Sunday, December 13, 2015

KDK and Panasonic ceiling fans - a tale of twins

KDK and Panasonic Malaysia have very similar ceiling fan products. So if you are planning to purchase a KDK in Johor Bahru, you can also consider Panasonic because they also have a range that is practically a long lost twin of the KDK

Basically the difference between the range of fans both brands offer are in terms of

- blade length
- LED lighting

- 1/f Yuragi feature

Below are the two practically identical fans, even up to the remote controller. Both fans are equipped with

- 4-blade design
- Temperature sensor for auto velocity adjustments by temperature change
- LED illumination light
- 5-speed control, sleep mode and OFF timer
- 1/f Yuragi function
- Built-in LCD screen remote control
- Enchanced Safety

KDK Sensa 4 K14Z9

Panasonic i-Senz 4 F-M14F1

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to reset forgotten luggage lock code

If you have a luggage bag which you have forgotten the lock code, this video will show how to reset the lock code.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NS6 Sungei Kadut station

Streetdirectory has jumped the gun and placed NS6 Sungei Kadut station of the north-south line as U/C (under construction)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Water heaters - what are your choices?

Getting heated water to your bathrooms nowadays is easy and affordable, depending on your needs and which method you choose. Most common method is by simply installing a POU (point of use) instant heater and you'll be showering in heated water in no time. However, a POU instant heater can only supply heated water to a specific area (for example the shower area) and you'll need one for each bathroom. If you need heated water from your sink, you'll need a centralised heater as a POU heater cannot perform this function (which will be explained later). You will also need the appropriate piping which can be costly, depending on the type of house you have and of course mixer taps (with hot/cold water inlets) Newer HDB flats where the wiring and piping are concealed already has the necessary piping taken care of. Same goes with most condominiums and landed properties. For older HDB flats however, there are no other options but to lay additional piping for heated water coming from the heater. Unless you are a plumber or have the necessary tools, you'll almost certainly need to call one to do the job. Once the necessary piping is available, all you need to do is to install a centralised heater and you'll have heated water in shower area and from the sink. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually more than one type of central heaters you can opt for. Most commonly used are the storage heaters where it is basically a heater with a tank to hold the heated water. The other type is a tankless instant heater that heats the water up as you use it. If you are wondering if the tankless instant heater is similar to the POU instant heater, you are not far off. The working concept is similar - which is to heat the water as water flows through it. However, you cannot use a POU instant heater as a central one because the POU heater is activated when water flows into the heater while the centralised one is activated when water flows out. That means you will need an on/off tap to supply cold water to the heater while it gets heated up and out from a hose etc. You cannot re route the heated water to another tap as then you will have to turn on two taps which will make it ridiculous So which is a better solution? To tank or not to tank? A storage heater is normally bulky, therefore can be unsightly and is also inefficient as it 1. heats the water up even when not in used to maintain the water temperature. This means you have to turn it on all the time or have it turned on for some time beforehand to allow it to heat the water up. Obviously the latter is not convenient. 2. heats up the whole tank regardless of the amount you actually plan to use. 3. can run out of heated water if the supply in the tank runs low as you are using it. Think of the electric thermos and you’ll get the idea. A tankless heater on the other hand is way smaller, therefore not that unsightly, and more efficient as it is turned on only when being used. This means, you can turn the main switch off when you are not using it and back on when you need to. If you think that it is inconvenient, then you just leave it on and it will only consume energy for the LED indicators which is negligible. There are two types of tankless instant heaters - one is electric and the other is powered by gas. You can install the electric tankless heaters almost anywhere you want but for one powered by gas, it can only be installed in an open area like the service yard. This effectively makes the gas heater not an option if it needs to be installed in the bathroom. Even if it can, having to lay gas piping into the bathroom can be costly and unsightly and even be impossible, due to the location of the gas pipe and the bathroom.

If your service yard adjoins to your bathroom (where the central piping inlet is located), then you can install a gas central heater in the service yard and extend the hot water pipe to bathroom. You have to drill a hole though so be careful that you do not damage any concealed piping as the cost to repair it will be astronomical. You have to also lay gas piping to the service yard. Check out City Gas for their range of gas heaters.

If your service yard is not adjoined to your bathroom, then an electric tankless heaters is your best bet. One such example is the Bennington C600. It is small and considered affordable at approximately $280. 

Take note that a tankless central heater is not a perfect solution and here's why. For one, it is not absolutely instant. Depending on the location of the heater and the length of piping it has to go through before it reaches the outlet, there will be a delay. However, this applies to any centralised heaters as well. So if you have never used a centralised heater before, this is expected. You will also see a drop in the water pressure. For most cases, this should not be an issue as no one uses boiling water in huge flow unless they want to scald themselves. So most likely, after mixing with cold water, the pressure should be just right, at a temperature most people use to shower or wash up. However, if it is an issue for you, it can be easily remedied by changing the shower heads or installing water saving devices onto the tap which will increase the pressure accordingly. Though it may be an inconvenience and even additional investments, the savings (both electricity and water) later on should make up for it. Whichever type of heaters you decide on, you may want to have heated waters in the kitchen or even the service yard since you already have a centralised heater. However, as far as I know, HDB flats with concealed piping do not extend to the kitchen and service yard. In this case you have, again, three ways to go about it. 1. You can extend and lay additional piping from your central water heater to the kitchen. This option saves you the cost of another heater but make sure that
- the piping works does not cost more than the heater 
- piping works are not unsightly. 2. Another way is to install another heater near the outlet to minimise any exposed piping. If you only need heated water for the kitchen sink, you can actually install it under the sink as show below

