12v tire inflator from Sears

Posted in cars, Uncategorized with tags , on October 1, 2017 by marksun

inflator.PNG

Price:  ~ $60.

Got one of these from Sears to boost chronic low tire pressures.  So far so good after one use to boost pressure on four tires on a Prius from 25 to 35 psi.  This took about two minutes on each tire.  The hose connector screws on easily and securely with minimal leakage.  I liked the screw in design better than those with flimsy clip on levers or even standard gas station inflators.  The pressure gauge is quite accurate.  I checked tire pressure with a standard tire gauge to check on it.

Does not have automatic pressure cutoff feature – personally I wouldn’t want one as it adds breakable complexity to an already obviously low cost tool.

The spec on the box states 30 PSI.   I had concerns about this as most tires need more pressure than this.  An inspection of the pressure gauge shows pressures well above 30 PSI.  Obviously, the 30 PSI spec is meaningless to me.

I didn’t find much by way of reviews before I bought it.  Later I find  a number of reviews which point to possible durability problems with the hose connector, 12V  plug, fuse, and motor with damage reports after a couple of uses.

At this point – sorry – this article won’t help with only one usage.  I’m thinking that the design seems to be reasonably solid …  but QA issues are possible for sure;  maybe inspect the parts carefully for defects at the store, before buying it ?  And put in enough usage within the in-store return warranty period.

If it works for 10 inflations, it will be a break even value for me as I really dislike filling tire pressure at gas stations after the tire pressure light goes on.  I would pay a kid $6 to pump up my tires rather than drive down to Kamehameha Highway  which is now one 10 mile-long pothole as Honolulu build’s its rail system.

Some Reviews can be found here:  http://www.sears.com/craftsman-12v-portable-inflator/p-02875120000P?rrec=true

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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>

 

 

Robocopy

Posted in windows with tags on August 6, 2017 by marksun

August 2017-
While I use it, Robocopy can produce unexepected behavior, and worse, not backup files. I’ll accept the fault as my own for not completely reading or understanding everything available on robocopy. As I discover problems, I’ll try to update here.  I’d be pretty happy with tar or cpio, but it is what it is.

This is pretty good:
https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/358653-robocopy-incremental-copy-mir-or-xo-what-s-your-choice

robocopy %home%\Pictures %mybk%\Pictures  /XO /FFT
This command does not backup new files and directories on my %home% directory!  I fully expected it to copy new files and folders but IT DOES NOT.  No idea why.

To make it copy all files I added /MIR and got rid of /XO
robocopy %home%\Pictures %mybk%\Pictures /MIR  /FFT

/XO  I had this there to prevent robocopy from copying files that already exist but this may in fact prevent it from copying files that DONT exist on the destination!  removing it.

/FFT is absolutely necessary to make timestamp comparisons work between Windows7 and the LINUX OS on the backup drive – a WD MyBook.  The backup will fail silently without /FFT.

/MIR is supposed to mirror the file dirs of source and destination.  if a file is deleted on the source, it should delete on the destination!

Below are current (aug2017) settings   – in this case for a single \Pictures  directory

set home=”C:\users\xxxxxxx”
set mybk=”Y:\xxxxxxxprofile”

echo Picture Backup Start
pause
robocopy %home%\Pictures %mybk%\Pictures /MIR /FFT

Oceanic Cable Internet Outage 28may17

Posted in Computers, Networks with tags , , on May 29, 2017 by marksun

Oceanic Cable lost internet service, among other things on Sunday night … came up at 0900 Monday, down at 0930, back up finally 1120.   It could well have been a problem caused as a side effect of work on restoring  local TV feeds, apparently still down 24 hours later, but no idea really what the issue was.

Notes on this event.  I guess the main think is that when the internet comes back, all devices start working by themselves.  User need not do anything but wait, so no action at all is required.

Indications on my SURFboard SB6144 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem were only two blue LEDS lit.  Normally we get two solid blues ( receive and send) and a flashing blue ( router connection)

Failure mode:

  • Blue receive data,
  • Blue Gig E mode light ( indicator that the router is connected).

