Installing TWRP on a LG v30

PLEASE NOTE *At the end of this process I did have a fully rooted phone, but I was unable to get TWRP to boot natively and somehow managed to break fastboot ability. I hope to resolve these issues in a future post. The idea of this post was to install TWRP, but the final result wasn’t a working TWRP recovery, but was successful in rooting. I’m more than confident this can be recovered.

Source I used.

What you need:

  1. A windows computer with a USB port. (Very Common)
    1. If your copy of windows is 32 bit, edit the SetDev.bat script. (Step 1) Part 2.D
    2. A USB Cable. Ensure you are using a reliable USB cable (If computer isn’t picking up a device when your phone is plugged in, but you phone is charging you maybe using just a charge cable, again use a known good reliable USB cable).
  2. Download US998 Nougat KDZ – US99810C_03_1216.kdz
    Download H933 Oreo KDZ – H93320H_00_OPEN_CA_OP_1123.kdz
    Download TWRP for LGv30
    Download Magisk
    Download Verity Force Encrypt Disabler
    Download JohnFawkes’s RCTD Remover
  3. LG v30 with an Unlocked Bootloader

Technically you can go right to installing TWRP from unlocking the bootloader, but much like the source I followed Just taking extra step to make backups.

Step 0)  Unlock Bootloader

Step 1) Flash H933 Oreo KDZ – H93320H_00_OPEN_CA_OP_1123.kdz
If you already have a DUMP from H933 firmware, move to Step 3

  1. Connect phone to patched LGUP
  2. Select Partition DL, Select All, Yes
  3. Load H933 KDZ
  4. Start
  5. Once Complete; Close LGUP and disconnect phone

You should have mobile data again however no TWRP and no root.

Step 2) DUMP partitions

  1. Put phone into Download mode
  2. Open LGUP
  3. Select DUMP
  4. Start, select all then select a folder for the files to be dumped to
  5. Once Complete; Close LGUP and disconnect phone

This should take about an hour with all partitions selected. Only 9 are needed however, it may be useful in the future to have all of them.
The 9 that are needed are OP, modem, modemst1, modemst2, misc, persist, ftm, pstore, recovery.

Remove “_COMX” and add “.bin” to the 9 files.

Step 3) Flash US998 Nougat KDZ – US99810C_03_1216.kdz

  1. Put phone into Download mode
  2. Open LGUP
  3. Select PARTITION DL
  4. Load US998 Nougat KDZ – US99810C_03_1216.kdz

Start, Select All, Yes to partition changes window
When its done it will attempt to boot and you’ll get flashes of an image, perform Master Reset.

Step 4) Flash TWRP

Enable USB Debugging, USB Photo mode.

In Command Prompt ->

adb reboot bootloader

Once rebooted ->

fastboot flash recovery path/to/twrp.img

Once completed ->

fastboot boot twrp.img

Cancel on Password Request for data decrypt
Swipe to allow modifications
Wipe -> Format Data -> yes
Wipe -> Factory Reset
Reboot -> Recovery
Unplug the cable
Reboot -> Power Off

Step 5) Flash H933 Oreo KDZ – H93320H_00_OPEN_CA_OP_1123.kdz again.

  1. Put phone into Download mode
  2. Open LGUP
  3. Select PARTITION DL
  4. Load H933 Oreo KDZ – H93320H_00_OPEN_CA_OP_1123.kdz

Start, Select All, UNSELECT Recovery, Yes to partition changes window

Your phone should reboot to TWRP when finished.

Step 6) Fix Partitions
Swipe to allow modifications
Wipe -> Format Data -> yes
Wipe -> Factory Reset
Reboot -> Recovery
(Some Reason had to let Windows update install ADB drivers again)
Code:

adb push path\to\Magisk-v18.0.zip /sdcard/
adb push path\to\no-verity-opt-encrypt-6.0.zip /sdcard/
adb push path\to\lg-rctd-disabler-1.0.zip /sdcard/

then Install them in that order: On phone, in TWRP Install, each zip
If you copied the 9 .bin files then Advanced -> File Manager
Copy each .bin to /sdcard/
Otherwise
Code:

adb push path\to\OP.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\modem.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\modemst1.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\modemst2.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\misc.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\persist.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\ftm.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\recovery.bin /sdcard/
adb push path\to\pstore.bin /sdcard/

Command Prompt ->

adb shell
dd if=/sdcard/OP.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/OP
dd if=/sdcard/modem.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/modem
dd if=/sdcard/modemst1.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/modemst1 
dd if=/sdcard/modemst2.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/modemst2 
dd if=/sdcard/misc.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/misc 
dd if=/sdcard/persist.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/persist
dd if=/sdcard/ftm.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/ftm
dd if=/sdcard/pstore.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/pstore
dd if=/sdcard/recovery.bin of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/recovery

Unplug phone
Reboot -> Power Off
Power On
Should briefly see the same erasing circle from Master Reset

You should now have mobile data again.

Step 7) Clean Up

Get through setup screens
Enable ADB
Plug in
In Command Prompt ->

adb push path\to\twrp.img /sdcard/
adb shell
dd if=/sdcard/twrp.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/recovery

Install Magisk Manager (it always needed a reboot after installing manager app to finish installing)
STOP HERE if you want a stock H933 ROM with unlocked bootloader, custom recovery, and root

IF YOU WANT TO FLASH A PIE ROM go to Settings -> Network -> Mobile network -> Advanced -> Access point names
Take a screenshot or write down every filed for every APN there, make sure to copy the screenshots off the device or at least to an external SD card.

