Enterprise Network Switches for the Home: Ramble feat HP Procurve 5406ZL

The HP Procurve 5406ZL and…

…a whole lot of other crap, vis a vis my opinions on used enterprise-grade networking hardware for the home (or small-ish business).

I purchased an HP Procurve 5406ZL on eBay mainly because I “need” 10GbE on my home network, which is almost recursive because it’s for editing 4K video, which I need for editing this video.

The bottom line for me is that you can’t beat the feature/price ratio when it comes to equipment like this. That is, if you can afford the resultant power bill.

Sprint / Netgear 6100D 4G Antenna Installation (Video)

What’s all this, then?

Back in August I reviewed the Netgear 6100D from Sprint and followed up with a post detailing some advanced configuration options.

The Video

I also installed a flat panel 4G antenna from 4G Antenna Shop. I made a video detailing the unboxing and installation (which I just got around to editing together):

It’s my first video of this sort, so if you have any feedback please let me know in the YouTube comments or by email!

4G Antenna Shop

I didn’t get into it in the video, but overall I’d recommend 4G Antenna Shop. The cable and antenna I got were both of very high quality and definitely worth the price.

Their customer service was great; I had a couple of questions about my order, and one of their guys (Robert) got back to me within 15 minutes and was extremely helpful. They shipped really quickly, too.

I did have two minor issues, both of which I talk about in the video:

During checkout they give you the option of selecting your device so that they can provide the correct adapters to go from the cable (if you order it through them) to the device. At the time I’d ordered, they had an option for “Netgear Sprint Spark LTE”, which I thought was the Netgear 6100D. There was no separate option for the 6100D, but it turned out that they were referencing a different product, and so I received the wrong adapters. (They’ve since added the 6100D as an option.)

I chalked this up to being mostly my fault, as I didn’t know that there was another Netgear LTE device out there for Sprint Spark.

My other issue was with the packing job. Again, it’s a minor complaint because nothing was damaged, but the box arrived pretty beaten up with holes in the top from the antenna mount having poked through. There was no packing material to keep the box rigid, and the antenna and cable were just sorta rattling around inside.

Bear with Me…

Oh, and sorry if I rambled on a bit in the video. If you couldn’t tell from a lot of my other posts on here, I have an aversion to brevity. :)

I’m hoping to get some more how-to and instructional videos out there in 2015, so please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

(Hey, I’m allowed to shill for myself, right?)

Reducing Fan Noise from a Dell PowerEdge R905

Images borrowed from the auction page of red_planet_trading on eBay

If you’re read my blog, you know that I have a quite a few servers in my basement that I use as a home lab environment. For home or low-demand virtualization, you can’t beat the Dell R905 for price. Consider that, as of the time I’m writing this post, you can get an R905 like I did with 128 GB of RAM for about $960. That’s only a little more than the cost of the RAM! That machine has 4x AMD Opteron 8356 quad-core CPUs @ 2.3Ghz and two built-in 10gbps ethernet ports (plus 2 gigabit ports), a PERC6i controller, dual PSUs, and a full enterprise DRAC. It’s a little old, but you can’t get those specs in any other … Continue reading

Quieting Dell PowerEdge 1855/1955 Blade System Chassis Fan Noise: Undocumented DRAC/MC Commands

fan_speed_hex

TL;DR: Skip right to the undocumented commands Background I recently purchased a Dell BMX blade chassis on eBay that came loaded with ten 2x dual-core, 24GB PE1955 blades.   For a system with 40 cores, 240 GB of RAM and two 16-port gigabit switches in a 7U frame, $2500 was too good to pass up.  Especially since shipping cost me a mere 2 hour round-trip to Brooklyn. I didn’t really need ten more servers, so I figured I’d sell off 5 or 6 of them (hopefully breaking even on the entire system — the 4GB FB-DIMMs in 6 of the servers is worth $1450 – $1900 alone).  The remaining servers would be all mine! But I forgot to research the noise!  … Continue reading

Basement Update

We’ve been in the house for about 3 months, and I’ve made some progress in the basement. Here are a few pictures just for posterity: The server rack (well, shelving unit) isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done.  I’m not exactly the computer version of Scrooge McDuck over here, so I stick with desktops.  The UPS on the right is a real old beater — I’ve replaced the batteries 3 times so far.  It’s a nice double-conversion full sine wave model, so I keep it around.   My workstation setup.  My primary machine needs upgrading badly:  A Dell GX280, P4 3.0Ghz, 3GB RAM.  It works for now.  All the monitors are hooked up to something or other, but I … Continue reading