Tags: ebay


  09:11:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2054 words  
Categories: Stuff, Computer, Networking, Home, Healthcare, Printers

Replacing Batteries in my first PowerSource 400 ... then second and more.

Back on November 25h, 2013: I started writing this post:

According to this blog, I received this PowerSource 400 on January 21st, 2008 - click here

In answer to the question at the end of that post, the answer was yes. There are 5 other PowerSource 400's in service in my home.

Anyways...back on October 28th (my 45th birthday &#59;D ), about an hour after getting into bed there was a power blink....I recall being woken by the PowerSource 400 in the bedroom, but I was still able to breath, so I eventually went back to sleep. I woke in the morning to find that half my network had been down for quite some time, though I didn't see any alerts on the security system control pad.

This being the "network closet" UPS...it was providing backup power for my DSL modem, its associated router, the switch that connects the various rooms in my home together, namely the "living room" and the "back bedroom". Not sure which AP the "side bedroom" was connected to. Though the power outage knocked out my laser printer, which I haven't felt the urge to find out why. Really need to work on finding a more accessible location for it, or work on reversing the entropy in my nuclear room(s)... especially since my other printer is circling the drain, and not sure when I'll get around to getting the new inkjet printer that I've been eyeing.

Restarting the UPS, was when I finally got alerts from my security system. It was a combination of events that happened when I cycled power and events that had been waiting for the return of connectivity. The security system's primary connection is broadband, but it also has a phone line for backup (there's a cellular option, but its been out of stock whenever I've felt the urge to splurge for it....though I kind of have cellular backup anyways....)

It was the return of power that caused it to report loss and recovery of the phone line, along with the queued messages of broadband and power outages, with restores of all... Its built in backup battery had kept it up during the outage (approx 8.5 hours). The phone line from the base station is connected to an ObiHai OBi110. Which has an FXO port to allow selection of analog phone service, or in the event an outage pass through to this. In normal operation the OBi110 is making my Google Voice available to my regular phones, where the OBI110 is configured to use my other Internet gateway. The FXO port is connected to a Cobra PhoneLynx Bluetooth Cell to Home Phone Adapter which is associated with a phone with AT&T prepaid service.

Though I plan to at a later date replace both the OBi110 and PhoneLynx and cellphone with an At&t Wireless Home Phone Base. Which I have sitting, waiting for when I get around to it.

The plan is the OBi110 will move to the living room for use there, though its in associating with the planned inkjet printer replacement.

So, its time to replace the batteries...guess I'll do research on where I can get a pair. Hmmm, it uses the same kind as the pair I had replaced in my SmartUPS 1400 back on October 10th (it went around October 5th, and I ordered them on the 6th). The site provides discounts if you buy multiples. I got 5% off for getting 2, would've gotten 7% off for getting 4, or 8% off for getting 6 (9% for 8 and 10% for 10+).

I hesitate, since I'm waiting to see how the recent problem with BillMeLater goes...so needs to be sometime after Nov 5th to order. Meanwhile a storm comes in on November 3rd, and power is blinking like crazy...and I'm constantly restarting the PowerSource 400. Finally I take it out of service, and everything is just in a regular surge strip. Things remain stable (dbox stayed up straight) until this morning. But, feel that I need to put the PowerSource 400 back into service before my annual Thanksgiving trip.

After much procrastination, and lots of searching. I settle on ordering 4 such batteries from an eBay seller on November 14th. Plan to replace the batteries in my second PowerSource 400 soon, since it was purchased on December 31st, 2008 and provides backup power for my CPAP. (see here).

And finally, this morning, I decided that I've put it off too long and to replace it this morning.

Which was a challenge....

There was supposed to be a page 3, but all I had typed was the page break...so had to figure out how to open it up again. Aside from the 4 corner screws, I remembered that there's a screw behind the sticker in the middle. But, I forgot the rivets in the bottom, and that both parts need to be extracted.

Once opened, I started to disconnect the batteries, and once again threw sparks and added another mark to my screwdriver. Taking a step back, I decided there's an order of operation involved here. The answer is start with the outside connections, and then the inside ones. And, then reverse it. This time I knew the side panels interlock with the batteries to help lock them into place, so made sure the wires were clear, I noted that the neural wire for the front outlet had a kink, I made sure that all the wires were in the channel while buttoning things back up.

