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It works! It really works!!

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Happy It works! It really works!!

Post  batjac on Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:24 pm

I have moved my workspace into the other side of the house so I don’t bother my wife with the smell and noise of my working on projects.  So, to stay connected to the internet, I got a little mini-computer, an Intel NUC .  It was cheap as I got about a 20% discount through the employee purchase program.  The signal wasn’t great on the wireless, but adequate.  However, for some reason the signal has dropped to garbage recently and the computer was incredibly slow in loading web pages and downloading from Outerzone and other data heavy sites, as well as trying to stream Netflix which kept stopping to buffer.

I did a speed test using my normal speed test site (https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/) where I normally get about 35 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload on my desktop connected by cable to my router.  It took six or seven tries to even get the speed test to run on my workroom computer because it kept timing out for signal loss.  When it finally did complete a test, the speed showed as about 1.5 Mbps download and just under 1 Mbps upload.  No way could I live with that.  So I spent hours looking at range extenders, signal repeaters, and modem boosters.  I asked everyone at work if they had used any and found something they liked.  After all the hours, I got no good info on exactly what I needed.  So I settled on a modem/relay that had about 6,000 good reviews on Amazon.  I figured that was as good a way of telling which was best as any.

But, as I was walking over to the good computer to order the relay and drop $80, I remembered something I’d read about several years ago on the internet.  It was supposed to boost the signal on modems, and I figured if I got a little boost in signal while I waited on my relay modem to arrive in the mail, it would be worth the effort.  So I took a piece of construction paper and used a glue stick to attach aluminum foil to it, and then cut out at 4”x6” rectangle from it.  I then cut another piece of construction paper curved top and bottom with tabs sticking out.  I slotted the foil covered paper for the tabs, and taped the two together making a little dish.  Punching a couple of holes let me slip the dish over the antenna of my modem, and I was done.  20 minutes and I had this:




But would it boost the signal so that it wasn’t agony for me to use my computer until the new relay came?  I booted up the NUC, and it loaded web pages faster now.  I re-ran the speed test, downloading and uploading data from San Francisco to my computer here in Portland, OR.  My new internet speed had jumped from 1.5 Mbps download and less than 1 Mbps upload to 16 Mbps download and 15 MBPS upload!  Woo Hoo!!!  5 cents worth of construction paper, 5 cents worth of tin foil, and 20 minutes of time saved me $80!  If I hadn't done this myself, I wouldn't have believed it if someone else had told me they got these numbers doing the same thing.  Aint’ technology grand?

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Happy Re: It works! It really works!!

Post  fredvon4 on Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:24 pm

In days gone by, when I had older modems/routers on WiFi. G band I recall at 2.5Ghz. I used to have to build CanTennas and they worked well but very line of sight sensitive

Out here in the sticks... no matter my current state of the art network best I can ever get is 1 meg down and usually about 764 Kbps

Jealous Fred
speed test right now a lot of latency and only 356Kbs to me

Hughes Net Gen 5 over sold in my area and no new customers....not that I wanted that solution

We have a new start up Rural broadband but they are having problems getting the fiber to their central office....if they come on line, I may be able to connect at 5Mbps up and down (in my price range)

I am currently on a Rural broad band, but like Hughes, they are over sold, so the bussinesses get all the bandwidth and a lot of days I use my Verizon Samsung Galaxy 5 as my hot spot

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Happy Re: It works! It really works!!

Post  andrew on Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:26 pm

Arts and Crafts Mark --

I like that antenna mod -- nothing like a little ingenuity to ramp things up.

Just to poke you a little, ran a bandwidth test at the office the other day: 896 mbps down. I can waste time almost at the speed of light.

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Happy Re: It works! It really works!!

Post  batjac on Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:35 pm

Andrew, I wouldn't know what to do with that kind of speed. I have 18 connected devices in my home, and between myself, my wife, and my kid, there are often two to three computers streaming Netflix or Amazon Video, two more running various browsers or productivity programs, and one or two phones using the internet wireless. 35 Meg is sometimes necessary around here. But a Gig? Not in my future.

