Sunday, December 30, 2018

Disable Sleep Mode XYtronic LF-1600 Soldering Station

I have this soldering station which has served me well since I bought it. However, it has this annoying thing called 'sleep mode' which lowers the temperature to 150 ºC every 15 or 30 min. For me, that engages too often. Maybe they tried to mimic the sleep feature of top of the range stations, but since no sensor is in the stand to detect when you leave the iron, the implementation is poor and bothering.

I've always wanted to disable the feature, but in the owner's manual that came with my unit, the option seems to be missing. Now, I've found it explained in the manual of the model LF-1700 and I've discovered it's implemented in the firmware of my unit too. It's worth to mention that I couldn't understand shit from the chinenglish? of the manual, so that's the main reason to explain it properly here.

By the way, besides LF-1600 and LF-1700 this will probably work for more models.

So..., steps:

1. Turn on the unit.
2. Press SET for 4 seconds and '---' will blink in the display.
3. Press UP 10 times until '010' is in the display. This is the default 'config password'.
4. Press SET to enter the config menu.
5. Press DOWN several times until 'F-3' is in the display.
6. Press SET to enter.

At this point '100' should appear in the display, which means 'sleep mode enabled'.

7. Press UP or DOWN and the display will change to '000', which means 'sleep mode disabled'.
8. Press SET twice to exit.

Tell me in the comments if it helped.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

All possible combinations in a 7 segment display

I was playing around with a display of 7 segment digits and was looking for some cool shape I could print in it. I wasn't been very creative and I noticed that, after all, only 128 combinations can be made with those kinds of displays. So I decided to write a dirty Python 3 script for generating all possible combinations, and here I show you the output.

I also leave here the dirty script.

import os

width = 20 #how many each row
q = 128 #how many in total

def gen7seg(segs):
    line1 = ""
    line2 = ""
    line3 = ""

    line1 += " "
    if( (segs >> 6) & 1): line1 += "_ "
    else: line1 += "  "
    if( (segs >> 1) & 1): line2 += "|"
    else: line2 += " "
    if( (segs >> 0) & 1): line2 += "_"
    else: line2 += " "
    if( (segs >> 5) & 1): line2 += "|"
    else: line2 += " "

    if( (segs >> 2) & 1): line3 += "|"
    else: line3 += " "
    if( (segs >> 3) & 1): line3 += "_"
    else: line3 += " " 
    if( (segs >> 4) & 1): line3 += "|"
    else: line3 += " "

    return [line1, line2, line3]   

printed = 0

finished = False
while(not finished):
    out_line1 = ""
    out_line2 = ""
    out_line3 = ""
    for _ in range(width):
        [a, b, c] = gen7seg(printed)
        out_line1 += (" " + a)
        out_line2 += (" " + b)
        out_line3 += (" " + c)
        if(printed < q-1): printed += 1
            finished = True


Speak if it was useful for something.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hair dryer schematic (Babyliss ioniCeramic 1600)

I troubleshooted a hair dryer whose heating elements got red in the high speed. The problem was quite obvious once disassembled, the heating element wires slightly deformed and short-circuited at one spot. Separating them did the job.

I felt like making a schematic to understand exactly how it (and other hair dryers) worked, since I more o less imagined it, but never confirmed it.

So, in case anyone need it here it is. It's not 100% complete since things like values and LED resistors are missing, but they don't really do much difference.

Tell me if it helped in the comments.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Superlux HD662 EVO review vs. HD668b

I am a satisfied owner of the 668b, I’ve been using then for a long time (I wrote a review here when I got them) and now I want to tell you what the differences are respect to the 662 EVO, which is very handy if you plan to buy one of these.

If you’ve read any review of any of the contestants you’ll know the basics, like the 668b are semi-opened vs the closed 662, the differences in technical numbers, the 662 includes spare velour pads… I’ll leave that bullshit apart and will try to focus on the important things that you can’t find easily in the internet.

First things first, the sound: it’s very good and noticeably different from the 668b’s. The treble is brighter and sparky, but not bothering high as someone say, it’s just a bit louder. The mids stay ok, no problem with that. The bass is noticeably boosted in the lower frequencies of the bass region, but again, not disproportionate at all. The overall sound is great, the boosted bass is very very pleasant compared with the more flat response of the 668b.

 The insulation of the closed back headphones versus the 668b is dramatic. I’ve only tried the ‘leather’ pads and they insulate good when they push against your head. People can still hear sound escaping if you turn the volume up too much, but believe me, the insulation is good and you can’t expect cero sound escaping with high volume with any headphone. That being said, without a doubt I affirm the 662 are office/library suitable.

One thing that really surprised me was the quality, as the internet said it was poor. Not to me. The building quality is very good, the structure of the 668b is much more flimsy and flexible, but the 662 are more rigid and feel better.

Pads and comfort
The velour pads are just that, velour. They aren’t my ‘cup of tee’. The ‘leather’ ones have nothing to be with the 668b plastic ones. The 668b’s are thick plastic and the 662’s are soft thin leather. The force that the headphones put in your head is the right amount, being a bit too much at first but it’s expected that overtime they get more loose. Overall, they’re noticeably more comfortable that the 668b and less warm.

The price difference isn’t significant so it’s no factor. Moreover, the value for money is higher in the 662.

