Archive for the ‘fixit’ Category

Lost network connection with Ubuntu upgrade?

April 17, 2017

Did you upgrade your Ubuntu installation to 16.10 or 17.04 recently?

Did you have an Ethernet connection to the outside world?

Are you now not connected?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, this blog post may be for you. I have found this will fix it. This may not be the best solution however:

sudo rename /usr/lib/NetworkManager/conf.d/10-globally-managed-devices.conf /usr/lib/NetworkManager/conf.d/_10-globally-managed-devices.conf_backup
sudo service network-manager restart

If you’re not bothered about keeping a copy of the file, just ‘rm’ it.

Try this command if the above does not fix it:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure resolvconf



Voodoo Wazoo Fat Bike – how to fix it.

October 1, 2016

I bought a ‘Halfords Special’ earlier this year.

I’ve had more than my money’s worth of fun with it since.

As these are built to a price (and it is a bargain as it stands) compromises were made:

  1. The headset bearings lasted about three months in the wetness of the Lake District. I replaced the factory-fit “thing” with a no-name clone of the Hope S.H.I.S. ZS44/28.6 (upper) and ZS44/30 (lower). This gives you cartridge bearings for your 1 1/8″ steerer. Some astute observers suggested that you might use a EC44/40 at the lower, to give you compatibility with tapered steerer tubes. You might want to replace the forks in the future. The factory fitted bearings had no seals installed, so it was not much of a surprise they failed soon.
  2. The bottom bracket failed after about 6 months. What was fitted was a 100mm shell, with a 154.5mm square taper spindle. Made by some cheap manufacturer with bearings made of cheese. This is where it gets weird. Halfords have told me their ‘technical records’ indicate the spindle length is 164mm. I know that one Wazoo left the factory with a 154.5mm spindle…
    Finding a replacement proved to be tricky, and the best that myself and my local LBS could find was an On-One 100x148mm BB. This fits, does not destroy the chain line, nor causes any mechanical issues. It looks like a superior replacement, with doubled-up bearings at each end of the spindle. [ I reserve the right to revise my assessment of the BB at the end of its life ]
    Halfords did suggest I order part number 153878 “BBS Wazoo 2015 BB” for the sum of £16. I have done that purely for the curiosity value.

I wanted to put these technical bits in to the public domain, in case they help other bikers dabbling with fat bikes. The nearest whole bike which can compete with the Wazoo costs around £1000, so it is a compelling choice for an alternative mountain bike.

(7/10/2016) The Halfords part number will provide you with a 154.5mm spindle BB, for a 100mm BB shell. I think I will continue buying the On-One part, on the basis that it is more likely to survive being wet once or twice.

Update 31/12/2016

3. Freehub info: The Halfords part number for the freehub is 341740 “FHB CB/Car/VD Splin F”. You need to insert a 12mm allen key in to the hub from the non-drive side to release the freehub. The seals on the cup-and-cone bearings are poor, so you’ll be re-greasing the bearings frequently (or never getting the bike wet).
There are some letters stamped on one of the splines “JdT”, I don’t know if this is a model designation or a maker’s mark.

As an aside, a Shimano 10 speed cassette (CS-M771-10) fits on that freehub, with what appears to be sufficient thread engagement on the lock-nut. I haven’t tried an 11 speed MTB cassette on it yet, only because I don’t have a spare sitting on the shelf.

Update 23/1/2017

4. The factory-fit cable to operate the rear dérailleur lasted a bit longer than my cynical self expected. I have replaced it with a sealed and continuous run of outer and inner, to keep the water and muck out.

5. Another recommendation; inspect the jockey wheels on the dérailleur. If they do not turn freely then disassemble, clean, pack with light grease before reassembly. When an entire rear mech. costs under £10, you get what you pay for.

Update 15/2/2017

Yes, a Shimano Deore XT M8000 (11-42) 11-speed cassette fits on the freehub, sufficient thread engagement on the lock nut etc. No obvious fouls or pitfalls to my (un)trained eyes.

Update 23/10/2017

The On-One 100x148mm BB failed recently. Despite being well made, it was never going to last forever in the wet and rainy Lake District. Finding an actual “BBOO100-SQ-148” seems to be impossible now (tell me I’m wrong?).

So the options seemed to be repair the BB … or throw the BB, cranks and (possibly) chain-ring in the bin.

