Playstation 3 – Overheating – Flashing Red Light

I was recently asked by someone to look at a PS3 fault. Their childs PS3 wasn’t booting up and they couldn’t eject a CD. Playstation and XBOX consoles suffer from infamous Red Light of Death (RLOD) and Yellow Light of Death (YLOD)

This specific Playstation had the RLOD, when booting up, it would quickly have some HDD activity and then it would shutdown and 3 Red Lights would flash on the console

This is a common issue where the console shuts down to protect itself because of an overheating issue. The processors and connected to the motherboard by a BGA array. A large amount of small solder balls which heat up oven time and solder cracks. This builds up temperature, drying out the chips and thermal paste causing the consoles to shut down to protect themselves

I documented a video of the repair on a Youtube video which you can watch

I had never actually carried out a console repair before, so when I was finished I actually had 2 screws left over. Still haven’t worked out where these were from, so if I ever receive the console back I’ll replace them. Otherwise I’ll use it as a learning experience.

I intend on going more full time with console, phone and computer building and repairs, so plan on improving myself each time in order to develop a better procedure and overall a faster turn around time

 

Views – 988

Fraudulent bank activity

One of the benefits of having a smart phone, I tend to be very religious when it comes to checking my bank statements through the app. As I’m working on reducing my outgoing expenses and paying off debts; I always tend to track my money.

I always have done it, but there was a recent activity on my credit card statement that made me a bit suspicious, it looked as if it was a fraudulent bank activity. It seemed that someone cloned the card.

I was about to call the bank today when I realised what it was. I made an on-line shopping order with my card for Tesco’. The store they were delivered from was the one which the purchase was made, I didn’t know this at the time however.

I only just realised whilst I was ringing my bank to let them know they may have to cancel my card. Good thing I remembered at the last minute

So while the action was completely unnecessary, it always helps to be vigilant and keeping an eye on your expenses. As sometimes the most normal action could lead you to horrible consequences without realising. In this instance my finances were fine it was just me being an idiot.

 

So, further forward, if you have a memory like a sieve like me, it may be worth jotting things down as a backup in a diary. So if you make a purchase, you can go back to it. I’m thinking of using a calender of a sort, so if I do something I can write down the value and go back to it at a later date.

We live in an age where it’s easy for people to steal your card details without you even realising it, better be safe than sorry.

Views – 803

Speeding

After driving for 10 years, I’ve finally been a bad boy and believe I was caught speeding. Stretch of road when playing taxi, going up a hill behind lorry and a few other cars I decided to overtake them because I was impatient.

I know the stretch of road to be honest, and I know it’s regularly policed with speed traps so it’s my own fault. I know speeding is dangerous and risks lives, I’m just impatient and need to calm down my driving.

I’m not worrying about it until I get my summons / NIP through the post. Although I’m expecting around 6 points and a £200 fine, I’m crossing my fingers at the opportunity to be offered a speed awareness course.

 

It feels weird to me, I’ve been driving 10 years and wanted to hold a clean license. I know these things happen it just bugs me.

 

I’ll update the post when I receive more information.

 

UPDATE :

I received a letter with an option for 3 points / £100 fine, or take it to court and contest it. I’ll be surrendering my license this weekend to get points on it then updating my insurance. No point contesting it, the court will just slap me with a larger fine and more points

Views – 1011

AA Breakdown Renewal

Received my obligatory renewal letter through the post from the AA that I had been with for 11 years now. I do still like them, but the prices are making me think otherwise. I used to call them out at least once a year, but personally don’t think it’s worth it at the moment when I can put the money into savings

 

The letter I received

To make your Gold Membership even better value, why not choose one of our great offers? Take a look at the details on the flap below.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to take advantage of a special offer, simply check your cover details overleaf and the enclosed Terms and Conditions and we will collect payment of £230.44 on or around 21st of May 2015. AA membership may cost a little more than some others, but to the 14 million people we look after, we give unrivalled peace of mind

 

Now, when I first joined AA I only paid around £50 membership for everything, which went up to around £130 on renewal. Fair enough. The policies have been increasing around £20 each year and for those people who pay by direct debit, if you don’t remember to ring up, your paying an extra £20 more each year on top of your cover.

