Why did I buy a car with a sunroof?

Yeah, secondhand mondeo. I like the car,  but a couple of late summer storms rapidly made me hate the leaking sunroof. Far out Ford, worse designs may exist, but it feels like you worked hard on this one. 

The clue was here:

http://www.talkford.com/community/topic/198169-leak-in-roof-water-on-seat-is-it-the-sunroof/page-2

But really, I know now that the stupid non return value probably needs to be drilled out. Who runs half inch water tubes through a 3mm non return value and barb, straight into a 90 degree bend? This sort of stupidity ought to be compensated for with easy access for cleaning, right? Nope. Drop the glove box, and the fuse board, clip the cable ties of various bits of loom, pull out the insulation material. Then you can start work on the press fit rubber fitting that passses through the sheet metal, into the wheel well. 

I still like the car. Just not as much. 

Ah, falcon central locking

Well. Today was the day to fit a new drivers door lock actuator.

eBay gave me an after market part. Door lining off again. Mechanically an easy fit.

But. Not. Working.

Eventually, I worked out it was half phase out of sync mechanically/electrically. For me the way to solve it was to open the actuator drive and wind it to the position the car was expecting electrically. Everything is nice now.

My old Dell Inspiron 9300

A long time a ago, I bought a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 1920×1200 screen. We are only just getting back to this sort of resolution being available again in 2015.

Later, this went to my dad. Now, the CPU/GPU is not doing it for him in Photoshop anymore, so I guess my 6 year old is the winner!

For various reasons, we have an Ubuntu installation here (15.10). As usual, stuff could be better:

  • Touch pad only is recognised as a mouse. No tap to click, let alone gestures. Kernel issue apparently.
  • Close the lid, suspend/hibernate sort of works. It goes off, but never comes back.
  • Weird UI
  • Weird UI

I love Linux and have been a keen user since the mid 90’s. Just want me to be the target market without putting in any effort or cash to make that happen.

I guess that makes me the “average” user, right?

It’s no fun replacing the antenna on an AU Falcon

Snapped the antenna mast on my car. New masts are ~$25. How hard can it be?

Yeah.

In the hope this helps someone else…

Put the car in the garage and turn out the lights. You’ll see later.

Turn the steering hard left to access the inside of the wheel bay.
Try to undo the 3 Philips head screws that hold the splash guard in.
They are actually a screw that expands a plastic tie. In my case one undid and could be pulled out as expected. One tie snapped. The bottom one has a slot in the splash guard, so it pulled over the screw head. These have been in place for 15 years. It’s not surprising they don’t work like new. I guess a proper mechanic would just snap all three and replace with spares….

Ok. Now pull the splash guard down and off the inside of the arch. Also work it off the triangular metal tab that goes through a slot in the splash guard.

Get a torch. Do this inside so you can see up in the dark arch. You should see the antenna assembly. It is held on by one nut at the bottom bracket. Undo the nut and try to thread the thing out of the car.

My antenna was bent half extended. I snapped it off to get enough play so I could get it out.

Undo the strap attached to the top of the mast. Ignore the black moulded plastic one.

Undo the lock nut on the top of the antenna mast housing.

Remove the Philips head screw at the bottom of the housing.

I broke the glued guide tube off the pulley housing and pulled the rope out.

Now, the mast should be pushed back down the guide tube. If you’ve snapped it, it won’t fit.

I bet the $100 complete assembly looks good about now…

I used a dremel to cut it off clean and pushed the remains out with a screwdriver. If yours is snapped too close, you might not get it out. Which will frustrate you no end after the time you’ve put in. Also the reassembly required to be able to drive the car.

The instructions that came with your mast have you covered from here.

I’m happy with the outcome. But dirty and with sore fingers from trying to get the now old and stiff splash guard back in place.

Pity my Lamy?

I needed a note taking pen that could handle life in a dust environment, perhaps being dropped and it not being the end of the world if I lost it one day. So, a Lamy Safari seemed a good choice. A quick purchase from ebay and I had a nice charcoal pen with a black EF nib.

This pen has survived several years of daily use. The molded plastic texture by now starting to go smooth from daily use. The nib is not “buttery” as these things go. But it has a nice resistance that suits note taking in a diary positioned on a knee in meetings. It is not scratchy and certainly not a wet line. This is just as well given the cheap paper supplied in many work places that is only good for ball points.

This pen was a nice work piece. So much so that my wife started “borrowing” it for extended periods of time, The solution was obvious, buy her one of her own. In due course, a white safari again with an EF nib arrived and immediately disappointed. A very slippery nib that skipped badly,

Fine. These are at least inexpensive so I tried again. The second white safari was an improvement, but still not as nice as the original pen. This has been followed by a Noodlers Ahab, which despite repeated cleanings as advised, still skips and gives a quite uneven line.

What now? Commit to a more expensive purchase with extensive pre purchase testing? Crash course in pen adjustment? Probably the latter.

I’ll continue with my parent’s Conway Stewarts and Parkers in the interim and keep a lookout for something nice for my wife.