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Electronics/Computer Question

Discussion in 'Beginner Electronics' started by Atokata, Feb 4, 2005.

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  1. Atokata

    Atokata Guest


    I volunteer at a small radio station in Western Colorado. My general
    field of expertise is UNIX and Linux servers, though oftentimes
    nessecity forces me outside of that niche.

    The station uses a plain-jane DSL connection for their office internet
    connectivity. However, our local provider (Qwest) is problematic (at
    best). Due to errors on the ISP side of the DSL connection, the
    ActionTec DSL modem/router provided by Qwest often loses its

    This is easily fixed by simply power cylcing the modem. However, due
    to the volunteer-based workforce at the station, many times there is
    no one availible with the ability to perform this task.

    My question is this:

    Do any of the readers here know of a device which can physically
    switch off the power to the modem through a software control?

    That is to say, for example, the software could execute a simple DNS
    request to the ISP's name servers every thirty seconds. If the
    request comes back accurately, then there's no problem. However, if
    it times out, that would indicate the DSL modem has become
    disconnected, and the power circuit to said modem could be interrupted
    for five or ten seconds, allowing it to reboot.

    I'm a rank amateur in electronics, but could what I'm describing be
    called a "relay," or perhaps a "watchdog?"

    Thanks for any advice you may have.
  2. ["Followup-To:" header set to alt.os.linux.]
    Atokata enlightened us with:
    You must be kidding. Same thing happening here, only the modem is at
    my room instead of at some station.
    I don't know one yet, but I'm probably going to build one sometime
    soon. I'll put the schematics online when it's done. If you want a
    copy, send me an email.
    A bit of both. A relay is a power-controlled switch. You're probably
    going to use that. A watchdog will be the thing controlling the relay.

  3. jdanskinner

    jdanskinner Guest

  4. Robert Welz

    Robert Welz Guest

    Hello Atoka!

    Well, a different approach is to set up an old PC with two Ethernet
    Cards as router. Not-so-old fashioned Ethernet cards can be configured
    to reconnect to DSL automatically once the DSL line seems down. You need
    a firewall script and thats all.

    I use a stock SuSE Linux installation without X-Server.

    My router works that way, and its doing its job very good, I have 4 PC's
    with different OS online and a little web server.

    For the PC I use a 2,4 GHZ Celeron with 512 MB Ram and top shows cpu
    usage below 1 % even with high traffic! A 486 or Pentium I will work
    well, I am sure

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