Isaac's Blog

August 29, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

DLP Color Banding

So it seems these new Samsung HLS5679w sets are plagued with color banding issues. Dont bother calling samsung, they will asked "whats color banding" and say "we've never heard of any problems with this set" Many say this can be solved by a good ISF calibration.... we'll see.

August 24, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679W arrives

Its finally here!

First off, I'm in no way a professional A/V guy, but I can read up. First thing I noticed was, the remote looks like a cheap hotel remote that stands up. very odd. Second, the presets it has are, well.... don't use them. Use the following settings that Eliab so graciously provided:

Digital NR - OFF
DNIe - Off
Mode - Movie
Contrast - 40
Brightness - 45
Sharpness - 0
Color - 45
Tint - G50/R50
Color Tone - Warm2

Please visit the avs forums for more details. Patience is definately needed while tweaking.

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Denon AVR-3806

So far so good with this unit. At first it was a bit daunting, but once you get the basics done, sit through the COMPLETE auto-setup (all six locations) its a great starting point. It accurately found the distance to my speakers. I have an oddly shaped room, and it was able to tell the surround speakers are not even from left to right, and adjusted accordingly. I'm still messing with it, needs more bass :)

I got this from as well. They do price match, but I was asked not to post links, find the lower prices yourself :) The warranty is backed by Warranty Corp of America. If your reciever doesn't require service before the plan expires, contact them within 90 days of the plan's expiration and receive a 50 percent credit towards a future purchase!

Call 1.800.340.4770, ask for Chris, tell him Isaac Kishk referred you, so the price matching is easier.

From the misc dept.  

Oak TV stand

My task was to make a TV stand which matched an existing entertainment center. Here are some pictures. The center void will have speaker mesh covering it. The unit is on 2.5" casters, and I use aluminum L-bar's for anti-tipping measures. Its made with red oak plywood and solid red oak trim/doors. Took about 3 days.

August 19, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679 LED tracking

My tracking info for my TV is available, excellent. Now I have to wait for it while it slowly works it way down to me. Anyone know of a google map for ABF? heres the tracking info ABF tracking pro #252309129. Granted, now my time is short for making my tv stand!

August 17, 2006

From the deals dept.  

Rooms to Go free cleaning

RTG's "free" cleaning is a farce. they say you have 3 years of unlimited cleanings. What it really is, some guy comes to SPOT clean little spots with Folex and then uses a generic scotchguard. The killer is, he didnt even use the Folex properly. Thank god I just sold those sofas. I would not trust those guys w/ my sofa.

August 16, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679W being delivered!

I get a call from on my way to dinner last night. They had my contact info from a pre-reserve I had on the unit. Apparently since they never had the unit on their site as "reserve now" they didnt get any foot traffic as I was the only one. They will price match ABT Electronics, who is price matching TVAuthority. got 15 units into their warehouse yesterday, they have 14 left. Mine is shipping out today. The warranty is backed by Warranty Corp of America. If your tv doesn't require service before the plan expires, contact them within 90 days of the plan's expiration and receive a 50 percent credit towards a future purchase!

Call 1.800.340.4770, ask for Chris, tell him Isaac Kishk referred you, so the price matching is easier.

August 12, 2006

From the weather dept.  

WMR968 Fan aspirated temperature sensor

I noticed my temp readings just didn't seem hot enough. I was able to validate this with my MESONET/CWOP data recently. I remembered some fan thingy a while back, AND i ran into the same fan thingy recently while trading some emails on wunderground. So heres the "fan thingy". After reading it, I realized this guy didn't really calculate any measurements. He just threw stuff together to make it work. So, like B.A.S.F.... lets not invent something, lets make it better!

12v for a 80mm fan is about 30-40CFM at around 160-200 milliamp (numbers based on which fan you actually buy). That's a bit much for this application. A 12v 800ma is a bit overkill for a 200ma fan. A full 12v runs about 2500-3000RPM. You could easily half all these numbers and get adequate airflow. Running a similar setup, I used an 80mm 12v fan, at 6v. Comparing the readings to nearby stations showed it to be doing the job perfectly.

