer!) than kerosene lamps. It features a long-lasting battery and the iconic, durable Sun King design. With its 50 lumen, neutral LED light, Sun King Pico Plus yields up to 72 hours of light from a single sunny day of solar charging.

For the full range of solar products available through Cool Stuf please visit

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September 15, 2023

The Cable Guide

Filed under: News — csadm @ 12:23 pm

The following information may be useful if you are looking for a specific type of cable and connector. It’s not the complete list, but it is does include the most common types. The connector is the most readily identifiable part of a cable, so we will focus mainly on that part of the cable’s anatomy.

The part that goes in is commonly referred to as male, whereas the port (or hole) it goes into is referred to as female. To continue the analogy, the process of plugging it in is politely called mating.

Now you will see recharging your phone in an entirely different light.


USB-A is most commonly used with computers or power outlets. When charging, you will connect the USB-A side into the USB-plug or into a laptop or computer.

USB-A cables will only go into the port one way. You can usually tell which way up they should be by the USB symbol printed on the top. Make sure that the cable is inserted the correct way so as not to damage the cable or device… true.

USB-A cable


USB-B ports are mostly used to connect printers or external hard drives with computers. They are not as common as the other types of USB cables.

USB-B cable


The USB-Mini was used for connecting mobile devices including MP3 players and cameras, and is a much smaller connection, thus allowing smaller devices to connect.

Mini USB cable


Micro-USB used to be the most common USB port and is still found on many older models. This type of connection allows data to be read without needing a computer. For example, you can connect Flash Drives, or Memory Sticks, directly to your mobile device.

Like USB-A cables, Micro-USB will only go into a port if it’s the correct way round. Be careful to match the shape of the port with the Micro-USB cable to avoid causing any damage.

Micro USB cable


USB-C is the most recent USB development and most new devices come with USB-C ports. USB-C cables allow high speed data transfers and a higher power flow, allowing your phone to charge more quickly. USB-C cables are also reversible and can be plugged in either way round.

USB-C (Type C) cable


USB 3 was designed to be able to be backwards compatible with earlier versions of USB cables and ports. The USB 3 has different shaped connector pins so it can withstand more frequent use. The USB 3-A and USB 3-B cables are identical to the USB-A and USB-B cables at the top of this article, except they are coloured blue inside to distinguish them. The USB 3 micro cable has extra pins to enable the transference of more data.

USB-3 cable


HDMI cables are one of the most commonly used and well-known cables for connecting computers, televisions, game systems, and other electronic devices. They were released in 2004 as a replacement for VGA cables because HDMI could carry and transmit both sound and video in high definition, while VGA cables needed multiple ports to connect sound and video. 

HDMI cable

3.5 mm Audio Cable (AUX)

Used as one of the most common audio cables for more than a decade, 3.5-millimeter audio cables can also be known as auxiliary or aux cables. They are best recognized when you want to listen to music to drown out the neighbors, get some studying done, or pay attention to an important video call. Just grab your headphones and use the 3.5-mm aux cable to connect them to the headphone port on your device.

Audio (AUX) cable

Ethernet Cable

Despite being invented more than 40 years ago, ethernet cables have never been in high demand by residential consumers when compared to USB, HDMI, or even old VGA cables. The reason for this is that ethernet cables are used specifically for connecting several devices on a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).

These networks are commonly seen in workplaces, but at home, ethernet cables are really only used to connect the computer directly to the modem or router. Ethernet cables can also be used for connecting security camera networks, allowing the user to control the cameras from one device, instead of each camera working on its own independent network.

Ethernet cable

Coaxial Cable

More than 20 years ago these were primarily used to connect home satellites and local cable networks to the home in order to enjoy television with the family. At the time, internet access was only available with a dial-up modem through the local phone network. When cable internet was first introduced, coaxial cables quickly became a necessity for many residential homes.

Currently, coaxial cables are still used to connect home modems and routers to the incoming cable system. They are also useful for home satellite connections and are very easy to recognize due to the perfectly circular connector with a thin wire protruding from the center of the cable.

Coaxial cable

Lightning cable (and then there’s Apple…)

Apple devices uniquely and typically use a USB-C to lightning cable. Lightning cables are only meant to work with Apple devices, whereas USB-C connectors have a universal utility.

