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Archive for July, 2018

FILER01B FreeNAS R.I.P – retired.

Friday, July 27th, 2018

It’s been almost 10 years since I last used this NAS based on the original FreeNAS (not the latest incarnation), built on a old Maxtor MAXAttach NAS4300 storage server, which used a SuperMicro motherboard using an Intel Pentium III 800MHz processor. You can see pictures of this server in other photos on my blog labelled – FILER01B. FILER01A  is around somewhere!!?

img_3309

FreeNAS 0.69

Intel Pentium III in SuperMicro motherboard

Intel Pentium III in SuperMicro motherboard

Powered on for one last time, to backup and archive, before taking down the tip….

FreeNAS GUI

FreeNAS GUI

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Goodbye Old Friends – They don’t make it like they used to!

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

I’m not quite sure if this qualifies as vintage computing, and it really breaks my heart to dispose and scrap this computer equipment, which costs many tens of thousands of pounds to purchase twenty years ago!

But it’s not been used in twelve years, and is now out of date and old, and I cannot keep it forever. You may be thinking what a waste – surely – somebody wants it, well – I tried using eBay for all my old vintage computing – but eBay is now trying to catch-up with Amazon, and it’s not the place anymore to sell, vintage, old computing, it’s full of tyre kickers, they place bids, purchase items, and then place dispute with eBay, making up an excuse, because there is not the subject matter selection, so they just select not as described, eBay then refunds them, and expects you to pay for the returned item, and let them keep it!

So I’ve abandoned ebay, I then turned to Freecycle, Gumtree and Sphock – but again this is just for people on stupid street, and the fact is the Younger Generation of Computing people today (“GUI Munchers!), do not understand all this stuff to be able to use it!

e.g. I did ask 960 students on a Computer Science Degree course, if they wanted any of this, and most of the responses were goes it have a GTX1080Ti, or can I use it to mine Bitcoins! and there was really only 1 student, which new what it was! 1 out of 960!!!!

Umm, not sure what they are being taught….

So, it goes to the local tip or recycling centre!

Very little plastic used, and all heavy metal – and after nearly 12 years of not being used, when I powered it on all 1TB of Clustered High Performance Available storage sparked into life….backed up now to 3 x SSDs, and all the 36 disks, security erased and taken to the local tip in carrier shopping bags!

3 x Compaq RA4100 with FC-AL Fabric

3 x Compaq RA4100 with FC-AL Fabric

Dismantled and stripped

Dismantled and stripped

1TB - 36 Ultra SCSI 10k rpm disks in shopping bags

1TB - 36 Ultra SCSI 10k rpm disks in shopping bagsAt the tip!

At the tip!

At the tip!

In the container at the skip!

In the container at the skip!

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Openreach ONT and Ubiquiti Networks USG now mounted in their final places, in my “network cupboard”!

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

This is a photo of the Openreach ONT and Ubiquiti Networks USG now mounted in their final places, in my “network cupboard”!

usgandont

Openreach ONT and Ubiquiti Networks USG

These are both connected to a Eaton UPS, although the ONT already has battery backup, in the future depending on the heat in cupboard may be joined by Ubiquiti Networks switches and access points.

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No more double NAT – removed Fritz! Box 3490, and now just use Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Security Gateway

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Since I migrated from Eclipse Internet to Zen Internet, I signed up to a 12 month contract and Zen Internet sent me out a free Fritz! Box 3490 to connect to ADSL, because all the other junk, BT Home Hub3, Draytek Vigor, 2Wire  routers had all come to the end of their lives and I dumped them down the tip.

Fritz! Box 3490

Fritz! Box 3490

I also wanted to start new and fresh with a new ISP, and their supported router.

I’ve also been replacing networking and access points with Ubiquiti Networks equipment. Specifically the UniFi AP AC Pros. These are not the cheapest network gear to get your hands on, but performance, quality and enterprise kit in the home – it’s excellent – I cannot praise it enough – I’ve been trailing a single 2.4/5GHz access point for over 12 months.

I’ve also installed a UniFi Security Gateway – and for a while I was running “double NAT” with it connected to the Fritz! Box 3490, when I was running ADSL, with the switch to FTTP, some minor configuration changes to the Fritz! Box 3490, and it was connected to the ONT in the last couple of days, but I’ve now removed the  Fritz! Box 3490, and now connected the USG direct to the ONT, ready for it’s move at the weekend, and securing to the wall next to the ONT.

UniFi® Security Gateway

UniFi® Security Gateway

and my network latency has improved by 2ms!

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HOW Andysworld! ULTRAFAST (FTTP) Broadband was installed.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

These are my notes, based on discussions with Openreach Engineers, recent discussions with friends (Thanks Peter) which also had FTTP installed in June/July 2018, and my observations of my installation on 3 July 2018.

There seems to be little documentation on the interweb, as to how FTTP/FTTH or Ultrafast broadband is now (July 2018) installed by Openreach. Openreach are now rolling out fibre over poles, because it’s a much cheaper method of delivering fibre to premises (FTTP). Engineers have informed me that deploying fibre underground by Openreach is stopping. (apart from new builds and estates!).

