Thursday, December 31, 2015

Changed my last Panasonic FM14C5 ceiling fan to Alpha Reno 699

About 9 years ago, I installed 3 Panasonic FM14C5 ceiling fans in my house, 2 of them went faulty 4 years ago and I replaced them with Alpha VS-5.

Recently, my last Panasonic FM14C5 ceiling fan also facing the same  motor control circuit faulty problem, and I've replaced it with Reno 699, also manufactured by Alpha Electric Co.

This Alpha Reno 699 ceiling fan only cost me RM160. It has 5 ABS blades (56" each) which are light and anti-rusting.

This is a remote control fan with basic function of 3 speeds selection and timer of 1hr, 3hr or 6hr.

Now I have more confident in Alpha brand ceiling fan than Panasonic or KDK.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Understanding the tyre speed rating, tread wear, traction and temperature resistance

I have just changed my car tyres to Hankook Ventus V2 concept2 (H457) all-season with the following ratings:

  • Speed rating: H
  • Tread wear: 500
  • Traction: AA
  • Temperature resistance: A
Out of curiosity, I have done a search in the Internet to find out the meaning of these ratings, and below is what I've learnt.

The tread wear, traction and temperature resistance ratings are measured following the standard as defined in the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading (UTQG) system.

Speed Rating

The speed rating is the maximum speed capability of a new tyre, denoted by an alphabet as below:
  • L = 120km/h
  • M = 130 km/h
  • N = 140 km/h
  • P = 150 km/h
  • Q = 160 km/h
  • R = 170 km/h
  • S = 180 km/h
  • T = 190 km/h
  • U = 200 km/h
  • H = 210 km/h
  • V = 240 km/h
  • W = 270 km/h
  • Y = 300 km/h
Tread Wear

The tread wear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tyre when tested under controlled conditions on a specified test track.
Tyres with lower tread wear grade are generally softer, run quieter, but wear off faster, whereas tyres with higher tread wear grade are generally harder, run noisier especially on concrete road surface, and wear off slower (generally more durable).

Most tyres nowadays have tread wear grade between 300-500, therefore tread wear grade of 500 is comparatively harder and wear off slower.


The traction grade represents the tyre's ability to stop when braked on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified test surfaces of asphalt and concrete.

There are altogether 4 traction grades for tyres approved to be used on the road:
  • AA - the best rating
  • A
  • B
  • C
Most tyres nowadays have traction grade A, so AA is considered as an above average grade.

Temperature Resistance

The temperature grade represents the tyre's resistance to the generation of heat when running. It is tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.

Note that sustained high temperature can cause the materials of the tyre to degenerate and thus reduce its life, and excessive temperature can lead to tyre failure.

There are altogether 3 temperature resistance grades for tyres approved to be used on the road:
  • A - the best rating
  • B
  • C
Most tyres nowadays have temperature resistance grade B, so A is considered as an above average grade.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A families trip to Belum-Temenggor Forest Reserve

Do you know that located at the east of Penang Island about 155km travelling distance away, there is a world's oldest rainforest believed to have been in existence for over 130 million years, covering an area of over 300,000 hectares and surrounding the 2nd largest lake in Peninsular Malaysia.

The huge lake is called Tasik Temenggor, and the northern part of the tropical rainforest is called the Royal Belum State Park of Perak, while the southern part of it is called the Temenggor Forest Reserve.

There are many beautiful scenes of nature in this forest reserve area. The lake is pretty clean. It is like a mirror reflecting the scenes on it.

For this nature trekking trip, we took the 4 days 3 nights Temenggor Package of Belum Eco Resort. The package includes cruising, accommodation, activities, and 4 meals per day.

We parked our cars at the car parking area of Pulau Banting public jetty. The jetty is located after the 1st bridge of East-West Highway crossing the Temenggor lake and before the 2nd bridge.

We boarded on the boat from the resort and travelled south. We passed by Pulau Talikail, an island with a mountain, and there is a lookout tower on top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we were told that the lookout tower is under repair, so we have no chance to climb up the mountain for sight seeing at the tower there.

After about 30 minutes, we reached a small island at the heart of Tasik Temenggor where Belum Eco Resort is resided. The small island belongs to Uncle Steve Khong, who established and run the resort on it.

Located far away from civilized area, there is almost no phone signal coverage on the island, so you will be free from Internet disturbance during your stay. Water supply is pumped directly from the lake. Drinking water is properly treated by filtration process. Electricity is supplied with their own power generator, and only available from 6.30pm to 7.30am. That should not bother you much, as during daytime you will be out of the resort going for activities. Interestingly, the resort does have a modernized sewage treatment system to properly treat the waste water before discharging to the lake.

The green house on the lake in the photo below is where the diesel powered generator located. It is a bit noisy during operation, so it is purposely located some distance away.

There are 3 types of accommodation available. The boat houses are spacious and well equipped.

The 2nd type is double storey dormitories, good for large group of people staying together.

The 3rd type is where we stayed, small chalets with a queen size bed with private outdoor bathroom. Hot water is available with gas heater.

This dining area of the resort is clean and nice. I think this is a temporary dining area, as the actual dining area is located on a platform below this area, which is currently under repair.

There is a function hall upstairs. Every night, one documentary movie about the Belum-Temenggor Forest Reserve will be shown for visitors to have better understanding about the place and its nature. After the movie session, usually there will be Karaoke session at the same function hall.

