Reliable Power Meters homepage
Laptops, Network Switches
and the Power Recorder

Please note: The following has been said to me. As I have no personal experience this it is to be viewed as informative only. There is no intention to offend. There are doubts as to the validity of the 'problem', but using the cures outlined below got a client working again.

It appears as if Cisco switches and Compaq laptops have a slight incompatibility on the network front. The switch and laptop, when first connected to each other, have a tendency to find themselves connecting at the lowest possible speed rather than the highest - this being 10Mbps rather than 100Mbps or even 1000Mbps.

The most obvious cure is to fix the switch speed to 100Mbps and allow the laptop to hunt to the correct speed - this done so that the laptop can be moved to other networks which may well be running at 10Mbps.

Unbelievably, it appears the only cure is to fix the laptop to 100Mbps as the switch cannot be fixed to 100Mbps? (as I say, I have been told this even though I find it quite shocking!).

As the Reliable Power Meters' range of recorders operate at 10Mbps (10baseT), the 'solution' indicated above will render the laptop inoperable with the recorders.

There are two possible 'workarounds'.

  1. Provide a dedicated port from the switch for the recorder. As the tendency of the switch is to run at slower speeds this will connect to the recorder with ease. The laptop then uses the port assigned to it and communicates with the recorder via the switch. The only restriction is any 'work' done on the recorder is restricted to the office only.


  2. Have the IT department train and give access to the laptop user to release the fixed speed when wishing to operate with the recorder in the field, and to then fix the speed to 'office environment' when required (this being done pretty quickly as the network will appear mighty slow otherwise).

Of course, a combination of the two is also quite feasible.

If there are any questions or comments please email.

Note: This web page does not form part of any official documentation.
Any information contained herein is used at own risk.

©  M.T.P. - 30.10.02