My goal for aiming for 6v was to use a solar battery charger to run the fan 24/7. I ordered this Silicon Solar battery charger. Just add some leads from the batteries and I have a solar by day, battery by night.

Parts list:
~3ft 1in sch40 PVC (I chose schedule 40 over the other thin one, so there is less radiation)
1- 2->4 reducer
1- 2->1 reducer
1- 1in elbow
1- 1in elbow w/ 1 side NPT thread
1- 1in threaded male coupling
1- 1in T w/ 3/4" threaded center
1- 3/4" threaded plug
1- 12v 80mm fan (like the one from your old power supply)
1- THGR968, stripped from casing (mushroom sensor from WMR968)
1- 4AA solar battery charger
4- 4AA 2900mHA rechargeable batteries (anything over 1800 should work.... havnt tested this part yet)
~5ft old rj11 cable (2line/4copper cable). Any 2copper cable would work.
2- 3in "L" brackets
2- 1in overhead electrical conduit brackets
spray foam

I'll post pictures and more specific steps once I get the solar unit in and take picts. Thanks go to Garth Olson for giving me something to work off. (Btw garth, the third yellow wire is for getting the fan speed).

UPDATE: So the solar charger I got wasn't the one I ordered. Turns out the one I want is discontinued. Plus their "replacement" for the one I ordered only gets up to 4.73v in the bright light from the heat of a texas summer day. Lame. Once I get my RMA in and my money back, I'm going to try for this one: Flexible Solar Battery Charger (SolLite-4AAE). After googling/ebaying similar ones, this one ends up being lowest cost, AND is flexible for that nice hail we get in TX.

August 9, 2006

From the g33k/hardware dept.  

Computer go BOOM

So I wake up yesterday and "head into the office" to find my workstation says its 5:27AM and is frozen. Ok, no biggie. I reset the box. about 5 mins after I'm into some emails, i hear a CLUNK from my hard drive. I think "damn, there goes my HD" obviously. So I boot it up again, kill almost every program, and proceed to do a dump of the image. About 4 hours later, its at 98%, and the status bar disappears. I assume its done. So I start testing the image, and I find I cant make a Norton Ghost 9 boot disk for myself! I find one online using my laptop, boot the box w/ it, try to read the image, and it only reads ".gho" images, IE Ghost 2003/8.0 or less. So I start looking for a Ghost 9 boot cd, luckily, torrent isn't illegal :)

I boot into that, see my image, and its corrupt. YEY! Thankfully, I have a July 12th image. So I go buy a hard drive (officemax 300 gig seagate for 129 - 15% "brownbag sale" + 8.25% tax). Pop the drive in my box, boot up with the ghost disk, try and read the 7/12 image, and it says it cant find a hard drive. DAMN, my motherboard or cable! swap out the cable, same story. So its 8:15, Fry's closes at 9. I get there around 8:50, and the cpu/mb combo I want is sold out. I end up w/ a abit NF-9f and an AMD Athlon 64 3500+. Bring it home, put in my case, put new HD on, it works. So then I begin a disk clone from the old drove to the new drive, knowing Windows will do crazy w/ new motherboard and controllers. It told me it would take 18hrs. So at 5pm today, I'll have a clone HD and the windows fun begins! Some nifty sites I found on the way are the ultimate boot cd and the ultimate boot cd for windows. its a shame I couldn't get this to work with ghost9, only ghost8.

Windows Genuine Advantage is an annoying PIA. The cloned image said it wasn't genuine, plus the windows install wouldn't recognize the new board/proc. Re-installed windows. That full dump image ended up not being corrupt. So I proceeded with restoring my "Documents and Settings," then doing the "reinstall program, restore files from backup to the newly installed directory" trick for two days. I think im about 95% back to normal. UGH

Moral of the story is.... your backup image? don't count on it for a bare-metal recovery, as technology changes so much you'll end up upgrading your equipment and the image wont work properly anyways. Have a full backup every 2 weeks, monthly doesnt cut it.