Monday, 30 December 2013

Fun with computers

I'd decided to replace a 750gb drive with a 2000 gb in Dovda. So I powered the computer down, opened it up and replaced the drive. When I powered up again, one of the drives (a different one, of course) was showing zero gb.

Well, I know how to fix this now. So I got out my fixing kit (which is an RS232 to TTL converter, plus a set of instructions on how to use it, se a previous post), and started to connect it to the miscreant drive. But then the power socket fell out of the fixing kit. Ugh.

So, on with the soldering iron, and it turned out to be quite easy to repair the fixing kit. And then using that, I fixed the zero-byte drive. And that seems to be OK now! And I've ordered another RS232-TTL converter, because it would be annoying to be without one, and they're only $4.

And then my leased-line link to the internet started "flapping". That's the name they use for an intermittent connection. I was losing about 10% of pings, which means a usable line, but not good.  I rebooted the router, but that didn't help, so I phoned Daisy. I got to tech support quite quickly, and they're going to look into it. As of this moment, I'm getting 100% ping, so maybe they've fixed it already.

I've ordered a medium-sized ammo can. I calculate that I can get all 12 batteries into it, plus a foam inner to reduce shocks. What I'm trying to do here, is avoid damage to the batteries when I fall off the bike, which (despite my best efforts otherwise) happens about once per year. The ammo can will hold it's shape under impact, and the foam inner will keep the batteries safe. I'm hoping that the whole thing will fit inside on pannier. If it doesn't, I'll start looking for a bigger pannier, or else bolt hooks on to the ammo can so that I can hang it directly on the back rack.

One of my Christmas presents was "How to build your own electric bike". It's a good book, and I could have made considerable use of it a few months ago, but I've already discovered most of what it says. For example, it talks about "overclocking" the motor, by which it means giving it a few more volts than nominal. Well, I already did that, and I already know it works. Still, it's nice to know that I'm not alone.


And then ...

My secure server stopped working. And three other computers that I was using to format drives. And ... so I went down to the Data Centre, and found that all the computers connected to my switching PDU (that allows me to power off and power on remotely) were out. And that meant that the PDU was powerless. I soon tracked it down - some idiot (me) had put a 5 amp fuse on the power-in to the PDU, and I'd just been adding computers until it overloaded. A computer pulls about half an amp, and I'd put on about ten, for no real reason. So I took most of the computers off the PDU, and put in a new fuse (13 amps, which is what it should have been in the first place) and then brought all the downed machines back up.

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