Replacing a Shark Navigator Power Cord

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OK, this is one of those rare posts in which I’m going to just state that this is a repair that you probably shouldn’t do if you don’t know what you’re doing because if you frak it up you could start a fire or even kill yourself.

But if you are comfortable with electricity and do have some idea of what you’re doing this is a relatively straightforward fix.

A few years ago I purchased a nice Shark Navigator vacuum. At the time we had two dogs. Well, puppies actually, and the same day that I bought the vacuum one of the puppies chewed through the power cord when I stepped away for just a moment. Fortunately it wasn’t plugged in at the time. Unfortunately I could not find a replacement cord and so my only option was to cut out the section from where it connected to the vacuum up to just past the break where the puppy had chewed it. The connection point can be accessed by removing some screws and a plastic plate from the bottom of the cannister along with some additional screws; make sure to reconnect the stripped wire sections properly in there.

Finally, after a few years I was able to find a full-length replacement cord and thus I’m no longer forced to frequently unplug and replug the cord into different locations. The cord for my Shark Navigator model is the HQRP AC Power Cord for Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro NV355 NV356 NV356K NV357 NV355CS NV356KCS NV356E Upright Vacuum + HQRP Coaster, which cost $17.95 (and an additional $9.95 shipping charge).

Using an OBD-II Splitter to Connect Two Devices (Fuel Economy Guage & Zubie)

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I’ve added a couple of posts about the fuel economy guage recently but in those posts I left out the fact that I already had one device on the ODB-II port of my 2008 Chevrolet Impala – a Zubie vehicle monitoring device that is cloud-connected via its own celluar connection (the one at this link is slightly different from the ones that we have; they are both white and were also purchased as a two-pack – I don’t know if there is any technical difference between the models).

In order to solve this issue I decided to purchase a iKKEGOL 30cm/12″ ODB2 ODB II Splitter Extension Y J1962 16 Pin Cable Male to Dual Female Cord Adapter. I’m not sure why the item name is written as ODB2 ODB II as it should instead be OBD2 OBD II but it does work properly. I read several reviews before deciding to purchase this devices as I was uncertain whether or not having two devices connected in this way would cause issues. I decided that it was not very likely to be a problem because the fuel economy guage only reads from the system and the Zubie device probably rarely ever sends data, if at all.

I haven’t had a single problem with either device since I connected them to the splitter.

OBD-II-Splitter

The white fabric is actually an elastic material helping to ensure that the connection to the OBD-II port doesn’t slip loose. Normally, the cables are tucked away better but I had just shifted them before taking this cable to reposition the fuel economy guage.

Replacing a Power Connector on an HP ENVY dv7t-7200 (with Beats Audio)

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Some friends of ours asked me to see if I could repair an HP laptop that was suffering from power problems. The system was prone to lose power even when moved only slightly. In addition, the battery wasn’t able to charge properly and the power LED often flashed different error status codes.

After looking at a repair manual, and the system itself, I concluded that there were three likely causes of this problem: (1) a faulty power connector, (2) a faulty motherboard, or (3) a faulty power button.

The power button seemed to be the least likely cause. If it was bad I would expect it to only be a problem starting up or shutting down the system, but not a problem once the system was powered up and running.

The motherboard was a more likely candidate than the power button. However, since the system does have a separate power connector, which wasn’t soldered onto the board, I figured it was the most likely cause, and also the least expensive to fix.

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Nyko Uboost (Wii U Gamepad Battery Back)

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The Wii U Gamepad is good and certainly very useful if one wants to play a game “off TV”. But the darn battery just isn’t very good and that’s rather annoying, especially since the thing seems to be required to stay on, even when streaming video using Netflix or other services.

To deal with this issue I purchased a Nyko Uboost extended battery for the Wii U Gamepad, which has significantly improved the total charge of the Gamepad. It’s not a replacement battery – it fits over the existing battery and provides additional power.

Surprisingly, it’s compatible with the original Gamepad charging dock and is very inexpensive at just under $15.

As a backup for longer gaming sessions I also purchased a Gamepad charging cable. It can’t charge the Uboost itself (the Uboost only charges on the dock connections) but the Uboost doesn’t prevent me from being able to easily access the more traditional charging port on the Gamepad. The charging cable also appears to be compatible with a USB extension cable I already had, which works well for a player position farther away from the Wii U or a power outlet. I chose to purchase the additional charging cable so I wouldn’t have to move the existing cable is connected to the Gamepad charging dock.

Sabrent 4-Port Self Powered, Flexible Cable (USB-CBBH)

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Last week I received three Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub – Bus-Powered, Flexible Liberator Cables. As with most of my recent tech purchases, I ordered them from Amazon. I bought one to use with my ASUS EeeBox PC, one to keep in my backpack, and another to give to my wife to use with her MacBook Pro.

So far, I’m not very impressed. However, I don’t have much to complain about. They were only about $5 each. Even if they completely failed tomorrow I’d only be out the cost of a meal at Arby’s for two. Sometime in the week since I ordered them the price even dropped to $1.25 each. Having worked with computer tech for many years I’ve learned that one cannot expect high quality from cheap components.

These self-powered hubs may work great on some systems, in certain situations, with some low-power devices. When I purchased them I knew they probably couldn’t be used to operate high-draw devices, but that was never my intention. The reason I purchased them was to put one on the ASUS EeeBox PC to extend the two ports in the back.

This didn’t work out. At first, I had the Insteon 2413U, the ASUS wireless keyboard/mouse adapter, the Rii mini adapter, and an IR receiver hooked up through one device. It didn’t take long to figure out that the 2413U wasn’t working so I moved it off the hub and to its own USB port.

A couple of days ago I had a problem booting the ASUS and needed to use the keyboard and mouse, but it wasn’t responding at boot. I had to unplug the hub, plug the adapter into the USB port, handle the boot issues, and then plug the hub back in as Windows started.

Today I wasn’t able to get the Rii mini to work while plugged into the hub. I also noticed the hub itself was warm. I decided to take the hub completely out of line and just plug in the Rii mini and the 2413U. I may re-connect the IR receiver later, using one of the front USB ports.

I’m not going to toss the hubs. They may yet prove useful. However, the primary reason I purchased them doesn’t seem to have worked out.