Friday, August 19, 2005

My ADSL is connected.

I plugged the phone line into the modem as usual, and was suprised to see the link light come on.

I didn't see the ready light go steady, or the WAN RX light flash, so I figured that while the line was patched at the exchange, the account wasn't created yet.

When I checked the settings in the modem, I found that my username and password were missing.

I set them in there, and tried connecting, but it still wouldn't connect. I figured that I had to wait for Telstra to advise WestNet that the patching had been done to the DSLAM at the exchange, and then they would create my account.

I looked around at all the screens in the modem, did a diagnostic, which confirmed that the line was patched.

I noticed that the firmware version was 3.x something, ages old. I decided to try updating the firmware again (not having learnt from the other day).

This time, it just said "preparing for code update", then hung, and it wouldn't boot up properly again.

Argh. I tried booting it a few times, and a factory reset, but it was no good, just like the other day. This time though, only the LAN link light came on, not the 100Mb link light.

I went through the process from the other day, to reflash the firmware again, and fixed it again. This thing is rubbish.

I put my settings in again, saved them, rebooted the unit, and it came up and connected.

Woo, ADSL! It wasn't terribly fast for some reason, I did another couple of speed tests, like I did on the dialup the other day. One came back and said the connection was 392k, and the other said 424k or something, a bit off 512Kbit.

I suspect it's caused by my parent's phone, which doesn't have a filter on it.

I only had a couple of minutes to muck around with it, because then I had to go out, I was taking a day to do some work with a mate that I used to work for.

We went to the first job, where a laminar flow cabinet had a stuffed controller board. It had been replaced, but something had faulted, and caused a short, and the fuse for the exhaust fan had blown (quite spectacularly).

I couldn't find any wiring fault, had no idea what caused it. We put the old board back (because the original fault, requiring replacement of the board, had not turned out to be caused by the board, but the switch on the front), and the cabinet was fixed.

We took the board, I'll replace the fuse socket on it at some point, and it should be ok to use somewhere else.

After that, we went to a hospital, where a class 2 safety cabinet (glovebox) had a fault with the interlock controller.

Initially it had faulted, and was not delaying between locking the doors after they were closed, to allow the airflow to equalise, and unlocking the doors again.

My mate had come down last week to replace the controller, and the replacement had been damaged, the potentiometer controlling the locking/unlocking delay had come off the board, so he couldn't fix it.

We put in a new board, and this time, it would never unlock. Not having much luck here. I tested the reed switches on the doors, to make sure they were working, and it wasn't something silly like that.

I think it's a faulty potentiometer. We gave up there, since we didn't have another spare, and we left.

We went to another job after that, which was just certifying the install on a new laminar flow, in a chemist, to avoid contamination when mixing up medications. That was a simple job.

On the way out of there, we went into Dick Smith, to see if I could get the replacement potentiometers. I could only get vertical mount, which were no good.

On the way back to the car, I spotted a Jaycar store, so we went in there. It looked like all the components where behing the counter, so when the woman serving asked me what I was after, I told her..

"A couple of 1 Megohm horizontal PCB mount potentiometers". She gave me a blank stare.

She then said "If we can find a number in the catalogue, then I can find it". We looked through the catalog, while looking for the pots, she said, "they're those twisty things aren't they?". Hmm.

I found them in there, worked out which ones I needed, and we went and found them, all of 75c each.

As I was about to buy them, I remembered to get a fuse holder to replace the one that was burnt on the controller board. They tried to find them, but couldn't.

My mate came in at this point, spotted a compact flash/smart media USB reader on sale, and bought that, since he'd been given some software on a smart media card recently, and had nothing to read it with.

While he was buying the pots, and the card reader, I spotted a USB light, it was $20, a bit steep, but it's easier to buy it here and now, instead of mucking around on ebay, to save $10.

The light seems pretty cool, it's fairly bright, but it doesn't have a switch on it, you have to unplug it, which might be annoying.

We left there, and drove back to his parent's place. We tested the card reader, it worked. Apparently the software on it is for Windows CE, to allow using one of those pocket PC things to configure the settings on some biological safety cabinets.

My mate had one, but it runs "PE" apparently, rather than "CE". I don't know what the difference is, maybe they're binary compatible. Anyway, there's also an Intel version, but when we tried to run that up on XP, on a laptop with no serial port, it just said "unable to open com port", and exited.

I assume this to be caused by the fact there are no serial ports, and one of those USB -> serial adapters would fix that. I suggested to try it at some point, we'll take a laptop, and a couple of different serial cables, and try to configure a cabinet at some point.

After that, I went back to my mate's place, and I found the filter that belongs with my modem (it must have been left around there, when I thought the power adapter was). I haven't got around to putting it on the phone yet, seems to be working ok without it.

I still only have the modem attached to my laptop, so in the short term, before I build an ipcop box, I've temporarily setup my laptop to forward traffic from my lan, via the wireless interface, to the modem, attached to the wired interface on my laptop.

In order to do that, I had to set the ip_forward file to 1 as usual ("echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward" iirc).

I then found that I had to add in an iptables rule to masquerade the traffic.

I think the command I used to do that was "iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -j MASQUERADE".

Oh, and then I changed the default route on my gateway machine, which connects the 2 subnets, so route everything to the wireless interface on my laptop.

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