May 31, 2008

DSL for FiL

Sister-in-Law asked me to set up a computer at my Father-in-Law's house for the for the CNA's to keep their logs on, hooked to the internet so that she could read the logs remotely. No problem, especially as it was basically what I had set up before that got ignored. Arrive, fire up the laptop, connect to the wireless router -- but can't get out. Check the modem, no DSL sync. Call SiL, "ah.... the DSL is down." "We disconnected it." (why did you have me come out to connect to the internet when the service had been canceled?) "Can't connect to the Internet without DSL, would you like me to order it?" "yes"

So I go on-line to att.com, go to order the basic $19.95/mo no-contract service. It will not let me do so without ordering a modem. I have a perfectly acceptable 2Wire modem/router/AP -- don't need another modem. Go into live chat. Am told that I cannot have DSL without ordering the modem, but I could send it back once I got it! Not acceptable. While trying to get the rep to understand that I do not need and WILL NOT ORDER a useless modem I open another window to DSLExtreme. They have the same $19.95 no-commitment basic service, or the same for $14.95 with a 1-year commmitment. AND they have a check box for "don't send me any equipment." I inform the ATT person of this. she closes the chat window.

Last Friday was the go hot date. Wednesday was a medical crisis and FiL was taken to a medical facility. Thursday informed he will be there a indefinite but lengthy period. SIGH. Call DSLExtreme, ask if I can cancel service before they do the physical install that evening. She says they can do. They're good people.

Posted by Paladin at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2008

Spoiled Rotten

Wendy's complaining about our DSL speed -- seems like her streaming video from NetFlix paused 'cause her connection was too slow. So I ran a speed check. Pitiful. It was a hair over 6,000 last time I checked.

Then I laughed. We recently upgraded, we were lucky to get 600K before.

Which was a huge upgrade from 56K dial-up.

We met on my BBS at 300 baud......

Posted by Paladin at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2008

Finally bolted down

They finally bolted my rack down in TE1 -- I have the UPS and switches and jack panels all mounted. All that is left is to run the floor cables and terminate on jacks (on both ends), connect the voice jacks to the backboard with standard 25-pair telephone cables, run my cross-connects and patch cables. If I have it figured right, my longest patch cable will be twelve inches.

Posted by Paladin at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2008

Fresh Corn

Tonight we're having BBQ'ed Steaks that have marinated for three days in Teriaki, mash potatoes, and fresh corn on the cob. Hey, at two bits an ear I'm not passing it up.

Of course, everybody who knows ANYTHING about fresh foods knows that you do not husk the corn until you are about to cook it -- that natural wrapper keeps the corn fresh and tasty. Not to mention that the price doubles if you peel and peek.

Not that that bothered these two princesses. They are obviously too stupid to understand about keeping food fresh, probably have never experienced good cooking. Too stupid to read the sign telling them to not peel the corn. And to make it worse, they were tossing the peeled corn back into the pile! Not only ruining it for themselves, but for everybody else.

I would never call these two sows -- that would be an insult to female swine.

Note: took that picture about a half hour ago at the Top Value market in Hawthorne.

Posted by Paladin at 06:45 PM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2008

How to do it

Today Doug Wingo and I fixed the LAN over at LA05. I don't know who did it, if I did I'd be complaining to them (if OCS) or filing a grievance for non-OCS touching our stuff. I suspect someone "helping" from the Valley OCS crew as it looks to have been done over the course of at least three visits.

As noted on the Last Entry I was called in on a port trouble. It was far more than that.

The design showed Ethernet switch 1 in TE1.1 and switch 2 in TE1.2 -- don't ask how, but they were reversed. Rather than "correct" the design, it is alot better to correct the build to match Standards, so I did. Started the day by disconnecting Sw1, carrying it over to TE1.1 and installing it in place of Sw2, which went into TE1.2 where it belonged. Connected all the cables to the correct ports in TE1.1, procede to the 1.2.....

Pull the hacked patch cables and toss them into the trash where they belong. Found two plugs in the Switch that were assembled -- poorly, the cable sheath was not into the modular plug. They were on the ends of FLOOR cables. One was part of a quad-4 that had the other three cables properly terminated on the patch panel. The red jack had had it's cable cut from the jack! WHY? All I can figure is whoever did it didn't have a patch cable but did have a crimping tool. ARRGH!!! Corrected.

