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Too many WiFi devices and used up all my WiFi beans in my Broadband routers!

January 16th, 2017

Well the title says it all, with the addition of more WiFi Home Automation devices, it would appear I’ve used up all the WiFi beans in my Broadband Routers, or they easily get overloaded with too many devices. I’ve just added another 12 WiFi devices, and it would appear that’s overkill for a 2Wire 2700HGV and backup BT Home Hub 3 broadband routers.

2Wire 2700HGV & BT Home Hub 3

2Wire 2700HGV & BT Home Hub 3

I’ve been meaning to overall my WiFi for a while, so turned off a dedicated 2.4GHz  and 5GHz access points, and replaced with a single inexpensive broadband dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz router from TP-LINK Archer D20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections, those devices that have 5GHz have been migrated to the 5GHz WiFi, e.g. Amazon Echo, Nexus, laptops & iPads.

Boxed TP-LINK Archer D20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections

Boxed TP-LINK Archer D20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections

TP-LINK Archer D20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections

TP-LINK Archer D20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router for Phone Line Connections

It does not look very pretty, and has the standard, LEDs for Power On, 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Enabled, ADSL Connection, Internet Connected and LAN states, this router, is on the top of a shelf, so I need to standard on a stool to check the LED status, it would have been handy, if they were visible… (ignore the whitebox in the above picture, that’s the SamKnows UK Broadband Availability monitoring box)

I’ve now got a few devices from TP-Link, a Chinese company, and the products are of good quality and inexpensive. I’ve got TP-Link  battery  power banks, and recent WiFi smart switches, all with a 3 Year Guarantee, and 24/7 Technical Support! and if you are a real Techie Nerd, you can visit the TP-Link website, and checkout the GUI Management Interface of their products, using their TP-Link emulator

TP-Link router interface

TP-Link router interface

and for shits and giggles, it has SNMP (for a budget router a bargain), you can graph traffic….

SNMP monitoring of TP-Link router

SNMP monitoring of TP-Link router

So all in all, Good value router, with 3 year guarantee, we will see if it struggles with the WiFi!

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Trials and Tribulations of My Amazon Echo aka Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo Part 2

January 11th, 2017

Previosuly on Andysworld! - Part 1

So 48 hours later, no email from Amazon, telling me that my US profile, had been migrated to a UK profile.

I decided to get Amazon to call me again this afternoon at 4pm, and what surprised me is that there are NO call records of previous discussions, no service request number notes, and it was lucky I had a photo of the box with serial number, because they have no record of that either!

After giving them the serial number again, for the up-tenth time, it was confirmed that the Echo had been registered from the original Experts Exchange purchaser.

So why was it still not working, after long 1 hour discussions with Customer Support, Kiera went away to ask an Echo Specialist Engineer, and it would appear, I’d been given the run around, and given some bull sh1t!

She confirmed, what needed to be done was as follows:-

1. Add my UK Amazon account, to US Market place.

2. Start Alexa App, and setup Echo.

3. Once completed, then Migrate my US profile (which would then exist) to a UK profile.

She then proceeded to Add my account to US Market place, which she sometimes takes 3-4 hours, but mine, went through immediately…she asked me to uninstall and re-install the Alexa App from Google Play Store, and login again with my account and password and proceed….

Amazon Echo Connected!

Amazon Echo Connected!

Success, I’ve never got this far before in the setup, so this was the issue. I then proceeded with the setup, but for some reasons it did not like the Office WiFi, so returned home, to continue setup, and now have a working US Echo!

Okay, so it’s on US at present, but I’ll get it switched later….

So what have we learnt…

1. Be Patient with Amazon Customer Support!

2. If someone does purchase an Amazon Echo for you, make sure they Mark it As a Gift!

(I did discuss this with Amazon, and said Amazon should make this clearer with the purchase of Amazon Hardware, I spoke to many people in my office, that regularly order from Amazon, and they only consider a Gift, as something you send somebody direct from Amazon, and maybe Gift wrapped! e.g. would you mark an item as a Gift, for someone in your household, or would you just order, and give it to them yourself, maybe Gift wrap yourself!!!! Food for thought here!)

or Ask them to Deregister it, and this could be easier to find.

3. If you do have a non-Country version, which does not match your Country of residence, Ask Amazon to add your Account to that market place.

4. Ask Amazon then to migrate you.

Now I can get on with Home Automation coming soon….

Coming soon TP-Link KASA!

Coming soon TP-Link KASA!

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Trials and Tribulations of My Amazon Echo aka Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo Part 1

January 10th, 2017

The Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo!

This is the Saga of Andy’s Amazon Echo - it started just before Christmas 2016, when I received an email from Gene Richardson, Chief Operations Officer at Experts Exchange, telling me I had won an Amazon Echo, see this blog - I won an Amazon Echo - Thanks @ExpertsExchange.

I’ve been so excited waiting for the day it would arrive….So I’ve been eagerly tracking it from the US via the USPS website…

Captured on 10th Jan - still in transit?

