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August 2015
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    GE GSD2400D02 Schematics+Diagrams

    I’ve attached a scan of the electrical schematics from a GE GSD2400D02 dishwasher (also known as GSD2400D-02). The dishwasher was giving code’s C1 and C2 - essentially water isn’t draining properly. It appears a small leak in the drain shaft seal caused the solenoid actuator to rust. When the solenoid turns off, the return spring isn’t strong enough to overcome the friction and the washer remains in the drain cycle even though it’s drained all the water. Since the water damage had caused some damage to the service papers, I decided to scan them just in case they get destroyed somehow. I figure someone out there might find it helpful as well, so enjoy.

    — site admin @ 2:23 pm Comments (0)


    Grumble grumble display trouble

    I’ve gone through a painful saga (over the years) with my 15″ MBP, logic board replaced twice (I suspect 3 times), optical drive replaced. It doesn’t seem like much to go through… but these things should last and have minimal problems at least the first few years - I like to get at least 5 years out of a purchase, and this one wants to die after just 4.

    My replacement logic board warranty expired… on the first of March, and of course, it is now starting to have the exact same display problems as before:


    Just one of the many pleasures of being an Apple fan…

    — site admin @ 10:57 am Comments (0)


    Scary Story…

    When I installed an app, this ghost icon (Waiting…) never left the screen. A restart fixed the issue, but you can sometimes hear the app loading at night…


    — site admin @ 9:29 pm Comments (0)


    Synology… one day I will buy thee

    I’ve been in the market for a NAS for quite some time now. Something about this video:
    Makes me think I should consider one of Synology’s NAS’.

    — site admin @ 12:49 pm Comments (0)


    Mouseterpiece Theatre

    Well… Mouseterpiece Theatre is not as embarrassing as this video, but it does make me question if I am spending my time wisely. Still, it was fun, and frankly, kinda neat. Watch the video below:

    What exactly is it a video of (you might ask)? A video of our local office mouse. Don’t feed your mouse these things! I don’t know if it was wrong of us to feed it chocolate and jellybeans, but it sure seemed to like them. I know the mouse didn’t get sick — it was back a few days later after the incident.

    Why? Well… my coworker had a candybar eaten by the mouse (whom she later named Harvey). I decided we could record the mouse on a webcam, and by feeding it, could get to see up close just how small/big the mouse is. We were not clear on it’s size, whether it was a rat or a mouse.

    This was the video I captured ove the course of one night (yes, he was a busy mouse). It is heavily edited — the mouse would scurry away for several minutes before returning to retrieve another piece of food.

    Music primarily by DJ Pantshead, a song called LePopcar

    — site admin @ 1:42 am Comments (1)


    Why I got an Engineering Degree

    To funnel water intelligently from a dripping pipe into a bucket. It is hard to tell from the photo, but I cut a hole in the side of the bottle.

    Water Funnel
    Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200.
    — site admin @ 4:15 pm Comments (1)


    iPhone — run apps from the shell

    Well, though this isn’t a startling discovery, I found out you can start up any of the GUI apps just by running them from a commandline while ssh’d into the iPhone. Just follow these instructions to install ssh, then run bash. With bash running, just cd to a directory:

    # cd /Applications/

    and run the program:

    # Calculator

    There is no user interaction available, I’m afraid. Then again, perhaps there is*… In order to quit the app, you have to shut down the ssh session.




    *pure wild speculation, I have no connections inside Apple : (

    — site admin @ 4:00 pm Comments (0)


    Evil Dead 2 Prop - a web exclusive*!

    Here it is — a first-time look at a prop used on Evil Dead II. The “prop”, as it were, is simply a piece of foam painted, gouged, and weathered to make it look like Egyptian stonework. While in real life it looks like a piece of foam, in the movie I’m sure it has an Egyptian aura about it. Why do I have a picture of this fine piece of cinemagraphic history? It all starts back in 1999…

    Evil Dead II Set Prop
    Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200. Only in some of the best preserved Egyptian temples and pyramids do you see such stunning craftsmanship as this.

