That's a thought. It is a PCI card, but it still may apply.
But I don't think it's the card, because other applications are still
using it OK. The email checks every few minutes and stays alive.
On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is
to fill the world with fools.
--Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
Interesting -- I had *thought* that, but opted not to say it, as
it sounded too much like an other cheap shot from a unix user. :-)
However, this seems to be an XP problem, and IIRC, the OP was
using Win-98, so it may not be the same problem.
I think that may be a different problem. As I understand it, the
Wireless Zero Configuration problem affects all internet services
on the particular computer. You have a different problem with
some applications working and some not working. I've seen that
problem here on my XP and a wired DSL connection. Mail would
still work, but the browser gets page unreachable. Or browser
works but Agent can't reach the news server. Etc. Disconnecting
and reconnecting usually clears the problem, rebooting always
does. So I suspect the issue is with a more fundamental part of
the XP networking software. I never have those issues when
I have run across similar problems, whe IE could not connect, while
OE could, and I could connect to other systems on the network. Traced
the problem down to a microsoft issue - the Winsock drivers had
corrupten. I simply removed the networking components and reinstalled,
getting a new copy of wsock32 and a few other files, and the problem
The other possible problem is interference from a nearby WiFi system
on the same channel. Try changing to one of the other available
Using the wireless card utility you can scan for networks - the card
will "see" any other available network, whether you can log on to it
Wireless in the home is typically not all that great. There are lots of things
in the way (even damp sheetrock can significantly diminish the signal), but for
ease of use, you still may want to look into wireless.
Run cat 5 whatever length you need to the shop location, and put a wireless link
in place in the shop area. Put the transceiver up as high as you can, so it
will have the best line of sight for the shop floor. Put a decent receiver card
in the PC and you're ready to go. Even in "low bandwidth" mode, an 811b link
will still transfer 2mb/second, which will still be way over your feed rate, so
you shouldn't notice any degradation relative to the wired Cat5, and you don't
need to trail the cat5 cable through the shop when you move the computer
around. If you MUST use a wired system, the best thing to do is run Cat5 to a
common point in the shop, then put a switch or hub in place (switch is usually
better) and wire to the standard locations you are going to use. This way, you
have a minimum run from the local jack to the computer, and don't have a trip
hazard running throughout the shop from the one and only jack available in the
My (home) network is dsl to my office, with a firewall/switch providing four
drops. Two to to my office for PC and Notebook, my wife's office, and a nearly
300 foot run to the far end of my studio/workshop/ham radio shack. In the past,
I used a hub at the ham shack location to run a cat5 cable into the workshop,
but got tired or tripping over it. Finally broke down and ran 60' of cable and
an AC outlet to a location over the center of the workshop area and put in a
consumer quality wireless transceiver. I get full signal anywhere in the
workshop, and all I need to do is plug in the computer (which is on a mobile
cart along with CNC drivers) and I'm ready to go. As this is a "home shop", I
don't currently need to run CNC on more than one piece of equipment at a time
(yet) so it works pretty well. Having the network in place allows leaving files
on the machine in my office and pulling whenever I need, so the shop computer
can be an old and slow machine that was retired from office use some years ago.
All in all, the combination of wire to the studio/shop/shack and wireless inside
is a great combination. Being that I'm cheap, I don't see any reason to put the
ham shack computer on wireless, as it works fine on a 10' Cat5 cable from the
hub, but it was definitely worth the money to get the mobile computer on
wireless, if only from the convenience standpoint, and it really helped from the
safety point as well, as I don't have a hundred foot Cat5 cable wandering around
the shop area.
Don't be afraid of wireless. It can be very helpful, but you do need to think a
bit about how you install it. Bear in mind most of the manufacturers quote
range over what could be considered "optimum" conditions, which are never found
in the typical environment. I really thing they should not be permitted from
advertising a 300 foot range for a system that requires open water between the
two stations. They should be required to indicate normal range in a "typical"
environment, and to state what the typical environment is... The typical home
environment has computers, sheet rock (gypsum board) walls and any number of
other items in the way that reduce the available signal strength, and
significantly reduce the useable range of the unit.
At work, we use commercial quality units that feed two antennas, a 5dbi antenna
at the transceiver, and a 12dbi antenna with a 3 degree down tilt) mounted on
the roof and get typical ranges of 100+ feet inside buildings and as much as
600 feet from the outside antenna into another building (cabin or apartment).
There are some places you can see as many as three transceivers, but it takes 5
of them to cover an area of about 1300 feet by 1200 feet so you can find at
least one transceiver anywhere in the area. So much for the typical claims of
the manufacturers. OK, With a couple of high gain directional antennas, and no
hills, trees, fog or rain in between, you really can have a reliable link of
nearly 4 miles, but this is a pretty rare configuration. I live in Hawaii, and
just the typical fog/clouds/rain we get degrades the signal pretty quickly, and
I probably don't have to describe what even a thin slice of tropical jungle does
to the signal... Don't even think about a mile link, even using high gain
directional antennas unless you want to put up towers that can see each other
(line of sight)....
100 meters is the best you can expect in a quiet signal area. In problem areas,
use a fiber link. You really can't run Cat5 in high interference areas without
significant problems (even for relatively short runs). Where I work (inside
Hawaii National Park on the Big Island) we have enough lightning that we moved
all of our outside computer cabling over to fiber. It really cut down the
near-strike damage to computers and other equipment that uses typical
communications protocols. Still haven't moved the phones over, so we routinely
replace line cards in our phone switch as they are compromised/damaged by near
strikes. So far as I know, we haven't had a direct strike, but I can tell you
that near strikes (within a mile or two) can and will randomly destroy equipment
connected to wires that are in the air. It's really strange, because the damage
is rarely the line that is closest to the strike, but may be one half or all the
way across the camp (a quarter of a mile farther away). Go figure... Lightning
and it's effects is truly a wonder of nature. Despite the trouble it causes me
in getting things repaired, I still like to watch nature's display of electrical
No> The spec for CAT5 is 100 meters which is around 330ft. Someone mentioned
You are in an area where lightning attacks buried conductors???
This ia a new one to me. I can see the issue of lightning striking the
after they exit the ground, but have never even heard of a lightning strike
affecting a buried conductor, even in conduit... Unless the ground conductivity
is near zero, you should never take any interference or even a lightning hit on a
buried conductor. You can (and will) take lightning hits on the conductors once
they are in the air or walls of your building if the building isn't protected,
even if it is, you can still get a pretty high potential from a near-strike, just
from having wire above ground...
-- Rick AH7H
Gerald Miller wrote:
Airfields are, of necessity, flat, with the ground slopping away from
the runways with the result that power cabling for lights etc. are in
relatively dry ground. Even with a bare conductor above the power
cable it is not unknown for lightning to destroy lighting cables.
I have even seen half basketball craters in asphalt pavement caused by
Lighting hits tree.
Travels down trunk.
Travels down the roots and jumps to the wire that happens to be shielded with
an insulated cover and conduit.
Happed to my dad - Pine tree sandy wet soil and his in full plastic pipe his
220 line to the barn shop.
Melted that wire. It went to the house not the barn. Hit the lighting blocks
on the power line and arc'd to death (I suppose).
The power company uses a string of roller steels - like a ladder - down to a
resistor that is larger than my leg - on to ground.
Rick Frazier wrote:
I stopped at a motel in Saskatchewan once that had a U shaped driveway
and a Neon sign in the middle of the space delimited by the driveway.
Between the motel office and the sign, right across the driveway was a
couple of sawhorses acting as a temporary barrier to keep customers
from driving into a foot-deep trench that ran between the sign and the
office. The sign was not lit and I asked the proprieter if he was
installing new cable to a sign that had obviously been up a while.
"No," he said, "ligntning hit the thing last night and that's what dug
that trench. There's nothing at the bottom of the trench where the
power cable used to be buried!"
It makes a mess out of underground telephone cables, too, even
though it's bonded and grounded nine ways to heck. Even in
low-lightning Los Angeles, we had a lightning strike hit a pole riser
and wipe out over a mile of 1800 - 2400 pair underground cable. The
lightning strike refused to bleed off to ground, and it jumped between
different hundred pair groups (and slagged them) as it traveled down
the cable and hit the various splice points.
Bad news: You have to replace two neon transformers, three sections
of neon tubing, re-paint the sign face, 100 feet of conduit and power
feed wires, timer, breaker...
Good news: You won't need a backhoe to dig the trench, only a
shovel to fill it back in. ;-)
I'd suggest a big lightning rod for the top of that sign, 000 cable
or better down the sign, and run the ground network wires the other
direction from the power feed.
Oh, and whenever you set up a wireless internet link, be SURE to
turn on all the security protocols - Wired Equivalent Protocol, non-
standard SSID, no SSID broadcasting, etc. The hackers don't want to
steal your CAD plans - but they would like to pull up and park on the
public street by your garage for an hour, and hack around in your
office computer files looking for account numbers and passwords. Or
better yet, send a few million pieces of Spam E-mail over the link,
and let you get blamed because they came from your ISP connection.
And consider unplugging the link totally when you're not using it.
Then there's no way anyone can abuse it, even if they take the time
and effort to get past the security.