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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

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

Monday, 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.

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!

Update :- It made no difference, the end result, the WiFi radios in routers cannot cope and struggle with too many WiFi devices, in my case 30, which in the future more and more households, we will start to see the same issue….as more households embrace WiFi, how many WiFi devices are you currently using ?

So I purchased one of these - The WiFi Cure! - Ubiquiti Networks UAP-AC-PRO

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

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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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Andy’s new gadget for testing car batteries! - A Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Yes, I have been experiencing car troubles again, well to be honest, the issue has never really gone away, and I’ve done nothing about it, other than keep charging my car battery!

The Problem

The issue has been, if I do not use my car for 24 hours, when starting the car, it does not turn over. So I have to ensure, I start and run my car 7 days a week. Lately, however this period of time, has been decreasing to less than 10 hours, so if I park up overnight, the car will not start the next morning.

The Temporary Solution

If I connect the battery to a battery charger, and charge for less than 5 minutes, it allows me to start the car. This is odd, because the battery is not going to charge much in 5 minutes.

This temporary solution to the issue, was becoming problematic, and delaying me getting off to work in the morning, unrolling the 50m extension lead, plugging in the battery charger, charging the battery, driving to work, and the car was always able to start after parking up in the car park, until Tuesday, when it refused to start, requiring me to get a jump start, with my special jump leads from my Boss! (I think Lindsey was probably getting p***** off as well, because my car is parked behind hers, on the drive!)

Discuss with “The Specialist”

I spoke to Paul from JLB Electronics, pop by their website, and purchase some electronics bits and bobs… about the issue with my car, I took some voltage readings with a voltmeter, before and after charging, and current draw from the battery at idle. The voltage of the battery was 12.4/12.5 volts, and current draw was 0.77A at idle (which could be high!), but not really enough to flatten a car battery overnight.

The Fix

So I decided to purchase a Solar BA7 Battery and System Tester for 12 volt batteries from Amazon.co.uk, this is not just a voltmeter, which can test starting minimum and maximum voltages, battery under load, battery at idle, to check your alternator is working correctly, but also checks the car battery conductance, and compares with the stated value on the battery e.g. the CCA (cold cranking amperes - this is the current which can be delivered for 30 seconds), the value is stamped on the battery!

Amazon parcel

Amazon parcel

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

Solar BA7 Battery & System Tester for 12v batteries

As I had suspected the battery was at fault, I also purchased a new battery from Halfords - a Yuasa YBX5096, this brand in the UK, commonly associated with batteries in alarms, but very common in Japan and Japanese cars!

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

Old Car battery CCA 300 - FAIL

After connecting the tester, the CCA value tested is 300, the battery has a stated CCA of 680, so therefore it’s a fail, you cannot make out the numbers on the LED, but the fail light is lit! So it was nice to technically know, after testing the battery is duff!

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

Checking the new Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - it passes with a CCA value of 900, and 860. So good to know, my new battery is perfect!

So, before I removed the old battery, I tested, starting minimum and maximum voltages, and charging at idle and load and both these tests pass, so clearly it points to a duff battery, so it was quickly removed and changed.

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New Yuasa Silver HSB096, 80Ah 760A (CCA) - PASS

New battery installed and connected…..sorry about the fuzzy photograph, excited!!!)

New battery installed....

New battery installed....

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Andy’s AmazonLocker Experience

Friday, May 1st, 2015

I noticed several weeks ago, AmazonLockers were being installed on Campus.

AmazonLocker on Campus

AmazonLocker on Campus

So I’ve been waiting for an excuse to order a gadget from Amazon.co.uk, to try out this new AmazonLocker Experience.

My Dad has been reviewing and raving about these new bluetooth headphones he purchased from Amazon.co.uk, for £15.

They are called Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green). I’ll get him to review them, or I’ll quickly do a blog on them later.

I was discussing with my colleague this morning, about what time would my Amazon Delivery arrive, and I received a SMS Text message from Amazon with a code for the locker.

2015-05-01-103457

I quickly legged it over to the Student Union on Campus, to retrieve my parcel.

Entered the code into the keypad

Entered the code into the keypad

As if by magic, a locker door springs open, revealing my parcel..

Locker door opens

Locker door opens

I quickly grabbed the parcel, closed the door, and returned to my office.

My Amazon Parcel

My Amazon Parcel

and it’s contents…

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

Soundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green)

You can grab a pair here from Amazon.co.ukSoundpeats Qy7 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices (QY7, black/green), and they’ve just now been reduced to £14.99, I paid £15.23 (30/04/15)

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Amazon.co.uk top notch delivery, Amazon.co.uk gets better! Give Amazon.co.uk a try this Christmas!

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Google-ing the Internet where I could purchase a particular item on Friday afternoon, surprise, surprise! only Firebox and Amazon.co.uk, had this item listed.

Later Friday evening at exactly  8 November 2013 18:57, I picked up my smartphone and Googled again, and was taken to the Amazon.co.uk website, it stated order in the next 3 minutes for delivery Saturday 9th November 2013, with 1-Click Checkout I was done, and it was ordered!

What’s bizarre, is I’ve had a delivery before from Amazon.co.uk for a Saturday delivery, which arrived by DPD, my usual DPD deliveries, advise me of when it’s going to be delivered, but not Saturdays, unless there is not enough time to prepare the information.

At  8 November 2013 22:11, I had confirmation from Amazon.co.uk my order had been despatched. This also provided DPD tracking information that confirmed it was at Oldbury.

DPD Tracking Information

DPD Tracking Information

I set my alarm clock, to wake me up, as DPD deliveries can be early on Saturday, so much for the rest! Shortly after opening the bedroom curtains, I spotted the DPD delivery van, which could only have been for me, with my Amazon.co.uk Order!

Here it is:- Angus has to inspect everything, well it is for Esther, Angus and Tilly.

amazon-order1

amazon-order2

amazon-order3

So this Christmas why not place an order with Amazon.co.uk, or use DPD for your deliveries.

I do not work for Amazon.co.uk or DPD.

and if you are interested, in what my order was, you will have to wait until tomorrow!

UPDATE see what was ordered here!

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