Category Archives: DIY

Samsung Eco Bubble Washing Machine Won’t Spin

Recently I came a across a problem with my new Samsung WF80F5E0W2W Bubble Washing Machine. It had been working fine for around 2 months with varying loads of type and weight been thrown into it and it been fine.

Anyway the other day is was loaded with complete bedding set for a single bed and 1 pillow.

We had been used to a older style washing machine where it would just work whatever the conditions.

Anyway it washed fine but it hadn’t spun so everything was still wet, we put it on a spin but it just rev’d and whirred but never spun at the 1200 it was meant too. It would complete the spin cycle but never spin. We tried this a few times and it never spun. I tried taking everything out and trying different spin speed and it was still the same.

We left the washer turned off and empty for 1 day and when we used it next it span fine.

Eventually we got a samsung repair guy out and he said that the new digital washers are really sensitive to the loads that they have in them, so if it feels like its off balance (with a heavy object on one side) it won’t spin. The washer may go back and forth in an attempt to dislodge the items that are stuck and to re balence its self.

He said the best thing to do is keep putting it on a spin cycle, if this doesnt work after 3 attempts to remove 1/2 of the load loosen the remaining washing and put on a spin cycle.
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Installing 5050 LEDS

When we got our new kitchen fitted i was looking to get down lighters installed under the cabinets, but after quite a bit of looking around i soon decided that they would use a lot of power so started looking into LEDs.

Ebay was naturally cheaper than most websites as the kits come in bulk from China. You do need to be slightly careful here as some of the cheaper kits might not include a power unit (Similar to a laptop charger) buying these alone can be around £10-£20, or be located in China, so if your in a hurry check that the item is located in the UK. and the LED kit i bought only cost £27 delivered.

There are also other things to look into what type of LED 5050 or 3528, a 5050 LED chip is bigger than a 3528 LED and also in theory 3 times brighter each 5050 LED will use around 0.24w.
I found that using two 5 RGB meter strips running all three colours of 5050 LEDs to create white used around 72watts of power and running a solid color IE Green or Red would use around 34watts. On standby the power consumed by the adaptor was around 1.2watt

3528 or5050 LEDThere is also the amount of LEDs per strip 150 or 300 per 5 meters i went for 300, mainly because i wanted to use the kitchen by this lighting only if possible.

The main issue i had was that i wanted to run 2 5metre kits from one control box but i needed to run at least 3 metres of cable around the ceiling to get to the other side before the LEDs started, now while this doesn’t seem like a big deal i wasn’t sure whether the voltage would drop or if the box could handle the distance.

I stared with the cupboards on the oven side of the kitchen as this is where i was getting power from, all the controls are sat on top of the right hand unit.

I ran some 4 core flat cable down the back on the unit which allowed me to connect the bottom row of LEDs up using a connect which i soldered cable to cable and the used the laptop strip push crimp connector to connect to the strip of LED’s. I then ran a cable from the end of the bottom row down a channel and under the work top and along the side of the left hand wall to start the top LED’s for the left hand cupboard. To get to the bottom LED’s i just fed a cable to them, soldered cable to cable connection and used the same connection as the right hand side. the only difference here is that the bottom row only needs connecting at one end.

The next part was the bit i was worried about running along where the wall meets the ceiling to the other side of the kitchen. I used an electrical connection block after the first strip of LED’s where the cable goes down the wall to join in the new extension cable to feed the other side of the kitchen. But before i ran the cable i tested the LED strip in its full 5m length (I bought 2 kits) and the 10 metres of cable knowing if its worked at its longest length then halving it it would be fine. If it didn’t work then I’d need to address this later.

I put the LED’s in place on the top and bottom of the unit and wired up behind the cabinets.
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Its fair to say that the kitchen is lit up pretty well by these LED strips alone.
5050 LED lighting only

Fancy a change in colour
5050 LED Blue

5050 LED Red

5050 LED Green

There are about 20 other shades on the control which is pretty cool.

One thing i would recommended is using the connectors like the one on the left.
5050led con

The ones on the right where very hard o get right and would often not work due to how they connected on to the LED strip.

Although the ones on the left require you to be slightly more careful when soldering they worked a lot better at connecting all 3 colour channels.

Everything i bought came from eBay.

