Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Canon TS6020 Printer, 271 Cartridges

Posted in printers, Uncategorized with tags , on August 14, 2017 by marksun

In March 2017 I bought a Canon TS6020 printer (Amazon $100) which came with a full set of ink cartridges.  At the same time I bought $100 worth of replacement cartridges since two kinds of inventory are required;  black 270 and  cyan, yellow, magenta and black 271 cartridges.

The first ink cartridge to go was the big black 270 ink cartridges ~ May/June.
August 2017, I’ve replaced two cartridges, cyan last week, Magenta today, and tomorrow or soon, Yellow.

To restock:  Canon CLI-271 Value Ink Pack  ~~ $52 Amazon – with four CLI-271 (yellow, cyan, magenta, black), obviously to back up the ink inventory.  At $13 per cart, this is no bargain but one can do worse.

So guesstimate the cost :  If we’ve spent about $100 in ink and printed 1.5 reams of paper (750 sheets) , the cost is about $.13 per sheet just for ink and $.014 for paper or about $.15 per sheet or $72 per ream.

I suppose we need to add the depreciation of the printer over an expected life of 7 years, and add the cost of obsolete cartridge inventory at end of life.  <SIGH>



dremel care – cutting guide

Posted in note to self, tools, Uncategorized with tags on January 27, 2017 by marksun

Note to self – I use a dremel all the time but have done a not so good job of taking care of it.  I mostly use a variable chuck – very convenient –  fits 1/32 all the way up to 1/8″ – I recommend it but there’s a downside.  The collets are forgotten and the plastic nut that goes over the tool nose is long lost.   Today I  used the dremel cutting guide to cut a recess into a wood panel.   The guide requires using a collet and the chuck had to come off.   Which brings me to care of the tool.

This is a note to self for the dremel on stuff I don’t know or had forgotten.   The dremel shaft is hollow, the collet should drop or be easily pushed in all the way to the chuck.  It should come out easily.  If the collet doesn’t drop in easily, there is probably dirt, grime, or rust, all of which you want to get rid of immediately.  As you know rust will ruin the tool – useless once the collet is rusted in and will not come out.  #1 son has a couple of dremels like that.  So that dremel chuck shaft needs to be kept clean, and protected with a light machine oil or corrosion block.

The collet shaft is inserted into the dremel shaft and drops all the way down to the chuck with its four thin slots which provide the clearance to allow it to be tightened down.  The collet nut fits over it.  The bit can be inserted with the nut on or off.  The collet should remove easily and be maintained.

The collet nut fit over the collet and shaft and screws in.  It too must slide easily without binding.  Better to grease it than to have rust.  I used corrosion block to clean up and protect collets, nut and dremel shaft.

There are four collet sizes.  We use 1/8 the most for biggest bits.  Although I use the chuck most of the time, the collet system is nice and we’ll be using it periodically to keep everything in good order.

Found the manual in my drill tool box.  It shows how to use the cutting guide.  The cutting guide is easy to use but I had to see a you tube video for a picture of how its used.  Typical,  I thought I know everything I needed to know about the dremel but I don’t. Anyway, that guide allows fairly precise cutting to an exact depth.   The manual give enough information – would have saved me some time .

Asus Q200E laptop wifi issues with Windows 10 – and driver fix

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2016 by marksun

Some time after Windows 10 loaded itself on to the Asus Q200E notebook, we noticed wifi connection issues.  Websites would stop functioning and indicated loss of the Internet connection.

Because the Wifi is working on other computers on my network, this is not a home network or home router problem.  The problem is in the Asus laptop and the prime suspect is the wifi device driver.

Device Manager: The driver can be determined from the “Device Manager” > Network adapters
Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter
Old driver: AR9485 Wireless Driver

Hint: Microsoft actually had useful help and I used it to navigate the Windows Start Menu and to access the Device Manager.  

We needed to locate the device driver from the manufacturer.  Luckily Google gets there quickly with this search string : qualcom atheros ar9485.  You want the atheros web site.

I downloaded AR9485 Wireless Driver   here:

The atheros website isn’t easy to use because they support so many products- but the driver is there.


Circline Fluorescent Kitchen Ceiling Light Replacement

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2016 by marksun

December 10 2016 – the kitchen light stopped working.   This is a 20″ square fixture to replace the original which featured two “circline” fluorescent tubes, 16″ 40W (2500 lumens) and 12″ 32W (1600 lumens) and VEB82234 solid state ballast.

