I've gotten over $200 in cash back from them at places I would have shopped anyway! Ebay, Staples, more! I put it at the top because they ROCK. Basically, you get a kickback from Ebates when buy.com or whoever pays them. Win-win. If you like throwing money away, don't use them!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Is a cheap HDMI cable as good as an expensive one?

PSA Pet Peeve: people selling those ripoff HDMI cables. For non-120hz, plain old TV, a cheap one works just as well.

All the TV and device have to be able to tell is:

"Is that a 1 or a 0 coming over the wire?"

Pretty black and white issue. Pretty much literally.

Kind of like this: can you tell the difference between sticking your tongue on a watch battery and not doing it?

That's 3 volts. HDMI is slightly more. Basically.

Now, for longer runs, higher refresh rate, 3D, 4K, etc etc. then it might make a difference.

But you can get a cheap cable so cheap you might as well try it.

TiVo, Xbox, Roku 3, soundbar....all the stuff I have runs just fine on cheap cables.

Now please use my Amazon link to buy one:

http://amzn.to/1ZqiEyJ

Looks like about $4.50 will put one in your hand to try.



Nissan Leaf Key Fob Remote Battery. And: What's the difference between a CR2032 and CR2025

Short answer: Buy a pack of CR2032's, they work. For more data, read on.

Link to CR2032's on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Oas7Xa

If you insist, the CR 2025's are here: http://amzn.to/1OLwkNt

Please use my link and support my site. 

The thickness is the big difference. the CR2032 is .7mm taller. It fits fine in the Nissan Leaf key fob.

The nice thing is at has 225mAh capacity vs the 165mAh in the CR2025.

So, you'll replace it about 1/3rd less often, if your time means anything to you.

Anecdotally, I see a lot more devices around that use a CR2032 for probably that reason: 36% more capacity so changing it less often is a good thing. And in most devices a .7mm height difference isn't anything worth considering.



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Luke Skywalker's Lament

Remember when Luke Skywalker said this?


Well, here's one thing you and Luke have in commmon.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Macbook Pro Running Hot, Fan not running. Late 2008 and 2009 Unibody.



Disclaimer: don't blame anyone but yourself if you break something. Take antistatic precautions. I just did my repair with my knee touching my Mac Pro desktop which is grounded so that dissipated any static.

Here is the guide I used : https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Late+2008+and+Early+2009+Left+Fan+Replacement/829

I did not have to replace the fan. I just took the connectors off the socket and reseated them.

It's a simple fix, just read the guide AND the comments. Look at the pics. People break things when they shouldn't because this really is easy.

On mine, the right fan was showing 0 rpm with smcfan (click to visit the author's site, it's free) which I was using in the interim to just run the left fan higher to make up. This works, but both fans at idle will cool a lot more than you think.

After the repair, BEFORE you put the covers back on, turn the Macbook on it's side with it open at a 90 degree angle or so with the battery held in with one hand and press the power button with the other. See that both fans spin for a couple of seconds then press it again quickly before it starts to boot.

This is also a great time to dust out the vents behind the fans and the fans themselves with a can of compressed air from Amazon (Click here for a list. I saw 6 cans for $11 today.)

Technique: when I tightened the screws back in, I pressed down besides the screw hole to get them a little tighter without using more force. When you let off, there is more force holding the screw head from turning.

Get a plastic spudger, or even a set at Amazon by clicking here. If you fix your own stuff, it's highly recommended.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nerd Funny


Will it work on 32 bit devices?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#alwayspress9 : A campaign to help kill telemarketing. Especially Rachel from Card Services.

I'm sick of it, but why get mad? Let's have some fun AND kill their business model.

Bonus if you record it and share it. :)

Share this pic/post!

If we all did it, they would be out of business from the time we would tie up.

They have to call hundreds of people to get a 'hit'.

What if it took 100 times as long as that?


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Amazon will rip you off if you don't watch them

I had a standing 'Subscribe and Save' item that I skipped for $11.48.

