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Dome computer connections

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#26 santafe retiree

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 05:29 PM

No worries -- happy to help -- glad you are sticking with it - hopefully solvable and you are gaining a new set of skills wink.gif


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#27 tjensen

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 08:34 PM

No worries -- happy to help -- glad you are sticking with it - hopefully solvable and you are gaining a new set of skills wink.gif

I see you are an optimist!

 

OK... hooked the laptop up and noticed that the cable was a bit finicky making the connection. I ran a ping from the laptop to the desktop and it went no problem, but I couldn't ping from the desktop to the laptop. Does that make any kind of sense?

 

I am beginning to suspect the cable at this point. Do you know of a good, reputable cable source (just in case)? I'll still try to get my hands on a short one to test before replacing the old one.



#28 NearVision

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 09:28 PM

I agree with Santafe retiree, glad to help! It feels good to debug a real problem again!

He's given you some good advice and insights. For good cables there are a lot of decent cable companies and some not so good. I tend to stay with old-school stuff and companies that have been around a while and have consistent good reviews. I've had good results with cables from Monoprice, Cable Matters, Mediabridge, and even Amazon Basics among others. The only caution with Amazon Basics is their cables are geared towards private/home use and not commercial grade so they may not be as rugged and last as long. That being said, if you do end up replacing the buried cable and put in PVC, you've automatically saved on wear and tear on the cable and don't need the more expensive direct-burial cable. I would recommend going with shielded cable either way just to cut down on possible interference and disruption from nearby lightening/electric power wires. It won't help much if you get a direct lightening hit but it will help the general noise pickup of a long cable. For gigabit cables you need at least a CAT5e or CAT6 type of cable but if you find a faster cable for similar pricing or only a slight premium it's worth it for 'future-proofing'. smile.gif Also, stay far away from any cable that has aluminum and isn't pure copper. Even copper clad aluminum (CCA). The aluminum is much cheaper but starts corroding after a few years and will fail much quicker than copper. The price difference isn't worth it!

Something else to consider is a small 4-5 port switch in the observatory. This gives you extra ports if you want to bring another computer out to check things and leaves the cable running to the house alone. Most cables go bad because of breakage from plugging and unplugging the end. Replacing a 5' cable in the obs. is much easier than pulling a new 50'+ cable from the house. You can get a decent 4-5 port switch for $15-20.

 

With the ping test dropping packets it looks like a bad connection somewhere. It might be a cable it might also be the NIC (network card in the PC). With any type of connector you can get corrosion or dirt buildup on the contacts even if it's  plugged in. Some times they will 'clean' themselves if you plug/unplug the cable several times. Each time it's plugged in it wipes the contacts and depending on the amount of dirt/gunk they can do a limited self-cleaning.

 

Once you get a solid connection between the computers with no dropped packets in a ping and good transfer rates when moving data the next step is to add parts of the network (switch, other PCs) back in the setup 1 at a time to test and make sure nothing else is bad. There are times a little paranoia doesn't hurt! You should be good when the 2 PCs are connected through the switch and router, and have good data transfer rates. Any other things connected to the network should not affect those unless there is something seriously wrong.

 

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!


Edited by NearVision, 29 June 2020 - 09:29 PM.

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#29 santafe retiree

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 11:21 PM

I see you are an optimist!

 

OK... hooked the laptop up and noticed that the cable was a bit finicky making the connection. I ran a ping from the laptop to the desktop and it went no problem, but I couldn't ping from the desktop to the laptop. Does that make any kind of sense?

 

I am beginning to suspect the cable at this point. Do you know of a good, reputable cable source (just in case)? I'll still try to get my hands on a short one to test before replacing the old one.

The ping should either work or it doesn't -- it should not be directional -- I suspect that jiggling the cable when the ping fails will most likely get you a response thereby indicating either a bad NIC or a bad cable end

 

Temporarily subbing out a short cable sounds like a plan!

 

+1 on Cable Matters and Monoprice

 

+1 on a cheap unmanaged gigabit switch out at the obsy

 

+1 on  the PVC pipe with a pull string

 

Progress my friend, progress!

 

Cheers,

 

Tom


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#30 tjensen

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Posted Yesterday, 10:34 AM

OK, brought the computer in from the observatory. Hooked it up to the switch with the router disconnected and got the same results... transferring a 7.42 Gb file took 13 min and iperf is returning ~90Mbits/s

 

So I'm not sure where the bottleneck is (or if there even is one.... this might be full bore for all I know), but it looks like I'll have to live with it.

 

Thanks for all the help!!!



#31 santafe retiree

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Posted Yesterday, 11:41 AM

OK, brought the computer in from the observatory. Hooked it up to the switch with the router disconnected and got the same results... transferring a 7.42 Gb file took 13 min and iperf is returning ~90Mbits/s

 

So I'm not sure where the bottleneck is (or if there even is one.... this might be full bore for all I know), but it looks like I'll have to live with it.

 

Thanks for all the help!!!

Sounds like the NIC in the obsy computer is either a 100Mbps card not a 1 Gbps card --  or the NIC is not properly negotiating a 1Gbps connection --


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#32 tjensen

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Posted Yesterday, 11:57 AM

Sounds like the NIC in the obsy computer is either a 100Mbps card not a 1 Gbps card --  or the NIC is not properly negotiating a 1Gbps connection --

Could be. It's a cheapo HP from Walmart. I'll have to upgrade someday.

 

I decided to map the save to drive directly to the office computer and that seems to have cut the transfer time in half (not sure why). However, when I tested the path using the camera capture software, it reports the free disk size as zero. Sigh.... it's always something. It worked fine with FireCapture, just not with the ASICap software.




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