Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dead R-Box Pro?

Im back everyone. 

This update I'm going to talk about my most recent experience with the R-Box Pro android set top box. In the past I've discussed some of the shortfalls with the RBP's initial firmware, and how updating to newer firmware solved a great deal of problems. While the update was a vast improvement over the originally shipped firmware, the RBP still wasn't without it's issues. 

The most notable problem was inconsistent internet speeds when hardwired to my gigabit home network. What I noticed as strange with the RBP is that it would seem to drop internet signal once the cache was full, so when watching TV shows or Movies once the cache portion was played it would start to buffer and seem to no longer buffer to cache. With a machine that had 3GB of ram, you would assume buffering would never happen but it actually buffered more than my 1GB OUYA. Playing around with advanced settings helped a bit at times, but this was always an ongoing problem.

Crashing, the RBP was always crashing out of Kodi. It wouldn't take much to crash, simply moving through the menu was enough for it to crash. 

Overheating, or at least running hot, was possibly the root of the above mentioned issues. My RBP was always showing an operating temperature of somewhere in the 170+ degrees Celsius. No matter how cool the ambient temperature was the RBP always ran hot. (I even installed a 120mm usb fan underneath to reduce temperatures).

So those were the issues plaguing my RBP, and then one day while surfing youtube videos, the machine just froze. I unplugged the unit, waited a few seconds and powered it back up. Once back into youtube, the RBP then froze up again, this time rebooting itself in the process. On the third boot up the main menu appeared and then RBP turned itself off. This would be the last time the RBP was functional. Repeated rebooting never managed to get past the initial boot logo (not even the sound played). 

In an attempt to fix this situation, I began to re-flash the firmware, but unlike my previous experience with firmware flashing, this time the flashing stopped after a few seconds and did not continue.

I'm sure my device was bricked!

I contacted Geekbuying, as I had purchased the unit from them, and inquired about some sort of resolution to my problem. I explained how unsatisfied I had been with the units I had purchased, and their response was that I should have returned them right away, and that since the units were 10 months old and under their warranty, all they could do is have them repaired. Geekbuying was willing to repair my RBP, however I needed to send the unit back to them with a tracking number. Well the cost of sending the packaged RBP back to Geekbuying is $9 Canadian, but with tracking that same package then becomes $50 Canadian. 

I could buy a cheaper more reliable replacement unit directly from Amazon, for less money then sending my unit back for repairs.

Geekbuying refused to offer me any more assistance on this issue, so they are now officially on my shit list of companies for whom I refuse to do business with. As far as I'm concerned Geekbuying,  can continue to pedal their crappy wares, I wont be supporting them, nor will I be referring customers to them.

So I'm stuck with a piece of shit RBP paperweight. 

But hold on, I'm not going to give up that easily. I've read enough forum posts to know that there were some people out there who have claimed a godlike ability to revived bricked devices. This process consisted of manually erasing the ram chips (which involves shorting out some pins while the machine was on). So I'm going to research this a bit and possibly have a follow up post.

If anyone wants to donate a new android set top box for me to use, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

No, I'm Not Dead

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while since I posted anything. I've been taking advantage of the great summer weather to tackle a bunch of renovation type outdoor projects. Don't worry I'll soon be back to updating this blog.
Also there are some new changes in the works which I hope I can announce soon.
Until then, enjoy the rest of summer and we'll be back soon.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The World Is Flat: Leicester, United Kingdom

In all honesty, I really don't know where this video is filmed. What I do know is (1) it's a super slick routine (2) the riders name is Keelan Phillips (3) the video comes to us from Leicester, United Kingdom.

I'm a little embarrassed to say this but I can't even name the trick he does that I like so much. Maybe if I describe it someone will make comments below to enlighten me, or maybe send me an email. The trick Keelan does is a simple front wheel hop, while doing a front wheel manual (or is it a G-Turn hop?). I guess it's meant to be a connector trick when stringing his multiple tricks together, which  doesn't look hard but probably is. Anyways I just love the way it flows which might be why the video is called FLOW? Two thumbs up from me as it looks super cool.

Big shout out to the Keelan and the rest of his fellow riders across the pond!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

2005 Yamaha BWS: Update. Finished

Finally, my 2005 Yamaha BWS is running insured, and on the road!

I would have loved to document more of the engine overhaul, however this website wasn't co-operating during the rebuild, and I didn't document anything. 

Cosmetically you can see the difference from a stock 2005 BWS (Blue), to my mine. The rear fender has been hacked, front fender removed, wheels pasti-dipped, and all the fairings painted and polished to match original color, and the addition of front LED side markers.

Engine upgrades included a 70cc big block kit (Airsal), 17mm Arreche carburetor (upjetted), Doppler intake, Malossi reeds & cage, aftermarket air filter. Everything went together rather smoothly, with the exception of the Doppler intake which seemed to push the carburetor out of position. With the Doppler intake I could no longer use the stock air box as it would not line up properly. I had no choice but to replace the stock air box with an aftermarket air filter.

On the exhaust side the Doppler pipe I ordered, specifically for this build, didn't fit. I had to substitute a Leo Vince.

In the transmission I replaced the rollers with the Doppler ones that were packaged with the aftermarket pipe. I installed a Malossi delta clutch and Malossi torque spring.

While it's not my fastest build, it easily keeps up to city traffic, and is much smoother.

My take away from doing this build, is DO NOT BUY DOPPLER PARTS!!!!
Stick with brands like Stage6, Malossi, and Athena when possible.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Me VS Shaw Internet

For those of you who don't know, I recently moved into an older home, which wasn't equipped with wired high speed internet. As a result I embarked on the process to fully wire every room with high speed network cabling throughout. The process involved me running Cat5E cabling from a central point in the garage to 6 major rooms throughout the home. Along the way I tested each cable run, ensuring proper gigabit transmission and terminations. I set up all my gigabit networking equipment next to Shaw's internet modem, and viola, I finally had high speed internet!

A few months after this process was completed I was contacted by Shaw, offering a promotional upgrade to my existing high speed internet package. Essentially for the same price I could go from 80mbs service to 150mbs service for the next 2 years. I obviously jumped at the opportunity.

Here is where we run into problems, before switching to 150mbs service, I would test my internet speed and get speeds somewhere in the mid 90mbs. After switching to 150mbs service, my speed tests would result in internet speeds in the mid 170mbs. Now this is obviously awesome, and it was, however the problem was that these speeds only seemed to last for a week or two, then the internet speed would drop back down to 90mbs. WTF???

So begins my long process of contacting Shaw's technical support, to remedy this problem. I and Shaw's technical support team spent hours and hours trying to find a solution. I would reset the modem, and hit 175mbs service, only to have it reduced to 95mbs two days later.

We (Shaw and myself) were at odds with each other over whom was to blame over these speed fluctuations.

In an attempt to prove Shaw's technical support team wrong, I eventually start the process of changing out and testing some of my networking equipment, to see if the problem was on my end. While I hate to admit it, Shaw's technical support team was right, the problem was originating on my end.
(testing process)

While it wasn't my equipment that was faulty, some of the short Cat5e patch cables that I had bought off EBay were defective and causing faults in the service.

Just to recap the situation, all the wires I ran throughout the home were all fine (as I tested them), all my equipment was fine (as I tested it, as well) but a few of the cables I bought off EBay that interconnects my equipment with Shaw's equipment were faulty. A few $1.50 cables cost me and Shaw's technical support team weeks of anguish and hours of wasted time, I would have never thought to test pre-made Cat5E cables.

I want to officially apologize to Shaw's Internet Support Team, and thank them for their patience and perseverance. 

Hopefully we can still be friends.