Emulation

I haven’t played with any emulators in years. Downloaded Dolphin to try a few Gamecube games. And it loaded up Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii no problem mouse and K/b controls work great. I’ve connected the Wiimote to my PC using BlueTooth and some candles before quite a few years back it worked. The candles work as the sensor bar and is somewhat responsive it’s usable. I’m using Dolphin 3.0 not sure if it’s latest or not but it works so i’ll play with it for a bit actually played Mario Galaxy2 for a few hours lol. Funny Have a Wii never played it 1x got emulator and dropped a few hours in right away. Mario Galaxy 2 is really a good game i’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

Here’s the link to the Dolphin Emulator: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3116735/dolphin-3.0-win64.exe  I use Windows 7×64 there is a 32bit version of Dolphin as well can be found here. http://www.emulator-zone.com/doc.php/gamecube/dolphin.html

My hardware is AMD PhenomII Quad core 3.0ghz, Geforce 560Ti 1024mb,8 Gb DDRII memory,Windows 7 X64 all drivers are latest. The Wii isn’t exactly a monster system so i’d imagine most of todays PC’s will run the Mario games pretty smoothly I average 50-60FPS drop to 35fps once and awhile. Can crank up everything Max Resolution and 4xaa/16x AF with all the bells & Whistles turned up for quality picture. Not sure what all games will work but happy playing Mario Galaxy 2 for now.

Here’s some screens I took in game running on  my PC:

Added electronics into RC 450 Helicopter

After a month or so I today comepleted adding in &wiring all electronics into the Helicopter.

Have quite a bit more left still have programming of Radio, blade balance & Tracking last but far from least pitch settings still need completed.  Will try and get completed before next day off but most likely will do on day off.

And here she is my lovely 450 I am looking at a new canopy it’s White,Blue &Yellow.

Dell N4010 Laptop repaired

Haven’t been feeling well last few days so I didn’t do any pictures to look at.

It is a fairly easy repair.

The new 14″ LED screen cost $74 at Amazon. Shop around maybe you can find a better deal.

Tools needed a small PC philips screw driver and that’s it seriosuly it’s not a bad full on laptops in pieces repair.

Step 1: Open the screen be sure to leave it leaning back a bit. Using your fingers lightly pull on the edge of the screen you may need a thin tweezer to squeeze between the screen and the outer plate of the laptop. The outer plate that covers the edges around the LCD screen just lightly pull it away from the LCD panel you should hear it click and feel some glue pulling away work your way around until the front bezel is completely removed.

Step 2: There are 2 screws at the top take those out one on the upper right and left. After taking those out there are 3 screws on the bottom of each corner that’s 6 in total. Don’t take those completely out just losen them up a bit so the LCD panel can pull away from the outer panel. Don’t pull it all the way out just pull it slightly out and on the inside edge of the LCD screen on both sidesUntil you see 3 small philips screws “Black” These screws are what holds the screen in remove all 6 screws “Black” 3 on each side.

Step 3: After the small black screws have been removed from the LCD frame. You can now slowly move the LCD panel face down on the Key board there is only one connector here and it’s for the monitor gently pull away the label from the connector at that point you will be able to gently pull the ribbon out and the LCD Screen will now be completely removed from your Dell.

Step 4: Reverse the process to put the new LCD/LED panel in.

Have some scotch tape only will need a small strip to put over the the label that went over the connector on the LCD/LED panel.

Tips: Before handling your new LCD/LED Panel. Make sure you are static free if you don’t have a wrist strap just touch the back of a power supply on a PC tower. Don’t work on carpet or be wearing that winter jacket;-).

Hope this helps others. It worked wonders for me better to spend $74 on a repair than to be charged a percentage on top of the retail panel cost & labor from over paid Tech at your local PC shop or worse yet from some corporate electronics store.

Before:

After:

It’s terrible lighting and phone camera but as you can see it’s working again.

Next Project Repairing a Dell Inspiron N4010 Laptop.

The laptop was given to me from my daughters friend. She had already ordered a new one and she knew I love to fix broken stuff:) Atleast any electronic that is worth my time.

Reason I believe this is worth my time is because it powers on and can hear the HDD spinning only thing that is broken from the drop is the screen itself. Going to order the new screen this week will post details once project is on it’s way.

Recently realized the Laptop screen is LCD/LED lit.

Laptop refurb cost:  $499.99

Projected cost: $60-$70 (for Screen only)

Do not want to exceed $70 in parts. Don’t count in labor time unless I plan on selling after repairing it.

