iRobot Roomba Batteriewechsel

Die vor ein paar Jahren ausgewechselte Batterie im Roomba 500 ist schon wieder hinueber. So ist das wohl mit NiMh Zellen aus China? Neue bestellt (Aliexpress 18.62Eur 3800mAh 14.4V Battery for iRobot Roomba 500 600 700 800 900 595 620 650 780 890 Battery Rechargeable Battery – AliExpress ) unteren Deckel und das Fluegelard abgeschraubt, alte Batterie in den Batteriemuell, neue rein, wieder zuschrauben, fertig. Dauer ca 5 Minuten.

Der iRobot braucht wirklich viel Zuneigung, insgesamt ist aber einfach so praktisch dass man ihn nicht vermissen mag!

Siemens Geschirrspueler

Und schon wieder ist der Geschirrspueler kaputt. Dieses mal verbaucht er pro Spuelgang praktisch ne halbe Flasche Klarspueler. Kurzes Googlen… da ist ein “piston” in dem Klarspuelerbehaelter der bei jedem oeffnen des Behaelters fuer Spuelmittel eine Dose Klarspueler freigeben sollte. Nur geht der wohl offenbar mit der Zeit auch kaputt.

Auf eBay eine neue Einheit (00645026) fuer Geschirr- und Klarspuelmittel bestellt. War leider gebraucht, steckte noch ein Rest eines Steckers drin, aber dafuer nicht teuer (16eur55 inkl Versand).

Einbau ca 20 Minuten, das schwierigste ist die alte Einheit rauszukriegen, dazu muss man die Bleche an den 4 seiten mit einem Schraubendreher leicht wegbiegen und dann die Einheit nach innen durchdruecken. Vorher natuerlich die Stecker abziehen.

Die Maschine scheint wieder zu funktionieren. Schon wieder ein paar hundert Kilogramm Metallmuell vermieden.

Volkswagen (Seat Alhambra 7n) door locks are total crap

The passenger door of my car (a 7 years old Alhambra, 100000km) recently started to make “clak clak” noise every time my driving speed was about 20km/h. At first I didn’t understand what was going on. Then, I noticed that also the door didn’t lock when I locked the car with the remote and the alarm LED in the door blinked quickly. So, something must be wrong. A bit later I noted that the passenger door was not possible to be opened from the outside.

After some googling I understood finally what was wrong. VW group (VAG) in almost all their cars uses a really low quality electric lock in the Zentralverriegelung system. And that thing simply dies after some years.

Some people in forums on the Internet recommend that you should immediately change the lock once there is the smallest sign of a problem, because else you can end up with a door that is locked and you have no other choice than to cut the door open. So… I decided not to wait but to change the lock. New locks can be found on amazon for less than 40 Eur. Shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

Starting to prepare the actual intervention, I realized that it meant dismantling the door. You need special tools for that in order to remove the plastic. So I ordered the tools. Another 25 Euros, but I never count the investment in tools, it always is less expensive than having somebody else repair for you.

Luckily Youtube exists.
Luckily somebody posted a post to explain how to disassemble a door

Theory look easy. But will it be possible to change the lock afterwards? I was not able to find the answer.

So finally one sunny day I ventured into dismantling the door. All went very well… until I had to open the 2 screws that held the lock in place. VW has used so much screw glue, it was impossible to open them. And of course I didn’t have any reserve screws in that size at home neither. Who has M8 bolts with flat heads that are 15mm long in reserve… so… 1h to go to the local Leroy Merlin and back, and of course they didn’t have them neither, so I bought 30mm long bolts and cut them back with Dremel and sew. Finally ready to attack the glued screws, eventually I managed to get the open by cutting a faint into the head of them and then using a really big screwdriver. The rest was relatively easy and took less than one hour.

What really pisses me off though is that VW knows about this quality problem, and does… nothing ! In France we call that “obsolescence programmé”. I call it “disrespect for your customers”. And for me it will be the reason not to by a VW, Audi, Seat but rather a Mercedes or BMW next time.

Jura Impresa S50

And it happened once again. Just when the milk foam was ready and I wanted to brew the coffee for the nice capuccino… the machine all of a sudden made very dumb noise instead of the usual “burr” of the pump. Something blocks the water circuit, once again. I had changed the pressure reductor of this machine some 3 or 4 years ago already when it had a leak. Happens, it’s that same piece again that broke. This time, it just blocks the water from flowing and the poor pressure pump obviously can’t do much. Actually, it blocked so much that the metal case of the pressure reductor came slightly off… and when I turned on the pump, water fog was spraying all over me.

Ordered a new piece in Switzerland – Jura AEG Bosch Siemens Membranregler 59504 Druckregler Aktion ( – 7.98Eur plus 1.30 Eur shipping is a very reasonable price for repairing that machine once again.

These Jura coffee machines are really like pets. They need constant care and maintenance.

Brandt WTD8384SF

This washer-dryer from Brandt, made in France, can not really be recommended.

Already about 3 years ago, I had to open the beast to change the “courroie” that had fallen off, probably due to too high load.

Today, the coal brushes of the motors were gone. Which in itself is acceptable after about 6 years of heavy duty use. But what is not nice from the Brandt engineering team at all is to have hidden them on the other side of the motor in a way so that you have to unassembled the whole motor to change them. This is a true example of what French call “obsolescence programme”: Make a device so hard to repair that people are likely to not bother and just buy a new one. Can you imagine, just because of two coal brushes that are intended to not last for ever? I am angry with these engineers. This is not eco-friendly at all.