Naturally, I chose to repair the BB. You will need (quantity) 4 bearings of size “18307”. [18mm ID, 30mm OD, 7mm wide] Suggest you choose bearings with a decent seal like Abec’ Enduro range.

Remove the BB, and you should be able to drift the old bearings off the shaft. Tappy-tap-tap! If you find the bearings are in the BB cup, a bearing puller should work. I was able to get them out with my hammer and punch. Your mileage may vary.

Clean the shaft, and drop it (bagged) in the freezer for an hour or two. Make a brew.
Pro-tip: Top up the grease within the bearings with a good quality water-resistant grease. The new bearings should drift on to the shaft with a smear of grease and a bit gentle percussion. There are steps on the crank profile so you can’t go too far with the bearings.

Re-assemble, check, and go out for playtime.

Sony KDE P42 XS1 software update 05TV232

July 12, 2016

I found this on an old hard disk, it is the firmware update which applies to a limited range of serial numbers of this old Gas Plasma TV. See for the details.

You should be able to download the disk image from

Unzip, and write the file to a 128k Memorystick. The digitalspy forum post talks about creating folders etc, but if you use the disk image file then the folders/files will all be sorted in one operation.

I had one of these TVs a while ago, and it was a good TV. I sold it because I needed multiple HDMI inputs, and using one HDMI to YUV converter turned in to too much fuss.


Onkyo TX-SR606: One in the eye for planned obsolescence.

June 3, 2016

Today I repaired my Onkyo TX-SR606. The video board was failing on HDMI handshaking. With a nod of thanks to patpatpat999, and others, I replaced capacitors C8609 (top) and C8002, C8602, C8096, C8162 (bottom) on the HDMI switcher board. The linked video has a good description of how to remove the board, and how to identify the components.

I used radial lead capacitors, not surface mount types. There’s enough room on the board to sit them flat in between other components. I bought 105C-rated components, as the issue seems to be heat from the power amplification part of the system.


If you’re feeling really keen, use a dab of hot glue to hold them in place. I’m not planning on moving the unit often, so I’ll let the capacitors flap in the breeze.

Garmin Edge 800 – Disk Mode

December 28, 2015

A data point; having read it recently on a talk forum. If your Edge 800 does not automatically switch to disk mode when you plug it in to a PC, do this:

  1. Disconnect the USB cable, at the PC end because that’s easier.
  2. Hold the Lap/Reset button down while you plug the USB cable in.
  3. Keep the button held down for a few seconds, and release.
  4. Disk Mode – every time. Yay!

For people like me who are minded to open gadgets to fix them, in the Edge 800 the USB and micro-SD slot are on a daughter-board PCB which is siliconed in to the base. I didn’t fancy prying it out to attempt a repair. If you need to replace the internal battery, that’s not a hard job. The flex cable for the touch-screen is fiddly to reconnect on reassembly.

Ford Focus Mk2 key fob repair.

January 29, 2014

Are the buttons not working properly on your key fob? Order three KSR211GLFS Tactile Switches, and break out the soldering iron. I was able to buy them for a sensible price on ebay.

I’m writing this up because I saw the part number on someone else’s blog, and I can’t remember the URL or name of it. To that mystery person, thank you for posting the part number.

Embracing the repair-not-replace culture.

December 30, 2013

A friend asked me to look at two pairs of GHD brand hair-straighteners. She wanted to know if I could produce one set which worked, from the parts. As I was fault-finding I quickly became aware that the hair straighteners were designed to be repaired. There were no glued or ultra-sonically welded parts, just simple screw fasteners. This is not the modus operandi of a company which produces poor quality products. The manufacturer seems to want their customers to be happy with their products, while keeping imitation products off the market. By making the genuine article simple to repair, people are less likely to buy a cheaper counterfeit.
That’s my theory anyway, your mileage may vary.

I found this web-site to be very useful: during my fault-finding and repair process. You could even use the discount code “DISCOUNT10” if you find yourself placing an order. My order for parts was delivered quickly, despite the postal chaos we normally tolerate during the Christmas holiday.

Returning to the GHD hair straightener as a product, I admit to being puzzled about why there is a plug and socket which allows the mains cable to rotate freely. To my mind this is a unnecessary potential point of wear, and ultimately, failure. The model 4.2B GHD has a common fault (resistor R8 or R11 fails open-circuit), which can be caused by an intermittent mains connection. This intermittent mains connection might be caused by the mains cable entry.