Nashville Explosion: What Happened to My LAN

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PeteC

New Around Here
I live about 30 miles south of Nashville. I have AT&T internet and cellphones. The explosion happened at 6:30 AM but both services continued until about noon. Then they went down. Cellphone came back a few days later and the internet came back the day after that. But the local LAN inside my home also had a lot of problems that I don't understand and would like to avoid if it happens again.

My system:
Three Windows computers connected with Ethernet. (One has WIFI but was not enabled)
Windows tablet connected with WIFI only.
Raspberry Pi 3 connected with Ethernet (Has WIFI but was not enabled)
Raspberry Pi- Zero connected with WIFI.
Five WIFI controlled outlets controlled via Smart Life app (perhaps TUYA) on Android phone.
Eufy doorbell camera via WIFI.
Two cellphones connected with WIFI.
Four DirectTV boxes wired with F-type cables but also seem to show WIFI connections to the router (I could be wrong about that).
Also I a home automation system (OpenHAB) installed on the RPi 3. It includes numerous Z-Wave devices.

When the internet went down I expected my LAN to remain intact. But that wasn't what happened. Unfortunately it was Christmas Day and we had commitments so I didn't have the time to make a detailed study of what worked and what didn't. But:
(1) The outlets seemed to be unconnected to the app.
(2) The Raspberry Pis seemed to be connected.
(3) I could get the android phone to connect to the WIFI but it took some doing because it kept reporting, "no internet".
(4) The iPhone couldn't connect but that could be because I don't know much about iPhone operation.
(5) The eufy seemed to be nonoperational
(6) All Ethernet devices seemed connected.
(7) The Windows tablet WIFI was "limited" but I could view files on the Raspberry Pis so apparently it was on the LAN.
(8) The DirectTV tuned the channels fine. I think the WIFI is used only to get channel schedules.
(9) All the Z-Wave devices were fine, as expected.
(10) Later, some of the above seemed to be "shaky", coming in and out.

Is what I describe above expected or could I do something to improve the situation should something similar happen again?

Note: I went to the T-Mobile store and bought 1 month of a prepaid plan and switched my Android phone to that so I could set up a hot spot. The store was out of hot spot boxes. That got me back online until AT&T came back.

FYI, I started out going to the Verizon store because I had a fairly new spare Verizon phone. The parking lot was full and you had to get an appointment to get in. So I went to Walmart. Cash only, credit cards were not working. I went to the cellphone department. They couldn't sell me any plan even for cash. The line for the store ATM went out the door. The Returns section was closed (the day after Christmas). At T-mobile there was a long line but I could finally get online and almost bought a plan online before my turn came up.

Life in the connected age.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
A quick look at the list seems to indicate that the devices that had connectivity problems likely needed to "phone in" to some internet-based server to be functional. If that's the case, you need to keep an internet connection up. The most dependable way would be a dual-wan router with auto-failover to a different carrier.

When we were doing Smart Home device reviews one of our tests was a pull-the-internet-plug test. More often than not, the devices then became useless.

I have a TabloTV (OTA DVR). The maddening thing about it is that I can't access recordings or even watch OTA TV when the internet is down. So when we have power outages, I can fire up the generator and get the TV back on. But if my telco hasn't fired up the portable generator on my neighborhood DSL cabinet, I'm SOL on internet and TV.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
I live about 30 miles south of Nashville. I have AT&T internet and cellphones. The explosion happened at 6:30 AM but both services continued until about noon. Then they went down. Cellphone came back a few days later and the internet came back the day after that. But the local LAN inside my home also had a lot of problems that I don't understand and would like to avoid if it happens again.

My system:
Three Windows computers connected with Ethernet. (One has WIFI but was not enabled)
Windows tablet connected with WIFI only.
Raspberry Pi 3 connected with Ethernet (Has WIFI but was not enabled)
Raspberry Pi- Zero connected with WIFI.
Five WIFI controlled outlets controlled via Smart Life app (perhaps TUYA) on Android phone.
Eufy doorbell camera via WIFI.
Two cellphones connected with WIFI.
Four DirectTV boxes wired with F-type cables but also seem to show WIFI connections to the router (I could be wrong about that).
Also I a home automation system (OpenHAB) installed on the RPi 3. It includes numerous Z-Wave devices.

