Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Fix Your Ford Sync (Mustang)

Not too long ago I started encountering problems with +Ford Motor Company Sync in my Mustang. The main problem was that the "mobile apps" functionality refused to function. When selecting mobile apps the unit would stop responding momentarily and eventually the sync lady would indicate the device was unavailable, or something along those lines. (I don't recall the exact error message)

I could, however, switch the media to bluetooth and stream +Pandora or +Amazon Music, but even that was behaving flaky at times.

I searched many forums and tried every suggestion, but to no avail. Here are some of the things I tried:

  • Deleting the phone from Sync and deleting Sync from my phone and reconnecting
  • Unchecking and then rechecking the media option in my bluetooth settings.
  • Renaming my phone / bluetooth name
  • Master reset of Sync
I know there were a few more things I tried but I can't recall what they were. I was at my wits end, the final solution that worked for people was to pull the fuse for Sync.

Here is how this accomplished on a Ford Mustang (2014)

The first thing you'll need to do is to pull the kick panel on the passenger side. Use the slot highlighted below to pull the panel.
Ford Mustang - Kick Panel
Ford Mustang Kick Panel


Once the kick panel has been removed, you'll see this flap. It's held in place by velcro. When you lift this flap you'll see another flap that is taped shut. Break the tape and open the flap.
Ford Mustang Fuse Panel Flap
Fuse Panel "Flap"

You will then need to remove fuse panel cover. Pinch the tabs highlighted below to remove. You'll notice this panel has the fuses identified by number, and is upside down.
Fuse Panel Cover
Fuse Panel Cover

The fuse we are interested in is fuse number 3. It's the 3rd one up, highlighted below. (blue, 15)
Fix My Sync - Fuse 3
Ford Sync - Fuse Number 3

Use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull this fuse. Wait a few seconds and then reinsert the fuse. Now follow these same instructions in reverse to put everything back in place.

You should now be able to successfully use the mobile apps functionality. WOO HOO!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Toggle Aero On and Off

Toggle Aero On and Off


Looking for a quick and handy way to toggle Aero on and off in Windows 7? Create a batch file out of the following and you're good to go. Executing this .bat will turn Aero on if it's off and off if it's on.

@echo off
sc interrogate uxsms | find "1062"
if %errorlevel%==0 goto :sc_start
sc stop uxsms
exit
:sc_start
sc start uxsms
exit

If you're feeling really fancy, you can bind the shortcut to a hot key! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ford Racing Transmission Cooler - Installed

Ford Racing Transmission Cooler
Ford Racing Transmission Cooler
I just finished installing a Ford Racing Boss 302 Transmission Cooler on my 2014 Ford Mustang GT. Installation was a breeze. Just remove 4 bolts that hold the existing brace, slap on the tranny cooler and tighten the bolts. It takes longer to jack up the vehicle and set it back down then it does to install the transmission cooler.

While this particular Ford Racing transmission cooler is a passive design, it has been proven to lower transmission fluid temperatures 20-30 degrees.

As an unexpected bonus, I discovered the source of a metallic rattle I had been hearing since my Mangaflow X-Pipe was installed. Turns out the bolts on the clip just needed a few more cranks to be nice and snug.

I've read a few stories of the Mangnaflow pipes being shipped with defective cats, so I was much relieved to discover a simple and free fix.







Magnaflow X-Pipe Rattle Fix
Tighten Me - I could be loose...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Titanfall - Black Screen Fix - PC

Titanfall - Black Screen Bug - PC

I finally discovered a fix for the black screen bug when launching Titanfall on PC. I tried multiple things to no avail, but what finally worked for me was this:

Access your Titanfall installation directory. Select all files in this directory (exclude folders) and delete them.

Launch the game. The missing files will be downloaded from Origin. Once this completes and the game launches, be patient. You will see a black screen for 10-15 seconds and then you'll see the familiar Respawn logo.

Game on!




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gauntlet - How to set 1920 x 1080

Gauntlet - How to set 1920 x 1080


If you're having problems finding the resolution for 1920x1080 within the settings in Gauntlet for the
PC, you're not alone.

To cut to the chase, the option is there, you just can't see it.

Once you're on the last visible resolution (1776 x 10000) press down once more and you will have selected 1920 x 1080. Hit apply and you're good to go!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dark Souls 2 - ENB Settings

Dark Souls 2 - GEM ENB Settings
Dark Souls 2 - GEM ENB
This is a quick blog post to share my settings for GeDoSato & GEM ENB. This is not a tutorial on how to install these mods.

