Russ' Do It Yourself Home Workshop

Finding Fixes to Just About Anything and Everything

Archive for January, 2014

Fix Your Logitech H760 Wireless Headphones Before They Become Worthless

Posted by Russell Wright on January 28, 2014

If you’re like me and have a pair of these fairly expensive ($60-$80) Logitech headphones, model H760, you might find their weakness is in the plastic that is part of the headband that connects the headphones together.  Many people have issues with the plastic breaking, rendering them useless.  If you contact Logitech and have a receipt, they’ll probably replace them for you because they’ve had so many complaints. 

I couldn’t find my receipt so I "fixed" them using some tie wraps as shown.  There was enough left of the plastic this seems to be holding.  If you don’t have one of these tie wrap guns,  67076 Adjustable Cable Tie GunI’d suggest you get one for all the "rigging" you do around your home.

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Posted in Misc Repair | 1 Comment »

Setting SSIS Variables the SQL Way: Create a Directory or Folder using Dates

Posted by Russell Wright on January 16, 2014

Okay, I’m not an SSIS expert, but I do use it quite a bit.  So, when I had to do some “coding” in the script task recently I was able to get through it, but the next time I had to do something I wanted to determine an alternate, and possibly more expedient, way of accomplishing this simple task:  Set a variable based on dates or other easily generated data.

My task was pretty simple.  Create a folder structure during the execution of an SSIS package in which the files received during the B2B process can be placed.  It’s been done a million times, but there’s always a new and different way to accomplish this simple feat.  And, with SSIS, there are always intricacies of different data connection types and other obtuse settings that are not necessarily obvious to the uninitiated.

My inspiration came from The Data Queen and this blog post, “How to Set and Use Variables in SSIS Execute SQL Task.”  Basically what you are doing here is selecting a single row results set using the Execute SQL task and setting (initializing) your variable to one of the columns returned from the query. 

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This gives you a pretty flexible approach where you can create a name/value pair table, such as this, and select a value from the table with which you initialize your SSIS variable.

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[TRAXSSISParms](
[Name] [varchar](255) NOT NULL,
[Value] [varchar](255) NOT NULL,
[Description] [varchar](255) NULL
) ON [PRIMARY]

But what I wanted to do wasn’t really about storing values to retrieve (well it was this too, but that’s not really what I’m talking about right now), but instead calculate values in order to create a dynamic folder name each time the package is executed.  And, I wanted to use regular SQL to do this, if possible.  Here’s what I found.

We will be using the Execute SQL Task and the File System Task.  I’ve named them Set Archive Folder Variable OLEDB and Create Archive Folder.  The reason I added OLEDB in the name is that, in this case, we are using the OLEDB data connection type, as opposed to the ADO.NET connection type.  More on that later.

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User variables are created and scoped at the package level.  This process is not very intuitive if you’ve never done it before or, if you’re like me, you do it once-in-a-blue-moon.

You first have to make sure the Variables pane is enabled.  If you get a short menu, that means your focus is not on the SSIS designer canvas, as the menus change based on your current context (this is soooo OS/2-ish). 

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You should now have a Variables tab along with a Toolbox tab.  The icons along the top are pretty self-explanatory if you hover over each one:  Create a variable, delete a variable, show system variables, show all variables, and add/remove columns to the menu display.  Here you can see my two variables, TRAXRootFolder and ArchiveFolder.  My package name is Test, so the scope is at the package level.  Both are String data types.

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Let’s look at the settings of the Execute SQL Task.  I’ve highlighted the important areas and will discuss each one.

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The SQLStatement will show you very quickly what I am attempting to do.  I am using SQL to generate a result set without an underlying table query. 

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Declare @ArchiveFolder varchar(255) — Create SQL variable in which to hold results
Select @ArchiveFolder = ? + CONVERT(VARCHAR, GETDATE(), 112) — Concatenates the root folder variable passed in (F:\TRAXData\B2B\) with a generated date
Select @ArchiveFolder AS Value — Selects the value in the SQL variable and returns it in the result set with a column name of “Value”

 

The ResultSet property should be set to Single row.  If you set it to something other than Single row you’ll get an error.

