Smart Home Networking

*Note. This post started out as a regular journal entry but then ended up a home networking post.

The time is 6:09 AM on Saturday December 21st, 2019. I always wake up early, usually around 3:30, 4:00 AM. When I do the decision has to be made if I should actually get out of bed or go back to sleep. In recent weeks I’ve been able to get out of bed easily and get a lot accomplished in the morning.

The early morning is my favorite time because it seems the whole world is at peace. There is only the sound of the wind and waves outside and inside everything is still and calm.

This time of year is also one of my favorites. It is when many of my customers shut down and so there is very little work to be done if at all. I have never felt the need to take PTO this time of year because there really isn’t much to do so why waste perfectly good PTO? The main part of my job is to engage with corporate customers and I certainly am not going to contact them when nobody wants to be contacted right now. Yesterday, I received approximately two e-mails and so I used the time to get a lot of chores done that needed doing.

I cleaned the fish tanks, fixed a gap where rainwater could come into the garage, took delivery of the new oven and set it up, set up the new Nest Protect alarm and organized old papers and files in my office.

I always think that the holidays are going to be a relaxing time where I could just sit in my office/shed, read, write, and reflect on life. However, I am always proved wrong and the time actually becomes busier than usual. In addition to the work holiday party there was a school concert, The Nutcracker which a family friend was in, karate holiday party, customers getting things in at the last minute, and plenty of unforeseen chores.

One item that was definitely unforeseen was the need for a new stove as I broke the old one. It was definitely a hard lesson for me and one I’m still a bit in disbelief about. I had wanted to repair one of the igniters that wasn’t functioning and opening up the top learned just how cheaply made insides of ovens can be. Looking inside I saw that I’d have to replace the entire ignition control which controlled all four igniters. There was simply no way to unplug the one igniter and by a new one as all igniters were attached to the control with some sort of hardened gel. Even though it looked to be an extremely cheap part, it was a specialty part only available from the manufacture so of course they would gouge on price. One of those would be $80 – $100.

But the igniter wasn’t the part I broke. Just by opening up the top of the stove, not one, but two of the gas lines that go from the regulator to the burner cracked. They are made of metal and I learned how brittle those things become and how easily cracks appear at the bend points. A cracked gas line is nothing to try and fix and so looking for a replacement things only got worse.

I had thought I could easily find a flexible gas line on Amazon but no. I had to study the oven diagram and found what I needed but then there was another problem. The picture of the part had two threaded ends where the lines I just pulled out of the stove had a threaded male ending and a nut on the other end. All sources of information were giving me the wrong part, even when I called the manufacturer directly. Those operators aren’t oven designers, they are just looking up parts the same way I am on the internet!

So now, even if I did find something on the internet it would be generic, cost a lot of money and most likely take three weeks to ship. If I called a repairman it would be the same scenario above but with the added $300 or so on top due to labor costs. It was then I knew a new stove was the only logical answer. But when I explained to my wife and she chatted with her friends it was just “husband tried to repair the stove and broke it.” Explaining that this really wasn’t my fault is pointless,,,, the husband tried to fix something and he broke it.

We now have a Samsung Flex Duo and I owe the credit card company an additional $2,600. We went with the more expensive model as it is the appliance we use most and the new functionalities such as a powerful 22K BTU burner, dual ovens and wifi connectivity are great.

I’d like to say something about the connectivity piece since home networking is still very new and can be very clunky. Home networking can be done by a monkey IF all of the devices are from the same manufacturer. However, Google does not make TVs, washing machines or stoves and Samsung isn’t Google, so this means connectivity isn’t going to be seamless. I’ve learned that even if Google supports a manufacturer’s products, all of the products do not integrate with Google Home. Not even all products by Google integrate with Google Home (Next Protect currently does not).

When we were looking at the ovens another model advertised that it worked with Google Assistant. However, it was the cheaper model and we wanted the more expensive Samsung. I have a Samsung phone and know their Smart Things will work with the stove but would the stove work with Google? As it turns out it currently does not. I have connected Smart Things to Google and Google Home can easily see our Samsung T.V. but it does not give you the option to integrate the stove even though upon linking up it tells me there are three devices (T.V., stove and my phone) that are available. Upon connection I can only see and control the T.V. from Google.

