WiFi: Draytek 2927ac WiFi vs Unifi NanoHD

A Draytek, be it a 2765, 2865, or 2927 based on WAN connectivity and LAN complexity is my go to device for a router. More than likely these are the ‘ac’ variants as WiFi provision is expected rather than featured.

In newer Draytek models the perceived performance of wireless as been lacking based on earlier models such as the rock solid 2860n/plus with reduced range and throughput speeds, in particular poor VoIP performance for my industry.

This could be down to the passage of time and how WiFI has become even more ubiquitous, in demand and ultimately a more congested radio band. Regardless an alternative solution needs to be explored.

Previous dabbling with deployment of Unifi access points have yielded trouble fee results, so this would be a quick win. Trouble is, the default AC-Pro and AC-LR are in serious supply shortages at present. Wifi 6 variants have better stock availability but also have a higher purchase cost.

The only Unifi AC product that is plentiful is the NanoHD, so in desperation lets see if it is a justifiable upgrade to the Draytek offering…

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Increase disk size on Gentoo VM Instance

There are occasions when the storage capacity of a virtual drive needs to be increased. In production environments a backup and re-install of an OS to a higher capacity provision may not be practical.

Many of our systems deployed from OVA’s use Gentoo as it’s base OS for inexplicable reasons, here’s how to increase the drive capacity of a VM instance running Gentoo and make the extra space usable…

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Provisioning Polycom Phone

Yealink is our go to vendor for telephony hardware, mainly due to its ease and variety of configurability. But recently have been tasked with adding a Polycom VVX250 to the system for a charity to use.

While the setup between different manufacturers normally follows the same general path. This is a journey of how Polycom interprets it…

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NordVPN / Draytek 2862 LAN to LAN Not Connecting

I’ve been a NordVPN customer for about 6 months now, mainly due to its ongoing support of L2TP connections. However recent changes to its service put my use of this service with my Draytek 2862 in jeopardy. Luckily there is a fix, and it’s a story of updates…

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Provisioning a Cisco 7940/7960

2021 is here and so returns (In the UK at least) one of my favourite shows to Netflix, The Office (US). Since starting working in VoIP its hard not to notice what phones turn up in TV shows, here the Cisco 7960, was prolific for showing up in shows around this era.

So why not, nearly 16 years after the show started, try and get one of these working on an Asterisk PBX? At work we had a number of similar 7940 models that hadn’t be used for years, so why not give it a try…

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Using Phone Wiring for Networking?

Here’s a quick one, ever thought of taking some existing phone extension wiring and converting for use in ethernet networking?

Since moving in I’ve had an analogue phone extension socket in the bedroom. The cable runs outside and down the side of the house, before returning into the house close to the BT master socket. It was connected, but was immediately removed to get the best internet speed at the master.

It has 3 pairs of copper, one pair short of what is needed for traditional Cat5 cable, but it is feasible to get 100Mbps from just 2 pairs, all I need to physically connect my Raspberry Pi media player in the bedroom to my network.

There’s nothing wrong with connecting it up, right?

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My FTTP Journey

Unexpectedly and to much excitement, my home internet is now provided via FTTP.

For background, I was previously in a FTTC environment getting average speeds due to my distance from the cab, however good enough to assumably be overlooked for the next phase of the Openreach Ultrafast rollout. Not that I’m complaining, 2020 is the year my speed gets a much-needed boost.

2020 also turns out to be the inaugural international work from home year, so had the opportunity to have a front seat view from my home office on the activity and timeline that brought FTTP home.

I’d like to share my observations and timeline as an example of what you can expect should you get the inkling of fibre coming to your street soon.

Before we get started, as my expectations rose, I found this post by Andy’s World invaluable for identifying activity and helping me confirm that FTTP was on its way.

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Testing Draytek WAN2 Throughput

In a series of events that I thought wouldn’t have happened for many years, FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) has just become available to my home. With available speeds of 1000/330Mbps available the temptation is to go for the maximum, but will my current infrastructure actually deliver what’s on offer?

My current router is a Draytek 2862ac, which has an advertised 400Mbps throughput at the WAN, but what can it actually achieve in the real world? This will be the basis on choosing a FTTP speed profile.

Speed testing a router can be setup with a couple of laptops…

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Working From Home – Pi Camera as Windows Webcam

Hopefully the mad dash for home working is over, and now everyone who can has settled in to a comfortable home setup with new knowledge of what a VPN and remote desktops are all about.

I thought my established home setup was great, however I didn’t envisage words like Teams and Zoom to become the buzzwords of companies the world over.

This posed an issue for myself. Even though my 2017 Dell XPS has a webcam ready to go, it spends its home office days docked with the lid closed. When opening the 4K screen combined with the Full HD monitors, Windows implementation of scaling rears is appalling head and just looks terrible. Combined with the Dell’s decision to locate the webcam below the screen to give maximum nostril-cam angle, its not something I like to use.

Buying a USB webcam didn’t seem worth it for what is (hopefully at time of writing) a temporary solution.

So in comes another Pi project, this time using a spare Raspberry Pi Camera module connected to an aptly placed Pi, that can be used on a Windows machine for the software likes of Zoom, Skype and Teams…

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