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.

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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
  • don’t care
    • ethernet
    • SD print
    • USB / Blutooth

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

 

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 .

hot water heater not so hot? turn it up!

Posted in house tech with tags on January 8, 2017 by marksun

D been complaining that we doesn’t have enough hot water – runs out for during a long shower.  She says it is a recent behavior in the past couple of months.    I have noticed at times that a shower is just fine but I sometimes have to set to the maximum  hot setting on the shower valve.  I take shorter showers.  This has been long-standing I believe.  Also note that it is winter now and it is about 10 degrees colder in the house than summer.

Kenmore Power Miser 6
Installed: 1/4/2006
Source: Sears

I have been wondering if we should replace the heater even as a pre-emptive measure.  Friend Cowboy who is a contractor thinks it should be good to go for 15 or 20 years.  For now, we’ll play with it.  Couldn’t hurt to drain it one day either and see if there is corrosion.

Today I made thermostat changes.  Turned off power to heater, adjusted, power back on around 1125.  The two thermostats look different ( i.e. bottom is just a screw, bottom has pointer and A B C markings ).  Both adjust with a flathead screwdriver.

1/8/17:  made an incremental adjustment to increase temp to top and bottom thermostats:

  1. Top element, moved set dial from 4 o’clock to 6 o’clock with flathead
  2. Bottom element, moved dial from full left to “A” position.

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 3.0.2.201

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.

https://www.atheros-drivers.com/download-driver-nr-309-for-atheros-AR9485-and-Windows10.html

I downloaded AR9485 Wireless Driver 10.0.0.341   here:

https://www.atheros-drivers.com/download-driver-nr-309-for-atheros-AR9485-and-Windows10.html

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 : http://www.homemade-circuits.com/2011/12/make-efficient-electronic-40-watt-tube.html.  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.