Ford Focus Block Heater

It is winter now and the weather is pretty cold where I live. My battery is weak and there is cold weather on the way, so I decided to test the block heater out. I was told by a friend to plug it in, and then unplug the block heater quickly. If the heat plug had any draw it would create a spark when I unplugged it. It did not create a spark so I figured that the block heater was not working for some reason. I traced the cable and found that it was just dangling at the back of the engine bay. After some research and feeling around the back of the engine, I found the block heater plug.

From the top of the engine looking to the right you can see the orange end of the block heater cable.

Because of the angle, I used a mirror to get a picture of the plug. It now works great, and I still test it regularly by checking for a spark when unplugging it.

Cleaning Lenko Snow Machines

I was recently introduced to two Lenko snow machines and was really interested to see them working. Because of the multitude of nozzles making a fine mist, they are supposed to make snow really well. Upon firing it up, however, most were dribbling, and many more were clogged up altogether.

I started going through the work of removing the nozzles. There were 450 nozzles per machine plus an inner piece that needed disassembling as well to make a total of 1800 parts that needed cleaning!

I used CLR and an electric toothbrush to slowly clean all of the pieces. They were very calcified and the o-rings were cracking. After cleaning, I found that they were quite tacky and gave all the parts a hot water bath. I put new o-rings on as I assembled all the nozzles.

The difference after cleaning was visually striking. We flushed the machines with no nozzles in them to try to blast any residual build up out of the rings. Then we put all the nozzles back by hand to avoid over tightening or cross-threading. The machines work amazing now, and produce a lot of snow.

Using A Security Key For Gmail

I recently got a HYPER FIDO Pro Security Key and I decided to use it for 2-step verification on my Gmail account.

On your Google account, under the security section it gives you the options for 2-step verification.

There are multiple 2-step verification options. You could use a text, or a phone call, but to use a security key, click on “Show more options”. It will ask you to plug in your security key and press it’s button.

When it has recognised the key, it should look like this. Now whenever you login to your Google account for the first time on a computer, it will ask for the security key to be plugged in. Using a security key is fun because it is like a key to a lock, only it is the key to an application.

DSI Fuse Replacement

So, I blew the fuse out on my DSI while testing. The screen didn’t turn on and the yellow charging light would flash. I found replacement fuses and ordered them. I found where a fuse was and had soldered a wire on so I could bypass it. Of course that wasn’t a permanent fix, and there was still some weird behaviour. Here is a picture of two fuses next to a penny.

It turned out that the fuse was even smaller than the buttons that I had soldered on, and it quite the pain getting one on there. I thought that there was only one fuse, and after replacing the one shown here, the screen worked, but it wouldn’t charge. I could charge it with the DSI on, but as soon as I turned it off, the charging light would flick off…

This is where the second fuse is. It is very close to other components, so it took a bit longer to get it on there safely. After soldering it on, and putting the battery in the right way, the DSI works just like new!