    …when I started to work where I am working today. Thought that really has nothing to do with this prop. It just happens that I work with someone who worked on the movie as a special effects assistant, and he brought this prop in as a cubicle decoration.

    I’m told it was used in the library scene — though I need to re-watch the movie to find out where. In the lower left you see a cow (not a dog), milk bottle, and three ‘xxx’s, which probably symbolized poison milk. To the left you see what looks like “bEG” -> this is supposed to be DEG, for De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG). He couldn’t explain all the other symbols, either because they have no meaning, or (most likely) because he cannot recall them. Next week I will see if we can document the symbol meanings, and I’ll post the definitive guide to the stone carvings.

    *Well, “exclusive” is probably pushing it a bit. I gave this image to my other coworker so he could post it online too.

    — site admin @ 5:08 am Comments (2)


    Making an Apple Red

    I was asked to repair a laptop of a co-workers — the screen was cracked. It was for a 15” PowerBook G4, the aluminum variety. I had had prior experience with this sort of surgery, having replaced a hinge on my Powerbook G4, the titanium varietly. However, that surgery didn’t go nearly as well, since the Titanium PB’s LCDs were glued to the LCD, making replacement virtually impossible.

    However, all indications on the net implied the aluminum PowerBooks LCDs were not glued to the bezel, making cosmetic replacement possible.

    So began my journey. Having instructed my co-worker to purchase an LCD from a 3rd party seller (Bliss Computers), I proceeded to remove the LCD and make sure the cables were intact. Using the excellent disassembly guides from ifixit, I had all the information I needed to remove the LCD housing from the laptop. From there I was on my own.

    The basics of the display assembly are somewhat obvious. Two screws on the bottom of the LCD housing have to be removed. There is a dark grey plastic piece between the front bezel and back case of the LCD -> indicating two separate aluminum parts. ifixit carries these two parts, further indicating the nature of the assembly. That is, there must be some sort of plastic clip holding the bezel on.

    What seemed the safest and easiest way to separate the assembly was to take a pocket knife and *carefully* press and pry to work the clips away from the bezel. The two shots below show the knife technique and the “clips” in the outer frame. Be careful not to bend the clips outward too much — there is the possibility the outer shell will deform.

    Canon 20D — Use a knife with a decent bit of heft - just don’t mar the plastic/aluminum.
    Canon 20D — These are the clips that hold the front bezel onto the PowerBook LCD.

    Once the parts are separated, the next goal is to remove the connectors and proceed to remove the LCD from the frame. I don’t have any good shots of the inverter board, but below is a pretty picture of the LCD connector.

    Canon 20D — Gratuitous LCD connector shot. I think this cable is a LVDS, though I am not sure, and didn’t look the specs up.

    There are several of the screws shown below that need to be taken out. Once they are removed, the only other thing to do is to detach the LCD front, bottom from the back of the bezel. It is held on with double-sided tape.

    Canon 20D — There are several of these small black screws to remove from the LCD before it can be removed.
    Canon 20D — Warning!!!!

    This is what you should see just before removing the LCD:

    Canon 20D — Gratuitous LCD shot.

    At this point, you should test the new LCD before reassembling the screen. It’s better to test first, otherwise you may find out you need to take the screen apart a second time.

    Canon 20D — It works!!! It’s always important to test a part before reassembling a laptop. Otherwise… you may end up taking it apart a second time. The LCD bezel hasn’t been pressed together yet.

    The last part of our operation is to change the color of the Apple. Since we’re in there, we might as well have some fun. This particular person wanted a red apple with green leaf. I got some colored gels normally used in theatre lighting, and got to work. The Apple in these laptops is a solid piece of clear frosted plastic, with a white diffuser foam taped to the back of the screen (which, if you think about it, adds a millimeter or two to the case thickness). Instead of permanently destroying the Apple by using a sharpie, I just taped the gels to the apple.

