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08/29/12 What to do when your old Klipsch 4.1 system is damaged, Sybesma’s Electronics to the rescue

I don’t know when I first purchased my Klipsch 4.1 speakers for my PC, but it’s been over 10 years ago.  They have worked perfectly from day one.  After about 8 years I lost both of the woofers in the amp, but you can replace these with replacements from either Klipsch or any local speaker that fits the opening.  I choose to go with replacements from Klipsch.

But what do you do when you lose either the control pod or the amp?  Now you have a problem.  You can’t go to Klipsch since they have not manufactured either the 4.1 or the 5.1 systems since 2003.  Note, this is too bad and there is no anything I have found on the market today that comes close to a good working Klipsch 4.1 system.  I don’t need a home theater, I want my sound to run as mp3, from itunes, off my PC.  I also use a older Create labs sound blaster live card which to me is still one of the best sound cards around.  That goodness you can still find them on the web used and sometimes new ones show up.

Well there is a alternative when that 4.1 or 5.1 amp fails or the control pod goes out.  In my case it was the control pod that was damaged by a local power surge.  I call Klipsch to try and get parts and they gave me the number of a repair center in Michigan.  These folks are great to deal with and they were able to fix my system in about 1 week from the time they received it.  This is their address: [Read more…]

08/28/12 When Lightening strikes…….A few thoughts to keep your electronics up and running

Lightening over Pinnacle Mountain

Lightening over Pinnacle Mountain, in western Pulaski County

Just a few words to those out there who have a photo business that is totally dependent on Mac’s or PC’s, in regards to the extreme damage that is possible if lightening happens to strike nearby and you are not prepared.

One of the worst things that can happen is to be struck by lightening, and I would have to say the 2nd worst thing would be to have you house struck.  I understand the rules about lightening and most time will give it a wide berth.  An example, when I shot this, I was inside my car with my camera on a tripod outside being trigger by a remote release.  Lightening around electronics always spells disaster always.  I know this, yet I still got burned about 3 weeks ago.  I live on a ridge top and thus am a bit more susceptible  to a direct hit.  I have lived in this house now for over 12 years and in that time, I have never had a direct hit to the house but I have had several close ones.  My rules are that whenever a strong storm is approaching everything of value has to be unplugged from the wall.  What you say, just go get a power stip with surge protection, or a UPS either of these will save you.  Well, I have news, that is far from the truth.  Here are a few things I learned.

[Read more…]

08/26/12 What good friends are for……..Thanks Marshall

As many may know, about 2 weeks ago, I took about the worst lightening strike ever. The hit was about 25 yards away from my house/studio, but the damage was really amazing. In the space of a couple of seconds, I lost 2 printers, 1 PC (all of with all of my itunes), 1 LCD, 1 hub, 1 set of Klipsch 5.1 speakers, 1/s of a 2nd PC, my wireless router, DSL modem,  and 4 working terabytes of data on 5 hard drives and the logic boards on my main AC unit. Total cost over 3.5K.

Some of the problems showed up immediately, like I was not able to get to the internet or my printer no longer was able to get a single.  But other things like the fact that I had lost 1/2 of the USB controllers on one PC, half the function of a sound blaster card, or the issue that came up when I tried to get my internet back up since I had given my router enough of a shock to cause it to work some times, but not all the times.

When you get into a situation like this, you also tend to reach out for help.  I have one really good friend Marshall Singer, who has an electronic back ground.  He was able to help me in three different areas.

  1. Marshall was able to tell me immediately just what had happened to AC unit, saving me thousands of dollars as most repair people would have tried to replace the entire unit, when all that was wrong was the logic card and main transistor.
  2. With Marshall’s help, I was able to get my flaky internet back online.  I was not sure where the problem was, DSL line to the house, or modem or router, or a combination of them.  Trying to call AT&T or INDIA was a total waste of time.  One of sad states our county is in that we allow large companies to totally not have any local contacts to help out in a problem like this
  3. Lastly, after I received my Klipsch Amp and controller back (it turned out that only the controller had be hit), I was still not able to get my sound back like it used to be.  Marshall  had a duplicate Creative Lab’s card and he loaned that to me to test with.  Once again this saved me a ton of time and as it turned out 1/2 of the output of card had been fried.

I can only hope I can return the favor to Marshall one of these days.  I am now back up 100% and starting to recover files that were corrupted.  Good friends they are an important part of life,  Thanks Marshall!

One other thing, I finally learned how to spell Klipsch!