Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's alright....

OK so to close off the Three saga previously posted. It proved to be quite a useful search around the service providers to see who actually offered the best value for my needs. Without a doubt the most important thing to me is data. I'm month on month using over 5GB but I do a lot of traveling so it's hardly surprising. I hardly make any old school voice calls and if I do they are normally for work (and I have a phone dedicated to work not play)

Most providers now offer all you can eat or fat data usage but all bar Three also charge royally for it. You do get lots of minutes etc with this greater cost but that's a waste on me.

So I spoke to a customer service rep at Three and discussed my issue with their contract and thoughts about moving. They walked through some options for me and I've tailored a new subscription to exactly what I wanted at less cost so all round, it's a win.

Sticking with Three then and bought another One Plus Two.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three UK; tell you one thing, do the other

So you have probably all seen the recent
marketing with a Muppet and an old East 17 song that has a chorus of 'Alright Alright everything's going to be Alright'


Three happily tell you the mobile industry sucks. I generally thought my time with three has been ace. They also tell you it's time to take a stand.


Today I got a letter from three. I've been with them for a decade. Working in AV and with some mobile hardware companies, I signed up back in the day in a London three store for a new contract and just gave the HTC wildfire phone I got to my wife, as I already had a phone.

Over the years I kept my contact running paid on time and used it mostly for data.. I never upgraded handsets and just had a SIM free contract. About a year ago this contract was changed after someone from three called me and said I could change to a One Month rolling contract called the One Plan AND save money. Happy days, what's the catch... £17 all you can eat. No catch... Signed and done....

Until now.

Now, three have 'phased out your current plan and as your minimum term has ended you will need to change to one of our new plans'

To what, of their 'great range of plans to suit your needs' are they changing me to? All you can eat data + All you can eat minutes. The price... £30 a month. THIRTY... For the same contract.

This 'new' contract brings nothing new. Despite practically doubling the price.

A call in to three got through to their call centre who kindly offered to transfer me to the billing department after waiting 15 mins. When they transferred me..... It was closed.


In the meantime, I'll take a look at EE and O2 bit I'm pretty sure Three will have me over the barrel as they have the best price all you can eat contracts.

It's a shame that the loyalty I gave them looks like it is no longer recognised as below


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My @SWFC mobile/tablet Calendar 2015/2016 season #SWFC

REPOST from last season, ready for this season:

OK, another quick one for you SWFC fans out there. It's here again with fixtures released this morning. Something to think about other than the World Cup!

If you were already subscribed to my calendar for the previous seasons, you need to do absolutely nothing :D

We've stayed safe last season and following a takeover from The Land Of Fire crew we are hopefully well on the way to hit the Premiership in the next few years.

We've been taken over by one of the worlds richest fishermen! Premiership here we come.

Kicking off at home against newly promoted Bristol City should be a good test straight away and hopefully by then Carlos Carvalhal will have been announced, I've updated my shared calendar again. Hosted on google calendars and available to you and your Android/Nokia/iPhone/pc/mac whatever device nice and simply and without cost. Woohoo! Again, if you were already subscribed to this calendar back when I made it for the 2011/2012 season, you need to do absolutely nothing :D

This link will take your calendar program to fully list the fixtures and location of games, complete with times and location info, straight on to your device. The map and location functionality will also help if you are a super travelling fan for finding the ground allowing you a single click to load maps. ;)

If you have an iphone you can go to Start > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar and type in Job done.

For anything like if you are reading this on a PC you can probably just click the link

and if that doesnt do it for your handset, the full iCal link is:

PHEW. Any questions, ask away

Up the Owls!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Audi A5/S5 MMI hack for Bluetooth Audio A2DP Streaming

So as many people will know, Audi are Apple fan boys. not.

So although Audi have an MMI cable available for 3.5mm and iOS devices, I wanted something easier and quicker plus I don't want my phone stuck in the glove box when its attached to music... that would be ridiculous. So I set about looking for ways to get the audio streaming to my Audi and my 3G MMI via bluetooth from any device. I currently have a One Plus One (edit, now a One Plus Tw0) handset and an iPhone 5 (edit iPhone 6) but as I have Google All Access and a Three all you can eat data plan, the One plus is the go to device. The iPhone is works.

All in all it was fairly easy once I'd been given pointers from a guy at work (and as I work in AV these were fairly accurate and explicit instructions). I couldn't find anything online worth whilst except for a stupidly expensive visioo thing that basically does what this hack does for shed loads more cash from what I can see.