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 – Samsung UN40MU6300 TV – Samsung Connect Issues- Fixed?

Posted in cellphone, TV with tags , , on May 21, 2017 by marksun

May 21 2017- If all is well with your S8 to Samsung TV connections, I’d like to know what you’re doing right!  I just bought a new Samsung UN40MU6300FXZA TV to replace a Sony Bravia (May 14 2017.  On standup, this TV found my S8 immediately and brought up the “planetaiea” wireless network quickly – seemingly seamless.   Feature-wise and useability, it’s a step up from the old Sony.  The Samsung interface is, ok.

Soon after standup, I find  Samsung Connect, which allows the phone to connect to my TV has some problems, and the closely related Smartview does not work at all.  Initially I was able to watch TV on my phone, nice, bit short range, but it worked. That stopped working the next day and so far it’s still down.  The Android Playstore Smartview app does not connect to the TV … it does find “planetaiea tv” but just spins and eventually crashes.  Smartview is a collection of applications and is a mess – some features work, some don’t.

The Samsung Connect app on the S8 phone does work.  There’s a lot there, five major functions.   Three out of five functions (60%) work. as indicated by the green function list below, but “view tv on phone” has stopped working.

  1. Remote:
  2. Browse Content
  3. Mirror Screen (Smart View)
  4. View TV on phone
  5. Play TV sound on phone – suffers from short range and intermittent signal

Remote works but cannot turn the TV on.  I believe it’s because the TV requires an IR blaster to initially turn on.  After that, a wifi based comm allows the phones remote to work.

View TV on phoneworked on day one, but now no longer connects. Browse Content does not work.  Both apps use Smartview.  Browse content shows two instances of my tv “planetaiea TV”.   Smartview may be a problem.  Uninstall/reinstall. 5/21/17. 1054. No difference. spins on “Connecting to planetaiea TV”.
Google Smartview results are sparse – but there are  rumors of Playstore complaints, and some rumor or of Samsung making changes.  Samsung says nothing helpful, only restates their marketing vision and offers no technical support or any evidence of application updates.   

So far my experience of the phone / tv package is mainly positive – it breaks into new ground with three out of five, but the 40% feature failure is telling.   Amazingly, it’s not a deal breaker because the feature failure are bleeding edge bells and whistles – not the main reasons I have a TV and a cell phone.  I’m mainly happy with both phone and TV.

Restarted the TV setup …  5/21/17
No functional change.  When I try View TV on Phone, black screen for a few seconds, then disconnect.  I see places where there are two S8 phones registered on the TV … could there be duplicate record that is messing up the authentication?  Anyway, it’s for sure a bug and could be a bear as well.

Uninstalled SmartView 5/21/17  — no impact

View TV on Phone – working  — no spoke too soon — it stops working (oct2017)
5/28/17 With the TV off,  for no reason, tried View TV on phone … now it works! In addition, the TV itself was off and remains off.  I can turn on the TV with the phone.  I changed nothing … what happened?

Browse Content – requires SmartView –  loaded – does not work – uninstall-  5/28/17

10/6/17

Performed a software upgrade on the TV 10/6/17.  This in an attempt to get everything working better.  Tried the SmartView App on the phone which led to a control to recognize the specific UN40MU6300FXZA TV model.  The instructions say to turn on the TV with the remote, then allow the TV to connect to the S8.  All attempt to do this failed. Curiously the SmartView App opened up a new functionality to select programming content for the TV, which seems useless to me.

But after this, I tried the “View TV on Phone” option in Samsung Connect and it worked. Once.  After that, Samsung Connect lost both  “View TV on Phone”, and “Play TV sound on phone.”

10/7/17 – Broken Remote  ( This incident below is  the effects of a broken remote. Bought a new one. Fixed Problem.  Example of how crazy troubleshooting this Samsung system can get.)

Turned on TV with the remote and it became apparent that the remote would do nothing except turn the TV on and off, displaying the “Source”  “card” row, but not responding to select.   No buttons worked.   Samsung Connect on the S8 would not connect.  It looked like the TV was going down.   Pretty soon turning on the TV would display the “Source” row then go black.

