Friday, 17 October 2014

Wardrobe malfunction ...

Last easter, after seven years, we finally got around to putting the sliding doors on our bedroom wardrobe.

This morning they jammed. They would not open. At all.

As I was stark naked at the time, having come out of the shower in the expectation of opening the cabinet to get some clean underwear, this was a problem.

A rapid assessment showed that it was stuck, and stuck in such a way as I could not get a screw  driver in to access the bottom guide to remove it to lift the door off.

So, on with pyjamas, into the garage for a screwdriver and a step ladder to see if I could free the mechanism from the top. Once I got up top the problem was obvious, there was a little plastic moulding on the back of the outer door held on with double sided tape to act as a dust guard.

The double sided tape had failed at one end causing the moulding to drop down and jam the door runners. Two second with a screwdriver to prise the dust guard off we were back in business.

Job done, but for a moment we'd been there, realising that all of our clean clothes were hidden behind a jammed door ....

Monday, 13 October 2014

Losing the ABC ...

We had been away for a week, down to Victoria, and arrived back late, just as the sun was setting at the end of a warm golden day.

We flicked on the tv in the kitchen. No signal. No channels, not even the commercial networks that we never watch.

Down to the lounge room. Same thing. And the DVR was in the same state.

Some googling revealed that there had been a channel shuffle while we were away. We’d totally missed any announcement - well we don’t watch that much tv and only the public networks, and don’t listen to the radio other than to classic fm and newsradio.

Crucially, while we still get a paper delivered it’s the Sydney Morning Herald, not the Canberra Times, basically because the writing in the Times is crap and it’s just not that well put together.

So a quick rescan of the channels for the loungeroom tv and dvr and all was well. Not so the TV in the kitchen. It’s only a couple of years old and gave rock solid reception before the channel shuffle. Not so now.

All the commercial networks are there, so is SBS, which is a plus, but no ABC - or more accurately a weak broken up attenuated signal - which is odd as all out TV’s use the same feed and antenna - it’s not what you’d expect - one can only guess that for some reason, despite the shorter cable run the kitchen antenna feed is slightly more attenuated.

So, while there’s a certain pleasure in watching heavily pixelated politicians, it’s not really that useful.

So how to solve the problem?

There’s probably two solutions - try a low loss antenna fly lead and see if that gives us the extra dB or so to cohere a signal, or have someone in to check the cable and the antenna. Given that a low loss flylead is under $20 and a signal booster if required is around $50 the iterative approach seems cheaper than a new antenna ...

[and amazingly a low loss antenna cable fixed the problem - we can still watch Virginia Haussegger being arch with the evening news ... ]