For those of you who don't know you get a discount by having Amazon automatically ship you various consumables. It's an easy sale for them, so PRESUMABLY you get a volume discount for that reason and it all goes in one box, saving on shipping. Further, it's NOT Prime shipping for Prime customers, so it's even less money they have to spend.

To get 15% off you must order 5 items in a month. So I'm a very regular customer.

I needed it so I just went to make a regular one time order of it.

It was only $9.39 and PRIME too! That's almost 20% difference in pricing.

I even chatted them and was looking RIGHT AT my next Subscribe and Save order when they tried to make excuses about pricing data, and even said at one point it would be $9.39 next time. Looking at my order, it wasn't.

The only difference I could see was who was fulfilling it.

Amazon was happily fulfilling it for more, with slower shipping, vs. a third party 'on demand' shipper with faster shipping.

They offered to manually adjust it if I called them back next month. PASS.

#ripoff, Amazon! You've got massive computing resources. Use them for good, not for evil.

#rant

Transcript:


09:59 AM PST Amazon: Hello, my name is Meghna. I'll be happy to help you.
09:59 AM PST Robert Bullock: Nice. It's $2 cheaper just to order it with Prime!!!
10:00 AM PST Robert Bullock: It's 9.39 but I've been paying about $2 more every month.
10:00 AM PST Amazon: You are referring for the order #xxxxx ? 
10:01 AM PST Robert Bullock: My subscribe and save vs the latest order.
10:01 AM PST Amazon: Let me check
10:02 AM PST Amazon: I've check the order details (#xxxxx) and see that the order total is $9.39.
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: Now look at what I've been paying on S&S
10:03 AM PST Amazon: But your previously order for subscribe and save for the same item was more than $10.00
10:03 AM PST Robert Bullock: EXACTLY.
10:04 AM PST Robert Bullock: Why am I paying more with my supposed 'discount' of 15%?!
You've been charging me more for months when I could just order it for less!
10:04 AM PST Amazon: I would like to inform you that our prices regularly change (we constantly receive new data from our suppliers) and the price you saw was the lowest price we were able to offer at the time.

10:05 AM PST Amazon: Because the marketplace is constantly changing and we strive to offer the lowest price, you'll see some fluctuations in our prices over time.
10:05 AM PST Robert Bullock: So why it is STILL $11.48 for my NEXT order!
10:06 AM PST Robert Bullock: You would charge me $2.00 MORE with my 'discount' of 15% if I hadn't skipped an order and made a single bottle order!
10:07 AM PST Amazon: I've check the details of the item and now the price of the same item is $9.39. 
10:08 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'm looking at my S&S for Dec. 9 and it says $11.48
10:08 AM PST Amazon: Allow me a moment please
10:11 AM PST Amazon: Thank you for being online. 
10:12 AM PST Amazon: I've try to check the details, but we didn't find any thing that we will charge you $11.48 for your next subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Amazon: In this case, as an one time exception we'll honor you a initial price on your Dec subscribe and save order. 
10:13 AM PST Robert Bullock: How much credit?
10:13 AM PST Amazon: Please write us back again on December, so that we can honor you a price $9.39 for the item " XZXZXZZ ". 
10:14 AM PST Robert Bullock: I'll just cancel it.
Cancelled.
10:14 AM PST Amazon: However, I've also forwarded this issue along with your comments to our concerned department so that they'll look into this. 
10:15 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye
10:16 AM PST Amazon: Yes, I've check that you cancelled your item from subscribe and save. 
In this case, If you wish, you can place the order for the same item on December and we'll honor you a same price $9.39. 
10:16 AM PST Robert Bullock: Pass.
Going on my blog.
10:17 AM PST Robert Bullock: Bye

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moon Mining

I'm pretty sure if we start mining the moon, some activist group will complain about how we are ruining a ball of rock.

A radioactive, airless ball of rock. We must preserve it for the moon children, I guess?

So, let's get that social awareness started NOW.