Fortunately it was too late in the night to destroy the TV by throwing it off the back porch.

Resume troubleshooting.  I examined the TV and found a little button on the back of the TV — facing the screen and reaching around the right bottom corner of the screen, there is a little button that is actually a tiny joystick allowing cursor movement, volume control, channel select by sideways toggle and other tricky but apparently full functionality.  The Samsung remote control itself is remarkably spare.  This is indicative of a software design that is enormously compact providing tremendous and full functionality control from a small number of inputs.  This software design I believe is the reason that Samsung software is so unstable.

At this time (21:39 7 oct 17) I have apparently full remote control of the TV with my S8, but absolutely no control via the remote.   In messing with the controls on the back, I came to a screen which prompted the owner of the Samsung Account if I wanted to give full control to the device – I think it was talking about the S8, and in answering YES, I now have an S8 which is absolute but exclusive master of the TV.  The remote basically does not work.  For no particular reason, at random the remote on/off button functions.  The problem stems from the fact that the remote is not a hardwired IR controller, and the TV responds I think, to direct wifi tcp/ip link. The controller is a tcpip client.  There is authentication/authorization and the S8 is allowed to be the controller, but not the original remote.   The remote used to be the master but no longer.

Now to get the remote control back!

20 oct 17 –  Ordered a new remote – exact replacement, from eBay and it works perfectly.  For the record, the original remote lasted five months before it died.  Probably still under warranty.  I wonder who I would go to for replacement.

20 Oct 17 For some time the View TV on Phone function is working.  A TV software upgrade probably fixed View TV on Phone.  Replacing the remote fixed the remote problem.  So for the first time, everything is back to normal, the way it should be.

5 nov 17 – View TV on Phone broke.  For a while I had a fairly reliable View TV on Phone and thought maybe a software update fixed it, but it broke yesterday.  Working fine, then the screen froze, and that was that.  Reboot phone, power off TV, reboot Amazon Fire ( ok that was a mistake because this is a Samsung problem only ).    Today I accepted an S8 software update from Tmobile. Does not correct View TV on Phone.

6 nov 17 – View TV on Phone.  I found how to recover the View TV on Phone function.
On the TV, go to HOME>Settings>General>External Device > Device Connect Manager> Device List.  select [Phone] Galaxy S8 and delete.  If there are two, delete them all.
Samsung S8: Samsung Connect > View TV on Phone   –
Phone Remote: you may have to “allow” the device to connect by pressing select button

This worked several times.  The failure cause is unclear.  First time today, the phone picture froze, audio still working.  Procedure recovered the function.

Canon MP640R Printer B200 Error

Posted in Computers with tags on March 22, 2017 by marksun

Looks like the end of the line for the Canon MP640R printer.  Out of the blue, we get this B200 error  with the onscreen message to “remove the power connector and call the service center.”

b200.JPG

Following some googled info, I could recovery to apparent “normality” by  power off,  lift cover and platen up to expose the printhead, power on, closing cover quickly before printhead moved to the left rail.  Couple of times, the printer booted to its normal menu without error.  In this state I was able to print – once. The output is showing alignment errors and there was an immediate return to the B200 Error.  If I could get it to print consistently I’d at least use it until the ink ran out, but it’s not going to make it.

There are some posts from people who say they have recovered from this error.   Hard to know because it’s the Internet – but one amusing if disturbed YouTubed fix is really a video of the “final solution” approach.   There are videos that show that cleaning this part can fix the B200 error.  I’m curious,  but not enough to go down that road.  This is not a glitch, it’s a hardware failure. This printer is seven year old.

The culprit: probably the printhead.  A serious repair approach would be to replace the printhead, which is the carrier which holds the print cartridges, and easily lifts out of the carriage. This is a $30 to $50 ebay/Amazon part.  I’m tempted but this time, I’ll scrap the printer. Seven years is enough.

To make things complete, it appears that the Canon 220 and 221 printer cartridges are obsolete.  I’ve maintained a one-deep inventory of these things so I’m out about $60 or $80  in now useless cartridge inventory – about half the cost of a new printer!   ( Mar 22 2017).