Well This is where this post ends. I did manage to root the phone, and I guess TWRP is on there somewhere, but I can’t boot into it at this moment. It seems any attempt to boot into fastboot, either via ADB commands or hardware button sequences all seem to have the phone boot into the normal Android. I can however get back into flash mode, and I guess I might have to go through a lot of this process again to get TWRP properly working. But I’ll leave that for a future post.

Unlocking the Bootloader on a Canadian LG v30 (LG-H933)

Unlocking the Bootloader on a LG v30

Pre Story

In this post I’m going to go over unlocking the bootloader on a LG v30. In my previous post I attempted the same thing and realized I soft locked myself out of the phone by forgetting the account to which I created as a throw away, and they were entangled.

I remember about being able to recover a device owned with proof, when something happens to the person in which it was connected with. Happens in these rare situation. In this case I contacted the place in which it was purchased from and they operate a cell repair store.

I discussed what I had done, sure enough they managed to get past the Google lockout, I wasn’t able to get the exact details as they would have been great for this post, but I understand they don’t want to release all their secrets.

So Let’s get started again.

All Steps

Step 0) Factory Reset.

This step ensures you have full control of the device and it is not locked to a specific Google account. If you happen to be in the same situation as me contact the place where you bought the phone, or a cell repair store, in my case I got lucky and there was a way to recover.

To do a normal factory reset when you know the device pin, and Google account.

Settings icon > General tab > scroll to and select Restart & reset > select Factory data reset.

Welcome (Green Arrow right).
Insert SIM (Skip)
Network (LTE off, WiFi Off; Next, No Internet, Skip Anyway) [This is only available if the factory reset was done, if flashed to a different firmware before this was done, then the device will be locked out, and you are expected to connect to a network at this step]
Set Date n Time (Next)
Turn off Tracking, Turn off Diagnostics Data sending (Next)
Secure Your Phone (No Thanks)
EULA (Agree)

Welcome to your Factory reset phone, no pin no account tied.

Step 1) Verify Firmware.

Swipe down from the Notification bar and tap Settings.
Tap General, then About phone.
Tap Software info. If the Android, Baseband, and Software versions don’t match the current update; perform additional updates until they do.

Now if you read my last post you probably already know but, if you are on exactly US998 Oreo, you can move to Step x. Otherwise you will need to flash your phone to this firmware version. Which is exactly what we are going to be doing next.

as you can see from the source phone. It’s a Canadian version H933, that’s OK we’ll get it to where it needs to be.

Step 3) Flash the required Firmware.

What you will need:

  1. A windows computer with a USB port. (Very Common)
    1. If your copy of windows is 32 bit, edit the SetDev.bat script. (Step 1) Part 2.D
    2. A USB Cable. Ensure you are using a reliable USB cable (If computer isn’t picking up a device when your phone is plugged in, but you phone is charging you maybe using just a charge cable, again use a known good reliable USB cable).
  2. Download LGMobileDriver v4.4.2 (You need this, even if device shows up fine in Device Manger)
  3. Download LGUP. by technightA. Uninstall any prior LGUP you have. (For more deets see links, or read my previous blog post)
  4. Download US99810d_01_0411.kdz
  5. Download US99820a_04_0330.kdz
  6. Download ADB Tools. We need this to run the commands to exploit this firmware.
  7. Download the Magic unlock file.

If you are wondering why two different firmware’s, cause this is required to “convert to the right firmware type” “Frankenstein Method”

Anyway, once you have all the required files.. Let’s succeeed this time!

Step 3 A) Install LG Mobile Device Driver. v4.4.2 (This should be self explanatory, double click the install file you downloaded from above.)

Step 3 B) With the phone power on, plug it into the computer using your supplied USB cable.

though this what a good connection looks like, the cable in this case was not good and I was getting USB alerts from windows using it.

So I changed cables and now my setup doesn’t look at tidy, but it is working 100%

Once you see the above and the device shows up under device manager as a portable device. You can unplug the phone, and power it off as we prepare the phone to be flashed.

Step 3 C) With the Phone off, Press and hold the Volume up Key, while plugging in the USB Cable:

Step 3 D) Ensure LGUP is running in Dev mode (after running setDev.bat).

Now if the USB cable is good, the device is in Download Mode, and LGUP is in Dev mode, and the required DLLs were placed in the proper paths, LGUP should open up and you should see the following:

Select Partition DL, BIN File, and select the kdz file downloaded from above.

Flash US99810d_01_0411.kdz

Once done, your phone will softlock, with a small dead Android Character on screen, As expected a boot loop. So…

Step 3 E) Master Reset — using buttons:

A. Unplug phone and turn it OFF.
B. Press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons.
C. When the LG logo appears, quickly release the Power button only — then immediately press Power button again, while STILL pressing the Volume down button until you see the screen to select Yes to erase and reset everything.
D. Release both buttons so you can make your choices.

*This took me a couple tries to get, once I got it showed a cool  animation and then phone booted.