Captured on 10th Jan - still in transit?

it all started going “Pete Tong”, when it had arrived in London, UK, but then departed on another flight to it’s destination…. I don’t live that far from London to justify a flight..(as of 10 January, time of writing this blog, it’s still in transit!). But at least it had cross the pond I thought.

On Saturday 7th January, whilst I was washing, polishing my car and new alloy wheels outside my house, the Postman pasted me, and I said hello, I later found he had secretly deposited a Charges Card through my letterbox!

UK Customs Charges

UK Customs Charges

Damn it, the Local Sorting Office is now not open until Monday morning, I’ve got to wait all weekend, until I can get my hands on my Echo, and pay £28.77 GBP Customs Charge!

There is an option on the card to pay by plastic online, but unfortunately that would trigger a re-delivery and I would not be at home to receive it, so the only option was to go to the Sorting Office on Monday I thought using my mobile phone, pay the charges (at the Sorting Office door) online via plastic, and collect the parcel - NO that’s not an option, because the Sorting Office does not get notified that quickly by office mice or something, so it’s very slow.

Sorting Office does not accept plastic, only cash and postage stamps!!! So I ran round to the Post Office, purchased £28.77 GBP of postage stamps to stick onto the card, via plastic! and then returned to the Sorting Office, handed the card, got the package, but needed a receipt!

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

20 minutes later……I’m on the road again to the office….now very keen to open the box, and get it setup!

Amazon Echo open box

Amazon Echo open box

So excited I can taste the Amazon Echo (I must admit, the build, box is of very high quality - Impressive!), and here it is

and the first issue, it has an American Plug, not a problem I thought it’s bound to use a micro-USB, and I’ve got plenty of them - NO it uses a standard jack type plug, but not a problem, I’ve got variable voltage supplies, with correct adapters, but that didn’t work, because the power socket is recessed under the body, and it would not fit. So I immediately ordered a UK replacement PSU from Amazon.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

But good news, I’l order a US-UK converter from Argos UK, some luck we had some in the stock cupboard…..Best News all day, at least I can power it on, I did check the PSU supplied was 100-220v AC.

So Google Nexus 4 in hand, Alexa App is already installed, turn on Amazon Echo, Alexa greets us, we are in Setup Mode, start the Alexa App,

Android Alexa App

Android Alexa App

hit the connect WiFi button on the App, Amazon Echo goes bong, and responds with You’ve Connected to Echo, now use your App to setup Echo…..wait….wait…..wait…..wait….long wait….

Android App not working ?

Android App not working ?

with the Echo orange light circling around, and eventually it will time out, and sayh WiFi not setup, and display a nice purple ring.

The same happens with a Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Windows 8.1 laptop. So time to call Amazon support! (first call!). In fact it was a Live Chat, which was not resolved, so they phoned me.

After lots of discussion, it was suggested that the device was locked to the Amazon Account, that purchased the device, and Amazon could not tell me the email address of the person, and I had a guess it was @experts-exchange.com, and they told me that bit, and said I would need to contact the person, so they could Deregister it from their Amazon account, it would not work with my account, unless this was done.

So we played guess the email account with Amazon, listing the many employees names I know at Epxerts Exchange, it was not any of them! So I have up on this and pinged an email off to Experts Exchange….

later that evening at my home, I tried a different Android device, iPad and iPhone, Windows 10 PC, exactly the same issue, so it’s nothing to do with the environment in the office!

Another few discussions with Amazon….it’s getting late now … and I’ve been at this all day, and still no working Echo….

An Amazon Technical report specialist stated that it needed to be Reset to Factory defaults, and he would monitor his screen, whilst I did it, to see if the Registered User - disappeared when I did it - I had a discussions with him, as to how is that going to happen, because how can the Echo communicate with anything to do this, but he swore blind, it would do it…..

After a Factory Reset - no change to the registered user - what a surprise, he then told me, it sometimes does it…..by random.

I asked if they could let me know the Registered user, so I could contact them, Amazon then revealed they do not know, and all they have in the control panel was b**********@experts-exchange.com, later an email from EE, stated they had no record of it, and then it appeared against the Finance Controller’s Amazon account, which he had Registered…

Very late last night….I thought brilliant now I can get to use it….. but still I get….

Android App not working ?

Android App not working ?

So back on the phone to Amazon, and this time a Smart Person informed me that the Echo I had was a US model,which has a US Profile, and this has to be migrated to the UK Profile (EMEA)…..I’m still not sure how this CLOUD setting works with my Echo which at present has not and connect connect to the internet, because as of yet, it’s not been configured for WiFi, but I was told that the Amazon App, which is connected to my Account, would not be able to connect to a US Echo….

So how does my Echo get a UK Profile?

So I’m still here 22.43 still waiting for a communication from Amazon, this US to UK migration has been completed…….

Anyway for shits and giggles this evening, trying to prove something, if this Echo is really working, and is a US Model, what if I was to use the US Amazon Alexia App for iOS and Android….so sideload APK onto my Anrdoid phone, and some black-magic with iTunes, grab a Amazon.com account…

I’ve got both Amazon Alexa Apps from US, on Android phone

this should work right ???