I guess that really isn’t a big deal as it could be a safety issue and Smart Things will give us the control and notifications we want. But while I’m griping another issue with Google Home is that even when they do support another manufacturer you often have to tell Google Assistant to “talk to manufacturer X.” Then a different voice from manufacturer X will come on and ask what you need. That is an extra step that makes simply pressing a button (the old fashion way) more convenient than a voice command.

One example of this as well as good one to illustrate frustration is the MyQ garage door app. I have a Craftsman which abandoned their own app for MyQ. In the forums there is a lot of frustration in actually getting it to work and I understand their pain. Older folks like to read manuals and if they follow the manual then they should be able to get something to work. Well, with apps, tech, updates and so on the manuals are only about 70% helpful and there are plenty of pitfalls. It took me about 3 hours to get MyQ working with my garage door because there was some sort of trick, or weird anomaly in the process. I’ve forgotten what I did but yes, it was really frustrating.

MyQ is in partnership with Amazon to allow the delivery person to put your package in your garage. The deliveryman will receive a one time code to open and shut the garage door. I’m trying this out today although we’ve never had a problem with package theft, it still caused me anxiety when I ordered expensive things and they were left on my porch when I wasn’t home. Now I can have the anxiety of a delivery person stealing things out of the garage, or going into my home or not shutting the garage door! Well, I’ll start locking the door from the garage to the house and perhaps that will help things a little.

Let me get back to the stove for a bit as there was another frustration. Since my old stove broke so easily I wanted to make sure I registered the stove with Samsung. However, they don’t provide any materials with the manual explaining where to go and what to do. OK, no problem, I’ll just go to their website. But the website told me my model number wasn’t correct even though it was. I learned that I had to go to a separate website entirely and the “Model Code” is not the same thing as the “Model Number.” Now I like computers and am determined to figure something out when I put my mind to it. But it took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to get my stove registered with Samsung so I would imagine that 90% of purchasers will not successfully register their appliance with Samsung. The process isn’t streamlined and they really should only have one website when registering a product and put a card with the instructions letting people know how to register!

One other unexpected chore was that I need a new flapper for our toilet. It seems when it rains it pours and when one thing breaks so will three more other things at the same time. Our toilets are not wifi connected (unfortunately) but we do have the high-tech Toto washlets! 🙂 Thank God it wasn’t the electronics that broke but the low-tech flapper. I ordered another from Amazon and it is this cheap flapper I’m using as the test run for the Amazon/MyQ garage delivery. Can you imagine if I ended up getting all the stuff in my garage (or home!) stolen because I had a flapper delivered in my garage?

The other thing that almost broke (again) and is much more scary is my main computer. It is about 10 years old now and there appears to be a loose connection somewhere inside. Sometimes the monitor won’t come on and sometimes Windows will freeze upon loading. If I open it up, blow out the dust and push on all the connections I can get it working again. One of these days, if I ever have any spare money it would be nice to replace that old desktop with a powerful laptop. I do not see any extra money for such an expense in my near future… but at least my wife is happy with the new stove!

OK, wife and son are up now and my peaceful morning time is over. Time to end this post.

*Note: I’ve seen some chatter from people older than I about how home networking is dangerous! They have the idea some nasty hacker is going to come to your house and using his high tech hacking tools will open your door and then proceed to steal all your stuff!!! Yea right. It is still much more effective just to bring a hammer and crowbar I’m afraid. If you’re worried about high-tech theft then better to worry about all the highly personal information we are giving Google. That should definitely keep you up at night much more than a hacker coming to steal your stuff!!! Better for the “hackers” to just scare you by saying they have video of you watching porn and to send them Bitcoin if you don’t want it released to everyone you know. Good thing I’ll be rich enough to buy them all off just as soon as my Nigerian prince deposits $10 million in my bank account!


