Tuesday, December 20, 2016

turning chinese...

My cheap 10" tablet just started going wonky yesterday.  It suddenly decided to boot up with the root menu only - in Chinese.  A quick search of the internet and I was able at least to find out what the menu means in English... no real answer as to why it is happening though.  Also learned how to pop off the back - a rather delicate maneuver.  I did happen to discover that the volume up button appears to be broken in almost permanently pressed mode and pressing different combinations of the power and volume buttons makes the tablet have a mind of its' own.  If I can manage to repair the volume button without breaking the whole thing, while I'm at it - I might just try rerouting the antenna wire outside to see if it boosts the range.  Can he fix it?  55,65,27,0,B 


Larry G said...

re: " I might just try rerouting the antenna wire outside to see if it boosts the range."

well confused.. I surmised that you had a wi fi router and that's what the tablet connected to, no?

remmij said...

slight topic deviation - as you are probably aware - would help to know Finnish or Sami…
(also might reflect Samsung engineering.)
d flight

Tina said...

Is you "Samsung" a Chinese knock off?

mike said...

fixed mine. bought a new board on line

Larry G said...

I've posted this guys blog before. He's pretty opinionated to the point of being obnoxious but
I think his ideas are worth reading.. he spends quite a bit of time talking about how
standard recharging schemes are wrong and expounds on how he does it which, of course, he
thinks is the right way:

HandyBob's Blog
Making off grid RV electrical systems work


John Wells said...

Yes the tablet is wifi connected to my router - but I am interested to see if I can boost the range even further. I saw Casey Neistat's Christmas video as soon as it posted yesterday - I think he has certainly outdone himself (with the help of Samsung - not only did they pay for construction of the drone - they also funded the trip and paid Neistat handsomely for his time)...would have been interesting if the drone controller suddenly reverted to Chinese while he was hoisted up in the air. My tablet is a Neutab - the Samsung with the translation was from an image I found online. Both products are manufactured in China. As for my batteries - I read the manifesto from HandyBob years ago. I believe I have been charging them correctly since they used to hold a charge overnight quite well. Apparently, my AutoZone batteries are notorious for crapping out after about 2 years no matter how they are charged.

Grandmama Sarah said...

I'm on year 10 with my imac. Had a G3 for ten years before it blew the monitor and was cheaper to replace with the imac. I've had to use laptops (average lifespan: 2 years. Our MacBook lasted 4) and tablets.

At this point, I won't be using anything else but a desktop, even if just for financial considerations. However, I can actually see whats on the screen with the imac. It was like guessing with the smaller ones.

Returned the iPhone 5 after it used up my data allowance on its own (and Verizon couldn't figure out why.) Back to flip-phone and good CoolPix for photos.

Less is not always more.

Unknown said...

WiFi signals don't travel well over cable, the impedance of the required cable could be non-standard, and the size of the antenna and connections depend on the wavelength and a 1mm change could have bad consequences. I doubt modifying it would help. What does help is using a metal plate behind the device. this blocks half the noise from the side you don't need and doubles the signal from the size you are actually interested in. The size of the plate doesn't matter and it doesn't need to be grounded or connected.
The buttons may be arranged in a matrix, so when two buttons are pressed (one intentional and one stuck), it may appear has 4 buttons pressed at the same time, because a key matrix (without a diode per switch) normally does not work with multiple keys pressed at the same time.

Larry G said...

I have a wi fi router in the living room - and it's 400 feet from the cul-de-sac driveway entrance and my phone and tablet can pick up the signal without a problem.

I expect if I connected it to rooftop antenna - I could expand range to like what you might see in a campground.

but even at 400 feet - a small campground would get coverage even without an antenna!

there are also range extenders .. running a cable to a range extender external to his building.

or perhaps I'm just not really understanding the issue.

John Wells said...

I just figured as long as I got the case open and the wire is easily accessible, I would see what happens if I threaded it outside the case...perhaps mount it to a small metal plate as Unknown suggested.

Unknown said...

Moving the existing antenna a bit further from the metal screen may at least change it (for better or worse). Note that the existing antenna has a its shield (the thin grey cable is a shielded cable) connected to a little rectangle that is capacitively coupled to the metal of the screen.
I would not change the existing antenna. It should be close to optimal already. Maybe move it up a bit so it is further from the speaker, and the bottom end of the antenna (foil) can be straitened out. You may use a bit of Styrofoam to keep the antenna foil flat. Styrofoam behaves just like air for radio waves, much like the plastic case.
I would not connect any metal plate to the antenna core wire, or to its shield wire. also don't stick the antenna very close to the plate, it needs a couple of inches of space to work properly as a simple reflector.
like this: https://d3i5bpxkxvwmz.cloudfront.net/resized/images/remote/http_s.eeweb.com/members/circuit_projects/blog/2012/01/26/homemade-wi-fi-antenna-with-cylindrical-parabolic-template-1327592350_150_179_75.jpg
this does make the device less portable, but improves the signal in one direction (at the cost of the other direction)
A google image search for wifi antenna reflector will turn up many contraptions. You could even locate the antenna in the focal point of a large TV dish for maximum un-portability :-)

Steve said...

A little off topic, unless John's repair is less than successful.

Listened to a tech show the other day where they were discussing electronics, and various deals to be had in the marketplace. They commented one of the most overlooked bargains are "refurbished" electronics. You can get them for a song compared to the same "new" item. Apparently, refurbished electronics are not necessarily used electronics. Almost all of them have been returned unused or in some cases unopened. Despite their new status, they go back through factory inspection after they're returned. So, the electronics are inspected twice before they are resold as refurbs, and still carry a full factory warranty. A lot of the refurbs are duplicate presents where one was returned, or were given as a gift and the recipient decided that is not what they wanted.

I've purchased several DSLRs as refurbs and they have been outstanding – no flaws in the glass or body. Just in case that cheap Chinese knock-off repair goes south, you might consider that option – given that it should come with a full factory warranty.

Carl J said...

Volume button being stuck explains the root menu issue - Holding power and volume up at the same time is how you access this on many tablets. So when you turn the tablet on it's holding the volume up button down for you.

John Wells said...

Thanks Carl J for confirming my suspicion...