Overall this printer when it worked has been the least aggravating of the home printers I’ve owned.  I’ll probably stick to a Canon Pixma inkjet.  We’ll see if the BuyMore down the street has something in stock at a reasonably competitive price to Amazon…

  • small footprint
  • 5 cartridge
  • wifi
  • scanner
  • print duplexer
  • rear photo paper tray

Alpha Plumbing

Posted in plumbing on February 16, 2017 by marksun

A pipe-organ refrain echoes darkly from the bathroom.   Wayne,  Alpha Plumbing,  feet sticking out from the bathroom cabinet, ignores the Bach Toccata in D-minor ringtone on his phone.  He is here to replace the jammed valves under the sinks and toilets and is now installing the second of eight  new cutoff valves in my townhouse.

“If this kind valve jams and you try for force um, the plastic stem going broke, and you’re dead meat.”  The valve is stuck, jammed on to the copper pipe by the original plumbers 40 years ago when my townhouse was built, and its going to take experience, tools, and brute force to get the sucker off.  Yup, that’s why he’s here.  If I tried it, good chance I would be dead meat with water dripping from the ceiling.

Most of these valves no longer turned, or dripped if you did move them.   This made working on the house plumbing a dicey business for me. The last straw was the handle breaking off the upstairs lavatory sink faucet.  The main cutoff under the kitchen sink, the cutoff to the hot water heater, the upstairs faucet valves were frozen.   Wayne got the main cutoff (under the kitchen sink) to move.  I didn’t want to try it, having no idea what would happen but once that one moved, it could do about a 98% cutoff, the remainder allowing an irritating drip for the rest of the plumbing, but at least allowing replacement of the valves.

What about the main valve? “She no close all the way now.  ‘az because was opened too far.  You got to open the valve, then back it off one turn, or going leak.  Lucky can at least close.  Otherwise, you’re dead meat because you gotta cut open the wall for get at ‘um, shut off the water to all these buildings and then replace the valve.”  Ok, so the main thing is that it’s not too bad for now.  No action on that one.    What about the hot water heater valve?  “How often you going change the heater? Leave ‘um.”  Wayne had a few choice words about other plumbers who in repairing the dreaded “heater set to boil” syndrome who only change the bottom element, and not the top one at the same time.  “idiots!”

“You put oil on this valve?”    I said “yeah,” quoting the two who recommended WD40 to loosen the valves.   Snorting  sound comes from under the sink.  “Oil no work.”  “What you can do for maintain the valve then?” I ask.   “Nothing.  Open the valve, but then close down one turn and leave um.”   I make a note of that.  “No can eat oil…”  Extrapolating quicky, you really don’t want WD40 leaching into the drinking water.  “But not going work anyway. ”    I’m  hoping that the oil has not penetrated to the actual water flow.

I mention that I’m going to replace the faucet.  “You know get one gasket come with the faucet right?”   Yes.  “Throw ‘um away and use plumbers putty under the faucet.   The gasket going rot, and then she going leak.  You not going know, and the water going rot through the particle board and you going be dead meat.”   I make a note of that.   Later on I did replace the faucet, which to make a long story short, I now wonder why I did it instead of getting Wayne to do it while he was here. One of the plastic nuts came off easily.  The other one was frozen on by corrosion and I ended up using a Dremel to cut the nut to release it, then a hammer and chisel to get it to rotate and eventually come off.  The new one, I seated on a fat seal of plumbers putty… we’ll see how that holds up.

So for the record, new valves in the plumbing.

Other advice. “If they cut off all the water to the units, open the shower first and let um run.  Otherwise the stuff in the water going clog in your sink or toilet.”  Then long story about using bread to stop a pipe to allow soldering, and the $8000 rag that some dummy plumber used to stop a pipe then soldered into the works.  Interesting side notes on plumbing on Molokai and Lanai, and his first plane ride to Hilo in 1984, encounter with turbulence and bloody mary’s.

The next crisis I expect will be the hot water heater.  I going call Wayne, not Sears on that one.

aug2011