• Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

    06/24/2020 at 22:01 0 comments

    Here is another simple recipe with minimum ingredients and work.

    DIY bake chicken coating:
    1 teaspoon bread crumb, 1/3 teaspoon of Chilli powder, 1/5 teaspoon salt (optional)

    I used it to coat a couple of drum sticks. 
    I made the bread crumbs from the bread ends or stale bread.  More details here.

    According to wiki, Chilli powder is chili peppers and blended with other spices including cuminoniongarlic powder, and sometimes salt.

    Salad dressing mix (dry) are good alternative spice mix to try.

    DIY Fries:

    I washed a few potatoes, and use a kitchen gadget to cut them up into fries.

    I cook them in a pot of boiling water for 8 minutes.  Meanwhile I pre-heat the oven at 400F (200C).

    and coated a cookie pan I bought from a dollar store with 1 teaspoon of oil.

    When the potatoes are cooked, rinse them in cold water and drain the pot.  I use one piece to brush the surface with oil. I spread the fries on the pan and sprinkle a bit of Italian herbs on top.

    Put both the chicken and the fries in the oven for 20 minutes.  Flip the chicken and fries and bake for another 15 minutes. The chicken should be done.  Serve with vegetables, bread etc.

    If  the fries are not yet crunchy, they might need another 5 minutes. 

    Urban dictionary

  • Fixing Chinesium Connectors

    06/09/2020 at 14:22 0 comments

    It seems that some of the cheaper Chinese parts are up to snuff when it comes to metal and plastic. This is the usual cheap connector that came off aliexpress.

    I went into a few issues with the connector.  These connectors are made with multiple smaller parts and the riveted together. The problem is that the white piece of plastic spacer can deform under heat from soldering.  As a result, the ground ring can spin around and make poor connection.  Older more reliable connectors use phoenic and can survive the soldering.

    To make the matter worse, the plating on the connection has some serious solderability issue unless you use an aggressive resin and/or file off the plating. 

    I use my trusty center punch to punch a hole on the side.  The Chinesium is soft enough that the punch pieces through the outer layer and pinch into the ground contact.  This stops it from spinning around and make a reliable air tight connection.

    For the coaxial power plug, I sometime have to use the center punch on the rivet too as they loosen up easily after soldering.

    The next common problem is the recycled plastic housing cracks for exposure under UV or something.  For that, I made a DIY one out of PVC jacket from old cables with a bit of superglue.

    That thick one is probably from the old SCSI 1 Centronic era.

    Here is the housing from those indestructible jackets. The connector side is simply screwed into the jacket.

    I made a shim out of cardboard on a couple of the connectors because the "Ring" wasn't making proper connection to my PC motherboard audio connector.  It worked for my other 3.5mm connectors, so it could be an edge case of mechanical tolerances.

  • This is not the Windows that you are looking for

    06/09/2020 at 13:21 0 comments

    I "upgraded" to Win 10 build 2004 yesterday.  I had a lot of USB related system wide crashes on my Ryzen machine until the drivers were updated in 1909.  I was foolish enough to ditch the life line for previous version. Well I was wrong. 

    Others are having the same issue.  wjfr23 from the AMD community (May 16, 2020) said:

    My old PC wouldn't upgrade and was stuck on 1909, so I have a good place to look for the working drivers. It turns out that Windows has a local driver repository at C:\WINDOWS\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository  All you need to do is to figure the right one. 

    It turns out that the xhci USB driver that comes with build 2004 was a bit earlier (Dec 2019) than the "old" one (Feb 2020).  I guess their OS build drivers branched off at an earlier stage and didn't back port the bug fixes since.

    I did a sort by date on my machine with the 1909 build and found what I was looking for.

    Inside the directory, I opened up the info file. Note the version and date.  The device are for generic xhci controller, so they use PnP ID code.  The actual hardware ID are stored some where else.

    This particular driver is not signed for build 2004 (signed specifically for 1909???), so I went through the Disable Driver Signature routine to get it installed.

    The USB3.0 hub was recent enough, so may be they did fix something since the initial build back in Dec 2019.  I'll leave it alone for now.

    I also had some issues with the driver my knock-off xbox 360 receiver not being installed.  May be it is just their usual glitch as the driver that worked for me does come from the driver repository on 2004.

    Note: OS driver build date: 2019-12-06 for build 2004.

    The file path that I used was under xusb22 as it is related to xusb22.sys.  It is signed for build 2004, so you don't need to turn off the driver signature.

    Moral of the story:

    • Trust but verify - Newer builds might have branched off from an earlier date than old build.
    • Don't cut off the escape path to previous version like I did.
    • May be a back up of the C:\WINDOWS\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository is a good idea