Apple: lightning cable

Since the introduction of iPhone 13, Apple no longer includes a wall adaptor when you buy the phone. There’s a cable (USB-C with lightning connector) in the box but no wall adaptor. Apple has assumed that loyal users already have a wall adaptor and so, in a bid to limit electronic waste (and cut costs), it did away with it as part of its new device offering. The good news is there are very good and affordable aftermarket wall adaptors available through Cool Stuf.

Momax wall adaptor

Cool Stuf has a wide range of cables and wall adaptors available at our retail shops:

POM: Vision City, Waterfront Foodworld, Rangeview Plaza; LAE: Andersons Foodland, Morobe Pharmacy; Madang: Andersons Foodland; Mt Hagen: Post PNG… or email us at

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September 7, 2023

The continued rise of Realme

Filed under: News — csadm @ 2:12 pm

If you see alot of Realme around Papua New Guinea these days, it’s no coincidence. It’s part of a smartphone craze that’s been sweeping the globe since 2018. The world has fallen in love with the brand and its values since the day it came into being.

We first profiled Realme in March 2022. Much has happened since then, deserving of an update.

5th Anniversary

Realme was established in August 2018.

By October that year it was in the top 7 global smartphone brands and recognised as the “fastest growing smartphone brand in the world.”

In the next five years Realme continued to smash records and experienced phenomenal growth to operate in 61 markets globally, including China, India, East Asia, Europe, Russia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa.

Realme had its beginnings in China, where its roots can be traced back to 2010 as a sub-brand of Oppo that at the time was called Oppo Real. In 2018, the former vice president of Oppo, Li Bingzhong (Sky Li) pinched the “real” brand name and decided to use it to start up his own independent brand – Realme.

Realme found initial success in India and it is now the fourth largest smartphone brand there – surpassing Oppo and competing for market share with the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo.

It wasn’t until 2019 that Realme entered the Chinese domestic market and shortly after entered the Eurpoean market.

Realme was soon recognised as the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand.

In November 2020 it had reached the 50 million smartphone sales milestone.

Global media giant Forbes profiled the company in 2021, describing it as “youth focused” and “positioning itself as a disruptor”.

Realme strives to take the leap in improving the accessibility of cutting-edge technologies” – referencing the company’s motto “Dare to Leap”.

Vision and mission

According to its website, Realme’s DNA is “young, stylish, real and outstanding”.

Vision: To become a healthy and sustainable enterprise

Mission: To empower youth to be more daring through leap-forward technology and design

The corporate website goes on to give a greater insight into the company’s ethos:

Dare to Leap is the primary force that drives us to construct an intelligent and trendy lifestyle where everything is interconnected for all youths globally. Upon the establishment of Realme in 2018, we have never stopped outdoing ourselves in terms of branding, product performance, design, quality and customer service.”

“Applying next-level technologies on smartphones and AIoT products, we are able to provide next-level experience to our consumers.”

Recent developments: 1+5+T

In October 2020 Realme became the world’s fastest brand to reach 50 million sales. Less than a year later it had reached 100 million smartphone users.

In 2021 the company launched its “1+5+T” strategy to build an integrated smart-tech ecosystem, basically signalling its future positioning as something more than just a smartphone company.

1 is the mobile phone, 5 stands for True Wireless Stereo earphones, wearables, TVs, tablets, laptops, and T stands for realme‘s AIoT (Artifical Intelligence of Things) brand TechLife.

Another milestone came in 2022, when Realme was named as the world’s fastest-growing 5G smartphone brand.

According to a Counterpoint Research report, Realme’s 5G shipments grew the most among all major smartphone brands with a 165% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2021. The rapid growth has been fueled by the company’s expansion into Western European countries such as Italy, Spain, France, the UK and Switzerland, in each of which it is the fastest-growing brand thanks to the GT series and 8 5G.

Papua New Guinea 

In July 2023 Cool Stuf was appointed as the authorised sales distributor and after-sales services provider for the Realme range of products in Papua New Guinea.

Cools Stuf’s current range of Realme products includes: C21, C30, C35, C53, C55, Narzo 50, Narzo 50A Prime and Realme Pad.

