Sunday, September 15, 2019

helped at fall work party

Helped at the fall work party at the Carr Astronomical Observatory.

I coached our junior helpers on fire bottle inspections.

Received the new ASUS wifi router. It looks like an alien spaceship. Programmed and deployed it. I activated the 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless capabilities. External WAN config, internal LAN config, DHCP table, port forwarding, admin settings, etc. The whole process went swimmingly well, way easier and smoother than I was expecting (I had had trouble testing a different router in the summer). I look forward to exploiting it's advanced features in the future.

While preparing for the swap, while taking the network down, I decided to program for a new subnet. This to avoid crashes and interference issues of a bridge (er, a router in bridge mode) decides to go sideways in the future. So that meant reprogramming the bridge in the living room, library, supervisor closet, garage, and Geoff Brown Observatory, the radio in the garage, the machines with static addresses including the GBO computer, the Sue-Lora Observatory computer, and the SQM/weather server, and the two security appliances. Lots of mental effort. And lots of physical effort, as I had to carry around another router as a gateway to reprogram all the devices.

Discovered the SQM offline. Right, it too needs to be programmed. Deferred.

As I visited the routers, I covered the WAN ports to prevent humans from using them.

Covered the dead ethernet port in the GBO observing floor.

Noted the bad ethernet cables in the garage.

I PINGed the internal network for analyses.

I received and deployed the new webcam for monitoring. The D-Link unit was very frustrating to use. The setup instructions called for downloading an app to a mobile device. With Andromache, my little Android phone, I followed the instructions and scanned the QR code on the cheat sheet. This linked me to the mydlink app page (which looks a little funny if your squint). The download, while slow, completed successfully. I proceeded to the next step which had me scan, with the new app, the QR code on power supply. This didn't work. Tried a lot of tricks. Nothing worked. And NO OTHER options were provided by the vendor, such as entering a MAC address, or a serial number, or some other unique identifier. Stoopid. Near-sighted on the part of D-Link. Rhonda graciously offered her phone. So I downloaded the app again and scanned the power supply. This worked. And after more gyrations, I was able to view the camera video output. I discovered that the app on my phone worked, it showed the webcam output. Later I loaded up the D-Link web page. No viewing of the camera output. What? Today I tried to configure the camera to "talk" to all the wireless access points but after an hour of fiddling with the Bluetooth, I could not get it to work. Stoopid. The Great Dumbing Down of software prevents me from fully accessing the device. The advanced user cannot do what they need to do. So much time lost. Made a mount (copying Tony's design). Made a sign to tell people not to bonk it.

The set-up of the webcam required the use of a new small CyberPower power bar/UPS. That was simple to deploy. However, the requested cooler/insulated box was not provided. We will need to get this soon. Woke in the middle of the night realising I did not note the plug used. Glad I checked—I had used a suppression outlet, not a battery-backed one.

Assisted a member in operating the Stargrazer ride-on mower. He could not start it. I handed him the quick reference guide. He had forgotten the fuel petcock value. He killed the battery in his repeated lengthy attempts at cranking the motor. He flooded the cylinder in his restart attempts.

Reviewed the mods to the SLO roof panel reinforcements. As I had envisioned.

Did the inspection of our backup power source. All's well.

Did some SLA battery load testing with our new donated unit. Worked well. Confirmed it works for 6 as well as 12 volts.

Noted the changes/additions from the recent site visit by the technician. The oil filter heater was warm to the touch. But then, the motor had run (at full speed) a short time before.

Attempted to deploy our battery blanket but found it damaged. Will need to get a replacement. Deferred.

Did not deploy the new inkbird; instead, brought it how to learn it. They say it is plug and play. Ha. Ha ha. That's funny. Deferred.

Installed a makeshift rubber sheet (from a bicycle tyre tube) over a padlock.

Used the new Linux workstation for the bulk of my work. That was a little challenging at times but overall very good. Still don't know exactly how to release a DHCP lease. Was very happy to find VNC capabilities built-in.

Installed Chrome on Ubuntu.

Loaded the bookmarks bar with our favourite weather pages.

After sorting a completely illogical COM port issue, uploaded the new iButton FOB CUBLOC file, created by Phil. Assisted by Steve during testing. Tested with a known good.

Verified recording on motion detection by our security devices.

Received a 19-inch flat-screen. Deployed in the GBO.

Took inventory of our small motors supplies and parts. Oh. No oil filters...

Programmed a router as a bridge to place downstream in our LAN.

Delivered RCA connectors and a rotary inline switch for the RC16 fan. Deferred.

Recorded the serial numbers of all new devices. In advance to sending to the property team.

Weather was OK. Lots of rain Friday. Saturday clear. Sunday morning rain but eased off. No snow! But that would be a little unusual given the early date.

Food was great. Our first-time cook and sous-chef did an awesome job.

Lots of familiar faces. A good crew. But I was not terribly sociable as I struggled with the IT troubles.

No comments: