Tech: STM32 Debug On Linux
Saturday, July 16, 2016
I recently needed to develop some software on the STM32 series of microcontrollers and wanted to debug my application from a Linux host. I managed to select a debug probe and some software to get the job done. If faced with a similar need you may find my STM32 Debug article helpful.
BMW328is: Rear Seat Trim Repair
Sunday, July 10, 2016
I received confirmation from GAHH that my covers arrived in one piece and I breathed a sigh of relief. While I wait for the new covers to be fabricated I decided to attempt repair and restoration of rear seat trim pieces that are no longer available new from BMW. I think the they came out great. See for yourself.
BMW330ci: First Coolant Flush
Saturday, July 2, 2016
I've focused so much on the E36's maintenance requirements lately that I only recently realized I had never performed a coolant flush on the E46 in the 10 years I've owned it. Ooops. I could not let that stand any longer so this week I tackled the job.
BMW328is: Leather Arrives
Friday, June 24, 2016
The leather arrived this week but unfortunately a good portion of it will need to be returned due to improper fit. The plan now is to work with the manufacturer to pattern my seat covers. Unfortunately this will introduce yet another delay into this final stage of my restoration. Full story here.
Site: Stripe Payments Live
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Effective today, all donations to dvatp.com will be processed through Stripe via their slick and secure Checkout process. I have discontinued support for Paypal, checks, and cryptocurrency. If you're curious about the design choices check out my site design update. And if you would care to help offset the costs of running the site by all means please check out the new donations portal.
BMW328is: Leather Ordered
Friday, June 10, 2016
New leather has been on my radar for the better part of a decade but higher priority tasks have always taken precedence -- until now, that is. This week I ordered the new leather from GAHH. Due to lack of local installers I will be doing in this myself. Lots of work to do. Let's get started.
BMW328is: ZKW Install Complete
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Following some tedious adjustments to the driver side headlight assembly the ZKW headlight installation is complete. This project also revealed a need to replace a damaged aux fan low speed relay. Full story here.
Tech: Reflow Oven Update
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I finally got around to testing my DIY reflow oven with real boards and components. I also added a nitrogen inerting capability. If you're thinking of building your own oven you'll likely find this update helpful.
BMW328is: ZKW Install Begins
Sunday, May 29, 2016
I expected to wrap up the ZKW projector headlight installation in a single day but Murphy dropped by for a visit. I'm now waiting for parts and am contemplating how to fix a problem I encountered despite my best effort to avoid it. Check out the full story.
BMW328is: Return from Body Shop
Sunday, May 22, 2016
The E36 is back from the body shop and I have a small souvenir to aid my show and tell. I've reinstalled the summer shoes and started a bit of research to figure out how to align the ZKW projectors slated for installation soon. Lots to talk about so let's go.
BMW328is: Back to Body Shop
Friday, April 29, 2016
The E36 returns to the body shop once again to remedy some rear quarter panel rust, another toybox update, and a welcome change in New Jersey state inspection policy. Catch the full story here.
BMW328is: No Start Issue Fixed
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Despite knowing about the intermittent no-start issue for a couple months my schedule didn't permit me to do anything about it until a couple days ago when the problem reared its ugly head again. This time the starter refused to budge after repeated attempts. I flatbedded the car to my technician for his expert counsel and was ultimately glad I did, as the problem turned out to be something completely unexpected.
Tech: Custom Solder Reflow Oven
Sunday, January 24, 2016
After manually soldering a few too many prototype boards I realized I needed a solder reflow oven. The problem is commercial ovens are expensive. My solution? A custom reflow oven based on a commonly-available convection oven.
BMW328is: Cover Weakness and Starter Issue
Sunday, January 17, 2016
My car cover is now in continuous use and it's doing its job well but it's not without its issues. The starter finally started to act up as well, leading me to consider my options. And for the folks that wondered what happened to my brother's toybox, I provide an update following some serious progress.