Excuse the dirty desk area it’s where I work from & do my own personal repairs. As you can see the screen is toast. I’ll be sure to post pics and explain how to take apart & replace with a new screen should be fairly easy.

Also plan on flashing the Viewsonic G-Tablet to ICS sometime in the near future will post outcome on that as well.

Update 04/10/2012: The screen ended up costing me $76 and change went 6 dollars and change over. Order is in so hopefully soon I will have a new posting on the outcome. Although I went over my $70 price point by almost $7 still worth the fix.

LCD HDTV or Plasma HDTV

I’ve always felt plasma Televisions weren’t a good choice for people who either watch TV alot or have a big family where children will most likely play Xbox,Playstation or Nintendo. I’ve never owned one until recently and i’m still pretty solid on that I would much rather have a LCD television over a Plasma for my main livingroom or any other room for that matter.

The TV i’ve been using in my room is  Plasma and although it’s a “09” model and it’s specs aren’t that of the newer Plasmas. It still works the same way at the end of the day. My biggest issue with the flat TV’s of today is image retention or Burn in. I use a Philips 52″ as my main TV for movies with the family. And have a 26″ Sanyo I repaired for someone a few years back that couldn’t pay for it so I used it as my bedroom tv. I keep on everyone as far as the main TV goes make sure the image is never set at 4:3 & not have the Guide up for long sessions. Basic rule here is ya pick what you want to watch leave it alone. So far with the Philips i’ve messed up cat napped for an hour or so with the guide up and have yet to see any image retention issue on it. Now the older Sanyo that is an “06” and is an LCD Display it will get image retention within a half hour time. Example watching Supernatural on TNT after the show ends I can still see the TNT logo on the bottom right side luckily so far the channel logos do eventually go away.

The Vizio 32″ Plasma that I recently repaired. I have been doing run tests like keeping it on over night to make sure the repair is solid. Took instant notice it will burn in under 5 minutes time and I have the brightness set under 50% and contrast is at 59% so the brightness is basically half up. The guide will burn in just by doing a basic scroll through reading info on shows i’m interested in and what not. And the Channel banner or corner logo always burns in long before a commercial rolls around. This is a serious problem while it does have screen wash built into the menu to remove burn in left over from watching a TV show. “In case you not sure what the screen wash is. No it doesnt have blades on it like a car;)” Screen wash is light gray that fills the whole screen to remove the burn in. At one point the burn in will not be removeable using the Screen wash leaving you with a nasty image burnt into your new TV.

There are plasma Televisions now that slightly move the screen image around constantly to avoid the burn in issue. The movement is minimal so you barely or never would notice while watching Television. I have done a few store tests on these models and sure enough they still get image retention. While not as quickly as ones that do not have that built in protection it still gets burnin. This is problematic for people that have kids or watch TV alot. Know for sure I wouldn’t want to spend a grand or 2 on a TV that has image burn within the 1st day you have it home. Burn in can be slight or severe if slight you can watch TV and not notice the image burn in unless you go to a bright white background. While severe burn in can be easily seen with a show on and all. Looks terrible! Who wants to watch thier favorite Movie in HD with the news Ticker burnt in at the top or bottom of the movie:(

Plasmas have gotten alot better with EnergyStar compliance but they still use a whole lot more electric than a LCD. Plasmas consume, on average, roughly two to three times more electricity to produce an image of the same brightness as LCD.

And heat seriously you could heat a small room with a 32″ Plasma it pours heat out of the vents. If you think a Plasma fits your needs make sure you don’t use a wallmount that hugs the wall. And if you are using a Entertainment cabinet be sure it’s not closed in behind it. To some this may not be an issue for them but for me I refuse to drop $1000+ on one. Leave atleast 6″ space between your plasma and wall or any other obstruction that will take away the breathing space it needs.

Is there any upside to owning a Plasma? To me no. But it does have some savng graces that may pull in some that are single and don’t watch much TV or play Video games. The one upside I can not deny is picture quality yes it can be better than any LCD/LED around.

Todays LCD/LED Televisions are damn close to plasma picture quality but any High end Plasma or even mid-end picture will surpass a LCD/LED TV.

Everyone has an opinion on this argument but i’m going to stay with LCD/LED Televisions atleast until the AMOLED/OLED Televisions hit this technology is awesome.surpasses Plasma & LCD/LED TVs and is even more thin than the slim lines they offer today. Hope this little blog can help you out on the day you are buying a new TV. Everyone’s needs and wants are different so pick what fits for you I only wrote this as my own opinion about why I choose LCD over Plasma.