If you want good headphones to listen to music with nice bass, nice look and good insulation get the 662. They are now my recommendation for general purpose. If you need for some reason a flat response (audio mixing/producing) I definitely wouldn’t use the 662, in that case, 668b.
Hope it helps.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Save as PDF vs. print Adobe PDF (MS Word)

I've wondered some times what was the difference between the two and today I found an important one.

Let's say you are working with a document in Word that you plan to convert to PDF. You're using a font that you want to embed in that PDF because it's a particular font and probably isn't installed in the target user computer.

  • If you 'Save as PDF', by default the font is 'embedded' by converting the letters to bitmap so it's a fail. This usually happens when the font isn't a 'common' one. Obviously, you won't be able to copy from this generated PDF.
  • If you print with 'Adobe PDF' virtual printer, the font is embedded properly and letters are vectorized.

So now, you know. If you're using weird special fonts, don't forget to print as PDF.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Fix slow Windows Explorer loading/hanging/freezing not showing thumbnails W8.1

I had this issue with Windows Explorer and was a pain in the ass I couldn't stand any longer. So I did some research in the net and nothing really worked for me so I want to share what did the trick.

How to check if you have the same problem as me:

- Provoke a Windows Explorer hang and then open Event Viewer.
- Go to Windows Logs -> System
- Check if an error like this just happened:

Source: DistributedCOM Event ID: 10010
The server {1B1F472E-3221-4826-97DB-2C2324D389AE} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.

If you get that, you have the same problem and probably the same solution will work.

What's fucking my explorer?

It's the stupid SkyDrive. The following steps are intended for disabling it, so if you really use SkyDrive, don't continue. But no one uses that shit.

Straight fix:

- Go to your local drive -> Windows -> System32
- Find SkyDrive.exe. Right click, Properties, tab 'Security', Advanced.
- Change the owner of the file from 'TrustedInstaller' to an administrator account that you can use. If your current user has admin rights, just change the owner to your current account.
- Below, change the administrators Access to 'Full control'. Apply and accept everything.
- Now you can rename SkyDrive.exe to whatever like fuckSkydrive.exe, so now it won't work any longer.

Restart your computer and your problem is probably solved.

Other things I did but should not make any difference:

If the above doesn't work, you can try this, but with SkyDrive disabled, this is probably pointless.

- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Skydrive
- There, create the following DWORD entries and set them all to 1.


Tell me in the comments if this post helped.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Download daily Bing Wallpaper with this shitty program

I want to share a little program I made some time ago, and that I've been using very often. It's shitty for the reasons below.

Bing Wallpaper Tool is a simple utility that allows you to quickly check the current Bing Wallpaper, and if you like it, you can set it as wallpaper just pressing a button. You can also save the picture for other purposes with another button.

The program is developed with the stupid Windows Forms, so you need the son of a bitch .NET Frameworks for it to work. Also, despite the save functionality works always, the 'Set as Wallpaper' may not work in every Windows version (mine is W8.1 and works OK).

If you want to spend your time with it, download it here:
PASSWORD: englishdrummer

Take care.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Run script at logon in any Linux with LXDE

Today I want to save you a lot of time with this shit. It's so simple when someone tells you.

- First, this works for running things at user logon, not at system startup. For the latter, use something like Cron and good luck with it.
- Second, this is user dependent. You'll have to do it for every user.
- Third, just in case you didn't read the damn title, this is for linux distributions with LXDE desktop only.

I start from the point where you have an ready and working, that being said, let's start:

1. Go to "YOUR_USERNAME/.config/autostart". These are hidden folders, so copy & paste the path into PCManFM or activate "Show hidden folders" to get to the place.

2. Create a new file called "YOUR_SCRIPT_NAME.desktop".

3. Put inside the following:
[Desktop Entry]

Example for the lazy:

[Desktop Entry]

4. Go to the start menu Preferences -> Desktop Session Settings. Check your script is listed and mark with a tick.

5. Last but not least, go to your script and make sure it has execution rights. For that, right click, Properties, Permissions tab, Execute -> Anyone.

That's all for today, with this it should run a few moments after the user logs in.
Tell me if it helped you.

Friday, January 26, 2018

My opinion about Armin van Buuren

I love Armin van Buuren and A State of Trance.

What I like:
- He's a trance icon
- He transmit energy and hapiness
- He works hard spreading the trance culture
- He hosts a radio show that is very very good.
- He's a high quality DJ and live performances are amazing.
- He has a lot of experience in the field.
- As a producer, he knows how to make very well made music. I mean, technically top level.

What I don't like:
- As a producer, which is a maybe 50% or less of what he works on now, despite the technically high class well made music, most tracks have nothing special, which is a pity. From my experience producing, I guess you need to release something from time to time, and maybe he's not in his best moment regarding inspiration.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Search across loads of text based files with

Today I want to share this python script that is being very very useful for me. massiveSearch allows you to search a particular string across many text based files like .txt, .cpp... I found it extremely useful when looking for strings in thousands of source code files.

Using the script is very simple. At the top there's a list of extensions of files that the script takes. You can add more text based file extensions if necessary.

First you enter a path, then a string to search and that's all. If there are matches, you'll get a path to each of the files and the lines where the matches are.

Download the script here:

Hope it helps.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Detect and log when the internet is down with

This a little python script that I wrote to help me troubleshoot my internet connection. checks periodically if the connection is OK, and if it isn't, it logs it to ta text file with the date and time when the fail was detected. Here's and example of the output:

At the top, there are 3 parameters that you can modify to change the way the script works to suit your needs.