latest news

latest news

This blog is updated whenever I get time. I add onto here some of the interesting and unusual requests we get involved in - as well as the I.T projects that is our main service.

CCTV system for a chicken farm

Customer requires CCTV to monitor chickens and use as an aid to look at egg production and quantity. Various camera technologies are required for this project from RG59 Coax, Cat5E and wireless transmission for remote locations. Remote access to allow for monitoring during the night along with balanced IR lighting........

high end valve amp upgrade

A beautiful Copland Valve Pre-amp including phono stage. This has just come in with the customer complaining about a noisy volume control and random crackles on the left channel.

This pre-amp is beautifully made and I’m very envious indeed. Copland have used quality components through out this pre-amp but being over 20yyears old, even these will have started to wear out. Customer says that the valves are new but I’ll test these as well. I suspect that most of the problems will be around the capacitors, all of these will be upgraded using high spec audio grade components.

The power supply caps and diodes will also be replaced but I’ll also test each component as I remove them to find any that will have caused this crackle.

Testing the volume control, it does sound noisy, again, this is a high-end ALP’s pot and will be replaced like for like. I could clean the pot out but I think it would be best to replace taking into account the age of the unit.

Unfortunately, circuit diagrams for Copland units are very rare so any diagnostics and component values will have to be reversed engineered to find out those components that are audio signal paths as opposed to smoothing / stability.

Valve Amp Repair and Upgrade
Montgomery Wales Website

G17 is proud to have completed the new Montgomery Wales website. Featuring lots of local information, hall booking and ticket sales systems as well as administrable sections for user updates such as a What’s On and Latest News sections. Working closely with Montgomery Town Council, Destination Montgomery and a small team of switched on, web savvy, community, business and tourist focused enthusiasts, Montgomery Wales caters to locals, tourists, businesses and community groups all in one place. Built on a bootstrap framework, wrapped in SSL the site is forward compatible, responsive across all devices and accessible. Appointment scheduling, Class Scheduling Tickets Support scripts, Dynamic Directories, G17 provides a one stop shop for all your front end and dynamic content on-line needs

hotel aerial system

I don't do TV aerial installations...normally - but if a customer is desperate, then I'm more than happy to help out where ever I can. I do need to add though, I’m not a qualified TV installer in that I do not have access to roof climbing equipment – but if the aerial is on a flat roof or loft then not a problem.

This request was for a hotel, due to a TV transmitter upgrade they lost access to some of the digital freeview channels and customers were beginning to complain.

I was told that the aerial was accessible and the hotel staff guided me through arm gestures roughly to where the distribution boards were located in the roof space.

The hotel TV system was fed from one loft aerial, that was way too small really to do the reception any justice but looking at the space it was installed in, there would not be much room to install a standard or high gain aerial anyhow. This aerial fed all 25 rooms through two distribution feeds. The main panel looked to be from the 1980’s, way before digital went live and it’s bandwidth only captured some of the freeview channels. That and its age caused a few reception quality issues as well.

So, orders placed for 2 8-way distribution blocks, a mast head amp and 2 long line amps to overcome some of the long cable runs to some of the rooms. The masthead amp was positioned close to the TV aerial and fed some of the distant rooms with +16dB of gain - this worked fine. The feed from the mast head amp fed into a high gain amp that then connected to the distribution feeds. Due to the feeds adding attenuation to the signal, this needed to be boosted again for further distribution by 2 +13dB amps.

TV Aerial Installation
Princess Bottled Water Wifi Analysis

Princess Bottled Water were having problems with their fork lift trunk drivers getting wifi dropouts when scanning water pallet stacks. This was causing them some frustration as productivity was affected as pallets had to be re-scanned. G17 was called in to carry out a full wifi analysis of the warehouse and report any finding as well as recommendations. A site survey was performed and recommendations were submitted to first try an easy fix.

The current AP installation was very high, although they used very high-quality AP's, most of the energy was in dead space 6 metres up. G17 suggested that the omnidirectional AP be positioned to angle downward pointing to the route of the fork lift trucks.

The AP's were also acting as standalone units, deploying a central AP controller would take out hassle with channel configuration and roaming - easy fixes with little cost outlay.