If AA have 14,000,000 members each paying around £130 that is £1,820,000,000 or in other words (£1.82 billion) per year. If all the members only paid £50 each every year, that would be £700,000,000 (£700 million) per year they would make

I highlight doubt they’re suffering their losses and simply ripping people off. I’ll make rough estimates on their expenditure

10,000 Call Centre Agents @ 20k P/A – £200 million

4,000 Vans @ 20k P/A – £80 million

1,000 Recovery Vehicles / Driver @ 30k P/A – £30 million

4,000 Technicians @ 25k P/A – £100 million

Miscellaneous (CEO’s etc) – £100 million

All the above totals £510 million per year

 

I don’t know all the figures for AA, although they are posted on the website, basically they’re ripping people off who aren’t wise to following their money.

I’m not going to bash AA for their service. I think they’re amazing. They’re reliable and I’ve never had issues. I am going to bash them for their practices and rip off prices. If they want to attribute their rising costs to running costs then design a business model with a fixed fee and use it!

 

Anyway, I went on moneysupermarket and took  out some new cover @ £50 and cancelled my membership. I got a bit heated on the phone with the agent so I apologise to the agent which is why I become so blunt.

 

Anyway.  Would I join AA again.. Yes, without question, but at this moment I am trying to save money and can’t afford to pay lump sums of £140 in one go when I pay bills. Nor do I wish do be charged monthly

So they have lost 11 years of my business because they pissed me off basically

Views – 947

General Elections 2015

Another general election is currently taking place. At the time I write this post it looks like conservatives will win but the result isn’t definitive yet

It had me thinking though everytime elections come they always tell you what you want to hear in reality it never happens that way and they just spend the budget the way they want to

How would you spend it ?

Personally to me. Throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution.  Money is infinitive.

To me you focus on the knowledge. You should set aside a large portion of budge for research and development or technology.  That way the knowledge acquired from this improves your
processes

Your still spending money but you look at the long terms goals. When I invest in shares I’m looking at companies with a heavy speciality in r and d / tech since this is where the future lies to me

Views – 911

Broken exhaust

Driving home one night, when it sounded like my car had a flat tyre even though I knew it didn’t

Note: I drive with really loud music, so couldn’t hear anything

I knew something was wrong, because the entire car was resonating. If you have ever drove on a flat tyre, you will know what I mean when I’m talking about resonating, basically the vibrations go throughout the shell and steering wheel

 

I turned down my stereo knew something was wrong but I couldn’t figure out what. Took me about 20 secs, then I realised I either had a snapped exhaust or broken exhaust. I parked up when I got home and looked in the morning to assess the damage

Looked in the morning and it looked like the centre section had gone on the car. I don’t know the exhaust system entirely so made a post on a forum. Someone said it was a centre section / mid-box. Either way looked to be around £50. I was expecting it to be the cat (£200+), spoke to the brother and agreed to take the car into garage to price it up

Came back and the car was fixed. Turns out it was simply the exhaust clamps had snapped. So the garage repaired it for free. Talk about lucky. I was sure something had gone from it

Views – 1025

Start your day with a cold shower

Recently I’ve been having a cold shower each day to help wake me up, there’s many reasons over why this benefits you on-line and quite simply you feel more manly stepping into a freezing cold shower and forcing yourself to stay calm without crying like a little bitch. Now, I like my creature comforts, but alongside the obvious benefits of saving money having a shower. Having a cold shower means you also don’t waste time when cleaning as your in and out quickly anyway and additionally it doesn’t cost me as much money in electric / gas because the water doesn’t need to be heated.

