Hikvision applied shotgun to the foot and squeezed the trigger

I guess I will not be recommending Hikvision any more to anyone.

Here is why:
http://www.hikvision.co.uk/faq_80.html
https://goo.gl/2uTtHk

So in short, Hikvision decided to only sell their cameras to authorized installers. The same installers that want $800 for $80 camera.
Well guess what, screw you Hikvision this is not pre-internet era where greedy corporation can dictate what is happening on the market.
I guarantee that this move will not curb prevalence of Chinese sourced cameras on ebay and aliexpress.
Granted this only affects UK and EU. I think this is just a beginning.

I personally will not be buying Hikvision and will definitely advising against buying Hikvision (be that from authorized rip-off artists or aliexpress).

As a company you should not screw with enthusiasts, as the same enthusiasts will be making purchasing decisions for their employers, and you will be losing many million of dollars at the end of the day. I am glad we went with Dahua.

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For some silly reason a JDM Forester XT (SJG) comes with a single rear fog light on right side (and a dummy on left side).

I am amazed that these rear fog lights are not disabled during compliance. They are useless, annoying and illegal in NZ.
Too many times I was stuck behind an oblivious BMW driver in rain only to be blinded by their rear fog lights.
In my opinion these people who drive with rear fog lights should be fined.

So, the rear fog light got to go.

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I decided to replace the 6300k HID bulbs on one of my cars, with more sensible 4300k OEM solution.

I came across reasonably priced Toyota Genuine Bulbs on trademe.co.nz (NZ ebay type of thing).

The particular bulbs I was after were D4R, or Toyota Genuine Part 90981-20015 (alternatively Philips 42406).

They were priced (~$80NZD) similar to Genuine Philips 42406 in USA (~$50USD), so seemed to be reasonable. The Toyota Genuine are after all Philips 42406 in TGP box.

When I tried to fit the bulbs I noticed they were extremely tight. Then I looked closely and did some googling.

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Since day one of our ownership of this particular 1NZFE powered Toyota IST the engine was a bit on louder side.
Previously all my other cars had timing belts and I put it down to simply being a “feature” of chain.
After more family and friends upgraded their cars to xNZFE, it was clear that this engine was slightly louder in chain department then the rest (especially in the mornings).

One day after coming back from a holiday I started the car only to be greeted by loud chain slapping noise.

OMG! My wife’s car turned into a Nissan!

I decided to exorcise the Nissan out of it by replacing the chain tensioner and guides.

Below is how I did it, not necessary the “correct” way. This process took about 6 hours, good chunk of it was spent on cleaning the surfaces.
It was pretty much like replacing timing belt, except with way more RTV.
Over all I replaced two oil pump O-rings, front crank seal, valve cover gasket, both chain guides and chain tensioner.

In retrospect I prefer timing belts as opposed to timing chains, especially considering that the tensioners still fail on chains occasionally.

Interesting notes:

  • Old guides were PA66, new guides are PA46 (improved)
  • Old tensioner had larger oil hole than the new tensioner.
  • In hand old tensioner functioned correctly, but while fitted it would skip.
  • For some reason Toyota decided it is great idea to incorporate water pump flange into front cover. This creates a potential of RTV failure and leakage of coolant into sump. It also requires pump removal when removing front cover. It would saved me 2 hours if the pump was not part of the front cover.
  • The oil pump is mounted on front cover, thus requiring two O-rings for inlet and outlet.
  • One of those O-ring was completely flat, possibly leaking oil. It is hard to tell if the O-rings seated properly when fitting the cover.
  • For the crank pulley Toyota gone away from woodruff key in favour of tiny hollow pin.
  • The 10mm cover bolts and water pump bolts torqued at 11Nm. The 12mm cover nut and bolts torqued at 24Nm. The crank pulley went in hella-tight with crappy rattle gun and on top with some hammer on spanner action (It should be 128Nm). The tensioner and guides bolts are torqued to 9Nm.
  • I used Threebond grey RTV. The manual specified two kinds of RTVs for water pump and the rest of the cover, good luck buying two Toyota genuine RTV tubes ;).

Slack Before and After:

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HUSQVARNA rip-off pricing in NZ

So, I came across an interesting, but not surprising thing with Husqvarna MSRP prices in NZ compared to USA.

I recently looked at Husqvarna 445 and when googled for it, I got multiple MSRP prices (one for NZ, on for AU and another for USA).