Then go through the out of box experience (OOBE), and go and check the software version.

Look at that… from Android 9, back to Android 7, going back in time!

However Morty we went back too far in time, we need to get back to Android 8! Didn’t anyone tell you what happened to Android 8?!

Step 4) Flash US99820a_04_0330.kdz

So the exact same steps we just did above, we have to do them again for US998 Oreo. Do it again.

Ooooo there it is US99820a… sweeet.

This time cause the device was unlocked there wasn’t even an OOBE, it went right into the main area…. time to enable dev options!! I couldn’t do this last time… sweeet!

Step 5) Confirm you’re in developer mode.

If Settings doesn’t show Developer Options, go to Settings/About Phone/Software Info, click Build number 7 times.

Enable OEM Unlock, and USB Debugging.

Installing the ADB tools is nothing more then extracting to a path on your Windows machine. On this PC, copy the new_unlock.bin you downloaded into this directory “platform-tools”.

Step 6) Connect to USB and switch to Photo Transfer Mode.

(If you’re a normal user, you probably default to USB. You need Photo.) A prompt will appear on your phone to ask you to accept this PC to be authorized for USB Debugging.

I didn’t get this prompt till I attempted to send commands and it reported the device was not authorized to do so…

Step 7) Using ADB commands to set Fastboot.

Open a CMD prompt as an admin, inside that command window, run (type and hit enter):

adb devices

To ensure the device (and only the device) is listed. If it’s not listed, verify that Photo Transfer mode. Sometimes you will need to do this step again, to ensure it eventually shows your device.

Reboot phone into Fastboot mode:

adb reboot bootloader

You should hear the Windows sounds of USB devices going and coming. And the phone has an odd screen.

From the same directory (Android tools),

Step 8) Using fastboot command to flash unlocker bin.

fastboot flash unlock new_unlock.bin

For me I was getting stuck with fastboot stating “waiting for devices”, I followed this stackoverflow suggestion, and found the Device was in Device Manager as a new device that Windows didn’t recognize. I checked online for software/driver updates, and it managed to install the device.

That was fast…. Sweeet That’s it! That’s how you unlock the bootloader on a LG v30 H933! Cheers!

In the next Blog post we will be covering installing TWRP! Stay Tuned!

Rooting a LG V30 (Or how to Brick one)

*NOTE* HUGE MASSIVE NOTE, RESET THE DEVICE TO FACORY BEFORE STARTING, FLASHING THE DEVICE BEFORE DOING SO WILL STILL MAKE THE DEVICE CALL HOME TO GOOGLE TO VEIFY IT HAS BEEN ‘RELEAESED’. IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ACCOUNT PASSWORD ASSOCAITED WITH THE GOOGLE ACCOUNT THE DEVICE IS TIED TO THIS PROCESS IS USELESS!

AKA I just Soft bricked my LG v30 cause I forgot the password to the google account I temp created to play around with it. If you Did the above you can read the below on how to Root a Canadian based LG v30.

Step 0) Read: Read This and This and This.

Step 1) Unlock Bootloader.

  1. Download LGMobileDriver v4.4.2 (You need this, even if device shows up fine in Device Manger)
  2. Download LGUP. by technightA. Uninstall any prior LGUP you have. Uninstall anything like Uppercut, which no longer works and causes conflicts with this Dev Patched LGUP.B. Extract LGUP_DualMode.zip to a folder on your PC.C. Browse into the folder and launch LGUP_Store_Frame_Ver_1_14_3.msi.
    Follow the prompts to complete the install.

    D. In that folder, right click and select “Run as Administrator” on “SetDev.bat” to set LGUP to developer mode.
    -This is where I got super…. super, SUPER, annoyed. Read below…

    E. Launch LGUP using the desktop shortcut, NOT the Install folder shortcut.
    -Now you might bet an error “LGUP can’t load the model[C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\LG Electronics\LGUP\model\com”, You might Google this error... Probably find this guy who asks and gets no helpNot until this thread you might get a hint… I was really annoyed when I got saw the maintainers response here, like if so why isn’t it working? Then I decided to look at the bat script as mentioned in step 3. and lo and behold the answer hit me in the face. The SetDev,bat is written assuming a x64 based machine, thus assuming the system variable “%programfiles(x86)%” is defined, I was using a x86 aka a 32bit machine, and a 32bit version of windows doesn’t have that system variable. I changed the script to remove all (x86) from the system variable, re-ran the script and sure enough LGUP finally loaded successfully! Wooooo, does that feel good!

    Choose Process : PARTITION DL (all partitions) or REFURBISH

  3. Download US99820a_04_0330.kdz select this, and it fails, cause these fucking fucks can’t write a half decent fucking guide…. apparently….
    “Read that Frankenstein post carefully; you have to flash to Nougat US998 first, THEN to Oreo US998. You should NOT avoid those steps. That post is my documentation for converting LS998 V30+ to US998 V30+. Adapt to your model.”Actually Download US99810d_01_0411.kdz (Partition DL, Select All)As expected a boot loop. So…

    Master Reset — using buttons:
    A. Unplug phone and turn it OFF.
    B. Press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons.
    C. When the LG logo appears, quickly release the Power button only — then immediately press Power button again, while STILL pressing the Volume down button until you see the screen to select Yes to erase and reset everything.
    D. Release both buttons so you can make your choices.

