Samsung Galaxy S4 and iBolt

Did you get a new Samsung Galaxy S4 and find out that your iBolt won’t put it into car mode?  Did you also find out that it won’t even charge the phone?  Did you call bullshit on both iBolt and Samsung for putting you in the position that you have to buy a new dock to work with your new phone?  Well, here’s a solution for you, IF you have basic soldering skills and want to try modifying your dock to work.

Note: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE will I respond to requests, assignments of blame, or any other communication about this modification.  If you proceed with modifying your dock, you are doing so at your own risk.  I do not represent Samsung or iBolt and offer no real or implied warranty that the information supplied will work for you.

That being said, it worked just fine for me, and was a very easy fix.

The issue?  The Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 phones utilize resistors between an ID line and the ground of the cabling to determine which dock the phone has been placed on.  For the Samsung Galaxy S3, 619k ohm of resistance told the phone it was in a car dock.  Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S4 does not respond to 619k ohm of resistance.  It fails to recognize the dock or even allow charging.

The solution?  Modify your dock’s wiring to put 367k ohm of resistors between the ID line and ground to trigger desk dock mode when the phone is connected to your iBolt.  No, there is no car dock mode in the Samsung Galaxy S4, so desk dock mode it is.

Remove the four screws holding the back plate on the iBolt.

iBolt back with screws marked

Solder a 330k ohm, 22k ohm and 15k ohm resistor in series (end to end).  Trim down the long legs of the resistors, because you’re going to be replacing about .75″ of wire with the resistors.

Resistors in series

Now, cut the wire going to the center pin of the quick connector (usually brown).  Leave about 1/2″ of the brown wire coming out of the black wrap.  Strip 1/4″ of the brown wire and shave the side off of the ground wire (black) to expose enough wire to solder to.  You are going to be connecting the brown wire to the black wire using the resistor chain you made.

ID wire removed and ground shaved

Now, solder the resistors to the brown wire

Resistors in line ready to ground

Slide on some shrink wrap and solder the other end to the shaved section of the ground wire.

iBolt modified with 367k resistors for Samsung Galaxy S4 car dock

What you should have now is the brown wire exiting the black cord, going through the three resistors ending up scabbed on to the side of the ground wire.

What you have just done is put 367k ohm of resistance between the ID line and the ground, which will tell the Samsung Galaxy S4 that it is in a desk dock.

Put the circuit board back in place and re-install the back cover.

iBolt modified to work with a Samsung Galaxy S4

Voila, the iBolt will put your car in dock mode.  With some simple adjustments, you can pop into S-Voice and say Driving Mode On and you’re ready to roll.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Dock Mode in an iBolt

I didn’t try re-installing the S3 in the dock to see if it detected the desk dock mode, but I suspect it would.

The bottom line is that the purchase of cheap resistors can keep you from purchasing a new dock for no reason.

There is a lot of finger pointing going on between iBolt and Samsung, but the one that loses in the argument is the consumer.  Personally, I feel that iBolt could have offered a new circuit board with the proper resistance for DIY installers.  I would have paid for it, rather than having to do it myself.  Now, I’m hoping you can do it yourself and not pay them for anything!

Happy soldering and thanks to Joe Krueger for providing the ‘Googling’ required to get the resistor values and his review of the circuit board to identify the old resistor values.  His solution was more involved than mine, as he soldered his resistors onto the circuit board.  I chose the simple path.

Good luck!



I Experienced The O-Face!

The O FaceYes, that’s right, I said it. I recently made an O-Face. At least, I think I made one, because I sure let out an audible “ohh”.

In a previous post, I referred to the ineptitude of the corporate giant Suddenlink, as they failed to accept the reality that they had made a mistake.

I exhausted the efforts to speak with anyone intelligible at our local (90 miles away) office. The bottom line was that their customer service representative had agreed to send someone out to pick up digital converter boxes from my porch in 2008, and in 2011-2012, they were telling me that was not their policy.

They were flat out lying to me, and denying that there were any records that indicated they would have agreed to that request.

On a whim, I started to dig across the interwebs to find the home base of Suddenlink, and landed on a telephone number for an office in St. Louis. Thinking that I might be wasting my time, I called the number and asked to speak to the person in charge of customer relations. To my surprise, the response was “Certainly, one moment please.”

Wait for it… Don’t make the O-Face yet!

I was transferred to a lady named Diane Henry, and went straight to her voice mail. My surprise turned to discouragement, because I figured I would be chasing my tail again before long. But, low and behold, I got a return phone call from Ms. Henry, and she patiently listened to my side of the story.

Ms. Henry told me she would look further into the issue and would get back in touch with me with a resolution. For me, that put the ball in her court, and I expected it to be several days before I heard from her again.

