Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Don't trust these Builders - Ajmera Realty, Sheetal Infra, V M Procon Pvt Ltd.

About Builders

Ajmera Realty and Infra India Ltd is Mumbai based one of the leading builder also listed on BSE and NSE, for more details http://www.ajmera.com/

Their logo tag line says Build on trust, but you should not trust these guys at all as they are as notorious as other small builders, don't go by their size, name or assume being a listed company they will be good. Read this story and you will realise why i am saying so.

Sheetal Infrastructure Pvt Ltd is Ahmedabad based builder active since last 7-10 years. The mission statement on their site talks about Integrity, but these guys don't hesitate to make false promises at time of sale also they don't deliver what they promise.

V M Procon Pvt Ltd is 50-50 Joint Venture between Ajmera and Sheetal Infra doing few residential projects in Ahmedabad. One of their residential project where i had my bad experience is "Enigma-Fragrance of life" at Ahmadabad.

Broken Promises

 1. I negotiated the basic cost of the property based on SQFT price including taxes but excluding miscellaneous cost (electricity, water, gas etc) and Stamp Duty + Registration. However they are now refusing to accept that the base cost include the taxes such as Service Tax & VAT. 

2. Also they (Mr Bhavesh Joshi & Sandeep Prajapati) mentioned that they would be providing AUDA club member ship which is just in front of the property. The reason given by Mr Bhavesh Joshi during my initial discussion with him at HDFC Realty show in London was that considering we have such a fantastics sport facility including Gym, Swimming pool etc just opposite to our property we decided not built our own gym and swimming pool and instead provide a AUDA membership. The same argument was also repeated by Mr Sandeep Prajapati

Sandeep Prajapati has left V M Procon and joined as Marketing & Business Development
executive at Shree Balaji Group in Ahmedabad. For Sandeep's google+ profile click here

As per Mr Kiran Joshi the sales rep who replaced Sandeep and Bhavesh Patel Sales Manager of Enigma, the current status of the above promise (Jul-2014) is that they will not be providing any AUDA membership, they in fact refuse to accept above words made by their colleagues in past. They will be providing a Gym facility just like most of the small scale builders in A'bad who build a small gym in parking area by putting glass wall between RCC pillars and may put 2 treadmills, 2 cycles and some weight machine and will call it state of the art gym facility. 2 treadmills between 200 families isn't it a Joke? 

I saw such useless gym facility at many of the Property site in A'bad when i was doing research in Jul/Aug-2013, was thinking Ajmera would be concerned about their Brand being a listed company but unfortunately I was horribly wrong.

In 2012 Annual Report of Ajmera Realty they talk about providing Gym and Swimming pool at Enigma, the current reality is there will not be any Swimming Pool at Enigma. The below picture taken from Page 32, last para on left column.


3. At the time of booking in Aug-2013, they promised to handover the Flat's possession by Jan-2014. It's Aug-2014 now and they're still not ready to provide a possession except for interior work also they yet get the building use permission from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). 


1. Enigma Sales deed document Sample, you must read this before purchase and you will realise it's completely in builder's favour. 
2. Annual Report of Ajmera Realty, 2012, 2013
3. Financial, Annual Report and other public documents of Ajmera Realty are here.
4. Environment clearance for Enigma Fragrance of Life at Ahmedabad, it talks about 172 residential flats while i think there will be 192 flats at Enigma, 4 towers of 12 story, having 4 flats on each floor.
5. ICRA rating for V M Procon debt instrument is graded as BB, see this doc from ICRA.
6. If you unable to access any of the above links you can find those same original documents here on google drive.

In absence of Real Estate Regulator and Ombudsman Authority, you should be really extra careful while dealing with any Indian builders, Big or Small doesn't matter. However if more people could start sharing their experience on Social Media, days are not far when these builders would fall in line or Indian Govt will put their act together and put some neutral regulatory body in place to safeguard the consumer's interest.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Don't Trust Warranty on eBay

If a trader on eBay claims to provide a warranty, don't take their word for granted. Because if they refused to provide a warranty or don't reply to your email after purchase,you are own your own and eBay will not help. Here is my story of what I have gone through in one such case.

I bought 10 LED lamps from "HappyHome" on eBay on 13/01/2013 and 3 of the lamps have gone burst within 6 months. I doubt if remaining 7 would leave beyond 12 months.

Issue is: The glass on top becomes concave may be due to heat and then leaves its grip with the body and pop out. Before going down the led start blinking and lamp makes little blast sound. The lamp in left picture (taken on 25/06) has burst today, the one on right is the lamp that burst earlier. It clearly indicate poor manufacturing process and quality issue.

Link to 'HappyHome' store pagehttp://stores.ebay.co.uk/happihome
Link to LED lamps from 'HappyHome' on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-pcs-GU10-MR16-LED-SMD-30-60-3-High-Power-bulbs-Spot-Light-/180941147016?pt=UK_Light_Bulbs&var=&hash=item6fcd1f4c8c

See the picture below that clearly state that 'HappyHome' provide 12 months warranty on their LED lamps, that is pure lie. As after sending 3 mails in last one month or so, i have not received any reply. Also when i took up this issue with eBay customer service and their reply is even more disappointing.

eBay Response - see what eBay has to say about this, in their own words. Read it carefully and make your own decision while buying any valuable from eBay. 

Pictures like above of the complete chat with eBay is available here 
(refer chat screen.docx or chat with agent.htm). The chat transcript is provided below. 

so u r saying ebay can't do anything about it
can you not ask your member to fulfil their warranty or black list them
hello John, r u there ?
i need a reply from you on above queries
John Rea (eBay Customer Rep)
Unfortunately, we cannot contact or force a member to fulfill their obligations as we have no control over what has happened. What I can advise that you do is to contact your seller or square trade about this.
I am really concerned and its big surprise for me here - ebay saying they can't control their member or ensure that the seller meets their obligation on what they saying on their page
in that case any seller would claim to provide a warranty and when customer demand it, they don't respond
John Rea
Yes, that is correct, but please know that we have a 45 day time frame to file a case if something has happened with the item, in this case being faulty. However, since the time allotted for this has passed, I'm afraid that the option to file one is not available any longer.
John Rea
This is because we feel that 45 days is a fair amount of time for the buyer and seller to try to resolve the problem. It also allows for difficulties with the postal service and personal circumstances.
John Rea
Also, what has indicated in the listing about warranties depend on the seller's action, as it is their decision on how to proceed. Also, Our site is a venue where anyone can offer, sell and buy just about anything, at anytime, from anywhere, in a variety of formats. At no point do we have possession of anything listed or sold through the site.
fine but here the seller is selling something with 12 month warranty, hope you have seen the link that i sent
John Rea
Because eBay is not involved in the actual transaction between Buyers and Sellers we have no control over the quality, safety or legality of the items or the truth or accuracy of the listings.
now if a customer faces an issue with the item, you must ensure that seller meet their obligation
if you can't ensure that or control it - a seller would say anything in their advertisement. anyone would i provide a 12 months warranty
i know what you are saying you have not control on the quality of the item, however you have control on the listing and the member
you must have provision in your system to identify the fraud seller like this and blacklist them
in this case if you raise my concern with a seller he might help me
John Rea
Yes, that is correct, Nilesh. You don't have to worry as this kind of report has been saved and we will review your seller's action and take action if needed.
you also don't provide a provision for item feedback, otherwise people can right feedback about such seller so that other buyer are informed
will you be taking any action against the seller in this case?
if so what? Will you be informing about what action have your taken?
John Rea
Occasionally these unfortunate situations do arise. We work our hardest to reduce the frequency of these events, however sometimes the situation is beyond our control. I can assure you that when these situations do arise we always work as quickly as possible to try and solve the problems. This is very important to us, as we want our community of users to enjoy the best possible trading experience.
John Rea
Rest assured that your report will be investigated thoroughly. Appropriate action will be taken immediately once a decision has been made. However, due to our compliance with our Private Policy, we are unable to provide you any information as to what action has been taken.
John Rea
To have an idea on what possible actions will be applied, it may range from a warning, restriction or may even result to a suspension of an account, depending on what type of offense they made.
From your words it is clear that you will not be taking any action - if you don't inform me how will i know that you have taken a action
you are asking me to contact a police and some third party warranty provider and not helping me directly
John Rea
I understand why you're upset and I can't blame you for that. However, please understand as I try to inform to you why I can't take any further action. I believe I have addressed all of your concerns. Please follow what has been advised. Thank you for using eBay and have a good night.
Till date eBay has not taken any action against this trader as you can see from the link provided above. I don't think they will take any action as they earn their $$ comes from a commision they get from sellers. Also they don't provide a feedback mechanism like Amazon seems to suggest they favour sellers more than buyers.

Friday, 5 July 2013

3D Printed Jigsaw Puzzle

Software Used
1) GIMP2 - for picture editing
2) Inkscape to convert picture file (.jpg) in to SVG
3) Tinkercad to convert SVG into STL file

Detailed Process
1) Download a map picture from google

2) Simplify the picture using software like GIMP or just draw it. In this case i made the following changes
- Made Goa little bigger
- Simplified the boundary of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
- Connected all north eastern states in to one

3) Follow Inkscape tutorial for tracing and than save it as SVG file
- First Trace above map image, you will get boundary line picture which looks same as above
- Fill the color in each state, select all state and move it on side
- Delete the boundary image
- Now only below image remains, save it as SVG

4) Goto Tinkercad.com and create a free account. Tinkercad is browser based 3D design software which is now acquired by Autocad
- Create a new design 
- Import SVG, set the scale as 30% or you can reduce the model size afterward
- Set Height = 2mm
- Click the import button, Your 3D design of a map is ready now
- Save it as .STL file and print it using a 3D Printer

 5) Final product, 3D Printed Jigsaw printed using white ABS plastic (plastic of LEGO blocks). The case on right side makes your job easy to arrange a puzzle, believe me otherwise it's bit hard for anyone.

After painting indian flag color on the puzzle, this make it really easy for young kids. 
my Huxley 3D Printer
6) if you want to print one of your own, follow the link below to download the design file. 

7) Here is a UK map puzzle, made using same process


8) You can use the same design process to design a cookie cutter too.
- Mickey Mouse Cookie Cutter

9) Gingerbread girl cookie cutter, my 7 year old niece wanted me to make her this gingerbread girl cookie cutter. I had no idea how it should look, so she drew below picture for me (on left)  and picture of final product on right. This one is printed using organic plastic PLA (its made from corn). Here is link if you want one http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70638

Monday, 20 May 2013

my Pi-Car

Pi-Car is a Raspberry Pi (RPi) controlled RC (remote control) car, for details click on the link. In brief Pi-car runs without pressing the remote buttons, instead we will send the instructions by a computer program. I have used the basic Pi-Car kit and Raster RC car Porche GT3 RS from Argos.

How it works?
We connect the RC circuit Left, Right, Forward, Backward button points and 0V points with RPi GPIO pins, using Pi-Car circuit which is made of 4 FETs and 4 Resistors. Need to write Python program that controls the behaviour of pressing the L/R/Frwd/Bkwrd button of the remote. For detailed instruction for building a car like this follow the instructions provided here http://pi-cars.com/2013/01/24/pi-cars-factory-beginners-tool-kit/

Here are the pictures of my setup

1. RC Circuit of Raster RC Car Porche GT3 RS from Argos

2. Make 5mm hole on back of the RC to create a passage for wires

3. Final setup looks like this

4. Here is a video showing how it works, doing one forward and backward loop, there is a sleep of 10 sec in between to change the position of the car

5. This video is showing car following the carpet perimeter forward and reverse

6. Sample Python script, here is link to my Python script, which is a modified version of the sample script provided by Pi-car.com

Lessons Learnt
I think overall its a great project for any 10+ years old to learn computer programming in fun way. I found that even the five years olds were quite excited and amazed watching the car run by a computer instead of a remote, all they have to do is hit the enter key :-). They also got a hang of it, Big Computer talking to small one, Small one (RPi) is talking to remote and remote is talking to a car. :-)

Controlling a RC car is not that easy, as the basic car doesn't have speed control or break system. It simply runs based on how long a button is pressed, so getting a time accuracy is bit of tedious job and require lots of trial and error. Also it may not run the same distance on and off carpet due to variation in friction. The charge of the battery will also affect the distance it covers in a given time, for example with full charge it may cover 3 ft in 1 sec but with low charge it may be able to do only 2.5 or 2 feet. I think once you get hang of it its fun.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Tinkercad got a new lease of life

Tinkercad is nice little tool for 3D modeling, specially designed for 3D printing. It's very easy to use compare to other free/open source tools like Blender, Sketchup, Audocad 123D etc. About a month back there was an announcement that Tinkercad will be discontinued as core team wants to pursue other goals. However interestingly on 18/05/2013 they announced that Audocad has agreed to lease a new life to this nice little tool.

I have mainly used two tools Sketchup and Tinkercad, sketchup is mainly used for Architectural design. The model coming out of sketchup is not ready for 3D printing, requires some special plug-ins to export the sketchup model to STL format. As such it may not be fair to compare Sketchup with Tinkercad, as both tool's are designed for different purpose but both are widely used by 3D printing hobbyist users.

What I like about Tinkercad (compare to Sketchup)?

  1. Import SVG, I like it as it makes it very to easy to convert a 2D drawing to 3D model. I have used it to make Map Jigsaw puzzle and Cookie Cutter.
  2. Some of my favourite features are Object rotation, push/pull, cutting, moving object from one place to other, joining two objects, making an object transparent etc.. are way to easy in Tinkercad compare to Sketchup
  3. Best thing in Tinkercad is,  object coming out is always a solid object unlike in Sketchup where sometimes you need to repair the STL.

I wish we have following features in Tinkercad, I am not an expert so if you think this is already possible in Tinkercad, feel free to post your comments.

  • Number of basic shapes available are bit limited, I wish we have Arc or round shape objects. As making round corners of the cube is not that easy
  • Drawing canvas size is bit limited and also zoom is limited
  • I miss the guide and measure tools of sketchup in Tinkercad, the scale tool in Tinkercad provides very limited functionality. I find it very difficult to measure the internal details of the object in Tinkercad. For example in this Map jigsaw, how do we measure the width and height of a particular state?
  • Adjust the size of the tool-bar icons and movement of tool bar side to top or bottom

My creations with Tinkercad
Micky mouse cookie cutter - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:48846
Gingerbread woman - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70638
Samsung galacy Ace2 case - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:56976
India map jigsaw puzzle - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70663
UK map jigsaw puzzle - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70697

Note: Sketchup is not completely free but they provide free and licensed version both, the free version is quite good enough for any beginner. I find the plug-in architecture of Sketchup quite powerful, as it has allowed to build large list of free plug-in libraries by community.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Make your Dumb TV a Smart TV using Raspberry Pi

I am not sure about a real definition of Smart TV but I guess it is basically an integration of TV and Internet. It allows to access GMail, Facebook, Skype, YouTube and Video on demand services. Using Raspberry Pi you can convert any TV in to a Smart TV, even more smarter than those from LG and Samsung. More smarter because Pi is basically full-fledged computer running Linux, so anything is possible that we do on regular PC. While those smart TV from Samsung, LG, Sony etc run a stripped down version of Linux or proprietary flavor of Linux. They support only a small set of popular apps or plug-ins. 

Also this solution uses XBMC for media streaming which is an open source free s/w that supports tuns of plug-ins for Video, Music, and Programs

I have converted my old CRT TV into a Smart TV and enjoying BigBoss from Colors (Indian Hindi TV channel) since last few months, in fact i could see any episode anytime I want for free.

My Solution - Hardware
Raspberry Pi Type B (30 GBP)
Edimax USB Wifi dongle (10 GBP)
RiiTek Wireless key board (20 GBP)
USB Hub (9 GBP from eBay)

Power Supply for Pi - No need rather use USB hub with external power and power your Pi through USB port on Hub. I am using 7 port hub as Pi provides only 2, I wanted at least 3 ports one for my Wifi dongle, one for wireless key board and one for external HDD, where I keep my personal collection of Pictures, Music and Videos. 

a) Download xbian i.e. XBian1.0Alpha3.zip, from here http://www.xbian.org/p/download_3325.html

b) Unzip the XBian1.0Alpha3.zip, it will create a win32diskimager folder and XBian1.0Alpha3.img file 
- win32diskimager folder contains a s/w to write a image file on SD card
- Insert a > 2GB SD card and format it
- start Win32DiskImager.exe
- Select XBian1.0Alpha3.img file and drive of your SD card
- click a 'write' button, writing of image to sd card starts
- wait for few min till the writing is complete
- Insert SD card in RPi and boot it

c) Download AJ add-on for Indian TV channels http://code.google.com/p/apple-tv2-xbmc/
- Copy the add on zip file to SD card
- Select an option 'Install from ZIP' while installing an add-on in XBMC, follow this path System > Settings > Add-ons > Install from Zip file

d) For official XBMC Video add-ons like YouTube and many others, downloaded it through XBMC follow this path System > Settings > Add-ons > Get Add-ons > All Add-ons > Video Add-ons

e) Add-ons for GMail, Facebook etc are available in Program add-ons category while Music add-ons are available in Music category. 

Good thing about this solution is you can access all Indian TV channel content on demand for free and LIVE news channels like NDTV, TimesNow and ET Now for free as well. 

I love YouTube on TV as it provide access to vast amount of Video content on demand. Some of my favorites educational content young kids are.
  • Hooplakidz - YouTube channel for young kids, provided tons of rhymes, short stories, abcd/phonics,number and whole lots fun and educational content for kids
  • Alphablocks from Cbeebies - about 50 episode
  • Jolly Phonics - a playlist of 5 videos of jolly phonics. 


  1. Smart TV on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_TV
  2. XBMC home, http://xbmc.org/
  3. XBian home, http://www.xbian.org/
  4. AJ Add-on for Indian TV content and Movies, http://code.google.com/p/apple-tv2-xbmc/

Thursday, 8 November 2012

$35 Computer - Raspberry Pi

Don't confuse it with recently released Hindi film Life Of Pi, I am talking about 'Raspberry Pi', a 35 dollar computer. This is credit card size and weight just 45g, it's computer that you can carry in your pocket if you like. It runs on Linux and powered by 1 GHz ARM CPU.

Specification: 1 GHz ARM CPU, 512 MB RAM, 2 USB Port, 1 Ethernet Port, 1 HDMI Port (to connect with LCD/LED TVs), 1 RCA Video port, 1 Audio Port (these two port can be used to connect it with old generation TVs), 1 SD Card Slot and 1 mini USB port for power supply. 

There are two versions of Raspberry Pi type A and type B. It comes with 1 GHz ARM CPU  and 512 MB RAM, ARM is the same CPU that runs on most of the smart phones. The picture and specs above is for Type B Pi that cost 35 USD. Cost of Type A is even lower only 25 USD, it comes with 1 USB, 256 MB RAM and No Ethernet Port. 

Why it is so cheap?
This computer is designed by Raspberry Pi Foundation a UK registered charities. The computer on offer for 35 USD is what you see in above picture. Yes there will be no key board  mouse, monitor, power supply or even a case. But that's ok, you can use your mobile's power supply to power Raspberry Pi (minimum requirement 1A and 5V) and other accessories lying at home (keyboard, mouse etc). You don't need a monitor as you can use your home TV as a monitor. Of-course there is no Hard disk, the machine boots from a SD Card and it treats SD card as hard disk. If required an external USB hard disk or USB Stick can be used for extra memory. You can buy a Pi case, Power Supply, Keyboard, Mouse and USB Wifi for about same cost as Pi, in total for 70-80 USD you can have good working computer. 

Raspberry Pi comes with 26 GPIO (General Purpose Input/ Output) pins, these pins can be used to make many interesting electronic projects. GPIOs pins can be used to connect and control (via program running on Pi) external devices like temperature sensor, motion sensors, robots, motors etc. For more on GPIO see wikipedia ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Purpose_Input/Output & http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals

Some of the projects that immediately comes to mind are

a) Personal Whether Station: You can make your own whether station by connecting temperature and/or humidity, wind sensors and record the reading periodically. See it on your computer or publish it on Internet may be your personal site or a blog.
b) Security Solution: If you want to be more adventurous think of using Pi to control the TV and lights of a home over the Internet or put it on auto-mode. This way you can keep the burglars away when you are on holidays by simulating your daily lights and TV routine. 

I think it is a perfect toy for any 10-15 years old, particularly if you want to inspire them towards the fields of electrical/electronics/ computer engineering. Also not a bad options if you want to develop a hobby around electronics. 

MagPi - A free monthly magazine that covers interesting set of topics like Pi based projects, Linux Tips, PythonPit (to lean Python), The Scratch Patch (to learn Scratch, a Lego like programming language developed by MIT for kids), The C Cave (to learn C). The magazine's look and feel is designed for kids.

My Five Favourites Pi Projects.
1) Media Streamer/ Server: Put XBMC on Pi and it becomes your media streamer/server similar to a Apple TV or Android TV. To know more read my blog http://indusmaker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/make-your-dumb-tv-smart-tv-using.html

2) Drive a Remote car with Pi, so instead of pressing button on remote a program on Pi can control the car. Refer http://pi-cars.com/2012/11/13/pi-cars-control-your-radio-controlled-cars-through-your-raspberry-pi/ for more details. This is how probably a future driver less car might be built with a computer, GPS and lots of sensors (i.e. proximity, light, rain sensors etc)

3) Internet Radio, see these links for some ideas. http://contractorwolf.wordpress.com/raspberry-pi-radio/

4) Home Automation, how about switching on your Microwave with phone so that when you arrive at home your rice in microwave is ready. Refer pg 8-9 of Issue 8 (Dec 2012) of Mag Pi http://issuu.com/themagpi/docs/issue_8_final?mode=window

5) Advertisement Solution: Turn your TV in Shop/Factory into an advertisement console. It can be used to advertise about your other business or your friends business. Refer this link to know more about this solution. http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=19640

Is it available in India?
Yes it is, however please be aware there are only two official store for Raspberry Pi, RS Components and Farnell (element 4), click on the link for their Indian web site. See this discussion thread for more details on other options for India.

For more details visit Pi website - http://www.raspberrypi.org/

* The ARM CPU that comes with Pi is 700Mhz only, however it is possible to push its speed up to 1GHz using simple configuration option