    *This took me a couple tries to get, once I got it showed a cool  animation and then phone booted.

    K Now let’s install Version US998-20a…

    I got the exact same error this time… reading  a bit further… man are you serious… ughh….

    “NOTE: For Canadian H933 to convert to US998, @cre4per says you have to use DL Partition for both stages (Nougat and Oreo KDZ):

    cre4per said:
    That is what I tried but after the reset when i went back into lgup it would recognize phone as h933 and when trying to upgrade to oreo would say error cross flash h933 to us998, so i used DL Partition again instead of upgrade and it worked perfectly”

    Not sure, if it was even required, but I guess it was a good thing I did cause I guess this is the process to unlock the bootloader on a Canadian version. What a freakin’ mess should be one firmware all regions, redic stuff.

    Sure enough so far it’s working. K Finally! we are on the exploitable version of firmware, and we hopefully have all the drivers we need, so it should just come down to needing the ADB software and running the commands, I’ll first start with the minimal setup.

  4. Download ADB Tools. We need this to run the commands to exploit this firmware we are now on, yippy.and this is where my heart sunk…. a month ago I reset this device, and I created a phoney toss away account to sign up for google. I did not set up secondary email, or tie it to a phone number. I also apparently forgot the password, also (a sad and hard lesson learnt here) Android/Google do what Apple does and tie devices to accounts, and if the device is factory reset calls home to ensure the device is removed from the account first before it can be used.Here’s the other sad part, I need to able USB debugging in order for the device to show up to use ADB commands, in order to unlock the bootloader…

    I can only enable USB debugging via ADB commands if the device is already running with an unlocked bootloader...

    I can’t reset my google account tied to the device, since I forgot the password, I can’t reset the account cause I never tied additional email or phone to the account, and it’s all AI driven so can’t even call in to get the account reset, and the only device I’d be able to reset it from, I factory wiped, which is this v30.

    Only thing I can think of is I’d need to find someone who could get me the factory version of the exploitable firmware but with USB debugging somehow already on…

    I’m so sad right now, I was so close to victory just to be burned by one stupid step and not realizing that Android does what Apple does now, if I had known I would have done things differently. I would have:

1.  Saved my password in a password Manager.

2. Wrote down all the credential information to the throw away account.

3. Tied the account to some other secondary email or number.

4. Factory wiped the device before flashing it.

These are the hard lessons learnt. Sigh…. I gotta grow stronger through embracing failures.

Well I can now add a nice v30 to my pile of e-waste, like the Blackberry Playbook I factory wiped and now can’t get past the OOBE, two OOBE soft bricked paper weights!

*Update* See my next post, I was able to get a local cell repair company to get past the Google Lockout, unfortunately I was unable to get the juicy bits to do so again in the future… this mistake costed me $40. 🙁

But I’m back down to one e-waste item… the Playbook.

Using StarTech USB3HDMI in OBS

Startech USB3HDMI

This is a quick post. I’ve lately been streaming and I picked up this sick capture device the “StarTech USB3HDMI” I got this after EposVox, check out his twitch channel here, did a review of the product and posted it on youtube here.

This video really helped me out in making this purchase and configuring it to work with OBS. I haven’t tested this card with other capturing based software, and technically OBS is a streaming based software, but can be used to record the canvas of multiple input sources, so in reality way more powerful then basic video capture alone.

Anyway here’s the pictures of it working on OBS, as a device capture input and the settings to make it work for:

Composite AKA the Red/White/Yellow RCA plugs

If you don’t see all these options try scrolling, the scroll bar is easy to miss. It’s important to pick the audio device here for the Red/White audio input to be picked up. There’s also addition settings when you click “Configure Video” which oddly enough includes some audio options…?

As you can see Audio input set to embedded. With video selected as 6/Composite. That’s it for that one. Sometimes I find you have to restart OBS or reseat the capture device for things to play nice.

This is the capture I do the most and I found I could actually play games from this source directly without a low latency splitter. For near zero latency game play though you might want to get a near zero latency splitter.

VGA

Time to test VGA, to start this test I’m actually going to take my computer and power it on a standard VGA monitor, after the output is good, I will then switch it over to the capture card.

Oddly it didn’t show up at first, after I restarted OBS the source showed fine.

Now for this setup you’d almost assume that the device has a 3.5mm headphone jack or maybe RCA plugs for Audio in… but the only one is the ones available for composite, now you possible could go from a 3.5mm audio out to RCA in on the composite input of the capture card and use the same audio settings as the above composite, however I personally have not tested that.

For now I use the Line-In on my mainboard on the computer running OBS to capture to audio in this setup. If you’re capture computer doesn’t have a dedicated Line-IN or Aux in, then attempt the trick I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

DVI

The VGA is actually physciall done via a  DVI-I to VGA adapter that comes with the kit, and the fact it has a DVI-I capture input means it can grab analog VGA and digital signal on the same interface, and probably why this card costed as much as it did. So if you need to capture DVI, simply unplug the DVI-I to VGA adapter and plug the DVI cable directly into the capture card and pick 2/DVI from the device settings/properties as shown in the previous snippets from the RCA and VGA input options discussed above.