Microwaves do not like water, its pretty much the principle that makes microwave ovens cook food, water absorbs the energy and this was very apparent while carrying out the survey.

Considering the amount of bottled water around the warehouse, the previous recommendations did not produce good results, we recommended purchasing new AP's and positioning them in the ceiling area so that the microwaves are directed downwards as opposed to across the warehouse floor where they were trying to get through stacks of bottled water.

cat 6e cable installation

Emrys Jones Solicitors had a few issues with their current computer network, file transfer and backup dropouts, intermittent network connectivity issues, enterprise scanner and photocopying devices dropping off the network etc and asked G17 to come in and take a look. After carrying out a survey along with cable length test G17 recommended a total network replacement utilising a CAT 6 infrastructure and containing all active devices into a data cabinet where current devices were located on the office floor.

Due to the busy office environment as well as staff typing up notes from Dictaphones, G17 agreed with the customer to carry out all work out of hours and ensure minimal office disruptions. The work was carried out over a 2-week period with over 300 meters of CAT 6 cable installed along with Gb network devices to ensure all data throughput was maximised.

G17 certified the new installation and liaised with the customers database administrators to ensure a smooth transition onto the new network.

Retro Phone Upgrade

Love getting these little jobs to do, this one is a GPO telephone type 746. The owner wants to keep this phone as it fits the style of the house. The phone had been left by the previous occupant but was left unconnected due to a recent broadband installation. The phone is in great condition and all that was required was quick going over with an air compressor and a line chord change. Great excuse to look inside as well if you ask me... if, like me, you get excited by old technology, above are some images from some good quality 1970's engineering......

TV Aerial Installation

View from the office today... Glansevern Gardens. I don't normally offer Aerial installation or repairs but as we could not get an engineer out to look at this - and there was access to the roof, I offered to take a look. The masthead amp is dead and the aerial is pretty old with rusted connectors due to water ingress, no colour banding on the aerial but it looks to be a narrowband group type - but to play safe this aerial will be replaced with a new one. The Long Mountain transmitter is not that far away so not sure why a masthead amp was installed, I can only assume that as the aerial is installed incorrectly that the signal was too weak. (Long Mountain is a relay station and transmits its signal vertically, so the aerial should also be fitted vertically)

The Glansevern Potting Shed cafe and gardens are open to the public and G17 has just installed public wifi not only for cafe guests but also a top to tail wifi installation of the main estate house has also just recently been completed.

Hotel Sound System Amplifier Repair

Local Hotels sound system had "gone up in smoke" and I was asked if I could take a look as the amp was out of warranty. No problem, closer inspection shows and proves that beer is a conductive fluid and had indeed caused damage to the amps channel 1 output stage. The amp has been repaired and tested now and is back on site - hopefully being better looked after.....

The Glansevern Potting Shed cafe and gardens are open to the public and G17 has just installed public wifi not only for cafe guests but also a top to tail wifi installation of the main estate house has also just recently been completed.

playing around with electronic valves

Way back when the TV channels closed at midnight and you were left with a little white dot on the TV, when milk and pop was delivered to your door and no one had ever heard of the Internet I started my career in electronics, first as a lab technician then moved onto TV repair. Back in those days, valves were still in use and I had to learn how to fault valve TV's, radios and amplifiers (1983). For some strange reason valves grew on me, they represented a wide range of skills in producing for example a radiogram from the metal chassis, to the electronics, the veneered cabinets and intricate tuning mechanisms - it was all there plus that "valve sound"

I've managed to "keep in touch" with valves and the love still continues - I own a valve amplifier - a big beast and a joy to listen to and stare at - it's a bit like coming home to a real fire - something to stare at :)

So, along comes an opportunity to do something different, away from the world of I.T, little black boxes with flashing LED's and fans. A client asks if I know anything about valves and says he has a headphone amp that does not sound as good as it should. He drops it off and I try a few weeks of listening tests - he's right, it sounds harsh, no clarity. So a strip down and a peek inside reveals a few short cuts made by the manufacturer. Some I don't really understand why, like the 4 resistors wired in parallel or the very low-grade capacitors but hey ho, there is at least a lot of room for improvement.

