Muschamp Rd

Electronics Difficulties

October 31st, 2010
My recreation of the sad mac icon

This week has not been a good one for my various electronic devices on which I rely to keep me entertained, informed, even employed… My iPhone stopped working or at least stopped connecting to the Bell network for at least 48 hours. I also had to wait 45 minutes to talk to a Bell employee about this problem. She immediately whipped out my SIM card, said it was an 07, put in a newer SIM card, said there would be no charge and expected me to just smile and go away.

I did but I also can’t help but wonder on a phone as new as mine, which I bought within the last year, using an OS as snazy as iOS 4, on a network Bell upgraded massively prior to the Olympics in February, why this week, in Vancouver, did my network connection completely and repeatedly fail to such an extent that I needed to swap SIM cards? Also why wasn’t I notified in advance that I could possibly be without cell phone and internet access on my mobile device?

Sucky service and upgrade plan Bell!


My Home Theatre - The Deathstar

So after getting that fixed on Thursday I went and bought myself Red Steel 2 which I haven’t actually been able to play. Turns out over the last few weeks something has gone wrong with my NAD Home Theatre receiver. It no longer can allow analog video to pass through it. This means that I can’t play VHS tapes or Wii games and have surround sound, not without doing some major rewiring. I discovered all this through trial and error and maybe I could just bypass my receiver or do without surround sound. But I’ve spent many thousands of dollars on my system and I think it should work. So I took my NAD receiver in for service. The other problem or symptom is a very loud and noticeable buzz on all channels and all sources. I don’t know the last VHS I watched (Drunken Master?) and it has been a while since I played a Wii game, but I listen to music all the time and although I generally listen to pure digital audio, I would have noticed the buzz when I turned on the system, so whatever went wrong happened in the last two or so weeks.

Debugging my Home Theatre

My Living Room in Chaos due to malfunctioning electronics

I did a lot of cable swapping and trial and error to determine all this. At first I thought it might be crosstalk or a loose connection. Everything had been working, but during all the trouble I had with my M-Audio Transit device perhaps I’d loosened a connection or caused some crosstalk. So I decided enough wire mayhem, lets move my overly expensive upgraded G4 to someplace else and lets unhook some things from it. I had to buy some longer cables (Ethernet and USB) to make this happen and I won’t know if it works completely and simplifies things until I find out what is wrong with my NAD receiver. Can it be fixed? How much will that cost?

Repairing my receiver

While at Commercial Electronics I noticed an external phono stage complete with USB port made by Pro-Ject called the USB V. I have been without a phono stage and the ability to play records since I bought the NAD. Getting songs only available on Vinyl onto my computer and thus iTunes has been a long time goal for many many years. Previously it required using a tape loop and some sort of DAC, now all that appears to be built into one little box costing $199.99. I didn’t buy it, I want to see what the repairs to my NAD will cost, it appears the monitor out video stuff may be on a daughter card. I use a big surge protector so I don’t think that is the problem, everything (digital audio, video, and analog audio) seems to work, just analog video is busted, so maybe it is a quick easy fix. Once I get my receiver back, that USB phono stage and getting my record collection out of storage will be added to my wish list, along with my old games and PC, and of course a Time Capsule which I checked out at the very busy Vancouver Apple Store, cost for that, $329 dollars.

Home Theatre has been on hold for years

I’ve been living in China and before that I never had my record player connected. I think my NAD has been in storage more than connected since I bought it. I hear Blu-ray is losing support as people are going to digital downloads. I have many hard drives inside my G4 but the video out is not as high definition as Blu-ray. I eventually found a new job and got my home theatre and have slowly been upgrading it but sometimes staying with vintage equipment is aesthetically pleasing.


  • Muskie says:

    Last night I watched “The Road”. Then this morning I took it back. Then this afternoon I turned on my receiver to listen to music and the buzzing was back on all channels and of course the analog video out is busted too. I got my Wii on right now. Needless to say I’m looking for my Commercial Electronics receipt. I’m usually good about filing receipts, but this one wasn’t in the first spot I looked “Hardware” if you must know…

    • Muskie says:

      Found it. I hadn’t filed it yet. I plan to formalize my system even more in the New Year maybe even try to calculate my expenses electronically. Being unemployed I have the time and despite next to no income I have expenses, my MBA assures that.

  • Muskie says:

    Apparently there are now competitors to Apple’s Time Capsule. LaCie and HP both make devices that support Time Machine allowing wireless backups of Macs. Further reading of blog comments revealed that Apple’s AirPort Extreme Device could be used instead of Time Capsule with an external USB Hard Drive.

    Did I mention I currently own three external USB Hard Drives?

    Also having no music sucks, but I have plenty of cheese and crackers…

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