Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Intensive Program Application is Causing PC to Freeze

Intensive Program Application is Causing PC to Freeze

This a a quick tip to get around a situation where a processor intensive program or application is causing you PC to slow down.  

This method assumes you have a multi core machine. 

Step 1 - Launch

Launch the application you intend to use. In this example Foxit Phantom PDF. 

Step 2 - Set Affinity 

Press Crtl+Shift+Esc to bring up Task Manager. Select the processes tab.

Right click on the process that is causing the system to slow. Click on "Select Affinity".

Deselect 50% of the check boxes, so that the program can only use a limited number of cores. This should free up some resources so you can carry on with other stuff, whilst the intensive application munches through its task in the background.

This is handy for modelling programs, batch image compression, video rendering and other CPU intensive operations.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

POP, SMTP & IMAP - Repeat "Wrong Password" with Gmail - 78754 Error

POP, SMTP & IMAP - Repeat "Wrong Password" with Gmail - 78754 Error

Some notes on my trying to fix the outlook (also tried with Thunderbird) password box that pops up repeatedly even when you have entered the correct password.

The first thing to point out is if you have been using the same settings for weeks and months and this suddenly happens then maybe it is the google email server where the problem lies . . .in my case I tried all of the below and none of it worked, and then about 24 hours after the problem started, all my mail came through 100% no problems, and . .  the problem went away "on its own"

But  if it does not then perhaps try the below:

1 - Check Your Password

Briefly log in to you web mail, with what you assume to be the right password. Just to check that you have the right one.

2 - Restart Outlook

Easiest Option for potential fix. Before you start any in depth tinkering.

3 - Restart You Computer

The old ones are the best ones! Try the easiest things first.

4 -Run Scan PST 

If you have been using outlook for ages trouble free and suddenly the password pop up keeps bugging ou then the outlook data file may have become corrupted. This process takes a while but does not inclove changing settinsg that you may regret later.

If you look in C Drive > Program Files > Microsoft Office > Office 14

You will find SCANPST.EXE, open this select you OST file that is causing the problem. 

Find you OST file in My Documents > Outlook Files

5 - Wait for 24 Hours

This could be problem, or glitch with your mail server, before you start changing settings deleting files etc. wait to see if the problem fixes itself. You can always log in to you webmail in the meantime.

6 - Outlook 2013 & 2016

If you have Outlook 2016 or 2014 then download this Microsoft Diagnostic Package, and see if it helps. It will try to discover what is going on and also try to sell you Office 360!

7 - Credentials, OST Files & Cached Passwords

There is a excellent set of checks on this site, which may provide a result. These really delve in the bowels of you OS and Outlook, so save these for last. You know here there be dragons etc. 

8 - Profiles

Open the Start menu, scroll down to "Windows System", click and select "Control Panel".  From the Control Panel, click the "Mail" app (if you have "Category View" selected, the app is under "User Accounts"), click "Show Profiles", click the "Always use this profile" radio button, pick the Profile you want to use all the time from the drop down menu, click "Apply" then "OK".  

9 - Allow "Less Secure Apps" in Google Setting

You mayneed to adjust Gmail's "Less secure apps" settings:
Allowing less secure apps to access your account

10 - Unlock Account

One thing I have spotted is , this allows you to 'unlock' your account if for some security reason (like too many connection failures(?) ot is looked from App Access.

11 - IMAP or POP must also be enabled in Gmail settings

If this is you first time trying to use POP or IMAP, IMAP or POP must also be enabled in Gmail settings.

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Friday, 15 February 2019

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review - Intro

Any one who has ridden ant type of suspension fork before would likely see these Suntour CR-8 Suspension Forks as inferior. They are. They are so so so cheap, how could they be any good?

I have not ridden a bike with suspension forks on it for 10 years, maybe 15. But recently I saw these on Ebay for £25 (Bankrupt Bike Parts) and thought "hey they have a long steerer tube" (300mm) , I'll give them a go.If you want a long axle to steerer tube top measurement then there is no cheaper fork.