She called me in two days, apologizing for taking so long to get back to me and proceeded to let me know she had forwarded the information to the vice presidents in the eastern parts of the United States. I made it clear to her how grateful I was that someone was actually taking the time to research the issue, and that I would accept whatever resolve she was able to obtain for me.

Two days later, I got a final call from Ms. Henry.

It was during this call that I displayed my O-Face not once, but several times.

First, when I was told that there were clear records in my account that indicated that I had requested a pickup of the boxes at my house in 2008.

Second, when she informed me that they would be removing the digital converts from my account and I would never be charged for them again.

Finally, when she apologized for this ever happening, and for the lack of effort from the local offices in resolving my issue.

For whatever else may be wrong with Suddenlink, they should be damned proud of Diane Henry in St. Louis.

She gave me an O-Face!

Community, Technology

Suddenlink = Suddenstink

SuddenstinkSuddenlink blows.  It’s that simple.

Three months before we moved to our new house in 2008, I contacted Suddenlink to let them know that we no longer needed their services.  We had switched to DirecTV and I was cancelling digital cable from Suddenlink.  During the call, the representative informed me that I needed to return their digital converter boxes.  This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but their offices were only open during normal business hours AND they were in another city.

After a simple conversation, explaining that I worked during the hours they were open, and I had no way to get the boxes to their office, the representative said their technician would pick up the boxes when they came out to disconnect the cable.  Perfect solution, and I was pleased with the understanding she exhibited.  I told her that our porch was protected, and we would put the boxes on the porch for the technician to pick up.  I was told that would be noted on our account and it would be taken care of.  Two weeks later, we noticed the boxes were no longer on porch, and considered the matter closed.

Due to the favorable treatment I felt I had received, when we arrived at our new home and my wife asked that we establish basic cable service with Suddenlink, I quickly contacted them and set up the new service.  This was done because we are in a small market for DirecTV and we could not get the NBC network on the satellite service.  One of our local NBC stations, WTAP, refused access to NBC for area DirecTV customers.

Flash forward to May 2011.  I engaged in the rare act of opening the Suddenlink bill to review the charges.  Low and behold, we were being charged $20.97 for three digital converters.  Assuming that I would have no problem calling them and reminding them that their technician had picked up our receivers, I made the first call to Suddenlink.

As of December 2012, they are still refusing to remove the digital receiver charges from our bill.  When I speak with them, they inform me that it is not their policy to have technicians pick up the boxes.  They refuse to acknowledge that their representative made the agreement with me to have the boxes picked up.  The do acknowledge that the digital converters have NEVER been connected to their network after I terminated service.  When I point out that clearly indicates they were not stolen from our porch for use, they have no intelligent response.

The solution they offer?  Pay $199 per digital receiver, because I am responsible for the receivers.

Welcome to a digital monopoly, in which local residents have no options for providers.  These idiots have declared how much they value my business, and I’m going to start declaring how much I value destroying their business.

May DirecTV reign down on the Ohio Valley and drive the Suddenstink out.

Community, Technology

DirecTV and Me

DirecTVI am a fan of DirecTV. When a service that I’m paying for actually stands against pressure from one of their suppliers that would ultimately result in an increase in my costs, I applaud the actions.

The recent actions by Viacom, aimed at extorting billions from DirecTV customers was countered by a less than dramatic exodus of customers from DirecTV to other providers. I have little doubt they expected their MTV and other trash viewers to pile complaints on the doorstep of DirecTV and it was obviously not effective enough to get the results they wanted.

So, to Viacom, you can kiss the collective rear ends of DirecTV customers. I am certainly not under the illusion that DirecTV was worried about my needs, but they were clearly aware that they would lose customers if they caved to the demands of a greedy supplier.

Community, Technology

Microsoft Xbox 360 Points Fiasco

Microsoft Sucks

Ok, let’s just say Microsoft is shit. Their systems are full of bloat, and they don’t appear to know how anything they have actually works.

I just spent an hour in chat with one of their Xbox support specialists, if you can call them that. I simply want to purchase Microsoft points so I can purchase something on my Xbox 360. One would think they actually want you to do this. Nope.

There are quite a few posts and complaints appearing across the interwebs that mirror my issues, so I am not alone here. To put it simply, they will not accept any of the payment methods I provide as valid tender for a purchase.

They claim they accept PayPal. Nope. They may accept your login information, but don’t expect it to actually be used to help you purchase. If it actually works for you, consider yourself blessed and go on your merry way. If it does not, you will be given this fantastic bit of advice from the chat technicians.

Go buy pre-paid cards and use those to add points to your account.

