First and foremost, when working with any electronic gear, make sure the equipment is completely unplugged from any power source, including USB.

Tools needed:

– a thin-bladed knife (a utility knife is best, as it will likely get covered with epoxy)
– a Phillips head screwdriver
– pliers (needle-nose are preferable)

1. Take the thin-bladed knife and, at one of the front speaker housing corners, wedge it between the black, plastic, speaker housing face and the silver trim piece.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 1

 

2. Gently and slowly rock the knife back and forth to cut through the adhesive that’s holding the face plate to the speaker housing. Take care to keep the knife lateral to the face plate… the back of the plate has a black coating on it, making scratches transparent and very visible from the front.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 2

 

3. Make 4-5 passes around the speaker housing with the knife, cutting a little further into the adhesive each time.

4. Once the face plate starts to come loose, with your hands, gently go around the housing a few times, prying the face plate up a little more each time. Since it’s plastic, be sure to not bend the plate too much, as it could break.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 3

 

5. Once the plate is off, grab the Phillips head screwdriver and loosen the eight screws holding the housing together.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 4

 

6. Once the screws are loosened, slowly pull the housing apart. Be careful because the speaker wires don’t have much extra slack.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 5

 

7. With the needle-nose pliers, clamp and remove the speaker cable leads and the tweeter leads.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 6

 

With that, you should have successfully disassembled the Logitech Z-1o speakers.

Logitech Z-10 - pic 7

 

In this case, it turns out the problem is a blown speaker, as you can see the tear in the cone. Boooooo!!!!

Logitech Z-10 - pic 8

Advertisements

I work on one of the most-watched shows on TV. This is no small operation. Just like any other big, legitimately successful enterprise, we operate under a budget, but we also try to buy products that are going to be reliable. You know, as it’s said, “You get what you pay for.” But sometimes, what you pay for doesn’t turn out how you’d expect. Enter the Microboards G3 disc printer.

The G3 is the second disc printer of the same model that my employer has purchased for the office. The first one was acting funky, so a second one was purchased as a replacement. Taking a quick stroll across the internet, most distributors selling this printer have a price of just over $1,000 on them. That strikes me as pretty expensive for the luxury of printing labels on 50 CDs or DVDs in succession. That’s really the extent of what it does.

The printer does make life a little easier, when it works properly, but the problem is that it’s finicky on a daily basis. “The printer cartridge is unable to move” is the most frequent error message, which is only remedied by shutting down the printer, restarting it, then setting up the print job again. On occasion, even the restart doesn’t help because the printer cartridge is still apparently stuck. Stuck on what, I have no frickin’ clue. It sure doesn’t look stuck.

So, today, after being fed up with getting the “Hey, I’m stuck again” message, I thought I’d give the ink cartridge a little push/pull to see if it moved. The result was that something clicked… and not metaphorically. I’m talking about the “Uh oh, did I just do something bad?” kind of click. I printed a test disc, and the alignment was was off… what should have been printed in the middle of the DVD ended up being far enough to the right that the 10 characters in one line had almost printed off the disc. I could see that the cartridge physically wasn’t returning back to its usual spot after printing.

Since I am fairly savvy with electronics, and such equipment doesn’t belong in landfills, I had tucked the old, disc printer #1 away in a cabinet. I almost pulled the old unit out, until I discovered something on problematic printer #2… Underneath where the ink cartridge rests when not in use, there is a plastic, square outline. I pushed the cartridge holder straight back, and it moved without any resistance, like it’s spring-loaded. Then, sliding the ink cartridge to where it should have been situated, I pushed the plastic square back, and the ink carriage finally popped back in place. A test print was successful, as the text alignment was properly centered on the DVD again. Whew! A thousand more dollars potentially saved.

I am very confident that this debacle hasn’t totally fixed anything – the cartridge will continue to get stuck on itself, and printing will continue to be problematic. The bottom line is that this disc printer is expensive, yet unreliable. Microboards is now trying to phase out the G3 in favor of the G4. But considering how long the G3 was on the market, my expectation that reliability has improved is admittedly very low.

