Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hero Duet Silent Recall

So some news about our Hero Duet. Looks like hero motocorp has fucked it up for good. 

We have done about 3000 km till date. And the scooter has become kind of rubbish with leaky suspension and reduced pickup. Probably needs a service. So hearing this news I asked wife to dump it for servicing. 
Let's see if the servicing guys fix this turd. 

On the positive side - Hero did get some things right. Above 55kmph no vibrations. So good for highway riding. So is stability at high speeds - which may be because of the weight. But still with good suspension it gives you confidence. The light is not enough in night and needs tune-up for proper focus. But we keep on forgetting it every time we give it for servicing. Maybe I'll correct it when I start self-servicing the bike. Oil change and basic engine tune up doesn't look all that difficult. 
The seating is not that bad. We got a replacement seat cover that's made up of mesh like material which keeps bottom aerated and so saves on ass-burn on long trips. In India's hot and humid weather leather seats don't make much sense. 
The accelerator is easy on pull. Recently I rode an old active and the accelerator was murderous. After 10mins my wrist was burning like hell. The brakes are also fine, though being drum type they lack bite and you have to be cautious when riding at high speeds. 
Storage space works fine. The two hooks at front work great. The grip at the back is bit overkill but is comfortable. The styling like looks too much like Activa but works. Overall the Duet is a fine dream designed in a hurry. But seems like hero was not finished with the refinement. And still the rushed the product to market without enough testing. And so now thousands of units later, the black dots are coming to the fore. 
From my experience working in automotive domain, getting a vehicle working perfectly is difficult. The many parts sourced from number of suppliers often have their own issues and in the middle of it all maintaining the desired quality is difficult. Due to this an often given advice is to skip the first generation of any product. 
So where to from here? If hero can fix the problems and the bike experience gets better, then there is future for Duet. Or else people will avoid all hero branded bikes. And in this competitive bike market that can cause your downfall however big you are. 
Let's see what happens. Ciao. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Overheating Lenovo G580 laptop - various causes and solutions

Recently I noticed my almost 5Yr old Lenovo G580 laptop which comes with a dual core 2.3GHz Pentium B930 processor, was running hotter than usual. Generally I use my laptop for internet browsing, little bit of office documents and mainly watching movies and TV Serials. So it was not as much bother, but upon looking into it - I noticed with the help of HWMonitor program, that even on idle it's running at about 60 degree celc. This is hotter than average. Two problems I could see was 1. The thermal paste has dried out and become useless, 2. The fan is not kicking in.

After going through a number of articles on internet about thermal paste I decided to get the cheaper version abd try it out. Mind you the average ambient temps here are in 35 degree celc range these days, this being summer. So last week I ordered an el cheapo thermal paste for 130 INR, that about $2 - qty is 10gm. Got it yesterday. Went home and after unscrewing a dozen screws and getting nicked here and there, I managed to get to the motherboard. After removing the heatsink-fan combo, I used simple cotton to wipe out the old grease. It was indeed dried out. I wiped out the underside of the heatsink as well. Then fumbling about I managed to fix it on the chip. Then screwing a buttload of screws and then done.

It all took me about an hour. After practise it may be a 20 mins job. But good learning experience for me. So after all was packed in, I learned I have missed couple of screws. Put them in the thermal compound wrapper for next time. Then crossing my fingures I turned on the laptop. Apparently I managed to put everything back together in working order. After running it for about an hour, I could see some improvement - the temps were down by about 4-5 degrees. Now idle temps were hanging around at about 55-56 degree celc from the 60 degrees.

The fan though is acting like a turd. It just doesn't move fast enough to expel the heat. Maybe I need to see what's wrong with it. The only time it moves fast is when I run the dust expelling routine in Lenovo Performance Management app. Found couple of suggestions on the net - but the fan control is not available in my BIOS, and other ways to control fan speed didn't work.

So still something to be done. But some improvement too. Cheers!  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The fine points of various Mediatek SOC's

My last purchase of Panasonic P75 was a bit puzzling for me when I checked out the soc name and the specs. Point was, the soc was mentioned everywhere as MT6580. But my previously purchased phone Panasonic T44 also has the same soc. Plus the same specs, but when I used both the phones I could clearly tell which one was faster and which one was slower. 
As I saw in daily use Panasonic P75 is definitely faster, smoother etc with same 1GB of RAM, with same soc clock speed of 1.3GHz. So what's wrong?
Turns out the soc info for the cheaper phone was incorrect. It has MT6580m soc. This is what's a watered down version of MT6580. And so this is what's causing the difference in performance. Since from what I saw in actual usage - the mt6580 is faster so Android is smoother there as compared to mt6580m which feels only adequate.