Cool and clear, again, and still. Nice in other words. This is winter in Houston. Some rain coming though, just not sure when. Long range forecast has us clear through Thursday or Friday at least.
Spent yesterday doing errands and work. Did my kid chauffeuring in the morning and afternoon. Got to my client’s and swapped some gear. The switch I picked doesn’t seem to work in the application. The goal is to get internet and internal net to the remote driveway gate. I used a pair of ubiquiti AC5’s in “cable replacement mode” for the wireless link between the house and the gate, but I need to provide PoE for the AC5 and I need a small rugged switch there to connect the AC5 and the gate company’s hardware, and provide a future upgrade port for a camera, also PoE. I was using a NanoSwitch, which is 4 ports of PoE passthru. The one I was using had a dead port from a lightning strike so I wanted to replace it.
Enter the Flex mini… a 5 port switch, powered by PoE and providing 4 ports of PoE… Seems perfect, and it is smaller and cheaper than the Nano, and part of the unified management system. (ubiquiti has two main management systems, UISP and UniFi, no idea why, but most of the deployed gear at this site is UniFi and it is automagic… and simplifies deployment and management – when it works.) So the Flex looks like a good fit. Except it isn’t. UniFi gear has to be “adopted” by the management console (another piece of gear running EdgeOS and uses a browser as a GUI) before it’s anything but a lump. In other words, the AC5 provides the connection back to the network, but the switch isn’t a switch until AFTER it sees and joins the network…
When I figured that out, I took the switch inside, connected it to the network, adopted it, made sure it was configured to have PoE on every port, took it back out to the gate, hooked it all up and >>>>> Nothing. AC5 still not powered. The f-ing switch is too dumb (by being too smart) to turn on the PoE and enabling the gear that provides its network backhaul. So I add a PoE injector to power the AC5, and connect it to the switch, and NOW everything is fine. But it feels kludge-y and the additional injector is another point of failure in the enclosure, and it’s an example of someone being too clever by half.
At some point, I’ll go back to a new NanoSwitch, even if I can’t manage it with the same tool. It’s a cleaner solution. It occurs to me that I might not have the issues if I actually was trained on the gear choices but as my career winds down, that is less and less likely.
Someone asked yesterday about extending their wifi a little bit, and this is clearly overkill for that. I am happy with a netgear wifi extender at home. It plugs into a wall outlet for power, and it works to extend my wifi into the back bedroom with a good signal. It needs to be rebooted every couple of months, but other than that, once configured it just keeps working. It also has an ethernet port to provide a wired connection to the wifi for older hardware. Using APs with mesh linking and backhaul is another more involved option.
Today I’ll do a couple of auction pickups and some shopping for us and for my party duties. With collecting the kids from school, that will eat my day.
Btw, anyone else have an ulcer/cold sore/fever blister/painful crack on their lip that is unusual for them, along with cold or flu symptoms? My client’s wife has the same symptoms I’ve been having this week, right down to the sore lip. IDK if this is related, something new going around, or just coincidence, so I’m asking the group.
Take this time as the gift it is, and keep preparing. Stacking is preparing…and it’s easy.