Smart ForTwo intercooler fan

by on Oct.21, 2009, under Wheels

We removed the intercooler fan from the Smart, a quick 3 minute job, sprayed it generously with WD-40 and spun it by hand till it worked loose. All those months (years, maybe) of lying unused and in the elements had taken its toll on the bearings.

Plugged it back into the Smart’s electrics, manually jumpered the intercooler relay and the fan spun initially with slight resistance. So we opened up the fan, cleaned and lubed the bronze bushing, cleaned the brushes and installed everything back into the car. All’s well that runs well.

Now Kay’s grinning from ear to ear, happy that this operation saved him a tidy sum of money!

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A/c problems with the Smart ForTwo

by on Sep.08, 2009, under Wheels

Kay got himself an old Smart ForTwo. It was flat-bedded from the original owner’s place to Kay’s. We cleaned, changed all the fluids and got it running over the weekend, thanks in no small measure to Evilution. This site has heaps of information about Smarts and is a must read for the enthusiast.

Five minutes into the test drive the a/c stopped cooling without warning. My initial reaction was “Ok, blown fuse”. Kay said the refrigerant was low.  So we took it to a local wrench assuming the refrigerant was low. He did a quick check and confirmed it was fine. So then we concluded it was an electrical problem (should have stuck with my gut feel.) Pulled out the secondary fuse box (under the driver’s seat, i.e., the left side seat.) It was easy to locate after a quick look at FQ101’s engine fuses page (another brilliant Smart specific site!) Sure enough, the 15A fuse powering the electromagnetic clutch on on the a/c compressor was blown. Replaced it with a new 15A fuse and started up the car. POOF! Blown again.

Then after reading and digesting FQ101’s page on fuses, I realized that the intercooler’s fan was also powered by the same fuse. Hmmmm… could it be the fan? Ran down to the Smart and tried to spin the fan by hand. Almost completely seized. Ok! So there’s the culprit. Pulled out the intercooler relay from the secondary fuse box. Replaced the fuse again, fired up the engine and a/c  working fine again.  Drove around for about 25km and all is well.

Next step is to pull out the fan, replace it or get it serviced. This can wait till I get back from vacation.

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Loading firmware on the Blackberry 7230

by on Aug.22, 2009, under General Jazz

If you are trying to load firmware on a Blackberry 7230 or 7290 with a recent version of the Blackberry Desktop Manager, it will consistently fail. I encountered such a problem this morning. Tried using JL_Cmder, but still no luck. It would would quit with the error “COM error during open”.  It had no problems connecting to the 8700 and 8310 Blackberrys.

I decided to downgrade the Blackberry Desktop Manager to v3.6 which I had laying around on a memory stick. Installed the v3.6 after a quick uninstall of  v4.7. Tried the firmware load on the 7230  and it went through without a hitch. JL_Cmder also works fine now with both the 7230 and 7290.

Issue discussed in  GSMForums.

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Troy and the Draytek 2820Vn

by on Aug.15, 2009, under Networking, VoIP

The Draytek 2820Vn is a great device for home and small-offices. It has two WAN ports; ADSL and Ethernet. Excellent VPN capabilities 32 simultaneous VPN tunnels (IPSec, PPTP, L2TP and L2TP over IPSec.)

In order to get point to point voice working either on VPN or LAN you need to ensure that

  1. the “External IP :” under VoIP -> SIP Accounts is the private IP of the router itself
  2. the SIP account in use is configured with  “Register via  LAN/VPN”
  3. “NAT Traversal Support” is set to “None”

Troy was trying in vain to get voice calls working. We hit on this combination after quite a bit of messing the parameters. The predecessor of the Draytek 2820Vn (the Draytek 2800VG) does not need these fiddly parameters configured and works just fine without these settings. This coupled with the fact that he’s bought 5 of these devices to internetwork the branch offices of a relative’s company, caused this networking boffin a lot of frustration.

Troy has since gone back to meddling with his favourites Cisco and HP ProCurve, thankful to your truly for having helped put this ordeal behind him!

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Asterisk and AVAYA

by on Aug.15, 2009, under VoIP

Some info I posted on ChipOverclock’s blog:

Thot i’d post my experiences with the AVAYA SIP phones.

  • The current version of the firmware for the 46xx phones still doesn’t seem to support the message waiting indicator (MWI) light. And as a side-effect of pending voice mail, these phones seem to think they are not registered after a seeming random period of time, refusing to allow outgoing calls. I had to disable voice mail on all extensions with AVAYA phones. Wasn’t too bad, I could live without the MWI.
  • The 1.xx version of SIP firmware for the 9620/9630/9640 series of phones would register fine on Asterisk, allow outgoing calls but refuse to accept incoming calls.
  • AVAYA have recently release version 2 of the SIP firmware for the 96xx phones. Thought I’d give it a try the other day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked perfectly, including the MWI!! Excellent speaker-phone, and great voice quality.

