Thursday, July 16, 2015

Maytag, Whirlpool Dryer Won't Tumble DE412 Repair

The symptoms were that the clothes didn't tumble even though the motor ran and the heating elements got hot. It didn't require Sherlock Holmes to conclude that we were faced with The Case of the Broken Dryer Belt.

Naturally, I watched a few YouTube videos about how to take apart the dryer and how to replace a broken belt. And then, having determined by visual inspection that the belt was indeed broken, I ordered a new one from Appliance Parts Pros.(This company's site, by the way, features many "how to repair it" videos. Very helpful.)

The videos showed how to put the new belt on by looping it around the drum and then fitting it around the motor pulley and the idler pulley--by reaching from the front of the machine. When the new belt came, it had similar instructions, with steps such as, "With your left hand, reach around near the fan and loop the belt over the motor pulley.  Then with your right hand, fit the belt around the idler pulley, etc. etc." These aren't exact words, but the task was impossible for my reach. And even if I could have reached, looping the belt around the set up by feel (you can't see back there) would have been a nightmare. I tried it. Worse, the diagram showing the belt path around the pulleys was a rear view, not a front view.

So after a few futile attempts at installing the belt per instructions. I decided to change solution paths. I looked in the back of the dryer, and, yes, it is true, there is a removable panel about 8" by 8" right where the motor and pulleys are. Removing this panel gave me access to the pulleys and made installing the belt very easy.

The test worked and now the dryer is in business again. Apparently, many Maytag and Whirlpool dryers, gas and electric, use this same belt and  have the same or similar belt paths around the motor and idler pulleys.

So, if  you have a broken belt, take a look at the back of the dryer for an access panel.

Maytag series 88, Model DE412 electric dryer broken belt repair.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

EforTek NP-FW50 Replacement Battery (2-Pack) and Charger Kit for Sony NP-FW50 Review

The EforTek NP-FW50 Replacement Battery (2-Pack) and Charger Kit for Sony NP-FW50 is a great way to get replacement batteries for the Sony A7II mirrorless camera and other Sony cameras that use the NP-FW50 battery. The original battery that comes with the camera has 1020 milliamphours of capacity. The Sony store offered to sell me a replacement battery for $80. On I found the EforTek bundle that includes two batteries of 1500 milliamphours each, a wall charger, an adaptor for European style plugs, and a car "cigarette lighter style" plug in for the charger. The cost was under $25 for the whole thing.

I'm currently running the camera on one of the replacement batteries, and it works fine.

It is said that the A7II is a battery hog, and so far this is indeed the case. So I highly recommend getting two or more spare batteries with charger if you own this camera. The batteries charge up pretty fast, too.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Netgear Wi Fi Range Extender N300 A3 Review

IF you have  WiFi items (TVs, Blu-Ray players, smart phones) throughout your house, but your cable company's WiFi router emits a weak signal, then the Netgear N300 WiFi range extender is for you. I have a cable company WiFi router in my upstairs office. In the office it puts out a great signal, but downstairs in the family room the signal is one iffy bar or less. So when we got a Blu-ray player with WiFi and tried to watch Netflix, is was Buffer city. Constant messages about not being connected to the Internet and so on.

So, after some research, I found this extender. Do note that there are three versions, all designated N300. The A1 version has a different packaging, The Best Buy nearest my house was selling the A1 l when I asked. Amazon is selling the A3, which is what I bought.

Wow. I plugged it into the wall outlet at the entrance to the family room, configured it, and presto, Netflix in the family room. Then I got a new Blu-ray player with WiFi also, so I moved the old player to the garage (next to the tv at the treadmill), and presto again, we now can watch Netflix while exercising. Then, finally, semi-forced by the cable company to get rid of the old analog TV in the upstairs bedroom, we got a new TV with built-in WiFi. Presto, even still yet once more again, we now can watch Netflix in the bedroom.

All this was made possible by this little signal amplifier. If you want to strengthen your WiFi service, this is the device.

There is even an app for measuring signal strength in various areas of your house Here are the results for the Netgear 300 measured along with the cable company's WiFi router in my office:

Cable WiFi:100%
N300 86%

Cable 62%
N300 88%

Family Room
Cable 22%
N300 100%

Cable 22%
N300 95%

Living Room
Cable 95%
N300 95%

Bedroom  2 (directly under office)
Cable 100%
N300 100%

Cable 35%
N300 95%

Cable 42%
N300 95%

Cable 35%
N300 75%

Setup was easy. The N300 creates a new WiFi hotspot named the same as your original, with the extension EXT added, making it easy to find and easy to distinguish from the WiFi system it is amplifying. So, for example, if your WiFi router network name is "NSA_Black_Ops," the N300 creates one named "NSA_Black_Ops_EXT." Use the same password that you use for your original WiFi setup.

I recommend this product highly. It's economical, unobtrusive (plugs into a wall outlet like a fragrance bottle), and powerfully effective.