Funny thing, a couple of years ago, Google was looking for cities to try out their 1 Gig internet service. They were looking at 24 cities to hook it up to for free, so Portland tried to lure them here by passing legislation favorable to Google. To draw Google's 1 Gig service, the city council passed legislation temporarily banning any new provider from starting up service here unless they met one criteria. Only new providers with service over 1 Gig could open in the market. They didn't understand that Google was providing service up to 1 Gig, not guaranteed over 1 Gig. So they effectively shot themselves in the foot and guaranteed that Google wouldn't open service to Portland. The morons...

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Post  Admin on Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:29 pm

Our neighbors have a high power router that is best suited for office buildings and schools that slows down our WiFi whenever they are active on their networks. Right now there are 9 networks available, when they come on, it goes up to 20+. I don't remember what channel our router is on, I remember we played with it for awhile to find the least congested channel.

Right now using https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ our speed is:

194.4 Mbps-Download 11.8 Mbps-Upload St.Paul to Chicago

193.4-Download and 11.9-Upload St.Paul to Los Angeles

194.5-Download 11.8-Upload St.Paul to Amsterdam

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Happy Re: It works! It really works!!

Post  RknRusty on Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:42 pm

Good work, Mark.

Damn, now I feel bad. My TWC/Spectrum is 25 down and 2-3 up.
I want to boost it to my shop. It's 100 feet and through a brick exterior on the way to it. And my modem/router combo has no external antenna on it. I still get seamless Pandora and most video in the shop with it, so it's pretty strong already. Tomorrow I'll take a closer look at the box.

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Post  JPvelo on Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:26 pm

I'm curious about your pen collection.
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Post  pkrankow on Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:38 pm

You can improve or simplify optimization by looking up a parabola plot utility and printing out a plot that has the focus on it to make your mounting template. The focus is where the existing antenna goes through.

Neat idea. There are benefits to having a simple solution. In this case it is to focus the signal onto the antenna, AND to block out additional signals that are unwanted due to the location of origin.

I have built quite a few antennas over the years with a limited understanding of how they REALLY work (it is all just numbers to me) Building antennas is just following the directions, using the equations, and careful measurement to get superior results. I have a large J-pole in my great room made from 1/2 inch copper plumbing and I have a radio that has nearly every valid station with a clear station!

Phil
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Post  batjac on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:11 pm

Jim, that’s about a third or a quarter of my fountain pens.  I love fountain pens almost as much as I love Cox engines.  I have a roll top desk where I keep my pens awaiting restoration, or just awaiting their time in rotation.  The ones on the computer desk are just daily use or to look good in the stand.  Left to right:

A recent manufacture Pilot 78G.  A good daily writer that I converted to an eyedropper pen.  I bought a four-pack about three or four years ago, and kept one pen in my jacket with a notepad, one in my locker at work, gave one away, and the other just floated around the desk.  I have since replaced the 78Gs with Pilot Metropolitans as my carry and daily pens.

A restored Parker 51.  Hidden nib pens don’t do that much for me.  I like a nib that looks as good as it writes, and if the nib isn’t visible I just don’t get the same enjoyment writing with it.  But, it is a Parker 51.  This pen is the source of the saying, “I got some P-51 time in.”  What desk bound senior pilots would do is use the Parker 51, or P-51, to fill out some hours in their flight logs to stay current, with the saying “I got some P-51 time in my book this weekend.”  I actually knew an old pilot who used to do that back in the day.

The next two are restored Sheaffer Snorkel pens.  Not particularly outstanding writers, but from a mechanical perspective, I just have to love them.  I like being able to say I own two Sheaffer snorkels.

Then two restored Esterbrook J Series Double Jewel pens.  The black is okay, but the patterning on the brown pen is just gorgeous.   I don’t put them in rotation and ink them up, even though they’re a joy to use.  I just like to look at them…

Second from the right is a modern Cross I picked up to try, but didn’t like.  It wasn’t too expensive, but I wanted to try something that I could give to my wife to try and get her tempted to use fountain pens.  I need to take it out of the holder and replace it with a pen I do like.

Last is a Jinhao X450 I was playing with to see how much I like them.  They’re heavy and solid in the hand, and write well enough to give away to people who want to try their hand at fountain pens, but cheap enough that it’s okay to give away and not care whether the person follows through or not.  I just gave one to a co-worker in a nice maroon/gold pattern and she’s loving writing with it, and I gave one to a manager for her daughter to learn real writing with.  Schools don’t even teach cursive writing anymore, let alone using fountain (cartridge) pens.  These Jinhao X450s only come in a Medium nib, and I much prefer a Fine nib, but I don’t feel like spending $15 on a quality Fine replacement nib for a $10 pen.

The ink is Noodler’s Heart of Darkness.  It’s a very dark black, and is supposed to be waterproof.  I prefer black blacks, not dark-ish or grey-ish blacks.  And I think the person who invented blue-black ink should be hoss-whipped.  Haven’t gotten the Heart of Darkness wet yet to see how much it runs, but I like Noodler’s inks.

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Post  batjac on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:13 pm

Phil, I know I could optimize the antenna using an online program, but I'm just not that vested in it. It works as is, so I'll live with it. Too many other projects backing up

Or maybe...

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Post  pkrankow on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:34 am

batjac wrote:Phil,  I know I could optimize the antenna using an online program, but I'm just not that vested in it.  It works as is, so I'll live with it.  Too many other projects backing up

Or maybe...

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or if someone else wants to make one then they have another stepping stone to make it easy to get good results.

"If it ain't broke, why are you fixing it?" or "If it ain't broke DON'T fix it!"
"Keep it simple stupid" (or is it "keep it stupid simple" ? I suppose it can change depending on the audience.)

I have a couple modern fountain pens... still in their packages. I am not sure what I have but I WANTED to try and enjoy a fountain pen but my wife pointed out that I complain about the desired drag on my hand matching a Bic medium point ball point pen or a Scripto fine point ball point pen. She has no interest in pens that requires care and feeding.

Gel pens and pens that require a soft touch or have little to no drag have a result of my handwriting getting much much worse than it normally is. I am sure I could adjust with some practice and care but it turns out that I don't write with a pen even daily anymore.

Phil
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Post  roddie on Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:49 am

I've always admired fine penmanship. I also prefer "black ink". I thinks it stems from blue ink not photo-copying very legibly. Somewhere packed-away I have a calligraphy "starter-set".. but it's been decades since I've seen it. It's probably in a box with a few other things I haven't been able to find for years.. Rolling Eyes

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Post  fredvon4 on Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:20 pm

Rusty

RE---a Booster

I personally prefer LinkSys router access points as I have used them for years....briefly experimenting with D-Link and some others

They are not special it is Just I understand the Net Ops side of setting them up

My old laptop could see my "N" and "G" signals very well 168' away in my shop

My new Laptop was hardly able to see the signals.... so I got a "extender" also LinkSys... Fortunately I have a wood working shop  with power half way between the two sites

Plug n play and it works well

MY wife's shop at 123" from the main house WiFi was hopeless as it is an all metal building

150' of Cat5E through the tree tops and I had her hard wired to the Router..

Screw the OUTDOOR or Direct Bury cable prices... this (inside) cable has been in the trees 6 years now in Full on Texas brutal WX and every now and then I check to see if the covering is breaking down... no issues

The 150' cable Cat5E was $38
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Post  batjac on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:54 pm

pkrankow wrote:"If it ain't broke, why are you fixing it?" or "If it ain't broke DON'T fix it!"
"Keep it simple stupid"  (or is it "keep it stupid simple" ?  I suppose it can change depending on the audience.)

Gel pens and pens that require a soft touch or have little to no drag have a result of my handwriting getting much much worse than it normally is.  I am sure I could adjust with some practice and care but it turns out that I don't write with a pen even daily anymore.  

Phil

Or, as in my case, if it ain't broke, "Here, let me see that..."

Phil, as fountain pens have become mostly a hobby thing here in the States, it's up to you how much you want to play with them.  I find my writing improves when I use a low or zero drag writing instrument.  I have to slow down and it makes my cursive better when I actually think about what my hand is doing.

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Post  batjac on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:05 pm

roddie wrote:I've always admired fine penmanship. I also prefer "black ink". I thinks it stems from blue ink not photo-copying very legibly. Somewhere packed-away I have a calligraphy "starter-set".. but it's been decades since I've seen it. It's probably in a box with a few other things I haven't been able to find for years.. Rolling Eyes

I've tried calligraphy, but it's just not for me.  I just ended up using the smallest nib in the set for general writing, but I haven't inked it up in a long time.  I just like a nice fine nib to write notes or correspondence.  And a Japanese fine nib? Ohhhh....

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