Share this pic.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does the JBL Radial iPod plastic dock-adapter insert fit the JBL Onstage 200iD and vice versa?

Yes, they interchange.


I know these are old speakers, but I got one for $3. The JBL Radial! That was a $300 speaker when it came out, and it certainly still sounds like it.

What surprised me: it sounds better than my Bose Soundlink II. One reason is the 30W subwoofer.

The power supply is about twice the size of the Bose's.

There's no question the bass blows away the Bose.

The Radial has an AUX input so who cares if you don't have an old school iPod any more?

And I recommend hanging on to your Classic iPods. It's still a great and widely supported accessory.


My wife's 2015 BMW i3 still happily recognizes an iPod, and even does voice search. She's got a 30 gig iPod classic that cost me $25.


I recommend this accessory to turn any old iPod dock into a Bluetooth speaker:

The Smart bean also turns standard heapdhones into hands-free since it has a mic built in. Charges using standard micro USB and the battery lasts forever.

Buy one here and support theroblog:

http://amzn.to/20N3kOe

I own two!



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North America : No IPV4 Address for you!

Not exactly technically accurate, but funny.

And no one likes to subnet.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Is that a thing, or not a thing?

You know you have that aunt/friend/grandparent etc. and they kind of have an inkling of something hip and 'with it'?



Well, here's the informative and polite graph you've been looking for.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Planned Parenthood. Some math observations.

If you don't have a little bit of a grasp on strange statistical anomalies, and picking out a different story from Planned Parenthood's own figures than they might intend, you won't find this interesting.

If you might think: "Gee, why would they present the numbers like they do?" then read on.

This sort of analyzation is useful for all statistics. As the saying goes: there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

So, let's compute.

All numbers are from PP's own material:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/6714/1996/2641/2013-2014_Annual_Report_FINAL_WEB_VERSION.pdf

Planned Parenthood's own 2013-2014 numbers say 3% (actually 3.09 so I'd round that to 3.1) of their *services* are abortions. Which is true. 

But if you divide number of abortions by number of PATIENTS, then it's 12.1% So they're off by a factor of 4 if you look at it that way.

Yes this has been noticed and reported on elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood likes to say 3%, but they really should say 12% since we're talking about people here, and not services.

Read on though because it's even higher than 12%. They left out a potentially big detail.

And I couldn't find that number ANYWHERE.

They count things like UTIs and referrals as services, so one patient could have several services performed along with their abortion.

Like a pregnancy test. So a pregnancy test and an abortion doubles the number of services without changing the number of patients.

Convenient if you are trying to downplay abortion rates.

So out of every 8 people in the waiting room, one is there for an abortion.

If you like, they abort the entire city of Santa Ana, CA every year.

But here's something I haven't seen mentioned in as many places: We didn't take out the services performed for men.

They don't have abortions of course.

They get treated for UTIs, STDs, etc. All this: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/men

And the number of male patients doubled between 2003 and 2013. How many is that? Don't know.

I could not find out how many patients were men, or how many were women. From the listing of all the men's services, you'd think it might be a lot but who knows. Maybe not even Planned Parenthood.

Other notable numbers: Pap smears were done only SLIGHTLY more than abortions. It's almost one for one.

1.2 Pap smears for every abortion. I would have thought if we're emphasizing women's health, that number would be a lot higher.

Breast exams? About 1.5 for every abortion.

Pregnancy tests: for every woman who had one done, 1 in 3 got an abortion. There's also no figures on how many were positive vs negative. So that 33% figure could be even higher.

Prenatal services: 17.5 abortions for every prenatal service. So care for the unborn baby seems underemphasized.

Another interesting number: Vasectomies numbered 4166. Women sterilizations number only 822.

So men are 5x as likely to get sterilized at PP as women.

In summary, there is no way to tell the true rate of abortions (i.e. what percentage of women are there for abortions) because you can't take the men's services out of the total number of services.

And also: if you're doing 327,000 abortions which is 150% of the population of Shreveport, La (third largest city in Louisiana) then maybe the vasectomy/sterilization options need to be discussed more.

