Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pioneer Head Unit Mystery


I always remove the negative battery terminal when work on my 2017 Toyota Tundra. I did this about a month after installing a Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX and it quit working. Totally dead. Blank screen. I checked the fuses under the hood. I checked the fuses under the dash. I even checked the fuse on the back of the head unit. All of them were good. I requested an RMA from Pioneer and swapped the OEM head unit back in which worked straightaway. A few days later I swapped the Pioneer back in and it powered on. I removed the negative battery terminal and it died again. So, here’s the solution: you must remove BOTH the positive and negative battery terminals to get this Pioneer head unit to unfuck itself. I can’t say how long they need to be removed, but pop them both.

UPDATE #1: I have a feeling that the iDatalink Maestro is the problem in this scenario. I flashed the Maestro’s firmware and the head unit went dead again. I removed the battery terminals for 15 minutes: still dead. I pulled the 30 and 20 amp “Rad1” and “Amp” fuses overnight and the head unit turned on the next morning.

UPDATE #2: The iDatalink Maestro was (sorta) the problem. There were actually two problems. Perhaps three. First, the pin in the wiring harness for the reverse indicator was bent. I bent it back into place and hoped for the best. Second, the fuse on the iDatalink blew at some point so I replaced it, reset the unit, and everything started functioning normally. Lastly, you are not supposed to flash the firmware with the iDatalink connected to power (see below).




3M Paint Protection Film (PPF) and Classic Plasti Dip Don’t Mix

I had 3M Paint Protection Film installed on my Toyota Tundra a few months after I purchased the truck. A few months later I accidentally put a scratch in the rear quarter panel and decided to have Plasti Dip applied to the entire truck.

Some Google searches indicated that Plasti Dip could be safely sprayed over 3M film. I found this to be true, generally speaking, but it is not entirely correct.

I had the entry-level Classic Plasti Dip product applied by a professional installer in Orlando, FL. Within weeks I noticed a problem on the truck’s hood. The Plasti Dip along the film’s edge began to pull away and curl. The same occurred along the top of the windshield. Based on the problem areas, I suspect they were affected by wind resistance.

The next step is to peel and respray the hood with Performance Series, Autoflex, or another brand such as Raail.

Covercraft versus Covering

I recently purchased two car covers; one for my Toyota Tundra and one for my wife’s Honda Civic.

I chose Coverking for the Civic because they listed the specific model that we own where Covercraft did not.

In addition to the car cover, I also ordered a cable with lock and a storage bag for each vehicle. Covercraft also offered gust clips, which I highly recommend.

The Covercraft order arrived in a handful of days whereas the Coverking order took a few weeks. Advantage Covercraft.

Although it takes some patience and room to work, I am able to fold my Tundra’s cover and return it to its storage bag. Conversely, although I can stuff the Civic cover into its storage bag the zipper will not close. I would have fared better purchasing a generic bag at a local store. Advantage Covercraft.

Lastly, the credit card charge from Coverking showed up as “Overdraft fee/Bank fee”. This caused Mint to freak out and send me alerts.

So, although the product quality is very similar, the winner is Covercraft.

Cannot Log Into ArcGIS Server

When attempting to access my Esri ArcGIS 10.0 Server Manager I received the error message “Your login attempt was not successful. Please try again.”


There are several solutions offered to this problem on Esri’s GeoNet Community, but there is one other potential solution. If someone fat-fingered the ArcGISWebServices password a few times, Windows may have locked the account (depending on your configuration). Simply unlock the account and you will be back in business.


IIS 7 (7.5) Requring a Client Certificate

After spending a week trying to figure out why IIS 7 was spitting a 403.7 error back at me, I stumbled upon a blog post that was so random and simple it seemed impossible that it was the solution to my problem. If you can’t get a virtual directory or application to require client certificates you need to click the link below. Thanks Saur212! Whoever you are.

Avoid this confusion around Client certificate mapping in IIS 6.0/7.0

Walt Disney World Marathon 2013 Review

The 2013 Walt Disney Marathon was my first marathon and I feel that it was a poor choice.

There were approximately 27,000 participants in the full marathon. This is an insane number of people. The runners were divided into eight corrals which, mathematically speaking, means there were about 3,375 people in each corral. To be placed in a corral, runners were asked to submit a time from a previous race. In my case, I submitted a half marathon time of 1:45:08 (8:01 per mile pace) and I was placed in the “C” corral (A being the fastest group, H being the slowest). Each corral’s start time was six minutes apart. For example, corral A started at 5:36 am, corral B started at 5:42 am, and corral C started at 5:48 am.

Before my group took off I worked my way to the front of the corral. My goal was 3:45:00, which required a 8:35 pace. I used a Nike+ GPS watch to keep pace and I maintained a 8:25 pace out of the gate. The race was proceeding perfectly the first half mile or so, but things quickly fell apart.

Even though my corral started six minutes after the previous one, I caught the tail end of corral B within the first mile of the race. Surprisingly, people in corral B were walking. Worse, the 3-lane road at the start of the race quickly became a single lane. To maintain my target pace I was forced to worm my way through thousands of “runners.” At many points I was forced to run in the grass, which was extrememly dangerous given it was still dark out. I was approximately 10 miles into the race before I felt like I could run comfortably.

After a miserable 4:04:00 finish, I learned that approximately 8,600 of the participants were taking place in the “Goofy Challenge,” which is the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. In other words, almost 1/3 of the runners had finished a half marathon the previous day and their legs were already fried. Conversely, those of us who were only running the full marathon had fresh legs and were ready to fly. The Goofy Challenge racers should not maintain their corral going into Sunday. Instead, they should be moved further back in the queue.

In my opinion, this is not a marathon for a runner who is seeking to set a personal best.

Some other random thoughts:

  • The signage leading into the park was totally insufficient. If I were not somewhat familiar with the area I would have gotten lost.
  • The course went “offroad” around the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Running through dirt and tree roots is no fun 18 miles into a marathon.
  • If you are walking within the first mile of a marathon you don’t belong there.
  • If you are stopping for water at the mile 1 water station you probably don’t belong there.
  • If you must walk during a marathon get to the far right.
  • 27,000 people started the marathon and only 20,679 finished so I’m not being harsh, I’m being honest.

Nike+ and treadmill [solved]

I started plugging my iPod Nano into the treadmill at the gym, but when I uploaded my workouts to the Nike+ site there were gaps in my activities. I tried to sync my workouts again, but the treadmill runs simply weren’t showing up. After some trial and error I figured out the problem.

When you open iTunes and go to the Nike + iPod tab you will probably see your shoe sensor listed as displayed below.


If you click the sensor drop-down menu there should be a new profile that the treadmill created to record your workouts. Mine was named “Gym User 1”. Just pick it from the list, check “Automatically send workout data to” and then click “Visit”. You must visit the Nike+ website to sync things up. One you do this your treadmill workouts will show up in your activities.


Warrior Dash 2012 Copper Mountain Colorado

I made a map of the Warrior Dash 2012 course at Copper Mountain Colorado. You can view it over at I also uploaded it to mapmyrun.