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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 no video / can't see video [SOLVED]

New Windows 10 laptop with dual Intel and nVidia graphics and a fresh installation of Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 began with several hours of frustration as no matter what project I loaded it would not play video from my media library or my sequence timeline.

Finally after much hair loss I discovered that the nVidia control panel had cunningly selected the inferior Intel graphics adaptor as the default for Premiere Pro when it should be using the more capable nVida Geforce GTX 960M.

All I had to do to correct this was go into the nVidia Control Panel, select 'Manage 3D settings, then select the 2nd tab called 'Program Settings'. After this find Adobe Premiere in the 1st drop down list, then in the 2nd drop down list select 'High-performance NVIDIA processor'. Click 'Apply' at the bottom right of the window, close the Control Panel and reboot Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017, you should now have video.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Scott (DT Swiss) Equalizer 3 Shock - Service Instructions (Basic)

Introduction

The Scott Equalizer 3 shock was engineered for Scott by DT Swiss and features on the Scott Genius range of bikes.

Unlike most rear bicycle 'push shocks', the Equalizer 3 is a 'pull shock'. It features 3 modes of operation:
  1. Full travel mode
  2. Traction mode
  3. Lock-out mode
Disassembly process

Before you can service the shock you will need to disassemble it. The disassembly instructions can be found here and the special disassembly tools here 

Servicing process

Before we start out I must point out I am not a qualified bike engineer, what you read and see here is the result of my own readings, curious mind and practical knowledge. I may update this guide if anyone else can suggest a better method or provide new understanding.


You will need the following tools/service materials:

Large 4 pin tool for (-) negative chamber
Small 3 pin tool for (+) positive chambers
Inverted slot head screwdriver (3mm diameter)
Torque wrench)
42mm socket
26mm socket
Vice with soft jaws
T10 Torx star bit
5W or 7.5W Suspension oil
Stanchon grease


Step 1 : Greasing the (+) positive and (-) negative chambers

Grease the insides of each of the 3 tubes




Step 2: Greasing the piston seals and inserting the pistons into the shock

Lightly grease the seals on the both the small + piston inserts



Insert both positive pistons into their chambers and push them down as far as they will go  (there may be some resistance, so you need to release some of the trapped air from the positive valve).



Lightly grease the seal on the negative piston seal



Insert the negative piston into the chamber and push down (there may be some resistance, so you need to release some of the trapped air from the negative valve). Before the piston is all the way in make sure there is a gap to pour in the new oil.

Step 3: Measuring and filling with oil

Now measure out 82ml of shock oil (5wt or 7.7wt) and spread the amount across all 3 chambers (do not over fill and leave enough space to install the end caps)



Step 4: Tightening chamber end caps

Install both postive piston end caps with the small 3 pin tool and 26mm socket and tighten 6 1/4 turns (tighten to 10nm with a torque wrench)



Then tighten the main large piston end cap with the large 4 pin tool and 42mm socket (10nm with torque wrench)



Step 5: Priming the shock

Inflate both valves to approx 50psi

Gently release each bleed valve one-by-one using the inverted screwdriver to expel any trapped air until oil appears at the hole.

Step 6: Pressurising shock for rider weight

(The instructions on the shock body are pretty self explanatory, but you can can also find my detail on the procedure my following the instructions in the Scott owners manual)

Then proceed to inflate the positive chamber to the required pressure for rider weight (as stated on the chart on the side of the shock)

Now proceed to inflate the negative chamber to the required pressure for rider weight (as stated on the chart on the side of the shock)

Step 6: Final check over

If all has gone well the shock should be in the fully retracted position with no shaft showing.


You can now reinstall the red rebound adjusters on the positive chambers (assuming you followed my disassembly instructions you should set both dials to 1 before tightening the screws).

Finally remember to put the dust caps back on the valves



Feel free to leave a comment if you've done the job yourself and have a different method or ideas about servicing it.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

HxC Slim Floppy Emulator mount for Atari ST (small button version)

If you have a passing interest in vintage computers from the 80's & 90's you have probably come across a couple of devices like the HxC and Gotek floppy emulators. These two devices allow you to easily store and load thousands of retro software titles from an SD card or USB stick without the need to rely on ageing floppy disks.