So, the first thing to do is check it's current performance, for this we need a multimeter, function generator and oscilloscope. After this we will change out the 6 diodes for fast switching diodes, change those 4 resistors and replace with 1.
Get rid of the power supply capacitors and replace those with high quality Panasonics, the input caps don't really need to be there but as I'm not sure how this will be hooked up to external equipment, I'll replace with better quality and double the uF of the caps. The 4 output caps will be replaced with 2 1500uf caps, again, audio quality. I'll also check the ouput transistors for bias and comapre channels to see if they need matching up or replacing. Plenty to do and with all this snow currently around, the perfect chance to start playing

large scale wifi project for nursery

G17 is very excited about this project in that it provides a number of challenges to overcome in getting WIFI to a nursery so that at any time, our client can remain in contact with the internet should they wish to upload plant data, plant images or respond to emails without having to repeatedly go backwards and forwards to the office which is time consuming and disruptive.

The image above is just a small section of Nursery, to the left and right the Nursery expands out further.

The challenge here is going to be around line of sight and wireless power levels with glass houses made of metal mesh which could reduce the signal strength. Added to this is the lack of power in fields - but with modern day electronics, solar power and energy storage to power energy efficient AP's in a mesh, we should be able to sort something out - more to come…..

Hotel PBX Telephone System
new pbx installation

Local hotel required a new PBX installation due to their old one packing up and beyond repair. G17 provided 2 specs with options to meet current phone capacity and options to investigate a reduction in phone capacity. G17 also carried out a survey and suggested that a data cab would be far better to enable the installation to be kept secure and tidy which would help in any future faulting, provisions and repair. As some of the devices in the PBX area contained sensitive information and were also located close to public areas, a data cabinet would allow for a more secure installation.

Re-wire old 50 pair cables

Data Rack Installation

Complete re-wire

Based on customers’ requirements and budget, G17 put forward two options for installation for their new PBX system and listed the pros and cons of both systems

This new system had to also integrate with their current wiring infrastructure as any additional wiring installations would significantly increase the cost of the installation. With this in mind G17 proposed an Orchid 416 telephone system which would provide a like for like service from the old PBX with the added ability to allow the hotel to move across to VoIP when suitable but also keep all the features of a traditional PBX system.

G17 is proud to have been instrumental in providing Montgomery Town Hall and Broad Street with Public WIFI access enabling the Town Council to offer WIFI services to visitors, residents, business and community events.

Using the latest in WIFI technology, the installation has been future proofed and is adaptable to future technological changes while also ensuring compliance with relevant public access requirements.

Providing WIFI hardware components for such a historic building had met with some challenges. Asbestos areas had to be identified and avoided and cables had to be kept out of sight. Providing power to each AP would have involved additional expense so PoE AP's were used throughout. Public hotspot servers have also been deployed to meet with current UK laws and these have been configured with DNS proxy to ensure a level of filtering. Remote access to the whole system was also required so the site, equipment and configurations can be managed remotely.

One thing I love about building these is the insight into the lives of these people. Darren has a genuine love of the wild, nature and its inhabitants and making the best of the surroundings to ensure protected species have the best chance possible where us folk wish to tread.

A brand new site design for the Welshpool Camera Club to attract more members and adapt across various device screen sizes. A modern fresh design based on the bootstrap framework

farm cctv repair & test
G17 CCTV repair for local farmer

Local farmer with an extensive range of farm machinery approached G17 with an enquiry for CCTV repair on a system that had been installed over 5 years ago. G17 carried out a survey and agreed to try and get all 10-camera’s working plus CCTV recorder. The recorder would not view any images from any of the camera and was also not recording. Further investigation revealed that the hard drives had failed and internal fan had stopped working. Luckily all that was wrong with the camera were bad joints and power feed failures. Three cameras are PTZ (Pan Tilt & Zoom, as shown in the image above) so the data pair had to also be checked for continuity and data.
With 2 new CCTV compatible hard drives installed, a new fan and a software update the CCTV was as good as new. Old taped joints replaced with grease filled crimps and new power feeds all 10 cameras are now working. Our client was impressed with the success rate of the repairs and we are now in the process of alarming some of the offsite lock ups - deploying some very useful technology

industrial boiler remote access
G17 website design for Welshpool Camera Club

Large business requiring remote monitoring and diagnostics of boiler functions and performance. Along with this G17 also provided access to boiler email functions so various employees and boiler engineers will have immediate access to error reports simultaneously

G17 is proud to have become supplier of choice for Newtown Council IT and telecommunications infrastructure......

