Silencing Frigidaire mini in-window compact room Air Conditioner Model FAA065P7A

Instructions on Silencing Frigidaire Mini In-Window Compact Room Air Conditioner Model FAA065P7A – 6000 BTU MSII

If you look at reviews for this otherwise nice, small A/C unit, you’ll see lots of people complaining about a loud beep every time you press a button on the unit or the remote (e.g. changing fan speed or temperature). It’s a high pitched, noisy, piercing, annoyingly loud beep, which wakes spouses and babies. I know of no way to disable or turn off this “feature”. I looked for a wiring diagram and didn’t find anything promising, so I decided to slightly disassemble the unit and hope to find a speaker. I wound up fixing it and here’s how you can as well!:

Tools required:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Glue (I used a glue stick)

Time required: about 10-15 minutes

Skills required: Basic Handyman. Having said that, here’s my disclaimer: Only skilled, certified electricians should attempt to fix electronic equipment. These units may contain capacitors which hold electric charge. Do not touch any of the electronics. I am absolutely not responsible for loss of property or person, damage to this unit or your cat, accuracy of these instructions, nor do I guarantee that this will even work. Opening this unit may void the warranty.

Steps:

  1. UNPLUG THE UNIT!
  2. Swing open the front vent like you’re going to change/clean the filter and then gently and slowly swing open further to pop the two bottom hinges until it comes off. Set it and the filter aside.

    ( First swing open, then remove vent )

  3. Remove 3 large screws and set aside (be careful not to brush anything up against the fragile aluminum vents).

    ( Location of the 3 screws to be removed for removal of outer plastic ring )

  4. Remove 4 (there may only be 3) small screws around the control panel and set aside.

    ( Location of the 3 (or 4) small screws needed to remove the control panel )

  5. Pop off the outer plastic front piece which has the top vents attached. Do this by gently inserting a flathead screwdriver from the inside into the slot about half-way down on the right side until that side comes off. Repeat for the left side. Then, the trick is to try and gently pull this outer plastic piece up (there are two tabs along the top like there were on each side). Be careful as there is a wire which attaches this piece to the rest of the unit, so orient it so that you don’t put any tension on this wire.

    ( From along the inside, press tab with screwdriver to assist in removal of outer plastic ring )


    plastic ring removed

    ( Set plastic ring gently aside -- there's a wire connected to it )

  6. Remove 3 screws (there may only be 2) which were behind the control panel and set aside.

    ( 2 (or 3) screws to remove from electronics plate )

  7. Lift slightly (there are two hooks along the right edge) and carefully pull out this plate with attached electronics only far enough so that you can see and can just access to the small, black cylinder (about the size of an Altoid mint). This is the PCB mounted speaker.
    Top view of Speaker

    ( View of the hole to plug with glue (looking down) )

  8. Take your glue and make a small (about the size of a grain of rice) ball and place on the end of your flathead screwdriver.
  9. Carefully use the screwdriver to apply the glue ball to fill the hole which is at the center of this piece (don’t get glue on anything else). Be sure to pack enough in the hole to muffle the sound (about 2 grains of rice worth). You can also use an unfolded paperclip to help push the glue inside the hole and to damage the diaphragm which makes the noise.
  10. Now, carefully reassemble the unit in the reverse order.

NOTES:

  • I would not test your success until you have at least the two electronic panels securely screwed back into place.
  • For my three attempts at this, one now makes no beep, one left the beep barely audible and the other reduced the volume by half.
  • I did all this while my units were installed in windows.
  • If not obvious, this is basically irreversible.
  • This also works on model # FAA055P7A and may work on these model #s: FAA084P7A, FAC124P1A, FAA086P7A, FAA064P7A and FAC104P1A.

Good Luck!

HOWTO: Hookup two wireless routers

I have an Apple Airport Extreme wireless router. Because I have an iPhone (it can’t connect via 802.11n), I had to have my Airport Radio Mode set to “802.11n (802.11b/g compatible)”, which means when the iPhone was connected (and maybe at other times) the Airport was broadcasting at the slower b/g protocol speeds. Well, I also have a spare Linksys WRT54G v2.0 wireless router. So, I flashed it with dd-wrt firmware, and following these instructions I’ve configured the Linksys as a Wireless Access Point (WAP) and connected an ethernet cable from one of its LAN ports to a LAN port on the Airport (serving as the “main router”). I now have a 802.11g router (Linksys) for my iPhone to connect to, and my Airport’s Radio Mode is now set to “802.11n (5 GHz)” for my Macbook Pro and Macbook to connect to at their fastest speeds. Goodness.

How to handle deleting trash in Thunderbird when using IMAP Gmail

The Google team about a year ago added IMAP services to gmail. This is a great way to be able to manage your mail from several different places (e.g. client software at work, and web based gmail page on the road) and have everything automatically be in sync.

I’m also a big fan of the open source Thunderbird email client. But there is one annoying thing using these two together: when you have a message selected and press ‘delete’, normally this sends the message to Thunderbird’s trash (which completely removes it from Gmail), but in this case, you want to send it to Gmail’s trash.

There was a configuration setting you could try, to send the message to [Gmail]/Trash, but Google doesn’t recommend it (see ‘UPDATE 2, Nov 8th’ here). Instead you are supposed to move (e.g. drag-and-drop) the message to the [Gmail]/Trash folder manually.  Well, that’s not too convenient when you have a lot of folders. So, what I’ve found is an add-on QuickFolders which will easily make a shortcut to that folder (and others) so that you can more easily drag-n-drop to send that message to gmail’s ‘Trash’.

libtiff error in Matlab when attempting to use ImageMagick

Trying to use the Imagemagick toolbox (for me, installed via MacPorts) sometimes doesn’t work (for example, converting a png image) in Matlab because Matlab for some reason uses the libraries in its path over those given in system call (this is for Mac, but probably for *nix and maybe even Windows).

This is an example call:

[s,w] = system([IMAGEMAGICK_PATH,'convert ',pwd,'/',outfile,'.png -rotate 90 ',pwd,'/',outfile,'.png']);

This is the error:

error:
dyld: Library not loaded: /opt/local/lib/libtiff.3.dylib
Referenced from: /opt/local/bin/convert
Reason: Incompatible library version: convert requires version 12.0.0 or later, but libtiff.3.dylib provides version 11.0.0

The work around is to replace the Matlab library with the ImageMagick one (only need to do this once and will stay until you upgrade Matlab):

cd /Applications/MATLAB74/bin/maci/   (or wherever your Matlab is installed)
mv libtiff.3.7.1.dylib  libtiff.3.7.1.dylib.MATLAB  (give it a different name)
ln -s /opt/local/lib/libtiff.3.dylib libtiff.3.7.1.dylib  (create a soft link to the Imagemagick library file)

EDIT: This is the much better way to handle this:

setenv('DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH',['/opt/local/lib/:' getenv('DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH')])

Serial Port communications on Mac via Matlab

I have a rev B (Core 2 Duo from Dec, 2006) Apple MacBook Pro laptop running Leopard OS X (version 10.5.2) and have Matlab version 7.5.0.338 (R2007b). I’ve just found that I can NOT use the built-in serial port object, instead, I get the following error:

 java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no rxtxSerial in java.library.path thrown while loading gnu.io.RXTXCommDriver
??? Error using ==> serial.serial at 57
The serial port object is supported on the Solaris, 32-bit Windows and 32-bit Linux platforms only.

So, to get it successfully working, I downloaded these files: SerialComm.m, SerialComm.mexmac and SerialComm.mexmaci from http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/osxptb/stable/Psychtoolbox/PsychHardware/.

You can then use code like this:

 PORT = 1;
% close (if previously open)
SerialComm( 'close', PORT)
% open
SerialComm('open',PORT,'9600,n,8,1')
% flush the buffers
SerialComm( 'purge', PORT)
% status
SerialComm( 'status', PORT)
% read
STR = SerialComm( 'readl', PORT);
% close
SerialComm( 'close', PORT)

[UPDATE 02 Apr, 2008]: Note, this same code didn’t seem to work on a recently purchased Macbook. Good luck.

[UPDATE 27 Mar, 2009]: I see that in Matlab version 7.8.0 (R2009a) if you go to ‘serial’ in Help docs it now says for Mac OS X and Mac OS X 64 you can use serial(‘/dev/tty.KeySerial1’); I don’t have a way of testing that right now, but it’s possible that you don’t need to use this third party toolkit anymore. If that’s true, please leave a note here.

Getting tcl via macports to compile on Leopard

With a fresh install of MacPorts version 1.6.0 on Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard, then issuing the command:

 sudo port install tcl

returned:

 /usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h:35: error: nested redefinition of 'enum NXByteOrder'
/usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h:35: error: redeclaration of 'enum NXByteOrder'
/usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h:36: error: redeclaration of enumerator 'NX_UnknownByteOrder'
/usr/include/architecture/byte_order.h:137: error: previous definition of 'NX_UnknownByteOrder' was here
/usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h:37: error: redeclaration of enumerator 'NX_LittleEndian'
/usr/include/architecture/byte_order.h:138: error: previous definition of 'NX_LittleEndian' was here
/usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h:39: error: redeclaration of enumerator 'NX_BigEndian'
/usr/include/architecture/byte_order.h:140: error: previous definition of 'NX_BigEndian' was here
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c: In function 'TclpFindSymbol':
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:382: warning: 'NSLookupSymbolInImage' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:182)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:415: warning: 'NSLinkEditError' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:217)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:419: warning: 'NSLookupSymbolInModule' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:181)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:428: warning: 'NSAddressOfSymbol' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:188)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c: In function 'TclpUnloadFile':
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:493: warning: 'NSUnLinkModule' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:169)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c: In function 'TclpLoadMemory':
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:697: warning: 'NSCreateObjectFileImageFromMemory' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:146)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:730: warning: 'NSLinkModule' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:161)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:732: warning: 'NSDestroyObjectFileImage' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:147)
/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_lang_tcl/work/tcl8.5.1/unix/../unix/tclLoadDyld.c:740: warning: 'NSLinkEditError' is deprecated (declared at /usr/include/mach-o/dyld.h:217)
make: *** [tclLoadDyld.o] Error 1

I searched the web and found suggestions to deactivate odcctools, but the problem in my case is that odcctools wasn’t even installed. So, instead what I did was temporarily move the arch.h file, rerun the install command, and it worked fine!

sudo mv /usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h /usr/local/include/mach-o/arch.h.RENAMED