Easiest way to use my settings would be to make a back up of both of your settings/ini files and replace with mine. (make sure you adjust the resolution to match your native res)

GeDoSato Beta7

# Lines starting with "#" are ignored by GeDoSaTo and used to provide documentation
# read them before changing anything!

########################################################################################
# Internal settings

# The amount of logging output for debugging purpose.
# Should be set to 0 if everything works fine for performance reasons.
logLevel 0

########################################################################################
# Graphics settings

# The actual rendering resolution you want to use,
# and how many Hz you want the game to think it works at.
#renderWidth 5120
#renderHeight 2880
#renderWidth 3840
#renderHeight 2160
#renderWidth 3200
#renderHeight 1800
renderWidth 2560
renderHeight 1440
reportedHz 60

# The resolution you want to downsample *to*.
# Should generally always be your output device pixel size and frequency.
# Writing something not supported by the display here will probably cause a crash.
#presentWidth 2560
#presentHeight 1440
presentWidth 1920
presentHeight 1080
#presentWidth 1280
#presentHeight 720
presentHz 60

# How many vertical traces to wait when presenting
# -1 = unchanged
# 0 = no vsync
# 1 = standard vsync
# 2 = half refresh rate (e.g. 30 on 60 Hz)
# 3 = 1/3rd refresh rate, etc.
presentInterval 1

# The type of scaling you want to use.
# bilinear: what GPUs generally do, cheap performance-wise
# bicubic: higher quality, more expensive performance-wise
scalingType bilinear

# Emulate exact flipping behaviour
# requires some extra performance/memory,
# but may be important for some games to work
emulateFlipBehaviour false

# For games which use strange methods to query resolutions,
# injecting a new one might not work. In such cases, you can try replacing an
# existing resolution. E.g. "overrideWidth 800", "overrideHeight 600" to replace 800x600
# 0 = override disabled
overrideWidth 0
overrideHeight 0

########################################################################################
# Windowing settings

# Hides the mouse cursor, at all times
# options: "true" (= hidden) and "false" (= unchanged)
hideMouseCursor false

# Forces borderless windowed fullscreen mode instead of fullscreen mode
# options: "true" (= force borderless windowed FS) and "false" (= unchanged)
forceBorderlessFullscreen false

########################################################################################
# Image processing settings
# Note: may or may not apply depending on the plugin used

## AA

# AA toggle and quality setting
# 0 = off (best performance, worst IQ)
# 1 = low 
# 2 = medium
# 3 = high
# 4 = ultra (worst performance, best IQ)
aaQuality 0

# AA type
# either "smaa" or "fxaa", depending on your preferences
aaType smaa

## SSAO

# Enable and set the strength of the SSAO effect 
# (all 3 settings have the same performance impact!)
# 0 = off
# 1 = low
# 2 = medium
# 3 = high
ssaoStrength 3

# Set SSAO scale
# 1 = high quality (default)
# 2 = lower quality, lower impact on performance
ssaoScale 1

# Set SSAO Blur type
# gaussian = soft, cheap
# sharp = depth-dependent, more expensive
ssaoBlurType gaussian

## DOF

# Enable Depth of Field
# false = off
# true = on
enableDoF false

# Select the type of DOF effect
# basic = basic pseudo-Bokeh DoF
# bokeh = shaped circular Bokeh DoF - WARNING: high performance impact
dofType bokeh

# Bokeh Depth of Field radius
# default = 1.00
# higher = more blurry (e.g. 1.1)
# lower = less blurry (e.g. 0.9)
# note: small changes make a large difference
dofBaseRadius 1.6

## Post

# Enable Postprocessing
# false = off
# true = on
# For in-depth configuration, look in "assets/post.fx" or "assets/post_asmodean.fx"
enablePostprocessing false

# Postprocessing type
# durante = basic postprocessing adapted from SweetFX (dark, local contrast)
# asmodean = postprocessing by Asmodean (with tone mapping, softer)
# For in-depth configuration, look in "assets/post.fx" or "assets/post_asmodean.fx"
postProcessingType asmodean

## Bloom

# Enable HDR Bloom
# false = off
# true = on
# For in-depth configuration, look in "assets/bloom.fx"
enableBloom true

########################################################################################
# Texture settings