I can safely say that these forks are an absolute game changer compared to rigid forks, and for £25 the quality is amazing. They are Heavey, they only have 50mm of travel, but they still work.

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review - In Use

I am so used to getting jarred wrists when riding on short stretches of off road that I found riding for 3 hours on single track (at a local trail centre) was really quite pleasant if you use suspension forks. Who knew?

The Suntour CR-8 Suspension Forks bottomed out twice, and they certainly don't have much dampening or anti-rebound but I was able to cycle much faster than normal over all sort of stuff that I would normal get off and walk around.

I used 2.25" Impac Trailpac Tyres. And they fitted OK, with about 5mm of clearance each side. Perhaps you could squash a 2.35" in there but not if you want any room for mud.

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review - Intended Use

I do not think these are designed of off road use. It says so on the stickers that is stuck on the forks. The fact that these forks have mudguard / fender eyelets is a bit of a give away.

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review - Features

LOL. Not many. But you can adjust the pre-load! Just flip off the cap on the left hand stanchion and you will find a slot for a coin, turn it to stiffen up the spring. 

 Looking at a spare parts manual for for these CR-8 forks, you will see they only have a spring in one side. Is this a bad thing? Well it is a design that is repeated in the XCT range which cost 2 times as much money. If you pay 3 times as much (XCM) you get 2 springs.

Suntour CR-8 Suspension Fork Review - Conclusions

If you are looking for cheap cheap, well made fork, that is springier than a rigid fork. Then you cannot go wrong with this one. It is not really aimed at mountain bikers, it is for comfort and it certainly provides that. The long steerer tube is a massive bonus and my main reason for the purchase. I am not racing anyone, and will not get a prize for getting anywhere fast, so I like to be upright, look at the view and chill.

Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review

Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review - Intro

I have recently built an MTB to use for off road stuff. I needed some tyres, cheap tyres, because I will not ride this bike much. Two of these Impac TrailPac tyres cost £15 posted on EBay so where certainly cheap!

Impac is a value offering from Schwalbe and I love Schwalbe tyres. So I gave these a whirl. I have just come back from my first ride and I can safely say they are a good buy. I did 15 miles of windy gravelly single track, and it was all good fun.

On the Bike
Update 21/05/2019: I actually just accidentally cycled my longest distance ever on these tires! I did 38 miles of cycle track. So these tires are perfectly good, and can be bought for £14 a PAIR.

Update 24/06/2019: Returned from 2 day stint along South Downs Way on these tires  and they held up very well. I inspected them thoroughly on my return and there were no cuts of gashes in the rubber, I did not get any punctures. These Impac Trailpac Tires were always intended to be a temporary set of tires, but they are so good, I havn't bothered to change them.

Out and About

Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review - Tread

The tread pattern is widely spaced and blocky, small blocks I would say. the Knobs are rigid. The mould quality is high.

Tread Pattern

These come in 2.1" and 2.25" widths, I went for the slightly wider type. The difference is very small between the two and will likely not make too much difference.

Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review -Finish 

The finish is excellent for the price, and the tire looks and feels like a tyre worth twice the price. I think the main cost saving over schwlabe tyres is that this tire does not have puncture protection layers.
2.25" clearance is tight

The name of the tyre, is printed in simple white print on the side, which is unnecessary but looks quite cool.

Note: The 2.25" variant just about fits in my Suntour Cr8 Forks, these are stated as having a max tire width of 54mm. So the width in this case mounted in 25mm rims is quite accurate. 

Finishing Touches

 I have since rebuilt this bike, but have kept the tires becuase they are so good. 

On South Downs Way

New Build - Same Tires!


Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review - Specs

  • MTB Tread 
  • Trailpac
  • 26 x 2.25" (57-559) or 26 x 2.10" (54-559)
  • Available in black
  • Weight: 2.25" - 860g, 2.10" - 820g
  • 24EPI

Impac TrailPac MTB Tyre Review - Conclusions

This is the first MTB tire with knobbles on it I have ridden on in 10 years. It seems like a high quality tire, and I would recommend it for any looking to buy a name brand quality tire. It felt very grippy around the trails I visited today, and I am not looking to upgrade.

A few months worth of riding have proven it to be tough, and reliable. 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

BMX Ebike MK2

BMX Ebike MK2 - Intro

I doubt you have seen my original DIY BMX EBike build, as it is the worse thing ever, and although a "good laugh" was pretty much useless. The main problems were lack of wait on the front wheel, battery in the way of knees, and rubbish brakes. If you would rather watch on Youtube, then there is a video.

MK1 and . . . . MK2

BMX Ebike MK2 - Improvements

Planned improvements were to mount the battery to the rear of the saddle, this required lengthening the rear stays, otherwise there would have been heel strike. Lengthening the rear stays also moves the centre of gravity forwards. I also needed to reduce the top speed, add some mudgaurds, lighting and improve the brakes.

BMX Ebike MK2 - Drive System

The drive system although weird is as good as I can make it for the components used. I did not change this.

You fit a rear wheel (110mm wide) in to a front fork, by cutting a re-welding the  left-hand side drop out. This is easy to do as you can use the axle and nut to hold the drop out in place as you weld.

The motor is then mounted so the chain line is straight. The motor need to be geared other wise you bike will be all speed and no torque which is not very good. An ungeared motor may go really fast on perfectly flat ground, but even a shallow hill will result is doom. i.e. slowness. 

The key is to add a plate of steel on which to mount the motor.


If the steel is quite thin it will flex when you are using the motor and the chain will not stay tensioned. Add in a brace as above or use thicker steel. The holes which are used to bolt the motor, should be elongated, this allows you to slide the motor up and down, and thus tighten the chain.

BMX Ebike MK2 - Frame 

I needed to make room for batteries, and alter the front rear centre of gravity.

I added in this lattice structure between the new rear sat tubing, I cut the stays and then bought tube from eBay that would fit in side, I bought stuff with quite thick walls as I was not worried about weight.

Next up was to add in the battery holder frame. This was cut off the MK1 BMX Ebike and welded on. The tubing is thin so you can also hang a pannier bag on the sides too, which is handy. If the battery fit down in side without poking out of the top, then perhaps you could make a seat at the rear. 

But is does poke out of the top, so no seat.  The battery is held in place using a zip tie. A big zip tie.

Here is a close up of the area of frame were it has been extended. The tubing was placed in a vice and bent by hand until it all slotted together, no measuring or anything, just bend a bit and then try it out. 

BMX Ebike MK2 - Electrics & Sundrys

A few extra bits were added to make the bike a bit more practical.  To recap the the bike is powered by a MY1020z, with a YiYun Controller with 48v of headway LiFePO4 at 8ah. I had to work out how to slow this thing down, as I had reduced gearing as far as possible, and still it went 30mph, which is just silly and against the law in the UK. So I figured out how to reduce the speed of the ebike.

A "kill" switch for the controller (ebay: engine stop switch). This is wired in to the "ignition" loop of the controller (yiyun) where the key would normally be. It allows me to kill the system if anything is going wrong. Sticky throttle for example. Next to that is a small toggle switch which is used to switch the lights on and off.

In this picture you can see mudguards have been added, and a front head lamp, this is a 10W LED floodlight, it is a poor choice for a headlamp and the beam is wide a shallow, and does not reach very far up the road.  The lights are power by a Shido Lithium battery at 12v which is taped to the handle bars. It is quite light.

 Lastly the controller and all the spare wiring are tucked inside this webbing pouch to keep then tidy, and a little dry.

BMX Ebike MK2 - Video

If you would like to here my annoying voice, talk about this for 7 minutes then there is a video below.

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