Episode-2317- Listener Calls for 10-25-18 — 26 Comments

  1. To add to what you said about networking:

    I second your opinion about point-to-point wireless bridges.  At my job (small business IT) we’ve installed them at several locations–mostly boat yards–because running a wire would be too much of a pain in the ass, and they’ve always performed just fine.  There’s one model I recommend specifically, the EnGenius ENH202.  We use them all the time, the interface is a little clunky but they’re rugged and reliable, and they go up to 29dBm which is more than most other similar antennas.  We even use them as indoor WAPs and they work great.  I recommend adding this item to your list of recommended on TspAz since you seem to get a lot of networking questions.

    • I have used the ENSTATION5A ( The 802.11N single band series ) with great success. I can run a wire if a need to but this has worked so well I haven’t bothered.

  2. I love me some M.A.S.H. and I love me some memes, and I know Jack doesn’t give a sh*t (which is all good)…  so I’m laughing at myself as I type this cause I feel like I’ve fallen into Jack’s trap somehow, because I’m not the grammar police!  I’m not that guy!

    But, “You’d smile too…,” as in “also.”  T,o,o.  Right?

  3. Re:  Rural communities questions.  I think the caller was concerned because rural communities were going to miss out on the advantages of upgrades in the internet.  More people are building internet-based businesses (like yours) and many people telecommute.  Also, many people are cutting their cable and are using the internet to access their entertainment (Netflix, Hulu, etc.).  I think his point was that lower quality internet services or no services may hasten the death of rural communities.

    • Oh I get that but the solution is the same.  Also I do think in the next 10 years tech will solve that issue.  By 2025ish if you want a 100mb connection at your retreat in the Bob Marshall wilderness it will be about 50 bucks a month.

  4. Armslist is also a good place to buy and sell guns. I’ve bought and sold there and it has worked very well for me. But, you are only supplosed to sell to people in your state…

  5. Aren’t there a significant amount of people who don’t want to live in cities because they like peace and quiet, the outdoors, less hustle and bustle, etc.?

  6. Regarding extending network cable distance specs, when you exceed the specs it is YOUR responsibility to remember that you did so. It might work now, but plans change and in a year you might have expanded your expectations of that connection and then the network might fail.

    For example, you might want to locate a single workstation at your workshop on the far side of your property so that you can look up parts numbers and occasionally order replacements. That is not much stress on the network, but if plans change and you open up a parts store next year, then that will be a lot of stress on the network. It might still work, but if it doesn’t it is YOUR responsibility to remember that one reason it might not be working is that your network is out of spec and investigate the problem from there.

    Real-life example: Dell Computers hired me specifically for my network programming experience. I had adapted a new program to work on the factory floor at Dell here in Austin, Texas. It worked great in my cubicle, but when it got onto the factory floor it failed. I was blamed, but I had never seen even a hint of a problem before. It should have worked. I finally insisted that I see it fail on the factory floor, essentially using the Dell factory floor as my test bed. (I had a lot of balls back then. Still do.)

    As it turned out, the server could see the client machine but the client never (or rarely) got the signal from the server. Then someone looked under the workbench and uttered a sigh. Some joker had soldered the network wires together to make his own improvised “Ethernet hub”. It worked for little things but not for a production factory installation.

    Technical explanation: the soldered connection was producing electronic reflections in the wire, so the signal made it through going but not coming back…. which is why we tell you to buy a REAL ETHERNET HUB. It’s not just because we are trying to make more money off of you.

    An entire factory line of a multi-million dollar company was shut down for two days because someone didn’t want to spend $50 on a hub.

    I suspect you don’t have as much on the line, but just remember. It might save you a day’s work tracking down a problem if it occurs.

    One day I was at Radio Shack looking to buy an Ethernet hub when the salesman behind the counter told me I could just use a Y-connector. “It would work,” he said. I yelled at the salesman and told him to stop making that recommendation.

