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networking advice

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andy-the-diver
Posts: 2464
Topic starter
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Joined: 12 years ago

Hi guys - I'm here again lol.
This one is a bit tricky.
Over my 40 years in the trade, ive done the odd one or two Network installations and had one or two network issues - [always resolving them one way or another]

I now find myself in a bit of a situation.

A recent installation of 4 terminals, 2 rs232 receipt/report printers and a network kitchen printer in a pub, has suddenly started throwing odd issues.
ie - running reports from tills with no printers via the network to print out on the terminal with the printer - throws up messages that it cant find the terminal with the printer - even though its blatantly still spewing out the report! [buffering i hear you say - ok yes, could be but....... Also, tables go missing - backup check tracking master fails, clerks get locked up etc etc etc.

The failure log reports multiple job codes with "net no answer" as the error. - I'm guessing this further backs up my suspicion of a dodgy network?

now here's the problem......... i didn't run the infrastructure of this network and the "electrician????" that did insists there's nothing wrong with it.
first off, i'm pretty sure an "electrician" shouldn't be running networks unless trained in the technicalities of signal cabling, bend radii, em interference etc, trouble is - you put a basic network tester on the cable and it returns 8 green lights - that's where he wants to get off!

does anyone know of a definitive way of logging the condition/quality of the data traffic through a network as a complete re-cable would be hugely expensive as all the wire was buried during the refit.

would dearly love as many opinions on this as possible - thanks. lB !dunce !what

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S1mon
Posts: 929
Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Hi Andy,

Guessing this is ICR Touch? I'd stop worrying about the cable at first as it is fairly difficult with Cat 5+ to screw it up with tight bends etc. Running cabling alongside HV power or having the EPoS kit on the same mains circuit as fridges / aircon is far more likely to cause an issue though.

Do you have control over the router?
Are the tills running DHCP or Static IP? If Static, are they outside the DHCP scope of the router?
Is the same network used for guest WiFi access?
Is there proper segregation between the EPoS and 'public' networks?
Is there just a single router, or have they got wireless access-points as well? I've known them to hand out their own IP addresses, which can cause conflicts with the main DHCP scope.

Basically, can of worms...

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andy-the-diver
Posts: 2464
Topic starter
Member
Joined: 12 years ago

Hi Simon
No, not only do i not have admin access to the router, I don't even know where it is![physically]
Your guess is correct in terms of software btw.
the terminals are static ips [initially found by setting 1 dynamic then running an ipconfig command to ascertain the correct ip range in which to work then pinging addresses that we intended to use to make sure they we not already in use by other equipment]
I have changed the workgroup name to something obscure to try and alleviate public access but other than that im in the dark!

My initial thoughts were to disconnect from their router - sacrificing remote access - for a switch.
this is early days in the process but i'm kicking myself for not doing the work myself - i assumed that the refurb guys were fully competent!

edit...... they also stream hd tv/music videos to numerous screens about the place - not sure if that would have a bearing on it in terms of router workload etc

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S1mon
Posts: 929
Member
Joined: 10 years ago

That sounds like a recipe for disaster. The addresses you pinged may have been clear then and not now, or they may have changed the DHCP scope, or they may even have devices on there that don't respond to pings (not everything does).

High level streaming is likely to cause a heavy load as I would guess that they've just got a home-style router provided by their ISP, not something that's actually designed for doing a proper job.

If the site isn't too far from you then I would strongly recommend putting everything of yours on a single switch, isolated from the rest of the network and not connected to the Internet. A few days of running that way should prove where the problems lie - then you can go back to your customer and point out the error of their ways.

Unfortunately every man and his dog seem to think they can do 'networking', but it's actually far more complicated than it seems to do it properly.

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andy-the-diver
Posts: 2464
Topic starter
Member
Joined: 12 years ago

Thanks for the advice - I'm far and away no expert just self taught - hence when it gets too deep - i'm not best placed to stand my ground lol.
it's not a huge distance away - but right in Birmingham town center - so an absolute "arse" to access tools from car etc parked almost a bus ride away !Head

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