Daily life

A small geeky moment

1:03 PM

I never really liked science topics in school, mostly because I suck at math, not that I have particular issues with the abstract, but for some reasons, numbers have a way of making me sweaty, jittery, and I am totally incapable of processing them in my mind, I need a calculator and a piece of paper and my very own sweet time to work with them, things schools aren’t necessarily in favour of. But that doesn’t mean I am a science Dumbo either. My best school topic was biology, I aced it years after years I had to learn it in school, effortlessly, the natural world is something I do get. Physics I wasn’t too bad at it when it was all about making experiments and making deduction, I starting failing it massively (and I mean it it was along with maths my worst worst WORST topic) when they started putting mathematical equation in it and I am pretty sure the numbers of Newton increasing along with the lack of caffeine in the system made my grasping it even worse, Physics was that 7.45am first class of the morning, which had me pedal on my cycle from my home to high school like a maniac in hope to make it on time. That often came at the expense of a nice cup of tea in the system which had to wait until the recess break at around 9.15am.
To sum it, numbers are my enemy, but science is something I can grasp. it made me good enough to hang with the geeks at school and not feel out of place, it made me being able to fix my computer over the years (sometimes with help of more geeky friends), it makes me good at fixing thing too and understanding what the problem might be.
Now I am telling you all this because since we moved into this flat our wifi router had had some difficulties sending a signal my laptop could receive properly in the master bedroom. DH decided the router we got along with our Airtel connection was crappy, but I kept wondering if there wasn’t something else. Because the bedroom is less than 5 meter away from the router, and so is the far end of the sofa and the balcony in the other direction, the master bedroom is a weak signal or even no signal at all depending where on the bed you sit, but connecting from the living room balcony is super easy. To me it sounds like a case of blind spot, more than anything else. See there is a vary narrow hallway connecting the master bedroom to the living area, a narrow hallway in which the fuse box is located, where the washing machine is located, and probably has all walls being bearing walls (iron rod inside).
So yesterday while I was playing with my daughter and the remote control car I suddenly faced a radio blackout, I was in the living room, and the car stopped receiving reception from my remote the instant it reached the fuse box level! Outdoor this remote has a range of about 50 meters, so surely a 6 meter distance should be no problem. The interesting part was that as I walked closer to it the signal would not pass unless I was in the blind spot myself along with the car (we are talking 1.5 meter here). So I started experimenting with it, and sure enough, the area where there is the fuse box, intercom and the guest bathroom completely negates radio waves.
That’s where I am now wondering how to fix that, I thought it could be a high EMF (electromagnetic field) spot, but I can’t know for sure without a meter. It could be due to the presence of electrical wires, water pipes and iron rods bearing the walls creating a shield too.
So I kept reading online, only to not find no concrete help, at one point though one said that a high EMF will disrupt a compass needle. I have no compass, but making one is super easy, and fun. I grew up with a father who is a sail boat fanatic, we learned a lot on that boat, we learned geography, astronomy, weather change, winds, meteorological phenomenon, hot to make knots, how to read the compass (before the GPS came on board), how to do a positioning using triangulation (forgot that one but it’s basic trigonometry, the only topic I loved in maths), what a map was, how to read a map, maritime protocol...call it a school of life. So among all those facts was the homemade compass one, we never put it into action, we had a real compass on the boat, but my dad regaled us with the tale on how the compass evolved into what we had on the boat. The most rudimentary compass simply used a needle on a floater in a dish filled with water. it wasn’t super accurate, and all it could tell one was where the magnetic north was since there was no scale around it, but used along with the stars position it was a good way for sailors to see where they were going.
Now today I decided that just for the fun of it, I will try to make one and here is the instruction to make one here.
As you can see it is super easy, I magnetised my sewing needle with a fridge magnet, and since I know where the North is already it was easy to test whether my compass worked. And sure enough it pointed right in the direction I knew to be the North. And I decided to have more fun with my little toy, gently rotating the needle in another direction on the perfectly still water to see if it would rotate back to the North, like all compass do…and sure enough it did.
Now curious to test the EMF theory, I took the dish in the blind spot, let the water settle and be still, and looked at the needle, which was still steadily pointing North, no spinning mad compass like the only info I found not using an electronic meter, my needle behaved the same old way as before. I deduct from there that EMF is or not the issue in this spot, or that the compass theory is bogus.
So my wifi still doesn’t reach my bedroom, I still only know there is a blind spot, but not what is causing it, but I had fun making a little science experiment with a little hint of Mc Guyver in it.
That was a momentarily relapse into geekyness for me, which is comforting since the literary me seems to be on vacation, with me struggling to pen more serious blog post. Oh well!

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