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Koos van den Hout

Welcome. This is my homepage where I write about my opinion, projects, things I note, things I try and other random stuff. Newsitems have tags for a bit of structure.

Latest news/thoughts/geeking/rants/notablog

2015-05-25 (Sad but true #freerangechildren) 2 days ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Sad but true #freerangechildren
2015-05-24 Playing in the EU-PSK-DX contest 2 days ago
I saw the EU-PSK-DX contest coming up in the PG7V contest calendar and decided to try. My results are nice for a beginning novice with background noise:

Total number of QSOs in your log is 41, Including 0 QSO with errors, Valid QSOs 41
Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults
160      0     0      0     0
80       0     0      0     0
40       0     0      0     0
20      41     0     84    50
15       0     0      0     0
10       0     0      0     0
Total   41     0     84    50
Claimed score is 4200 points. I selected the SINGLE-OP 20M HIGH category. When I look at the EU-PSK-DX contest 2014 results I didn't do too bad for 25 watt power, in a noisy (residential) area and with only about 6 hours of actual 'radio' time.

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2015-05-24 Easy tracking of spam/phishing 2 days ago
I just received a PayPal phish on an account I generated to access www.409shop.com but never managed to order something, so I guess they had a databreach.

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2015-05-24 (More transponders in space. Eventually these satellites will drift apart giving us amateurs more U/V...) 2 days ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : More transponders in space. Eventually these satellites will drift apart giving us amateurs more U/V transponders to play with!
2015-05-21 A Linux-related radio interference problem 5 days ago
Recently I noticed serious interference very visible on 14.070 MHz. Where it annoyed me a lot since that is the regular frequency for 20 meter PSK31 where I make most of my contacts at the moment. I also saw some interference at 28.120 MHz, the PSK31 frequency in the 10 meter band.

Noise on 14.070 MHz
The noise in the fldigi waterfall, click for the full fldigi screen.
The interference showed as steady carriers about 58 Hz apart and sounded like a serious buzzing noise. The first conclusion was that one of the over the horizon radars decided to drop on that part of the 20 meter band.

But later on the interference stayed at exact the same frequency. And active over the horizon radar is also quite visible on the Utwente websdr as I noted before when I noticed interesting interference in the 10 meter amateur band. This specific interference wasn't visible there.

So I kept searching locally for the source. I was afraid a nearby neighbour was using a new interfering CFL or power supply which would make it hard to diagnose and fix.

My own equipment was also a serious suspect. One piece of hardware that recently changed near the antenna was the monitor for the server. The monitor changed from an old CRT to a less-old LCD screen. The power supply wasn't the culprit, but searching further it turned out the video signal to the monitor was! And then I saw what else changed: after upgrading the homeserver to Ubuntu 10.04 and upgrading the homeserver to Ubuntu 12.04 it started coming up in framebuffer mode. Which has a different video frequency from the 80x50 textmode I used earlier.

The problem goes away completely when I unplug the video cable from the computer. I had an extension cable without ferrite cores because an earlier monitor needed the extra length. Removing the extension cable makes the level of interference drop a lot but it's not away completely. So the solution is to unplug the monitor cable from the computer.

Then things are back to the 'normal' noise level on 20 meters and 10 meters. It's still a city environment.
Listen to audio attachment:
MP3 media: Noise on 14.070 MHz (rightclick, select save-as to download)

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2015-05-20 Eindelijk kan ik 'm aan het haakje hangen 1 week ago
Op sommige repeaters hoor ik mensen wel eens roepen dat ze "'m aan het haakje gaan hangen" als ze willen stoppen met meepraten. Dat verwijst naar het haakje of clipje waaraan de handmicrofoon opgehangen kan worden.

Handmicrofoon aan het ophang haakje Ik had van een stukje koperdraad een simpel haakje gebogen maar dat was niet echt handig en viel wel eens van de plank af. Dus toch maar eens uitgekeken naar een echt goed beugeltje. Op de beurs in Rosmalen kon ik geen aanbieder vinden. On-line even gekeken en terecht gekomen bij Microphone Hang Up Clip for KMC-30,KMC-32,KMC-35,KMC-36 en nu kan ik 'm dus ook aan het haakje hangen!

Het is een hele nette microfoonhouder, die ook in een auto of boot zou werken, er zit een veer achter die de microfoon vasthoudt.

