Igor's Blog
Programming, DIY, Games, Hacks, and Tech

Velvet Wi-Fi has been in the news in Australia as well as in the UK and has been referred to as Uber for Telcos. This startup has come out of Brisbane, which is my home town so it got my interest. Even though the legality of reselling your broadband is a bit of a grey area with many Telcos explicitly prohibiting the practice, I was still keen to see how well the service works.

Velvet it currently in its Beta phase so the service is not perfect but it is constantly being improved and the support from the team is fantastic.

I'm going to split this article up into several parts with each one covering one aspect of Velvet. This first part is about the hardware itself, the next will talk about software setup and the last will go into how well the device stacks up in terms of signal strength and connectivity. I will not go into the monetary side of things as that can range widely from location to location.

The device that Velvet ships is called the Hotshot. Ordering is done online and is a simple process, though I did have some issues with receipts not sending to me but these were quickly resolved. After ordering it took a couple of weeks for my Hotshot to arrive. The device came nicely packaged in a brown box with everything required to get started inside.

IMG_1513.jpg IMG_1514.jpg


Inside the box was the Hotshot itself, a power supply, a quick start booklet and a card containing the device's password. I was surprised that no Ethernet cable was packaged but as it turns out one is not required. The Hotshot connects to your existing Wi-Fi network wirelessly. The Hotshot has two antennae on either side, these swivel up to let you tweak their position to get the best signal strength.
IMG_1515.jpg


The instruction booklet folded out and really had just a handful of steps. The design was quite modern and fun but as you'll see in the next part of this article the printed instructions oversimplify the reality of setting up the device. So don't go making a paper plane just yet! Still kudos for the cool instruction booklet, you don't see that too often! I'm sure as Velvet matures this process will get refined.

IMG_1518.jpg IMG_1519.jpg




So in terms of physically setting up the device there is really not much to do. Just plug it in! When the Hotshot turns on the light on the front is a solid amber, but after a minute or so it turns solid red. Don't be fooled, red in this case means everything is OK. (I would have expected green.)
IMG_1521.jpg


Now if that seemed too easy, I did skip over a week worth of time where my Hotshot had to be sent back because I managed to brick it! Oops! It turned out that my Hotshot had older software that conflicted with my home network and after failing to get it to work I decided to start over push in the Reset button. Bad decision. The Reset button wiped all of the Hotshot software! So don't try to be smart, don't press the reset button. After the Hotshot was returned back to me I noticed that the Reset button was covered with a red sticker. Any newly shipped Hotshots should have the latest software so this shouldn't be a problem in the future.

IMG_1516.jpg IMG_1523.jpg



What about that USB port and the other Ethernet ports? Well they're more or less useless at the moment though I am told that there are future plans to make the Hotshot able to connect to your router via the Ethernet port. For now you can just ignore them and that's a good thing really. Not using Ethernet also means that you can position your Hotshot in the best possible place to give the best signal to users you want to sell to.

So that's about it for the hardware. Stay tuned for the next part that will talk about the software setup side of Velvet and the Hotshot device.

Update: Part 2 is now online, go over and read it now.

-i

Please leave your comments or feedback below!
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...

Recent Blog Posts

How to enable the full stack trace in Maven's Surefire plugin for JUnit testing

Twelve elements of the Burst Mining Pool interface explained

TPG FTTB settings for the Billion BiPAC 8700AXL 1600 modem router

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

How to fix SoapUI javax.net.ssl.SSLHandshakeException calling WebLogic 12.2 web services on Java 8

Woolworths (WOW) shares disappeared from Computer Share Investor Centre

Connecting the Dell UltraSharp U3415W monitor to a MacBookPro via USB-C

How to add/change PHP versions appearing in MAMP preferences

Fix the ORA-00904: ORA_ROWSCN: invalid identifier error in SQLDeveloper with a few easy steps

G Suite Gmail is broken on Safari due to new Google Content Security Policy settings

Recent Galleries

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

Monument Valley 2 is released and does not disappoint

Space Food - Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Legeod Star Wars AT-DP kit

DIY spare parts computer build with a RAIDMAX Anura case

Fake 'Lepin' brand Lego packaging

Hardwood garden bench with clear resin void filler

Fixing a 3D printer extruder that stopped heating up

Easily increase disk space in a Lenovo Ideapad 100S 14" laptop with an M.2 SSD

Making a multi-piece 3D printed solder spool holder stand

My Other Web Sites

Igor and Elise's Travels
Riverside Expressway Cam
300 George St Blogumentary

My Online Tools

UUID to OID Converter
Guru JSON-RPC Tester
Extrudifier Object Designer
Travel ┬ÁBlog

Blogs and Friends

Matt Moores Blog
Georgi's FlatPress Guide
Perplexing Permutations
The Security Sleuth
Ilia Rogatchevski
Travelling Fairy

Blog Activity

Blog Activity
Don't forget to
my Facebook page for more great articles!
Don't show this again