Sunday, May 14, 2017

Revenge of the Electronics

Not everything is happiness and joy in dino-ville.  The electronics are massing for attack.  Beginning feints at warfare have begun.

Aladdin is an electronic data reporting system in the RV.  It shows engine data like temperatures and fluid pressures as well as status of the coach electrical systems.  When we drove to Jensen from Moab, Jim saw the Aladdin system reporting oil pressure of 15 psi at idle.  This is a bad number.  It should be in the 30s.  We went to the Caterpillar dealer in Vernal, who plugged their laptop into the Engine Control  Module.  The ECM says that at no time was the oil pressure that low.  In fact, if the pressure went below 18, the engine would shut itself down.  What it did show was that the engine was over-sped coming down the grade on Indian Canyon.  In retrospect, we should not have towed the pick up truck down that hill.  Note to self!


We went back a couple of days later so that they could check the sensors.  Of course the bedroom closet had to be emptied.


The tower of stuff.


The Cat dealer did not find anything wrong with the sensors.  Their theory is there is some fault in the Aladdin system.  Hopefully it’s a faulty plug or wire that can be located and fixed.  However, it’s going to have to wait until the end of June when we are in Harrisburg, which is the epicenter of RV knowledge.

Recently, the DVR has been freezing when playing back recorded television.  After being frozen for awhile, it then reboots all by itself.  No hands!  So I called Dish.  It took 45 minutes on the phone to convince “tech support” that it really was freezing.  Each attempted playback required the time for reboot and re-acquiring the signal.  Eventually tech support agreed that since multiple programs were freezing, that yes there was a problem and they would send me a new receiver.  Then I had to provide the address.  Apparently tech support is not familiar with the concept of “in care of” or “RV Park.”  It was painful.  Now all we have to do is find someone in Boise to install it for us. 

While sitting on the phone, I was looking at Jim’s laptop, noticing that hitting the enter key was producing exactly zero response.  So I did a restart, and got this.  The dreaded blue screen of death. 


Then a miracle occured.  It’s an HP laptop, and it has a really robust set of recovery tools.  The HP Support Center box just popped up and gave us a menu of things we could do, one of which was file back up using a command prompt.  I used to be a PC programmer, in 1985.  It’s good to know DOS.  Jim could remember which files he had updated, but not backed up, and I was able to copy them to a thumb drive.  It was good.


We asked the HP software to do a system restore and it did.  I am really impressed with this package.  Windows just went toes up and said it couldn’t restore anything, but the HP software brought it back from the dead.  Currently the lap top is installing one of the 167 updates that were required to return to current s/w levels on top of the restore point.


The clock gadget is gone, and the free Excel and Word is gone, but at least he’s still on Windows 7 and not that heinous Windows 10.

Here is a lovely flower picture for your enjoyment.


Tomorrow we are up and out really early for the drive to Grand Junction to see the ear guy.  Hopefully my ear will be cleared up and I can quit thinking about it. 


  1. We might say these kinds of things are "first world problems" but they can be very serious problems nonetheless. I live in dread of things like the blue screen and automotive electronic malfunctions. I hate the helpless feeling of knowing I'm completely unable to fix such things myself! Hoping your issues resolve themselves with minimal inconvenience and frustration.

  2. I was worried about Windows 10, but surprisingly, it has been fine -- this after years of using Windows 7 and being very used to that. 10 is far better than 8! Good on ya' for remembering a bit of your DOS skills. I used to do a bit of that myself, and it can definitely come in handy at times, to this day. Glad it looks like Jim's PC and files are going to be okay!

  3. We actually really like Windows 10.
    Hope you get a good report at the ear doc!