Vizio 32″ Plasma HDTV Repair Model:VP322

Neighbor gave me the 32″ Vizio because it no longer powered on. At that price I immediately went to work on it. After pulling off the back panel & speaker panel. first thing to check is the power board which in almost all cases has bad capacitors.

Unfortunately i’m unable to check every cap on the board because my meter is no longer working so I could only go by condition of the capacitors that were on the board.

1st thing to look for is swollen capacitors they sometimes look as if they are leaking & the top of the capacitor is where the swelling is very noticable. Having a  multimeter that works is truly the best way for cap checking. Fortunately only 2 of the caps were swollen so went to local electronics depot that sells TV parts and bought 2- 16v 3300UF capacitors for $3 a piece. Story ends with I got a 32″ Plasma HDTV for $6 and about 30  minutes labor not to shabby:-)

Always keep an eye out for LCD or Plasma televisions sitting on road side in garbage almost 90% of the time they won’t power up and will only require a few capacitors that cost a few $$ a piece and a few hours of your time.

Required knowlege & searching or waiting to do these fixes

1: Soldering skills “If ya never have soldered buy the Pencil Solderer from Radio Shack great for circuit boards” & only cost ya $10 for the pencil Just practice on broken old boards before attempting a real fix.

2: Finding these TV’s or Monitors patience is key just keep your eyes open. No broken or cracked screens these are a lost cause the cost for the screen is not worth the fix unless you happen to have 2 of the same model and can use the parts from 1 to fix the other.

Tools:

1: 15w soldering pencil again Radio Shack no more than $15.

2: High quality solder for electronic and electrical work. 60% tin and 40% lead with flux in the core for a strong, long lasting bond.  Cost $10-$20

3: TV that either has lines running through the picture “Not Cracked” Actual vertical or horizontal lines running through Picture when it’s powered on or a TV don’t power on at all. Again any cracked screen Televisions don’t bother.

4: Multimeter is always recommended going by eye is always a risk you may miss a bad one not all bad caps swell that are bad. Multimeter Starts at $10- $1,000+ I had a $30 worked great for a very long time.

5: Make sure the capacitor your buying matches the Voltage and uf of the capacitor your replacing on the Television.

6:Patience and do some google searching on the TV you wanna fix.  Find whatproblems the perticular model your working on have. Most of the time specific brands all have the same hardware failure very good starting point.

Here is the $6 Television

Here’s the Powerboard The Caps circled Red were the ones causing it to no longer power on. The ones circled in Yellow are important to check as well the pink circles are showing that the stuff you see on top are not from a bursted capacitor the substance you see circled pink is just an adhesive used to keep the caps separated from touching each other so they don’t over heat.

Not only does the capacitor issue arise in Televisions these issues can appear in almost anything electronic From TV remotes “yes i’ve actually fixed a TV remote with a bad cap” to PC monitors. Fixed many Dell monitors with capacitor replacement. When your TV stops powering on for no apparent reason remember to look up the common issues your model has & replace those capacitors before you call your local TV repair man because he’s gonna charge you no less than $100 for the fix yep that’s right $100+ for a possible $6 fix. In all reality most likely would be charged much more than $100 and a Television that’s 32″ or smaller just are not worth paying for to get repaired since 32″ LED/LCD HDTV’s can be found for $210 and they will do 1080p and will have a spankin new warranty with manufacturer or store.

Update: Plasma TV was on all night until almost 11Am this morning:) I really expected another cap to go since I couldn’t test them with a proper meter.  Also keep in mind you can make some decent $$ from this even though the fix may of only costed you $5-$10 you can still sell the TV or monitor you fixed at a price that’s fair for the size TV you repaired. Spend $10 make 200$ or more selling or charge for repair. My wife gets mad I take in these broken TV’s and we end up with more than we need but in the end no one can complain about a sizeable profit. Right now have a 17″ Westinghouse HDTV/Computer monitor i’m waiting on the circuit board to become available while its a Westinghouse and only maybe will make $50 on it after Labor and $26 cost for part i’ll end up with a solid profit. Cool thing about the Westinghouse it’s a perfect Multimedia Monitor for your PC has HDTV tuner built in.

It’s no way to make a solid living you will still need to keep your day job;) It’s a fun hobby & cool way to make extra $$$ or you may end up w/ a $6- 32″ plasma HDTV you wanna use in one of your rooms. Or if your really lucky a 50″ or larger may show up one day.