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APN details for WinSim Germany

After some research on cheap mobile data plans in Germany I picked up a WinSIM 3G/LTE SIM card for my Nexus 5 – 3GB for 12,99 EUR, no contract – but couldn’t get a data connection. The APN guide on the WinSIM Services site is not intended for Android users.

Here’s the correct Access Point Name (APN) details:

  • APN: internet
  • Proxy: (empty)
  • Port: (empty)
  • Username: (empty)
  • Password: (empty)
  • Server: (empty)
  • MMSC: (empty)
  • MMS proxy: (empty)
  • MMS port: (empty)
  • MCC: 262
  • MNC: 07
  • Authorisation type: None
  • APN type: default,supl
  • APN protocol: IPv4
  • APN roaming protocol IPv4
  • Bearer: Unspecified
  • MVNO type: None

Registration of address (Anmeldung) for travelers in Germany

If you intend to stay in Germany for any serious period of time (more than 3 months) you – as a German, EU Citizen, foreigner alike – must register your official address with immigration authorities within 7 days of arrival. An amendment made in November 2015 requires your landlord or address owner to complete a component of the registration.

This is a serious problem for new arrivals to Germany without permanent accommodation (e.g. hotel, hostels, couch-surfing) as Confirmation of registration of address (Anmeldung) is a requirement for visa applications in Germany and visa applications may be refused if not provided.

The recent amendment means hotel and hostel owners will be unwilling to complete the required component of this registration as they will be legally responsible for forwarding mail from the German authorities to you, even after you’ve checked-out. You cannot use a business address or post office box.

To resolve this you need to clarify to the immigration official in your registration appointment that you do not yet have a permanent address and will provide your current address (wherever you are currently staying, hotel, hostel, private) and will provide an updated official address before or at the time of your visa application.

Regarding the required document to be filled by the landlord or address owner, date and sign the bottom section on the second page in your name but do not complete it. Do this after speaking to the immigration official as this is a very informal method for processing your registration and raises denials and frowns from immigration officials before being accepted.

Pay the 11 EUR, collect your passport and make a run for it! Step one to residing in Germany complete. 🙂

 

Idiots guide to the Family Reunification (FA1) visa for Denmark

As a non-EU/EAA Citizen with a Danish spouse or cohabiting partner you can apply for a residence permit on the grounds of family reunification. If you have lived together in another EU nation for more than 6 months you can apply for family reunification under EU law.

In keeping with Danish tradition there are at least 7 types of application packets related to the Family Reunification visa so carefully choose the one relevant to you. My experience is limited to applying for this visa with a Danish spouse (FA1).

Here’s the bullet list to look out for:

Held og lykke (good luck)!

Update (08/07): I went through the motions of this visa and was rejected on the grounds that I could not prove I had co-habited with my partner for the required 18 months regardless that we had documentation proving 3 years of living together in Denmark. The case was appealed by Udlændingestyrelsen themselves due to possible administrative errors, that’s the last I heard about it. My advice is that the non-EU spouse should get a work visa or look at applying for residency in a neighboring EU country immediately south of the Danish border till the immigration climate in Denmark improves.


As a foreigner

  • You can apply with your Danish partner for a permanent visa after 3 years (36 months) of living permanently in Denmark
  • You can submit your visa application within Denmark if you have a valid visa or are pending an extension, if you have received a Refusal of extension of residence visa or any document indicating a ‘get out of Denmark date’ then your application will go into the waste bin of Udlændingestyrelsen (Danish Immigration Service); in this case you must apply from your home country
  • If your visa application is accepted you must pass the Danish A1 language exam within 6 months of being granted residence, failure can result in your residence permit being revoked and expulsion from Denmark within 30 days (see the above mention of the ‘get out of Denmark date’ warning)

As a Danish spouse

  • You cannot have claimed public assistance in the three years prior to submitting your application, as a Danish student SU is not considered ‘public assistance’ and will not affect your visa application
  • If you are not married to your foreign spouse you are financially responsible for them, even if your foreign spouse is self-supporting or supporting you
  • You will fill in 10 times what your foreign spouse will have to complete in required documentation

Both of you

  • Both you and your Danish spouse must be at least 23 and 6 months old
  • If you’re not married to your Danish spouse but have been co-habiting for more than 18 months (inside or outside of Denmark) then you’re almost treated equally, there is however an administrative difference in that your case will take significantly longer to review (an additional 2 months)
  • If your Family Reunification visa application is accepted the Danish spouse will have to post a secured bond of 52.490,12 DKK (as of 2015), it is not required at time of visa application only once the application is accepted

Additional goodies

Coming back to the collateral. In layman terms if your foreign spouse wants to join the Danish labour market immediately after passing the required Danish A1 language exam – which is typical – you will forfeit 31,494.07 DKK of the 52.490,12 DKK collateral as only 20,996.05 DKK is released, that’s 60% (exact figure: 59.9%) of the total collateral gone.

Proceeding to pass the A2 language exam will release an additional 10,498.02 DKK meaning a total of 20,996.05 DKK would be forfeited, that’s 40% of the total collateral gone.

The above figures are accurate as of 2015 and there is no ‘best friends’ list of exempted countries – US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Switzerland and South Korea – as of 15 May 2012.

Here’s the original nightmare from New to Denmark listing other gotcha’s in case you want to know more things to watch out for.


Is there something above that I’ve missed, are you in the same visa pickle or about to embark on this adventure? Drop a comment below.

Self-employed Non-EU/EEA nationals seeking residence in Denmark

As of 1 January 2015, non-EU/EEA nationals with self-employed visa’s (AR1) issued by DALRIR (Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration/Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration) are on their way to expulsion or have already left Denmark.

Foreigner-owned small businesses with few employees or a large cash turnover are not welcome in Denmark, there are no known minimum businesss performance requirements meaning foreign businesses will be closed at DALRIR’s discretion. To make matters worse the introduction of the Start-up Denmark programme imposes a fixed limit of 100 residence visa’s issued yearly where previously there were no limit on number of allowed work and residence permits.

Update (10/02/2016): The number of residence visa’s issued under the Start-up Denmark programme yearly is now 50, there is no indication of when this reduced limit was imposed.

There is no legal way for non-EU self-supported foreigners to receive a dedicated self-employed visa without submitting an application to open a large-scale business through the Start-up Denmark programme, the only option for foreigners with a Danish spouse is to apply for one of the following residence visa’s which somehow come bundled with a work visa, these are:

  • Family reunification visa
  • Family reunification under EU law visa

If you don’t have a Danish spouse there is no legal way to receive a long-term residence visa, you will need to become an employee, student or researcher; all of which do not allow you to operate a business in Denmark.

Start-up Denmark programme

For starters this shouldn’t be called a visa as it’s a YouNoodle application form where you submit your business idea and the powers that be will contact you if they think it’s good enough. Who are YouNoodle and why aren’t they mentioned on the New to Denmark website?

It has nothing to do with Danish Immigration Service or DALRIR and given Denmark’s business attitude towards cloning competition concepts prior to foreign players entering their market I’d be reluctant to submit any innovative business idea without confidentiality clauses.

Family reunification visa (FA1)

If you happen to have a Danish spouse and have lived in Denmark for more than 3 years you can apply for this visa, it requires a bond of around $8000 USD at time of writing (December 2015) which may be partially returned in installments after completing (and passing) the mandatory 6 months full-time Danish language studies and additional Danish language studies.

A portion of the bond is returned after passing Danish 1, with another portion returned after passing Danish 2; carrots leading the donkey. From what I’ve gathered job-seeking foreigners complete Danish 1 in order to stay in Denmark then forfeit the remaining bond (we’re talking 60% of the bond) and immediately enter the job market.

For self-employed foreigners operating an active business from their home country you must choose between shutting down your business and dedicating to full-time studies or struggle to do both risking your bond and livelihood.

There are many methods for the Danish Immigration Service to decline this visa as vague requirements can be exploited by case officers. For instance, even though it is indicated that de-facto couples are allowed, by not being married you are put at an immediate disadvantage of waiting an additional 2 months before receiving an outcome for this visa, that and your Danish spouse is financially responsible for you even if you are the breadwinner in this situation.

Family reunification visa under EU law

If you have lived with a Danish spouse outside of Denmark but within the EU for work or studies you may be able to apply for a residence visa, this is the holy grail of visa’s and is processed by the State Administration/statsforvaltningen.

I am learning the wonders and secrets of this visa which is rarely mentioned after I return to Denmark as a visa-free visitor (up to 90 days in Denmark then 90 days in the Schengen region) on January 20 and will update this section when I know more.

Update (21/02/2016): The holy grail only exists if you are married to your Danish spouse and reside outside of Denmark but within another EU country.

Fix for ASUS N61JQ not working in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10

I’ve upgraded one of my legacy laptops, the ASUS N61Jq, from the default Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Home. Simple enough. Wrong.

I’d previously upgraded this laptop to Windows 8.1 and had to roll-back to Windows 7 due to consistent freezes during boot and at the login screen, this persisted even in Safe Mode (with Networking) but I never isolated the issue so back to Windows 7 Home Premium it went.

Roll forward to 2015 and I tried again. After using the Windows 10 updater to migrate my existing Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Home everything seemed well, this experience continued for several weeks till the laptop would no longer boot up and then started exhibiting the same consistent freezes during boot and at the login screen.

Initially I thought the webcam drivers were responsible so disabled the device in Safe Mode and boot up started working, I now understand that both the webcam and wireless network adapter drivers were suspect.

Here’s how I got my ASUS N61Jq working with Windows 10 Home:

  1. Disable the on-board webcam (it’s upside down by default since ASUS stopped issuing patched webcam drivers so plug in a USB webcam)
  2. Ensure the Qualcomm Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30) driver is installed for the wired network adapter
  3. Download the Atheros WLAN driver (aka Atheros AR9285 and Dell Wireless 1506 802.11b/g/n) (mirror download)
  4. Install the Atheros WLAN driver manually using the Device Manager

Happy days, big thanks go out to emtunc for hosting the drivers (I have hosted a file mirror here for posterity) 🙂

Update: After several more days the BSOD came back in waves, disabling the wired ethernet controller resolved this.

Fix for “No MAV Data” on MinimOSD-Extra with 3DR Pixhawk

I’ve been battling the “No MAV Data” notice appearing on the MinimOSD video output after powering up my Pixhawk flight controlle, this has happened out of the box and persists after flashing the 4.0.1 MinimOSD-Extra firmware. Here’s the fix.

Background

  • I have a MinimOSD with KV Team Mod.
  • I have the MinimOSD connected to the Telem2 connector (known as SR2), a 3DR 400MHz radio is connected to Telem1 (known as SR1)
  • The MinimOSD board is powering the 5v FPV camera by bridging the UART and video pins.

The fix

  1. Open Mission Planner
  2. Connect to Pixhawk
  3. Open the Config/Tuning tab and expand the Full Parameter Tree
  4. From the Paramater tree expand SR2
  5. Set the following values if blank (or set to 0/zero):

    SR2_EXT_STAT, 2
    SR2_EXTRA1, 10
    SR2_EXTRA2, 10
    SR2_EXTRA3, 2
    SR2_PARAMS, 10
    SR2_POSITION, 3
    SR2_RAW_CTRL, 1
    SR2_RAW_SENS, 2
    SR2_RC_CHAN, 2

  6. Click Write Params

That’s it!

Check your MinimOSD video output as this is an immediate change and does not require re-powering your Pixhawk flight controller.

ASUS UX32VD VGA output not working in Windows 10

Update: NVIDIA Intel HD Graphics Control Panel was to blame, see the bottom steps of this post for more information.

First day after upgrading from Windows 8.1 Home to Windows 10 Home on the ASUS UX32VD Ultrabook. First day, first problem: the VGA monitor output in Windows 10 isn’t working whilst the HDMI monitor output is in use; so this seems to be a driver issue.

Any other UX32VD users experiencing this? I’ll update this post as I troubleshoot (update NVIDIA GeForce software, reboot, uninstall/re-install drivers, reboot, etc.) and raise technical issues with ASUS Support.


Have updated to the latest NVIDIA GeForce drivers, rebooted, applied all Windows Updates, rebooted again.

At BIOS the VGA monitor comes alive then as Windows takes over the monitor powers down. Unplugging the HDMI connector from the UX32VD brings the VGA output back on – yay! – but re-connecting the HDMI output then powers the VGA output down again. Not yay…


Got it working! Blame the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel update that comes with Windows 10 that acts independent to the Windows system Display Settings.

Note: This fix may be limited to Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M users running Windows 10.

  1. Install the latest Intel HD Graphics Control Panel (as of August 2015) and NVIDIA Control Panel software packages
  2. Right click the Desktop and select Graphics Properties (with the Intel Control Panel icon)
  3. Once the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel window opens select the Display tab
  4. Next to the back arrow you should see Display with a down arrow beside it, click the Display title and select Multiple Displays. If you already have the Multiple Displays tab visible ignore this step
  5. From Select Display Mode select Extended Desktop to enable multiple monitors
  6. From Select One or More Active Displays use the drop-downs marked 1, 2, 3 to allocate the detected monitors; set the Primary Display as your main monitor
  7. Click Apply to save changes and enable the VGA output

That’s it! That third monitor should come to life and you can curse Intel for losing a morning’s productivity! Hope this helps someone. 🙂

Changing a business address (CVR) in Denmark

Online startup’s are transient so it’s crucial – in Denmark especially – to keep your business address up to date within the central business register. Virk.dk is the place to visit for non-tax related business activities, e.g. updating/changing your business address.

Ændre virksomhed (Changing Address in Dansk)

[1.2] 3D Robotics Distributor List

As of today there are 42 published 3D Robotics distributors on the list with 2 pending processing. Distributors are filtered by Region, Country (where they do most of their shipping) and Range (what they stock).

In the 1.2 build of the 3D Robotics Distributors list I’ve added:

  • moved the product search within 3D Robotics distributors to the Filter by Region page
  • changed the product search to be AJAX driven to get around CloudFlare timeout issues when live querying a large volume of stores (timeout is now 30 seconds)
  • product search results are sorted by relevance
  • product search results have their currency cleaned up (where possible)

I’ll continue to extend product search to support ordering by price, distance and include the product search element on other pages including the View All 3DR Distributors page and individual 3D Robotics Distributor profile page.

EasyCAP drivers for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10

Update: I’ve moved EasyCAP driver file hosting to Google Drive as Google Cloud billing hit $100 AUD per month, EasyCAP driver downloads were 638 Gigibytes for the month of November! All links have been updated. 🙂

The EasyCAP converts an RCA or S-video source into a USB video and audio capture device – known as a Sound, video and game controller device in Windows – the possibilities for connecting analog sources to a Windows machine are endless and it’s priced insanely cheap.

All of this positive feedback stops when you connect it to a Windows machine – XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and now 10 – and realise there are hundreds of variations of this device produced with drivers designed specific to each variant with no original manufacturer to provide drivers or compatibility… at this point most users bin it and go on with their lives… I almost gave up too…

After a fortnight of driver hunting, driver conflicts, BSOD’s from resource conflicts and even ‘Windows driver paywalls’ – where you have to pay to download drivers for the EasyCAP – I got ‘my’ EasyCAP working as a video and sound capture device in Windows 8.1 (and Windows 10)!

Here’s the gotcha, ‘my’ EasyCAP – shown in packaging above but with labels on each cable – is sold on eBay, Amazon, etc. as the EasyCAP Capture USB 2.0 Video Adapter with Audio which is shared by every other variant out there but internally it is called the eMPIA Technology USB 2861 Device.

Unfortunately there is no way to tell what variant you have until you open the package and check the Device Properties for that Unknown Device showing within the Windows Device Manager and at that point you then can start looking for drivers that may be ‘compatible’ with – definitely not designed for – Windows 8, 8.1 or 10.

The eMPIA Technology USB 2861 Device has the following hardware details shown within the Windows Device Manager.

Screenshot from Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

screenshot-easycapw10
EasyCAP drivers working in Windows 10 connected using the RCA output of the EasyCAP device.

Manufacturer and Provider:

  • eMPIA Technology

Hardware IDs:

  • USB/VID_EB1A&PID_2861&REV_0100&MI=00
  • USB/VID_EB1A&PID_2861&MI=00

Below is a link to the Windows 7 drivers that were compatible with my EasyCAP device and further down a list of other EasyCAP drivers you can try. All of them require you to disable Windows Driver Signature from Advanced Startup; you can read about this from Sparkfun’s tutorial for Disabling Signed Driver Enforcement in Windows 8.

The driver package that worked in Windows 8.1 and now Windows 10:

I suspect this USB 2861 Device 5.8.306.0 – 3/6/2008 driver package hosted on the Microsoft Update Catalog is a newer driver release than the one I have working but I have not installed it so cannot confirm compatibility; in my mind, don’t fix something that ain’t broke…

Other driver packages and installers that might help other frustrated EasyCAP users (some are duplicates but different driver versions), good luck!

Note: Google Drive cannot scan ZIP archives over 85MB and EasyCAP_USBVID_1B71&PID_3002_FullCD.zip just happens to be 85MB. It’s clean just wanted to give you heads up. All other download files are ~4MB up to 34MB.

I will host these driver packages as long as I can and mirror them if the server load is too high. Yup we hit the $100 AUD per month billing limit for file hosting, the downloads links are now direct links to Google Drive. If you have a question ask here in the comments as other readers may help you.