...something starts failing intermittently. Over the last few weeks my wireless access point has started acting up: the clients got more and more disconnections during the night and things like that. I suspected a dead client card at first or a bad antenna connection, but today that prove wrong.
The thing stopped working about every 25 seconds for 5-10 seconds, repeat a few times and then it would work again for the next hour or so. I tried everything on the logical level, even investigated if somebody was playing silly tricks with the thing remotely...nothing helped. Resync, connect, a few seconds of activity, bang. It looked like the thing reset itself continuously.
Eventually I ripped it apart to see if it had blown any capacitors, nope. Switching it on again, the LEDs looked weird...kind of spastic. Trying the AP on a different power supply: it works. The original one: nope. The multimeter told me that the wall-wart PSU would produce +5V unloaded but under load it had less than 3.2V to give. No surprise the AP fell flat on its face whenever there was a bit of activity. Ripping the (dinky) dead PSU apart I found a voltage regulator looking very much cooked on a circuit board that also looked quite fried. I didn't have a matching PSU around that would meet the old specs (+5V but up to 2A), so I took an old ATX PSU and soldered a connector. Ugly But Works.
What I also hate is hearing about flying accidents. We had one today at my favourite flying site. I know not a lot of the specifics, but it must have been very ugly. Truly confidence-inspiring for next week's competition. Not.