1 vasectomy for every 75 abortions seems low.

At the very least, I find this interesting and my 'spin' detector reading is elevated.







Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cheap Keurig: Mr. Coffee makes one! $54

I have the red version of this coffee maker.





I have had only one problem:

The needle that forces water into the K cup got coffee grounds in it and got stopped up, but after just running some water through without a K cup it flushed that out.

I recommend after brewing to just remove the K cup and flush a little water through to keep it clean.

As of this writing, they are $53.99 shipped free with Prime at Amazon. I think that's the cheapest Keurig you're going to get!

If you're looking for cheap K-Cups, check out Jammin Butter. Weird name, cheap prices. Last deal I saw was Gevalia for around 30 cents each.




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fix your Air Conditioner Cheap (Temporarily)

First off, this isn't a long term fix.

Don't blame me if it tears something up.

In this scenario, the compressor works on the AC but the fan will not spin due to a bad capacitor or fan or what have you. So the freon is not begin cooled back down outside before it's pumped back into the house to carry the heat away. (Basically.) See:



It does not work as well as a proper fix, but if you are sweating away in Houston or the South somewhere and you don't have any other options like window units this will get you going. (Get a small window unit and put it in a plastic bag somewhere when you're not using it. Mine even has a remote control!)

It is harder on your air conditioner because it does not work as well as the air conditioner's fan that is built into it. It will run hotter than it should.

But it does work and I ran mine this way until I was able to get the repairman out so we at least had one unit working.

Another reason to keep a small window unit on hand: for hurricanes a generator will run it easily.

Unfortunately both of our units broke about the same time but I had the smaller unit, the window unit, and a bunch of fans inside my house so it wasn't too horrible.

I also set the main unit to blow just the inside fan to circulate air in the house: the compressor was out on my larger unit. Also all the ceiling fans were going.

Another IDEA: Also close off all inside vents to rooms you don't want cooled and shut the door. Examples: laundry room, closets, bathrooms, i.e. any room with a vent. Close it and shut the door. It's extra space you don't care as much about. Place fans in rooms that ARE being cooled to direct air into rooms that need it.

For my smaller unit I used a box fan to pull air through constantly so when you hold your hand over the box fan it should be blowing up as per this picture below.

This person also put the fans going into unit and then the fan on top sucking air out. (Not my pic.)

**Make sure the box fan(s) are on the HIGHEST SETTING **.



 I have a small 5000 or 5500 BTU unit that kept the living room cool, and my son's room acceptable by blowing a fan into it and closing off his closest and bathroom and the other room in that hall.
Now, get those fans and a window unit!

Now, get those fans and a window unit!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to list on Amazon if item has no "Have one to sell?" / Sell on Amazon button

Here's how you do it. Annoying Amazon restriction: Solved.


Get a scanner here cheap like the one I use in the video to input the UPC code.
Scanner is around $20 but saves a lot of time. Works with any barcode http://amzn.to/1LhQyPD
Please bookmark http://shop.beachfitrob.com and use that to make your Amazon purchases. Thank you!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Dymo Postage Lable Printing with OS X on a Mac and Paypal

The Labelwriter Twin Turbo printer works with these conditions:

1. OS X 10.10.4
2. Chrome Browser
3. Latest Dymo Drivers
4. Label part # 99019
5. Dymo Labelwriter Twin Turbo (Model 93085).

I have not tested it with other things yet, will try to update.

On Paypal, select the Dymo 330 Turbo and the 2.4 x 7.5 size label which is Dymo size 99019.


Then, print the label and select the Twin Turbo and Fit to Page in the print dialogue along with label size 99019.

Need supplies? Please buy using the Amazon Box below. Your purchase supports theroblog.com


Saturday, August 01, 2015

How to make a Bootable OS X Yosemite DVD

You'll need a double layer DVD for this. I used Toast to burn it because I like the verification step Toast offers.

If you don't have Toast, just use Disk Utility.