“The migration to modern and manageable technologies has given Newtown Council greater flexibility and efficiency to meet the needs of the councils work and services. Ed Humphreys,Town Clerk, added “winning this bid owes much to G17’s specialist knowledge, ease of use and cost. The project was deployed on time despite very tight timescales, in a quality manner and with no interruption to the normal running of the office”. “The solution proposed by G17, backed by its expertise and by G17’s commitment to deliver everything on time has made what could have been a complex deployment - a seemless and delightful experience"

computer Services in detail

G17 provides a range of services to the home user. Hardware & Software Provision, Upgrades, Diagnostics, Maintenance, Repairs, Antivirus, Email, backups and much more. We carry all common components that tend to break so we can try and get you up and running in a single visit.

G17 provides a range of business services. Hardware & Software Provision, Security, Backup, UPS, VPN, Remote Access, Remote Monitoring, Wireless and Network Cabling, Racks, Patch Panels, Servers, Workstations, Diagnostics, Provision & Upgrades. A lot of our work involves farms, milking parlours and wireless connectivity, so whatever line of business you are in, G17 will have something to meet your needs.

Website design & Hosting as required. G17 utilises content management systems such as Wordpress so once the site has been set up - you take control, from CSS frameworks to Bootstrap depending on your requirements. From basic one-page set ups to dynamic websites incorporating Room Booking Systems, Event Ticket Sales, Hotel Bookings and Appointment Schedulers plus online payments. We ask for time to learn about our customers’ needs, look at the business and build private tests sites for customer review before launching. We understand security and its implications and can deploy secure websites based on content and requirement, we don't sell you anything you don't need.

CCTV can be a minefield of complicated jargon, it was for us when we looked into providing this as a service - so we teamed up with one of the biggest UK CCTV suppliers and asked them for training so we could provide, with confidence, a professional service and cherry pick the best technology from the vast range of CCTV solutions available ensuring you get the right installation to meet your needs.

Part of our CCTV installation service is to come and meet our customers and understand the sort of service required. A site survey is carried out based on your requirement, we will then contact you again with a proposed installation and a quote and include additional notes on the survey if savings can be made or if the installation needs enhancing.

Domestic & Business Telecoms. G17 provides an internal telecoms services. From home wiring & extensions, internal broadband moves, (room location moves for example) to Business PABX hardware, programming and setup. We also provide a diagnostic service to help our customers prove a fault away from their own wiring minimising costly visits from telecoms services providers where the fault is found to be internal and the customer is charges for a call out.

Portable Appliance Testing is vital to protect your business and its employees. Electrical safety is not just limited to businesses, of course; landlords, pubs, hotels, teaching establishments and voluntary organisations are also responsible for ensuring the regular testing of all appliances. All portable appliances with a mains plug / lead need testing. This includes: computers, monitors and peripherals requiring mains power audio and telephone equipment requiring mains power kettles, microwave ovens and other kitchen appliances vacuum cleaners extension leads soldering irons glue guns and more. More on PAT Testing here

G17 can reset lost passwords, recover lost data, remove data through Data Destruction using Weircliffe BTE 220M "SEAP 8500" degaussers. We offer two levels of data recovery.
Level 1 is through deep scan software on drives that are in a working condition.
Level 2 is through sending drives off to a "Clean Lab" for data recovery

Please review our Terms & Conditions regarding Forensics before contacting us 

G17 provides a photography service where you may require a photographer in relation to various projects you have on the go, for example, a Bed & Breakfast website design requiring high quality images of rooms. G17 photography service its one of our most popular service offerings, so much so that we've created a dedicated website that can be viewed here: G17 Photography Services