Infrastructure Dec 2019

Since early 2014 I have written communications on here detailing the kind of equipment I have in the house in terms of internet-networking-stuff. The first communication, January 2014, detailed the set up of the house. I then updated this in February 2017 with the expanded view of the network. There have been some changes. I go through phases of trying to simplify the equipment and getting it to work in the easiest method possible. This is needed every now and then as when items are first set up the quick method is used and this might not be the best. Changes happen over time.

Infrastructure 201912
Infrastructure 201912

The principle changes to the system are the addition of a smart lighting system and the network that runs on along with a wired connection to the lounge cluster running with a gigabit switch. The original 10/100 switch now runs clusters B, C and D. I will admit that the picture isn’t that pretty but given I’m not a graphic designer and I also don’t really care what you think I’ll leave it as it is. I will also admit that this is the second import of that picture because on the first one I forgot to add the AV amp [disaster!].

Other minor changes to the network are the removal of the freesat box and a complete reliance on streaming services, I wrote about that in this communication a year ago. I have no wireless television signals connected to the television, be that a satellite signal or via the television aerial on the chimney. I also now have home voice control via the Google boxes, it’s nice telling the house what lights to turn on. I have written about that but I can’t find it, see my explanations here.

The Clusters

A – The, so called, gigabit computing cluster. This is basically a PC which is now old and a NAS drive which stores all kinds of media and files. The wireless printer is in this cluster but it’s not really gigabit, you know what I mean.

B – The ADSB receiver. I send MLAT and ADSB data to 360Radar. I use a Raspberry Pi connected to a tuned aerial and decode the data before sending it to the cloud somewhere. When this system was wireless there were occasionally issues with the Pi connecting and so I now have it wired through an ethernet over power line connection. This connection runs greater than 100Mbps which is good enough.

C – The lights. I can control the lights in the house either by speaking, using the PC or via a connection from my phone. I can also control them when I am remote from the house. This is handy as I can get the lights on before I walk into the house. I could have this set using location settings but I’m not going to do that. Some lights come on at sunset and shortly before sunrise which is pretty neat. I also bought a light switch which is near the front door for the olds to use.

D – House sounds. The Sonos system is pretty impressive still and used everyday. The Sonos can read songs stored on the NAS or even stream podcasts and radio stations via the internet. While I haven’t set up voice control on this, I can but I don’t like the interface, I can control this system using the PC or phone.

E – The lounge cluster. Yesterday I wired this in using a network cable to which I attached RJ45s. I had to do this as the cable had to fit through a hole in the wall which is smaller that the connector. It was an interesting learning experience fitting my own cable. I also bought a gigabit switch for the lounge and now the devices in there can link to lumps in the computing cluster at high speed. I didn’t have any streaming issues but I just wanted to know that it was future-proof for a little while anyway. The lounge has a smart TV [it’s not that smart as I bought it before decent firmware], Blu-ray player, PS4, Amp and Nvidia Shield streaming device for watching stuff.

F – The wireless cluster. This is basically everything else. There’s a phone, an old tablet and also the Google home pieces. There is a normal Google home and two minis. These are placed strategically around the house to allow for voice control to work wherever you are.

I guess I’ll write another of these in a few years time when I consider the network to have changed significantly. Until then, happy buying of technology.