After downloading the full Yosemite installer app from the Mac App Store, run these 14 commands in Terminal to create a Yosemite.iso file and then burn it to a dual layer DVD with Disk Utility. You may then boot up from it by holding the option key down and then install Yosemite.

hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build

cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'`b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso

Do yourself a favor and get Toast. Buy it at Amazon and support theroblog.

FYI I used Toast Titanium 10 under Yosemite for this. Still works on all the stuff I've tried to do.

Buy Toast 10: http://amzn.to/1IgypOJ If you're cheap like me. YMMV on how well and long it will work under Yosemite and later OSes, that's just the nature of Apple and Toast. :) $24 as of this writing. 

Toast 14 if you're fancy: http://amzn.to/1Igyulz


Friday, June 26, 2015

Awkward Captchas

No kidding, I got this one a few days ago. You'd think the program would weed these out.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Don't touch that dog, you don't know where it's been! A rebuttal in a photo:



Interesting real product:

Samuel Jackson Corners the Market on Role Type

Hollyweird (AP)

 ---For Immediate Release---

Samuel Jackson has finally cornered the market for certain roles.

All major studios have signed intent statements that have given Mr. Jackson a lifetime contract for roles that include any or all of these terms in the description for the part:  'Man who says MF!' 'Angry Cursing Man',  'Angry Black Male', 'Angry Black Man', 'F-Bomb Man', 'MF Bomb Man' or similar or substantially the same terms, phrases or intents.

In a statement released yesterday Mr. Jackson's agent said: "We're happy that we can provide this level of service to moviemakers, and although this has been unofficially the rule for a while, it's gratifying to see it in print.

As we all know: nobody does it better.

We'd also like to address any concerns from his fans: He will still be playing roles without these requirements."





Monday, June 22, 2015

Cheap Keurig Cups

How does $15.99 shipped for 48 Kcups sound?


48 K-Cup Variety Pack - Original Keurig AND Vue Cups - $15.99 SHIPS FREE

If you're looking for deals, these guys have some good ones. I've bought several things from them and they have some good stuff at cheap prices. The Keurig cups are a good example.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Are you a cat person? Here's what that means

Ok, you know when you're at someone's house and their cat takes a liking to you?

And the cat's person says: "Oh, they can tell you're a cat person!"

Yes, the cat has a sense about these things.

While they're enjoying your petting they're thinking:




"Yesssss....thisss one can be made to sssserve meee...."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Happy Anniversary




"The Table" episode from 'The Middle'.

Watch a bit.

Best line: "Happy twenty-somethingth Anniversary".


 

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Texas Auto Direct Latest Listings

Looking for the new listing bargains before anyone else sees them?

Click the banner to see them on Ebay.

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=10&pub=5575092803&toolid=10001&campid=5337671136&customid=&icep_uq=&icep_sellerId=texas_direct&icep_ex_kw=&icep_sortBy=12&icep_catId=&icep_minPrice=&icep_maxPrice=&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg

Thanks to Ebay and Auto Direct for their help in funding theroblog.com

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Use your old iPhone 30 pin Connector Speaker Docks with your iPhone 5 and beyond

Update: The Smartbean connected to the JBL speakers below uses an AUX input but has many more uses.

 There is another device that plugs right in to a 30 pin port so it is a neat option if you have an older Bose Sounddock for example without an AUX input:


The other option, a Smart Bean connected to an AUX input:


In this example, I have a JBL Speaker with the Apple 30 pin connection.

Useless with my new iPhone, or Android, right? Nope, sounds great.


You will also need a 3.5mm cable with the male plug part on both ends.

It's a headphone jack size on both ends, same as your iPhone headphones for example. Here's an example:

 
What this does is output sound via that small box when you pair it with your iOS device or any other Bluetooth device to send audio into the auxiliary jack that MOST speakers have.

Obviously, before you buy this, you want to check your dock to see if it has it. But you could also use this to add Bluetooth to a car or headphones.

