Cleanup Time

September 17, 2020 – The last 10 percent of anything worth doing always takes the longest. We are nearing completion and have clean up work in the closets and need to connect some of the longer runs into loops for path redundancy. We will be transitioning to Boca Island East to do an install in 50 apartments managed by the Boca Raton Housing Authority.

When you start collecting ladders you know it is near the end

Ubiquiti Management

September 1, 2020– The management tools from Ubiquiti are excellent and give a great visibility of each device on the network which allows remote monitoring and management. In the event of an outage or problem by reviewing the map can quickly troubleshoot the problem allowing for quick repairs by reviewing data. Dexter Dixon has done a great job getting everything configured and leveraging the management tools.

Go Gators

August 12, 2020 – Super proud of James finishing up some closet work before he heads off to the University of Florida as an incoming freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Over the last 3+ years have seen how hard he has worked taking dual enrollment classes at Palm Beach State and heads down focused all business.

James making a mess drilling a hole for a cable run. Lots of dust in the air and sweat on the brow

The Team is Growing

August 10, 2020 When we started this program the big open question was related to hiring and training doing a project worth doing that looks a lot like hard work. We planned on 6 weeks at Dixie Manor to install Ethernet cable to 90 units. A large portion of the effort has been focused on training and figuring out the best way to route cables.

We have made good progress and have done the hard work for the build out that the rest of the installs will go quick. We have 40 drops in place, a team who is trained that by working in parallel should be able to get the remaining 50 units installed in the next two weeks.

HiFi install team

Need some CAT6 white underground cable

August 7, 2020 Making sure you have everything on the job site is key to not having team members standing around. Amazon has made it easy to order just about anything in a couple of days but at the expense that local suppliers can’t compete and hard to find local products. I set out Friday morning to buy CAT6 white underground ethernet cable. First stop was GrayBar, a local electrical supply house and they had limited choices. The sales rep said I could go to Ft Lauderdale warehouse and they would have everything. A 20-minute drive and found out they are not open for walkins. Started reviewing options via google maps. As I drove away noticed some signage for ethernet cables in a window on the corner of the GrayBar building. Walked in and found a showroom and had to shout down the hallway to see if anyone was home.

Explained the project and was hoping they would have one box of white CAT6 underground cable. I asked the salesman if he thought they had a box and he said if he had one he would have 1000 boxes.

Didn’t understand the statement and after a few questions learned that Structured Cable Products started in Ft Lauderdale and is the leading global supplier of low voltage cable. They manufacture the products that are OEM labeled by many and have 250 million feet of bulk cable in stock. I picked up 12 boxes at a very nice discount and look forward to partnering with them on what we need to do the neighborhood build out.

Looking Good and Staying Cool

August 6, 2020 Florida can be brutal in the summer for sweat drenching heat and getting caught in an afternoon rainstorm. It was clear that wearing a drifit shirt and being COVID safe needed to be part of the uniform. For those who don’t have an appreciation for tech logos the square box that looks like an apartment building is an RJ45 jack central to all things critical for Ethernet. Wanted to thank for the rush job.

The team is ready

August 5, 2020 – After three weeks of on the job training, getting conduit run between buildings, working with ethernet cables the team is ready to start working through getting drops installed.

We established the goal of paying a minimum of $15 an hour for training and tasks that need to get done. We want to have two person teams to work on a task where of one person is watching another person work someone isnt making money. We set the price to run conduit between two buildings as $200 which includes the digging, going under a sidewalk and putting in a pull string to run ethernet cable. If you don’t run into any tree roots or get hung up under a sidewalk working hard the $200 works out to be $30 an hour.

On the current job site each building has 5 to 6 apartments with a meter room. We set the install price to run an ethernet cable that is tested from the meter room to the resident at $100. A team of two is assigned to each building and they work together to do the ethernet cable termination runs.

For the last 4 days the group worked together on one building at $15 an hour to figure out the best way to run cables and make sure the install looked good. Today the teams were assigned their buildings and they got busy and was amazing to see the progress that was made.

We are still working out the best way to deliver working internet in that each unit will have an ethernet cable terminated. We can use POE wireless access points mounted outside which has a higher cost but doesnt require going into the unit. Ultimately we want the ethernet cable terminated inside the unit but with COVID need to be respectful of interacting with residents.

We have been evaulating TP-Link wireless access points that can extend an existing wifi signal or if you plug in an ethernet port can be its own access point. What we like about TP Link product line is that you can connect it to the cloud and manage everything remotely from an app. This would allow tech support to resolve issues remotely and give parents the ability to restrict or grant access to web site by time and specific devices. Ultimately we want parents to be able to manage the internet access in their home. Getting close to needing to make those final decisions with the goal of being done in the next two weeks.

We had a full crew today and two new members were recruited in by existing team members. Everyone was very happy when we found two buildings that needed a conduit run and sidewalk to be tunneled under with water going through a pipe. It was clear as rookies you cant earn your stripes until you have run conduit under a sidewalk.

The team is ready

Ethernet to each resident

July 23, 2020 The team is tasked with mounting an 8 port POE switch in each building, connecting to the network and running an Ethernet cable to each resident. The CAT6 outdoor cable allows for 1 gigabit performance to each unit and will future proof the network.