As great as the HxC and Gotek floppy emulators are there are some issues when it comes to installing them in a machine such as an Atari ST or Commodore Amiga. Users will often find that they have to modify and cut the casing of their chosen computer to help make the device fit as the opening for the floppy drive was often sculpted around a non-standard floppy drive face plate. Another issue in respect of the Atari ST is that the connecting floppy drive ribbon cable is often very short which becomes a problem as it needs to be twisted 180° when attaching it to anything other than an original double density drive.

To solve the case cutting and ribbon cable twisting problem I designed a special mounting bracket for the HxC Slim Floppy emulator which allows the device to be mounted neatly and with minimal fuss inside the Atari ST.

The mount for the HxC slim attaches to the original 4 mounting posts (3 plastic, 1 brass) using the original floppy drive screws.


The HxC is mounted upside down so there is now no need to twist the floppy drive cable.



Also the faceplate is aesthetically designed to fit the bespoke floppy drive case opening with an imitation wedge shaped drive button. As a bonus I have also allowed extra space above the ROM chips so that various ROM switchers can be installed without touching the mount.




Each mount is 3D printed on a Makebot Replicator 2X using grey ABS plastic. The print quality is not professional but is decent enough for the task and makes a far tidier job that cutting the case of the machine.

If you would like to buy a HxC slim mount for the Atari ST please use the PayPal links below. To keep costs as low as possible (time, energy, materials, prototypes, etc) I will send the mount with the printing rafts and supports still attached. These rafts and supports are fairly easy to break off but you may need a hobby knife or scalpel to remove some of the excess plastic.



To buy please use these PayPal links:

UK - HxC Slim mount for Atari ST (small button version) - £13.01 inc P&P

INTERNATIONAL - HxC Slim mount for Atari ST (small button version) - £16.01 inc P&P


Please note: I am only making these as they are required so please allow between 10-30 days for delivery.

Feel free to ask questions or leave a review in the comments box below.

Thanks







Thursday, 19 January 2017

Wordpress Contact Form 7 emails won't send to Office 365 [Solved]

I got a job to set up a new business website for a client. The job involved setting up a brand new Wordpress website on a new host and not on the old host they were currently with. Their domain names and email were also registered at the old host too but would not be moved.

So, the new Wordpress website went up without a hitch but I ran into a problem where a form on the contact page that was using the Contact Form 7 plugin wouldn't send emails to any 'whoever @companydomainname.com' email address, it would however send emails to any other address (eg. whoever@yahoo.co.uk, whoever@hotmail.com etc) as long as it didn't using the @companydomainname.com.

To resolve this I contacted my hosting support and they instructed me to go into cPanel, go to Email and select MX Entry.



Then select the 'companydomainname.com' and make sure Email Routing was set to 'Remote Mail Exchanger'.


Unfortunately this alone did not fully solve my problem.

It wasn't until further investigation on the DNS Zone settings for the domain name at the old host that I discovered they were using Office 365 for their email and not the built in host email service I had assumed.

I discovered this because of  three DNS Zone records that looked like this:

v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.co m -all

autodiscover.outlook.com

clientconfig.microsoftonline-p.net


I then went into the cPanel on the old host and checked the Email MX Entry for the domain, which looked like this:

companydomainname-com.mail.protection.outlook.com

So I copied this and went back to the Email MX Entry on the new host. I selected the 'companydomainname' and then removed the 'companydomainname.com' under the MX Records section.



I then inserted companydomainname-com.mail.protection.outlook.com into the destination box under the 'Add New Record' heading and clicked 'Add New Record'


The companydomainname-com.mail.protection.outlook.com then appears in the MX Records section



After this the form on my website would correctly send emails to any whoever@companydomainname.com email address.

Hope this helps someone out.

This link was also useful






Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Scott (DT Swiss) Equalizer 3 Shock - Disassembly Instructions (Basic)

This guide is a work in progress (as haven't had time to add in all the pictures and details yet) for the Equalizer 3 (and Equalizer 2 should be similar process), if you require disassembly for the Equalizer 1 then see here.

Introduction

The Scott Equalizer 3 shock was engineered for Scott by DT Swiss and features on the Scott Genius range of bikes.

Unlike most rear bicycle 'push shocks', the Equalizer 3 is a 'pull shock'. It features 3 modes of operation:
  1. Full travel mode
  2. Traction mode
  3. Lock-out mode
Disassembly process

Neither Scott nor DT Swiss will provide a diagram or the tools to disassemble the shock for the public - hence I take no responsibility for any damage you may cause to your shock or yourself should you choose to follow these instructions.

Hopefully this guide will encourage TF Tuned to begin selling the seal kits for this shock on their website.

You will need the following tools:

Large 4 pin tool for (-) negative chamber
Small 3 pin tool for (+) positive chambers
Inverted slot head screwdriver (3mm diameter)
Socket wrench (Torque wrench recommended but optional)
42mm socket
26mm socket
Vice with soft jaws
T10 Torx star bit
Tipp-Ex correction fluid (or white paint)


Step 1 - Remove Equalizer 3 shock from your bike

First set the shock to full travel mode using the 3 position lever on the handlebars

Then undo the two small screws on the plastic access panel on the side of the Equalizer 3 shock using (insert allen key size here), then undo the small grub screw inside using (insert allen key size here) this will release the cable.

Now undo the two allen bolts that secure the shock to the frame of the bike using (insert allen key size here) and remove the shock from the bike un-threading the cable as you go. You can also pull off the black guide and store it in a safe place.

Step 2 - Depressurise shock (IMPORTANT!!!)

Undo the air valve caps for the (+) and (-) chambers (shown by orange arrows) and use a small screwdriver to press each valve pin until all the air from both chambers is released. You may find that some oil is also released through these valves together with the air.



Step 3 - Sag Guide removal

Using a (insert allen key size here) remove the Sag Guide from the shock

Step 4 - Reset rebound adjusters

Turn the red rebound dials on both the (+) positive chambers clockwise until the number 1 lines up directly with the red line on the side of each chamber. Then using a T10 Torx star bit undo the screw on the top of each red dial and remove.




Step 5 - Reference marking the chambers (IMPORTANT)

If you do not own a torque wrench it is important to add a reference mark on the top of each of the 3 chambers before undoing the caps. This ensures that when you come to reassemble the shock you will not under-tighten or over-tighten the threads. Mark the 3 chambers as shown in the photo (see orange arrows) with some white paint or pen correction fluid like Tipp-Ex (please note that shock fluid will dissolve these markings so be careful during disassembly not to rub them off).




Step 6 - Clamp the shock

Before proceeding to remove the caps from the chambers it is important to clamp the base of the shock in a vice with some soft jaws (see orange arrows) to protect the mounting. This step is essential as it keeps the shock upright preventing oil spill and helps the pins on the cap removal tools seat evenly with the locating holes of the chamber caps when they are undone.



Step 7 - (-) Negative chamber cap removal

Compress the main piston so that the shock is fully compressed. Then line up the Large 4 pin tool with the 4 holes on top of the cap head. Then using a 42mm socket undo the head of the shock (6 full anti-clockwise turns). But, do not remove piston just yet.

Step 8 - (+) Positive chamber caps removal

Line up the Small 3 pin tool with the cap holes on top of the 1st (+) positive chamber. Then using a 26mm socket undo the cap head of the chamber (6 1/4 full anti-clockwise turns). Repeat for the
2nd (+) positive chamber cap head. But, do not remove pistons just yet

Step 9 - Oil removal

It is tricky to remove the old oil from all 3 chambers at the same time. The best method I found was to use a pipette to first suck up the excess oil from (+) positive chambers. Then I connected a shock pump to the (-) negative air valve and very very gently inserted some air into the large (-) negative chamber, this will make the large piston rise and push some of the oil into the top of the (+) positive chambers. Use the pipette to suck out as much oil as you can from all 3 chambers repeating the process until as much oil as possible is removed.

Below is an image of all the old oil (around 75ml) I collected, I hardly spilt any but I imagine the amount is closer to 82ml (which is mentioned in a Spanish Powerpoint document I read on servicing the Equalizer 2)



Step 10 - Large piston removal

With all the oil removed you should be able to force a small amount of air into the (-) negative valve to push the large piston out of the shock body. Do this very gently and hold onto the piston so that it doesn't pop out and onto the floor.

Step 11 - Small pistons removal

With all the oil removed you should now be able to force a small amount of air into the (+) positive valve to push the two small pistons out of the shock body. It is a good idea to keep your fingers over the top of the open ends of the chambers so that both pistons rise to the top of each chamber. Do this very gently so they don't pop out and onto the floor.

Step 12 - Bleed valve removal

Use the inverted slot-head screwdriver to remove both the bleed valve screws. Be extremely careful as there is a small spring and dome shaped valve pin beneath each screw and they are easy to lose.