I do not have snips of this as (at the time of this writing) I do not have a DVI based device to capture its source.

HDMI/DP

Since Display port and HDMI are (for the most part) interchangeable (won’t discuss the technical details about features of each, and which version) but for the most part, it’s like USB, backwards compatible.

That being said it has a limitation of only 1080p, so don’t expect 4k capturing here. Also while the box did not define it, I’m also assuming 30 FPS or so, and not from my testing but from EposVox apparently decent latency (a couple hundred ms?) nothing worse than what a bad TV would give.

HP Laptop – OS Boot Loop

I just wanted to make a short post today on how I fixed a laptop I thought was fully toast.

The Story

This story being months ago, a user’s laptop wouldn’t boot properly following a Windows Update. Taking a look at it, and after he mentioned it just going into a “looping cycle” it was acting really weird! Symptoms of the device:

  1. The system would boot into the EFUI/BIOS menu without any issues, and could stay running here endlessly.
  2. The system could run all EFUI based hardware testes, and all reported functional hardware with no faults.
  3. As soon as you would get into the boot loader of any OS, the system would hard shutdown and power back on, wash, rinse, repeat.

What had me so baffled was that any OS boot would cause the hard shutdown (power lights all go off, screen goes dead blank), and then the power LED would come back on, and the POST screen would show, If I interrupted it, by going into the BIOS or doing self tests, it wouldn’t hard shutdown at all.

I tried everything (I had a few of these laptops already taken apart, so even tried swapping all the parts, including the battery (which is these particular laptops source of power for the CMOS) yup,  the laptop battery is the BIOS config saving power source. However even that didn’t fix it, and thus it sat on a shelf for months.

Till Today

I was working on another project when I got hit with a layer 2 segregation issue in the design plans, which had me really upset, and mind hurting. So I decided to step back from the problem and just happed to have this particular laptop on my desk that day as I needed some laptops for testing and realized it was this machine, so it just sat there.

I decided to take another shot at it. Since I was already on a path of failure, figured what’s the worst, just a bit more wasted time before going home.

So anyway, I thought I might as well see if there’s some new firmware and maybe that might help fix it (seems almost firmware related). So low n behold I grab the latest firmware for this laptop and create a “recovery USB stick”, then find out you simply plug that USB stick into the laptop, power off the machine, press n hold the “Windows Key + b” then power the unit on while still holding that key combination.

Holy crap, first time I follow instructions and it actually works, mind blown. So it completes the firmware update, everything seems find try to boot a linux OS from a USB drive. Boot loop, ahhh FFS.

I decided to vent my fustrations on the local #SkullSpace IRC channel, and another IT tech from the states, said something of the usual nature “Open and reseat all the things?”. Which of course as I stated about had a couple of these already open for repair and swapped all the goodies with no different result.

When I made the moment back to them about what I stated above: “I tried everything (I had a few of these laptops already taken apart, so even tried swapping all the parts, including the battery (which is these particular laptops source of power for the CMOS) yup,  the laptop battery is the BIOS config saving power source”, and when I mentioned that to them I noticed I had done the whole firmware upgrade without the battery plugged in at all.

I decided to plug in the battery and try to boot (of course this was always done before so didn’t think anything of it), when I booted it stated the CMOS had been reset (well yeah the battery was unplugged the whole time), and pressed enter to continue… and it didn’t boot loop.

At this moment I was like “WTF”. I was blown away to see after months of collecting dust I somehow magically managed to get this laptop to boot normally.

That’s what I call a good way to end the day…. now about that layer 2 segregation issue….

*Update* It went right back into the OS boot loop, it’s effed. 😉 would require a full mainboard replacement, not happening.

3D Printing

3D Printing

Overview

I wanted a 3D printer for a while since being introduced to it from our current hackerspace in the city; Skullspace. Check em out. Many of the awesome guys I know are right on the homepage. Amazing people.

Anyway, they had some first couple version that had many issues which had me worried when getting into it. However it turns out the Ender 3 has amazing reviews, and a solid following with it being introduced into some good software we will cover aa bit later in this blog.

Buy a 3D printer

So I finally pressed the trigger and bought a 3d Printer… since I got an amazon gift card I searched 3D printer on amazon and the main thing that showed up was a Ender-3 as their choice pick.

Set up Printer

Was a really good price specially with the gift card I had. I got it really quickly too, and on top of it came really well packaged with minimal assembly required. I was a confused at only a couple steps during the setup so I watched this guys YouTube video to get it assembled. Which was an amazing help, he even provides upgrade parts you can print once you get the printer running, which I’m currently printing as I write this.

However there was one part I was a bit confused about and that was how to level the bed.

Leveling the Bed

Now as mentioned by Vlad in his setup video, he was surprised to find there was no auto leveling. This doesn’t surprise me for the price of this amazing machine, beggars can’t be choosers and let’s level the bed.

For this I watched this great video by 3dprintingcanada on youtube.

After following these 2 video I was ready for printing and my first couple prints came out amazing. Of course this requires other basic knowledge I haven’t covered yet.

How 3D Printing Works

Now in order to understand what’s going on in the next bit it’s important to understand how 3D printing works. and that’s basically like this: “A 3D printer essentially works by extruding molten plastic through a tiny nozzle that it moves around precisely under computer control. It prints one layer, waits for it to dry, and then prints the next layer on top.”