Google Home

I’ve always enjoyed technology and have often been a first adopter before new tech really goes mainstream. As I’ve gotten older my enthusiasm for always learning new things has waned a bit. I think this is because I have so much more technology in my life and technology is improving and changing at such a rapid pace. There is always something new, something to update, a new way of doing things that you have to keep current on.

My most recent interest is slowly building my own “smart home.” I would say this is generally easy, even for a beginner but only if you have one or two devices and stay within the same ecosystem (Google, Apple, Amazon etc). It is when you mix/match, have multiple users and continually add that things can become a bit complex. I’m someone who can generally figure out the tech stuff and have had many triumphs over “professionals” when there is a tech problem. For Google Home, there were two issues that had me stumped which I just figured out today.

The first and most confusing was understanding the “Primary Account” in Google Home. There is nothing that signifies which account is the primary and seemingly no way to easily change it if it did visibly display. Reading the forums I learned that the very first account that sets up the Google Home is the primary. When I set up my Google Home I set up two users, my wife and I, and through trial and error I must have unknowingly made her primary. I did this by setting it up with my own account, adding her, then deleting myself and adding again through her as I thought this might fix an issue or something.

I was clued in about this whole Primary Account issue when I couldn’t get “continued conversation” to work. I had it selected on my Assistant but it didn’t work with my Home Hub or Mini. The reason is that my wife was the Primary Account holder. When I checked “Continued Conversation” in her Google Assistant settings I could see the Hub and Mini. To make myself the Primary I had to delete her out completely then re-add. This is a pain, something that is probably confusing many and Google should fix.

The second thing I learned was that you don’t need a different “Home” for different rooms. You create one Home then add rooms in it. The setup process was confusing enough for me to have one “Home” for the kitchen and another “Home” for the bedroom. Nope, one “Home” and all the rooms in it. I can’t believe I had it wrong for so long and again, if it confused me I can imagine this error is repeated a lot.

I am feeling accomplished now that I’ve got Google Home squared away and even ordered two more Minis since it is Cyber Monday and are on sale.

Now the next step is to work on some actual code so I can get my Doorbird video to display on the Google Hub when someone presses the doorbell. It is possible using Home Assistant which I have running on Raspberry Pi but I haven’t been able to get it to work yet. It would be much easier if Google would just integrate with Doorbird and I could thus find Doorbird in the Google Home settings. Oh well, that is a problem for another day.


Internet Culture

I wrote about finally overcoming that strange computer issue I was having in my last post and in continuing with the theme of computers I thought I’d finally get this post about the current state of internet culture from my very limited perspective.

I have to say my age is really going to show in this post so why don’t I just put it out there? I miss the days of AOL and chat rooms where regular people would just chat. They weren’t overrun by trolls, there was very little political discussion and it was exciting to be able to “chat” with someone in a topic room where everyone wanted to do just that,,, chat!

Reflecting on this nostalgia I did some research to see if these rooms still existed. It lead me back to the even older IRC and made me remember by wonderful ICQ. I installed a client on Firefox but learned that IRC is still just as boring as before. I can’t find any lively rooms and the one I did enter had one text of chat in three days.

My search next lead me to the Discord server. It seems that instead of open chat rooms, the internet is full of trolls and so everyone walls their discussions off and the public is not invited. I mean just take a look at the comment sections of anything now days and it is easy to see why people want to keep their groups private. In fact, DON’T look at the comment sections unless it is Reddit, or a major publication such as the NYT where the top comments can be actually pretty good.

So I joined a topic on Discord that I do enjoy which was Lord of the Rings. It seemed kind of interesting for a while until I learned that the moderator was a bit crazy, and like to go off on tangents, was depressed and then ended up deleting the whole thing. So much for Discord and I really haven’t found any other rooms that might be of interest.

So what was left? Reddit was left and that seems to be what internet chat rooms have evolved to. I do like Reddit but it can be a colossal wasted of time because it will draw you in. The comments are great and I don’t even read the articles but find myself going directly to comments. I even learn something! Well, one of the main things I learned is I really don’t like internet culture these days.

