Lessons In Lockdown, Part II

Working from home has had its pros and cons, but one of the biggest advantages has been the time that has become available to exercise. I was used to getting up early on a Tuesday and Thursday to do a Zwift workout before heading to the office, but working from home has meant that I’ve been able to squeeze in some of the shorter 20-30 minute workouts on my lunch breaks. The Lavender Unicorn and Vault workouts on Zwift have quickly become favourites!

My Zwift setup resides in my shed, I don’t have a garage and there is a lack of space indoors so the shed it is for me!

shedlife

The issue I’ve always had is that the WiFi connection is temperamental at best due to the distance of the shed from the house. Any kind of disruptive weather like wind or rain and the WiFi connection drops out quickly and that can be infuriating, particularly when you’ve signed up for a group ride. I recently had some new patio doors installed at the back of the house and it would seem that the glazing of these has only served to dampen further the WiFi signal so something had to be done!

Now I’m not a technogeek by any means, but I’m fairly confident with tasks involving electronics so (with the help of YouTube) I decided to run a Cat5 cable from my house to the shed so I would have an uninterrupted internet connection for my Zwift set up. I ordered:

  • 100m Cat5 outdoor ethernet cable
  • Crimping tool
  • Cable cutter
  • RJ45 connectors
  • Ethernet cable testing tool

Fortunately we already had a pre-drilled hole in the wall at the back of my house where a satellite television cable from the previous owners had run, so I used that for my cable and ran it through to the back of my router. YouTube came in very handy for the connecting of the cable plugs as the order of the individual wires inside the cable are not very intuitive! I ran the cable along the side of the garden to the back of the shed and drilled another hole for the cable to pass through, then I attached the other connector and tested the connection with the testing tool I’d bought. All good!

IMG_20200630_062143

I connected the cable to my MacBook and ran a speed test to check the connection, I’m sure I got better speeds than I do in the house!

Photo from Iain Sisson

Since then I have enjoyed instant and stable connections for my Zwift sessions and for that I feel (rightly) smug.

IAIN

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