Surrounding this, was the challenge of getting it out from behind my headboard, though while I was down there, I found a couple missing packages of mask diffusers, I knew I wasn't using them up that quickly, but couldn't figure out why I kept running out. There was one Xyrem pill bottle, I had one night knocked both down...luckily while the empty (first dose) one went all the way down, the other was just wedged between mattress and headboard in upright position. Since I use bottles longer than a month, I usually go by how grungy the caps get...since I customize the bottles, so I can tell the two apart by touch, which matters when one has a larger dose than the other....and the caps get grunge depending on how many nights I overfill (have always had a problem measuring drinks that way.... :> ) Or how often they get tipped...

There were also as expected a bunch of nasal inhalers of various types...such as ones from: Olbas, Benzedrex, and Vicks.

Pages: 1· 2


  11:29:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 2462 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Networking, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, CFEngine

The home servers migration got off to a rough start...

My 10.04LTS servers are nearing the end of the line, but the move to get them upgraded is starting to get close....

At first I was waiting for the 12.04.1LTS update to appear, so that I might try upgrading them to Precise. But, then it struck me that it struck me that it might be time to replace one of the servers with new hardware.

The boxes had been servers for many years now, but in 10.04 they dropped support for 32-bit hardware as servers....which means one of my servers, and the more important one...is nearing EOL.

So, back in August....I came across a Shuttle XS36V open box on newegg.com....so I ordered one, along with an 8GB SODIMM memory set (a pair of 4GB)....the computers support a maximum of 4GB, but in my mind I was thinking that if this worked, I might get another to make a pair.

But, then it sat around as I go on to other projects....I had figured on using one of the 120GB SSDs that I had acquired earlier....

Realized what was strange about these boxes was they had serial ports, so I started thinking about network serial and setting these boxes up headless. Since I had done a server at work for serial with FreeBSD, I got to thinking that I would do the same with this. Plus I was really finding to be much more predictable/stable than Ubuntu....something that's good in a server.

I started revising the plans as I went....ended up deciding that I would have one that is default cable and one that is default dsl, and running the usual core...one would be master DNS, and the other one be the primary slave....just as one would be primary DHCP and the other secondary....both would do freeradius. Both would NTP servers. Both would do mail, though zen is my main mail system. They would have both apache and nginx on them...apache to run local web services....and nginx doing reverse proxy to the other web apps on my home network (kind of important since current cable router is a step back with it only supporting 16 port forwards....though I have a replacement that I'll get to setting up some day...)

Then while I was poking around on newegg.com, spotted that there was another open box Shuttle XS36V....so now I had two boxes. I had picked up once Cyclades ACS1 earlier on ebay, so I got a second....a 'new' one for about the same price. Just needed to find time. Perhaps after FreeBSD 9.1 drops.

Well, it dropped....but I still wasn't ready...now I needed some SSD drives for the machines. So, I used the $30 in RewardZone for the new TV I had gotten in September, and picked up a pair for 128GB SanDisk Extremes. And, then I started setting up the ACS1s....hmmm, wonder if I have any serial cables. Okay, I'll buy some of those first.... I end up ordering from TigerDirect, as they have a better price on RJ45 to DB9 adapters....not that I need them for the actual ACS1 to Shuttle XS36v connection...that's just a 9F to 9F null modem cable.

Pages: 1· 2· 3· 4


  02:19:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1350 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Windows

The Gumby Torture has ended

That is Gumby was torturing me!

It all started around May 13, 2010....and could ended around...sometime back in April, 2011...but had to let it drag on to today...July 23, 2011.

Gumby had been torturing me more and more lately....largely because when I upgraded it in May 13, 2010...it became my second fastest system at home, and my fastest Windows XP box. Ole TARDIS was only a Pentium 4 3.2GHz w/HT. While new Gumby is a Pentium D 3.4GHz.