LED’s … looked into a Costco 14″ LED fixture at $27 but it produces 1400 lumens at 21 W-  would need three of them to light up the kitchen.

These things seem to last a few years but this is the second such unit to fail over the years -not sure how old this unit is.  Because the third time is a charm, I got a replacement from City Mill for $55.  I’m not sure exactly which component ( tube, ballast) failed but I suspect the ballast.  Searching you tube and the web, the power transistors seem to be the weak point – they get hot and burn out.  Why now?   I put the old unit on the bench and powered it up but no light.  If the fixture was in good shape I would consider a repair, replace the ballast ($20) and tubes ($20) but you can see already this $40 worth of parts, but the fixture has four broken plastic clips that hold the 20″ x 20″ plastic diffuser cover.  I’d have to find or make replacements, then start by replacing the fluorescent tubes.  Planned obsolescence? So $55 seemed to be the better bet with a brand new, returnable full replacement.

Check the transistors for shorts or opens – might as well find out.

In the failed unit, the entire fixture is down – neither tube works and both are black near the terminals, BUT they did flash a few times while I was messing with them in the ceiling – so most likely the ballast “blew out”, whatever that means – which component?  Transistors seem to be the week point.  Lets take a closer look.

A youtube video talked about the fact that certain power transistors cannot be obtained on the market — e.g. PHE13007 transistors – neither Mouser or Digikey carries them.  So they are hard to get – maybe a trade secret limited production, which is dumb … costs everyone money.

No clue.  No obvious signs of burning or leaking in the ballast – I checked diodes, inspected the caps.  I will bench check the new unit so at that time I can test the tubes.  I think the thing works with one tube down – we’ll find out.

This is a good intro to how ballasts work :  There is a black art to fluorescent circuits with tradeoffs on tube life, brightness and the electronics and a lack of good information. Interesting.

One of the trade-0ffs with fluorescent tubes is that they blacken at the ends and put out less light.  This is certainly the case here – but I think the tubes are OK since they showed no sign of flicker or dimming, except now, this sudden complete failure.


Patio sliding door and screen – fix

Posted in home repairs, Uncategorized with tags , on November 28, 2016 by marksun

These sliding patio doors have been difficult over time and the glass door has gradually required more and more muscle to close until now, it’s ridiculous.  Construction is aluminum, heavy aluminum in the case of the glass and surprisingly seems to be of good quality stuff – it has held up over 30 years.

Removal of the screen, repair of rollers is doable and I’ve done it for the screen. The frame though has serious corrosion and replacement is the only way – procurement is a different problem.

Glass door removal looks difficult for lack of clearance.  Some internet articles are available and I looked at them.  The door is heavy – four arm job I think, and there is risk of trying an “adjustment” but it could be a “brokanic” action as well and I see risk. Maybe it isn’t necessary until I get some help?


I used a birthday candle to lubricate the aluminum rail the door rollers ride on. Now the door slides easily. It’s too easy, I’m suspicious.  Sooner or later the rollers will have to be replaced I’m sure but for now we have a fix.  I also tried a stiff waxy grease used in  radio control car transmission gearboxes. It didn’t work well for me in a gearbox but this is a good application,  especially on the top slide channel of the glass door.

Frigidaire washer repairs in the rental: this time, the drain hose

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2016 by marksun

Here’s the latest worn out item in the round house… the drain hose.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-12-18-39-am  screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-11-50-27-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-11-49-29-pm


Frigidaire 131461200 Drain Hose

Stanley Stud Sensor

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2016 by marksun

I have an old Stanley IntelliSensor Stud Sensor. I’ve never had much luck with it but since I was installing blinds, I needed to find the studs.  But, it seemed to turn on whenever it felt like it and just too flaky to be of any use.  So what’s going on in there?  Have a look before I toss it.

To take it apart, remove the lower velcro pad hiding two phillips screws.

The switch  was intermittent – it’s a miniature PCB pushbutton switch – maybe 3mm square with 4 solder leads – desoldered it and replaced with a new one.  Still, finding a stud is a hit and miss affair and this gadget was no help in the case of the tiny upstairs guest bedroom around the window.