Saturday 14 November 2020

Dyson DC59 Motorhead cleaning

15:03 Posted by G No comments

Probably not the most exciting post, but something that's been annoying me for a while, and finally today I found the answer, so I thought I'd post it.

We've had a cordless Dyson for a while, and since our black lab Nelson joined us, the Dyson has been pushed in to more regular service and generally had a harder life.  Having ladies with long hair in the house means that the spinning attachments need regular service.

The motorhead attachment is quite easy to clean, with just a coin and pair of scissors for normal clogging.  However the only place that's difficult to remove blockages/hair is the motor itself.  I'd stripped it down before by taking about the 8 or so hex screws, but still couldn't remove the part connected to the motor (not sure of it's official name)

However after finally tracking down a YouTube video from Mark Chalmers which shows there's a sneaky hex bolt actually in the motor attachment (see image below)

Once that bolt is out (you need to hold the motor attachment while unscrewing the bolt), you'll almost certainly find the offending blockage, this is a picture of mine...

once that was out, the motor spins much more smoothly, and when connected it spins and doesn't stop after a few seconds.

Here's the full video for reference :

Thursday 16 April 2020

Staying Safe online

18:34 Posted by G No comments
I was writing some simple advice for a work article about staying safe online, so I thought I'd publish it here.  There's nothing new or revolutionary here, but I've pulled together the links into one article :

Step 1: Make sure your personal accounts are well secured.  We strongly advise you to make sure you have 2 factor authentication )something you know - typically a password, and something you have - typically a text or an app on your phone) for you email and social media accounts, here’s how to do this for the most well-known services :

[last logged in will show you which devices and approximately where (geographically) you are logged in]

Google  :
Last logged in & Setup 2FA :

Facebook :
Last logged in & Setup 2FA :

Twitter :

Instagram : 

Last logged in & Setup 2FA :

Step 2: Be aware of attachments, especially Office formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) but also ones you don’t recognise (these may include .LNK, .SYM type files) which can also infect a machine.  If you do open an attachment, and it asks you to ‘enable content’ (see screengrab) DON’T CLICK ON IT, it’s almost certainly malicious:
Emotet Macro Malware

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Troubleshooting and fixing a Hotpoint RL78P Larder Fridge

17:37 Posted by G No comments
Maybe not the most gripping of subjects, but when it's your beer fridge, it becomes very serious...

In these COVID-19 times, Google and YouTube are your friends.  This is a larder fridge that the girlfriend (now wife) and I bought nearly 20 year ago, and it's served is well ever since then, with nothing going wrong through two children and two house moves.

Now relegated to the basement and with sole purpose of keeping wine and beer cold (is there a worthier calling for a fridge), about a week ago, I came to get a beer, to be greeted by the light being on, but the beer wasn't cold.

At least the light being on was somewhat of a positive, there was at least electricity coming into the fridge.  Having found the model number (open the door and look under the top sill), I couldn't find any specific help for this model or even the instructions.

Reverting to the generic Hotpoint advice, the first two tips were broken thermostat, or condenser.  As the condenser is not user servicable or cheap to replace I set about trying to check if the thermostat was faulty.

I found this video on Espares on replacing a thermostat :

It looks pretty simple, but there a catch on this fridge, in the video the thermocouple (long thin wire) isn't attached to anything.  ON the RL78P it is screwed to the back of the freezing panel, so this needs to be disconnected before you can remove the thermostat.

Here's another Espares video showing how to test a thermostat with a multimeter

I had to do test it a couple of times, as sometimes it appeared to be fine others not, but as it was either try replacing it (£40) or get a new fridge (£200) it seemed worth a shot.  So after not being able to order from Espares (I had a problem with their payment gateway, which was a shame as I'd rather have given them my money as their advice had helped me troubleshoot the problem) I had to revert to the Hotpoint spares site, where the part was actually cheaper.

A couple of days later the new one arrived :

I also found someone (dreeks55) had written some decent instructions on replacing the thermostat on this model, which I have slightly amended as below :

  2. Decant everything plus the shelves - you will need the room. 
  3. On the right hand side just above midpoint is a lozenge-shaped housing which contains lamp/thermostat and lamp switch. 
  4. To gain access to the thermostat, locate the cleverly hidden fixing screw - there's a small grey prise-out disc just to the right of the control knob. 
  5. Unscrew that and the housing should release when you draw it back - gently! There are locating tabs on the housing which slide into slots in the lining. 
  6. Remove the Thermostat dial, and unscrew the retaining nut from the thermostat spindle and release . 
  7. Now take a photo of the wiring connectors on both the thermo and the lamp switch. Disconnect all leads to these components (no need to touch the actual lamp connectors). You WILL need this diagram when re-connecting new thermo. They are marked with numbers, on mine it was 3 and 4
  8. Old thermostat still connected (white metal cable is the thermocouple)
  9. Now unscrew the 3 retaining screws on the freezing panel at the back of the fridge - be VERY CAREFUL when you pull it forward and to the left to give you access to the thermocouple end. The thick pipe attached to the panel contains the coolant fluid. The pipe is flexible enough to withstand moderate movement. 
  10. There should be two screws and a plastic fillet securing the thermocouple to the panel. 
  11. Unscrew the screws (remembering to keep the screws in a container - easily lost under the fridge!!). 
  12. The new thermocouple can be bent into a U just like the defective one. Fit the new thermostat by reversing the removal instructions. 
  13. Good luck - patience is a virtue
New thermostat during fitting, you can see I've not reattached the new thermocouple yet

It was quite straightforward, only the bending of the freezing panel and pipe causes raised nerves, as if I'd broken that not only would there be coolant everywhere, but it would have been game over.  It seemed quite sturdy and I had to move it a couple of times, but all went well.  Probably took about an hour to diagnose, and half an hour to refit the new thermostat, but best of all I've saved £150 and now have cold beer again !

hope this helps