troubleshooting

When Troubleshooting, Test or Replace the Cheap Parts First

When troubleshooting connected hardware tech, you should test out which component is causing the problem before hastily buying a whole new system. Try replacing parts like the cables before moving on to monitors, receivers, computers, etc. If the problem can be identified as the cable/wires, it will be a relief to your wallet. As a rule of thumb: Start with the cheap stuff, then work your way on up to the more expensive items if necessary.

Why Has My AV Speaker Gone Out?

Onkyo

Episode 1825

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard's optical speakers are suddenly malfunctioning with only one speaker working. Leo says if the wires are connected, then it could be a bad speaker wire. They can fail. The speaker can also fail. Do the easy thing first ... replace the wires. Also, try using a different device like a turntable. That will eliminate the receiver. Also, change the connections from left to right. If the other speaker goes out and the current speaker has sound again, then the AV receiver may be going out.

Why's My Android Slow Running PetCube?

PetCube

Episode 1821

David from Atlanta, GA

David has an Android phone and he's using the PetCube app to watch his pets remotely. But he's having issues getting the signal via wifi. It's really slow. Leo says that he doesn't normally have WiFi peer-to-peer notifications. It has to go up to PetCube's server first, and then to the phone. Look in the notifications setup to see if the push notifications are being allowed to wake up the phone. Leo suspects that the PetCube server is probably running really slow.

Why Are There Streaks on My Laptop Screen?

Dell

Episode 1815

Frank from San Diego, CA

Frank's laptop screen has color streaks that go away over time. Leo says that's likely an indication of a failing ribbon cable. But it may also be a cold solder that has to warm up before there's a solid connection. It's probably on the motherboard, where the video card is. One way to test is to power down, and let it cool down. Then hold down the D key before powering up.  If he can see the streaks again, then it's definitely a hardware issue. Fortunately, if it's the ribbon cable, it's a cheap fix.

Why Can't I Suddenly Get WiFi?

WiFi!

Episode 1789

Seraphine from Los Angeles, CA

Seraphine is suddenly suffering from no WiFi. She was "borrowing a cup" from a neighbor, but now she can't get it. Leo says it's possible that the modem has died and you need another. Or you have a bad cable. It's also possible that the WiFI router is bad. If it's a router/modem combo, even more so.  The lights on your modem mean something, and if you look at the manual, it'll tell you if there's something wrong. Routers can also wear out. It may be time to replace it. 

Why Am I Not Getting Notifications From My Alarm Motion Security App?

Zigbee Monitor Sensor

Episode 1787

Brian from Mission Viejo, CA

Brian has had an issue with an alarm system for two years that drives him nuts. They are supposed to get push notifications in the app, but often they don't. Or one person gets them, and one doesn't. Leo says that iOS can be very aggressive at shutting down background apps. Notifications can also be dialed up and down with sensitivity to not get a notification every 10 seconds when the wind blows. So it could be dialed down too far. If you haven't visited the app in a while, it may just be shut off. Or the company's servers may be down. There's a lot of points of failure there.