# Dump game textures loaded using d3dx to textures\[gamename]\dump\[hash].tga
# if you enable override at the same time, the overridden texture will be dumped
enableTextureDumping false

# Override game textures loaded using d3dx with those from
# textures\[gamename]\override\[hash].(dds|png), if available
enableTextureOverride false

# Mark textures with their hash (for texture modders)
# WARNING: extremely slow if a game loads many textures
# (if you think a game crashed, it's probably still just loading textures)
enableTextureMarking false

########################################################################################
# Mouse settings
# you may have to play around with these a bit to get mouse input working correctly
# while downsampling in some games

# Modify the mouse position reported by "GetCursorPos" when downsampling
modifyGetCursorPos false

# Modify the mouse position set by "SetCursorPos" when downsampling
modifySetCursorPos false

# Intercept the WindowProc callback of the game and adjust mouse messages when downsampling
interceptWindowProc false

# Adjust the mouse position reported in peeked Windows messages when downsampling
adjustMessagePt false

GEM Settings v1.3.1

   /*-----------------------------------------------------------.   
  /                       Description                           /
  '------------------------------------------------------------/

Game: Win7, Win8 & DX9
GEM version: 1.3
Author: Luciferhawk
Description: Here you can adjust your GEM-Settings.

These are the default settings for GEM 1.3

   /*-----------------------------------------------------------.
  /                      Choose effects                         /
  '-----------------------------------------------------------*/

// Set to 1 for ON or 0 for OFF
#define USE_GEMHD   1 //[0 or 1] GEM : Applies basic GEMShader.
#define USE_GEMHBO  1 //[0 or 1] GEM : Applies HBO like GEMShader.

   /*-----------------------------------------------------------.
  /                  GEM Graphic-Enhancement-Mod settings       /
  '-----------------------------------------------------------*/

// -- GEM HD settings --
#define GQuality 3 //[0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4] Adjust GEM Quality (performance hit on 2).
#define SSAO 0 //[0 or 1] Applies SSAO like shadowing effect.
#define GSceneDepth 1.08 //[1.00 to 2.00] Adjust Darkness of Scenery (standard 1.04) Higher -> darker. 
#define GShadowDepth 0.28 //[0.00 to 2.00] Adjust Darkness of Shadows (standard 0.80) Lower -> darker.
#define GSat 0.95 //[0.00 to 1.00] Adjust GEM-Saturation (standard 0.95).
#define GTBright 1.24 //[1.00 to 1.36] Adjust GEM-TextureBrightness (standard 1.26) Lower -> darker.
#define GCBright 0.69 //[0.00 to 2.00] Adjust GEM-Contrast (standard 0.70) Lower -> darker.
#define GBloom 0.00 //[0.00 to 1.00]   Adjust GEM-Bloom effect blended into the final image (standard 0.255).
#define GGrain 0.0 //[0.00 to 1.00] Adjust GEM-Grain amount (standard 0.0335)
#define GColorBoost 1 //[0 or 1] Applies color boost effect.

// -- GEM HBO settings --
#define GHBOShift 2.7 //[0.00 to 5.00] Amount of HBO color shift (standard 2.0).

// -- GEM general settings --
#define GaussStrength 0.0   //[0.00 to 1.00]   Amount of blur effect blended into the final image.

// -- GEM optional settings --
#define GEMBlur 0     //[0.00 or 1.00] Additional blur on the edges when pressing K
#define GBlurPwr 395 //[300 to 600] Additional blur on the edges when pressing K (standard 395).
#define GBlurRad 0.00585 //[0.00 to 1.00] Additional blur radius on the edges when pressing K (standard 0.00585).
#define GBlurFocus 0.5 //[0.00 to 1.00] Additional blur focus position on the y-axis when pressing K (standard 0.5).

#define ExpEffects 1     //[0.00 or 1.00] All new effects like blur & ambiente lightning since GEMv4.2.2
#define gHFlInt 0.35 //[0.00 to 1.00] Additional intensity of horizontal flares (standard 0.35).
#define gHFlThresh 0.40 //[0.00 to 1.00] Threshold what causes horizontal flares (standard 0.40).

// DO NOT UNCOMMENT THOSE LINES;;THEY ARE ACTIVATED ANYWAY
// -- GEM advanced settings -- // only touch these values if you know what you are doing
// key_toggle_GEMBlur = 75 //K
// key_toggle_ExpEffects = 122 //F11 



How to Improve Graphics - For FREE!

