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MIS Systems Thread, Bromcom recycling... in Technical; In the dim and distant past (over a year, but less than two) we used Bromcom wireless units. We now ...
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    duncane's Avatar
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    Bromcom recycling...

    In the dim and distant past (over a year, but less than two) we used Bromcom wireless units.

    We now use SIMs for registers etc, so the Bromcom base units seem to be just sitting there (using up energy, because I don't think anyone's ever switched them off).

    I *think* they may be WIFI access points - if so, are they standard WIFI, what encryption (if any) do they use, and could I re-purpose them for me and my network manager, and possibly our student support officers, to communicate with using PDAs? Low bandwidth stuff - e.g. email/text messages, the odd picture etc?

    It would be a shame to waste them, because they're already scattered around the school to provide coverage.

    Cheers,
    Duncan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duncane View Post
    I *think* they may be WIFI access points
    I notice that they also do their own legacy wireless system - does anyone know how I can identity which they are?

    I should be able to do a scan to see whether they're WIFI or not, but a simple visual check would be quicker.

    Thanks,
    Duncan.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    If they are brown/black and branded 'Bromcom' with two thin arials sticking out at right angles to the side, click a lot and run on a single loop of Cat5 cable with the cable looping in and back out of the unit, then they are part of Bromcoms own wireless system which is totally useless for anything other than what it was designed for, which was working with the Bromcom pads. Ground breaking system in its day, but showed it age as soon as WIFI became popular.

    If however they are different to these, then they may well be normal wireless access points, as Bromcom did/do offer a normal WIFI system as well. If they are normal wireless access points, then you should be able to pick it up with any wireless enabled laptop.

    Mike

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    duncane (9th October 2008)

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    duncane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    If they are brown/black and branded 'Bromcom' with two thin arials sticking out at right angles to the side
    Drat!

    Thanks though.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncane View Post
    Drat!

    Thanks though.
    Might be worth contacting Bromcom, as I think they buy back old equipment as spare parts to support schools that still use that system. I know they used to do that with the Bromcom Pads, they may well do it for the RTUs as well as I'm guessing they don't make them any more, but I bet there are some schools out there that still use the old Bromcom system. You won't get a lot, but anything is better than nothing!

    Mike.

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    I know schools that are still using the RTUs you mention, and all that ever goes in them is 2 little 10p chips they seem to do the job for us, just don't like lightening as they tend to go a little bit dud after them so I am told but the man from Bromcom normally pops and visits and its all good again.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    I know schools that are still using the RTUs you mention, and all that ever goes in them is 2 little 10p chips they seem to do the job for us, just don't like lightening as they tend to go a little bit dud after them so I am told but the man from Bromcom normally pops and visits and its all good again.
    Yes that's true they were generally pretty reliable, but I had many many visits after lightning storms when I suported a Bromcom system, as we had quite a few RTU units in outside mobile classrooms, and the wires strung overhead to connect them up made brillient conductors for static in the air.

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    It's GPRS (general packet radio services?).

    You can get PCMCIA cards (the ones for laptops)

    Pretty slow and pants... still you could just replace them with nice 802.11G access points. Might be able use the cable (prob not knowing most of there cabling)

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    It's GPRS (general packet radio services?).

    You can get PCMCIA cards (the ones for laptops)

    Pretty slow and pants... still you could just replace them with nice 802.11G access points. Might be able use the cable (prob not knowing most of there cabling)
    You could get PCMCIA cards for laptops that talk to this network, but it still only gives you access to bromcom services and no internet access or simelar, because the comms for this entire system was through a single serial port of the Bromcom server! Unfortunitely it would be difficult to reuse the cabling as well, as the Bromcom RTU's were run on a single run of cat5, with the cable looping in and out of each RTU, then onto the next one making it useless for anything else other than Bromcom itself.

    Mike.

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