I use mine with my Samsung Galaxy S4.
The side benefits are:
 
1. You can now plug headphones into the Smartbean also, or use it to put audio into the AUX jack on your car, or anything else you can plug an input cable into. 
 
2. Your 'speaker only' headphones you use for jogging now can also be used for calls, since the Smart bean has a mic built in.
 
4. You have ONE device that's paired that does all this so fewer times you have to change the output preference on your device.
 
5. You can adjust volume and skip/recall tracks, and pause. My speaker only had volume inputs but now I control my phone's audio player with the Smartbean. 

I hope I've saved you some money. 

Please bookmark my other site, amamzin.com and use the  Amazon Search box to start your next shopping session.

We get a small commission so we can spend our time helping you save and enjoy your tech goodies more fully.

Friday, May 01, 2015

How to take Higher Resolution Photos in OS X using a Blue Eyeball Camera 1.0

I have been using Photo Booth and you get this:

It's a 640x426 (LESS THAN VGA) export. The original file is also low res.

But if you use Skitch, you get this:

Which is 1280x1024

Much better resolution.

I hope this helps you get better photos from your old webcam. Support us by bookmarking this page and shopping with our Amazon searchbox.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rambo Day Bachelor Party

Epic. Bachelor. Party.


Watch it.


Do not move until you do.




Shout out to gnarlybay from beachfitrob.

*Contains some NSFW language. 


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Mattel Electronics Football II

Look what I got! Still works. Hello 1979! Mattel Football II. I preferred the first game, but this is still cool.


Saturday, April 04, 2015

My Lost 'Pet Shop Boys' Single Found after 25 years

Ok, many of you will say 'DUH!' so first a little background.

In August 1989 I went to Army Basic, and was at Ft. Hood until Feb 1990. I got activated for Desert Storm in November 1990.

So I missed the UK release of this song, and as far as I can tell, promo for the US release didn't start until August 1990.

Back then, popularity took more than a few minutes like it does on the internet today.

I was also in school in a small college town during the summer, and Pet Shop Boys / Electronic was just too mainstream for the college radio station, and too city-fied for the other local stations.

So, somehow I missed it.

If you're a Pet Shop Boys/Smiths/New Order fan, get this.

*CLASSIC* 80's. And that chorus! What a combo : vocalists from Pet Shop Boys and New Order!



Friday, March 06, 2015

Nissan Leaf Winter Heating: Save your battery like so

Disclaimer: Don't do it. There, I told you not to.

This especially applies to the 2011 without heated seats or steering wheel like I have. Here's the items I use:

Heated Seat Cushion:

http://astore.amazon.com/roblog02-20/detail/B005EJGSQ2

This goes in and out of stock. If you see it, get it. YMMV on other brands. Has a high and low switch. I use low with the heater below. From Amazon: High setting draws 3.5 amps, Low setting draws 2.7 amps. A customer actually benched it on a power supply (!).


Roadpro Heater

http://astore.amazon.com/roblog02-20/detail/B000IXTGHW

Disclaimer: if you keep it on the floorboard, don't blame me if it makes you wreck or melts something. I have the rubber mats and this thing doesn't get that hot. (Make sure it's far away from your brake pedals!)


A note on this: it blows a little warm air around your feet if you put it there or will defog a portion of your windshield. A tiny hair drier is 1000 watts, this is 180. Manage your expectations. I think it works ok as a foot zone warmer. Don't expect more than that.

Why use it? The Nissan Leaf heater I have seen draw 5000 watts. That's a LOT. 1000 watts for an hour gives me 4.7 miles of rang on average. So if you're heater runs on low at 2000 watts for an hour or 4000 watts for 30 minutes, etc. you can lose almost 10 miles of range. The 2012/2013 IIRC are supposed to be more efficient. Also, if you live in colder climates, get the heated seat and steering wheel options.