Umm.. WRONG it does not!

and guess what THE SAME!

The SAGA continues…….here Part 2

22.49 Jan 10 2017 Still not working!

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I won an Amazon Echo - Thanks @ExpertsExchange

January 10th, 2017

In December I was notified by Experts Exchange, that I had won an Amazon Echo in the Contribute on Experts Exchange and Win competition for this Experts Exchange Article

HOW TO: Perform a Physical to Virtual (P2V) Conversion the easy way from a computer backup (image).

I actually think this is the Best Golden Nugget for FREE in years! (The Echo and Veeam Endpoint)

Thanks Experts Exchange and to readers of the article.

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

Box from Experts Exchange with Customs Duty stickers!

Amazon Echo sealed box

Amazon Echo sealed box

Amazon Echo sealed box

Amazon Echo sealed box

Amazon Echo open box

Amazon Echo open box

As for it’s setup, the Amazon Echo Saga continues…

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Let me introduce you to - Xsara No.2

January 4th, 2017

As many of you may know, Xsara No.1 was destroyed after a serious road traffic accident in January 2016. (not my fault, a lorry did a u-turn into me on a dual carriageway at 65mph!).

I loved the last one so much I purchased another one, and here is Xsara No.2

Citroen Xsara LX HDi 90 BHP - Phase 2

Citroen Xsara LX HDi 90 BHP - Phase 2

and inspiration from Wheeler Dealers, I got Wheel ‘em In in Hull to refurbish these

Original Citroen Xsara alloys

Original Citroen Xsara alloys

refurbished satin black alloys

refurbished satin black alloys

a complete set

a complete set

and finally…

Xsara No.2

Xsara No.2

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Windows 8.1 Stuck on Updating @ExpertsExchange - Turn off and Turn on again!

January 3rd, 2017

I’ve recently turned on a Windows 8.1 PC, which last received Windows updates in March 2015, and just sat there doing this for days…

Windows 8.1 - Checking for Updates

Windows 8.1 - Checking for Updates

Despite my efforts, at restarting, and experimenting with different options…below

1. Waited 5 days….. just scans for updates.

2. Rebooted many times.

3. Ran Chkdsk

4. sfc /scannow

5. DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

6. Windows Update Diagnostics - http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9830262

7. Reset the SoftwareDistribution Directory

8. There is activity in the WindowsUpdate.log

Still no updates…

I thought I would ask some Experts at Experts Exchange - you can read the full question here - Windows 8.1 fails to find Windows Updates (stuck) (Intel Compute Stick) Last Update March 2015

So,

  1. So changed Windows Updates to NEVER
  2. Restarted.
  3. Changed Windows Updates to Install Recommended.

and…

Windows 8.1 - 197+10 updates available (1GB of updates)

Windows 8.1 - 197+10 updates available (1GB of updates)

Now installing…

Windows 8.1 - Installing 207 updates

Windows 8.1 - Installing 207 updates

So moral of story, if it does not work, turn if off and on!

or post a Question to Experts Exchange!

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Happy New Year 2017 Everyone!

January 1st, 2017

Happy New Year 2017 Everyone, Good Health and Hope it’s a Prosperous One!

Andy

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Retro ’80s - the compact cassette tapes from the 80’s

September 9th, 2016

Compact cassette tapes from the 80s

Compact cassette tapes from the 80's

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrico plays with it

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching’s is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu

Lyrics from Peter Gabriel 3, “Games Without Frontiers”, I’ve been finding it a little boring driving to work, listening to Radio 1 & 2, so decided to dig out some OLD compact cassette tapes from the 80’s, and considering these have not been played since the 80’s sound very good and fresh, in my car stereo!

Yes, I can here you asking, who has a cassette tape player in their car, these days!

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My name is Andy, I’m a Grease Monkey!

August 29th, 2016

After watching many episodes of Wheeler Dealers on Quest and watching Ed China (The Mechanic), whilst I was recovering from my serious road traffic accident, and also encouraged by Paul at JLB Electronics.com to complete my own car maintenance, on my new car, I’ve completed its full service, changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter myself. Repaired the central locking, repaired the rear windscreen wiper motor and pump, repaired the seat belt, and replaced the exhaust silencer. I’ve still got a few jobs to complete, replace the head lamps and bulbs, and fit a spare wheel lock, to stop the spare wheel being stolen.

I’ve had to purchase new tools, because they were lost in the old car, and this is my new chest for my tools.

This is the K-Lock spare wheel lock kit.

And this is a hole I’ve drilled/cut in my boot to install it…using my new drill bit from Machine Mart, and it cut through the car body, like butter!

A dab of red oxide paint, top and underneath.

Some grey primer…

And Citroen metallic blue paint, glad it’s under the carpet – not quite sure this is the correct match! This was a tester to check the correct paint match!

Lacquered..

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Pokémon Go helps my recovery!

August 23rd, 2016

I’ve been doing some exercise to help my recovery, and spotted these on my walks!

Pidgeotto

Pidgeotto

Drowzee

Drowzee

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