Monday, June 8, 2015

Pretty quiet

Bert's definitely on the mend, although still favoring his foot.  And we've been doing a few odds and ends while we get closer to our departure date of the 17th to launch our trip.  We are disappointed in that neither Karen and Jo or just Karen are going to be able to accompany us up to Gettysburg and Kutztown.  Jo has a lot on her plate right now, so we thought for a bit it would be just Karen, but she had a few unexpected things come up which will make it impossible for her to come along as well.  But we did get to have a great visit and dinner with Jo at her beautiful place.  We also were able to go visit Kelly and the kids again before we leave and they leave, and who knows, hopefully the next time we see them will be in Lubbock!

So we've had a few minor things with the motorhome, a few have been taken care of and we are still waiting on a few others.  First, that great flag pole light we got this winter all of a sudden stopped working.  I contacted the company and they said to send it in and they would replace it, we're still waiting.  

Next, our Kenwood in dash radio, which is also our camera monitor hasn't worked in some time.  Let me explain, the monitor works, but it will not fold up and retract and hasn't for some time.  It sticks out in the way when we aren't using it. It has bugged us for awhile, but the problem is, it is not longer being made.  Thought we might be able to rig up a iPad to work as a monitor, but couldn't figure out how to that, nor could Apple.  So I decided to put an alert on eBay in case one of these Kenwood units popped up.  Just before we left Atlanta one did, I made him an offer, he accepted and I bought it.  It was a complete unit, guts as well as monitor so now we have spare parts if we should need them.  The install was easy, and now we have a screen that folds and stows out of the way!
Got the whole deal

This what it looks like when it's in use

And now stowed!
Those of you that have been following this blog for awhile know we replaced our front TV with a 46" Samsung HDTV, and we've been very pleased.  That was 14 moths ago.  Well, just before we left Florida, it began to shut itself off, then it would turn back on.  We thought for a bit that there was someone with a similar TV nearby and their remote was messing with our TV.  It was intermittent and we lived with it for awhile.  It became more frequent and finally I called Costco Concierge service, and a tech walked me through a big process of resetting and making sure the software was current.  After this process it seemed to work, but he warned that he didn't have a lot of confidence that he had fixed the problem, but please call back if it does it again.  Well it fixed us up for a couple months, now here in Kentucky, it has now gotten so bad that we had to unplug it to keep it from turning off and on all the time!  Aggravating.  So we are waiting, kind of patiently to hear from a mobile tech to set up a time when he can come out and fix it.  It's been a week so far, and we only have a week left here so keep your fingers crossed.  Also we learned that it our responsibility to remove the TV from its swing down mount so he can work on it, then remount it as the techs do none of that work?!?  

Also in the TV department we are having another issue.  We have an automatic satellite dish on our roof made by Winegard and it has been super.  We pull into a site, press one button and up it goes and locks in on 5 satellites, and provides us beautiful HD DirecTV.  The problem is the last several times we've put it up, normal TV comes in, but our HD channels are marginal at best, so I have put it back down and back up and usually after one or two cycles we are able to watch HDTV.  Finally we weren't able to get it to work so I called Winegard, they have great customer service, the tech told me what to do to evaluate and troubleshoot and somehow we have a bent LNB arm that isn't allowing the HD satellites to fully lock on.  The part is on order and we are hoping it will also arrive before we leave.

We have also been checking out some other replacement LED lights for our ceiling.  We bought some at a RV show, and although they seemed pretty good, they kept burning out, and remember LED's are supposed to "never" burn out, so we are now evaluating a couple different ones from a company called M4 Products that are looking pretty good so far.  After some time I will report on whether we can recommend them or not.  This has the potential to be a big deal as we have over 100 of these lights!!

Another little item we have been working on is our MiFi, a Pantech Jetpack MHS291L.  Now this little beauty provides us with unlimited Verizon data, and we are for the most part very pleased with it.  I follow several techies blogs, and they continue to give it high marks.  But, there a couple problems, one the company is bankrupt and they aren't making any more of them nor does anyone seem to know if or when they might be back, and two, it is touchy about being plugged in long term.  We were told once to try to keep it unplugged and let it run on its own battery whenever possible, but we kind of poopooed that as it was a pain to think about plugging and unplugging, and it would of course, run out of juice just when you wanted to get on the internet.  I read another article recently that talked about checking your battery in the Jetpack, especially if you left it plugged in a lot because they could catch on fire, say what!  And you can check to see if your battery is in danger by placeing the Jetpack on a flat surface and if it rocks it means the battery is swelling and becoming dangerous!!!  And guess what, ours rocked out:-)
Our Mifi

So we decided to address both problems, first I ordered a new battery, still quite abundant and cheap, and second, since the company is bankrupt, and the unit is still considered one of the best, and we rely on it for our internet, could we find one somewhere for a good price?  The answer is right where you'd expect, Amazon, so now we have a new battery in our original MiFi, and a brand new Jetpack sitting reserve on the sidelines should we need it, easy enough to swap the SIM card and we're in business.


Sandy Smith said...

I had the same problem with our 55 inch Samsung. Power supply is going bad or is bad depending on your point of view. It took the guy here about 45 minutes to change it out and it will need to be on the floor. They won't work on a table top. Don't know why. We had bought an extended warranty, but I asked the guy, what if no warranty?...$350.00 plus the service call.

Is the battery in your Jet Pack a Lithium Ion Polymer? LiPo for short. If it is, it will produce a very nasty and hot fire. Call Boeing they learned the hard way on the 787.

And a black and white rear view camera? Do you get old T.V. shows on that too, Gun Smoke, The Riffleman, Twilightzone? All that onboard tech and B&W t.v., wow.

Bill said...

Good to know I guess, wondered how they were able to order parts without seeing the TV. You answered that. I may just take the TV up to Karen's if they ever get here to fix it. And thankfully we have an extended warranty on it as well.

It is definitely a lithium ion battery, and we were warned that if it showed any signs of swelling it could not be trusted. Yeah Boeing did have a little issue, huh?

Relax, calm down it isn't B&W, it just looks that way in the picture:-)

Sandy Smith said...

Whew! I thought you were going backwards Capt. Tech.