Socket Expander

http://astore.amazon.com/roblog02-20/detail/B0009JB7GI

DISCLAIMER: To set this up, you need to replace the fuse in a Socket Expander with a 20A fuse, same as the Leaf has for the socket. Let's just say you will catch something on fire, so you won't do it. I did it and it's fine. The socket in the Leaf has a big piece of ceramic in it for heat dissipation, the Leaf fuse blows at 20A, and I only use 17.7A with the heater on and the seat cushion on low.

So to sum:
Really, you should be able to run the cushion on high along with the heater but I recommend just the low setting if you run both. Obviously, you can run the cushion on high without the heater if your feet don't get cold or you need it to defog the windshield.

Another disclaimer: Don't do it!

Another warning: This MAY have led to me having to repair my socket, but it's also possible it was defective.

How I did that is written up here: http://rcbullock.blogspot.com/2015/03/nissan-leaf-cigarette-lighter-power.html

I hope this helped. Please use my Amazon store:

http://astore.amazon.com/roblog02-20

That's how I get paid to write up all these little repair and informational articles. :)






Nissan Leaf Cigarette Lighter / Power Socket repair

If your Nissan Leaf cigaretter lighter stopped working but the fuse isn't blown, here's how I fixed mine. Probably also works on other Nissan power sockets.

DISCLAIMER: Assume I'm an idiot and any guidance you find here will cause a fire, hairloss, and render you sterile.

Required:

Soldering Iron 
I like this little one. I use mine often. It will melt solder on the lowest temp settings, and it's butane so it works everywhere. Cool gadget. Not for fine soldering, but great for wires and ugliness like we're about to do. I aim to misbehave.



And a screwdriver. Longish, with a wide flat blade.


 
NO

Ok, so I was running a mini heater and the heater seat cushion from my Nissan Leaf power socket (cigarette lighter) and all of a sudden it quit working after I wiggled the plug expander (gives me 3 sockets).

By the way, PLEASE if you want some of these items use our Nissan Leaf store on Amazon to buy it or really, anything you buy on Amazon counts. MOST of the things in the store I've tested, use and own, or have something similar.

Link to my store, Leaf section :  http://astore.amazon.com/roblog02-20?node=3&page=1

This is how I get paid to write the articles fixing the weird issues I can't find solutions to anywhere else.

Ok, so moving on.

The fuse was not blown. By the way, it's a 20Amp fuse so it should be enough to run the mini heater and heated seat pad on Low with a couple of amps to spare. The two together should be under 18 amps according to the info on Amazon and the mini heater specs.

I decided to dig into the dash and see where the problem was.

I took apart the dash to get to the socket using this guide http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=17004

That's pretty simple. It was a lot easier than I thought.

DON'T think that little panel that holds the socket can be removed by removing the screws at the top. It can't. There's something at the bottom that holds it also. Plus those top screws are a major pain to get in and out without undoing a whole lot more stuff and you'll drop your screw or screwdriver and then you're fishing.

Just don't.

Not that I did. Or anything.

Just do this:


1. Pull the connector off (pic above) and measure the voltage. Should be around 12V. Polarity doesn't matter we just care if it's getting power so just put the voltmeter leads to both lead connectors. May read -12V if you have the leads reversed. Again, doesn't matter. In this case, I was getting power here. If you don't have power, then you have a weird problem somewhere else. Not this weird problem.

2. So, take the socket out. I carefully used a screwdriver so I didn't tear up the plastic. GENTLY, and use a wide blade, unless you like scratches. Maximum area to spread the pressure out. Minimum force, so you don't make gouges. I put my blade across the top and it was wider, this pic is from the guide above.






Notice the socket cover says 180W? That's 15 Amps. The mini heater and pad run how much? Just less than 18. But the fuse is 20. Again, don't blame me if you melt something.

A note on that: the socket has a LOT of open air around it inside the console, so nothing touches it. Also, there's a big ceramic piece inside the socket to help with the heat generated in the socket. Worst case, if you melt it, it's just a power socket. Cheap and pretty easy to replace after you learn your lesson.

I never do, that's one of my problems.