    Canon 20D — Ahhh! The diffuser for the Apple logo.
    Canon 20D — Just slip a knife in the middle of the foam tape. Carefully slice this and an adjacent side to get to the Apple.
    Canon 20D — It’s helpful to have some “helping hands” when doing this surgery. To keep the gels in pace, I used scotch tape — the useful life of the tape should outlast the useful life of the LCD backlight. Then, slit some double-stick tape in half and use that to “repair” the foam tape you slit earlier on.

    At this point, shine a light through the back to check your work (if you decide to color the apple). Once you are satisfied, repeat the steps backwards, check the LCD a second time to make sure it works, and reassemble the PowerBook.

    Canon 20D — Green and red Apple Apple Logo! Colored with gels normally used in stage lighting.

    I have some additional photos on my Flicr PowerBook G4 Al 15″ LCD disassembly photoset.

    — site admin @ 12:26 am Comments (1)


    Motorola Motofone F3 — Nice Phone

    As I posted earlier, I disassembled my European version of the Motofone. However, someone on the net was kind enough to send me a Motofone from Mexico (which I paid for). After having outfitted it with a T-mobile card, enough minutes to last me through the year, and some electricity (for the battery, of course), I’m very pleased with it. There are some odd quirks — like the slow screen refresh, the constant display of the old cell companies name, a number showing up from time to time, and the lock not working properly (for whatever reason, the lock does not keep all key presses from registering on screen).

    However, besides these small annoyances, it is refreshing to use a phone that is just a phone. No camera, no web browser, monochrome screen, easy to read numbers (texting, however… is slightly unbearable), nice shape, thin, the list could go on and on. It doesn’t seem as strong as Motorola would like to have you believe. However, I do believe the e-ink display is as strong as they say -> it appears to be bonded to a circuit board. Unlike LCDs, which use thin glass sheets, the e-ink display appears to rely on a very strong and durable substrate.

    Reception is good, and I’ve been able to get 2 bars where I normally would have been cut off from the network.

    Some other things….

    > Unlike my previous phones, this one does not beep every bloody time the battery goes down to one bar.
    > It lasted on standby with some phone usage for 7 days - good, but not super
    > As others have said, the battery cover is flimsy-feeling
    > Icons disappear. Unlike conventional Liquid Crystal Displays (think pocket calculators), when the screen refreshes, the lines between segments and icons disappear. Nice!

    — site admin @ 10:37 pm Comments (10)


    Motorola Motofone F3 Dissassembly

    Sorry for ANY confusion - I bought a 900 Mhz GSM phone, which will NOT work in the USA. My post below had the wrong number in it (now corrected). Sorry!

    The Motofone F3—a beautifully designed phone. Sadly, the only version of the Motofone available on eBay is a 900/1800 dual band phone, which does not work with carriers in the US. The GSM version that will work in the US—850/1900—is only available in Mexico and Chilie. However, through the wonders of eBay, I was able to get a hold of the European version (the 850 900 variant). I was originally going to send it back to the seller, as the auction claimed it was a tri-band phone. Instead, I could not wait and decided to open the guy up. What follows is a disturbing set of pictures—be forewarned that these images may be disturbing to those of you who shed a tear at the destruction of a gadget.

    For starters, I have posted all of these images to Flickr: Motorola Motofone F3 Dissassembly

    I will be updating this post with commentary along with each picture.

    Canon 20D

    This is the front of the Motofone. A bit dusty, but you get the picture. I feel this part is the least exciting, as we’ve all seen this same picture over and over.

    Canon 20D

    Again, not quite that interesting. Just the back, but with four oh-so-tempting torx screws (T-5 to be exact).

    Canon 20D

    Can you feel the tension building? Here we have removed just the back cover. An interesting array of copper contacts can be seen below the battery, to the right. Possibly for communication with the phone (no USB port), it’s purposes are unclear.

    Canon 20D

    The battery removed, standard serial #, IMEI #, etc… plus some barcodes.

    Canon 20D

    SIM card removed. The battery must be removed to remove the SIM card.

    Canon 20D

    Silver Torx screws removed. To remove the casing from the keypad/display, run your fingernail along the front of the phone between the keypad edge and the casing. Doing this a few times separates the two halves. You also will have to pry up on the casing at the top and bottom, and *slide* the casing upwards.