A storage heater is too big in this case therefore only tankless heater is possible. Since gas tankless heater cannot be installed in confined spaces like the cabinet under the sink, an electric tankless heater is the only option. In this case, the Bennington C600 will again be suitable. Though it will cost you another initial investment, this can be justified if: 1. Additional piping will cost just as much 2. Additional piping cannot be concealed and will look unsightly. However, do take note that you may need to lay a new wiring to support a higher ampere rating depending on the heater you choose. The Bennington C600 on a 13A socket can only run at mid power (3kW). It runs at a max of 4.5kW and requires a 20A socket. All the above options depends on the cost and aesthetic results. So below is a summary of all the available type of heaters

Heater typeHeatingComments
Point of use (normally called 'instant heater')ElectricalPros: Simple to fix without the need for expensive piping
Cons: Needs one for every outlet
Centralised Storage (normally called 'storage heaters)ElectricalPros: No drop in water pressure
Cons: Bulky, inefficient power usage and not on-demand.
Centralised Tankless (or called multipoint heaters')ElectricalPros: Small, efficient, available on-demand
Cons: Drop in water pressure
Centralised Tankless (normally called 'gas heaters')GasPros: Similar to its electrical cousin.
Cons: Similar to its electrical cousin. May need to connect to an electrical point for ignition. Can only be installed in a non confined space. Additional gas piping required.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fisher-Price, Ferrari and Mothercare car seats - A Re-branded Nania

Fisher-Price, Ferrari and Mothercare brand range of car seats are practically re-branded car seats by Nania. So in terms of functionality and design, they are exactly the same. The difference may be in terms of quality of the fabric.

The above mentioned brands has the exact same complete range of car seats which in my opinion covers your kid right from infancy till they are big enough for just a simple booster seat.

Below are the list of groups of car seat for kids of different sizes. All the car seats in each group are practically similar.

Group 0+

This group of car seats are for infants up to 13 kg. However the new car seat standard is no longer based on weight but the height of the child so as soon as your child outgrows the tallest harness position, it is time to change the car seat to the next group.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's 3 point seat belt and the child is seat secured to the seat with its 3-point harness.

The good thing about this group of car seats is that you can remove the seat from the car while the baby is still in the car seat. However, securing the seat to the car with the car's 3-point seat belt can be a challenge and it increases the possibility of improper installation.

Group 0-1

This group of car seats can be converted from rear facing to front facing when it is appropriate.

It being in the group 0-1 means it is suitable for your child from birth when installed rear facing. When your child is able to lift himself up and has outgrown the lowest harness position, it can then be be installed front facing but it is best to keep the seat rear facing for as long as you possibly can (and if your child is cooperative)

The seat itself is attached to a mounting base that allows the seat to be reclined without having to readjust the car seat belting, which is a good thing. There are other convertibles that requires you to re-belt if adjust the recline angle which is very inconvenient and also increases risk of improper installation.

However, the seat retains its seating position so your child do not actually lean back when the car seat is reclined which is similar to the likes of Maxi Cosi Priori range of car seats. This car seat should last you for quite a while until your child outgrows it.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's adult 3 point retractable seat belt or ISOFIX / Latch Tether combination and the child is seat secured to the seat with its 5-point harness.

Group 1-2-3

This group of car seats are for taller kids that have outgrown the convertibles.

It is practically a booster seat with a high back and 5 point harness for taller kids. The harness and high back can be removed. So if you already have or are going to have this, it will be the last car seat you will ever need for that same child.

The seat is secured to the car with the car's adult 3-point retractable seat belt and the child is secured to the seat with its 5-point harness

Group 2-3

These car seats are practically the same as the previous group but without the harness so if you already have one of those and your child has outgrown the tallest harness position, you can remove the harness and buckle and you will have the same thing.

Child is secured to the car with the car's adult 3 point retractable seat belt.

Group 2-3

These seat are practically the same as the previous group but without the back rest. So if you have a seat from any of the two previous groups, you can convert them by removing the harness and/or backrest. 

This car seat is for kids tall enough that the car's 3 point seat belt does touch their cheeks when seated on this booster.

Child is secured to the car with the car adult 3 point retractable seat belt.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dell home support - inefficiency at the customer's expense

I have only good words when it comes to Dell business support and would not hesitate to recommend Dell business products not only because they are good products but because it is backed by good support. However, the same can't be said for their home products not because their products are bad but because the support for home products seriously can piss you off.

I bought an Inspiron Desktop 20 3000 Series All-in-One a few months back and noticed an issue a few days later. So I contacted Dell and after a series of standard email that request me to perform some updates etc, an appointment for an onsite engineer was set as issue was not resolved.

I then received another call from a Dell representative who wants to set an appointment to have some parts sent down. I was confused because I just had an appointment set earlier but was told that this call was from the logistics team and they are only in charge of sending the parts over. I asked if the parts can be sent on the same day but was told that it was not possible and so someone had to be at home on two separate days.