Step 13 - Completion

You should now have you Equalizer 3 shock disassembled. Use a clean paper towel to soak up any oil residue or dirt from inside the chambers. Check the chambers for signs of wear.

Step 14 - Service and reassembly

See my service and reassembly instructions here




Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Syncros 236153 skewer for Scott 142-RWS12 drop-outs

I upgraded the wheels on my Scott Genius LT40 2011 to some Easton carbons which required a larger axle. This also required me to change the rear drop outs on the frame from the standard quick release 135-RWS5  to the 142-RWS12 versions. This also meant I needed a larger diameter wheel skewer too.
It was a nightmare trying to find the correct wheel skewer for two reasons. Firstly the thread on the skewer is quite fine thread. Secondly the washer at the handle end of the skewer also has a specific shape so that it clamps the wheel to the frame effectively. The main problem was trying to find skewer that had the right thread and washer combination, the search was made particularly difficult due to the poor quality of photos available on online bike stores (like CRC),
After having ordered two incorrect skewers (DT Swiss RWS X-12 Alloy and DT Swiss RWS X-Lock Alloy) both of which either had the wrong thread or the wrong washer, I finally got the correct one (Syncros 236153) with a little help from the bike mechanic at my local bike shop. 



Thursday, 29 September 2016

Scott (DT Swiss) Equalizer 3 Shock Tool

Practically every bicycle suspension fork or shock available on the market can be taken apart and serviced with a few common tools and a little bit of patience by anyone, not just specialist service centres. Unfortunately the Equalizer 3 shock made for Scott by DT Swiss is not one of those shocks. Yes the shock is nicely engineered but it is no more complicated or difficult to service/bleed than anything else on the market - so there should be no reason why you can't do it yourself.

After repeated and unfruitful enquiries to Scott, DT Swiss and TF Tuned trying to get information on disassembly instructions, seals and tools to perform the job myself I got tired of their secrecy and unwillingness to share information.

So I designed my own set of tools in CAD that I will make available to my fellow mountain bike friends at the bottom of this post.


To do a basic service on the Equalizer 3 shock you need at least 3 specialist tools that you cannot purchase anywhere unless you are specialist shock servicing business. The 3 tools you need for basic disassembly are as follows:

  1. An inverted slot-head screwdriver - to undo the two small bleed valves
  2. A 4 pin spanner - to remove the chamber cap from the (-) negative chamber
  3. A 3 pin spanner - to remove the chamber caps from the (+) positive chambers

Tool 1 - The Inverted slot-head screwdriver

This tool is very easy to make by hand. All you need is an old screwdriver or piece of metal rod that has a diameter of 3mm. Start by cutting the end so that it is flat. Then cut a small vertical slot in the flat end. That's it, you've now made the first tool for the bleed valves.


Tool 2 - The 4 pin spanner adapter

You will find a lot of similar looking tools by doing a search on Google or eBay but they will not have the correct pin diameter or arrangement of pins.

This is the 4 pin spanner adapter I designed myself.


It fits over the upper part of the piston mount and locates snugly into all 4 pins on the (-) negative chamber cap. Then all that is needed is a standard 42mm socket (do not use an adjustable spanner or wrench as it creates unequal pressure on the adapter) to undo the cap.






Tool 3 - The 3 pin spanner adapter

Again, you will not find anything on Google or eBay that has the correct pin diameter or arrangement of pins.

This is the 3 pin spanner adapter I designed myself.



It fits over and locates snugly into all 3 pins on both the (+) positive chamber caps. Then all that is needed is a standard 26mm socket (do not use an adjustable spanner or wrench as it creates unequal pressure on the adapter) to undo the cap.





Now service your Equalizer 3 yourself!

As I said at the beginning of the post I am making the 4 pin and 3 pin spanner adapters (shown below) available for my mountain bike friends (the inverted slot-head screwdriver you need to make yourself). Each adapter is made from PLA or ABS plastic printed from a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer and the locating pins are made from steel. Each adapter has been tested and is strong enough for multiple uses using the correct size socket adapter (I do not recommend the use of a standard spanner or adjustable wrench as this will put unequal turning force on the adapter).



Please use one of the two blue PayPal links below and I will send you 1 x 4 pin tool and 1 x 3 pin tool. Please include your name, address and telephone number when you make the transaction.




Please note: I am only making these as they are required so please allow between 10-30 days for delivery.

Feel free to ask questions or leave a review in the comments box below.

Thanks