    So, I have said nothing that contradicted what Jack recommended. I agree with him. I was simply adding the caveat…. remember.

    Alex Shrugged

    • Sorry man, that really isn’t accurate. X may change is just as valid to the media as to the length of a cable. Some new piece of equipment may come out tomorrow that needs CAT28SUPERE to work. Fast E is Fast E and GigE is GigE. It all works, it all works just fine.

  7. I sometimes use a cheap beat-up ice chest as a cargo carrier. Don’t get one that is worth stealing by itself.

  8. Regarding my opinion on Ethernet cabling, it’s sort of like asking a guy who designs transistors which is the best stereo. You will get a technical answer that may not be very helpful.

    I was a network device driver expert as part of a team building new hardware and silicon, and I was a BIOS programmer. I did this for McDonnell-Douglas, Dell and Crystal Semiconductor. HOWEVER, I lack the practical experience that Jack has. When it comes right down to burying cable and hooking things up, it is guys like Jack that I called up and listened to carefully.

    I agree that extending the length of the cabling beyond the max in the specs will very likely work just fine, but as the years pass, plans change, people forget, specs change. I am simply suggesting that if anything does go wrong, remember what you did.

    And using a y-connector as a makeshift Ethernet hub will work fine until it doesn’t. If it’s just between you and me, who cares? But try it on the factory floor and it can be a disaster.

    And for a minimum cable length I suggest 18 inches long or you will get reflection. I’ve seen (and used myself) shorter cable lengths and they worked, but just remember that you did that.

    I have also seen an electrical engineer that I respect use an unused pair of wires in his home Ethernet CAT-5 cabling as a telephone line. That is also beyond the specs, but it worked. (I wouldn’t do it, but he did and he should know.)

    Alex Shrugged

  9. FYI, I am surviving the Austin Water Crisis. A week without clean city water! Thank you Berkey! You saved me, my wife, my son and my dog.

    Alex Shrugged



  10. The math to me getting a C&R ffl is about the same as the math for MSB.  I have bought 0 zero curio’s or relics but by sending in a photo copy to big mail order gun part and shooter mail order houses I have access to wholesale prices.

    There will be some relics in my future, but so far I don’t even have the log started.  It’s just been a math win.

    • Totally valid but just to be clear the caller was asking about a full FFL which has more requirements and costs more.

  11. Another alternative to the grayman hatchback would be a case box of diapers.  Alot of good sense on Jack’s response but I would prefer to mislead over obscure.  A lot of break ins are not from people looking to support the mom of their kids.  So with something like that visible in the back most criminals will think it’s pretty unlikely to find a peice in the glove compartment center console etc.  And of course they are hoping for eureka! finds, guns drugs cash.  Not ussual momma of young kids asssets.

    • I had though of that but diapers are actually valuable and a common item stolen, new ones of course.

  12. Just listened to the show…

    Crazy how serendipitous TSP gets.   I’ve been mulling over this spool of CAT-6 I was gifted and am now considering running a drop line from my home to my barn roughly 150′ away; just to have internet access when I’m tinkering in the barn, you-tubing how to repair small engines, or setting up aquaponics systems.

    Wondering if I should run it through conduit the whole way just in case?


    • Yea don’t direct bury you can even use cheap ass 1/2 inch pvc but don’t direct bury.

  13. Jack is 100% correct – you can exceed the limit without issue. I have run numerous cables out to 400 ft without issue.

    And yes – you can run phone just fine over cat5 cable – phone single can run across just about anything.

    And yes you can mix phone and data onto the same cable

    And yes you can get 2  Ethernet connections across one cat5 cable.

    obviously there are some caveats – but it works – ask me how I know 😉

    thanks jack!

  14. On hiding things in the back of a hatchback, I use a 5 dollar black throw from Wal-Mart – and in case of emergency there is a blanket.  My car has slightly tinted windows and it blends in great unless you’re really looking hard.