The onsite engineer came clueless as to what the issue was and his instructions was to simply replace the parts. After the replacement was completed, I noticed that the screen was not the right fit and the engineer agreed with me. Although I was not exactly happy with that, I will not mind if the issue is resolved. It was not. So I got him to revert back to the original display which he kindly did.

I then asked him what is to happen to the unused parts and was told that another appointment will be arranged to collect the parts. He said that engineers are on public transport so they are not able to bring parts along.

So Dell home support needs 3 separate appointments if an onsite service requires parts to be replaced in which you will also need to take similar number of days leave.

I do not mind taking a day's leave for the engineer to be onsite but I absolutely find it ridiculous to waste an additional 2 days of leave just to be home to receive the parts and then wait for the parts to be collected on another day. It is even worse when the timing is from 9 am - 5 pm, which practically means the whole day when the process itself probably takes less than a minute.

For my case, the issue is still not resolved and another appointment is being arranged but this time, no way I will waste another 2 days for such an inefficient process.

Dell Inspiron Desktop 20 3000 Series All-in-One LCD Backlight Issue

The Dell Inspiron Desktop 20 3000 Series All-in-One has an issue with the LCD backlight. I captured a video of the issue here.

So what happened was the system instructs the screen to turn off, which it did but then the screen (and not the system) turns back on because it needs to display the message "No input". It then just leave the LCD backlight on perpetually until the system goes to sleep.

This is similar with any other desktop system with a separate display. The AIO is just the system and display built into the same housing.

However, with traditional system, when the system is set to turn the monitor off, it will simply turn off the signal from the video output in which the monitor will detect no input and will display similar "No input" message. The difference however is that the display will normally turn off after a few seconds. In the case of the Dell, it did not.

It is clearly a design flaw which can only be solved with a new firmware for the display and not the system.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Smart TVs - What choices do you have?

What are Smart TVs?

They are basically TVs that has Internet access and can provide online contents like videos through web browsing or applications like YouTube etc.

Every manufacturer has their own offering but more and more are getting on a open platform and the following are the 3 main platform now.


This open source platform is currently being used by LG to replace their NetCast propriety platform. LG first used webOS version 1.3 and has now moved on to version 2.0 which is a marked improvement in terms of speed and features.

FireFox OS

Currently being used by Panasonic to replace their Viera Cast / Connect platforms.

Firefox OS can do more than just TV. It is a platform that is suitable for any screened devices


A successor (though not that successful) to Google TV. Currently being used by Philips, Sharp and Sony and is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop but with a customised UI.

Don't be confused with those Android smart boxes that comes with pretty standard Android OS UI.

Note: Toshiba has a range that comes with Android. However, those are based on Google TV, a predecessor to Android TV


Another open platform based on Linux currently being used by Samsung on their newer range of smart TVs.


This video gives a brief comparison between all the platforms.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Buying a private passenger car in Singapore


For new cars, there are two types of dealers - authorised and parallel importers.

Authorised dealers 

ADs have the backing of the car manufacturers therefore in terms of servicing, maintenance, recalls etc, you can have a piece of mind. The catch? They are generally more expensive and they will only bring in models that can sell.

Buying a car from authorised dealers are generally pretty transparent. The advertised prices should include GST, COE, road tax and registration fee but exclude car insurance as that may vary according to drivers. You will have to fork out a 50% deposit and the rest to be serviced by car loans. Don't forget to ask for freebies like window films, petrol vouchers etc.

Parallel importers 

PI can bring in almost any model you fancy and they are generally cheaper. The catch? They may not have the resource in terms of servicing, maintenance and recalls etc therefore if the dealer is no longer around when a recall is made, you have to fix the issue yourself. Choosing the right parallel importers is key because choosing the wrong one may end with endless headaches.

Buying from parallel importers on the other hand may include hidden charges. That is why it is important to list out all the charges on paper as well as what the dealer is expected to provide including freebies etc.


Buying used car on the other hand can be a headache or fun at the same time. Apart from checking for the car condition, you need to be aware of the financial part of it.

There are two types of used car - PARF or COE cars. PARF cars means the cars are less than 10 years old and still has a PARF value while a COE car means it is over 10 years old and no longer has a PARF value.

PARF value is the amount of money you are eligible to when you deregister the car at the end of its COE lifespan which is 10 year. You can choose not to deregister the car but take note of the following:

- if you decide to renew the COE for the car, you will have to forfeit the PARF.
- if you renew the COE for 5 years, you will not be able to renew the COE again at the end of that 5 years.
- if you renew the COE for 10 years, you can renew the COE again at the end of the 10 years at the prevailing PQP, which is the average COE price for the last few months.

For cars registered before March 2008, the PARF value is 55% of the OMV, otherwise it is 50%. OMV can be obtained from the car registration details with LTA which the dealer will provide.

For used car, the depreciation value is the most important factor when it comes to the financial part of the purchase. A depreciation is calculated based by the following formula

Car price - minimum PARF value / 10 - car age = depreciation value


$50,000 - $10,000 / 10 - 5 = $8,000

Obviously, the lower the depreciation value, the better it is. What it simply represents is the amount that your car loses every year in terms of resale value. So if the depreciation value is $12k/year, then it means the car loses $100/month in terms of resale value.

Depreciation value is greatly affected by demand. So the current high COE and MAS car loan regulation, buyers are turning to used car instead and driving prices up.

Used car requires a 40% deposit of the car price. You may try for a lower deposit by applying for car loan with finance houses instead of banks.

In terms of the condition of the car, there are a few areas you can concentrate on

1. Mileage.

Lower should be better but not necessarily.

2. Number of owners.

Lower should be better because a car with too many previous could mean that the car is problematic hence the change of hands. Still, it does not necessarily mean so.

3. Physical outlook

Like body panel, the interior cabin, seats, panels etc.

4. Paint job

Some cars have been involved in an accident and may be repainted. You can check the engine mounting to see if the colours differ.

5. Alignment.

Straighten the wheels and view from the front and back. If the tyres are not aligned visually, it could means serious problems or the car have been involved in an accident.

6. Engine.

Turn the engine on and hold the steering wheel. A car with damaged engine mounting will vibrate.
Open the bonnet and look for loose wiring etc or worn out belts etc and look out for any funny noises.
Turn on the aircon and check that all fans are working.
Let the engine run for a while and check for oil leaks. Best done after a test drive. Oil leaking from the top of the engine are fixable by changing the gasket. Leaks elsewhere could be a crack in the engine housing which could mean serious problems.

7. Tyres.

Check if they are worn out for which you may ask for replacement. Check also that they are worn out evenly. Uneven wear could mean alignment problem which could mean additional cost for it to be fixed, if it is fixable in the first place.

8. Suspension.

Best to bring your family along for a test drive and load the car with maximum passengers and get their feedback on comfort levels.

9. Aircon.

Ensure it is working and cold enough.

10. Lights

Ensure all are working including the indicators.

11. Stereo

Ensure all the functions like disc playing and all speakers are working.

Should any of these are not working, try to get the dealer to agree to fix it or come to a compromise. Else, look elsewhere.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Masbro Village Malacca

We stayed at one of the units in late October 2015.

Located at Taman Paya Rumput Indah, Malacca, Masbro Village boasts some A Frame houses within a gated area.

Direction to the location is easy as it is very near a highway exit though you may miss it like I did due to it being assimilated to its surrounding which is absolutely not touristy at all. Google Maps does the job so once you exit the highway and turned right, go slow and look out for colourful houses with sharp pointy roofs on your left.

Parking is limited so should there be no parking lots available, you may have to park outside.

There are 8 units in total but only 6 for rent while the other two are used by the owners as their own residence as well as their office.

Each unit looks nice from the outside with its pebble roads and landscaping.

The lower floor consists of a living area with a small TV, a dining set, a kitchen and a bathroom. There was a good selection of TV channels and of HD quality too.

Some houses are connected with a small additional area in the middle for families to mingle, else it will just be left unused which is kind of a waste.

It is not elderly friendly as the stairs are too steep making the huge sleeping area upstairs inaccessible to the elderly and even small children. As I have two young kids, we have to keep an eye on them almost all the time.

There are two queen size bed upstairs but only a sofa bed for the lower floor. Maximum occupancy is 6 pax but only 4 pillows are provided. We didn't ask for additional pillows so we are not sure if it can be requested.

There is another bathroom on the upper floor with a water heater unlike the one below.  Both are cramped due to its design.

There are no food stalls let alone restaurants in the village but there is one just a short walk outside. I didn't know there's one so did not get the chance to try the food. I drove instead a few kilometers away and had take away. Apart from that the only nearby shopping mall is Tesco.

So, will I visit again? Maybe as a stopover but there is nothing much to warrant a repeated visit so it will be a one off for me.


Good TV channels
Nice host.


Not anywhere near tourist attraction.
Need to drive to have access to food and rations etc.
Not elderly or small kids friendly

Straits Hotel and Suites Melaka

We stayed for a night in a suite and a connecting deluxe room in late October 2015.

The hotel is owned by the same owner of Novotel Hotel which is just next door but managed by a different management team hence the reason why both hotels shares the same car park.

The hotel is very new. Located very near to malls and major attractions, you can practically venture by foot if you are adventurous enough.

Lobby is really small, if that matters to you but service staff was awesome.

The suite is huge. Easily the size of deluxe 2 rooms. The bathroom comes with a huge tub and a separate shower area as well.

There's a comfortable sofa and an armchair in the living area but a small TV with limited channels available and poor signal quality. I didn't bother watching anything.

In the suite's bedroom there was also a long study table and a huge closet space.

The deluxe room is bigger than normal hotel rooms and comes with a kitchen as well.

Both rooms comes with a balcony but it is locked for safety reasons which is a shame but as a parent I kind of understand the need for it.

WiFi is provided and it is really fast with good coverage throughout the whole hotel.

I find it strange that a normal aircon indoor unit is installed instead of the normal vent type but that's hardly a deal breaker.

Rooms either faces the sea or the town so do not forget to request for one facing the sea.

There is an infinity pool on the 23rd floor which we were not able to use as it was drizzling then for safety reasons. There is no other pool for kids etc though.

Other facilities includes a sauna and a gym which we didn't manage to use due to time constraints. The official site states that there's BBQ and Kids zone area but I am pretty sure those are not yet ready when we were there hence no pictures as well on the site.

The breakfast is something you can forget about. As the occupancy is low, the variety follows suit. There are plenty of good food just around the hotel.

Currently on promotion, RM242 for a suite and RM188 for a deluxe room, the price is worth it.


Bigger than normal rooms
Fast free WiFi
Deluxe room comes with a kitchen
Near to shopping malls and attractions
Plenty of eatery around
Some rooms has the view of the sea


No pool for kids hence not for families with kids
Abysmal breakfast buffet
Small lobby
Poor TV channels and signal quality


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Online shopping at Lazada

I bought an item at Lazada recently which was my first there as there was a pretty good discount for an item I was looking for. The purchase process was a breeze and I received all the necessary notification right after the purchase was completed.

It was only after I browse around the site that I realised I could actually get the item for less if I applied a different discount code. So I emailed the customer support and I received a call from them the next day, which was a Sunday. The CSO offered to cancel the order (as the item was not shipped out yet) so that I can make a new order with the preferred discount code and I gladly accepted.

I received the item within a week and this was an overseas item. I am not sure if different vendors make any difference or not but so far, I am very pleased.

I have always shopped at eBay and it looks like I may just switch to Lazada should the same item I am looking for is available there. Just as eBay, there are various payment mode available and there's buyer's protection as well.

Below are the plus points

1. Items are all in local currency and generally cheaper with discount applied, especially now when USD exchange rate is higher.

2. Lazada's 100% Buyer Protection and Satisfaction Guaranteed policy covers the return shipment cost.

3. All items are trackable through Lazada or through the couriers. Shipping fees range $0.50 to $10 which is way lower than many shipping options in eBay.

4. COD is available as an option

Dell Inspiron 20 3043 BIOS update hangs

I was updating the system to A11 BIOS with the usual steps which is to simply run the downloaded exe file and wait for the process to complete with a couple of reboots when the process hangs at 65%.

As usual the warnings are clearly stated there to not power off the system while it is updating but it was simply too long a wait.

I rebooted the system nevertheless and lucky for me the system reboots back up with the old BIOS still intact although that came with an initial scare where the screen was blank right after the Dell logo and the spinning dots and I had to reboot again.

I tried updating the system for another 2 times but it all ends the same.

Reading online resources did not help much. There is also nothing much to tinker with the BIOS setup either. It seems like I am destined to be stuck with the old firmware or I could call Dell support for help and prepare to vomit blood.

It was just a hunch but I decided to run the exe file with an account that has administrative rights and right when it is rebooting, I removed all the connected peripherals like printers and keyboard/mouse and behold the update completes with no issues.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aircon replacement

So today is the day my old Daikin system 4 air conditioner was replaced with a Midea system 3.

The price I paid for the Midea includes new installation material like piping, insulation,wiring and trunking etc and removal of the old system. However, I decided to reuse my existing trunking to save me the hassle of having to repaint if replaced. Everything else were replaced though.

The 4th indoor unit at the living room removed and the installers did the necessary patch up work on the walls.

No issues for most part of the trunking except for one portion where it is built into a partition. For this, a new trunking was installed beside the existing one.

I had to have my outdoor unit bracket replaced as it is too large for new unit. That is another $150 on top of the $1799 I paid for the Midea.

All of the new indoor units was installed at the same existing location and the installers did a great job that I do not need to repaint the walls even though the old and new units were not exactly of the same size.

All in all it took approximately 5 hrs.

This is my 2nd purchase from Gain City and they didn't disappoint me.

Midea System 3 Multi Split Aircon

This is a review of the Midea Oasis aircon range which is one generation before the latest Opal range by Midea.


Indoor unit

3 x Oasis 9K BTU MS11MI-09

Outdoor unit

21K BTU M3OA-21CDN1-QC4 (2 ticks from NEA)


Midea provides 2 years warranty on parts including labour and 6 years on compressor which means it covers only the compressor from the 3rd year onward.

As I purchased this unit from Gain City during a promotional period, it comes with an extended 5 years installation warranty which effectively means an extra 4 years on top of Midea’s 1 year installation warranty.

Warranty however do not cover the remote and filters


WiFi Control

The system can be connected to an existing wireless network or set up as a separate wireless network (WiFi Direct) and can be controlled through a mobile phone app. It can also be remotely controlled on mobile networks (3G/LTE) through Midea servers.

Note: Midea has stop producing Oasis range with WiFi support so if the dealer says the unit they are selling are WiFi enabled/ready, get that written in black and white.

High Density Filter

A piece of additional high density filter that is placed on the wire mesh filter. It can be removed and cleaned just as a normal filter.

Self Cleaning

A hydrophilic fin evaporator that washes away dust and grease on the evaporator through condensed water.

The louver will remain open with fan mode to dry out the coil and pipes up to 15 minutes to prevent mould formation for better unit life span after the unit is turned off. It is activated by default.

It can be overridden by pressing the power off button twice. However, take note of the following statement by Midea

Manual overriding (by pressing “power off” twice) of the self-cleaning function may have unfavorable consequences and promote mould formation that requires maintenance servicing not covered under the original product warranty.

Plasma Electron+

Ionizer than removes airborne germs, bacteria, dust, haze particle, pollen, smoke viruses from indoor air. To activate, press and hold the 'Sleep/Fresh' button on the remote each time you turn the unit on.

Will only be able to confirm if this actually works after using it for a while.

3D Air Flow

Both the vertical and horizontal louvers can swing automatically.

Follow Me

When activated the temperature sensor on the remote controller will replace the blower’s. Hence it is important where the remote is placed to provide a more accurate reading for the system to match the set temperature 

This is another function that needs to manually activated each time you turn the unit on.

Blower / Fan Coil / Indoor Unit

In terms of quality, the units are very much on par with any branded aircon that I have purchased before. Although the previous Luna range from Midea do have quality issues this Oasis range is of a much better quality.

Lifting up the cover to change the filter don’t feel as flimsy as the Luna and so do the filters itself.

It has a white LED indicator which shows the set temperature as well as the indicator for the following functions - Fresh, Defrost, Run, Timer

I find the ‘Defrost’ status on the blower pointless as it will hardly ever lit up in Singapore. I also find the ‘Run’ indicator to be redundant as the temperature indicator is already sufficient to show that the unit is running.

It is also disappointing that position of the horizontal louvers are not 'remembered' and will swing to its default position each time the unit is turned on.

Remote Controller

The remote however do feels cheap. It looks different from the conventional squarish design that most aircon comes with.

It is light and very plasticy. Although the display screen is LED back lit, the buttons however are not and are flushed with the bezel so it makes it harder to fiddle in the dark.

The remote has a built in temperature sensor which will be activated when the 'Follow Me' feature is activated therefore where the remote is placed matters as the system depends on the reading on the remote in regards to the set temperature. This is a very useful feature. However, do take note that the remote needs to be within range else it will not be able to send the info required by the blower so you could end up with a room too cold or too warm. How you place the remote matters too as the remote IR transmitter is design in such a way that it was meant to work with you holding the remote up pointing to the blower. Therefore placing it flat down facing up may cause it not be able to transmit the signal over to the blower. To overcome this, place the remote facing down instead.

The on/off timer on the remote can be set up to 24 hrs in an increment of 1/2 hr. There is no cancel button though, so if you have already set the timer, you have to either take a pin to press the 'Reset' button or pressing the timer button repeatedly until it reverts back to '0'. Good thing is, you can simply press and hold the button will increment automatically.

Some button has dual role in where pressing and holding the button for 2 seconds will activate the other function. 

One thing I find the remote is lacking in remembering some of the common features that I believe many would use like 'Fresh'.

It also comes with a sleep mode where the temperature will be increased by 2 degrees after each hour and then turned off after 7 hours. Take note that pressing other button will cancel this off even though the remote is still showing that it is active. This to me is a defect.

Compressor / Outdoor Unit

With a rating of 2 ELS ticks, when used for 8 hours a day, it will cost approximately $859 annually.

I turned them on daily for 8 hours minimum and mostly 2 blowers at the same time and my whole electricity bill comes up to about $80/per month. This is inclusive of all other electrical devices including fridge, TV. washer and dryer etc.


I have been using the aircon close to a year and so far, no service calls needed.

In terms of cooling power, it does so very well even with 3 blowers turned on at the same time. Even with a set temperature of 26-C, the room still feels very cool. 

Both the blowers and compressor are very silent, even before the 'Silent' feature on the remote is turned on.


Cost. Easily 1/4 cheaper than competitors.
Quality is good for a China made product
Looks good.
As silent as it gets.


Some settings on the remote is not stored
Remote feels cheap.
Not enough information on the manual.
WiFi no longer supported.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Midea multi-split air conditioning

When I moved to my new place, it already has a system 4 air conditioning. Although working, it is an old non-inverter system and hence electrical consumption is pretty high.

With the haze greeting us again this year, the aircon is used more. And judging by recent days, it looks like it may get even worse and so will my pocket.

While looking for a replacement, I came across this offer from Gain City for the Midea system 3 for $1799 which consists of

Indoor unit - 3 x Oasis 9K BTU MS11MI-09
Outdoor unit - 21K BTU M3OA-21CDN1-QC4 (2 ticks from NEA)

It comes with a 2/5/6 years warranty (for parts/installation/compressor respectively) with the option to extend the warranty for parts to 5 years at $299. I thought it was attractive, considering that a similar package for other brands can cost as much as $600 more.

Both the indoor and outdoor units are one generation before. The latest indoor/outdoor units currently are the Opal SMKM-09/12/18-I-04 range and the SMKY-21/28/32-O-04 compressor range which attain 4 ticks under the ELS (Energy Labelling Scheme)

Cooling Capacity

For those who are clueless on what to look out for when purchasing an air conditioning system, apart from the ELS ticks (the higher the better) the main point to take note is the cooling capacity rated in BTUs.

It may seem that the higher BTUs equals better cooling. However, EnergyStar website states that
"an oversized air conditioner is actually less effective — and wastes energy at the same time. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room quickly, but only remove some of the humidity. This leaves the room with a damp, clammy feeling. A properly sized unit will remove humidity effectively as it cools"
Having said that, getting an undersized air conditioner will overwork the outdoor unit (compressor) reducing its lifespan and at the same time unable to provide the cooling capacity needed. Therefore it is best to refer to the recommended BTU to room size chart below

Cooling capacity
Max room size

  • If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.
  • If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10 percent.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
If you notice, most indoor unit (fan coil) is rated at 9K, 12K and 18K while the outdoor unit (compressor) is normally rated at 21K, 28K and 32K. These are the maximum cooling capacity of the units.

At the same time, a lot of packages will normally pair the fan coil and compressor as such as the total BTU of the fan coils exceeds the max BTU of the compressor. 

For the package I bought, the total BTU for the fan coil is 27K (3x9K) while the compressor can only generate 21K BTU. This means that if all the units are used at the same time, the max BTU the system can generate is still 21K. Therefore the fancoil will generate lesser BTU at 7K instead.

For a standard HDB bedroom, especially one that is with the curtains drawn, 7K BTU should be sufficient as it can cool a room up to 28 sqm in size. That is way bigger than any HDB bedroom that I know of, especially those newer BTOs.

Branded vs no-brand

Midea originates from China hence many consider it as a no-brand and inferior to the Japanese and Korean counterparts. However, some Japanese or even Korean brand products are not made from country of origin and actually made in China too.

Midea may not be as well known as Mitsubishi or Panasonic but Midea actually has a joint-venture with Toshiba/Carrier, a well know HVAC producer, sharing each other's technology. This is the reason why Midea is not unknown to other parts of the world where Carrier or Toshiba has made a mark.

If aesthetics and/or functions does not really matter to you, then getting a branded system may not make a difference. In terms of operating cost, the ELS rating is a good gauge therefore the cost will be the same to operate for systems with the same ELS ratings regardless of brand

Even if you purchased a branded aircon for reliability, you will still have to service it regularly for it to remain in working condition within the warranty period. This applies to any brand too.

Once the warranty period is over, the cost to maintain the system may just be as costly considering the parts and labour cost. It is also possible that after 5/6 years, aircon technology may have improved further warranting that you make a replacement hence negating the investment you have made earlier.

So if the Midea can last for 5 years, it is worth the lower cost after which you can replace it.

You can read my review of the system here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

HDB Sep 2015 BTO Preview

HDB will be launching two sites for the upcoming Sep BTO - Punggol and Bidadari.


The Punggol development is expected to be hot as it is at exactly at the fringe of the Punggol reservoir. This is the development that you can really label as seaside living which is mostly reserved for private development.

It is practically 3 development at one go comprising of

- 1,020 units of 2R, 3R, 4R & 5R
- 900 units of 2R, 3R, 4R, 5R & 3GEN
- 790 units of 2R, 3R, 4R, 5R & 3GEN

That is a total of 2700 units! Huge. However, there are 3 parks within the development separating each of the 3 development sites. This helps to reduce the impression that is it is one huge development.

As for accessibility, TPE is close by. Although it is not exactly in front of any public train network, Samudera and Punggol Point LRT Station is not exactly that far as it is only a junction away.


This development which also comprises of 3 sites, is on the old site of Bidadari cemetary which was exhumed in 2004. 

It has a total of 2150 unit, comprising of 

- 1,250 units of SA, 3R & 4R
- 530 units of 3R & 4R
- 370 units of 4R & 5R

Although is not as huge as the Punggol development, it still is a pretty big developement. 

It also has 3 parks within the development although it is unknown how big they are.

Two of the sites are sandwiched between two MRT train station - Woodleigh and Potong Pasir which will also make this development a hot favorite as it is 4-5 stations from town.

Friday, May 29, 2015

HDB BTO May 2015 - Eastlink I & II @ Canberra

This development is expected to be hot as it is right smack in front of the future NS12 Canberra MRT station.

There are only 2,3 and 4 room units available so those planning for a 5 room will be disappointed.

Of the two, Eastlink I will be favorable as it is the nearest to the MRT station and there is a neighbourhood centre within it which faces the station acting as a buffer between the station and the units to lessen noise and dust from the main road. The carpark is also just just two storeys high with an underground car park which means you can simply park your car, walk to the lift and go straight to your unit floor.

Except for some units in block 118B in Eastlink Two that faces north-east or south-west, all other units are either south-east or north-west facing. I personally will choose any east facing units as the morning sun is always better than the afternoon sun.

All units are also either facing internal compound or facing the road. Most of those facing internal compound in Eastlink I are too close for comfort as the opposite units are about 20 m apart. Similar units in Eastlink II are better as is it twice as far - about 50 m which is pretty acceptable.

Even those units in Eastlink II facing the drainage reserve only has about 30 m to the opposite unit in another development which is under constructions.

Choice Units

Unit 51, 53, 67, 69, 71, 73, 87 and 89 in Eastlink I will have unblock view as it is facing Sungei Simpang Kiri and a park connector. Although it will face future high rise industrial development, it still will have at least 100 m of buffer. Another plus side is that it will be south-east facing. This is should be hot units for 4 room units.

Units 75, 77, 79, 81, 83, 85, 568, 570, 572 and 574 in Eastlink I will face the internal compound but will have a huge buffer and the roof garden between the opposite units. This should be choice units for 2 and 3 room units.

Unit 342 and 344 in Eastlink II may be facing the internal compound but the opposite unit is at least 100 m away. This should be choice units for Eastlink Two.

All other internal facing units except for 364 and 376 in Eastlink II should be pretty fine as there is enough buffer between the opposite units and a roof garden view to boot.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) is a simplified, client-only version of NTP. SNTP can receive only the time from NTP servers; it cannot be used to provide time services to other systems

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hitachi R-SG37BPS Refrigerator

I decided to get a new fridge when I moved to the new place as the old fridge needs to be replaced with the following must-haves

-         automatic ice-maker
-         a separate vegetable compartment
-         bottom freezer.
-         cost less that $1K.

I ended up with the Hitachi R-SG37BPS. (R-SG37BPH - Hong Kong, R-SG37BPTH - Thailand, R-SG37BPU - Russia)


The reason why the R-SG37BPS is so affordable is because it is made in Malaysia, as far as I know. It is also not exactly a new model and has been around for a couple of years. Even the brochure available from Hitachi Singapore's website is printed in April 2012.

The official Hitachi website states a net capacity of 365 litres based on JIS. The ISO capacity is actually 296 litres.


This fridge comes with small water tank that is used by the automatic ice maker instead of a direct water inlet (tap). This makes the fridge portable although it is rarely a need to move your fridge unlike furniture. However, it saves the hassle and cost of plumbing works.

I was advised by almost all sales personnel to avoid fridge with a water tank because the internal hose may get contaminated and affects how the ice quality (or water, for those with water dispensing as well) in the long run. It was a concern, especially when you are being advised by 'experts' but the concern was unfounded because regardless of water tank or not, they all comes with hoses and it can be replaced so I decide to trust my gut and went ahead anyway

It is also equipped with Nano Titanium filters that is supposedly able to eliminate bacteria and odors. From my use so far, placing a used tea bag in the fridge gets rid of the odors better.

It is powered by a inverter compressor which will consume approximately 423 kWh annually. It obtained 4 Green Ticks under the old Energy Labeling Scheme. However with the new rating scheme, it obtained only 1 Green Tick.

The fridge will sound a soft alarm, which can be deactivated, if any of the doors are left opened for  a minute or more. I wish it is louder so you can't miss it especially when you have an occasion where your place is typically noisier than normal.

By the way the door grip is recessed so there are no handles sticking out which I prefer for so many reason including safety and aesthetics as it flushes with your cabinets.

Control Panel

The fridge operation can be managed from the control panel located at the top left of the refrigerator door which is convenient.

The temperature for the freezer and refrigerator can be set independently. By default it is set at the 3rd mark which is basically halfway from the coldest setting.

The Child Lock function only works for the control panel and not the fridge doors. Since this panel is high up on the door for any child to reach (unless they climb onto something), I find this option redundant.

You can turn on the Energy Saving function when storage volume is low or when you are away on a long vacation where the doors will not be opened for long time. It will automatically turn off temporarily when it detects that the temperature in the fridge has rises and because of this I turn it on during normal use. However, if fatty ice cream, etc, becomes soft or if dew appears, you should turn it off.

If you are away for a long vacation, you should turn off the Ice Maker function as well and when you are back and need ice quickly, turn on Quick Freezing.

Refrigerator Compartment

The first thing that I noticed when I open up the fridge compartment is that it is pretty big. Not surprising since it is made up of 3/5 of the total capacity, which is enough for my family of 5.

The white LED lighting is bright too which makes it easier to view the food being stored.

There are a lot of pockets on the door for drinks, jam, eggs etc. If you are wondering why the bottom compartment of the refrigerator door can accommodate two rows of bottles/cartons, that is because the back of the refrigerator compartment slopes inwards around the 2nd shelf and below. 

It comes with a 3-way flexible shelf, which is great actually as you can fold it away to fit in tall jugs and the like. However, take note that there is only one of such shelf while the rest are fixed tempered glass shelves.

At the bottom left of the fridge is where the water tank is stored and on the right is the Fresh Room sliding case for fresh meat, fish, prawn and process foodstuff that you do not want to freeze. 

Vegetables/Fruits Compartment

The vegetable compartment is roomy enough and so far managed to keep my fruits and vegetable stay fresh longer as compared to my old fridge. I can't say for sure how effective it is as I have not made any actual comparison.

The compartment is separated by a sliding case on top for fruits while the rest is for vegetables. You can also store your bottled drinks as shown if the refrigerator compartment is full.

Freezer Compartment

The freezer compartment, about 1/5 of the total capacity, could be bigger. We store loads of frozen stuff so the freezer was a tad too small.

As with the vegetable compartment, it is separated by a sliding case for ice cubes on one side and for ice creams etc on the other. The case itself is for the other frozen stuff. You really need to pack in the frozen food nicely or you will not be able to make full use of the limited space. Always pull the top tray to the drawer door before closing the drawer door to ensure it will close properly.

The ice compartment is big enough to store ice for a jug of cold drinks. Ice will be ready is an interval of about a few hours. So if you plan to make ice for a couple of jugs, you may have to store the ice out of the compartment so that new ice can be made or you can turn on the Quick Freezing function.

A note of advice, change the water in the water tank when it runs low. Do not top it up. This will avoid the water that has absorbed the odors from the fridge ending up effecting the taste quality of the ice to be made.


Overall I am very pleased with the fridge. There are ample space and I love that it makes ice automatically. 

If you are looking for a fridge with same criteria as mine, you cannot go wrong with the R-SG37BPS. Do take note of the cons though.

If you are interested, you can get it online from SPARKnet

You can download the brochure here

Quick Specs

590 (W) x 1,816 (H) x 630 (D) mm
Max Load
Fresh Room - 3kg
Vegetable slide case - 4.3kg
Vegetable case - 12kg
Freezer slide case - 4.6kg
Freezer case - 11kg