written by owen, published 2023-Feb-26, comment
It started happening about a year into the 4 years of owning the microwave. Mostly at night you would hear the beep of a number being activated. This would happen at nights most once or twice a week. Over time it progressed to the 3 touches, which could usually be ignored until it started activating the LED light, then the vent fan and finally it started to start the microwave itself which was a clear sign that it could not longer be ignored.
First thing I tried was searching online which led to several dead ends. I Went to the local shop that I bought it from and they said that 4 years is a good run for a microwave and quickly suggested I buy a new one. I was willing to replace the door but had no luck finding them online. Its kind of a curse or a blessing that the touch sensitive pad is in the door.
Next step is dismantling the door itself. If I disconnected the door cable the ghost touches would stop indicating that the problem is definitely in the door. It seems that even the motherboard itself is inside the door. Dismantling the door is a test of patience itself - I suggest you search for a youtube video. The first time I took the door off I removed and reconnected the ribbon cables. Some people online say that this is a quick fix because sometimes the cables become twisted or disconnected slightly. After that I reassembled the door and waited patiently. After about an hour the random ghost touches returned with a vengeance.
At this point we started unplugging the microwave and plugging it in only when we needed to use it. But this was a temporary fix as the microwave started to cancel itself while food was being heated, lol. There is an option to turn off the beeps but that bearly when you never know when the microwave is going to activate something that makes a sound like the fan or the light. So with all my options exhausted I had to go back into the door.
The solution that worked for me
So I waited until I had a day entirely to myself - empty house. I took the door off the microwave, carefully rested the parts and the screws in the couch. The pan for this trip is to clean the circuit board with a can of circuit board cleaner. Since I did not have that particular cleaner on hand I used regular rubbing alcohol. When you dismantle the door carefully unclip and remove the ribbon cable from the main circuit board. I placed some alcohol in a small cup then I applied it to the circuit board with a soft makeup brush. The main purpose of the alcohol is that it evaporates quickly and the soft brush is to gently apply the alcohol without damaging the board. I cleaned the whole board, back and front, both ribbon cable tips and then I let everything air dry.
After it dried I brushed it with alcohol again, all the leads, circuits then let it dry again. I clean the brush after every wipe to ensure that any residue/dust gets removed instead of slushed around. After all that I reassembled everything and the ghost beeps stopped. The touch pad has also become more responsive since the clean up. No more missed touches. So far its been 3 weeks. Problem solved.
I think that over time dust and static might have built up on the circuit board. These electronics must be suffering from heat death. Since the fix I have been unplugging the microwave at night since there is no real reason to leave it plugged in when not in use. There is easy access to the power plug for all the users so this is not much of an inconvenience. I hope to eke out another 2 years out of the microwave because otherwise its a perfectly good device.
I hope this helps someone out there save some money and not contribute to the world's waste.
written by owen, published 2023-Feb-12, comment
*I should have published this revew from Sept2020 but better late than never?
After roughly 6 months of online searching I settled on the Ricoh GR III a fixed 28mm point and shoot camera. Of course no piece of equipment is perfect there is a high chance of dust getting into the lens, the battery life is poor, overheats on hot days and it will probably die if I drop it. But guess what? No one lives forever.
So far I am loving the speed of the camera and the extra resolution. 24 mp is double that of the previous camera. Plus the quality of the APSC sensor means that I miss fewer shots. Over the pass weeks of having the camera I already filled my SD card because I am shooting in RAW+JPEG which is a new problem I discovered with the new camera; the image files are HUGE. The raw file is 30+ mb and the jpeg is 10mb (6000x4000px).
All these issues together I had to invest in a few accessories to go along with the new camera;
- 32 gig HS-1 SD Card
- JJC metal lens cap - to reduce the dust
- 2 Wasabi Batteries and charger - I like external wall chargers, the ricoh only comes with a usbc cable charger to charge the camera while its plugged into a socket - I am not about that risky life.
- JJC thumb grip - makes a world of difference - buy it right away.
- JJC stick on UV filter - more dust protection,
- JJC LCD screen protector - scratch prove the touchscreen
Everything was bought on Amazon and should be easy to find by searching. Add a comment below if you need specific answers. That is a long list, lol but the only accessory you really need to buy right away is the thumb grip and the wasabi batteries. The ricoh comes with 2 gigs of built in storage so you can live without an SD card for a little bit.
I mentioned the dust concerns so some accessories I bought after using the camera for a couple weeks;
- JJC Cleaning kit - I wanted the rubber dust blower because they say you should not use your mouth to blow dust off the lens.
- UNI SD card reader with usbc+full usb. - for reading the above card because I wanted something that could both connect to a phone as well as computer.
- JJC Auto lens cap - bought the to test it out
The ricoh has wifi which is useful for transferring images to a phone but I am old school so I take the SD card out of the camera which is why I bought the card reader.
Other reviewers suggested I get a Fujifilm X100V but that camera is practically twice the price of the Ricoh GR3 and it is NOT COMPACT. Shipping and Import Fees to Jamaica would have literally killed my budget. Plus it's the size of a brick.
The ricoh gr3 is a unique camera; no zoom, no flash and no view finder. Having no zoom is something I am getting accustomed to and the 28mm focal length is weird and wide. The camera is certainly not for everyone but personally a hip shooter like myself is having a blast. I can now enjoy advanced features like spray and pray, exposure bracketing, high contrast black and white, chimping, double exposure photography, in camera raw editing, cropping, resizing just to name a few of the things I could not do on my previous Canon powershot. I dont even need a computer.
The downsides of the camera include; it will get hot if you spend a long time in raw development or you have it on for long periods on a hot day. These are things I have grown accustomed to. I usually take a couple shots at a time and then turn the camera off. Most times I am shooting with the LCD off. Because of the dust issue I keep it in a bag whenever I get home. Or with a lens cap on if I have it in my pocket. Worrying about dust is constant because I live in a dry dusty climate.
Overall I like the camera and have been using it for 2 years so far exclusively. I have taken 33,000 pictures with it since I bought it, which is a record in my book.
Ricoh GR for Travel Photography Review: Around the World in 80 Photos
Street Photography with a Compact Camera (feat. the Ricoh GR II)
THE GR PROJECT
written by owen, published 2022-Nov-11, comment
I have seen vice grips everywhere throughout my life but I never needed one until a recent bathroom roller fix that I had to do. I always thought there were just complicated pliers. But low and behold these things are magic. After a quick tutorial from Sulph this became and essential part of my tool kit for getting those pia stuck bolts.