Just What Every Home Needs…

30 December 2010

Motorola S9 Button Failure – Repaired?

5 May 2010

I’ve had my S9 Bluetooth headphones for a few years and they have always worked great. A couple days ago the volume down button stopped working. The volume was at it’s maximum setting and when paired with my T-mobile HD2 the phone’s volume doesn’t effect the headphones making them basically unusable.

A quick Google search brought up a bunch of posts about the others who have had this same problem within weeks of purchase. The main cause seems to be perspiration and I have to admit that mine were getting plenty of that when they failed. The S9 headphones are great because you can easily wear them under over the ear headphones when you need to block out noise from a mower or chainsaw while listing to the most recent episode of No Agenda (in the morning). Anyway, in a closed space like that they get plenty of perspiration.

With nothing to lose (don’t try this if yours are under warranty), I dismantled the side of the S9 with the failed button. With a pick or a fingernail remove the rubber piece with the buttons marked on it. It isn’t connected to anything so you can just carefully pull it off.


Once you have that off, you need to remove the screw that holds the headphone to the band. With that done, peel up the flexible circuit that was exposed then you removed the rubber buttons. Then, gently work the earpiece from the band. As you separate the earpiece from the band you will pull the lexible circuit you peeled off through a slot.


Use a pick to gently separate the circuit board from the rest of the earpiece. You should end up with something like the photo above except for that your wire connections will be covered with glue. I used a heat gun and tweezers to remove the glue. My original intent was to expose these to test the failed button’s function by jumping the correct leads to determine if the problem was actually in the flexible button circuit. While removing the glue I discovered that exposed portions of the wires were very close to touching in a couple places. I found that separating these wires fixed my down volume button. You can test this by pinching the correct por3tion of the flexible button circuit and listening for the beep in the earphone. You don’t need to be paired to a phone to test this.


To better insulate the wires I cut a small portion of heat shrink tube and placed it between the rows of wires. If everything is still working, carefully reassemble the S9. Be very careful with the wires that go to the earphone speaker. I managed to pinch one of these the first time I put it back together and it was a real pain to solder it back together.

I’m not sure if this is the same issue that everyone else is having and I have only tested this for about an hour so far so your mileage may vary. If they stop working again I will update this post.

Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler

5 July 2007

So last year I put up an electric fence around our garden to keep out the deer and raccoons. It sounded like a good idea and it seemed to work well enough for my parents in IL. Well after raccoons eat all of our corn I knew we needed something different. I’m not going to build a 10 foot tall electrified monstrosity of a fence like Joe Lamp’l on DIY.

So I when I saw this motion sprinkler I new I had to give it a try. At $60 it’s a little pricey but I’ll tell you that after using it this year it’s definitely worth it.

I only had one problem and I’m not really blaming it on the sprinkler. I have brass quick connects on all of my hoses and they didn’t play well with the sprinkler. I guess it was more that I was disconnecting the hose from the sprinkler daily to water and this was trapping air in the sprinklers valve causing only a little water to come out when it switched on. The solution was to run my hand in front of sensor switching it on before I connected the hose so that the water could run through the valve.

Now that I know this will keep the animals out the engineer in me is ready to take it to the next level. Our garden is about 60x30ft so one sprinkler doesn’t cover it. Once I get the permanent fence in and I plumb for irrigation I’m going to setup about 6 sprinkler heads and a couple motion sensors that will switch on all the sprinklers. That should keep the deer out…

Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW Camera Backpack Review

19 October 2006

The received my new Lowepro backpack just in time to use it on a dirt bike ride next weekend. I picked the 200AW for its size and quick camera access without having to take the bag off. I carry a Canon 20D with its 18-55mm lens along with a Sigma 10-20mm and 70-300mm so the larger model bags that hold two bodies and 6 lenses are too much. I have plenty of room to add at least two more lenses to this bag. The dividers in the camera area are velcroed in so they can be adjusted or removed. A cover is built in that protect the camera‚Äôs lcd from scratches which is a nice feature. The bag has plenty of room in its top compartment for my battery charger and strap. I probably use about 60% of the space in this bag but I don’t see a need to go any smaller. The most unique feature of this bag is the ability to remove the camera and shoot without having to take it off. You just rotate it under your left arm up to your chest and the camera pocket is right there. A great side effect I have found from this is that when you are shooting you can rest your forearms on the bag to help steady the shot. Overall this is a great bag and I would certainly recommend it. One tip if you purchase this bag, the included rain cover is a little hard to find if you don’t know where to look. I took a picture to help you out.