Common issues with 5050 LED’s

Heres some issues i ran into

I’m missing a colour

If you’ve cut and reconnected your LEDs, then its a connection problem at the end of the last working LED Strip.

If none of the LED’s work fiddle around with the connection to the last strip you might see them flicker.

 

 

 

 

EGR Valve Cleaning 1.9cdti

Here is a quick photo guide of how to clean your EGR Valve, my car is a Vauxhall Vectra C with the 1.9cdti 150 engine on a 2006 plate. Its got around 46k on the clock and a few months back the EML came on a quick trip to a local Auto Electric place confirmed it was the EGR Valve stuck error.

Apparently these can stick quickly and then free them selves but still throw the error up or then can cease permanently. Anyway the light came on again so i decided that it was probably worth taking off the EGR Valve and giving it a good  clean and the mouth of the inlet manifold.

I’m not a mechanic by trade but i felt confident that this was easy enough to fix and probably took me around 40 minutes.

Things you will need

10mm Spanner or Socket
13mm Spanner or Socket
Flat head screw driver
Carb/Injector cleaner (i used 2 cans)
Cloths/towels
Small Paintbrush

1: Pop your bonnet and it should look like the below
Vectra C 1.9cdti Engine Bay

 
2: Lift off the black plastic engine cover, these are quite flexi and hard to damage
Vectra C 1.9cdti Engine Bay No Cover

 

 

 

 

 

3: Your now looking at a bare engine, your EGR Valve is directly under the top right engine mount.

4:Undo the nuts that are holding the engine mount on, don’t drop the nuts.
EGR Valve With Engine Mount

 

 

 

 

 

5: You’ll now have something like
EGR Valve Without Engine Mount

 
6: There is a sensor cable which attaches to the plastic side of the EGR Valve, i found this fiddly to remove whilst bolted to the engine, so i left it attached until the EGR Valve was free and removed then, now remove the bolts i would suggest leaving a top one till last, there is also a metal gasket between the EGR and inlet mani, mine was stuck to the engine, but be careful and try not to lose it.

7: The bolts should loosen off easily and you’ll have something like this, you can just see the black gasket, on the inlet mani
EGR Valve Free

 

 

 

8: There are the 2 top bolts here which connect to a loose bracket, underneath of the EGR. To be honest you can remove these first if you want, infact its probably easier, i think that there is a gasket under this between the EGR and the connection, anyway I’ve lost mine and all seems fine.

9: Your EGR Valve is now free but remember to disconnect the Sensor. You should have something like the below.
EGR Valve

 

 

 

10: As you can see mines pretty caked with soot, soak with Carb Cleaner and wrap a rag around the screwdriver to clean the inside, if i had the time, i would of left the EGR Valve to soak in Carb Cleaner over night.

Now all you need to do is fit the EGR back on to your car. a word of warning before you start your car.

Mine didn’t want to start the first time and it did idle roughly for a minute or so, which I’m putting down to loose soot and Carb Cleaner.

Challenge Xtreme Petrol Grass Trimmer 25cc Reviewed

I know that Challenge Xtreme is a pretty cheap brand so i didn’t expect the Challenge Xtreme Petrol Grass Trimmer 25cc to be like a £200 / £300 strimmer when it only costs £80 from Argos.

I needed a new Strimmer as the old electric one had died. I’ve already got a petrol lawn mower so i didn’t want to have to get all the leads out just for the strimmer when its only a quick job to go round the edge of the garden.

I’ve never owned a 2 stroke engine before but mixed was really easy, just fill the supplied mixing bottle up to the line and then top up with 2 stroke mixture (supplied) to the next line, give it a good shake and your done. The bottle will easily fill the petrol tank up and you do have a little left in the bottle. I cant say how long it will take for the tank to empty as i haven’t really used it much.

Its not a quick starting 2 stroke engine and you need to push the primer around 10 times but 3/4 pulls and it will start close the choke and your going.

The rotating head won’t rotate until you let out the lock for the centrifugal clutch which is good and a nice feature. Weight wise its a well balanced piece of equipment neither is it to light or to heavy.

The supplied strimming cord is pretty thick and only did me for around 2 cuttings of our medium sized back garden, but i’m going to put slightly thinner stuff in this time.

It did take me some time to get familiar with the higher angle i needed to use to strim with put the supplied shoulder strap took the weight for me.

