Sep 24, 2014

Sep - 10 2014 | By

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– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.
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NOTE: The next Zentech show will be on Oct 1 and NO show on Oct 8. The rest of the month should follow the normal schedule — shows on Oct 22 & Oct 29

Podcasts of recent Zentech shows are here.


Glenn was in the studio. Paul called in from Santa Cruz. Paul's audio was pretty bad and I did the best I could deciphering what he said.

Listeners were reminded they can email their questions to the guys either during or after the show. Email to zen at kvmr dot org

Paul mentioned the site It "sells gadgets and gizmos of every shape, size and form straight out of Mainland China". He bought a power backup unit for cell phones from them for $8.
– It delivers 3.5 amp-hours and weighs about twice as much as a cell phone.
– It has 2 USB sockets. A broad socket for the cell phone USB plug and a micro socket for charging the unit.
– It stores "about 5 times the amount of power that the cell phone stores".
– It can be charged from a car's electrical system so it can be replenished while you're on the go.
– It has a little LED scale that "shows you how much power is left in it".

Glenn said he typically gets about 3 hours of cell phone life when he's on BART. Paul reminded us that cell phones use more power when the cell signal is weak. A weak signal will flatline the battery sooner. Paul said his phone will last all day in the city a couple or 3 hours in remote areas where the signal is weaker.

Paul explained some things about cell phone charging.
– A cell phone with a flat battery will draw about 1/3 of an amp when it's first plugged in for charging.
– A computer can deliver about 1/2 amp at the USB port.
– With a wall charger you typically get 1 amp and can charge 2 or 3 devices at once.
– There are current checkers for about $2 or $3 that will show you how much current is actually being delivered
– The more current delivered, the faster it gets charged, but it can't be charged too fast or it will "cook the battery".

Glenn thanked the supporting members of KVMR. If you'd like to become a member, please visit KVMR.

Glenn said the new iPhone was introduced over the weekend and racked up about 10 million units in sales thru stores (13 or 14 million if you include pre-orders). There are 2 versions — the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. There have been complaints about the 6 Plus because it's huge, said Glenn.

Paul introduced us to the word 'phablet'. It refers to a phone that's big enough to be considered a tablet. He said he likes that format. Glenn didn't know the exact size of the two iPhones but said there's about 1 inch difference between them. Many people were glad they didn't get the 6 Plus, but people with big hands were happy with the larger unit, Glenn said.

Paul mentioned he saw a 2009 documentary featuring an interview with Jonathan Ives, who was the main engineer and designer of the Apple Mac. Talking about the then new iPhone 3 and 3s, Ives said engineers concentrate on what goes on inside a device and not so much on how it fits the hands of the users. Ives also talked about other design considerations.

Ron called. He has MacBook and has accumulated some 25,000 emails that he's been trying to delete. Though he deletes them and then empties the trash, they keep reappearing.
– If you're using the POP3 mail protocol, it won't tell the mail server to delete the emails stored by the email provider after they are retrieved and they end up being sent to the MacBook again.
– The IMAP protocol, on the other hand, will delete them on the server when you delete them on the MacBook.
– There's no easy way to go from POP3 to IMAP. You just have to stop using POP and start using IMAP.
– Paul determined Ron is using for his email provider. Being familiar with them, Paul said they claim to provide IMAP service but don't guaranty it, meaning if it goes wrong, you're out of luck.
– Paul determined Ron is using the mail program that came with the Mac and said it's one of the programs he doesn't like. Instead, he suggested using Thunderbird, which support IMAP.
– With Thunderbird installed, you can turn off "mail pickup" in the Apple email program's settings.
– Log on to the mail server at using a web browser. Then you can delete the emails that are stored there.

