Inside the plane: run your own wireless network and overload the power in your seats

Upon entering the plane, we were greeted by the first class private cabins. These are the chairs that turn into beds and totally isolate you from your neighbours. They looked kind of flimsy to be honest. Business class always looks good, and would probably net you a better flight from the looks of it.

Air Canada's power outlets in the seats suck.Thundergod and Fallout decided to play Diablo 2 to kill some time. We turned on the CradlePoint PHS300 broadband router to create a wireless network on board. After a good hour or so of gameplay, Thundergod decided to plug in his laptop into the power outlet (at the time, I was already on the AC adapter plugged into my seat’s outlet). Immediately, both of our outlets tripped the breaker, and a resulting red light came on (see the photo). Right away, this ended our 1-hour Diablo 2 run for the rest of the flight. Looks like having too many laptops plugged into the same strip is way too much power.

We spoke with an Air Canada employee on board to see if they could reset the breaker for our seats. The woman explained that the map program (the little flight status overview system) was known to break power outlets from a supposed overheat. Unfortunately, resetting the LCD screens in our seats did not reset the power outlets. We didn’t think so it would work anyway. We were given compensation forms to fill out to receive a travel voucher or Aeroplan miles.

Depressed from not being able to use our laptops for too long on the trip (except Fallout, since he’s got a Macbook Pro with a 7 hour battery) we decided to all pass out for a bit. We must have slept for a good 2 hours or so. We all eventually woke up when a flight attendant came to serve us some water.

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