RIP to my 8-port Unifi switch after years and years of Texas outdoor temps


Enlarge / My unique US-8-150W shortly earlier than being changed. Do not decide my zip-tie mounting job—it held for eight years!

Lee Hutchinson

This morning, I would wish to pour one out for a very superior piece of substances that did every part I requested of it with out grievance and died earlier than its time: my Unifi 8-port POE swap, mannequin US-8-150W. Farewell, expensive swap. You had been an actual one, and a lightning strike took you from us too quickly.

I picked up this swap back in January of 2016, after I was ramping up my quest to switch my shaky residence Wi-Fi with one thing slightly extra enterprise-y. The outcomes had been, on the entire, optimistic (you’ll be able to examine how that quest turned out in this piece right here, which incorporates a lot reflection on the results—good and dangerous—of going overboard on residence networking), and this little 8-port swap proved to be a significant enabler of the design I settled on.

Happier times—the old US-8-150W right out of the box, when it was brand new. Note those two SFP slots at right.
Enlarge / Happier instances—the outdated US-8-150W proper out of the field, when it was model new. Word these two SFP slots at proper.

Why? Effectively, it is a good sufficient gadget—having 802.3af/at and likewise Ubiquiti’s 24-volt passive PoE possibility made it universally appropriate with absolutely anything I needed to hook as much as it. However the important thing function was the 2 SFP slots, which technically make this a 10-port swap. I’ve a indifferent storage, and I needed to hook up some PoE-powered safety cameras on the market, together with a further wi-fi entry level. The best answer would have been to run Ethernet between the home and the storage, however that is not really a easy answer in any respect—operating Ethernet underground between two buildings could be electrically problematic until it is achieved by professionals with skilled instruments, and I’m undoubtedly not an expert. A few estimates from native corporations informed me that trenching conduit between my home and the storage was going to value a number of hundred {dollars}, which was greater than I needed to spend.

However optical fiber would not have any of {the electrical} points that copper does, and it really works nice between buildings. All it took to wire up my storage had been some low cost gigabit SFP transceivers (fairly positive I used these ones right here), 40 meters of aqua-clad multimode fiber, and a $75 appointment with a contractor to truly run the fiber. Then I simply needed to mount the swap, and, growth, the storage was formally a part of the community.

The back side of the beam on which the switch is mounted. This also sort of shows the fiber run coming into the garage.
Enlarge / The again facet of the beam on which the swap is mounted. This additionally type of exhibits the fiber run coming into the storage.

Lee Hutchinson

The explanation why this swap warrants a front-page writeup is the sheer aplomb with which it dealt with the ridiculous quantity of heat-related abuse it needed to put up with. In the course of the summer season—which in Houston lasts about 10 months out of the yr—the storage temperature can get above 120°F (round 50°C) and keep that manner for 10 or 12 hours, and the US-8-150W’s CPU thermal sensor spent most of its operational life studying between 70°–80°C. That little swap ate these temperatures each single day, with out grievance, for virtually eight years.

That is fairly rattling good, for my part. In reality, the swap would nonetheless be in place, fortunately doing its factor, if not for a lightning strike close to my residence a few months again. The strike precipitated a bunch of issues—and a type of issues was scrambling the swap’s brains.

And even after the strike, the swap nonetheless would not die. Two ports give up working altogether, and two others would not produce PoE anymore, however the US-8-150W soldiered on for an additional month whereas I hunted round for a alternative.

Ultimately, the one factor I might discover to switch the US-8-150W ended up being one other US-8-150W—and so that is what now hangs in my storage, in the identical place as its forebear. Kudos to Ubiquiti for producing this tank—no matter else the corporate could have achieved, good or dangerous, the US-8-150W was a hell of a swap. Here is to it, and this is to the US-8-150W that I am changing it with. If I can get one other eight years out of this one, it’s going to completely be cash effectively spent.

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