Fixing a Window Lift on a 2008 Chevy Impala (Driver Side Window)

Note: I take no responsibility for any issues you may experience should you choose to follow this guide. You must completely read this guide in its entirety before proceeding as the final steps require some additional preparation.

When I left work this afternoon I approached my car and found this:

Impala-Door-01

Considering that an automotive windshield is typically rather transparent, as is most glass, it may be helpful for me to point out that the driver side window is down in the above photo.

Upon seeing this was I was so confused that, for a moment, I was actually stupid, which is generally uncharacteristic. Stunned, I entered the car and just sat there trying to remember if I had rolled down the window on my lunch break and simply forgot to roll it back up.

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Press Any Key – Recently Updated and Top 10 Most Visited Posts (Quarter)

Recently Updated Posts

Top 10 Most Visited Posts (Quarter)

Using a Smartphone App to Verify Solar Panel Placement

Distant-Suns

Prior to installing the solar panel for an attic fan I selected two candidate locations for mounting the panel. The first location was up on the main roof of the house. Though this seemed like the natural choice there were a couple of issues with this plan. The first is simply that it would be a bit of a challenge to safely access that part of the roof. I was also hesitant to do anything that would potentially compromise the roof.

The second location was on the west side of our back porch roof. By placing the panel there it would be easier to install and it also wouldn’t be visible from the street.

Placing it on the back porch roof became the more desired location but I was uncertain whether or not the panel would end up being shaded by the house during most of the day.

How could I determine if the panel would be exposed to direct sunlight most of the day?

Well, it turns out that I already had an app that could do this. It’s an astronomy app called Distant Suns. Typically, I only use it the night of an annual meteor shower in order to determine where the radiant for the meteor shower is.

Fortunately, the app can also calculate positions of celestial objects, including the sun, at different times of the year. Using the app I was able to advance the time and also the date to find the exact position of the sun relative to where I was standing (and oriented). For example, I was able to advance the time to 11 AM and then hold the phone up and move it around until the marker for the sun was visible.

Sure enough, I was able to determine that the solar panel would receive direct sunlight most of the time when mounted on the back porch roof.

 

Pebble Smartwatch Update (and a general opinion of smartwatches)

Pebble-Box

It’s been almost eight months since I first acquired a Pebble Smartwatch. So, after all this time what do I think of the watch? It’s very good at providing it’s basic, out-of-the box features. My experience seems to have been better than some. Others have had more issues with firmware updates, reliability, and connectivity. I’ve experienced some of these problems myself though I was able to overcome them.

Initially, I had more issues with connectivity. For a while it would refuse to connect to the phone about once every two weeks and the process required restarting both the phone and the watch (and sometimes resetting configuration settings) to get it working properly. Over the past few months those problems have nearly dropped to zero.

Yet, I have elected to not take full advantage of the additional features available via the installation of apps. The few times I’ve tried them I’ve noted an increase in problems with both connectivity and stability. Early on I simply chose to avoid them and I suspect that’s the main reason that I’ve experienced fewer issues.

For the most part, I’m only interested in the clock, a few custom watch faces, and the notifications.

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Preparing to Install a Solar-Powered Gable Vent Attic Fan

Attic-Gable-Vents
Attic view of gable vents where the fan will be mounted, facing south.

This is a home improvement project I’ve been thinking about for a long time that may offer considerable benefit. It’s been on my mind since our first summer in the house. Cooling our home in the summer to a comfortable level is somewhat challenging and expensive. Our home was originally built in the 1920s. As a result, it simply doesn’t have much insulation. Yes, some was added over the years, but it just isn’t sufficient for a home of our size.

Unfortunately, due to other factors related to when this home was constructed, we can’t simply drop more insulation everywhere in the attic. I’ve added some, but it simply cannot be done in most parts of the attic without some major renovation.

Recently, I ordered a Natural Light Energy Systems 30W Gable Mounted Solar Attic Fan. The intention is to cool down the attic considerably, thus also making it easier to cool the house.

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Macs Unable to Connect to Wi-Fi After Changing Network Mode (Cisco Wireless Router)

One day, while modifying the wireless settings for our Cisco wireless router, I discovered a rather stupid problem. It surfaced when I changed the Network Mode for the 5 GHz network from Mixed to Wireless-N Only. This seemed to make sense since we don’t have any devices using Wireless-A. This is in reference to 802.11a in case anyone was wondering if I had actually meant 802.11ac, which my current router does not support.

And that’s the moment when I was disconnected from Wi-Fi and unable to reconnect. Two different Macs (one MacBook Pro and one MacBook Air) were unable to connect. Once again, I resorted to searching and found the solution. It seems, that for whatever unknown reason, when Wireless-A is disabled on my router then all Macs will decide that they require a different feature enabled in order to connect. In this case WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia).

The reason for this seems more absurd considering that the support doc implies that it must be enabled in the first place but, before changing the Network Mode, those devices connected just fine with it disabled.

Enabling this capability on my router solved the problem. I’m not sure why. It doesn’t seem to be a feature that should be required simply to connect to a wireless router but there’s no question that enabling it resolved the problem. More details are available via the linked support page included below:

Wi-Fi: Unable to connect to an 802.11n Wi-Fi network

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