Friday, April 3, 2020

Bamboo House - Reconfiguring a Wraparound Desk

Part of settling into Bamboo House means "tweaking" what is already there - a bunch of 20, 30...even 40 year old things that were too big or too customized for the place to be moved or even hope to fit in anywhere else.

A case in point is this wraparound desk, which visually defines the "Office".  This is by far the most attractive feature of Bamboo House, the ability to look out floor to ceiling glass doors when its hot and to open the office completely when the weather permits.

Only one problem - the desk was not positioned correctly in the room!  For some odd reason, it had been jammed too close against one wall, and not far enough against another wall.  I had also been extensively wired in (both data and power) to the point where considering moving it was probably too much to contemplate for anyone not familiar with power. telephone and alarm systems.

For MMTM, not that big a deal, actually.  I just cut the power to the house and started stripping out wires that I didn't think that I wanted/needed.  Once the wires had been disconnected, it was easy to then reposition the desk to where I felt it best integrated with the shape of the room.  

Once the wiring had been addressed, moving the desk was simply a matter of applying a little bit of muscle.  After that, a bit of re-wiring to bring the desk back into service and voila!  A much more visually appealing and higher utility working environment for everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Quick Fix: 4K LG TV w/ Flickering Screen Problem

A bit bored and looking for a challenge, I decided to buy a "broken" LG 49UH6500 4K TV to see if I could fix it.  

I already have a bunch of TV's, of course...but all of them are stuck in a place that I cannot currently access due to the lockdown in Hong Kong and the fact that my work is closed from public access.  Also, I don't have a 4K TV and I was curious to see if the image quality was any different than the many 2K TVs already in my possession (1920 x 1080 is 2K).

A bit of searching the local 2nd hand websites uncovered a likely candidate - a 3-year old LG 49-inch television that went bad about a month after the warranty period had expired (bad luck, that).  The TV displayed a very unique and peculiar behaviour, with the screen stable for three seconds, then unstable for three seconds, then stable again (and so on).  

The owner wanted about USD50.00 for it, so I took the plunge and bought it, reasoning that I could at least squeeze a disassembly video out of it, if not a repair one.  

I also assumed that the LG would be configured like most modern LCD TVs, with three boards:  (a) A power board; (B) A motherboard; and (C) A logic (or controller board).  Well, you know what assume can make of someone.   It certainly happened to me.  You can only imagine my dismay when I found out that LG has integrated their controller board with the physical panel, making the replacement (or repair) of that part a very complicated and expensive affair.

Luckily, I came across a video from (Indonesia?) where a technician had figured out a way to hack the LG 4K TV "shared bus" design.  He had determined that certain traces in the machine had been duplicated across connectors, and found out that blocking (or "masking") off one of the duplications resulted in a stable picture.

Inspired by that video, I replicated the method he explained (in Bahasa) and have produced my own video of how to repair the LG 4K Flickering Picture problem, in English, with great success!