Monday, August 31, 2015

How To Replace Battery In Chevy Suburban Key Fob

I've had my Chevy Suburban for 10 years, and I'm the original owner. It only has 50k miles on it and it's in great shape. For the most part, I've been kind to it. Sure, the carpet is perma-stained from raising kids, but overall it looks and drives almost like it was brand new.

My Suburban has aged gracefully, unlike its owner

The key fob for my 2003 Chevy Suburban has a pry point near the key ring. I tried at first to use a small jeweler's screwdriver, but it started damaging the plastic a little. Looking at it closer in good light, I realized that it was really expecting a flatter, wider screwdriver.

I paid 20 bucks a few years ago for this Wingman and it's paid for itself several times over, at least

Since my toolbox was ironically in the truck, I used my trusty Leatherman Wingman to pry the fob open, and it came right open with no problem.

Inside is a common CR2032 alkaline button cell battery. These batteries are cheap, and easy to find. I did end up using the tiny screwdriver to pry the battery out. Being a computer engineer, of course I had to walk outside and test the key fob to make sure it works, since the old one had gone dead.

Since this was the #2 fob, I also checked to see if it had the same problem where fob #1 was starting to honk the horn every time I locked the truck with the fob, which most people would normally do. It was pretty annoying coming out at midnight to get something out of the truck and having it honk the horn at that hour.

...and lo-and-behold, this fob doesn't honk the horn when I lock it, so I switched to using this one full time, since it also has a new battery. Now, I wonder why this one doesn't have the same problem. Does the other fob have a problem with the switch, or because it has the original battery just like this one had? Since I used my last CR2032 battery for this one, I will have to order more to find out.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Logitech MK520 Keyboard / Mouse Acting Weird Under Windows 10

My mouse started acting weird right after my computer updated from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I know that "weird" isn't a technical term, but it seemed to have a mind of its own, stuttering and bouncing all over the screen.

This keyboard / mouse combo was only a couple weeks old, so for a while I was wondering what the heck was going on. The keyboard would also randomly stop working. It was really frustrating until I noticed that it was worse when I was transferring large files.

Eventually I figured out that it doesn't like being plugged into a USB hub in Windows 10! I have no idea why it didn't do that with the same hardware and plugged into the same hub under Windows 8.1, but I didn't have any issues.

Maybe Windows 10 has a different USB driver or something, but I moved the dongle to a different USB port and haven't had an issue since.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Behold, The Wonders Of Goo Gone

Years ago, when I would buy a water pitcher, laundry hamper, Tupperware, or really anything with a glued-on tag, it was always an exercise in frustration having the tag rip off halfway through and leave most of the glue behind. It was always a pet peeve of mine.

At one point, someone heard me ranting about it and said "hey, you need this stuff called 'goo gone'" and I have been using it ever since. This stuff melts the glue away, and doesn't lose its effectiveness even when you get it wet. I routinely use it to re-purpose Snapple bottles to used for iced coffee and tea.

Some coffee cooling off, and almost ready to go into the fridge. Nothing but shiny on those Snapple bottles

A word of caution though: Goo Gone is a heavy duty solvent, and you should make sure to rinse it off clean and not leave it near children or animals. It feels weird when it gets on my hands, but I always make sure to rinse off every trace of it. Also, it goes a long way, so use it sparingly.

Now I don't stress that dreaded tag ripping halfway through taking it off the new toaster, setting in motion an OCD-induced series of events where I must obsessively rub every trace off with just a plain towel.