Evening activities at the resort includes fishing, swimming, kayaking, photographing, etc. If you are lucky, you will be able to see hornbills and monkeys on the tree. There are elephants in the surrounding rainforest, but not on the small island of the resort.

Tilapia fishes are found in the lake, and if you are lucky, you can get Tilapia of easily above 2kg for additional dish in your dinner.

In front of the resort, there are many fish breeding facilities, but they are not belonged to Uncle Steve.

Travelling to other visiting sites in the forest reserve will require cruising of at least 20 minutes.

We saw old tree with big trunk like this in the rainforest.

The world's largest flower Rafflesia is also found in the rainforest. Unfortunately, by the time of our visit, the flowers are still at the budding phase and looked like a ball.

We also had some fun at waterfalls in Pulau Tujuh. The jungle trek to the largest waterfall upstream is a bit challenging to the young children. There were some wooden facilities downstream which were abandoned, probably damaged by elephants.

We visited to an Aborigines village.

Our children coming from urban area encountered with their children staying with the nature.

We passed by an island with white rock with dinosaurs age outcrops, on the way to a trekking area to explore the Sira Gajah salt lick. We couldn't find any elephant that day, but found some caves made by the elephants, and also their droppings.

After staying 3 nights with the nature, our vacation finished and we returned back to our urban live. I started to miss the 3 dogs and 1 cat living in the small island, and also the relaxing and email/messaging disturbance free moment at the rainforest!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Updated my HTC One (M8) to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with Sense 7.0

My HTC One (M8) Developer Edition smartphone received its OTA update from Android 5.01 (Lollipop) to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) last week.

In this update, its Sense UI also upgraded from Version 6.0 to Version 7.0.

Here are some of the noticeable changes found in this update:
  • Android Marshmallow introduces a new feature called Doze which can tremendously prolong battery life. After this update, my phone still has remaining 58% of battery after 19 hours of normal usage with several phone calls, heavy messaging, email checking, calendaring, and moderate BlinkFeed reading, Facebook, web browsing, Youtube, etc. This is really amazing to me. I believe the battery can easily last for 2 days usage without recharging with this new version of Android.
  • The Navigation Bar is now user configurable. You can now add more soft buttons to it, define which buttons to show, or even hide out the entire bar.
  • Now you can have control on the app permissions, defining what permissions to grant to the apps installed in the phone.

  • Configurable "Do not Disturb" mode

  • Option to format the SD card as internal storage.
  • Home Widget that can auto-switch the icons and widgets on your home screen based on your location (Home, Work, or Out).
  • More personalization to the Theme and accent colour.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Updated the firmware of my Transcend DrivePro 220 car video recorder from v1.0.7 to v1.0.8

I have successfully updated the firmware of my Transcend DrivePro 220 car video recorder from version 1.0.7 to the latest version 1.0.8.

The new firmware of Transcend DrivePro 220 can be downloaded from this webpage:

Look for the Driver/Firmware section under the Support & Download screen, the click on the file download icon to download the firmware update package.

Here are the steps to perform the firmware update to the Transcend DrivePro 220:

Step 1: Remove the microSD card from the car video recorder and put it in a USB card reader.

Step 2: Plug in the USB card reader to your computer to access to the storage content of the microSD card.

Step 3: Backup all the videos and pictures in the microSD card to your computer.

Step 4: You will see a folder called System in the microSD card. Go into that folder. It is OK if you find the folder is empty.

Step 5: Unzip the firmware update package you just downloaded from Transcend's support website, you will find a file called DP220.bin. Copy this file into the System folder of the microSD card.

Step 6: Safely remove the USB card reader from your computer, and put back the microSD card into the Transcend DrivePro 220.

Step 7: Ensure your Transcend DrivePro 220 is fully charged.

Step 8: Turn on the Transcend DrivePro 220, and open the Settings menu.

Step 9: Go to the "Firmware Upgrade" option, and press the OK button.

Step 10: Confirm the firmware update, and press OK to proceed.

The firmware update will now begin. It will take several minutes, and your Transcend DrivePro 220 will reboot itself after the update.

After reboot, it should be running on the new version of firmware. You can check the firmware version inside the Settings > Information screen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

U Mobile awarded as Malaysia 2015 Fastest Mobile Network by Ookla and give 1GB additional free quota in December 2015 to all subscribers

Which mobile network provides the fastest 4G LTE Internet bandwidth in 2015?

According to the Ookla Speedtest results, the winner is... U Mobile, and the second place is... Celcom. The Maxis who made a lot of noise recently ends up at the third place, and the forth is Digi.

Right after winning this award, U Mobile has announced that all their postpaid and prepaid subscribers will get 1GB extra quota to their data plan for free in the month of December 2015.

I have received this SMS from U Mobile too!

Seems like I have made a right choice in switching my tablet network provider from Digi to U Mobile recently.

Meanwhile, there is news that P1 who invested heavily in the wrong technology (WiMAX instead of LTE) will make a strike back to the market under the umbrella of TM. This means that TM who all the while in the fixed line market, will soon enter into the competition world in the mobile market, after they bought P1 mobile business quite some times ago.

Things are getting interesting, especially if you still remember P1's advertisement about "potong", ended up they need the rescue from TM.

Anyhow, it is a good news for consumers to see more competition in the market. We look forward for more quality service and more "potong" in pricing among them.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.