CrystalView Wireless Instant Router and Repeater

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The Short Version: I only purchased this to extend an existing network. Once I figured out that it could only setup a new wifi network by using the original one as an Internet connection I ditched it. I had no interest in setting up multiple wifi networks just to extend my range. I probably could have configured the device to successfully setup another wifi network, but since that wasn’t why I purchased it I didn’t bother tweaking it any further. For more information about setting this device up you might find the many comments more useful.

I came across a very cheap wireless router at the local CVS (CrystalView Wireless Instant Router and Repeater). Now, I’m not in need of a router but what caught my attention was that it also claimed to have a repeater mode. It was marked at $25 and I thought it might serve as a good alternative to other wireless extender options. I didn’t need anything fancy but I wanted to increase the wireless coverage in part of our home.

After tinkering with it I found that it doesn’t work the way I expected. Technically, I don’t think it’s appropriate to call this device a repeater.  As far as I can tell it doesn’t repeat a wireless network. In my mind this should mean that the wireless configuration is the same and that all devices appear to be on the same network. It does not seem to be capable of extending an existing wireless network.

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iPod touch (4th Gen) Unable to Join Network

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The Short Version: My wife’s iPod touch (4th gen) may have a hardware failure. We’ll send it to Apple for repair. None of the various troubleshooting steps I’ve tried have made any difference (see full post for details).

A couple of months ago my wife’s iPod touch was damaged so she replaced it with a new one (both were 4th generation models). I don’t think she used it very much until a few weeks ago when she was unable to connect to the secure wifi network at our house. That evening I fiddled around with it for about thirty minutes but wasn’t able to make it connect.

Last night she tried to use it again, so once again I tried to get it connected to the network. I’ve had to troubleshoot some iPod issue before so this wasn’t an entirely new experience (and I’ve also been using an iPhone for several years).

Nothing worked. Absolutely nothing would make the device connect to the network. And it’s not just a problem with our network. I tried others wifi networks (even attempted to tether it to my iPhone) but it refused to connect.

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Solo Cup WiFi Signal Extender

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OK, this one isn’t a solution that I’m positive is really making much of a difference but it’s worth mentioning. Ever since my Airport Extreme Base Station partially bit the dust due to a power surge I’ve been using an inexpensive ASUS wireless router at home. Signal coverage isn’t as good as it was with the Apple device but it covers most of the house, at least to some degree.

Last night I experienced issues with Xbox Live. The cause may have been an issue with my ISP or the Live service. I wasn’t sure but I decided to attempt to extend the wifi signal a bit.

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An Inexpensive Airport Replacement for a 2006 iMac

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The Short Version: The Airlink Wireless N Mini USB Adapter (AWLL6075) works well for an iMac with a broken Airport adapter. The software could be less obtrusive but for the cost (and size of the adapter) it’s a good buy. It doesn’t load until the user is logged in so it can’t be used to connect to network services such as Screen Sharing or File Sharing without first logging in and running the software.

After I upgraded the processor in my iMac from a Core Duo to a Core 2 Duo I discovered that the Airport in the iMac wouldn’t work. The system didn’t show any errors and the card appeared to work, but it couldn’t detect any networks (neither mine nor my neighbors). I opened the system up a few times to see if I could spot the problem and even tried re-seating the card but nothing helped. My best guess is that I may have damaged the antenna.

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Using a Foscam Wireless/Wired IP Camera (FI8918W) with Vitamin D Video

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Occasionally, in the process of setting up a new piece of equipment, I’ll tinker with configuration options if I can’t get something to work right. Later on I may forget the extra steps I made, which can be a problem when I write in a post that I have a piece of software working with a certain piece of hardware but completely forget that it didn’t work out-of-the-box.

This post has some information about setting up Vitamin D Video to work with a Foscam FI8918W. Currently, Vitamin D Video does not officially support this Foscam model. That may change – I submitted some information to Vitamin D Video this evening which might help them add official support.

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Foscam Wireless/Wired IP Camera (FI8918W)

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In September of last year I decided to remove an X10 camera that underperformed beyond my expectations (the same can be said of the software that came with it). I replaced it with a Foscam IP Camera (FI8918W), which is a much better device. The Foscam is a good, all-around IP camera for general use and may work well as a security camera in certain situations. At about $90 it’s a good price for a reliable IP camera.

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Schooners II – Weatherproof Wireless Full Range Speakers (Grace Digital Audio)

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Almost four years ago I dabbled in a brief project with the goal of using a set of wireless speakers so I could hear notifications from my computer. That project failed, mostly due to the hardware I chose. Admittedly, I never put much effort into it.

Recently, I decided to revive this concept to enhance my interaction the new ASUS EeeBox PC, especially since I’m planning to use Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech for various tasks and notifications. Having just one set of speakers at the computer wouldn’t do. I wanted to have at least a couple of speakers around the house.

On the old home automation system I had a setup that, when a motion sensor was first triggered after a certain time on a weekday, would cause the computer to play a one minute clip from a different 80s song. It was just a bit of fun to help the two of us relax after long days at work. The combination of software did work. However, the audio could only be played from the one room, on the far side of the house. With my new speaker setup this would have more of an impact.

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