BT Infinity and 3rd Party Routers

BT Infinity and 3rd Party Routers

Introduction This article will cover my upgrade to BT’s Infinity service and also provide a guide to setting up a third party router with BT’s DSL and Fibre services. This article includes information on how to configure a DD-WRT router to work with Infinity’s IPTV channels. You can skip directly to the 3rd Party Router guide. BT Infinity Is Here! After enduring a painful waiting of “will they, won’t they?” BT has rolled through our little City of Wells and completed their Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) installation. We can now happily depart the dark age and enjoy Internet speeds of above 17 Mbps. In reality I was making do with 14.5 Mbps download and 0.9 Mbps upload. I opted for the BT Infinity 2 package that offers up to 80Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. It only costs £5 more than the basic 36Mbps package. A Little History The basics of any Internet connection involve a modem and a router. BT’s most recent policy favour self installations using their HomeHub 5. This unit includes: ADSL and VDSL modem 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports Works out the box Proprietary BT firmware (not so fun) In theory this sounds like a pretty sweet piece of hardware that BT provides for free to their subscribers. In practice my personal experiences with previous HomeHubs have been a little different. Without turning this into a rant my previous issues were centered around the limited firmware, poor routing capacity, and poor Wi-Fi. The 5 GHz wireless band would only work if you were in the same room, too many connections...
Macbook Pro Dual Hard Drive Conversion

Macbook Pro Dual Hard Drive Conversion

Introduction In this post I discuss adding a second hard drive to a 13″ Macbook Pro by swapping the optical drive with an HD caddy. This has to be one of my favourite laptop modifications because of how it makes up for what has become a pretty limited set of ports on Macbooks. Thunderbolt is great if you have the hardware, hubs, and money to invest. The Retina Macbook Pros only compounded the problem further by eliminating the Firewire and Gigabit Ethernet ports. Being offered a Thunderbolt to Firewire/Ethernet converter for $30 is a slap in the face considering you are sidelining Thunderbolt’s daisy chaining feature. Thunderbolt hubs are the most natural extension for the Thunderbolt standard and also come in at an additional premium. Spending $200-300 for a hub on top of what was probably a $2000+ laptop purchase in order to gain back ports that were until recently standard can ruffle a few feathers. As you can probably guess I wish that Apple had upgraded its Macbook Pro line along a different path. I like computers that can be taken apart, upgraded, and fixed. The new configuration will use a 240Gb Intel 530 SSD as the boot drive and will recycle the 500Gb Toshiba 5400 RPM drive as the secondary storage disk. In addition I will also change the now two year old stock thermal paste with Arctic Silver. Needless to say that the computer will receive a good cleaning and good old TLC. Hardware Installation Having already done several conversions on other computers the task at hand was pretty straightforward. As usual I refer to the...
Shrouded Album Completion

Shrouded Album Completion

Recording The album was originally recorded between January and April 2013 at Energy Plant in Chico, California. This was Scott’s first outing at a recording studio. I should probably mention that Scott is blind and lost his sight early in life. The only real challenge that this brought was in keeping his position in front of the microphones consistent between takes. The initial scope of the project was to record and mix the songs in their current state so that Scott had a product to preserve, promote, and sell his music. There were moments where songs were rewritten and rerecorded since it was the first time that Scott had been able to critique his work. Mixing and Production I started the principal mixing not too long after we had passed the halfway mark and quickly found it hard to resist adding production elements to some of the songs. The first song that I did this with was “Blank Brick Wall” where I added string elements that added to the tone and theme of the songs. From there on I started recording bass guitar for some of the others songs. In July 2013 I moved to the UK in order to apply for my US work visa, a process that placed a significant dampener on this project’s progress. Work resumed in early 2014 after I had settled in and acquired new equipment and mixing setup. Prior to that I had a chance to try out a couple of ideas that I approached Scott with. The most prominent example is the additional production on “Listen”. The middle of the Summer saw...
Home Network Upgrades

Home Network Upgrades

The How and Why? Simple. The wireless signal that the Home Hub 4 was transmitting was so pitiful that by nighttime you could barely connect to a website. The included 5 GHz band was only accessible if you are in the same room, therefore useless. The integrated modem and router design only adds insult to injury when you the unit lacks a bridge mode that would allow it to function only as a modem. Fix it, Fix it, Fix it! I try to look for the bright side in these situations. In this case it means news toys! This also presented an opportunity to branch out and research my options with regards to using Open Source router firmware. I already had some experience with dd-WRT since Energy Plant’s router already uses a Buffalo skinned version. All I had to do was to find a router and modem that were both capable and not complete ripoffs. Having used TP-Link in a recent network installation I researched what routers would be dd-WRT compatible and if they would indeed be stable. The router I chose is the TP-Link TL-WDR3600 and runs a stable dd-WRT build – v24-sp2 (03/25/13) std. The modem I chose was the D-Link DSL-320B ADSL2+ Modem because of its clear support for bridged mode operation and BT’s network. Infrastructure Up to this point the living room was set up with a 10 meter phone line extension cable running along the wall from the main socket. My first order of business was to remove this cable, replace it with plastic conduit, and run new CAT6 cable. I did run the...