Mark called. He's been having trouble with his Harley motorcycle. It was working fine and then it started misfiring, Now he's not getting any spark. He's replaced the starter module (went from magnetic advance to digital), the coil, the wires and spark plugs.
– Paul said the 3 basic things you need is compression, spark and fuel. And the most critical thing is the timing of the spark.
– You can use flash tube (a neon tube) to see if there's a spark. It doesn't indicate if the timing is correct, it only tells you if you have high-voltage electricity going to the plugs. Use a timing light to adjust the timing.
– Check the stator (generator) with a voltmeter. If you turn it slowly by hand, the needle on the meter should jump.
– Check the resistance of the coil secondary for some reasonable value — 40 to 50 ohms was Paul's guess. <Mark had already replaced the coil>
– Check motorcycle forums on the net. Someone may have had the same problem & found a solution.
– In the end, Mark concluded he might just have to take in to a repair shop.
<I had a similar problem years ago with my Honda. It turned out the battery was going bad. It needed a good battery for the generator to work right>

Glenn asked Paul what he's heard about the new iPhone 6. He hasn't heard much except that..
– It's the best selling model. More people have bought this model than earlier ones when they first came out.
– There have been complaints about the IOS 8 — the new operating system that the iPhone 6 comes with. <I couldn't make out what he said the problem is> He said it's not unusual to have some glitches at first introduction. Paul put IOS 8 on an iPad 2 and it works fine.
– Glenn said he knows someone who installed IOS 8 on an iPad 2 and the predictive text doesn't work, even though it's turned on in the settings. Paul thought it might be that the usage history was deleted when IOS 8 was installed and it has to accumulate a new history.
<Since the broadcast, I've found reference to the iPhone problems…
Apple Releases iOS 8 ‘Fix,’ but Users Report Major Problems with Update
Buggy, Bendy iPhones Create Bad Week For Apple
Apple Responds to Complaints of Bent iPhones
Apple Pulls iOS 8 Software Update After iPhone Problems (mentions the bending problem too)
    Follow these instructions to downgrade
Note: I heard that Apple reissued the IOS 8 update>

Paul again mentioned the Obihai device, which does VOIP (voice over IP). <This was talked about on the 7-30-14 show> He said it's a marvelous piece of technology at a moderate price of $39 list ($30 sale price, Glenn said).
– It's not proprietary — not locked to a particular provider.
– You just plug it into your internet router.
– Subscribe to a telephone service provider of your choice.
– If you like, you can port over your existing phone number.
– You can call anywhere in the country and Eruope for about 1 cent per minute. <Depending on the phone service you choose, I guess>
– It's one of the most easily configurable devices Paul has ever seen. You just create an account at and you're guided thru the setup. They even give you choices for telephone service providers, including Google Voice.
– Glenn said that Paul found a provider that costs $1 per month for service and 1 cent per minute for the call.
– With some services you can make calls without paying for a phone number, but then others can't call you
– As mentioned on the 7-30-14 show, Google Voice was going to drop support for the Obihai device, but support is going to continue.

Glenn mentioned he was getting poor internet speed at home. Paul reminded us that you can test your internet connection at (but not while using an Apple IOS device). Paul also mention factors such as latency & jitter that affect your experience using VOIP. <see the notes for the 1-25-12 and 7-11-12 shows, for more details>

Glenn found an app for testing your connection with an IOS device called ookla.

Ralph called. He's been using an external charger for his phone and found that his phone gets very hot.
– Stop using it for now and check it's voltage.
– As mentioned above, there are devices that check how much voltage is being put out. If it puts out much over 5 volts, it can damage the phone. Nominally you should be getting 4.90 to 5.1 volts

Ralph wondered why he doesn't get the heating when he uses an inverter with his car's electrical system. Though he misheard what Ralph said, Paul went on to explain that the inverter produces a pseudo sine wave. The wave produced by house current has smooth sine curves, which are hard to reprodued by an inverter. The inverter uses a square wave, <or something close> which goes positive to negative and back abruptly. In fact, some equipment can be damaged and manufacturers warn users away from using an inverter.

Ralph reiterated that he has NO problem using the inverter. The heating happens when he uses the external charger with the USB cable. Paul said he should check the voltage being put out by the external charger.

added links to the to the iPhone 6 problems

Last Update 2:24 PM 9/26/2014

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