When I swung the gate open to get to the back of the patch panels I found that whatever idiot put the voice cables in didn't run the cables to the hinge end. Just straight up so that the swing gate can no longer swing more than a few inches. That needs to be corrected Monday.

The second crimped on plug was part of a quad-4 that did not have a patch panel appearance -- just plugs on the red and white plugged into the Switch and into a voice jack. The cable ran about eight feet to disappear into a hole punched through the wall, presumably to the locked office on the other side of the wall. With all eight feet wrapped in black plastic tape. Asked client to unlock, told that the office has been vacant for a year. Ripped quad out.

Patched the ten LAN connections back to the "phone" bar. Ran eight dial tones onto the last two cat-5 cables (acceptable, just don't mix Ethernet and Analog on the same cat-5 cable!) and provided eight jacks at the phone bar end.

Have to return Monday to replace the hacked double jacks with single LAN jacks, and a pair of quad jacks for the dialtones, marked with which phone number is on which jack.

Not as good as it could be, but at least it meets my admittedly low standards.

Posted by Paladin at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2008

Working Antiques

We're getting re-arranged by ATT, managers retiring, people moving. The future of OCS is murky. OCS was created because our internal business has a lot of odd circuits still in use. This list-15 cabinet is a fine example. (picture a bit weird as I had to shoot it in pieces and splice together -- no room to step back.)

First, the cabinet itself --an AT&T data cabinet from the original American Telephone and Telegraph. Bottom to top the equipment consists of a SAM-64 data multiplexer, two shelves of 829's, a shelf of 202t's, another 829 shelf, more 202t's, and finally, at the top, a GDC rackmount.

The 829's adjust the strength of the analog signals to/from the 202t modems. The 202t's running at 1200bps, are connected to various central offices. Five of the GDC's are running 2400bps, more incoming data. Two of the GDC are running a blazing 9,600 bps. The whole thing has been running since the 1980's, monitoring several central offices, combining the data and sending it for recording/analysis.

Us old school technicians are all about to retire, we have no one following us around to learn what we know. Like WHERE this cabinet is. Once I'm retired I'm charging $5 a minute to listen to AT&Ts problems and tell how to fix. Assuming I remember.

Fun times ahead......

Posted by Paladin at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2008

How NOT to do it

You want to have a telephone along with your corporate LAN connection. How do you do it. Simple!!

Where your LAN Patch Cable plugs into the LAN switch, slice the jacket and snip the blue pair. (first image)
On the other end of that same cable, slice the jacket again and carefully pull the blue pair out. (second image)
Crimp a modular plug onto the blue pair and plug it into a patch jack to pick up dial tone. (third image)
You are now providing both an Ethernet connection AND an analog telephone connection over a single Cat-5 floor cable.

On the other end of the floor cable you can then use a double jack, put just the blue pair on one and the rest on the other. Doesn't matter that it is non-standard, eh?? Doesn't matter that your Cat-5 cable no longer meets cat-5 specs and can cause data errors.

Oh, yeah. Since pulling the blue pair out is tough for long cables, relocate YOUR LAN connection to port 1 of the LAN Switch. The cable that was in port 1 you can put elsewhere, such as in port 23. It is not like anyone is watching, eh?

Unfortunately, someone IS WATCHING. Port 1 was the feed from the Router. I got the trouble report of the ports not matching up to the design records.

Edit: May 9th: Here is one of the modified patch cables:

Posted by Paladin at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2008

Stoppage Removed

fiber termination rackWhile we're sitting around waiting for the leaser to correct the "water intrusion issue" Greg Eaton had his crew working -- the fiber that had been coiled up on the floor of the 1.1 has been extended into the demarc room and a fiber termination rack has been installed. No circuits built, as soon as they plug in the cards and configure whatever needs configuring my four DS3s will be available on the backside of that rack.

The demarc room is about 8' x 10' and will contain just the one rack. So naturally they mounted it hard into the corner with mere inches of clearance on the left and back sides, and several feet right and front. It is not possible to stand behind the rack and make the coax connections.

Hopefully they will extend the handoff into the 1.1 -- which is where I have my conduit to and which I have coaxes that will reach any point on the backboard IN THE 1.1. If they do not extend, I'll have to order longer coaxes. Unless one of the two little 2" pipes is going to my TE2.

Posted by Paladin at 05:37 AM | Comments (0)