BMW330ci: E46 Fan Clutch Adventure
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
My brother's friend recently picked up a 2002 325. Turned out it was making strange noises which were ultimately determined to be caused by a failed fan clutch. Naturally, being the good brother that I am, I agreed (or was coerced, depending on how I care to look at it) to take a couple hours out of my day to acquire the parts and replace them.
BMW328is: Winter Tires Installed
Friday, November 27, 2015
Today I reluctantly put the wonderful Pilot Super Sport tires to bed for the winter and replaced them with my existing set of Winter Sport 4D. I also completed a routine oil service and a wash before finding something I hope does not become routine: more rust that will need to be addressed in the spring.
Tech: Installing October CMS
Sunday, November 22, 2015
I recently needed to build a website and ultimately wound up using a relatively new CMS called October on top of Debian 8, Nginx, and PHP5-FPM. But before you follow in my footsteps be sure to read the fine print at the end of the article.
BMW330ci: Winter Prep
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
With the E36 returned to service and the leaves largely gone from the trees I felt the time was right to put the E46 to sleep for the winter. Time for some essential winter prep.
BMW328is: HVAC Overhaul Complete
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The E36 is back home following completion of the HVAC overhaul and carpet replacement. A few issues came up since I last reported on this topic but as usual my technician addressed everything and managed to deliver the car on time and within budget.
Tech: Installing Odoo on FreeBSD
Monday, November 2, 2015
I recently had a need for some inventory control software and realized Odoo fit the bill. The problem? It's not officially supported on FreeBSD. After investing a few days in the process I have Odoo V9 running on FreeBSD 10.2 using Nginx as a proxy. Another article strictly for the FreeBSD geeks.
BMW328is: HVAC Overhaul In Progress
Thursday, October 29, 2015
After six months of gathering parts, dealing with paint defects and finding time for my own contributions to the project I finally managed to deliver the E36 to my technician for the HVAC overhaul and next phase in the interior overhaul: carpet replacement. Lots of information to talk about, so let's get started.
BMW330ci: Car Cover
Monday, October 26, 2015
With a need to bring the E46 out of hibernation during less than hospitable weather I decided to a cover for it, just as I did for the E36 last year. A soaking rain not long after it arrived proved its worth.
BMW328is: Return from Body Shop
Friday, October 16, 2015
After a brief three week stay at the body shop the E36 is home again, but it will remain with me only briefly. Next up: to my technician for the HVAC overhaul and carpet installation. Check out the full story.
BMW328is: Clearcoat Failure
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Unfortunately I have to delay the interior work yet again as the clearcoat of the paintwork I had done last year has failed so the car will go back to the paint shop once more. For the full story and a few other updates check out the latest E36 maintenance update.
BMW328is: HVAC Overhaul Plan
Friday, July 24, 2015
A failing HVAC control module LCD kickstarts the next phase of the E36 restoration including a full HVAC overhaul, but this time my technician will be enlisted to tackle the work. Some of the parts have arrived and more are on the way. See for yourself.
Impressions of the 2015 320xi
Saturday, July 4, 2015
A couple months back I brought the E46 in for service and received a 2015 320xi as a loaner. While this vehicle isn't exactly what I'd call representative of BMW performance it was an eye opening experience that confirmed many of my concerns about the brand. If you don't mind a bit of whining feel free to read all the gory details.
BMW330ci: Spare Conversion Parts Installed
Thursday, June 11, 2015
I finally got around to installing the full size spare conversion parts and overall I'm quite happy with the results.
BMW328is: Aux Fan Replacement
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Last week while driving in some of the warmest weather so far this season I diagnosed an aux fan failure, so I ordered a new unit and replaced it one more time.
BMW328is: Windshield Replacement
Friday, May 22, 2015
Back in Februrary I noticed a small crack forming on the passenger side of the windshield. Over the last few months the small crack progressed half way across the windshield so today I finally did something about it.
Tech: Building ARMV6 on FreeBSD with Poudriere
Thursday, May 21, 2015
I recently began to experiment with some ARM processors and FreeBSD only to find that pre-built packages are not provided for the ARM architecture. So I did things the BSD way and built what I needed from source using the amazing Poudriere tool. This is strictly for ARM geeks.