Friday, November 19, 2010

Electronics in the Desert

Soon I will have to have raised floor (like they do in big data centers, to keep the servers cool) behind my chair. In the square brown box I have THREE terabytes of storage. The little box is for Norton backups, and the bigger box is so I can take photos off my hard drive and still see them in date sequence. I'm old enough to remember when a terabyte of storage was a big (literally big) deal in the data centers. Now we buy it a Costco.
On the left of the photo we see the new Qwest wireless modem. Why, you wonder, would we have such a thing given that there is free wi-fi provided by the park, and we also own a Verizon Mi-fi device? Because they don't work. Cell service down here is so bad the card can't work. Tengo (RV park internet service) is just abysmal. So, now we have Qwest DSL which is fairly quick. The best part is there is no contract. If you don't like it, pack it up, send it back and be on your way.

Speaking of contracts, I called Verizon to see if I could suspend the Mi-fi service, since I do not want to be paying for something I'm not using. Apparently the word suspend sounds an awful lot like cancel. I spent 22 minutes on the phone, trying to explain I want to suspend until we're in an area with decent service. I kept getting told about cancellation fees, could I find someone to assume the liability, blah de blah de blah. Eventually I discovered a link that allowed me to suspend it myself on the pc. Note to self, examine the website more carefully before picking up the phone. So that was this morning.

Wednesday, Patrick from Desert Satellite came to look at our home entertainment lash up. As we suspected, the installers who work in stick frame houses have no clue as to how to hook up an RV. We had signal running all over the place; worse, we had the potential to put 12 volt current into the park cable system should we ever have the cable hooked up and the satellite receiver turned on. After an hour, Pat diagnosed which diplex doo-dads were facing the wrong way, tightened up all the various connections, and added a diplexer at the head of the cable to prevent current from going out to the cable system. He also removed the condition that was causing the booster for the over the air antenna to ground out. So, we now have everything working.
It was funny, Jim and I were standing around watching Pat studying the system, and occasionally he'd come over and explain what was happening in the wiring. Pat would walk away, and Jim would whisper to me "I think my head is going to explode." It's good to have people who understand this stuff.

Jim's basement TV is back on line.

The new diplexer.

It's just aggravating that the local satellite installation company didn't tell us they don't know how to do RVs and refer the install to Pat in the fist place. It would have saved 3 service calls and my money. So, something has come off the list of things to fix.

Yesterday we did a brief ride out at Fantasy Island late in the afternoon. It was an unsatisfying ride, neither one of us felt really comfortable on the bikes. Part of it was the light, the low winter sun casts bad shadows so it's tough to see the rocks and sand. Here is Jim riding my bike down the Slide again because I am too chicken to ride it. Make a noise like a chicken, Allison.

So, we have one item off the action item list. Now we are waiting for Ken to return and complete his action items, of which there are several for the RV.

1 comment:

  1. It's scary how little I understand about this whole electronic world you describe. We signed a contract in Italy for a little pen drive thingy to give us internet before it was connected at our apartment. Only problem- it didn't work in our city which is very high up. We did have to pay the cancellation fee. Note to self- make sure it really works BEFORE signing the contract.