Friday, November 18, 2005

VW stops

It started about two months ago. I would be driving the 2000 VW TDI Golf down the road and the engine would just STOP. It happened about once a week (500 miles). In the last few days it has become much worse. one day it happened 3 times on the way to work (50 miles). I'm not sure if you've looked at your daily commute like I have, but after you start having to look at a place like you have to make an emergency stop, it gets pretty scrary. I did a little reading on the net, and it looks like it could be one of two things. Injector pump (800$?) or Relay 109, the main relay that applies power to the ECU and a few other circuits in the car. if you have a TDI, make sure you head on over to those guys are awesome. so I pulled out the torx screw driver, took a few bits a and pieces apart off the dash and ripped out relay 109. I called up the local VW shop, and they said the relay weas $28 (I thought it use to be $150, but maybe the price went down). conveniently enough, it was a special order part. hmm.... strange. any compentant shop would have a part that is KNOWN to be defective in stock so people arn't stranded. if your in reno, looking for a good vw shop, just keep on driving. Lithia VW is WORTHLESS.

I pulled Relay109 out, and proceeded to solder a bypass switch in the event it failed again, I could just flip a switch to bypass. I got that all soldered up and installed right before the big Turkey-Day trip. we didn't even make it out of town and the car failed. I flipped the switch, it started right up and were off!

if you find yourself needing relay 109, head on over to to get your own very own replacement Relay 109 for $16. I got mine shipped to our Turkey-day destination and we'll install it half way through the trip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


We are officially homeless

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

purchased wrt

wrt54g overview
I stopped by good old compusa and picked up a V4 WRT54G. approx $45 after I get the money back from the mail in rebates. not a great deal, but not a bad deal. gives me something to play with over christmas.

I've gotta go off on a tangent about compusa. as one of my instructors says "i'm getting up on my soap box" (and then make gesture for size/shape of box, and then 'step' onto said box). Compusa is sub best-buy. bestbuy sucketh because they bought geeksquad and made geeks even lamor than they already were... as if thats possible. what kind of geek drives his girlfriends BUG. thats no way to run a business. pasty geeks never see the light of day and then you stuff em in a car like that and no one will ever let them out in public again.

oh yeah.. compusa. so why is compusa sub best buy? becuase their parking lot is CRAP. yup. you heard me. here in town it is the most ghetto parking lot around. I never felt I was impressed one way or the other painted asphalt, but let me tell you, after you see the decaying lumpy turf these guys call a parking lot you want to puke. I actually had to look twice at the store as I was sure the banner out front was a going out of business sign. I made it through the door and was greeted by geeks only slightly above the tallent of 'the squad' at the rival yellow electronic store.

I found the isle with the router and they were sold out. not wanting to admit defeat so quickly I spoke with 'customer service', and yes, that does need to be in quotes, and no the thought does not count. they said they had 68 in invetory even though none were on the shelf. turns out they don't stock them on the shelf, they stock them k-mart style on a shelf way up in the middle of no where where you actually need some little ladder to get them down.

I got mine, and like an idiot forgot the serial number list to cross reference the serial number to board rev. I looked all over the box for a version and couldn't find it. I figured it'd be version 5 (vx works... pass on that) and asked the cashier if I could take it back once opened if it wasn't what I wanted. they said I had 21 days or something. so when i purchase it the guy scans the serial number on the outside of the box!! I was like wooooo... hang on man. why are you tieing the serial number to my name (I always pay with credit card, maybe I should re-evaluate that). He actually didn't take it too hard and explained they have alot of people that purchase one, swap it out for a dead one and return it. chalk one up for the getto compusa. I can live with that but I still don't like the serial being tied to my name. oh well...

first impressions:
I'm thinking this is the router that dan had. I can't remember. its about twice the size of my netgear (i have two of those). I think it runs a little hot (had it on for 10 minutes), and the default IP is instead of the more traditional that my netgear ones come with.

is it a keeper?
yup.. I haven't put new firmware in it yet, but since its a verion 4 it is suppose to be linux based so I'll be playing with openwrt. it has two antenna slots (switched, not truly dual) with standard connectors. my thoughts are to run power and cat5 on a pole and mount this baby and its new antenna on a pole and see how far I can go. theres some fun antenna designs (see cantena bellow) so I'm looking forward to that. I'm thinking worst case I could actually canabolize one of the antennas that came with it to use the connector, and then tell openwrt to just use the slot I plug a good antenna into.

I actually got it up and running and dialing my SBC modem in about 10 minutes. the stock FW doesn't seem that terrible, despite what you may read.

for grins and giggles..
a funky omni design
more antennas
I knew I wanted the dish!
antenna modeling

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I've been reading about the linux enabled router, and it seems I've read about it before but I must have forgotten about it before I had a chance to purchase one. for when I decide to get one, I'm giving a list of links to open firmware (linux) for it.
version 5 of the unit uses VXworks so don't get that one.

from here
CDF0 = WRT54G v1.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF1 = WRT54G v1.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF2 = WRT54G v1.1 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF3 = WRT54G v1.1 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF5 = WRT54G v2.0 / ADM6996L Chipset
CDF7 = WRT54G v2.2 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDF8 = WRT54G v3.0 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDF9 = WRT53G v3.1 / BCM5325EKQM Chipset
CDFA = WRT54G v4.0 / BCM5352E Chipset
CDFB = WRT54G v5.0 / BCM5352EKPB Chipset --

inside the wrt54g(s)
HW that openwrt will run on
wiki wireless bridge
sourceforge wifi
*wrt54 basic hacking*
asus WL-500 has usb functionality as well

Friday, November 04, 2005


here it talks about the cantenna. I have started to move utilites as we are moving and SBC wanted to peg me with a $200 'early termination' fee for moving my dsl. I explained to them that we would be moving out, and the service would sit idle for 1.5 months but I was happy to pay the bill and not receive any service at all. they said the DSL had to be tied to something. so I suggested tieing the number to my cell phone and they didn't like that very much.

in the end, after 2 days of back and forth on the phone, we found that it appears we can cancel our current service, and as long as we APPLY for new service at the new place within 30 days we don't get charged the early cancelation fee. BUT, we are still stuck with a service contract. at least it's down to 6 months instead of one year. I'm seriously considering just paying the month to month rate (probably $5 more) and then canceling as soon as I find a nice neighbor to share broadband with.

its high time we build wifi networks like bittorrent. it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a system where people can share their connections for free, or set a flag to sell their bandwidth. theres a $1 a month connnction fee for all that want to be part of the network, and you just set what you want your bandwidth to be worth if your selling, and if your the leacher you set how much yoru willing to pay, and boom. instant network, everyones happy.

mesh networks:
tropos 5110
plugnplay solutions
mesh with WRT54gs
WRT54 open
mesh discussion