Good video on how to get the motor out and back in is here:


My good old (I must have bought it in 1995 or so?) NAD 216 THX power amplifier had a strange problem for quite a while. When the balance was turned all the way to the right, the left speaker continued to play an audible signal. Not really what you’d expect from an “audiophile” Hi-Fi system of that price range.

Also, for a long time, I was thinking this whole combination of NAD216THX and NAD116 should really be completely remote-controllable from the Squeezebox Touch. The preamp can be put on standby already by the Squeezebox using the “IR blaster” solution, but not the power amp.

So…. loooong repair project started.

  1. Added a 5V relais to the power amps power switch circuit so that I can bridge it.
  2. Added plugs to both the preamp and poweramp mechanics.
  3. Identified the “green LED” signal on the preamp. And identified a place where I should be able to find 5V.
  4. Soldered a cable.
  5. Also… that “bridge mode” switch looked suspicious, it made bad contact and the LED was sometimes flickering. So… I removed it.

Then, I managed to find the problem with the crosstalk between the two channels. The fault was the protection chip TA7317P. Took me a while to identify it, but when I heard a dumb “click” when turning the poweramp off, my suspicion was awaken. Changed the chip, bingo! So here we are again, with the HiFi system ready for another decade hopefully.

The remote control isn’t quite finished yet, the 5V of the preamp isn’t sufficient to drive the relais board. So I’ll still have to solder a little power regulator. That’s a project for next month… hopefully !

This is where the “bridge mode” switch was.

Unfortunately, it was also when I realized that at 50y of age, I reallly needed a magnifying glass to solder even such relatively big contacts. Sigh.

DNS broken

When I started this blog, I decided to use the free DNS service by the guys from SecurePoint in Lueneburg.

However it suddently all stopped working. I contacted them and they said my IP address was identified for being a spam source. WTF.

So… I decided to spend a bit more money per year on a real domain name, now the site is under “”… Took just some time to migrate the f*ing docker containers and wordpress system to a new URL – really that is not straightforward as the whole proxy rewrite rules for the nginx didnt make it any longer. But now it should be OK again. Enjoy !

March 2020 – Siemens SN26T290EU/02 Dishwasher

My Dishwasher had strange issues for quite a while: Whenever I used the “VarioSpeed” function (to reduce the cleaning time from usually 2h20 to 1h30) while it cleaned very nicely, it was afterwards “blocked” with an error message E15 (which means “The dishwasher signals that water is in the floor tub.”) . After some googling, I found the recommendation to just tilt the whole machine by about 30deg to the side so as to empty the leaked water bassin in its bottom to the floor (and then to mop all that water up….) – or to wait for one or two days for it to dry. And indeed that worked.

So, this happened several times in the last 6 months. Then recently, things got worse, the differential fuse of the whole apartment triggered and left me in the black. This happened when the dishwasher started the cleaning phase after the initial (cold water) rinsing. And again … this happened after having used VarioSpeed.

So I first suspected that this might be some element of the electrical installation of the machine that got wet, maybe by water that leaked over the bassin?

Then yesterday it happened again, and when I then restarted the machine with a “reset” and launched a full program (after having tilted it and emptied the leaking water bassin) it did run the whole program – but this time the machine ended with “E:04” on the screen. And the dishes where all wet – and cold.

So now a new suspicion for the root cause emerged: The heating of the dishwasher must be involved.

Luckily, Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte (BSH) has an excellent website for spare parts. So using that website (after entering the model identifier) I found the explosive diagram of the machine and quickly was able to find the part number of the pump that heats the machine, the “Heizpumpe” (00654575). However, 134Eur for a pump? Come on guys. So…. typed the part number into and found the same for 90 Eur. and with Amazon prime shipment two days later the part is delivered. Search for a Youtube video on how to replace it – – and voila! Two days later, the piece is in the mailbox.

However, our friends at BSH have modified the pump design and in particular the connectors. Luckily the vendor on Amazon provides already a set of new adapter cables together with the pump. So, after certainly more than half an hour of cutting and recabling, I finally managed the put the new pump into the machine. And heurka, it’s cleaning and heating again. But…. it shows again Error 15 !

Stay tuned for the next episode 🙂

Turris MOX Wi-Fi Module

When I first heard about the Turris MOX project on IndieGogo I was immediately convinced this was the platform I wanted to have in my home. So I backed the Indiegogo campaign – back in 2018. Of course I had to go for the full fledged version with all types of extension modules you can think of. That old ASUS RT-N16 with Tomato firmware of mine should have its days counted.

Finally in Summer 2019 the device was shipped. But…. it didn’t really work well. In particular the WiFi 2.4 GHz module kept going on and off.

I then discovered the user forum. And that I was not at all the only person impacted by this bug. However, the team in the Czech republic seemed somehow overwhelmed by all the problems they had to solve, and were of little help. So I was thinking, heck, this is an open source router, I should be able to fix it on my own really.

Dismounted the device… and here is what I found (and how I was able to fix the hardware):

May 2019 Repairs Log

Replaced the iRobot Roomba front wheel (which kept falling out of its mounting bracket) with a new one and cleaned the whole thing.

Replaced the pressure regulator in the Jura coffee machine that was leaking water and completely cleaned the machine.

Fixed the mechanism of jewelery chain.

Fixed a Yo-Yo.

Swapped the cylinder of the entrance door of the appartment.

Failed in swapping the battery of a Withings Activite Pop.