Rob's Ramblings

Saturday, 19 April 2008

MTBF

We had a powercut a few days ago. Sort of.  The main circuitbreaker tripped, although none of the individual ones did.  It was with some trepidation that I turned it back on again, since I didn't know what had caused the fault.  Everything came back ok OK, though, or so I thought at the time.

I eventually found what had caused the fault; the washing machine had been on at the time with rather a full load of towels in it.  When I turned it back on, it was refusing to turn the drum.  With a baby in the house, it's one of those essential pieces of household equipment.  It's a good few years old now, but had been a good workhouse.  However in the last four years it's broken down twice, and cost us an arm and a leg to get fixed.  The first time needed a new motor, but the second time just new brushes.  I thought it might be worth, therefore, checking the brushes to see what they were like this time.

After decanting the soaking towels into the baby bath (biggest bowl I could find!) I pulled it out and took the lid off. It was a little tricky working out how to get the brushes out of the motor, but I did it in the end. They looked a little short, but when I tried pulling the carbon bits out, they didn't go back in as far. Iffy springs, I guess. So I put it all back together, turned it on, and it turned the drum!

I did go out and buy some new brushes for the thing, but it's done half  dozen complete loads so far without needing them.  And I bet I'd have still been charged £60 for 'fixing' that if I'd called out the repairman.

Anyway, after power was restored, it was a few days later that I discovered that I'd lost access to some of the networked kit in the bedroom.  Upon investigation, I found the remote switch up there was just cycling through it's power on test. It was one of two sub-£10 cheapie ones I'd bought in a cost saving exercise about a year ago, and the other died some time back, so I had to replace it quickly. With a switch that must be almost 10 years old - it was one of the first 100Mbps switches we'd bought at work, and cost well over £100 at the time. It's been a little unreliable, which was why I wasn't using it any more, but will do for this location. That kit doesn't need constant network access.

OK, that's it for post#2.

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