Though while TARDIS was still my main Windows XP system, I largely kept Gumby's role the same...though it did pick up a few things the ole Gumby didn't do, due to it having more juice and being less cluttered in its registry and driver hell. Like a new DVD burner, or running a few more CPU and/or memory intensive apps (things that didn't work to well on P3-933MHz and/or only a max of 512MB...)

But, the problem with new Gumby was that its a legacy free box. No PS/2 mouse or keyboard ports (though it's strange that I can still buy new systems that have one or two PS/2 ports, something about the reliability of PS/2 mouse and/or keyboard over USB probably... this KVM switch was kind of holding up whether or not I would be requiring PS/2 ports on whatever mobo I decide to build the new LHAVEN around.)

I had gotten USB PS/2 adapters to keep using my old keyboard/mouse and KVM setup on Gumby (though the keyboard and mouse have upgraded a few times since the Trendnet TK-408) Also, I think the mouse has always been a USB kind with a PS/2 adapter. Originally a ball type, now an optical type....some day I'll get some laser mice here and there...

Problem was that the USB PS/2 adapter was less than reliable or usable. I was still using the Kingwin one that I got to start with new Gumby. Which worked the best, except that every now and the the mouse would stop responding. I could have to stop using the mouse for a while, and it had to be absolutely still during the stop....and then something would reset and it would work again. I had tried a TrendNet, thinking it would go with the KVM....but switching away and then back on the KVM would cause the scrollwheel functionality to go away, and that required me to unplug/replug the USB adapter to get scrollwheel working again.

I also tried a PCI PS/2 card, but found that internally was just another USB PS/2 adapter...just in a slot consuming form, plus it didn't get along with the other PCI card (firewire, and I use firewire external storage on Gumby)...also it exhibited the same problem that the TrendNet USB PS/2 adapter did, except that its a little harder to unplug the card to reset it at will...

So, I stayed with the KingWin and set my sight on a KVM.

Full story »


  02:37:42 pm, by The Dreamer   , 485 words  
Categories: Home, Healthcare

Sound+Sleep Machine -- Ecotones take 2

Link: http://www.soundofsleep.com/product-info/

A while back I had bitten the bullet and picked up a Sound+Sleep Machine by Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc. from an eBay seller. This was despite my bad review of its earlier incarnation, Ecotones, that had gotten at the end of 2008.

Well, the new version is not the $300 I paid for the original...it was less than half, and I scored one for under $100. It is kind of plainer looking unit, and it features a white noise mode, which the original Ecotones did not.

It also turned out to have other features...namely the ability to adjust the 'richness'....or turn off those added elements that negated the usefulness of masking sounds at night and helping me sleep (though I think I've run out of technology to help me sleep.... :yawn: Hopefully someday the doctors will figure out what's wrong with me....)

The buttons are easier to work than the original, though they make it hard to adjust the volume in adaptive mode, since the make a click that makes the unit loud...and then its too quiet when later, so have to keep fiddling to get it up loud enough to be mask normal noises....but, it seems to not have enough range after that. Also probably need to move it to the other side of my bed, so better mask the tinnitus in other ear. Though the old ecotones is still on my headboard there (though the sleepPhones, I had tried plugging into that seems to have fallen under my bed somewhere.) I may try the sleepPhones with the new Sound+Sleep machine someday, but its summer...so its kind of uncomfortable, even with extra fans blowing. The new model does do adaptive sound with headphones. The display/controls is harder to read in the dark though....without the fancy color LCD display.

Also the unit still forgets to stay on if the the power flickers....though at least it doesn't do the super loud sound blast on first power now. I moved it onto a UPS as well, should be the GeekSquad 1285VA rather than the PowerSource 400. Should probably audit whats plugged in where. Perhaps when I get around to replacing the broken bedframe.

Though lately, I've been using my old SleepMate 980A for my sound masking needs. Perhaps I should sit down with my Sound+Sleep machine during the day to see what setting would work better at night. Its hard spinning the knob in the dark trying to figure out what settings to use in the dark, when I don't think I've ever looked at ever. Or figuring out what richness I want....usually want none, but sometimes I want a little, and it means something else when I'm dialed to white noise.

