DCP_0002
Laptop Batteries

Image by teddlesruss
In this high tech world we inhabit, geekiness is a definite plus. Today I cobbled together a ramshackle tumble of devices which will come in very handy tomorrow.

See, when the builder breaks the doorway through from the new bedroom, I lose the server space. Originally, the server table had an ADSL router, a WiFi AP, telephone cable to the telco outlet, and a CAT5 that ran to the stepson’s room for Internet. Stepdaughter has a laptop with a WiFi card.

But now the spot for most of this is by the front door, I’ve reconnected everything right by the door, run a power cable to it, and used the long CAT5 to feed the server which is still near the old location. A shorter cable supplies Number One Step Son with Internet.

And the reason for doing all that a day ahead of time? Tomorrow, the electrician arrives to cable up the new bedroom and ensuite, and that means power will be off for an hour or so. I am home sick, and I would rather not be bored. So…

Also at the location is a 12V Gel cell and a 130W 12V/240V inverter. Let’s see, 7A/H cell at 12V is 84W, ADSL is lucky to pull 15, WiFi AP about the same, portable phone base and charger about 20. 47W should be well within the ratings of the battery and the inverter. Laptop has three to four hours battery life with the extra battery pack. I will not miss out on my Internet!

That’s why geeks will do better – we are so addicted to the ‘net that we’ll ALWAYS find a way to get online. Worse still, we have enough knowledge to do it, too. So geekiness more and more becomes a survival trait.

Update:

It’s the next day, electrician is due anytime. I’ll post this using the setup detailed above, once power goes out and I’m on emergency supply. Picture shown, and therein hangs yet another story:

Camera: Two days ago, went to take photos of the reno – damn, batteries flat. Car is down, I am ill, damn… Yesterday, I felt a bit better and remembered a trick: warm the batteries up in the sun for a few minutes. Worked a treat, I got all my shots of the reno, and had enough juice to do the trick again today and take a picture of the emergency supplied connection as well. Mind you, that is it – no amount of coaxing has been able to extract one more erg from the poor little penlight cells…

See? Multiple problems, each overcome by the application of geek might!

Another example: We had a meet in a park. It was to set up a wireless link to WA Freeenet. A lot of enthusiasts with laptops, and no power. Luckily one of us had a UPS in the car, of decent size. We set it up and – … nothing… The damn thing needs to be running on 240v to start the cycle to switch to battery power! Who designs these things, honestly?

A bit of thought, I realised I had my inverter with me. Two more minutes and we had the inverter hooked across a battery in the UPS, supplying the 240v to the UPS that it needed to bootstrap itself into battery mode. Bingo!

I can’t stress this enough. Knowledge is power. (Pun intended.)

Charging Up
Laptop Batteries

Image by Theiggsta
After draining the battery down to nothing, I cleaned off my desk to make way for it’s new resident. That little pulsing sleep light does creep me out a bit sometimes, makes me think the laptop is breathing digitally. Oh yeah, that is next month’s WIRED mag next to it, yet to read through everything right now since I am busy.


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