What I had read was out of date, not current, and now incorrect as of writing this (July 2018). It would appear that Openreach and their parent company BT, are reviewing installation techniques and procedures all the time, no doubt to make it quicker. At present based on discussions with Openreach Engineers, this is every 6 months. It may be possible in the future, that Openreach delivers FTTP as “wires” only, and you provide your own fibre router.

At present (July 2018):- Openreach

  • Do not blow fibre to the premises.
  • Do not use a fusion splicer to splice fibre or terminate in the property.

An 8 port fibre manifold is fitted to your telegraph pole which currently supplies your copper telephone line.

8 Fibre Connectors at top of pole

8 Fibre Connectors at top of pole

Fibre manifold before fitting my fibre cable

Fibre manifold before fitting my fibre cable

A ready made fibre cable is used to replace the existing copper telephone cable, this fibre cable is already pre-terminated at the pole end with the correct connector, these cables come in standard lengths, of 55m, 110m and longer. The new fibre cable is a “twin-ax” type infinity symbol looking cable. So only a single cable is connected from property to telegraph pole. This is the best picture I could get, sorry about the quality, normal service will resume as soon as possible!

The new "fibre cable" to house

The new "fibre cable" to house

  1. an armoured cable, and 4 outer layers protects the fragile internal fibre. (for FTTP – broadband)
  2. a copper 2 wire cable is also included. – this is used for copper telephone, and provision of telephone or ADSL 2/2+ if required.
  • Openreach usually fit the optical network terminator (ONT) next to the existing BT NTE5 master socket, but this can be changed, if asked nicely, so you do not need to have NTE5 and ONT near each other!*
  • ONT was secured and mounted on the wall.
  • The existing copper telephone cable at the eyebolt on the property is cut.
telephone line cut!

telephone line cut!

  • Pulley connected to the eyebolt. (I asked Openreach to insert a new eyebolt into the brick work, rather than use the existing on on the wooden soffit!)
  • The new fibre cable is secured to the end of the telephone (copper) line at the telegraph pole, and connects the fibre connector to the manifold on the pole.
fibre cable connected to manifold

fibre cable connected to manifold

  • The new fibre is pulled from the pole to the eyebolt, and it’s then secured. It has to be pulled from the pole, because it’s pre-terminated already when supplied.
  • Copper telephone line is re-connected at the telegraph pole.
  • A hole is drilled from inside the property to the outside, “through” the ONT (it’s done this way to stop any plaster falling of the wall internally, and it can be hidden easier on the outside!)
  • Copper telephone line is connected back to copper line on the property – (telephone restored)**
  • Fibre cable is inserted into building via hole.
  • The cable is stripped, fibre is cleaned, push fit fibre connector is used
  • Light tester is used to check the amount of light coming down the cable is within tolerance.***
  • Connected into ONT.****
External wiring to property notice two distinct cables copper and fibre!

External wiring to property notice two distinct cables copper and fibre! (connector and new eyebolt!)

The new ONT

Openreach Optical Network Terminator

Openreach Optical Network Terminator an AA battery is used to show the size of the ONT, which is massive! This has been used in installations since November 2017, and incorporates the ONT and Battery backup unit, in a special enclosure, to make it look a little smarter and cleaner! The unit is powered in the property, and if power is lost, the battery backup maintains it for 2 hours. (I've tested!)

Openreach Optical Network Terminator

Openreach Optical Network Terminator with panel open! Orange ethernet cable is to my router, green plug is the fibre through the wall!

I’m surprised there is no branding Openreach, or sticker…. just a blank whitebox! The charging light has no gone off, so only lit when charging!

Many Thanks to Peter, Paul, Mike (Openreach Engineer),  and Zen Internet.

*Lots of tea, coffee, sparkling water with ice, 2 plates of cookies and a plate of chocolate McVities digestives was offered and eaten by my two engineers! Keep them sweet!

**At present BT are the only company which have the FVA (Fibre Voice Access – e.g. telephone via Fibre), so at present until Zen have this product my fixed landline telephone lines still comes over copper!

***No fusion splicing!

****New ONT started being used in November 2017. It’s a large box, which incorporates the ONT and Battery Back unit, but all sealed in a larger box.

Here are a couple of web links, which I’ve used to understand FTTP more!

What is FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) Broadband?

Peter’s Business Website

How to build a Fibre Network



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Coming to you via ULTRAFAST (FTTP) Broadband – Activated Today – Journey’s END!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Like a pig in muck (he he!), and doing broadband speedtests does not get boring!!!

The Openreach Engineers eventually turned-up today, they were supposed to visit on 29 June 2018, but did not arrive despite me taking a whole day off work, waiting for them from 8am – 6pm!

They arrived today at 11.45am, and finished the installation at approximately 2.30pm.

Switch over, occurred at approx 4pm and I’ve gone from:-

1.5Mbps !!!

1.5Mbps !!!

to

7442271213

157Mbps !!!

Almost 100x faster!!! (if I wanted I could up this to 330/40), lets see how we get on!

Where 98% of the UK Internet population used to be faster than me, the tables are turned, and my broadband internet, is now 98% faster than the rest of the UK!!!

I’ll blog later, an update as to how the installation was carried out, because the majority of the FTTP information on the internet is out of date!

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