Having read the manual again today...and seeing that adaptive mode works with headphones, I think I would like to try that someday. Maybe get some pillow speakers so I can have sound closer to the ear that rings....



  01:49:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 519 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Furnishings, Storage

the 'gumby' upgrade, not so good.

actually, pretty bad....

So, while I was looking at the items for the 'lhaven' upgrade...I happened to type other things I might want, and came across a PCI PS/2 adapter.

The new 'gumby' is legacy free...which was causing problems working under my KVM setup. Not quite ready to upgrade the KVM to one that does both PS/2 and USB....so I've been using USB to PS/2 adapters. So far I've tried two. Kingwin and Trendnet. The KVM is a Trendnet, so I kind of hoped the Trendnet one would work.

The Kingwin was first....it works pretty good, except that once in a while the mouse to stops moving. I have to let the mouse sit idle for a moment and then I can move it again. If I don't let go of it, the mouse still being active prevents the 'reset'. Annoying....

So, I got the Trendnet adapter....well, things work...pretty much all the time...except the scrollwheel. And, I've gotten quite fond of using it. Whenever it stops working, I have to unplug the adapter and plug it back in. This is inconvenient and even more annoying....

So, I switched back to the Kingwin, until I decide on what I would use. I wondered if there were a more hardware solution...IE: PCI PS/2.

So, I snapped one up on eBay to try out.

Full story »

  12:24:22 pm, by The Dreamer   , 199 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, BOINC

upgraded 'lhaven', second times the charm...

After having had some time to lick my wounds from trying to upgrade 'lhaven'. I decided to take the plunge and try again.

So, I went back on to eBay....and bought another 1GB stick of memory, from the same seller as before...so that I could take the system fully to 2GB. And, while I was there, I bought another Athlon 3000+

And, then it was wait for another Sunday where I would have time to do upgrades....

...well, the upgrade went well this time. I took 'lhaven' down...opened 'er up. Swapped the 512MB DDR400 stick for the 1GB DDR333 stick, and swapped the Athlon 3000+ in for the Athlon 2000+, moved a couple of jumpers and turned the power back on.

It POST'd, and I checked the bios for a bit...watched the system monitor screen for a while, and shutdown again. :cool:

So, I closed up the case and put the computer back in its usual spot and let it boot all the way up.

Once settled, I checked BOINC. It didn't see the CPU change, so I forced it to run CPU benchmarks.

Athlon 2000+ == 997 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 3376 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)
Athlon 3000+ == 1312 floating point MIPS (Whetstone) 4446 integer MIPS (Dhrystone)

And done. :>>


  01:30:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 956 words  
Categories: Stuff, Home Theatre, Computer, Home

Got Another PowerSource 400

The other day, as I was rebuilding my 5 disk RAID array (which I mean to blog about someday)...for the umpteenth time. A storm came in one morning....this made me concerned about losing power and breaking my RAID in some bad state (it had happened once before). Now I did have the computer and its two disk arrays (and as it turned out monitor) on a Geeksquad 1285VA UPS. And, more serious now that I have quite a lot of data backed up onto this array using backuppc. Had gone through some scary periods where I thought I'd have to start over from scratch.

But, decided that may it was time to put it on a PowerSource 400, like my other two Linux servers. So, I went to my usual source....not available from there, but it listed 3 other sellers; two selling for substantially more than it used to sell for and one selling refurbished units. I went looking around online for other sources, including one other that I had considered as an alternative option (because they shipped using FedEx ground). Found that pretty much everybody that had listings for it, showed it as discontinued and not in stock. I check eBay, there were a few listings...but they were mostly of the store demo variety....seemed too risky for me, given past experiences.

So, I put it in my cart for the next time I was going to place a home bound Amazon Prime order (a PowerSource 400 is a heavy item, so even if I don't know when it'll arrive...I wouldn't want to be lugging it back from the UPS Store).

As it happened, the seller shipped it by UPS Basic, and the mail man showed up with it on the day that I stayed home sick....ran the bell twice and then left it on my door step (took me a while to unmask, get out of bed and find some pants). I didn't immediately set it up....but found somewhere to plug it in to at least charge. I was fully discharged, so it would take a while.