In order to do this normally you model your object (with FreeCAD, or Fusion360, or whatever) and once you export your model out it usually comes in an STL file for a normal object file you can use to CnCing or other things… like “slicing” which takes the object and well “slices” it into layers which will determine the resolution of the final print (that and the diameter of the extrusion nozzle being used by the 3D printer.

Slicing

Now normally you have to do some math’s and calculate all these things and enter their values into the Slicer of choice. Two top ones right now in the FOSS area are Cura and Slic3r. I have most of my experience with Slic3r and then I read about this gem; PrusiaSlicer!

“PrusaSlicer now comes with Ender3 profile”

Sure enough running it, out of the box I could select a profile for my Ender3 (having profile is a specific set of the variables I mentioned above already configured for specific printers out of the box). Since my Endor-3 was out of the box without any modifications (to the extruder nozzle mainly) I was good to go.

With the setup and testing off all parts good (as mentioned and linked to the two YouTube video to accomplish this) it was time to grab an object and slice it.

The First Print

The first thing I printed was a Ghost from Packman.

Then I quickly went to upgrades to the Ener3, starting with the main upgrade which was the upgraded blower nozzle.

Final Thoughts

Over all the first couple prints without changing any infill settings, or supports were super easy going, and I’d say the industry has finally got it down pretty well and cheap enough I’d say go for it. This is a great starter printer.

Watch this video on more about how to customize supports in PrusiaSlicer.

If you run a 3D printer let me know what you run in the comments, or if you have suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

Manage iPhone4 Music Library in 2020

What a pain… tried linux could easily see the photos, but then again I could also see that in Windows, so stuck with using Windows. Since it an older phone figured older OS would work just fine, I tried an older copy I had of CopyTrans manager but would constantly not show the phone in the app when connected.

I wanted to see if iTunes could see it, the latest download says to go to the Microsoft Store (gross), so you have to find an alternative download for 12.5 or something to grab an actual executable installer.

I was getting this weird error installing it about the service not starting and I read all these posts, here and here all full of advise that was useless, you check the service it shows up, do all the things shows up fine at boot but complains with iTunes. and I’d always get this annoying pop up

“This iPod cannot be used because the required software is not installed.”

Well what kind of rubbish lies is this, everything was installed just fine and for the proper version (x64), like what the heck gives. Then I stumble upon this random post from over 11 years ago…

“I got it. I just first uninstalled iTunes then this:
1.Open up the Command Prompt as an Administrator (Go to All Programs > Accessories and Right Click on Command Prompt and then choose Run as administrator)
2.Type cd C:\Windows\SysWOW64
3.Type regsvr32 vbscript.dll (This registers VB Script with your computer.)
4.Now install iTunes as you normally would by double clicking on the install program and wait for iTunes to finish installing.
5.Type regsvr32 /u vbscript.dll (This unregisters VB Script with your computer.)”

I followed the same steps and low and behold I saw my iPhone 4 in iTunes. I was like Woah… but also like… I don’t want this I wanted simple drag n drop with CopyTrans Manager.

If you grab the latest copy of it.. it’s now shareware with limited use, when running it.. I couldn’t even get a delete context menu when (this version even wanted to install drivers even though itunes was installed, and wanted to uninstall itunes in the process…. well don’t let me stop you). But still now the phone shows up in the app but I couldn’t delete. I managed to find an older copy I think version 1.2 or something. Will have to double check which I ran standalone after the most recent version install, and I was able to get the add and delete buttons to show up. And then updated my playlist and finally updated the phone and it worked!

I now created a backup of this VM for future use as is.

Updates to the Zewwy PiCade

Zewwy PiCade Updates

It’s been a while since I completed my PiCade now a lot can happen in a year, and sadly I have not done more guides around the OS lakka I really hope to provide more of these for anyone who is simply running Lakka on whatever hardware they choose. Since the OS is compiled for many SOCs as well as the plentiful x86/64 architecture the hardware choices are fruitful.

Anyway, so let me cover the first couple things… Hardware Updates….

Hardware Updates

1) I had recently brought my arcade to a local Anti-social hosted by non other than the amazing local Skullspace. (If you are in Winnipeg check these guys out, they are amazing. And funny in the main slides all three people are friends I know well.) While there wasn’t many places to put it I decided to test the build by placing it right ontop of a subwoofer/amplifer (yeah test it hardcore), while it did last the majority of the night, by the end it had started to flicker the screen on n off. a good wack would usually bring it back (some poor connection somewhere). I had intially thought it maybe self built power extender for the screen board, but after bypassing it I was still experiencing the issue. Having everything on one board, made pulling it out for diagnostics a breeze. and sure enough… simply checking all the connectors, a loose piece was found, I’m not sure exactly what this piece was (googling the numbers on seem it maybe an inductor) either way it had one leg that was clearly broken from its mating surface. So I soldered it back, but wanted to ensure it hold this time, I didn’t have a shrink tube big enough so I simply grabbed some plastic wrap (food wrap) and gave it a good wrap up….

and sure enough it’s been great since. Not sure I’ll put it on a subwoofer again, but it did otherwise old up great! 😀 That’s a pretty good build I’d say…

2) as you can see from the above picture I also moved the screen input selector (still annoyed this board has this considering the other input types are not even on the board (but I believe they use the same logic IC regardless to save costs) to the top, so it’s clickable using a toothpick (I hope to 3D print a button).