I’ve been testing it for about 4 days now and am totally happy with the results.

Original post
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Infratec PM 8-IP

by on Aug.08, 2009, under General Jazz

Quick glance
A power strip with 8 power outlet sockets and 2 power inlets. Each power port can be turned on or off individually over the network. Support for this product on Infratec’s website appears poor at best with documentation being equally sketchy. e.g., the firmware revision on my PM 8-IP is 2.02, whereas the latest available download on the website is v1.26a.
One would be misled into believing that the dual power inlets ensures power redundancy. Unfortunately not, each power inlet can power its own set of 4 power outlets. Hence not entirely useful for critical datacentre operations.
On the networking front, it runs Ubicom’s IP2022 network processor. The network is up and running in about 2 seconds after power up. Pretty impressive. Power to the network processor/controller is supplied only from one of the power sources.
The console serial port (RJ-9 4P4C socket) running at 9600-N-8-1 can be used to configure the IP address and also for performing a factory reset (highly recommended after a firmware up/downgrade.) The unit can be factory reset by pressing “F” (case sensitive) when at the console menu. In some cases the web server becomes in accessible after a firmware upgrade, and a factory reset is required to bring things back in order.

I constructed a console cable from an old RJ-9 jack and a DE9-F connector. Use the table below to wire up the two connectors:

PM 8-IP (RJ-9 4P4C) PC Serial port (DE-9)
1 (GND) 5 (GND)
2 (TxD) 2 (RxD)
4 (RxD) 3 (TxD)
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Installing WinXP with Intel AHCI drivers

by on Jul.18, 2009, under General Jazz

I was trying to load XPSP2 on an Acer Aspire 4810T. I downloaded the XP AHCI drivers from the Acer site and tried to load the AHCI drivers from the floppy. It refused to give me the AHCI options, only RAID drivers!

Looked around a bit on the floppy and figured that the drivers are there but it doesn’t show up during the install. Haven’t fully figured this out, but the TXTSETUP.OEM needs to be modifed. I modified it and got the AHCI drivers to load successfully from the floppy.

Here’s what you need to do.
1. Open TXTSETUP.OEM in Notepad or any other text editor.
2. Locate the line that says :
scsi = iaStor_ICH8MEICH9ME

3. Change it to read :
scsi = iaAHCI_ICH9MEM

Start the XP install again with F6 and now you will get the option to load the AHCI drivers.

Hoping this helps someone out there.

Post in TechPowerUp

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my experiments with Cisco 7940 IP phone

by on Jun.27, 2009, under VoIP

12:40 AM  09 Dec 2007
Seem to have figured out the strange and seemingly erratic behaviour of the Cisco 7940.

Quick answer… in the SIP<mac_address>.cnf file enable NAT:
# NAT/Firewall Traversal
nat_enable: “1”                ; <—- default is “0”. Have no idea why this works but…
nat_address: “”
voip_control_port: “5061”
start_media_port: “19000”
end_media_port:  “20000”
nat_received_processing: “0”

I chanced on this when poring over the SIP logs. I noticed that the requests from the phone was coming from random ports. The SIP read said…
<— SIP read from —>

… but the Contact: SIp field said…
Contact: <sip:[email protected]:5060;transport=udp>

However, * responded…
<— Transmitting (NAT) to —>
SIP/2.0 100 Trying
Via: SIP/2.0/UDP;branch=z9hG4bK4fba995f;received=

Further down… i saw….
[Dec  8 17:32:01] VERBOSE[2565] logger.c: Sending to : 50218 (NAT)    ; <—!!
[Dec  8 17:32:01] VERBOSE[2565] logger.c: Using INVITE request as basis request – [email protected]
[Dec  8 17:32:01] VERBOSE[2565] logger.c: Found no matching peer or user for ‘’

wierd?? Dunno. So * was sending its reponses to the 50218 port in the above case, and obviously the phone wasn’t listening at that port! This meant that the 200 OK responses were not being received by the phone. So finally hit on this setting… didn’t make sense, but tried it coz that would be one setting that would affect source and target ports. It worked! I hope this is the last of my travails with the Cisco 7940 phone. All works fine… including the MWI! 🙂

After this the sip show peers, showed me….
6112/6112            D   N      5061     Unmonitored
^^^^-!!! This came from the NAT/Firewall traversal setting.
Obviously the Phone firmware was using a random port (i.e., ignoring this setting) when used with a nat_enable: 0  setting.

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by on Jun.27, 2009, under General Jazz

its interesting how easy it is to add a blog engine to your site. It took me about 10 minutes.

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IBM Thinkpad T30 BIOS password

by on Jul.15, 2008, under General Jazz

I came by a IBM Thinkpad T30 with a power on password enabled. The original owner threw it out because he couldn’t remember the password and IBM told him that he had to change the planar (the notebook equivalent of the motherboard.) Followed the instructions on SoDoItYourself and constructed a serial port interface, downloaded the software and I was very quickly able to get the power-on password!


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