There are many benefits to taking a cold shower. I’ve trawled the web and posted as many as I can find here for you to review and consider it. If you take up the 30 day challenge of a cold shower, or just want to tell me how you felt about it then why not make a comment and let me know

I’m going to post the benefits below and try to backup the claims with links to research articles rather than just spamming content. A lot of this content was used from other websites as I wanted to collate the data, however I don’t want to copy word for word so I will be taking the information and modifying it with references to articles from research

 

Health benefits of cold showers 

 

Cold showers help burn fat aiding weight loss

Claims on the web have reported that Scandanavian researchers found exposure to cold temperatures accelerated the metabolic rate of brown fat by as much as 15 times which could result in a weight loss of almost 9lbs in weight of white fat over a year. For reference …

Brown Fat = Good (this burns it)

White Fat = Bad (this is what stores it)

(1 Stone in weight is 14 pounds so it’s almost 1 Stone in Weight Loss)

Now, I did a search for the article about it but I couldn’t find it. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, I did however find an article in the Wikipedia for Brown Fat, which is also known as BAT or Brown Adipose Tissue. This article describes the Activation of Lipolysis and Metabolism by Cold Exposure. Basically if you can’t be bothered to read it, they did lab tests on mice for 8 weeks after feeding them a heavy-fat diet so both groups of mice were really plump.

The mice were then split into two groups and were exposed to two different temperatures. The mice exposed to 30’c didn’t show much change, but the mice exposed to a temperature of 4’c (they were acclimatised by by exposure to 18’c first) showed marked elevation of the metabolic rate as measured by O2 consumption and CO2 production which is consistent and linked to weight loss and the decrease of BMI. This same test was carried out on “normal” mice fed on a usual diet, and after they were exposed to similar temperatures they were also shown to be decreasing in BMI and weight. So there’s at least some proof to the claims, but the temperatures must be at least 4’c and for 8 weeks to have any real effect.

 

Cold showers help wake you up

When you step into the cold shower, and that oh so icy cold water hits your skin. It sends your brain into panic mode, and forces you to breathe deeply and longer, it sends your body into shock and makes you shiver. As a result this speeds up the oxygen intake and your heart rate which results in increased blood flow. The result? It gets more oxygen around your body and makes you feel wide awake in an instant. I actually stood in my shower when I switched it on, my resting heart rate was 51bpm and when I went into the shower it instantly jumped to 101bpm. After finishing the shower and measuring it again around 30 secs later it was back to 51bpm.

 

Make yourself like good with that N(ICE) cold shower

Apparently cold water is good for your skin and hair. The only real benefit of hot water is opening up your pores. As your body does this to increase removal of excess heat from your body. For your body however, the hot water dries out the skin and removes essential oils in it. Cold water does the opposite it firms your cuticles and pores and closes them up aiding the grip on your body and preventing dirt from entering it

Improving your bodies immunity to illness and stress

Similar to the effect of waking you up cold water increases heart rate and oxygen circulation throughout your body. This has claimed additional benefits like lowering blood pressure, clearing clogged arteries and boosting your immune system. Additionally research has shown it can help with depression

Quote from site “this is because exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well. Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect

Showering in cold water is a hormonic stressor too which improves you bodies ability cope with stress tolerance by a reaction known as Hormesis which works by your body being exposed to low doses of an agent that is toxic or lethal at higher doses

Increased fertility and testosterone production

Several research articles, the majority of copy & paste articles about cold showers online quote the Thrombosis Research Institute and University of California. Claim that taking a cold shower increases your testosterone. Additionally it’s also reported that this can increase your sperm count too, those “nads holding your lads” don’t like being too hot. There’s a reason why those balls are held in a sack that shrinks or expands. They work a miracle at maintaining your little swimmers temperature. Exposure to cold shower helps keep those little swimmers alive rather than killing them off. The same reason as wearing tight underwear and sitting down is meant to be bad for sperm production too. So if you’re trying for a baby it can have benefits for things that may seem a lost cause