3) I had my buddy at Skullspace help me create an acrylic front protector since I had to pull the LCD from the glass cover and digitizer that normally comes with the screen (this can be seen as a plus or minus, I think in this case it was a plus cause the glass was cracked, but the LCD screen was fine) which worked out for my build.

4) I wanted a way to keep the “lid” shut since it was designed to lift up to take an iPad in and out, which is nice for my all on one board design as well, but only when I need to do work, or switch SD cards for trying different OS’s. Since there was no build in latching mechanism I decided to use a but of trick magic I learnt from watching a bunch of Chris Ramsay on Youtube, you know the guy who opens all the puzzles. In this case I first thought similar to the same technique I used to hold the speakers in… but then that would be ugly, it worked great for the speakers since it’s from behind and you can’t see it… so instead puzzle magic I drilled 4 tiny holes in the lid and carefully on each side making sure not to go through the side vinyl.

Then using a piece from a paper clip… and a magic from a fish tank cleaning kit…

I placed the clip in the Lid hole till it’s completely hidden, then shut the lid, and use the magnet to pull the pin out into the side piece, thus locking the lid on both sides…

as you can see I’m lifting it right up the front edge which normally would open and pivot on the rear pins but with my secret hidden pins its locked and besides the tiny bit of play as you can see, it works great. (I could have attempted a bit thicker of a paper clip, but then I risk it rubbing on the walls of the holes I drilled and the magnet may not have the power to beat the friction)

As you can also tell the new acrylic is reflective but protects the LCD screen, I also attached speaker covers, and the pot handle for the volume control. I hope to get edges 3D printed as well as the front bezel which is just a grey cardboard right now.

Now on the back is nothing more than the removable Battery which operates the unit.

Software Updates

Now Lakkas made some updates since my build which is running Rpi-2.1.x The current release is on 2.4.x so i got hopefully we get some nice updates, first thing I did was test the new build on a standalone MicroSD to avoid buggering up my current build, now my main SD card is 16 Gigs vs 4, which is ironically 4 times the size. Now I have to figure out how to install the newer version while migrating most of my settings (Joy stick bindings, and game listings and Images) with the least amount of work… mhnmmm Neat!

I’m going to follow option B!

“Manual updates

  1. Download the latest img.gz file corresponding to your hardware from here.
  2. Place this file in your Storage partition, in the .update folder, either using SAMBA or by mounting it
  3. Boot or reboot your hardware.

You should see some messages about the upgrade process. After some seconds, your system will reboot.”

First thing I thought I’ll use my MicroSD to USB adapter and just use file explorer, hahah you silly goose Windows isn’t for user friendly, and of course what I mean by this is lakka will use linux partitions (like ext2,3 maybe 4) and clearly not MS based NTFS, and MS doesn’t naively support such FS. This requires additional software, which I don’t want to install. I also left all IODD device at work so there are all my bootable images and I sadly don’t have my own PXE (Yet)…. great OK so there goes almost all my direct mounting options, so i guess network based transfer it will be…. I reallllly wanted to DD the card as is Just in case the upgrade shits the bed, and I can simply DD my back img back onto the MicroSD, but since I can’t do that now… alright fine….

Downloaded linux mint, created VM, booted VM, installed Linux mint, atatched USB controller, passed through USB device (MicroSD to USB), auto mounted, and used a terminal to make my backup like a movie tech nerd…

I can also use this to inject the Lakka img, I do have it on my machine but don’t have file passthrough on the vmware console, simplest thing would be another USB passthough but I’m out of USB devices right now. So I used an network share, I wasn’t sure at first which the “storage partition” was but made a fair assumption:

K that was quick, unmount from VM, remove from host USB port, and place SD card in PiCade… and lets see what happens (at least I have a backup now) 😀

Now when I booted it, it did say unpacking, and did update, and did retain my playlists, nice new icons for each item, very nice.

But i lost all my core key map bindings, and rom remap bindings… that’s annoying. My Arcade/MAME games did run with the normal playlist, core changes? haven’t exactly figured that out yet. Since I recently picked up the Genesis Mini, I put that whole playlist on here :D.

8Bitdo Unresponsive with charge light stuck on

If you haven’t heard of 8Bitdo check them out. They have an amazing line of wireless controllers. I personally love my SN30 Pro.

The other day I wanted to play some Cuphead and to my dismay the controller wasn’t responding. When I disconnected the USB cable (as I was charging it and using ti at the same time just recently prior) the charge light remained lit.

baffled I tried looking in the manual, and trying different button combinations and holds, after all this failed I googled which lead me to this reddit form

To my amazement the reply by “Tamoketh”

“The orange light stayed on?

Hold the Start button until the orange light turns off. Then turn on as normal.”

actually worked, I don’t know why this wasn’t written in the user manual, considering it has no direct power button.

OpenShot VS ShotCut

The Story

Hey all! Zewwy here!

An LGR Thing

This is going to be a pretty short boring post. It’s my birth month so I’m going to be enjoying it as much as possible. This happens to include plenty of LGR watching… if you are unfamiliar with LGR it’s Lazy Game Reviews by Clint, on YouTube. Check out his Channel here….