So I wanted to share this with you in case you too are frustrated about not being able to stream Bluetooth music to your car. This is basically a simple way to stream music from any device via Bluetooth. It will also allow your phone to still take calls as the music is streamed to the MMI and the calls to the phone BT.
Covering my ass statement: Anything you do from these directions is entirely your own doing and I accept no responsibility. Especially for you cutting the wrong cable, messing up your cable, sticking holes in your kitchen table or melting your car

There is a kit list:

  1. An Audi MMI cable like this: MMI/AMI Cable for Audi

  2. A 30pin bluetooth A2DP receiver (the type you use with iPod stands etc as it needs to attach to the MMI cable)

  3. 1 x  1k Ohm resistor

  4. Thin flat head driver

  5. Some wedges (tesco club card, other small drivers, guitar pick etc to hold the clip open)

  6. A soldering iron with applicable soldering kit

  7. Electrical tape

  8. Needle nose pliers or the likes

  9. Something to cut the wires with

  10. A delicate hand

Then just do this (click the pictures to enlarge):

  • You need to pop open the plastic casing from the 30 pin end of the MMI Cable. To do this you need to put pressure on here first to get the casing open enough to shove something in. This is just above the pressure clip to remove the cable when its plugged into the car.IMG_20150625_223518

  • When you have that open, put a wedge in to hold it open and work your way to the bits that are holding it all in place. You can use a small flat head to press the clips in if you are lucky.. only one of mine did this. Basically you need to work your way round gently to prise the lid off 


  • Eventually your lid will be off. Step one done. You can see in this picture how there is one of the clips damaged and laid down in the lid. I had to plasweld/superglue these back in place.  

  • Now, slide down the plastic sheath off the MMI connection and you will have this
 IMG_20150625_224630 IMG_20150625_224659

  • The picture on the right you can see two impressions in eh middle. This is where the metal casing is held in place and it should easily pop apart. Be careful though as some of the metal edges are sharp.

  • Hey presto we now can get to the wiring so you can see below the sets of wires we need to work on. The group of 3 (brown, yellow and white) carry data information and we don't need them, and the black coated wire is the current resistor. This is what tells the car what device is plugged in basically. Everything you see in this picture is mirrored on the other side of the unit. 

  • Here you should be VERY gentle with things if you want a tidy job and no issues with the cable in the future. You can see in the picture above the cable going in, the black plastic and then the gold of the connector. Each of the cables going into this are held in place my a TINY TINY lip on the gold tips. You may well need these so you can't just yank the cables from the unit as you'll damage everything. They are fairly easy to remove though thankfully. Take your small flat head driver and gently push the small plastic panel to the side or pull it towards you as that will mean the lip has nothing to hold on to. It is easier to push to the side but also more likely to break. Its not the end if it breaks so don't worry too much as we arent plugging cable back in theres ports. You should then be able to gently pull the cable with your needle nose pliers and remove it from the block.


  • Once they are out you need to isolate them so fold them over and tape them up. You should have 3 out on this side in the first go and then more to come on the other side.

  • Now you need to flip it over and remove the other three wires in the same positions, tape them all off and you end up with something like this, nicely insulated. 

  • Right, now we need the existing resistor out.

YOU MUST BE CAREFUL HERE. DO NOT BREAK THE CLIPS and also REMEMBER WHICH PORTS IT COMES OUT OF as you need to get it back in. The resistor is the thicker black cable. You can see the bulge of the resistor in it like a python after its just eaten! Gently move the plastic away from the lips and the resistor will come out exactly as the data wires did. We can no reuse the tips from this on our resistor so just snip them off and we will solder them to the new 1k Ohm resistor. IMG_20150625_232524

  • For some reason I didn't take any photos of the soldering section but I've explained what you need above. We want the tips as we need these to hold the new resistor in place. You should basically make your Frankenstein resistor to look like this. I have one short end as that's how it came out originally from the previous resistor in the unit. You can snip shorter if you want.  

  • Again, you want to protect this from shorting so wrap it. Then you will end up with a medusa! 

Reattach the resistor in the same ports you took it out of! It should clip nicely back in as you didn't break anything and you soldered the tips on neatly. When you have the resistor back in then you simply need to tuck the folded data wires away and put everything back in the casing, ready to put the plastic sheath over it all. You can see here I have fixed the lid clips so it all seals up nicely.


  • Once you have it all back together again, it should look pretty much as it did when you started but probably with a few scratches from when you tried to open the clip ;)


  • Now, plug your MMI cable into your car, add your BT adapter and press Media. You should see AUX connection on the screen and now you are ready to stream to the Bluetooth adapter. (pairing to the adapter is simple so you are on your own for that) . I had no need to do any VAGCOM editing or the likes.

Hope that helps and you get the enjoyment of music .. wirelessly!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Xperia Z2 replacement NFC chip

So my phone got dropped/Sat on/ cracked on the back cover and I was very Grrrrrrr about it. I decided to just buy a replacement cover and remove the old one. They are really simple to remove with a hair dryer and a spudger basically. One thing I learnt tho is that you can't just chuck the broken back away as that's got the NFC chip stuck to it.

Now if you are here because like me you needed to find a replacement NFC chip for your Xperia Z2 then you are in the right place. World of Mobiles in Germany has an eBay store that has the only replacement panel I could find with the NFC chip on it. I did buy 2 other panels for about 15 quid each but wish I'd just bought this more expensive but the only one that could do the job. This is eBay user powerseller_nr who has this item you need.

If you want to know how to remove the panel have a look at this video:

Back Cover and NFC for Sony Xperia Z2 Replacement:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fog light replacement Audi A5/S5


So I was looking for some info on replacing the bulb in an Audi fog light. There seemed to be only one static image video on YouTube so I thought last minute, I'd put one together. Hope it helps someone.

I replaced standard fog light bulbs with LED ones (via ebay/China)  There are no error codes thrown up with these, so all good.

(Had to do a bit of clipping on the video, sorry)

Anyway, finished result: