Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quick Replacement of BP96-00826A(P) Bulb on Samsung 50" DLP TV

Just replaced the bulb on my Samsung 50" DLP TV this week. We were watching a movie, when we heard a large "pop" come from the DLP TV and the screen went black. Every few minutes we'd hear a "clicking" sound out of the TV, so I unplugged it and got online. My wife freaked out a bit.

We bought it in 2004, so it's almost exactly 5 years old at this point. I guess that's the life I would have expected out of the bulb. I was pleased to see that the replacement bulbs had come down in price significantly from when we bought the TV.

I bought the bulb from discount-merchant.com for $120 and normal shipping charges (also found a coupon code "fiveoff" for $5 off my order):

http://www.discount-merchant.com/Samsung-BP96-00826A-Lamp-Enclosure-p/samsung-bp96-00826a-lamp-enc.htm

The company sounded a bit like a shady internet business, but the more research I did -the more comfortable I got with them. I decided to buy the whole assembly for the extra $10 and recommendations on the site. They are behind the site fixyourdlp.com where I found a cool illustrated article on how to change the bulb:

http://www.fixyourdlp.com/2007/12/28/identifying-replacing-changing-your-samsung-dlp-lamp-how-to-guide/

There were only 5 screws to remove and put back in. They also had the information to reset the hour counter on my TV (we had almost 10,000 hours on the old bulb according to the counter):

http://www.fixyourdlp.com/2007/02/15/resetting-your-samsung-dlp-lamp-hour-meter-counter/comment-page-4/#comments

After I pulled the lamp assembly out of the TV -I could see where the bulb had burst inside the glass. The replacement lamp arrived 3 days after I placed the order on a Sunday night. Pretty impressive speed of delivery -and just what I expected. Cleaned the dust of the back of the TV set, followed the instructions, and fired the TV right up. Literally took only 10 minutes to change the bulb.

It was simple to do and discount-merchant.com was easy to deal with, though next time I may just consider buying a new TV...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Microsoft Exchange Account Disappears from Android Phone - Motorola Droid

At least I'm not alone in the fact that my Motorola Droid keeps loosing my Microsoft Exchange email account periodically. I have personally lost the exchange account 4 times (and the other IMAP accounts under the email application). Putting in the credentials again "fixes it". The frequency has gone up since the upgrade to Android 2.0.1. During the entire time the gmail mail accounts are fine. Here are a few of the posts that I'm tracking relating to the issue. No official word from Google, Motorola, or Verizon on the problem -or a pending fix.

Reports on Google's Android forum:
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4866
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4980

Reports on Verizon's droid forum:
http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Android-Devices/Email-accounts-being-deleted-from-Droid/td-p/117067;jsessionid=32c7704020432f772a7cfec1677f7fd52

Reports on Motorola's message forum:
http://supportforums.motorola.com/message/89501

I'm looking for a better way to diagnose and find the root cause of this problem. Any suggestions are very welcome.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Motorola Droid USB tethering made easy with PDANet

Decided today was the day to set up USB tethering on my Motorla Droid running Android 2.0. I'm getting ready for a business trip and I'm always amazed at the places that you can't get a wireless connection. USB tethering allows me to always have a fallback cellular connection (usually 3G on Verizon's network) for those type of emergencies.

I love the products produced by June Fabrics. I used their product to intermittently tether my Windows Treo 700W -and it got me out of some odd jams. Essentially it was it's like using your cell phone as a 3G modem (without having to carry separate devices).  June Fabrics couldn't make the process any simplier:

  1. Download the install application from http://www.junefabrics.com/android/
  2. Begin installing the application -the installer walks you through all the steps nicely. I did need to enable a setting to allow the application to be automatically pushed form the Windows XP PC to the Motorola Droid.
  3. Plug in you phone. I'm using the USB tether mode, but it also supports Bluetooth tethering. The appropriate USB driver was installed.
  4. Launch the PDA net application from the phone.
  5. Launch the PDANet application from the PC -little icon in the system tray
  6. Roam and surf.
June Fabrics couldn't have made the process any simpler or more painless to use my Motorola Droid and cellular network as a backup when wireless (or reasonably priced wireless) isn't available. I enjoyed the simplicity and stability of their Windows mobile version greatly. In fact it's one of the few Windows mobile version that I paid for a full license for. It also seems to be a simple and light application on both the phone and PC side that just does it's job flawlessly.

Currently, I'm running the free version. It's nice that nothing is crippled in the free version of PDANet for Android. The price for the full version is $29, which is a bargain. I think I paid $39 for the previous version. Sure beats paying $10 a night for hotel wireless, just to make a quick VPN connection to check in on a server.

A few nice features are:

  • when tethered over USB it's also charging the phone
  • widget on the phone shows connection and bytes transfered
  • author also provides a twitter account to follow up on the latest developments
  • look forward to utilizing the Bluetooth capability in the future
  • developer has been very responsive with enhancements and responding to questions over the years
June Fabrics -thanks for another great product!