    Canon 20D

    This is the inside of the back phone casing. The Motofone is essentially 3 pieces. The display/keypad (next picture), “Motherboard” rev MA, and the back casing. You can see the speaker at the top with two spring contacts and the antennas are top and bottom.

    Canon 20D

    This is a closeup of board MA, side 5B. 4 black phillips head screws (PH000?) have been removed. The microphone is attached with two wires, and fits into a hole in the keypad/display assembly.

    Canon 20D

    This is the flip side, you can see the connector in the upper right, which connects it to the keypad. The text on the board:
    5A (Side?)
    MA (board version)
    94V-0 (I don’t know about the 0)

    Canon 20D

    This is the back side of the keypad. An amazingly thin assembly. It is soldered to the keypad, no screws visible to disassemble it. I did not take a picture of the front—it is exactly like the front, minus the barely-visible bezel.

    Canon 20D

    This is a horrible picture, but hopefully it gives you a sense of just how thin this phone could be, if there were no battery.

    If I were to be reimbursed for the cost of this phone, I’d tear it apart, unsolder the casings above board MA, and unsolder the keypad assembly to reveal all the E-Ink(y) goodness.

    — site admin @ 1:12 pm Comments (23)


    Jenn-Air S125 Schematics

    I’ve attached a scan of the electrical schematics from a Jenn-Air S125. I had to do some troubleshooting on the heater coils (they register 100V when the switch is set to “off”), and decided to archive this for future use. I figure someone out there might find it helpful as well, so enjoy.

    — site admin @ 12:37 pm Comments (6)


    Another photo for another contest I won’t win

    Yeah, this is the photo I submitted to an Engadget contest:

    Nikon 995, bit of Photoshop work.

    I like it, but I doubt it is comparable to what others submitted.

    — site admin @ 11:54 pm Comments (0)


    T-Shirts for sale!

    I opened a cafepress store (along with the rest of the webiverse):

    My Store

    However, the important thing is that one shirt features a photo of mine. Check it out.

    — site admin @ 9:04 pm Comments (0)


    BoxedLunch Pro

    So I go to this conference being put on by Apple last Thursday, it’s a “Pro Application” seminar. Before the conference started, they announced a boxed lunch would be provided. As I’m sitting there waiting for the first demonstration to begin I get to thinking. Who’s providing the lunch? Apple, or the hosting University? I pondered this thoughtfully, and came to the simple conclusion that if Apple were providing the lunch, it wouldn’t be a boring lunch. No sir-ee! It would be a Pro lunch! Think about it for a moment. We’ve got all these Pro applications from Apple:

    Final Cut Studio. Tools for real-time video and audio production.
    Final Cut Pro 5. Native HDV. Now editing in real time.
    Soundtrack Pro. Sound is half the picture.
    Motion 2. Advanced animation. Instant gratification.
    DVD Studio Pro 4. Encode. Author. Burn. Deliver.
    Aperture. Designed for professional photographers.
    Logic Pro. Comprehensive music toolkit.
    Shake. Advanced digital compositing. Already in a theater near you.

    Plus the new MacBook Pro (makes you feel special, doesn’t it?), what better than to serve Pros a Pro lunch? I figure, heck, it’s no ordinary lunch! It’s a:

    Apple's New Pro Hardware
    BoxedLunch Pro
    24 essential vitamins and minerals.


    Of course, reality crashes down upon me when I realize: a) Apple does cool things, but nothing THAT cool. And b) I find out the lunch was provided by the University.

    — site admin @ 1:47 am Comments (3)


    A Before January Post

    Just posting to post, no real reason otherwise. Post post post.

    I’ll have “more” to come soon enough. Working on a MINI project of mine in the meantime….

    — site admin @ 4:25 pm Comments (0)


    Added New Images to the Gallery

    I’ve added new images, buy them all!

    Go to the Gallery!

    Buy buy buy…

    — site admin @ 2:19 pm Comments (1)


    If You’ve arrived at this site by clicking on a lightbulb…

    I never gave permission for the referring site to link to my website, nor permission to use my image.