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Well, it's not! At least not for me. I'm going to let you in on a little secret or 3 that will vastly improve visuals in game. (at least in my opinion)

This is based on the assumption that:
  1. You are using an HDTV as your monitor
  2. You're connected to your HDTV via HDMI cable. (not DVI)
  3. You are using a Samsung HDTV that has the setting I'm going to refer to
Ok! If you've read those 3 stipulations and they all apply to you then congratulations and keep reading! If not, keep reading anyway... at least one of these tweaks may help you out.

First things first - Make sure you're connected to the proper HDMI slot at the rear of your TV. You want to plugin to the one labeled "DVI". This HDMI input is designed for PC's and will have the least amount of lag. (circled below) 

Using an HDTV as a Monitor
Plug your PC into this HDMI input

Secondly, in the Catalyst Control Center (sorry nVIDIA users, don't know where your equivalent setting is) 
expand "My Digital Flat-Panels" and click "Pixel Format".

Now here is where the magic happens. Select  "RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Fomat PC Standard (Full RGB)" and click apply. You should notice an immediate improvement in color depth and clarity. Your desktop should just "pop" now. 

RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Format PC Standard (Full RGB)
RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Format PC Standard (Full RGB)

Thirdly, access your TV settings. On my TV it's under Menu > Picture > Picture Options > HDMI Black Level

You want to change HDMI Black Level from normal to low. This will get rid of the grey haze in the picture and create really dark shadow in areas where they should be.

With that being said, this may not suit everyone. I personally enjoy it. Colors are much more rich, vibrant... and the darks are DARK. 

Did you try these settings? Did you like it? Was it not for you? Let me know in the comments below!



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Headphones That Actually Stay On


Yurbuds Stay In Your Ears

Finally, a pair of headphones / earbuds that stay in! I've tried several different pair of headphones and they all had the same problem: They refuse to stay in while I'm running.


Sony Clip On HeadphonesPart of the problem is I sweat like a fish so naturally earbuds slip out. I had been using a pair of Sony clip-ons for nearly a decade and they had served me well, up until recently. The cord became faulty which resulted in static and the headphones not playing consistently. While ear phones would stay in place while running, they would slip off while sprinting.






Adidas Sennheiser Ear PhoneMy beautiful wife bought me a pair of Sennheiser Adidas ear buds and while they sounded amazing, they too refused to stay in my ears
while running. I tried each cushion size that came with the ear pieces but they refused to stay in.










A few days later I was at my local Best Buy and picked up a cheap pair of head phones to get me by until I could find a good pair that would stay in. The decision proved to be a waste of money as the right earbud failed after only two uses. Like I said, I sweat like a fish.

Yurbuds Stay In
Desperate for a pair of headphones, I checked the stock at a local Wal Mart on a whim. That's when I found Yurbuds Ironman Focus ear buds. The box claimed they were "guaranteed to never fall out" and that's exactly what I looking for. I decided to give them a gamble and so far they have proved worthy. Sound quality decent and they do in fact stay in your ears as advertised. Time will tell if they hold up to the test as summer is nearly around the corner with temps in the triple digits.




Friday, April 04, 2014

Battlefield 4 - Naval Strike - Stutter

Battlefield 4 Naval Strike Performance Tweaks


As if I wasn't disappointed by Carrier Assault enough, it seems that the Naval Strike expansion for Battlefield 4 also included a whopping heap of STUTTERING at no additional charge!

I was reading through my daily tweets yesterday from my gaming list on Twitter when I followed a link posted by @AMD_Roy
Which is where I found:

I noticed a bug with Mantle and crossfire, dices implementation of frame pacing hurts fps badly. Disable it by typing 1/2RenderDevice.FramePacingMethod 0 into the console.Once you do this fps shoots up and it remains just as smooth. Try it.

I am not using crossfire but I am using mantle, so I didn't think this would affect me but lo and behold; After entering RenderDevice.FramePacingMethod 0 into the console I was back to the smooth FPS!

Stuttering solved.

Did this work for you? Let me know in the comments below....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

NFS Most Wanted - Camera Stuck Sideways

NFS Most Wanted Camera Stuck


I fired up Need for Speed: Most Wanted only to find the camera stuck sideways.

Long story short, you have to set Origin to offline mode, delete a config file, launch the game, exit, then go back online and sync the newly created config to the cloud.

Have fun!