Now, remove this screw off the socket:




Then, take this part

and scuff an area closest to the blade and the side so you can add some solder. This is where my problem was: something in here lost continuity between that blade and the housing part of the socket. My guess is a spot weld or something broke because 240W isn't enough to melt metal and the fuse would blow past that amount.

Make it look prettier than mine:

Reassemble in reverse order.

Now, wasn't that fun?

Pardon my shameless PLUGS to use my Amazon store. PLUGS, get it? See what I did there?










Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nissan Leaf 110V charging: Here's a middle ground cheaper solution than installing a 240V EVSE

I learned this late in the game, and fortunately for me, I had a 30 Amp 240V circuit that I only had to run about 10 feet to my garage, and an electrician friend to do it.

We put in an L6-30 outlet.

Without question 240V is the way to go so see if you have a laundry drier outlet in or close to your garage.

BUT! There's a solution that's way faster than the normal trickle charge 110V that you get from the stock Nissan charger, and a dedicated 240V solution, and you might already have it in your garage.

You might also ask an electrician if the existing wiring in a 110V outlet might be suitable for a single 20A plug. You might get lucky. That's a cheap change: just change the outlet. But ask a professional.

This is what you are looking for:

That funny looking hole on the left with the horizontal slot denotes a 20A 110V circuit.

In short, this will give you about 40% faster charging than a normal 110V 15A circuit. The Leaf 'wastes' about 300W per hour during charging so it's a much smaller percentage wasted on 20A vs 15A.

I recommend using evseupgrade.com to upgrade your stock Leaf EVSE, or get an extra here from our Leaf Store on Amazon if you want one to carry around. (Thank you, your Amazon purchase supports us.)

They will set you up with a 20A 110V adapter so you can use 240V and 110V with any amperage up to 20A by modifying your stock EVSE.

I had this done and it is NICE.

Later, you can get 240V added to your garage since the EVSE is already set up for that. This allows you to upgrade in stages, vs. laying all the money out at once.

Ultimately you will want to charge as fast as possible to minimize the hours spent wasting that 300 watts per hour.

Math: 6 hours a day on 110V = 1.8Kwhr wasted. (6x.3Kw). Around here that's about 18 cents.

But let's say you charge 30 days out of the month, then it's $5.40 per month or almost $65 per year.

If you spend $600 on putting in 240V (not unreasonable for the EVSE upgrade and a short wiring run and socket) then saving $65 per year is over a 10% return on your investment.

Cutting your charge time using a 20A 110V will still save you 40% of .3 kwhr so .12 kwhr or 1.2 cents per hour. But if the outlet is already there, it's free money.

If you carry the EVSE around, there are a lot more 20A 110V circuits on buildings than you think. I have been adding them on Plugshare.com.

Using those should add about 7 miles per hour of charge vs 4-5 on the stock EVSE.

Final thought: Since I have BOTH outlets in my garage, and a measured 122V/244V voltage, I can run 6.8Kwhr of power to two cars: 1.95Kwhr and 5.85Kwhr assuming 80% current on both circuits.

At my average useage on my Leaf, the 122V circuit will give me 7.75 hours of range per hour of charge. That should be plenty for almost anyone. 8 hours (probably easily done overnight) would be 62 miles of range. If you plug in at let's say 7pm and charge until 6AM the next day, that would almost fill any Leaf from a totally empty battery which is probably rarely the case. For me, that would be 85 miles of range.

So if you have TWO electric cars, you can still get great useability out of both without the fuss of adding another 240V circuit.

I hope this helped you save some money and increased the usability of your Leaf.



Friday, January 23, 2015

80's Day

While listening to some 80's music via Rhapsody, this popped up on the scale.

Here's the meta reference: it's so 'Synchronicity' isn't it?

I'm shooting for 190 as my next goal so I guess I'll have to up the playlist by a decade.


#stuckinthe80s






Here's what I've been doing:




Click the pic for my P90X 'Afters' and while you're there, my current Body Beast transformation.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.236712689747542.57818.231312140287597&type=3


 
Google Find us on Google+ Website: www.circlephone.com