Below are the tech specs on the Challenge Xtreme Petrol Grass Trimmer 25cc

The self assembly was pretty easy all i needed to do was fit the handle and the safety Guard for above the cutting head. oh and clamp the 2 shafts together

  • Petrol grass trimmer.
  • 25cc engine.
  • 2 stroke engine.
  • Requires 2 stroke oil (supplied).
  • Cutting width 38cm.
  • Bump feed.
  • Dual line feed system.
  • Low vibration.
  • Weight 5.2kg.

Rooting My Samsung Galaxy S2

First of all its pretty easy to do but you can render your phone dead and void your warranty by rooting your phone, so if you’ve got itchy feet turn back now. I’m not taking the blame for your cock up. this is a guide i followed and it worked for me

The benefit of rooting your phone is so that you can remove the apps that come pre installed on your phone that you don’t want. It also allows you to tweak various other settings

It was pretty easy to root and i haven’t lost any data, although i did remove my SD card just in case. So i’ve done a step by step guide below.

Items you need first

Odin  Download

Super One Click V2.1.1 Download

XWKDD TAR File Download

1. Make sure you have Samsungs Kies Software on your PC. You can download this by searching in google for samsung kies download or go HERE

2. Make sure that your device is in USB debugging mode: Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging.

3. Reboot your device into download mode. To do so: Turn the device off, then power it on again by pressing and holding Volume Down + Home + Power simultaneously.

Download ModeI found this step the hardest bit off all, if your phone re boots and has yellow writing on and looks like the picture to the left. Then pull the battery out and try again it needs to have a big warning sign on.

download-mode2The screen you need looks like the one to the left, it took me 3/4 attempts to get this so keep trying.

 

 

 

4. Install the ODIN software (Download from above) then run the ODIN software make sure your Galaxy S2 is attached via USB

5. Wait a few seconds, the ODIN screen will show that a device is now connected, it will turn Yellow

– Make sure that in ODIN nothing is checked, except the “Auto reboot” and “F. Reset Time” check boxes. Very Important

– Press the “PDA” button, and browse and select your”XWKDD_insecure.tar” file. (It doesn’t need to be unzipped)
– Press “Start”. ODIN will now flash the kernel ie your phone, and the device should reboot.

6. Your Galaxy S2 will now be ready to go but leave connected via USB as we now need to actually Root It

7. While still being connected via USB, start SuperOneClick and now lick the Root button It should shortly say “Success” after a few seconds in the right hand corner of the SuperOneClick screen.

How to fit an electric shower

Recently our electric shower started playing up it would struggle to keep pressure for water coming out and then in its last few days it would shut down. This happened over the space of a month and it was a Mira Advance 8.9KW electric shower. there was a manufacture date on the inside of the shower and it was made in 2003 september some time i think so even if it wasn’t used until 2004 then its had 7 years of useage which i don’t thinks bad really

First thing i did was turn the power off to the electric shower from the consumer unit downstairs. Next was the water isolation valve in the cupboard behind the shower.

I now felt slightly safer even looking at the shower with the lid off.

Our shower lid / front bit seemed loose and had no screws holding it in place. Be careful when you remove the front as it often has a cable leading to the main unit.

I unscrewed the screws which where keeping the 3 cables in place. i then straighten the cable out to make it easier to remove the old unit.

Now for the water pipe, depending how old your shower is it maybe a push fit connection which is pretty new and requires no tools. Or a older style compression fitting which will require spanners to loosen.

The only thing left now are 3/4 screws which are holding the actual shower to the wall. You may need to do some jiggling to loosen the water pipe off but apart from that there’s nothing holding the shower on.

Our new shower is a Bristan Joy 9.5 KW we bought it from PTS a nationwide trade place.

Now our water pipe comes in through the bottom and yours maybe different but, all i needed to do was remove the old compression fitting from the pipe Inc the olive this bit looks like a copper ring. This is the bit where i got stuck as i put my pipe into the push fit connection, as i needed to mark new holes. But i then couldn’t get the pipe out of the push fit connection so ended up turning the shower unit round on the pipe which i wouldn’t recommend. I drilled the holes and put it the supplied plugs but in hind sight i would use your own brown or red plugs as the provided ones where shit.

I then screwed in the electrical cable from the bottom of the unit, attached the front panel cable then placed the front panel onto the unit and screwed in.

All you need to do now is turn the water back on and then the electrics.

Job Done