I don’t know why I’m so addicted to his video… but I am.. good job buddy.

Anyway… LGR has sort of… inspired me, in a sense… that I dusted off the old computer that I built years ago, and not only attempted to get it working…. but attempted to get it working, running all version of windows known to man!

Sadly to say, although I did get MS DOS 6.2, Win 3.11 and Win95 all up and running, I was not able to get the main board drivers or video or sound drivers working on these really old legacy OS’s… So running yes, basic apps, yes… Sound.. no, 256 color…. no… USB…. nope… mouse… nope, just the basic apps on a low res window manager with a keyboard….

However, I did manage to get Windows 98SE and Windows ME almost working 100%! 😀 also lucky for me since these particular old OS were still built ontop of MS DOS, instead of having a dedicated standalone kernel and simply providing a CMD prompt (XP and onward era OS’s). I was just unable to get the network driver going (although I did read on the msfn.org (like this form section) that someone did manage it with custom drivers… but that I have no accomplished myself… yet. I also got XP, Vista, and Windows 7 all running as well (I could only run with generic MS drivers for the video card on Windows 7, and the driver signing enforcement prevented me from being to utilize custom drivers… arg, there is a driver signing tool (self sign) that you can use to self sign the drivers, but I had no success in this as there was no direct guide in what files you had to sign and how as the app was not very intuitive, and no guides telling you exactly what to do was found.)

Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent here and I will cover this awesome bare metal machine in more details in another post… or video (ooo is that foreshadowing???)

So I ended up ordering a huge box of old DOS/PC games after completing this build… I mean I got an old machine running 98/ME/XP/Vista/Win7 The range is unbelievable, I can review so many games from 1 machine! Bare metal! none of this VM stuff, or DosBox… Although emulators such as DOSBox do have some amazing features and enhancements… I just love hearing the spin of those old drives, and just simply installing it directly from a CD-ROM and all that jazz.

When I got my box, I just had to grab my camera in LGR fashion, and record my excitement and joy of getting this huge box of games. Out of this mystery box the first magical game I pulled out was….. Micorsoft Soccer 95!

So yeah! I made my first game review video, just like LGR… obviously nowhere near as awesome as LGR… but it’s a start.

First Software Tests

Now clearly there were a couple things I wanted to take care of and the first thing and that was covering the product ID of the game… I wanted to blur it… but.. I googled for open source video editors and the first I came across was OpenShot, now OpenShot does not have that feature built in (Bluring an area of the screen) which I felt lacking, then I noticed whenever I would load my video footage of even a couple minutes my CPU would go %100 and get stuck there for a long time, attempting to remove the track simple caused the app to become unresponsive. So I gave up on this editor at this point, and tried out ShotCut.

ShotCut Wins

ShotCut has this ability to blur a section of the screen, but since I was just starting out with video editing, I decided to take the lazy approach and use the scale and rotate filter, to raise the video of the certificate above the area of the product key. I did this using the cut option when i started to show the disc up close, and cut it again when I checked out the back of the jewel case.

ShotCut was really nice and informed me that my video was of a variable bit-rate which would be difficult to work with and ask to convert it to fixed (so must have built in transcoder, maybe Handbrake? built it to handle that) which I found was really nice and it would tell you how far along the process was, the CPU did go to 100% at this point however I had a progress bar, and it didn’t take all that long. Next thing you know I was editing and making clips together.

Then I used the same cut options to create a start cut area, and a stop cut area to cut out areas where I would end up yammering on about nothing, and speed them up.. saved everyone a bunch of time… this doesn’t provide privacy of what I actually said, if someone managed to playback the sound really slow, they would be able to figure out what I said. It was more for seeing how the track gets shortened, and have to butt up the other ends of the spliced tracks. I didn’t provide a video link here, as all it took was cutting areas of the track and then checking that sliced areas properties (highlight the sliced area, make sure you have the properties window available (enable it under the view tab option) you should see the sections “speed”)

Then I learned how to do a voice over. 😀 This along with a volume filter, finished of the video nicely. Again this was a very basic touch of ShotCut and I hope to use it more. It seemed realllllly good and less buggy then OpenShot.

I like them both as they are both open source, but the fact one of them caused CPU run away and couldn’t even play the project video at this time, and crashed when you would remove the item form the track, without any indoctrination what it was doing, was just a sure “I can’t use this app” sign for me. I hope it does well or at least maybe some other open source devs maybe pitch in their time to help it out, but I’d personally stick with ShotCut (Also they just recently supported keyframes, sooo yeeee!) Use it! 😀

I’ll quickly mention here that others have also mentioned Davinci Resolve 15, which runs under a free License, but is closed source. I have heard great things about this app, but closed source is just not for me unless it’s business derived software for a business purposes and is backed and funded by the big business boy’s. (I personally love GitHubs new model under Microsoft) So this app just leaves me wondering, how are they making their money?

If you are OK with possible personal data being sold (with Facebook and Google, not sure it really makes any difference really) then I’d probably give that software a shot too. I’ll stick with FOSS for now. 😀

Sorry this post got longer than I had expected. But I hope someone finds it educational. 🙂