December 31, 2009

Tonight is the last night for this year's Christmas Lights:

I'm nearly done taking down the first of the two pine trees, left just a tall stump. Ran nine strings of green LED lights up the stump to make a tree of lights. Didn't come out bad....

Posted by Paladin at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2009

Annual Rub-It-In

Riding off to do Christmas Shopping Another year almost over, another year I'm late getting my Christmas Shopping done. Here I am, AGAIN, riding off on my motorcycle. Also see 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005. I seem to have neglected posting a picture the first Christmas I had my bike....

As a little side note: November 2004 is when I installed the Leatherlyke saddlebags. As you can see, above, they still are looking good five years later.

Posted by Paladin at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2009

No Dial Tone

I was working on swapping the positions of two 'phones. A non-related third phone loses one of it's three lines. Obviously something I did.

Since I had a bit of time left yesterday I go over and talk to her. Middle line of three not working. Go to the Telephone Equipment room, lift at the incoming, check, nope, no dial tone incoming. Log into the system, have the Mechanized Line Tester take a look -- it says "open in", no dial tone leaving. Head back to talk to the client...

"I have Bad News and Good News. Bad news is that your line is broke in the Central Office and it will not be fixed until the ticket gets to them. The good news is that I Don't Care! -- It's 3pm on a Friday and I'm heading home!"

Posted by Paladin at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2009

More Fun and Games

Cisco 6509 RouterLast Monday Morning walked in on a ticket, go look at the "A" router. So I look, ugly red light. Call the ENO (don't ask what that stands for!), we poke, do a power cycle, yep, dead supervisor card. It was a refurb, installed about 3 weeks ago. Win some, lose some. They do an RMA.

Yesterday the replacement card arrives, I call ENO again, put the new card in. Disconnect all my LAN connections so any configuration mistakes will not shut the LAN down like it did last time. Hook up the two fibers that tie the two 6509 routers together. Hook up the incoming T3. Hook up the serial connection from the remote access to the console port. Power up. It goes green. Phil from the ENO comes in the serial connections. It asks for user name/password. And stops. He can't get in. By this time the support people in Texas are gone, so we try again today. After an hour there is no change in the situation.

I'm sure the bean counters think that we are saving money by cutting crews to the bone, centralizing support. But it is not cost effective when I am sitting here doing nothing because I cannot get support. The card should have been correctly configured to just slip in, power up, and have everyone happy. Instead, 22 hours later, it is effectively dead, useless.

We have two incoming T3's, two incoming routers. Redundency. A failure does not kill the site. Now I have no redundency. If the "B" side, router or T3, fails the site is down -- all 500 or so users.

Not to mention that I have other clients who need my services -- something about a dead 'phone at the Torrance Call Center. I really don't like telling my clients that they can pound sand.
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Anyhow, I plug into the console port, read and capture info, send to Florida. Seems that the VLANs are not defined -- whatever that means. I enter a line of gibberish and Sil says he now has access. I'm done and it's only 1:30 pm.

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

December 07, 2009

Real World Telephone Terminal

Telephone Wiring, 1.1 to Closet Sometimes I get to go out into the real world and see what the low life has to deal with. This time it was a 1MB POTS line (Plain Old Telephone Service, AKA "Dial Tone") going to a Shell Oil facility in Wilmington, being paid for by a group in Bell South, FLorida. Since we pay for it, I get to install it.

Find the B-Box, find my dial tone on the underground, there's a jumper. Check the aerial, it's there also. Computer records win again -- it's reusing the same facilities that previously fed the same location. Close up the B-Box, no work needed there. Dial tone will be on binding post 10 at the 1.1.

Get access to the site, they show me the telephone closet. Dial tone is not on pair 10. This is not the 1.1. There is writing on the wall near the block -- the 1.1 is on the wall 20 feet from the guard shack.

Except....

It's a new guard shack, at a different location than the one referenced. It's on a wall about 60 feet from the guard shack. I pace the distance from the closet and mark the backboard by the block -- "corner of wall 125 feet east of here." Next guy should be able to find it easier.

There's feed cable to an aerial termina (that it is on a wall five feet off the ground does not mean it is not the equivalent of hanging on a pole.) Next to it is a cabinet, with cable and blocks feeding the office building.

Find my pair, there's a jumper on it, goes into a conduit, conduit goes 20 feet and stops, cut, nothing there. HEY!! That's where the old guard shack was, this was the phone line for the guard way back when. Pull the IW out of the pipe, feed it into the box, shorten and punch down on a vacant pair.

Close up everything, go back to the closet in the office building, verify my dialtone made it there and tag it.

Yeah.... As typical with OCS circuits, the contact in Florida is a clerk who knows nothing, no one told anyone on site what's happening, no one knows exactly what this phone line is for. But when they do figure out what it is for, it's in and working.

Posted by Paladin at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)