Speed up recovery from hard exercise

After a hard exercise session, your body builds up a lot of lactic acid which is produced as a result of your body breaking down glucose for high demands of energy which then forms a bi-product of pyruvate which is generated from oxidised glucose. The problem with this is generally your muscles can’t get rid of the lactate produce which can lead to symptoms such as cramps. One way of solving this is by cold water therapy such as showers and ice baths. This works because the cold water shocks and constricts the veins holding all the blood which removes the lactate and then when you step out of the ice bath or shower new fresh blood is pumped into the body. The shock also causes your heart to pump faster which helps to circulate the blood better containing the lactate

Views – 1072

BG44K Fuel System Cleaner

A while back I was lucky enough to be gifted some BG44K Fuel System Cleaner for free and just never got around to using it until tonight. I received a call from my brother asking me if I had a pump. when he said this I was thinking along the lines of a foot pump what you would inflate a bike tyre with.

When he explained it was to suck fuel through the fuel filter for his partners car, I understood what he meant. I mentioned I did have a Mityvac which was designed to pull the fuel through the lines by vacuum so he came over.

We went into my garage and got out the tools and I helped him with the work. He disconnected the hoses for the fuel filter on his partners car and we held them to one side. I asked why he didn’t pre-fill the filters like we normally do. The specific fuel filter for that car is a sealed unit. So you have to pull the fuel through the lines via vacuum

We hooked up the Mityac, luckily all parts were there. I thought I’d lost it and proceeded to draw Vacuum through the fuel lines. After pumping for around 15 secs fuel started being sucked up. We pulled enough fuel to fill the bottle and then connected the hoses. The car started first time. My brother mentioned it was a “good piece of kit”. Indeed it is and it’s all mine.

He filled up the car with the BG44K Fuel System Cleaner and after he told me I mentioned I still had mine. He emptied the entire can into my tank, I went to the garage and filled it with some Shell V-Power Diesel then took it for a blast. The car determinately sounded a lot more gutsy and seemed to pull a lot harder too.

There is a lot of stigmata surrounding power products like BG44K saying people will believe it has power when there’s none. Although there may be some truth to this, I’ve drove my car for 3 years, I know how it responds.

It’s definitely responding better than before. The fuel system cleaner was carried out on my car at 77,900 miles and given that my car was meant to have “full” service history from new from VW I wouldn’t be surprised if it developed gremlins along the way

My car had the old cleaner (BG44K) – which is suitable for Petrols & Diesels. However the company have now released a diesel specific fuel system cleaner called BG244 which does the job. The product isn’t cheap (retails for around £20) but it’s been proven to work and de-coke your engines. I may look into seafoaming at a later date but as I regularly do an Italian Tune-Up on my car it doesn’t get the chance to accumulate soots and burnt on carbon

You can read more about the BG series of products on the company website via the links below aswell as their long list of fuel cleaning products

Views – 1380

Clearing debt

One of the problems I’ve experienced in the last year is I’ve accumulated a large amount of debt. I had my own debt anyway, but after taking out some car finance my credit rating with my existing debt went from Good to Poor. I’m now left with the long struggle of clearing down my debts and restoring my credit rating

Surprisingly the bank I’m with has now never been more than happier to contact me continuously because I have more funds going out than coming in.

Typically, all companies now use your credit score. The banks even use it when applying for loans. I’ve only been with them 20+ years so it’s not like they know how much I can afford or anything. It’s just “bam” and you’re done. No face to face with my bank now, just that’s it and get lost

I’m very religious when it comes to my finances, I know exactly what I owe, it’s all written down and where it goes how much comes out. So I know the exact figures I need

Part of the problem I experienced is I made the mistake on my birthday of taking some extra money out to celebrate (as I wasn’t paying a loan) but I forgot about the car finance. So the past few months I’ve been overdrawn with my bank by around £400 each month. Resulting in charges.

When my annual review comes for my overdraft, I think I’ll be increasing it.