Follow us on Facebook and check our website for updates as we add new products within the Cool Stuf Realme realm.

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September 1, 2023

How best to avoid people

Filed under: News — csadm @ 2:32 am

Skype v Microsoft Teams v Zoom

Remember the pandemic?

It’s when we were forced into confinement and our brains were rewired to treat everyone as a possible risk of contagion.

Work from home” became the mantra and the world discovered two US communications giants who were conveniently ready to take up the slack.

Before you go and wash your hands, here is an analysis of the most popular ways you can avoid physical connectivity with other people in a business environment, and uphold the finest tradition of the pandemic.

The platforms featured in this article use Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). For an explanation of VOIP see our previous blog.


As we will learn, Skype was acquired and then pretty much cannibalised by Microsoft to create the MS Teams platform.

Skype is a communication platform that’s been around since 2003, making it one of the real pioneers of VOIP communications and worthy of honourable mention here. It allows individuals and groups to make voice and video calls over the internet, send instant messages, and share files. Historically, Skype has been popular for one-on-one meetings, personal use, and connecting friends and family members who are geographically separated.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that integrates with the Microsoft 365 suite of tools. It’s designed to facilitate communication, file sharing, and collaboration within teams and organizations. Teams allows users to create channels for different topics, chat in real-time, schedule and conduct video meetings, share files, and integrate with various Microsoft applications. It’s particularly well-suited for businesses and organizations that already use Microsoft’s productivity tools. It can accommodate forums of up to 1,000 active participants.


Zoom is a video conferencing and online meeting platform that gained immense popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s known for its ease of use, reliability, and features like virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and screen sharing. Zoom is widely used for remote work, online education, webinars, and virtual events. It offers both free and paid plans, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

Zoom: myth-busted

It’s a myth that Zoom is a Chinese company. Zoom Video Communications, Inc is an American company, publicly traded on the NASDAQ, founded in 2011 and headquartered in California. It’s founder is Eric Yuan, a Chinese -American businessman. According to Yuan, Zoom does have some operations and employees in China, just like most multinational technology companies. So why the fuss?

Skype meets Microsoft

In May 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion and used it to replace their Windows Live Messenger platform.

This helps explain the market positioning and difference between MS Teams and Skype.

According to Microsoft:

Skype that you use at home is great for smaller businesses of up to 20 employees. It is free to use, unless you want to buy credit to make calls to landlines and mobiles.

Microsoft Teams lets you host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone inside or outside your organization. Teams of 10 or 10,000 can meet in one place, no matter how many places they’re in. You can easily share files, participate in one-to-one and group chats, and more, all with enterprise-grade security. You can also use Skype to participate in one-to-one chats and calls with Microsoft Teams users. 

Skype for Business lets you add up to 250 people to online meetings, provides enterprise-grade security, allows you to manage employee accounts, and is integrated into your Office apps. Microsoft Teams is replacing Skype for Business.

MS Teams v Zoom

That makes Microsoft Teams and Zoom two of the most popular video conferencing solutions available today. Both platforms have a free entry level. This is how they compare.

FeatureMicrosoft TeamsZoom Meetings
PriceUS$0 to $22 per month, per userUS$0 to $250 per year, per user
Participant CapacityUp to 1,000 (or 19,000 in view only)Up to 1,000
Meeting Time LimitsUp to 60 minutes on free plan; 24 hours on paid plansUp to 40 minutes on free plan; 30 hours on paid plans
Voice Calling
Screen, App and Document Sharing
Breakout Rooms
Customized Backgrounds
Meeting FiltersFilters available for appearance and lightingFilters available for appearance and lighting
Record MeetingsOn paid plansOn all plans
Meeting TranscriptsAvailable for scheduled meetings with paid plansAvailable on Business and Enterprise plans
Host WebinarsAvailable with Microsoft 365 Business Standard planAvailable with Zoom Events and Webinar plans
Cloud File Storage10 GB per license on all plans; paid plans offer 1 TB per organization1 GB to unlimited
User Reporting and AnalyticsOn paid plansOn paid plans

Set Up and Ease of Use

Microsoft Teams



Microsoft Teams


A final word

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