17 hours without internet, I think I'm gonna die!!!
May 22, 2014 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Actually, it's a friend of mine who is suffering without internet. He's on a Greyhound for the next 17 hours. Wifi and power outlets on the bus aren't working. Driver doesn't know how to fix it. I guess this is a long shot, but does anyone know if these buses have circuit breakers or something that can be reset, or other ideas for how to get wifi and power working?
posted by phoenix_rising to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The last time i rode greyhound/boltbus this happened. The driver pulled over to the side of the road since we were early anyways, COMPLETELY powered off the bus, including the external battery killswitch for parking, and turned everything back on.(nicest charter bus driver i've EVER had)

It took a good 4-5 minutes for the wifi to actually work again, in the sense that it seemed like it hadn't actually grabbed a cell signal and authed to their proxy gateway and all that, but then it worked again. I lol'd at this, that they had to completely pull over and shut down to reboot it... but he said that the hotspot is buried deeply in the bus somewhere.

I guess at whatever their next stop/layover is he can ask the driver to totally cut the power?

Also, for what it's worth, i think the wifi router is plugged into the gigantic ambulance-size inverter that runs those outlets... just thought of that. This is total brainfarting on my part, but if cutting the power shuts it off it isn't some consumer unit with an internal battery... it's likely a commercial router with a SIM slot bolted somewhere, with its stock power supply plugged into a hidden outlet. It wouldn't surprise me if someone plugged something stupid like a hair straightener into one of the outlets while other people had stuff plugged in and it just flipped its breaker or put it into protect/failsafe mode.

Failing all else, i'd call their CS line when it comes back up at 7am, and go "hay i have no internet pls help" and see if they can just call/radio the driver with instructions... or if they even care.
posted by emptythought at 8:58 PM on May 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

I don't know about breaker location but it stands to reason that a bus providing 120V power for passenger use would have to have one for safety reasons. Can your friend provide the model or at least manufacturer of the bus? If we had that we might be able to find an operator's manual or something.

I ride a commuter bus every day that is a Greyhound-style touring bus. On those there is a big fuse box located in the cargo bay underneath, and it might just be that a fuse has blown (but realistically, to supply every seat with power they must have a huge inverter in there somewhere. I would imagine that device has its own circuit breaker or other overload protection rather than relying on a fuse.) It's possible that the inverter is down there in the cargo area as well.

Also, I second emptythought's theory that the wifi is dead because the router is plugged into the same inverter as the seat receptacles.
posted by contraption at 10:13 PM on May 22, 2014

Thanks emptythought, I'm posting this from the bus.
posted by Sophont at 12:08 AM on May 23, 2014 [30 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks emptythought, that was it! Now my friend (and fellow Mefite, Sophont) is a happy guy. :)
posted by phoenix_rising at 6:39 AM on May 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

To finish off what I've learned about greyhound wifi, first driver told me about a yellow switch that she thought reset power to the seats and wifi. After a long stop and driver change power and wifi were not working. Driver did something and power worked but not wifi. At the next stop I asked about the switch and he said it was only for power, station manager who was there said there is no wifi reset/power switch.
After another meal stop, about 5 minutes enroute, wifi started working.
Looks like rebooting the bus is the only option a driver has to fix a wonky wifi.
posted by Sophont at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2014

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