Category Archives: Residential

Things DO break

We all face frustration with technology. We hate it when something stops working for no apparent reason. Sometimes with electronics it can be a simple power reset to make the problem go away. But sometimes there are actual major problems that need to be fixed. Here are a few items we run into on a regular basis.

Poor installation practices. Sometimes people just don’t care. This customer was experiencing intermittent outages. The cause was buried in this rat’s nest of cables. Stability returned to the network once corrected.


This is what happens when something does not fit quite right. Inside the wall jacks are tiny metal fingers that make contact with the connector on the cable. If the wrong connector type is inserted into the jack or if a connector is forced into the jack this can happen.


Never underestimate critters. This is a section of outdoor cable that an animal took a liking to. This was most likely a mouse or squirrel that developed a taste for plastic and wire braid.


Ring’s new Video Doorbells & Chimes

Ring now has a Video Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus, as well as a Pre-Roll feature, which captures the 4 seconds before motion is detected to help users see what triggered a motion alert.

The new “near zone” detects motion within 5-15 feet of the front door. You can also exclude areas that you consider to be privacy zones. As the others did, you can still turn off video or audio recording for an extra layer of privacy at any time.

Plus users can utilize Alexa to communicate through Ring with whomever is at the door. Ring can be integrated to their smart cameras and their Smart Lighting systems.

The Chime Pro includes a built-in nightlight and Wi-Fi extender. Features from the earlier Rings are still incorporated into the 3 model.

Why Your Single Router Isn’t Enough

A single router will not handle the requirements of today’s household. There are far too many devices contending for the “airtime” that a legacy single router provides. To add insult to injury, the wireless signal is usually not strong enough to provide a stable signal throughout a sizable house.

The fix is typically a combination of 2 things. One: Using an Ethernet connection to hardwiring devices that do not move, i.e. Smart TVs, game consoles, PCs and Laptop docking stations that are used at a desk. Two: deploying multiple access points (the radio transmitter/receiver for Wi-Fi) around the house to provide stable wireless connectivity for devices that move like phones, laptops, etc. The access points are hardwired back to the router, not a wireless mesh network. Wireless mesh networks do not work as well as advertised.

Internet speed is usually not an issue. Personally we have run our house for years on 75mbs. That speed covers our business needs, streaming services, kids gaming and more. Today’s home network has to be designed and engineered like a business system to work well.

Outdoor speakers

As the weather starts to warm up, we will be spending more time outdoors. Sitting back and listening to some tunes is relaxing as well as fun. Take a look at some of your options.

Mounted speakers: There are a variety of speakers that can be attached to the house or porch. These speakers are weatherproof and come on a swivel mount to direct the sound down. Our preference on the high end is Bose 251 Wall Mount Outdoor Environmental Speakers and for a mid-range speaker the Polk Atrium 5 series.

Rock speakers: For those who want to hide their sound in the garden, rock speakers or environmental speakers are very popular. The Niles Audio rock speaker delivers years of worry free use in all types of weather conditions and sounds fabulous. Another style of garden speaker (and Lew’s personal favorite) is the Bose Free Space Environmental Speaker. This speaker is buried about 2/3 of its height into the garden and provides a rich warm sound to any patio, pool or garden setting.

Planter speakers: The only planter style speaker that is worth purchasing is the Niles Audio speaker in either terracotta or weathered concrete. Niles knows what they are doing to ensure this is a quality speaker that looks good and will last.

Other speakers: In addition to the above, there isn’t much you can’t do with outdoor speakers. Several manufacturers make an in ground speaker system that is scalable and designed for flower beds and around the yard.

Sophisticated, elegant and powerful, today’s outdoor audio is capable of delivering state-of-the-art performance.

*Product recommendations are solely the view of H&ONS. We are not receiving compensation from any manufacturer when we mention product types in this article.

Virtual Service Call

Last summer we implemented a new service that might work for you if you have a problem with your electronics/networking that you can’t resolve by using our troubleshooting guide (

To determine if the problem is something that can potentially be corrected virtually we ask that you email us at If we feel it is something that can be resolved via a virtual service call, we will then schedule a mutually convenient time. A couple things to take note of: if we did not install the equipment or the equipment was installed many years ago, we most likely cannot perform a virtual service call. In addition, this IS a service call, not an installation. We cannot help you DIY an installation of new equipment that you purchased since we have no way of knowing if this equipment will work with your infrastructure.

The way this works is that during the troubleshooting, Lew will ask questions to assess the problem and may ask to see devices/cables/electronics etc. via the phone. He will then give you directions to make changes to your system to attempt to correct the problem. This can be done either on the telephone or virtually through our Zoom account. Zoom is the preferred method due to the video capability.

At the 45 minute mark, whether we have or have not solved a problem, Lew will ask if you wish to continue. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the troubleshooting will resolve the problem during the phone/video support. You can stop the troubleshooting any time before the 45 minutes should you feel the virtual support isn’t working. All time spent on the phone or video is billable*.

Our standard service call rate applies but we do pro-rate it in 15 minute increments. Payment for telephone/Video service calls are to be paid by credit card at the completion of the call. We do not accept other forms of payment for this service.

If the virtual service call doesn’t work and if you are comfortable with having us into your home, we are still performing on-site service calls and site surveys. Gloves, mask & social distancing are all used to keep everyone safe.

*there are no warranties on virtual service calls