You know what that sounds like to me? “We don’t want to pay the percentage on the credit card charges”, so “we won’t take your credit card information and use it.”

I tried Capitol One, my local bank, PayPal and more. Nothing works. Before you say to yourself, “Gee, maybe Lee doesn’t have the funds to cover the purchase”, I can assure you I checked that before trying any of this. If not, I would consider myself an idiot for attempting to purchase THEN following up with this babble.

It’s amazing to me that, in an age where customer service is what sets you apart, Microsoft has issues handling credit card payments.

Hell, Cone-N-Shake takes debit/credit cards now! Give me a break. It’s no wonder that Apple is gaining the market share they are.


Rotten Apple

Apple is stupidOk, remembering way back to my childhood, one of the funniest jokes was to get everyone you knew to hold onto their tongue and say “Apple”.

Of course, it sounded like “asshole”, and at 5 years old, that is the funny as heck.

The process of changing your iTunes password with Apple is akin to you holding your tongue and … Actually, you will simply be calling them assholes.

Here is an interesting tid-bit for those of you with some spare time on your hands. Go to to change your password. You’re not really going to change it, but you will get to experience some seriously stupid web development from a company that claims billions in assets, and makes you jump through hoops.

  1. Enter your valid Apple ID in the box and click the Next button.
  2. Click the check button beside “Answer security question” and click the Next button
  3. You will then be asked to verify your birthday, complete with Month, Day and Year.

You can stop at this point, because we don’t want to venture further into their password reset.

Now, the best part. Let’s say you are an evil genius, and you want to hack into someone’s Apple iTunes account. Of course, you have to know if you have an actual account ID, or any of your hacking is going to be useless. Apple to the rescue!

Click the Cancel button to start over and click “Reset your password”, or simply go to again. This time, we are going to do something a bit different. We are going to use a bogus apple ID.

  1. Enter in the Apple ID box and click the Next button.
  2. Click the check button beside “Answer security question” and click the Next button
  3. You will then be asked to verify your birthday, BUT WAIT! There is something missing, and that would be the Year.

You just verified that the address you used was not a valid Apple ID. Congratulations Apple!

This from a company that won’t let you use whatever password you want, won’t allow you to reset a forgotten password to anything you’ve used in the past 12 months and won’t let you simply recover your lost password after answering your security questions.

I guess they expect you to handle all of the security for them, because they obviously have no clue what they are doing when it comes to protecting you.

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Madam Chuso Obveus


This is Madam Chuso Obveus. She can bake brownies, do all of the laundry, shuttle your children and more. Best of all, she does that while working a full time job, volunteering for every civic organization and being asked to be on 5 boards at once.

How is it that someone so learned can watch you open the refrigerator and ask “Are you really hungry?” Just when you try to get your head wrapped around that query, you try to escape to the man cave only to hear “Where are you going?” Bite your tongue, you think to yourself. Logic would seem to indicate that standing with your hand on the door knob to the basement means you intend to descend to welcome anonymity.

Somehow you don’t remember the inquisitions of days gone by. Nuggets such as “Is that what you are going to wear?”, or “I heard the new Julia Roberts movie is out, do you really want to see the Bond movie?”

Isn’t it strange that your answer should always be yes, but you inevitably must answer no?

This super hero truly possesses amazing powers.

When you really think about it, things start to come into focus. If you are always saying “No”, then why can’t she when you ask her something.

Madam Obveus always gets her way and the villain is left stammering, wondering what just happened.


Life with Bailey


“Where are we going?” I know that is what she is thinking. Or is it “Did you see that bird?” Either way, it doesn’t matter much.

As my wife, the one that wanted the dog, sits at home, this is what my drives look like quite often. I suspect that I have been had. Hornswoggled. I didn’t want a dog, yet I have one.

Oh, she grows on you though. She knows I will feed her scraps, especially bread, and she knows when I descend to the man cave to smoke some shisha that she is going to get some duck jerky.

Why is it that dog haters can be sucked in by the same youthful exhuberance that we can’t stand about the animals. Want to go on vacation? Nope, the dog will be home alone. Hell, we could have left the cat with a big bowl of food, water and a litter box and gone on a cruise. Not the dog. I’ve even come home for half of our yearly vacation to take care of her. Of course, the official reason is that I have to work.

I will never openly admit that I like this dog. That would be like admitting I could be wrong, and that ain’t happening.

I will, however, make the observation that there are more pictures of the dog on my phone than any other single being.

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Welcome To My World

Lee Offenberger

This is my thinking mode

Welcome to, the creation of my evil genius. Ok, maybe not genius, but certainly evil.

Over the course of time, I will do my best to share my thoughts with you so that you can make a vain attempt at understanding me.