Showing posts from 2011

Lionel New York Central Flyer Train Set - No Squealing Brakes *Update*

Growing up I really did not play with model railroad sets all that much. However, as time goes on I noticed that I really do enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into these model trains.  Taking a trip to a few hobby shops with my Dad during the past few weeks made me realize that I could browse the model railroad section of a hobby shop for hours.  I just love the look of the trains chugging along on their suspended tracks up near the ceiling as well as browsing through all of the different rolling stock that is available.

  I figured since Christmas is almost here and I have a 2 year old that I think would love to see a train circling the Christmas tree, why not invest in a RTR (Ready-to-Run) set.  After some digging around and comparing prices, the model that was most appealing to me was the New York Central Flyer (pic above). Model number 6-30156.  The few main reasons why I chose this model were because it included the TrainSounds system with the tender and the locomotive was equ…

How to control an iPod from an Android device

Recently I have been playing with some old stereo equipment and started thinking: "It would be great to be able to control my iPod remotely so that I could change the songs playing on my stereo from across the house".  It then dawned on me that their had to be some software out there to remotely control my iPod from a PC.  While doing some digging around I came across Veency (pronounced VNC).  This is a service that can be installed on a jailbroken iPod which acts as a VNC server.  All you need is an active wifi connection and you are all set.  Afterward I wanted to take it a step further so that I was not tethered to my desktop computer to be able to adjust my music.  So I turned towards my Toshiba Thrive tablet for a solution.  Low and behold there is a great little vnc viewer called "android-vnc-viewer" which would allow me to accomplish exactly what I wanted.  Below I will walk you through the steps I had taken to do this.

1. Jailbreak your iPod/iPad etc. (You w…

Custom HTPC Streaming 1080p with XBMC

I have owned 3 original XBox's for some time now."Why three?" you may ask. Well upon the discovery of XBMC, I knew I had to have a XBox connected to every TV in the house.  On top of that, with a bit of searching you could locate an original XBox on for 20-40 dollars. The only problem with this XBox solution today is that it is unable to stream HD (High-def) content due to hardware limitations.

To get you up to speed, XBMC is a FREE application that you can run from a hacked original XBox that allows you to seamlessly stream video, music and photos to your TV from any network enabled PC in your house.  It also allows you to launch video game emulators, various plug-ins, as well as even check the weather.  In my eyes, no other media center software can compare.

Now with the rising popularity of HD formatted movies, I knew I would soon need to replace at least one of my original XBox's with a machine that could handle streaming 1080p videos over the net…

Television Service Menu Codes

Have you ever needed to access the service menu on your TV for something as simple as enabling a HDMI port? You take the time to call the manufacturer just to hear a bunch of garbage about how you need to "call a qualified service technician for that". Well, I and many others have been in this same situation which is sort of lame since you OWN the TV in the first place and should be able to enable/disable or screw up whatever settings you want. Note: If you do not know what you are doing in the service menu, you can screw up your TV. In any case, here are a list of service menu codes/procedures so YOU too can enable your HDMI ports. (Philips...what were you thinking!)

With power off, hold Ch UP and Ch Down together for 10 seconds.
While still holding Ch up and down together, push power, then let go.
Select OSD button, there should be a letter in the lower right hand corner of the menu.
Then hold OSD and Mute/Exit buttons together until factory menu comes up. Make adjus…

1993 Mazda Rx7 - Rotary Engine Rebuild - Final

Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Parts List - Final

As promised here are a few final photos of the engine bay as well as a couple videos of the car running. There is a short clip of the interior where you can see the aftermarket gauges/gauge pod as well.

Engine start-up, interior layout, slight engine revving videos

Hope you find the information on these posts useful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I would be glad to assist.


1993 Mazda Rx7 - Rotary Engine Rebuild - Parts List

Intro - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Parts List - Final

Below I have listed practically every part I had ordered for the rebuild of my 13B engine as well as any additional parts that were upgraded/replaced as well. All of the "xxxx-xx-xxx" part numbers towards the top are Mazda specific part numbers which can of course be found at your local dealership or online if you take the time to look. Minus the extras listed at the bottom (transmission, radiator, vacuum line, motor mounts, oil pan brace, etc.), the engine rebuild alone cost around $2,000. Since I did the job myself and saved on labor costs, I was able to put that savings back into the car with reliability mods/upgrades as well as replace additional items like brittle coolant/air hoses, gaskets, oil injector lines, etc. These items are typically overlooked when doing just a core rebuild however I can be certain that if a part was bad or had potential for failure, then it was replaced.

QtyDescriptionPart #2(2 ne…