Later that evening a big storm came into the area, alert said golf ball sized hail....it sounded pretty intense out there. Just had to happen as I was trying to do the UPS swap. Discovered some oddities about how I have things run for power around my desk that I had forgotten about. But, I think it is all sorted out now. Though I may opt to move the monitor to another UPS at some later point.

Currently, monitor, server (orac) and the two raid boxes (2 drive - RAID1, 5 drive - RAID6) are on this 'new' PowerSource 400 and its reading 250-260W.

Annoyingly the literature doesn't give an estimate for loads >100W on the PowerSource 400....so I'm not really sure how much time I'll get at this...but hope its something. For comparison. 'lhaven' on its PowerSource 400 is reading 100-110W, and 'box' and the network gear (5 port gigabit switch and g access point) on its PowerSource 400 is reading 150-160W. I may pull the access point off the UPS at some later point in the future, since it is deprecated as I mainly use my Airport Extreme now...which is in another location and on a PowerSource 400.

That other PowerSource 400 is reading ~130W...it has 2 TiVo HDs, both with DVR Expanders, router, 16 port 10/100 switch, and the Airport Extreme. I was originally planning to add a RAID USB storage device to the Airport Extreme...though not sure now...that I have my work Mac Book Pro set up as a client to backuppc. (it also rarely comes how now.)

I don't think I have the courage to test how long any of my PowerSource 400s will actually last....but so far I've been happy with the ones that have endured the few extended outages I experienced last year.

I wonder what will be the successor to the PowerSource 400....and whether there'll be more PowerSource 400s, or what, in the future for me.

Pages: 1· 2


  03:14:04 pm, by The Dreamer   , 564 words  
Categories: Home Theatre, Travel, Healthcare

Strung some wire, hope it stays.

A couple weeks ago, I got a new center channel speaker via Woot and while setting it up and readjusting my surround sound levels....I discovered that my rear speakers weren't working.

I've been using an Accurian HomePlug Digital Audio Transmitter/Receiver to run my rear speakers, and I have a remote controlled switch for the rear unit....which defaults to off when it loses power. But, I looked and it was one. I power cycled everything and checked all the connections, but nothing.

Guess the unit is dead. Not sure if I can secure another one....but pretty much can't think of any other way to have wireless surrounds. I've done the RF method to death. 900MHz, 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz....all with poor to no results.

But, having recently strung wire along the ceiling to bridge the gap for my home network...I decided to look at this method to run wire to my rear surround speakers.

I looked around a bit here and there, and tried to decide how best to get the parts delivered to me. And, settled on buying speaker wire and 3m command adhesive cable clips on eBay. Specifically looking for the shippers that use USPS, so that I could get the bits without having to walk to the UPS store.

Today, having stayed home from work for my birthday...I set out to string up the wires.

Discovered that the speaker wire I had purchased was somewhat thicker than I expected...so a little big for the cable clips that I had purchased. But, I strung them up anyways....hopefully it'll stay up. I'll probably make note to acquire additional/bigger clips in the future to reinforce things.

But, I now have working rear surrounds again.

Pages: 1· 2


  07:17:37 pm, by The Dreamer   , 209 words  
Categories: Appliances, Amateur Radio, Healthcare

I got an Ultrasonic Cleaner

On cpaptalk.com, it was mentioned using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean masks. So, that got me looking around for an ultrasonic cleaner.

Since the OP got his off of Australian eBay, I decided to get one from a US eBay seller.

It arrived today. I got a bigger unit than the OP, but it isn't too big. In fact when I picked up the package from the UPS store, it was smaller than I expected.

Though for the mask I have now, it'll probably be way too big. Though I have other masks around, and they might need the extra room.

I did a quick test of the machine and then put my glasses in for a short cycle. It sure was interesting watching what seemed like smoke streaming from the rims, hinge and nose pieces. I probably needed to have it in there longer to really get all the gunk out. But, I think my glasses are the cleanest they've ever been....

It'll be Sunday before I get around to run mask parts through it. Want to allow sufficient time for the parts to air dry afterwards....and Saturday I'm helping with communications for the Cabin Fever bike run. Plus I need to brew up some more distilled water....

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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