I tried getting a Wonga payday loan to fix my short term issues. Paying the extra £100 each month is better than paying £300 + fees. Which would give me time to correct my finances. Alas, no! Wonga now uses credit scoring as they’re a “responsible lender” (with fucking high APR’s still) and because my credit rating is … shit they wouldn’t lend me it.

So high and dry with no source of help. I refuse to go bankrupt or anything of the sort. I just need to put my head down, get my thinking cap on and sort bills.

Currently I’m also overpaying 3/4 of my credit cards by £25 extra per month. It’s not much, but when your bank goes in negative the interest you pay off on the cards works out cheaper than with the bank. Plus I know I’m guaranteed to pay off at least £300 more each year from my cards.

I do actually win money gambling, I just don’t do it often. Even just £1 per day is £30 per month extra off my balances, which helps in the long term. Just slowly building it up and hoping for some luck. I’ve had a really bad string lately so looking for a change. I’m always for the positive attitude.

Along with my debt problems, I’ve recently changed energy suppliers as they were extortionate, I just checked my Gas and found I was over £250 in credit when they closed the account. I asked for a refund which should help with my bank charges and interest. I’m also going to close down all the accounts I don’t use to help recover lost expenditure alongside my credit cards. As currently it’s showing I have 5 open credit cards. I use 4 of them but it’s more source of borrowing. So I’m going to close it down and hopefully rebuild my credit a bit more. As I actually forgot I owned one card which would damage my rating.

I’m going to update the post more as I go, hopefully things will be more positive in the summer time. Need some stress free days for a change

Views – 937

Flat Battery

Sooner or later it had to happen, my car showed all the warnings signs of a flat battery. Primarily it was weaker starting in colder temperatures, but it was also my remote key fob not working properly and slow power to winding the electric windows up. After my recent dilemma with a broken rear spring, the last thing I wanted to fork out money for was a new battery, but I knew it was eventually going to be one of those jobs.

Unfortunately. Or rather “sod’s law” I mentioned to the mother about the spring and said I’ll need a battery next as that is starting to show signs of failure….. never ever mention what’s about to go wrong with your car. The damn things are telepathic and just throw pissy fits when they want.

Well.. not really. That’s why they call it sod’s law.

Anyway, I can’t really fault the battery. Turns out it was the original battery installed in the car when it was first manufactured. My car being 10+ years old is quite good going so shows a testament to the quality of batteries used by VW. I tried using my booster pack but it was too low drained. I had no jumper cables around or anyone available to jump start my car so in the end I used my AA membership and called them out. (Hey I pay for Roadside, Relay and Home Start) so why not. Went back in the house and made another cuppa whilst I waited. When the AA were out he hooked up his Battery meter. The car was reading as 11V and 380Amps of power in the battery (batteries need 12V minimum to start) so a battery low in power. Soon as he hooked up his booster pack my car started. We let it run for 10 mins and it was showing as charging again.

The car would still start in warm temperatures but the strain was showing in the colder ones. So that same day I made sure I bought a new battery.

The one problem with diesel cars is they require big beefy batteries to cope with the extra strain on the engine. So it means you can’t just get an el-cheapo £50 battery unless you’re good friends with people in the trade.

After talking with euro car parts and discussing with halfords I managed to score a decent battery. Got it for £81.62

Now, the battery is a 74aH battery (amp hours) and 720 CCA (cold-cranking amps)

For reference to make it easier original battery is 72ah and 680CCA

  • Amp Hours – The battery “juice” how long you can run the vehicle components and electrics without the engine running before the battery goes flat (basically it’s run-time)
  • CCA – Cold Cranking Amps are how primarily used for cold starting the engine in really low temperatures. When you start your engine in low temperatures it puts extra strain on the battery and components. So a high CCA is needed for the extra “boost” that’s required

Generally speaking with car batteries, you can always go higher. As long as it will still fit in the engine bay

Now.. everything is hunky dory with my car at least, another few years of happy motoring aside from the usual services. I’ve kept the original battery as it would still do as a good spare for a Petrol Vehicle or generally testing with. Always remember to buy a decent battery

Views – 1079

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