17 Mar 2019
In which I repair a TV I found in the dumpster
A while back I found a Samsung UN40F6400 LCD TV in the dumpster in the alley. Brought it inside and it seemed to work, although the backlight was not even in all spots.
Over time, it began to develop a problem where, during binges of The Great British Bake Off, it would occasionally go into this weird reboot cycle for 5-10 minutes. A moderate slap on the back of the TV seemed to fix it. Loose components maybe?
Recently, there was a power event in our building. I think a transformer exploded or something because when I was home for lunch I saw a giant spark and heard a loud pop near our front door. It was rather startling. Even though the AV equipment was on a surge protector, the video part of the HDMI inputs stopped working on the TV. Audio was fine, strangely enough.
Hey the TV was free from the dumpster, so let's at least ses if it's an easy fix. First, I entered service mode by powering off the TV, then pressing Mute, 1, 8, 2, Power.
Then I dug around the menus and ran some self tests and stuff and eventually came across some sort of status menu that said that all the A/V interfaces presented on the back of the TV were "Failure" or "NG" (no good). So maybe that power event fried some component that deals with I/O.
I cracked open the TV so I could find a specific part number or something, and it turns out that modern TVs are pretty simple. It will a breeze to simply replace the mainboard. One popped up on everyone's favorite online auction site with some broken connectors, so I picked it up for $70 because I only really care about HDMI. The part number was BN97-07704.
Hint: Use masking tape to attach the screws near their holes on large things like this. You're less likely to lose them because if you drop a screw there's a 97% chance it will bounce into a very annoying place.
The replacement mainboard showed up, and it's a match. Looks like the replacement has a different style of heatsink on whatever chip to which the A/V interfaces route, and of course the broken connectors as described in the auction listing.
Here are some additional reference images if you want.
After a quick swap let's power it on and...
Awesome. Fixed a dumpster TV for $70. Screw you, capitalism. Later on, maybe I'll borrow my coworker's heat gun and swap the busted connectors. Also maybe I should pick up a line conditioner since this power event also seemed to fry the HDMI on my stupid receiver which I had to take to Deltronics to be repaired because I'm a caveman and that's waaaay too complex.
27 May 2018
In which I make a double batch of Sangria
Sangria is essentially fruit salad that has been marinading in wine and liquor overnight. It's fantastic for a hot summer day, or when you've got way too much fruit on your counter and you've already had enough fiber for the day.
Back in college we had a penchant for those giant $10 jugs of sangria. Those aren't good and if you have any self-respect you won't drink that garbage... But I digress. Let's make a double batch since we're having company over.
- 2 bottles of dry-ish white wine (Spanish or Portuguese is best)
- 1/2 cup orange liquer (I had to use a mix of curaçao and Grand Mariner because I was almost out of curaçao)
- 1/2 cup rum or brandy
- 1 cup orange juice
- Sweetener to taste (I used agave syrup)
- 2 peaches
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 1 container of blackberries
- 1 handful of strawberries
- A big pitcher
- Sparkling water
- Cut the fruit up:
- Peaches and apples into small chunks
- Orange, lemon, and lime into thin quarter moons
- Strawberries into thin slices
- Toss all the fruit into the pitcher
- Pour all the booze and orange juice into the pitcher and stir
- Add sweetener to taste
- Throw the concoction into the fridge overnight
- Pour into a pint glass, cut with 1/3 sparkling water
- Add garnish and serve
- Drink too many
Smoking A Pork Butt
19 May 2018
In which I smoke a butt
I'm teaching myself how to use my propane grill to smoke stuff. First, I will try pork butt because it's forgiving and not terribly expensive.
Pork butt is actually from the shoulder of the pig. A ham is on the pig's ass. For the sake of this post, I will use the term "Pork Butt" or simply "Butt" to refer to the cut of meat in question, because it's a lot of fun to type Pork Butt.
- 3lb bone in pork butt
- Coarse salt
- Ground black pepper
- Chipotle powder, or chili powder but make sure there is no extra salt in it
- Heavy-ish tinfoil
- Butcher paper or parchment paper
- A pan or something to catch pork butt fat
- Wood chips for smoking pork: Hickory, pecan, cherry, apple, etc.
- A propane grill with a rack and multiple burners
- A thermometer with a remote probe
- A spray bottle with some apple cider vinegar
Here are the steps:
- Fill a shaker with the equal parts salt, pepper, and chili P.
- Shake this mixture generously over your butt, and then rub it into your butt a little.
- Place your butt back in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, let your butt chillax on the counter until it reaches room temperature. This will take like 60-90 minutes.
- Make a foil packet and fill it with wood chips. I used pecan, but you can experiment with other kinds. Poke a small hole in the packet. You want a small hole to limit the oxygen coming in so your chips don't combust.
- Turn on the left burner to medium, and place the smoke packet on the left side of the grill.
- After about 20 mins, when you've got some smoke and the grill has reached 250°:
• Position your butt on the right side of the grill, on the top rack.
• Impale your butt with your thermometer probe.
• Protect your butt by placing a pan underneath your butt because your butt will leak fat. This is important because if you don't, the fat will catch fire and everything will be ruined.
- Close the lid and maintain 250°.
- Every hour or so, check the smoke packet to make sure it's still smokin', and spritz the butt with your apple cider vinegar.
- After ~4-6 hours, when your butt has reached an internal temperature of 150°, wrap your butt in paper with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
- Bring the grill to 300° and cook until the butt reaches an internal temperature of ~200°, after ~4 hours. You can also finish it off in the oven since we're done smoking, and only cooking the butt at this point.
- When the cook is complete and the butt has reached an internal temperature of ~200°, remove it from the oven and let your butt rest on the counter for an hour. You will know it's shred-ready when you can pull the bone out of your butt with minimal resistance.
- Finally the payoff: Unwrap and shred your butt. Eat that butt.
It is an entry
19 May 2018
I made a blog. How retro.
It uses Bolt CMS and runs on CentOS. I'm hosting it myself from our apartment. Here's how I built it: Github