For example, there is now a group of guys called “incels” which stands for “involuntary celibate.” In short, they want to, errr,, “do it” with girls but are losers so end up complaining how awful women are. And they form a group to do this!!! When I was growing up we would just call them losers. If we were unlucky with women and unfortunate in our looks we didn’t form a group and cry about how we “deserved” a little action! For those that didn’t like being “incels” they then formed a splinter group called MGTOW or “Men Going Their Own Way.” It is the same thing as an incel but they just want to drop the “loser” portion of it all.

I’m baffled by this and no longer want to read about it. If they want to be losers, then go be losers, no need to form a group on the internet and whine about it.

But with Reddit, you can form a subreddit on any topic and the amount of topics are astounding. If you can think of it, there is probably a subreddit for it.

The second thing I don’t like about internet culture these days is how everything suddenly turns into politics and people argue with each other. What a waste of time? Everyone is walled into their own echo chamber and just repeat what they hear in these chambers over and over. The internet was supposed to be a wealth of knowledge where we would actually learn. But unfortunately the opposite has happened and people get together and reinforce what they already believe. Thus we have nonsense like anti-vaxxers and flat earth morons. The science that created the technology which runs the internet has inadvertently given rise to groups that are anti-science! How is that for ironic.

The third piece I don’t like about the internet these days is everything has to be “monetized.” This means the old pages that were just information now have popups, advertisements, click-bait and so on which will drive one crazy. Thank God Wikipedia is still a throwback to the old internet where knowledge is just put there and isn’t monetized.

So where do I find myself going on the internet these days? Well, Facebook is a major because I have friends from all over the world and if I were to delete my account I’d lose contact, in many cases forever, with a lot of friends. The second place, as I mentioned before is Reddit. I do learn something here although a good majority of it is junk. The third is my news source which is the BBC. I remember when Fox News was just a third place boring news channel back in 2002 and of course now it is one big Right Wing propaganda outfit. I quit watching CNN when they glorified the Iraq War with Christine Amanpour running through the trenches in her stilettos trying to make money off conflict and death. So I settled on the BBC because they seem to have so far not given in to becoming just another source of propaganda.

I forgot to mention the other social networks. Instagram is a big one but that is overrun by “influencers” who want to hawk products. YouTube is full of young kids making fools of themselves for likes: I’ve caught my son watching one or two channels where they act goofy, laugh every two seconds and basically just be a baffoon. There is also the “Ryan Toy Review” where the parents prostitute their kid and make him play with toys so they get a lot of likes and revenue. There was one episode where the parents were running around a store frantically throwing toys into their carts. By doing this and gaining millions of followers they are now multi-millionaires. They worship at the alter of commercialism and it all feels just so creepy that I cannot watch.

Finally, the one refuge I have on the internet are my blogs, they are my home and where I like to spend most of my time. The internet has become one big monetized mess and I long for the nascent internet when it was a place to meet people and learn things. It was not a place where I see boys putting on makeup, losers grouping up to whine and a big display of look at me! Gosh, some of the females I know post picture after picture of themselves day after day. I know what you look like due to the 4,948 other pictures you uploaded! Yes, I know you go to the gym and workout, you’ve let everyone and anyone know continuously for the past four years! The internet has become a place where everyone is demanding attention!

And thank God I didn’t date in the age of Tinder. Trying to find a partner by swiping left or right, based on a profile picture doesn’t set the stage for a healthy and stable relationship.

What a mess. Anyway, I’m done ranting and need to get to bed. It is past 8:30 which is 30 minutes past my bedtime. Hopefully I’ll dream of “You’ve Got Mail,” and the pretty ICQ flower turning green.

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Oculus VR, Experiences, Mindsets and Gratefulness

It is 5:45 AM on December 27th, 2018.  I woke up at 3:00 AM and so just decided to get up.

I’ve been playing with my Oculus Go that I gifted myself for Christmas and it is fabulous.  It is the same as my Samsung Gear VR but that used my Samsung S6 and always had to cool down after only 10 minutes of use.  So it is wonderful to actually be able to dive deep into the universe of VR and spent about two hours in it this morning.

The first thing I did was dive right back into my Meditation VR.  I chose a guided meditation focusing on Gratefulness.  I was floating above a rippling ocean next to a beach and was reminded to be grateful for not just the opportunities I have but to be a part of this beautiful universe.  I really needed a good guided meditation because my mind has been in overdrive recently and needed to slow down.

The next meditation I was in the Borealis Basin overlooking a frozen lake surrounded by pine trees covered in snow.  I chose Zen for the guide as it is my favorite:  I needed to remember just to be, to just be present.  It reminded me that my awareness is like a clear blue sky that has always been there and the clouds like thoughts which come passing through.  Our minds are always rushing on to the next thing, and it is this mindset that can set the pace for life.  Instead, it is better to slow down, be present in the moment, to take time to just be aware of your existence, your surroundings and your own consciousness.  Your mind is what determines what your reality will be and shapes the environment not only from a perspective standpoint but also physically depending on the choices that the mind selects.

And so after I had stopped just to exist for a while whilst floating over a frozen terrain I thought I should teleport around the world a bit.

Using VR made me think that perhaps this is what a mind would be able to do when freed from the body.  Call it a spirit, another dimension, the afterlife, Heaven, or whatever provided our consciousness is eternal, I imagined it would be able to do what I was doing in VR.  That is to say it could reflect on itself as I was doing in meditation but also just be wherever it decided to be.

And so, I opened up my new app Wander which is exactly what VISIO Places used to be.  VISIO Places is no longer supported by Oculus and for a moment there I was really bummed until I found Wander.  What it is is Google Maps and Street view put together so it is easily navigable but in a virtual reality environment.

I opened up my map and the first thing I did was open up collections and found I could visit a few real haunted houses in America.  So I stood outside these houses and read what had occurred there.  It was a bit surreal to just be right there as though I was actually standing in front of those places.

Next I saw a collection for Nigeria and having never been to the country myself took a look.  As could be expected it is very third world and I immediately felt a little sympathy for all those scammers which Nigeria has a reputation for.  If I had been born in that country and scamming was my only source of possible income then that is what I would do.  It is easy to hold the moral high ground when you actually have a high ground in terms of money.  That is to say, it is easy to look down on people when from an advantageous position isn’t it?

Then, it was time to go back to my past and that of course meant Toledo, Spain.  I came right up to the front door of La Fundación José Ortega y Gasset.  I couldn’t believe that Google Street View went right up to the front door!  As I hovered there as a VR spirit so many memories came flooding back to me.  I remembered the smell of the lobby, the feeling of stepping into the school.  I remembered how I’d greet people and how a normal day of class and study would unfold.  Without VR allowing me to actually stand in front of that entrance way a lot of these memories would not and maybe never have resurfaced.  Yes, I remember the good times but the ordinary, mundane memories which really give a colorful backdrop to those golden nuggets are what really make up the experience.  For a metaphor to really describe what I’m getting at lets use a boat on the ocean.  Yes, the highlights might be spotting a shark, or an island, or whale but it is the wind in your face, the smell of the sea, the rocking of the boat and the sun on your face which really make the experience. I easily remember going out with some girls, partying with friends, overlooking the city on a warm summer night and visiting the cathedral but it was the actual study as well as just being in an entirely new environment which really defines my experience there.

After I had spent time simply remembering in front of the school entrance I had to trace my usual route from the school through the side streets to La Plaza Zocodover.  This also brought back a lot of memories such as the smell of fish in La Calle de Pescado, the desire for “American food” which was satiated by McDonalds (unfortunately) and getting completely lost in that labyrinth of a city from time to time.

I tried to find my homestay residence and although I’ve found it previously (with the help of the address) I couldn’t do so just using a map.  Instead I found Hotel Beatriz and for some reason this name sticks out in my mind.  I think it might be where my parents and sister stayed when they came to visit.  I’ll have to do some research into my personal archive as well as just ask my parents to see if that is the one.  I’m pretty sure it is and so VR helps me again to remember my past.

I really enjoy and would consider it a hobby of mine to dig into my past and remember as much as I can everything about it.  It helps that I have a ‘treasure chest’ of memories that I’ve added to my entire life, saving the important stuff and can pull from.  I also use this very blog to remember as I have kept a journal since we got our first computer when I was in the 7th or 8th grade.

One final thought before I go.  I feel as though I’m one of the very few people who can actually remember the past as it actually was.  I have this journal and my ‘treasure chest’ to aid me and these are invaluable to help me remember not just the nuggets, individual events, experiences and whatnot, but the entire backdrop as well.  For a brief moment I can slip into the mindset at that time, not just my current mindset pulling a memory like a book from the shelf.  Instead my mindset morphs just for a moment to how it was at that particular time.  This is not easy to do and occurs only in flickers, but with the help of the stimulation that virtual reality provides, I can hold those flickers longer.

Now, using this ability to remember how things actually were I am then able to more full realize what an amazing time we live in today!  Now, lets imagine me telling the following things to the 1988 version of me versus anyone here in San Francisco today:

  1. We have video on our telephones!
  2. I can play video games on a huge TV with real life graphics and with anyone around the world!
  3. I can join a virtual world just like they do in The Lawnmower Man!
  4. We have all of human knowledge available in a handheld device!

Now look around and see how many of these things inspire awe in anyone today.  In fact, these innovations might get nothing more than a shrug from most in 2018 where anyone in the 1980s would be astounded.  This is where meditation and just being grateful as well as appreciating my very existence comes into play and the physical world takes on much less importance.  It doesn’t matter how much progress we make, or the incredible feats we accomplish if we do not have the right mindset.  I’m afraid that all this technology, data and information is too much too soon for our minds which have taken millennia to evolve.

Perhaps our minds were more serene when we had rotary dial telephones and no answering machine.  That was when we didn’t need to “be on” all the time.  I think that would be much more peaceful than having a cell phone which every service and application in the world is trying to get your attention.

To really drive home my point, imagine telling someone in 1980 that they could have their name physically on Mars.  I bet the entire nation would sign up.  Yet having this same opportunity in 2015 only nets NASA a few hundred thousand takers.

Amazing isn’t it?  All of reality is determined by our mindset.  There could be a time when we are all able to fly, have just had a picnic in some very remote wilderness that humankind had never touched, then fly on up to our floating city and the same type of people who don’t appreciate the opportunities we have now wouldn’t appreciate opportunities in the future either.

I will appreciate the experiences I have today, have had in the past and will have in the future.


The Saga of the Netgear Powerline Adapters

I like computers, technology, the internet, databases, gaming and so and and so on, I always have.  I had always told myself that once I had my own home I’d want my own server and it happened in 2010.  So while I was playing with my server (Synology) I learned about Surveillance Station which could be your in-house security system!  So, I needed an IP camera and got my first one from Foscam.

Well, here 8 years later the power cord on that one died and the replacement, which was supposed to be 100% compatible, turned out to only be 90% compatible in the fact that it did supply power, but the camera didn’t feel like returning an image.  With tech, 90% isn’t good enough.  So I let the matter lie for a while until the week of Black Friday.  I noticed that Amazon was having “flash sales” everyday where the discounts would last only for a few hours on particular items.  I saw a sale on an Amcrest camera and after ensuring it was compatible with Synology snatched it up.

It is a wonderful camera, not only being so much clearer and in HD, but also records and can project audio!  Wow!

Now, I had this new camera installed for our Thanksgiving party and as I was tinkering with the recording settings decided to take a look at our Thanksgiving party.  I then thought it might be a good idea to save the recording just for a fun look back many years from now.  Here is the actual Thanksgiving in its entirety and not just a few pictures!

Now, with Christmas coming up I like to record those as well and even have a few from when I was growing up that are absolute treasures to me.  So why not just buy another IP camera and let it do the work.  The quality is good, it isn’t intrusive and can have an excellent angle and vantage from the ceiling!

So I bought another Amcrest camera and this is where the networking issue arose.  I hate networking issues and I very much dislike the simple solution that 90% of people use, with wireless, for IoT (Internet of Things).  Wireless connections can be dropped when using the microwave, the response time is bad for live views (cameras) and it can sometimes change the internal IP address which messes up the surveillance software.

So, finally getting to the point of this post, I use Netgear Powerline adapters which make use of the home electrical system to deliver a LAN connection.

Now, I had three of these connections in my house and they all worked fine.  But yesterday I made a discovery in that I was doing it all wrong!  You don’t need a pair for every connection, you only need one adapter for “the tap” or that is wired to the modem.  I had a 1:1 connection for everything!  In other words it is not different pairs talking to each other but more like a teacher (the one connected to the modem/router) and her students where information flows back and forth!  How did I have it wrong for over 8 years!

Anywho, now the networking part.  I had a new Powerline adapter with 1000 mbps but when I plugged it in it brought the whole network down!  So needless to say I just stopped using it and found other solutions.

However, I needed a wired connection for the new IP camera I bought in order to record Christmas which we do in the front room, not the living room.  So I thought I’d give the PL1000 another go, especially after learning that only one adapter needed to be connected to the modem/router.  I unplugged all of them and started slowly making sure the encryption keys were synced.  I started with the PL1000 at the TV since that demands the highest amount of megabytes per second.  It worked.

I then connected the 500 mbps adapters and they joined the conversation, or so their LED lights said!  Now I was getting excited.

Well, the excitement quickly died when not only did my TV say it wasn’t connected anymore even though the LED of the PL1000 said it was (at slower speeds/red) but my computer didn’t want to connect either!  I plugged, unplugged, pressed the adapter security buttons, didn’t press the security buttons, hit factory reset on the adapters and so on.  I even downloaded the Netgear Powerline software (which belongs in the early 2000s) and the Network Genie in the hopes it could just fix things! (*side note, diagnostic anything has never ever worked for me when it comes to computers/internet.  Just get rid of that diagnostic waste of space). I just couldn’t get it to work and it was so frustrating!

In the end I concluded that the IoT in my household just doesn’t like the PL1000.  It is perhaps like a bully and although hopes can be raised that it is cooperating, it eventually just ruins everything.  So, time to give those adapters away and never think of them again.

Once I made that decision things became much easier except for the damned DoorBird camera.  That one has a weak connection due to my request that we also attach a chime that makes a noise when the doorbell is pressed (seems logical for a doorbell/camera).  The electrician – Dave over at Wire Works – helped me out but in making this contraption work had to finagle some of the wiring, cutting and reconnecting the LAN wire.  For some reason a weak connection remains even after messing with it so much, that eventually it works and you just don’t touch it.  That took time because I wasn’t sure if the Netgear adapters just weren’t talking to each other, which I thought was the case, but it ended up being that I just “touched it” when I shouldn’t have and then had to pinch, press and poke until it worked again.

So why was it all so difficult?  Well, I wanted to use the newest PL1000 adapters since that is 1000 mbps!  But my adapters although all being Netgear are from different generations.  I have an 84 mbps pair, a 200 mbps pair, a 500 mbps pair and the new 1000 mbps pair.

It reminds me of different generations in humans in that how they communicate can be very different.  The 84 mbps adapter won’t talk to anyone except for those of his generation.  The 200 mbps and 500 mbps are middle-agers and get along just fine.  The PL 1000 is the new kid on the block and talks so fast nobody understands what the hell he is saying but the 500 mbps adapter will try and keep that line of communication open which forces the PL 1000 to slow down and talk at his speed.  That is to say if you connect the PL1000 and 500 mbps Powerline adapters the PL1000 will then run at 500 mbps displayed by the red LED which on their own are green.

Anyway, I imagine this post will be extremely uninteresting to most people, but quite entertaining and enlightening to those trying to get these LAN Powerline adapters to work!