When the internet went down I expected my LAN to remain intact. But that wasn't what happened. Unfortunately it was Christmas Day and we had commitments so I didn't have the time to make a detailed study of what worked and what didn't. But:
(1) The outlets seemed to be unconnected to the app.
(2) The Raspberry Pis seemed to be connected.
(3) I could get the android phone to connect to the WIFI but it took some doing because it kept reporting, "no internet".
(4) The iPhone couldn't connect but that could be because I don't know much about iPhone operation.
(5) The eufy seemed to be nonoperational
(6) All Ethernet devices seemed connected.
(7) The Windows tablet WIFI was "limited" but I could view files on the Raspberry Pis so apparently it was on the LAN.
(8) The DirectTV tuned the channels fine. I think the WIFI is used only to get channel schedules.
(9) All the Z-Wave devices were fine, as expected.
(10) Later, some of the above seemed to be "shaky", coming in and out.

Is what I describe above expected or could I do something to improve the situation should something similar happen again?

Note: I went to the T-Mobile store and bought 1 month of a prepaid plan and switched my Android phone to that so I could set up a hot spot. The store was out of hot spot boxes. That got me back online until AT&T came back.

FYI, I started out going to the Verizon store because I had a fairly new spare Verizon phone. The parking lot was full and you had to get an appointment to get in. So I went to Walmart. Cash only, credit cards were not working. I went to the cellphone department. They couldn't sell me any plan even for cash. The line for the store ATM went out the door. The Returns section was closed (the day after Christmas). At T-mobile there was a long line but I could finally get online and almost bought a plan online before my turn came up.

Life in the connected age.

I would say you lost cellular, Internet, and perhaps some cloud services until they were restored by other. I doubt any Hand of God reach in to your local network unless there was a house power surge or brown out or black out.

OE
 

PeteC

New Around Here
A quick look at the list seems to indicate that the devices that had connectivity problems likely needed to "phone in" to some internet-based server to be functional.

{[SNIP]

Yes I am sure you are right. But it bugs me why the Smart Life app needed to "phone in" when my phone with the app was in my house and the outlets it controlled were also in the house. I could see it would need some outside contact if the phone was off the LAN but the phone should have stayed on the LAN because it was in the house.

When I tried to get the phone back on the LAN it kept "bucking" and "snorting" and refusing to connect. Then as often happens if you keep doing the same thing over and over, suddenly it gave me the option to "use this network anyway". I selected that and the phone was back on the LAN.

It seems I will have to do some trial reconfigurations and cable disconnects to see if I can enhance the reliability of my home automation system.

Thanks.
 

PeteC

New Around Here
I would say you lost cellular, Internet, and perhaps some cloud services until they were restored by other. I doubt any Hand of God reach in to your local network unless there was a house power surge or brown out or black out.

OE

The router is on an UPS and did not report any power problems.
But my phone lost the LAN while it was in the house.. And perhaps other things lost also. I didn't have the opportunity to test each device, just the main ones.
I guess I'll be doing some trial reconfigurations and cable disconnects to see if I can enhance the reliability of my system.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
When I tried to get the phone back on the LAN it kept "bucking" and "snorting" and refusing to connect. Then as often happens if you keep doing the same thing over and over, suddenly it gave me the option to "use this network anyway". I selected that and the phone was back on the LAN.
If that happens again, try putting the phone in Airplane mode. That will shut off the cellular radio, but leave WiFi on (you may need to turn Wi-Fi back on manually).
 

PeteC

New Around Here
If that happens again, try putting the phone in Airplane mode. That will shut off the cellular radio, but leave WiFi on (you may need to turn Wi-Fi back on manually).

Sounds good, will do.
 

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