The ConnectionType is very important.  If you’ve dealt with SSIS, you know that passing parameters depends upon the type of connection you have.  This TechNet article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms140355(v=sql.105).aspx provides the following references to parameter markers and parameters names.  In this case, using OLEDB, we use the question mark (?) as the parameter marker or placeholder and the parameter names are ordinals with a zero base (0, 1, 2, 3…).  I’ll show you what this looks like if you use the ADO.NET connection at the end of this blog.

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Parameter Mapping

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Result Set

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Posted in SQL Server | Leave a Comment »

Water Dripping into Freezer Compartment on Whirlpool Refrigerator ET1CHMXKT04

Posted by Russell Wright on January 4, 2014

Do you have water dripping into your freezer causing ice buildup in your Whirlpool refrigerator?  This is a common problem that can be easily rectified.

Assuming you don’t have water simply running into the freezer compartment from the ice maker, this issue is usually caused by the defrost drain becoming clogged and icing up.  If you aren’t familiar with how a frostless refrigerator works, a defrost timer turns on a heating element (the long, black thing in the picture) on a periodic basis to melt the ice that forms on the coils of the evaporator.  The water drips into the stainless trough and down the drain hole and tube into the drip pan at the bottom of the fridge.  The water in the drip pan evaporates due to the heat of the condenser and the fan below.  But, what would cause this problem in the first place, you ask? 

Well, if the refrigerator is tilted too far forward, it is possible the water dripping off the evaporator during the defrost cycle is running into the freezer compartment (which can be fixed by adjusting the feet on the front of the fridge), but it is more likely the problem is caused by some bit of food or debris entering the drain, starting a clog and then beginning the vicious ice cycle.  Fixing this problem takes a little time, but it’s pretty straightforward.

Empty the freezer and take out the wire shelf by tilting to one side or the other and lifting it out of the way.

Then, remove the ice maker.  While I don’t have a picture of this, there are usually 3 screws that have to be loosened or removed, two on top and one on bottom.  Many times the top one or two screws don’t have to be completely removed, just loosened enough to lift up on the icemaker and unhook it from the screws.  Once you detach the icemaker, there is a single connector that you must disconnect so it can be extricated from the freezer. 

After the icemaker, you’ll notice two screws that hold the back in place.  These need to be removed and then, depending upon your current ice buildup, you will probably need to use a hair dryer to melt the ice so you can completely remove the back of the freezer.  When you do, what you should see is the evaporator and fan, as seen in the picture.

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Offset, over to the right is the drain hole in question.  Using the hair dryer, take your time and melt the ice (it’s probably easier and safer if you unplug the fridge).  I used a shop vac to vacuum up the water from melting the ice along the way.  At some point, you should be able to heat up some water to the boiling point and pour it down the drain hole.  This should clear the drain tube and the water should be running into the drip pan at the bottom of the refrigerator.  If you use a flashlight and peek under the fridge, you should be able to see it running into the pan (hopefully you HAVE a pan!).

If you remove the cardboard back off the fridge, you should see the tube and be able to access it with your shop vac.  Looking into the pan, I noticed the "crap" that ended up in it…it appeared to be pieces of chicken and other food products.  I vacuumed the water out of the drip pan and then used the shop vac to pull a suction on the tube, using my hands to seal the interface.  Then I ran some more super hot water down the drain a few more times.  Here is the final result. 

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After getting it all cleaned out, it’s time to put it all back together.  Put the back on, install the icemaker and insure the correct tilt of the fridge by making sure the door closes on its own when you release it.

My advice to you is to keep your freezer clean and be aware of any "accidents" that occur that may unknowingly initiate the process again in the future.

Posted in Appliance Repair, Home Repair | Leave a Comment »