Category Archives: Non-Technical Post

01/23/2017: Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Patriot’s Day is a very good movie about the Boston Marathon Bombings. It is a worthwhile watch.

2. The Steelers did not show up for their playoff game. Coaching had something to be desired, and the players were not ready for the game. Disappointing…

3. Got the second running board welded up, so I need to put some paint on them and get them welded onto the brackets on the truck.

4. Took apart the Tonka truck, so I hope to get working on sandblasting and painting the pieces this week.

Volvo – Windshield Washer Squirter Fix

As you can tell from my previous post, I’m getting the Volvo C30 tighten up and fixing a couple little issues with the car, and the windshield squirters not squirting has been on my list for a couple weeks.

At first I thought the pump may be bad or a line clogged; however, after a short time with the hood open and the washer pump activated, it was obvious that there was a large leak at the squirter. As I took a look, the issue was that the “tee” for the washer fluid line was leaking. The bottom of the “tee” was missing, and the washer fluid was getting pumped out the bottom of the “tee”. I ordered the below part, and all is well.

Volvo – Clear SRS Service Codes

As mentioned in an earlier post, I had to remove the front seats, which have airbags in them, from the Volvo C30, and once back together, I received an SRS Service Error. I bought and used “VOLVO iCarsoft i906 OBD2 Engine Vehicle Diagnostic Tool Code Fault Multi-System OBD-II Scanner” to first read the SRS Error messages, which were related to the removal of the front seats; then, the clearing of the SRS error codes.

The scanner worked great, and now I have an advanced scanner for the Volvo C30 which I hope to get at least an additional 100,000 miles.

Volvo C30 – Wet Floors

We have been getting a lot of rain lately, and I noticed that my wife’s 2010 Volvo C30’s floors were wet. There was no signs of an obvious leak, so I went to Google to see what I could find out, and once again, Google came to the rescue.

It seems that there is a common problem on the Volvos where the Sunroof drain tubes separate behind the A-pillar interior trim, so that is where I focused my attention.

Prior to taking the A-Pillar trim apart, I wanted to get the carpet up, so I could start drying the interior. The front seats and the rear bottom seat came out which gave me access to remove the rear piece of carpet. To my surprise, there was about a 1/2″ of water under the carpet. Once I saw this much water, I decided to pull the front carpets also, and I’m glad I did. The carpet has about an inch of foam padding, and this padding was completely saturated, and I think it will take about a week to dry out the foam.

To expedite the removal of water form the interior, I drill two 1/8″ inch holes in the floor. These holes allowed the water to drain, and they will be very easy to seal once the interior is dry.

Once I got that sorted, I carefully removed the A-pillar trim, and it was obvious that the drain tubes were separated on both sides. The upper tube needed to be lengthened by about an inch to reconnect the upper and lower drain hoses. I cut the upper hose in two about 6″ inches from the end, and went to Lowes to get a piece of hose large enough to fit the Volvo drain hose inside. I found a suitable line, and for $0.45, I had plenty to extend the upper drain lines.

I used about 4″ of the larger hose and slide the two halves of the upper drain line into it, and I did use a little sealant to ensure a water tight connection; then, I slide the upper drain line into the lower drain line. The extended line fit into the lower line by an inch or so. I do not think there is a chance of it separating in the future. The extended drain lines tested good, so I put the trim pieces and seats back into the car.

I thought I would be done, until the carpet drys, but when I started the car, I got a “SRS Urgent” message. Once again, Google came in handy. After reading about the error, my thoughts are that I got the error message due to the seat removal while the battery was still connected which means that the SRS system got a message that the air bags in the seat were disabled. So, the next question is how to reset the error message.

Through Google searches, I found an “advanced” code reader for Volvos which provide the ability to reset SRS codes, so this device is on its way, and I will provide an update once I get a chance to use it.

All in all, fixing the drain tubes was easy, but time consuming due to the seat and carpet removal.

Cisco UCS and VMWare

This past week, I got my first experience on the Cisco UCS chassis utilizing VMWare.  One of the lab test teams wanted test\jump servers to support their activity, so to meet their original request, I activated one Windows server and one Ubuntu server.

These servers were created from existing templates, so the upfront work was already completed by other engineers.  Once the templates were “cloned”, it took little time for the servers to come online, and I made all of the required IP changes, static routes, user account and updates through the VMWare manager.  The whole process was very easy, and it took little time to get the new servers handed off to the test team.

My initial interaction with VMWare\UCS was very good, and I look forward to learning more on the system.

Studying – Exam Scheduled

I took a little time off, from studying, over the holidays, but I got back into prepping in early January.  I finished the CBTNuggets videos for the ICND1 and found some free online practice tests.  The free tests were OK, at best, so I spent a little money and bought the Boson ICND1 and ICND 2 practice tests.  The Boson tests got good reviews, and I used them for all of my previous certifications with very good luck, so I see no reason why I won’t consider this money well spent.

After running through the practice tests, they gave me a good idea on what to expect from the test.  It has been several years since I took a Cisco test, so getting a little practice with the simulator has been helpful.

Now that I got my studying on track and the practice tests running, I had to schedule the test, or I would continue to delay taking the test.  It is schedule for the first Friday in February, and I hope I can post that I passed the test.

GNS3 – Cisco Simulator

Per my previous posts, it has been about 13 years since I completed, the now expired, CCNP, and back in the day, the router simulators were insufficient, at best, and in most cases were worthless.  With those experiences burned into my brain, I purchased a couple L3 switches and a couple routers, and I built a small Cisco lab the TV room.  I’m a firm believer of “hands on” experience, and this equipment provided a brush up on the physical portion of Cisco gear such as recovering passwords, uploading IOS images and getting the equipment wired up.   These activities were a good refresher; however, it became obvious that physically cabling up each hands on practice exercise, which would require the removal of old configs, would get old real quick, so I took the time to check out the GNS3 simulator.

A co-worker, who is studying for his CCIE, told me about GNS3, and I’m glad I listened.  GNS3 is free to download, and it is worth the time to read the “Getting Started” guide.  The generic download includes many items such as hosts and switching elements; however, all Layer 3 devices require you to download the IOS image from Cisco.  I have a CCO account (Cisco website login), so downloading the images is rather easy.  If you do not have a CCO account, I’m sure there are ways to download an image from the Internet or possibly a co-worker may have access.

GNS3 - OSPF Practice

Once the IOS image is downloaded, you create a new router, and point the software to the image, and magically, a router is added to the GNS3 software.  I created a basic 2621 router with (3) Fast Ethernet interfaces which supports my needs to the CCNA scenarios.  As I progress past the CCNA, other router types may be required.

To create a practice scenario, you just drag and drop the elements needed, and so far, all I needed have been routers and hosts.  GNS3 has a VPCS (Virtual PC System) included, and these elements allow you to assign an IP address and ping\traceroute to other elements.  This is useful to ensure connectivity across the networks configured in the scenario.

I will add more info about GNS3 as I become more familiar, and if possible, I will add different practice scenarios.