Husqvarna 445 MSRP by country:
USA: 329.95 USD

AU: 899.00 AUD (~$690 USD)

NZ: 1019.00 NZD (~$745 USD)

According to NZ customs duty calculator using US MSRP price as base the fair MSRP price in NZ should have been $599 NZD (~$440 USD).

What is with the ~$150 USD price difference between NZ and Australia? According to Husqvarna Americans are twice better than Australians and more than twice better than Kiwis. They treat Kiwis like chumps that will buy thing at whatever prices Husqvarna feels like.

Guess what, from now on I will be avoiding the Husqvarna until these greedy corporate types will pull their heads out of their asses and set fair MSRP prices. In this global economy it is very stupid not to have standardised prices across the globe.

If I really wanted to buy one, no way in hell I would be buying it in NZ, as for about $150NZ I can get it shipped from the states.

Recently we got a nice 2005 Toyota Vitz RS (NCP91) with a manual transmission.

It is great car in all aspects except power delivery and throttle response is pathetic.

We already have 1NZ-FE powered car in the family – Toyota IST and unlike the Vitz RS it is not that pathetic (in fact it is kind of fun to drive).
Yes, I have driven multiple Vitz RS and they were all asthmatic.
So what is so different between IST and RS? IST happens to have cable driven throttle, while RS has drive-by-wire.

Here is where Toyota screwed up and completely ruined the car: they made throttle map to emulate steam roller.

If I was Toyota I would not stick RS badge on the car, it is not a hot hatch simply because it lacks in engine department. Vitz RS should have came out with 1ZZFE at least.
What is even worse they decided to stick this anaemic throttle map on top. As if the car was not boring enough.

After consulting google and various forums I had two minor mod options:

1) Stick a throttle controller
2) Stick a throttle body off 1ZZFE.

I decided to go for second option as it is transparent from end user point of view. There are a few minor hurdles with this mod.

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Cross-flash M1015/9420-8i LSI controller quasi-official way

WARNING: don’t blame me if you brick your card ;).

Building large cost effective storage solutions present a problem: lack of cost effective HBAs.
The solution to this problem is an interesting controller from IBM/Lenovo M1015. These can be bought for about 70USD on ebay.
The only problem with that controller is that the firmware it comes with (aka WebBIOS) is utter crap.
This problem can be resolved thanks to LSI providing alternative firmware images.

I generally flash these cards in Pass-Through mode, as they are not suitable for hardware raid scenario (lack of battery and RAM). Besides in low cost situation it is far better to use mdadm RAID (or ZFS) than hardware RAID (due to flexibility in reshaping, monitoring and fault recovery). With hardware RAID you simply cannot start with 3-disk RAID5 and grow it a disk at a time to 12-disk RAID6 without moving data to another storage.

I decided to write this guide as I could not find a guide that would use the tools and firmware images directly acquired from official sources (LSI/Avago/Broadcom).

All the guides include their own download links, which present security (malware) and possible bricking issues (if images were corrupted).

The goal of this guide is to stick to only files sourced from LSI (now Broadcom) as well as avoiding using Windows (Linux friendly).
By the time someone reads this the version and links will change so I am including search keywords on how to find the files in question.

I will be focusing on Pass-Through mode firmware (IT mode), but the only difference to IR mode is the 2118it.bin vs 2118ir.bin.

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ILDVR – and their lack of professionalism

It all started with me purchasing ILDVR INC-MH40D06 IP Camera. I decided to poke at it and discovered some interesting and blatant security flaws.

About a year ago I contacted ILDVR (Arnold and Marika Wei) regarding the security issues, which got no response.
After about a year of the camera sitting on a shelf, I decided to poke at it again.
Which prompted me to send them this email:

For which I got a friendly response from Marika:

To which I replied, asking for firmware update (which I thought was reasonable to expect firmware updates for products with serious security flaws):

The only response I got is this peculiar email from sales@ildvr.com:

So, it seems that:
1) ILDVR.com/ILDVR does not care about security
2) ILDVR.com/ILDVR does not care about PR
3) ILDVR.com/ILDVR does not care about customers

Perhaps they should adopt the following motto:

“GO TO HELL! – ILDVR (where security does not matter)”.

To be honest, I would probably let go this whole thing if they simply not responded. It would have taken them less effort to not to respond either. Instead they chose to send me email with “GO TO HELL!”. I find this thing very hilarious.

It is even more hilarious if you look at google search results: