Holidays, Wifi routers, storms and a larger printrbot.


Well, the school year is over. Which is awesome because now I have time to muck around with electronics as much as I like. Which is great. I think you get the idea. You get more blog posts.

Our home internet recently had some issues. We recently had some large storms roll through Canberra with impressive lightning and rain battering the nation’s capital. Nothing much happened in our house except for my Mum worrying about being zapped by a wireless phone. So I watched the storm and took some photos and didn’t do much else. Here’s a great photo which was taken by a kid from school showing how big the storm was. It was taken a few minutes before it started pouring down.

Taken by Luka Vertessy. All credit to him.

Taken by Luka Vertessy. All credit to him.

Okay so there was a big storm. Big deal. Isn’t this meant to be a technology blog?

Well, a couple of days later our Wi-Fi router went haywire. Usually half an hour of unplugging and cables, pressing reset buttons or messing around with control panel settings fixes it. But not this time. Our D-Link router always displays a green power light whenever it is plugged into its 5V source. It NEVER had displayed an orange power light. It also always displayed nice little blinking network lights telling you where there is activity and where there isn’t. A few days after the storm, it displayed only an orange power light. The cables were shifted the router was shaken, the reset buttons were held and nothing would fix the router. šŸ˜¦

So my mum called up our internet provider (I mean, it was obvious that the router was the problem, but you know, whatever floats your boat). Well it actually turned out there was a problem with the line coming in. What I managed to gather was this:

  • All ethernet/internet cables have an amount of noise just like any current passing cable.
  • A standard noise level is under 100 something. I don’t know what the unit of measurement was.
  • Ours was above 100,000. I’m guessing that’s bad.
  • Now I’m no genius but storms generate huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation. You know how people freak out about phones giving you electromagnetic radiation? It’s like that but way, way worse. Electromagnetic radiation generatesĀ noise. Hence stuffed line.
  • So our line is stuffed because of the storm.

So the guy from Grapevine (our internet provider) came and fixed the noise issue. I don’t know how but he did. Now here come’s the interesting bit. He said he had come across 3 broken D-Link routers in the past couple of days. And he reckoned they were due to storms. Logical explanation seeing as Wi-Fi routers have delicate radios etc inside of them. But why would it take a few days for the fried circuitry to die? Or was it just a co-incidence. Weird.

So today I’m going out to get a new router with my dad. For now I have to sit out in the main room listening to my grandad’s noisy cricket TV broadcast. Grooveshark is highly useful for blocking out bogan beer ads.

Now the first thing that some of you guys might be wondering is what’s going to happen to the old router? Well, I’m trying to pump out a tear-down for you guys. I might even be able to see how the storm damaged the router. But it’s not going too well. I haven’t gotten past the first set of philips screws. I’m looking for some assembly hooks but I can’t find anything. Looks like I might have to resort to a bit of dremel fun.

Coming soon...

Coming soon...

On another note…

The 3D printer saving process is going well. i have already raised $450 of a $650 goal. Which is awesome. The goal has been upgraded from $500 because printrbot has released a new larger version (20x20x20cm) of their printer for only $150 more. For more on that see here:Ā http://printrbot.com/home/2011/12/9/printrbot-plus-arrives.htmlĀ . I might do some work on the saving helper thing but I don’t really see the point. Well, I’ll keep you posted.

 

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