    — site admin @ 9:26 pm Comments (0)


    Google ADs????

    Yeah, I’ve sold out. :D Just kidding. I’m working on a secret site, hush hush, and am testing these things out.

    Also, comments are still down. Stupid spammers, I say, are to blame!

    — site admin @ 8:00 pm Comments (2)


    Installing a Aux In and Garage Door Opener Into Dash

    Whoa! Long title.

    Ok… Where to begin. Everyone has done this, at least those who are fortunate to own a MINI. Two immediate mods one attempts is the Euro Parcel Shelf, and installing an Aux In. The Euro Shelf sits below the steering wheel, and replaces the knee bolster. It adds a tiny bit of room to hold small items. Perfect for a CD, garage door opener, or any other such item that is small in height. The Aux Input provides a mini stereo jack (1/8″) input for an iPod or any audio device with a headphone port (or line out).

    Many people install the aux input in the shelf - this is a simple as:

    Drilling three 2mm pilot holes

    Drilling a 10mm hole in the middle

    Mounting the plate with the two screws provided, and then attaching the aux input to the plate - NOT to the plastic. The input was designed to fit on the metal plate provided, not plastic - a 10mm hole is larger than the Aux Input input end. Therefore, the Aux Input should pass completely through the plastic if the plate is off.

    However, I decided to step it up one level further, as some people have ventured, and installed my garage door opener into the shelf. Why? Coolness factor. Plus I was not about to spend $200.00 for something I could put together in an hour.

    To install the garage door opener, I needed parts:

    Misc stranded wire (22 AWG)
    Automotive fully insulated quick disconnects
    Garage door opener
    SPST NO Momentary Pushbutton switch
    Orange LED
    Misc heat shrink tubing
    Zip ties galore, and those sticky mounting plates

    I purchased the switch at the local electronics store, Purchase Radio. I doubt they do mail order, and I’m sure it’s not worth the time trying to order a switch from them. You could always call and ask.

    Switch specs:

    Made by NTE

    Momentary, Normally Open
    Part number: 54-385

    Data Sheet (for some reason, the switch is grey, but the description says red, probably placed a grayscale image in the PDF):

    The pushbutton required a .72″ diameter hole! Very close to the edges of the blanking plate. I was tempted to use a vandal proof switch, but they cost around 15.00 a switch! And didn’t come in red.

    Why an Orange LED? The MINI has Orange/Amber interior lighting, and an orange LED matches it perfectly. I used a 3mm ORANGE LED, but could have used a 5mm LED. I stuck with the smaller size of the original door opener. I purchased the LED from:

    LSDiodes Optoelectronics

    who are not terribly expensive when you consider Radio Shack and Digikey per LED pricing plus tax. Shipping was fast and professional. The only regret I have is not sanding the LED so it was diffused. If I have to take the blanking plate out in the near future, I will sand the LED. I may even upgrade to a 5mm.

    Red Pushbutton
    Canon 20D. The switch looks like a miniature version of an arcade game button. Pretty cool. I haven’t made a decal/sticker yet to say something like “Tacks” or “Oil Slick” but will…
    Ahh, electronics
    Canon 20D

    If I were to redo it, I’d put the LED at top (I may just flip the panel next time I’m doing some work inside the MINI) so I could see it when I press the button! It looks cool at night, and amazingly works very very well.

    — site admin @ 12:18 am Comments (1)



    Ok, so I’m trying not to be materialistic here. But I have to say, I made a very tough tough decision. Either stick it out with an ailing vehicle, or sell that ailing vehicle, build my credit, and buy a new vehicle. Sure, it isn’t the smartest financial decision, but so what? I got me a MINI:

    Clean MINI
    Canon 20D

    It’s a girl! Don’t know it’s name yet, but it’s a Hyper Blue with Black top (HB/B) Cooper CVT. I’ve been waiting for this day for several years now. I only knew it was financially possible when I looked at the MSRP - they start at 17,000! Which is a heck of a lot of money, but not as much as I thought they cost. I figured, since BMW made em, they must be like, $60,000. Nope. Only hardship is the dealership is 45~60 minutes away. Add to that minor issues the MINI has had over the years, and one is taking a gamble. The 2005 models have improved upon the previous years, with fewer reports of problems on the various forums.

