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general-tech-support

General Tech Support

I have recently gotten back into tech support work, and this page is a reference to some things I'm picking up and re-learning.

  • It's important to know that even if you fix an error, other errors or issues may remain underneath, and a complete repair may sometimes be less economical than replacement. It might also take more time than the initial error might indicate.
    • For example, in the copier job below, even though the boot disk error was fixed, the formatter board required replacement to get a basic function like printing over the network to work. If this was a less expensive copier, the amount of time to troubleshoot and the cost of replacement parts may not have been worth simply replacing the copier outright.

Copier Repair

  • Copiers have hard drives and other components on “formatter” boards. These are similar to motherboards in computers.
  • One of the first jobs I had after getting back into tech support was an HP cm4540 copier that was first displaying a “boot disk not found” error, and then having network connectivity issues.
    • Initial error was fixed by replacing the boot disk. It's worth noting any SED 2.5“ hard disk would have worked, and did not have to come directly from the manufacturer.
    • The network connectivity issue was very unclear. The NIC was built into the formatter board. It would settle on a manual IP address, but only after a long time. Even though other devices were able to get a DHCP address, the copier would just get stuck on “initializing” for the network status. I was finally able to fix this by replacing the formatter board entirely. $90 replacement part from ebay.

Low-Cost Video Conferencing Solutions

A client recently asked me for a cost-effective way to enable their conference room for video calls. It’s a simple setup - long table with 8-10 chairs around it, and a TV mounted at one end of the room.

There are some very expensive solutions out there, but after doing some research, it seemed like the following would provide an easy and high-quality solution for $800, or closer to $470 if they’re willing to use readily available refurbished versions of the equipment.

The idea is to mount a video conferencing camera under the TV, connect it with an expansion mic so participants can clearly hear the folks seated at the table, and make it easier to connect the laptop used for conferencing from the table.

Smaller Room Requiring a Wide Angle of View

  1. Camera under the TV (if there's no TV, consider a tabletop logitech camera product)
    1. Logitech MeetUp Video Conferencing System - $570 new, $300 refurbished
  1. Tabletop microphone (if table is farther from the TV, otherwise it's unnecessary)
    1. Logitech Expansion Mic - $200 new, $140 refurbished

Larger Conference Room with a Rectangular Table

  1. Camera under the TV
    1. Logitech Group product - $600 new, $400 refurbished
  1. Tabletop microphone
    1. Included with the Logitech Group product

Cable Routing

  1. Longer HDMI cable run + floor cable cover so you can easily project the call participants onto the TV from a laptop on the table
    1. $20 + $10
general-tech-support.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/21 22:25 by Roman Sheydvasser