Very near miss around 06:40 yesterday, with many lightning strikes. One of my three modems was killed. I have plenty of spares on hand. Poor greyhound was shaking like a leaf and panting with terror because of the thunder, out of his dog-bed and trying to hide his head under the table by my bedside. Meanwhile our old lurcher, Caileag showed no concern at all, as usual. Strange how they're so different. (Her name is pronounced /ˈkhalak/. The i and e here are silent. They are part of a consonant encoding system (escape codes, but used on either side of a consonant) that indicates the sound of an adjacent consonant, in this case meaning that the sound of the l is /l/ as in "lid" as pronounced in Southern England English, not as sometimes produced in certain words in the English of Lancashire and some parts of Lowland Scotland. Using an h (silent) after a consonant is another escape code. I feel better now nurse. Sorry about that.)
Three levels of mains protection including a UPS successfully protected kit from the mains and from the attempts at assassination by the electricity board who were either mucking about turning things off and on again rapidly, or letting the supply flicker much later in at one point during the repairs. Note to self: need to check the health of these units. Will I be able to see indications of failure from the state of lamps on the units?
Mrs Weaver tells me there are no leds showing on the DLink DSL-320B-Z1 on line 3. Need to swap it out tomorrow then. I never realised that there was a problem until I looked at clueless.aa.net.uk (Andrews and Arnold’s control and status server) early this morning and noticed that the line was showing as down ever since the outage. Mrs Weaver forgot to tell me. So I had unknowingly been running at 2/3 of normal speed all evening, and still am now, if fact. Ran a copper line test on that line early this morning, which failed, "battery contact", it's more than the modem. Emailed AA about it. Mrs. Weaver has binned the modem for me, will ask her to dig around in the office for a new unit later on when she has a few minutes free. AA's Shaun came back to me and asked if I could unplug everything from two lines - #1 as well as #3, because #1 showed the same copper line test fail error before the strike as it happens. Presumably AA and possibly BT want the kit removed so they can run some tests with less chance of red herringness, but usually the basic AA (using BT) copper line tests are just done with modems live. Both lines are now modemless so for the moment I am down to just the one remaining line, so running at 1/3 of normal speed.
Power was off from 11:30 to 18:00, apart from a brief period switched back on around 12:50. I was asleep for the whole daytime and missed most of the outage, until I woke up, eventually realised that the mains was off and then promptly fell asleep again. Mrs Weaver tells me that she didn't put the generator on in order to conserve petrol, not knowing how long the outage might be. Mrs Weaver tells me that the southern end of The Island was off the mains. The board managed somehow to get through to her on her mobile phone and warned her that the maintenance outage might go over night and said they would bring us generators if so. So they were brilliant. I am a ‘priority customer’ because Mrs Weaver has registered me as such.
Men were working on poles to the north of the house where the mains supply from Broadford crosses the high moor. Four Landrovers in attendance. Some neighbours lost their kit, hopefully just modem/routers. The feeble local long-range wireless altnet ‘SkyeNet’ (has no one seen Arnie?) in the village went down, so my neighbour reports. Hope for my neighbour's sake it won't be down for ages as it has been on other occasions.
I suspect that once again the local mobile phone network basestation network failed. Service returned to normal at 13:00 though, including full 3G. Usually we do lose service entirely after a strike, which is unforgivable imho. This means no backup internet. This time though Mrs Weaver did manage to get "one bar" - enough for a voice call - when sitting in a window, but no usable internet. Maybe it was even down to 2G, that is, if her iPhone will even allow 2G - I can't remember how I set her iPhone up. Her 3G iPad presumably doesn't speak 2G, and in any case it most likely wouldn't work downstairs in the wrong parts of the house because of the ultra-thick stone walls which are between four and six ft. thick.
I've probably said this before. Apologies. Presuming that the basestation is down yet again just because of the lack of mains, not because of either damage or because some protection system tripped and requires manual intervention, where’s the basestation’s back up system, monster fat ups plus diesel generator? I think that the govt should legislate to force the network operators to get their act together, because this is an emergency service, especially up here, because of the geography, low areal density of land-lines and the fact that people at sea and on the hills get into trouble and need help. This is ever more true as increasing numbers of people ditch landlines, which can function during a mains outage. Due to the low population density, people may not be able to get help via a nearby landline.