The Burton Tech Journal


Workhorse Hard Drives

by on Mar.27, 2019, under QNAP

I have become a huge fan of QNAP’s NAS solutions. Not only are they affordable, they have been a proven solution in the small to mid-size business space. If you are looking for a well performing drive that will run tasks 24/7 for 3-5 years, I recommend checking out Western Digital’s Red Pro line (Amazon –

You can confirm they will work with your NAS using QNAP’s compatibility list

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Don’t throw away your UPS

by on Mar.14, 2019, under Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

I always recommend getting a standard desktop UPS, such as APC’s 850VA BE850M2 on Amazon or APC’s 1500VA BX1500M also on Amazon, to protect your hard drive for dips in power (brownouts and blackouts).

At some point your UPS’s battery is going to fail. It’s common to want to replace the entire UPS unit, but you can save a considerable amount of money by simply replacing the battery.

Most manufacturers, like APC, offer a battery replacement lookup tool such as this:

Here’s a running list of battery cartridges I encounter with inexpensive replacements with Prime shipping on Amazon:

APC RBC109 – BR1500LCD, BX1500LCD, BR1200G, BR1300LCD, BX1300LCD, BN1250LCD

APC RBC17 – BE650G1, BE750G, BR700G, BE850M2, BX850M, BE650G, BN600, BN650M1, BN700MC, BN900M

APC RBC124 – BR1500G, BR1300G, BX1500M, BX1500G, SMC1000-2U, SMC1000-2UC, BR1500GI, SMC1000-2U, SMC1000-2UC

APC RBC7 – SMT1500, SMT1500C, SMT1500US, SUA1500, SUA1500US

APC RBC33 – BT1500, BT1500BP, BR1500, BX1500, SC1000, SN1000

(Note this is not APC branded)

(Note this is not APC branded)

Amazon is a great solution for ordering if you have access to a Prime account because these parts tend to be heavy and expensive to ship.

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Still using a serial interface?

by on Mar.13, 2019, under Serial Interfaces

Many of us find that the serial interface is still widely deployed, but it is become harder to find computers with a build in interface. While I have had a lot of success with USB devices such as the Tripp Lite Keyspan High-Speed USB to Serial Adapter (Amazon –, there are some solutions that have trouble interfacing over a USB connection. I have found a great PCIe X1 card on that works well with Windows 10’s native drivers (Amazon – I hope if you have need for a similar solution, that you can know this one works!

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Trouble with your wireless mouse?

by on Mar.03, 2019, under Hardware

I’ve been encountering more and more radio interference with wireless keyboards and mice than ever before, particularly Bluetooth based devices. It seems like LogiTech’s Unifying Receiver (such as this mouse on Amazon – also runs on the 2.4GHz band. I’ve also noticed that plugging the receiver into a noisy USB 3.0 port seems to be more problematic than a USB 2.0 port. If you run into trouble, I recommend plugging the receiver in the front of the computer (using USB 2.0 if possible), try clearing as much line of sight as you can, update the drivers/firmware from the manufactuer, and re-pair the device with the receiver. Space any re-pairing procedures apart by at least 30 minutes since some Microsoft devices can pair with the wrong receiver if you set them up back to back.

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Decent USB 3.0 Port Replicator

by on Jan.24, 2019, under Hardware

We recently deployed an inexpensive Kensington USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station (on Amazon for an HP ProBook 450 G3. The displays performed fine for business uses and the price is hard to beat.

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Solid QNAP NAS Build

by on Jan.16, 2019, under Hardware, NAS, QNAP

If you’re looking to setup a high performance NAS, I’d highly recommend checking out QNAP’s TS-873-8G-US NAS (On Amazon –

Is is compatible with the Samsung 860 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (on Amazon Using 6 4TB drives with RAID10 would allow for about 12TB of storage and with RAID5 you would get about 20TB of storage.

It is also compatible with the Samsung 860 EVO 2TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E2T0B/AM) (on Amazon, which would yield 6TB at RAID10 and 10TB at RAID5.

To create the high-performance cache, you would want to use the following:
Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Expansion Card (on Amazon
Two x Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SATA Internal SSD (on Amazon

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Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

by on Jan.16, 2019, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

We’ve deployed a few of these Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (A7000-10000S) (on Amazon in areas with high radio density where we didn’t want the clients to have to deal with Alpha drivers. The adapter comes with a 3 foot USB cable that allowed for optimal place and we saw excellent throughput.

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Cisco SPA500S Expansion Module

by on Jan.08, 2019, under Hardware

We recently had to source a Cisco SPA500S Expansion Module for a client using Ring Central. Rather than buy it direct, we found it much cheaper on Amazon and the client was able to install it themselves via plug-and-play functionality.

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New Orbi Installation

by on Nov.26, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

I did another installation with a slightly different model of Orbi. This time I used an Orbi AC2200 RBR20 Router (available on Amazon – and a Orbi AC3000 RBS50 satellite (also available on Amazon – This configuration also utilized a wired backhaul network but this time the backhaul worked perfectly. It appears the latest firmware may have resolved any issues that were occurring the month prior.

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Orbi Wireless System

by on Oct.25, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

The Orbi system has been featured at numerous retailers from Costco to Amazon, and the expansion units are widely available. Although it would be find for most small business installations, the product is mostly marketed towards the home user. Installation can be done directly on the unit like a traditional wireless router, but Netgear also offers a mobile app to facilitate installation.

I recently installed an Orbi AC3000 RBK50 (available on Amazon – router and satellite as well as an addition two Orbi AC3000 RBS50 satellites (also available on Amazon – The router installed without any issues and it was able to be setup as a pure access point (transparent bridge). All units were wired into a switched network with a single subnet.

The satellites did present some minor issues accepting the backhaul configuration. After trying the latest firmware, as well as some older firmwares, nothing worked. I found that connecting the satellites to the router directly with a cable, then configuring the satellites to use a static IP address and moving the satellite to their final location on the network worked. Using the scan function subsequently results in the backhaul dropping, so I recommend not making any changes once the units are disconnected from the router.

After the Orbi’s were setup, performance was good. This installation site did not allow for radios to penetrate the walls well yet roaming between the various access points worked well. I would consider owning these units myself.

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