Archive for the ‘internet’ Category

FTTH Parts List

Friday, December 29th, 2017

So you want to build yourself some FTTH?

Many people seem to be working on this and have requested some required equipment and parts to be posted/shared

Here’s a quick list of items you will need:

Fusion Splicer – Cost around $1200
Jonard Fiber Optic Strippers (These are better than the ones that come in the Signal Fire Fusion Splicer kit – Cost around $21
Scisors for Cutting the Kevlar in patch cords – $12
Kimtech Wipes to clean and prepare fiber – $6 or so
Light Meter to check your fiber – $30
Visual Fault Locator & FC-LC Connector – $29
Pigtails for your fiber – $1 per connector
Splice Enclosures – Varying types

Drop Cable – varying types
Graybar – Single strand tone capable drop cable
Baltic Networks – 2 strand cable

If you are doing underground work, you want something like the RD4000 locate wand and transmitter. These can be had on eBay for varying prices used.

You also will want to get something like the FlexScan FS200 OTDR so you can find cable faults.

Few other pro-tips:
You can also cut patch cords, these can be cheaper per connector than pigtails.

Raspberry PI2 and both i2c busses

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

I’m working on a project that uses devices that have overlapping i2c addresses. In more recent raspberry pi instances they changed how this works and there is quite a bit of confusion on forums about how to do this. Here’s your 2015 update for using NOOBS as a starting point:

Add these two lines to /boot/config.txt:

echo dtparam=i2c_arm=on >> /boot/config.txt
echo dtparam=i2c_vc=on >> /boot/config.txt

append bcm2708.vc_i2c_override=1 to /boot/cmdline.txt

WIth this, you can use both i2c, pins 3,5 and 27,28. Keep in mind you may need a pull-up for pins 27,28 and your i2c setup, where 3,5 have them on-board.

root@raspberrypi:/home/pi# i2cdetect -l
i2c-0    i2c           3f205000.i2c                        I2C adapter
i2c-1    i2c           3f804000.i2c                        I2C adapter

root@raspberrypi:/home/pi# ls -ld /dev/i2c*
crw-rw—T 1 root i2c 89, 0 May 27 01:08 /dev/i2c-0
crw-rw—T 1 root i2c 89, 1 May 27 01:08 /dev/i2c-1

Dynamic DNS and what it has to do with IPv6 and the NO-IP outage

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

For many years there have been a number of Dynamic DNS providers offering various paid and free services to the community. Some companies like DynamicDNS have parlayed these into a larger commercial offerings of DNS services (now they are called Dyn) .

Why do end-users need dynamic DNS services? The key reason has been the fact that IP addresses changed often enough one would not want to manually manage DNS settings as they could take 24 hours or more to update.

Since the late 1990s there have been many changes under the hood with the internet and its protocols including DNS. The ability for DNS Notifies to be sent so all the DNS servers are in sync. The reliability of the networks involved has skyrocketed to be utilitarian in function. (My home network stays up even if the power is out, all the way to the public internet).

Marketers have taken advantage of this, with internet connected devices from video cameras to phones and even telepresence robots. You can use your internet connected security system or nanny cameras to check on the welfare of aging family members.

These devices either need to phone-home to a central service or provide you a way to interact with them directly over the internet. Here’s where DDNS providers come into play, many of them are embedded into device firmware. Why is this necessary? Partly due to the changing IPs that may happen as part of your internet service. Many people don’t want to pay for a fixed IP address so instead use free services.

Much of this is rooted in the slowly growing “IPv4 run-out”, but there’s a related issue which is the lack of IPv6 support. This is a broad and complex issue since there are many moving parts. There is no clear demand for IPv6 as the existing internet “works just fine”, so why should investments be made? The IPv4 internet is not going away any time soon and many devices are not yet IPv6 ready.

While at my home I have business class service and static IPs, there are many people where that is not feasible to obtain. With the situation still unfolding, the most interesting stories for me are how people use security camera systems to check on elderly and mentally ill family members. I still view the internet as a bit more unreliable than others, this is a use case I had not thought about. If these homes had proper IPv6 services, it would perhaps mitigate the need for both the DDNS provider being involved and the subsequent abuse and outage of these services regardless of the cause.

It also reminds me having a proper backup plan is critical. Internet operators make efforts to provide a stable and reliable service, when it fails what is your plan B? While an uncomfortable question, when technology fails you from your phone, GPS or internet mapping service is the impact minor or major?

Here’s hoping that IPv6 will properly flourish to reduce the general public dependency upon DDNS providers and managing ones home full of IP connected devices.

Updates on Fiber Projects, Regulation etc

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

It’s been a year since I started my research into building fiber to my home to solve the problem of no willing providers (eg: Comcast, ATT) in my area.

I thought I’d provide some updates.

I no longer have a T1 at home, it has been replaced with a wireless link using the Ubiquiti Nanobridge M5. This allows me to bridge the 3 mile gap (shorter in another direction, but no line-of-sight that way) to pick up another connection. Cost savings: about $200/mo. Speed increase, roughly 10x. The link actually gets ~60Mb/s but the wired part of the network isn’t fast enough to allow those data rates.

I submitted data to the Google RFI, but don’t believe any project in Michigan will be successful. Despite high-ranking U of Michigan alums at Google, I suspect the state laws and climate will not be favorable to such a project.

A lot is being made these days about Comcast and their network management practices.  Constraining how much internet access they buy is a legitimate business action they can take.  I can defend their choice to make that decision.  The problem I have is the monopoly (or duo in some areas) for local internet access.  Some people may have little or no choice what access they receive.  Alternatives such as Cellular aren’t real alternatives with individual software updates around 1GB in size.

If you have a spare $1 to $50 million to spare, I would be interested in pitching the idea of a large fiber project to you. I think there’s benefit as well to provide infrastructure for smartgrid and other communications in parallel with a countywide wired network. If you tie in meter reading (electric, water, gas) there could be significant savings and value.  I do wish that the utility companies (eg: DTE, Consumers, etc) would leverage their existing RoW for placing fiber to deliver further competition to supplement their electric and natural gas business.  I think this combined with changing state laws is the only method that will be viable in the future.

Local schools and counties have unused fiber assets, but are unwilling to make them available as they were paid for out of school budgets.  I do wish they would reconsider to provide additional school funding, but also to make those routes available for less.

I doubt logic will prevail here, but there is hope.  If the current incumbents stumble in a major way, change will become necessary and possible.

Some networks unable to keep up

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

It’s no shock that some networking companies are having trouble keeping up with traffic growth and customer demand. It appears the current FCC broadband plan (should hit the US Congress in about 2 weeks) has a mandate to deliver services capable of 100mb/s to each home in the USA. I think this is a reasonable thing, and can be done for cheaper than most companies have determined in the past. The Active Ethernet and PON service offerings provide the ability to dump the old copper/POTS networks and attain these speeds for the same or nominal increase in costs.

What strikes me as most interesting is there are a few different responses to these trial balloons.

1) Comcast – We can do it, DOCSIS3 can bring the speed.
2) Verizon – We can do it, our GPON (FiOS) offering can deliver these speeds either with same hardware or through simple upgrades
3) AT&T – We can do it, but it’s gonna cost us. (AT&T has been a major player in breathing life into their copper plant with their U-VERSE offering/FTTN strategy). This would require a PON or similar architecture to be delivered to subscribers.
4) Qwest – (And I quote) – “A 100 meg is just a dream,” Qwest Communications International Inc Chief Executive Edward Mueller told Reuters. “We couldn’t afford it.”

The differences in network strategies are apparent. Verizon has been pushing their fiber build plans to capture subscribers, and has one of the highest levels of customer-satisfaction. I have believed in a FTTH strategy for many years, and if the FCC mandates 100Mb/s services either directly or through congressional action, we will see significant investment before long.

There currently exist a few classes of service today, I want to briefly touch on them in regard to the above….

Dial-Up – Max Speed – 56Kb/s (very narrow band, depends on line quality)

Basic Broadband – Max speed 5Mb down, 384k upload (useful for moderate local internet access; DSL based)

Broadband – Max speed 20Mb/s, 1Mb/s upload (useful for most common home users; Usually DSL based)

High Speed – Over 20Mb/s, over 5Mb/s upload (useful for home backups/restores of small volumes of data)

We need to attain the goal of having universal High Speed internet access.  Most hotels typically have lower speed access, on the order of something below Basic Broadband speeds.  Closing this gap is important to realize the value of the internet to small businesses and enterprises.  Setting for something less in a first-class economy and country is doing us a disservice.

Building municipial fiber

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

There are a number of different ways one can pay for building the infrastructure that we care about. The most well known model is the Municipal one. Here you have your water and sewer delivered to you at some point (usually when your home is built) and you pay utilization fees for access.

I’ve started to look at applying the same model to building fiber to every home in Washtenaw County. Let me start with my basic premises, so you have a reference of how I’m thinking before I am destroyed in any comments.

60-day review to be completed today

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Various news media are ramping up coverage of the federal networks “cybersecurity” policies. Personally I loathe anything starting with “Cyber”, but the review will be completed today and the report will be sent to the presidents desk.  Some other media coverage are items like:

There have been recent media reports of infiltration of water and power companies by attackers.  I’m not sure what the federal role would be without increased regulation.  This is likely to be met with resistance from industries that see pervasive compromises in their enterprise networks.  Government networks are just large enterprise networks, protecting their secrets the same way a company protects their secrets.

Protected: common carrier

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

CSIS Releases report to the president

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

A few days late, but the CSIS released their report to the president on how to secure cyberspace. It’s a bit long but available via their website and worth a review of at least the executive summary, if not a more detailed read.

AT&T 3G expansion continues

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Dexter, MI is the latest area to gain AT&T 3G cellular coverage. Yesterday there was nothing in the downtown area, today there was. Watching how the networks continue to deploy their limited capital resources will be something very interesting over the next several months and years, but in this case, it’s a welcome network upgrade.