Have your own experience with the Microboards G3? Let me know about it in the comments section below!

I just discovered some extreme ignorance I possess regarding one of my guitars. It’s a Paul Reed Smith Custom 22, which I’ve owned for probably seven or eight years now. Coming from the old school, plain old tuning peg world, I restrung the PRS tonight the same way I always have – locking down the string with plenty of excess slack, then continually winding the tuner until each string reaches its proper pitch. It doesn’t seem like rocket science… until you think there’s a problem with your equipment and just realize the problem is that you’re behind times.

When I got the guitar out and started this project, I thought “Hey, the tuning peg is broken! I can’t lock down the string… it keeps popping out of the string holder on the peg every time I try to wind it.” I was frustrated because, well, this guitar is really nice and has been super reliable for quite a while now. But after seeking some expert advice, this is what I found:

1) There is no need to wind the string around the machine head like on the old style tuners. Don’t do what is shown in the photo below. Rather, read on for proper instruction.

Image

 

2) My whole concept of the Paul Reed Smith winged tuning pegs was just completely wrong. When you’re finished setting up new strings, the wings on the machine heads should flare outward from the guitar, and the top and bottoms rows of tuning pegs should be fairly symmetrical.

To begin putting on new strings, loosen the cap screw just a bit (no more than a quarter turn is needed).

IMG_3487

 

Flare the wing on the machine head outward, and line up the string in the slot, as shown below. No string slack is needed.

IMG_3484

 

While holding the string in place, hand tighten the screw cap, then begin rotating the tuning peg. The screw cap will continue to tighten and, once the machine head aligns just right, the string will begin to tighten. Once tightening begins, push the flat side of the wing in towards the middle of the headstock to lock the string in place.

IMG_3489

From there, bend the string back towards itself, snip of the excess string, and continue tuning the guitar up.

 

The finished product should look similar to the photo below:

IMG_3493

FINALLY! After so long, this guitar has been properly strung. I’m read to rock, and hopefully you are now, too!

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Additionally, if you have benefited from this post, leave a little note or consider sharing this page. Thanks!

A breakthrough! A breakthrough! I have been doing some experimenting with my recording rig, as described yesterday. Today it seems that greater success has come.

Running the newest version of Pro Tools – version 10 – hasn’t been without issue on my Macbook Pro. Although not recommended, I had been running an audio test from the primary (and only) internal drive. It was just easiest that way, but an error message continually popped up during playback: “A CPU overload error occurred. If this happens often, try increasing the H/W Buffer Size” in the Playback Engine Dialog, or removing some plug-ins. (-6101)” With RAM maxed out at 8 GB and this machine not yet being a relic, it seemed something more was going on than the 5400 RPM drive simply not being able to keep up.

I changed Pro Tools settings multiple times, changed back and forth between 1 and 2 host processors, unplugged and plugged all the connections back in, and then something clicked. The newest part of this system I have been dealing with is the Aggregate I/O. For those unfamiliar, it used to be that Digidesign-branded hardware had to be connected to your computer to open the Pro Tools software, and that hardware also acted as the sound card… so speakers/headphones hooked up to it. Now an iLok is used, which is basically an oversized USB thumb drive that holds all your licenses and allows a user to open the software. This also allows you to use either the previously mentioned Digidesign hardware OR you can now use your computer’s internal sound card. Shabam!

What fixed this whole “CPU overload” debacle was taking away the aggregate setting and putting the focus solely on the externally-connected Mbox 2 (via “Setup” -> “Playback Engine” in the PT menu). It never occurred to me before that perhaps more-than-necessary processing was going on, due to sending signals to two sound cards.

Also, for good measure, I have hooked up an external, 7200 RPM hard drive to the Mbox 2, as the Macbook Pro only has one Firewire port, which is being used up by the Mbox 2 itself. I finally have a setup that isn’t clunking out every 15 seconds…. sooooo, if anyone else runs into a similar scenario, hopefully this gives you a solid starting point.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it below! Also, check out the music I’ve written/recorded on Pro Tools here: https://leavingcelestia.wordpress.com/music/