Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wifi antenna issues

The rainy season in N'Djamena takes it toll on everything.  I am one of the lucky ones in the city that have a solid house and a roof that doesn't leak.  I can't complain much because most of my neighbors have dirt floors and many of their compounds have been under a foot or more of water for the past month.  
I haven't been able to blog much because my wifi antenna was destroyed by the rain.  It was supposed to be all-weather and had a warranty (in the USA)  but it wasn't Africa-Proof.  The first time it died (in July) I assumed water dripped onto the powersupply that was indoors and shorted it out.  Fortunately I had a second powersupply that I was able to use and this time I had it covered and off the ground to prevent another short-out.  

It worked fine for a couple weeks but then quit working again in a torrential rain storm.  When I went to check it out the next morning I found the powersupply box again was full of water.  The only thing that made sense (since the box was elevated 3 feet off the ground and the CAT-V cable to the box made an upward sweep from the ground to the box is that somehow the cable was penetrated at the top and the cable had been acting like a straw.

To test my theory I disconnected the cable (after getting a shock because it was still plugged into the wall outlet) and water started pouring out.  I nicked the cable at the low point and more water streamed out.  

Since I had already used my backup powersupply (i thought i was planning ahead with one spare) it took me a while to find another one of the same voltage, but I vented the wire and the low point & so far its been working!