    Happily, I’ve had 3 blissful weeks with the car, and can say it is a joy to drive. And, at 30.6 mpg, it doesn’t get bad gas mileage either!

    You may say, “But wait John, you were going to get a Scion xB.” Nope. I put that fake photoshop of a Scion xB up there to prevent some of my coworkers from finding out about the MINI. I mean, I do think the xB looks cool, but my coworkers HATE the xB. I like the MINI 1000000% better.

    — site admin @ 11:34 pm Comments (1)


    Comments DOWN

    Ugh. I updated the site, but am still having comment spam issues. Wohoo. I’ll probably have to hard code in something to stop em. Plus links are not working, and the preview script I was using was “wiped out” by the update, have to redo it. Otherwise, I’ll be back to normal in a few days.

    — site admin @ 6:29 pm Comments (0)


    For some reason, I’m getting a TON of comment spam. Updated the site to fix it, I hope!

    — site admin @ 1:11 pm Comments (0)



    Way back in May I was saying I’d post pictures from my trip to DC - well, this will still be happening, just not as soon as I had promised. The reason for the trip was for a class project, AWARE@home, a home energy monitoring device. If you happen to know any developers at TI and/or the industry, it’d be great to take the project beyond the classroom setting. Anyways, over the next weeks I’ll have some nice but nothing spectacular images up from said trip. Then, I”ll post some interesting pictures of a home being demolished.

    — site admin @ 9:00 am Comments (0)


    It’s in Production

    The vehicle, might be “In Production,” that is. Muahahahah. Ahem. Expecting a delivery around early August!

    — site admin @ 1:43 pm Comments (0)


    Honda Civic for sale

    Please buy this vehicle. Please.

    Enough begging? The Honda is not in the greatest shape, I agree. But it runs, how much more could you ask of a vehicle this old young?

    — site admin @ 10:46 am Comments (0)


    Mysterious Vehicle

    Maybe, *just maybe* this is it, the vehicle of my dreams…

    Scion xB
    Scion xB with simulated electric bolt graphic.

    Still working on the vinyl graphic, trying to make it look a bit more “electric company’ish”. Also, I’m going for more of a dolphin gray.

    — site admin @ 8:16 pm Comments (2)


    Current Schedule

    Well, site updates will be sparse this next week. I have to get some web pages to my professor, whom I neglected to make the pages for as soon as I had promised. I have to send a thank you letter to Chrysler & the Chrysler dealership, and help someone install a virus program. Most of these will be blogged on.

    Oh, and, uh, I may be getting a new car (like any of you care!). More on this later.

    — site admin @ 9:14 am Comments (0)


    Photo Gallery Up, Updated PDF

    Well, the stock photo gallery is up and running! I’ll be adding two new photos a week, to keep the content fresh and current. You’ll most likely see more macro shots - I plan on taking some photos of an intricate fossil, some more plant photos, and more plant photos! I took a few rose branch clippings, and want to see how the thorns look under the lens.

    In addition, I updated the PDF for Sapphire XVIII Hacking, a most important document detailing my conversion of a pushbutton radio to accept an auxiliary input (ie, to take in the audio signal from an iPod). Frankly, I was not able to do the conversion without some help - read the PDF to find out who aided me! The photos are kinda junky, as I was using an older digital camera.

    — site admin @ 11:13 pm Comments (0)


    The Gallery is Up

    The gallery is in beta form right now. I’m going to move it over to asp soon, with a database instead of manually typing stuff in. Should be fun! Only one popup is working, although eventually all the images will have their own popup window with extended descriptions.

    Well, it seems the gallery is up and running! Look around, and maybe even buy some images…

    I might even create a search function, depending on how busy it gets. For now it will display all my photos.

    Have fun browsing!!

    Oh, you wanted a link to it, eh?

    — site admin @ 10:53 pm Comments (0)

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