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2015-05-11 (Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I'm a bit jealous: the usual 'zoo' on SO-50 in Europe wouldn't make...) 2 weeks ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Awesome! Thanks for sharing this.
I'm a bit jealous: the usual 'zoo' on SO-50 in Europe wouldn't make a qso like this possible, usually it's just possible to exchange callsigns and a grid locator.
2015-05-09 (Another bad Mozilla decision.) 2 weeks ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : The thing about the web I always liked was that 'publishing something for the world to find' was almost free. I run several sites at home using free software. To keep doing that in a future with https-only I'd need to pay for certificates and adding a small site means changing/updating certificates. I hope https://letsencrypt.org/ works and is up and running in time.
2015-05-07 Minder random VDSL downstream snelheid 2 weeks ago
VDSL downstream speed dropping Sinds begin februari zit er een neergaande lijn in de VDSL downstream snelheid. Nu de haalbare snelheid gelijk is geworden aan de ingeregelde snelheid (23008 kbits) is de daling gestopt, maar ik denk eerder dat dan vanaf nu het aantal fouten kan toenemen tot er een langzamer profiel gekozen wordt. Of er moet weer verbetering komen.

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2015-05-06 (This sounds like an interesting upcoming satellite to be launched soon. APRS on 145.825 MHz and PSK31...) 2 weeks ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : This sounds like an interesting upcoming satellite to be launched soon. APRS on 145.825 MHz and PSK31 with 10m uplink and 70cm downlink.
2015-05-04 Keeping PHP to a minimum 3 weeks ago
I noticed the recent upgrades left some PHP scripts non-working. The default is now to disable PHP in userdirs, via:
    # To re-enable php in user directories comment the following lines
    # (from  to .) Do NOT set it to On as it
    # prevents .htaccess files from disabling it.
    <IfModule mod_userdir.c>
        <Directory /home/*/public_html>
            php_admin_value engine Off
I decided I want some PHP in userdirs, but while I was working on this configuration I want to turn the default around: disable the PHP engine in the global configuration and only enable it on those sites where I need it for the site. So now /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini has:
; Enable the PHP scripting language engine under Apache.
engine = Off
And some sites that need it have in the VirtualHost config:
# enable php
    php_flag engine 1
    <FilesMatch "\.ph(p3?|tml)$">
        SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

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2015-04-30 DAB services scan 30 April 2015 3 weeks ago
Volgens Radio en TV zenders Nederland zijn de regionale DAB+ multiplexen gestart op 6B Oost/Noord Nederland, 7A Zuid Nederland, 9D Noordwest Nederland en 9D Zuidwest Nederland. De multiplex op 8A Zuid-Holland, westelijk deel Utrecht en zuidelijk deel Noord-Holland zal starten per 1 september.

Ik was natuurlijk benieuwd of Oost/Noord Nederland het tot bij mij in Utrecht zou halen dus ik heb een volle scan gedaan met de Pure One Mini radio. Die kreeg ik niet, maar wel 7A Zuid Nederland met een zwak maar werkend signaal, met als eerste service die ik zag L1 Radio, de regionale omroep voor Limburg. Daarnaast ook Omroep Brabant, Omroep Gelderland en Puur NL die nog stilte geeft. Maar dus nog geen Radio M Utrecht via DAB+ hier.

De Noxon DAB USB stick had weer wat meer moeite met ontvangen en kreeg deze multiplex niet mee. Dus in de verwerkte scanlijst nog niet zichtbaar.
Read the rest of DAB services scan 30 April 2015

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2015-04-27 Upgrading the homeserver to Ubuntu 12.04 4 weeks ago
And to get to a version of Ubuntu with support available I kept doing and did 'do-release-upgrade' again today on the homeserver greenblatt.

Again the upgrade was running for a while. A big improvement is that the process now uses screen so I was able to attach to that running console from other sessions and answer questions.

After the upgrade the reboot came, and after the reboot I noticed resolving was broken. This was traced back to the ppp0 interface for the connection to the outside world and the internal interface for services having started completely without IPv6 support. Doing an ifdown and ifup helped, but this should all start correct automatically.

I noticed the new Postgresql 9.1 is already installed, but Postgresql 8.4 is the default version available over port 5432, so I can do the pg_upgradecluster when I have time for that.

Later I noticed some packages were held back. I traced this back to /etc/apt/preferences still being optimized for Ubuntu 8.04 hardy and hardy-backports. I emptied the preferences file and it all sorted itself out and now everything is up to date.

This was probably the reason Postgresql 8.4 was left installed and active. After the updates above apt-get autoremove was going to delete Postgresql 8.4.
Read the rest of Upgrading the homeserver to Ubuntu 12.04

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The person

Father, cat owned/owner, Unix/Linux fan, Internet user, reader, recumbent byciclist, snowboarder, ipv6 fan. For those who don't speak Dutch: how to pronounce Koos van den Hout.

The job

Specialist information security at Utrecht University with a modern Profile page.

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