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Koos van den Hout

Koos van den Hout - Latest news, thoughts, rants, projects and other things to write about.
2020-08-04 Een slechte dag voor VDSL 6 days ago
Gisterenmiddag viel de VDSL weer eens 'ouderwets' uit zonder aanwijsbare redenen. Tijdens thuiswerken, wat natuurlijk niet handig is. De maximale snelheid ging even naar ADSL snelheden (7 mbit down, 2 mbit up) maar was snel weer op hoge snelheid. Het kostte een paar pogingen weer een stabiele PPP connectie te krijgen dus misschien was er ergens anders in het netwerk ook even iets mis.

Gisterenavond werd ik actief met amateurradio op 14 en 7 MHz. Dat gaf diverse verstoringen van de VDSL, ik was gewend dat de verbinding per nieuwe band waarop ik actief ben een keer 'leert' om het stuk waar ik actief ben niet te gebruiken. Ik bleek ook een storing in de antenne op 7 MHz te hebben waardoor veel signaal reflecteerde, wat misschien de oorzaak was van de meervoudige storingen. Uiteindelijk dat op kunnen lossen en daarna bleef de VDSL verbinding ook actief.

Afgelopen nacht is er nog wel twee keer een uitval geweest. Maar het is vlot hersteld zonder dat het script wat een vdsl reboot forceert actief is geworden.

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2020-08-03 Trying a number of amateur satellite passes with a new radio and finally success 6 days ago
Saudisat 1c / SO-50 cube satellite
Saudisat 1c / SO-50
A few weeks ago I tried the Baofeng UV-5R on a satellite pass again to at least receive signal. It did receive something but kept closing the squelch during reception even at squelch level 0. This seems to be a common problem with this model radio.

I decided to put some money into a handheld radio that can do full-duplex. My original Wouxun seems to have developed serious issues receiving on the 2 meter side, but it has served me very well as a handheld radio over the years. So based on reviews about the Wouxun KG-UVD8D/KG-UVD9D models and how their full-duplex capabilities worked in combination with satellites I decided to buy one of these. The current model is the KG-UV9K which adds airband receive capability. I ordered one from bamiporto which came after a few days.

Based on the settings in AO-85 & Wouxun KG-UV9D - more testing I set mine up and tried a number of passes. The passes on satellites AO-91 (Fox-1B) and AO-92 (Fox-1D) all failed. The passes weren't too high and during busy weekends so there was a lot of competition for the uplink. With only 4 watts I am a bit limited there.

The difference between the Baofeng UV-5R and the Wouxun KG-UV9K in handling audio from satellites with the squelch full open is clear: with the Wouxun I only get an interruption when I let go of the transmit button.

Yesterday evening I tried a high SO-50 pass. A southwest to northeast pass, which gave me the option to stand in the front yard with radio, antenna and a smartphone with the W1ANT satellite tracker. I had trouble understanding some stations but could hear others fine who seemed to understand most stations fine, given the contacts I heard. In a gap I called F5ERS/P which turned into a good first contact and after that G0ABI called me and that was a good second contact.

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2020-08-01 Blocking Sendy as spammailer 1 week ago
The spam trying to sell me PC hardware keeps going on and I had a closer look. I noticed they all were sent with the following header line:
X-Mailer: Sendy (https://sendy.co)
I had a look through the last months of valid mail and spam mail: 1 valid mail using Sendy, 87 already seen as spam and 104 reports to spamcop. Those are clear numbers, so I created some spamassassin rules:
header LOCAL_MAILER_SENDY X-Mailer =~ /^Sendy \(https:\/\/sendy\.co\)$/
score LOCAL_MAILER_SENDY 1
describe LOCAL_MAILER_SENDY Sendy mailer
Starting with adding 1 for using sendy, but I can add more. Reporting the 'PC hardware' spammers again and again and again via spamcop to charter.net hasn't helped yet.

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2020-07-31 Letting the nanokeyer decode my morse attempts 1 week ago
I'm still trying to learn morse and I currently make too many errors while sending with the paddle at a reasonable speed (12 words per minute).

Digging into the documentation for the winkeyer protocol showed me the option to get the morse it thinks I sent back to the computer.

This is even a supported option in winkeydaemon, the -e option.
       -e     Turns  on  winkeyer's  'echo'  feature and makes the daemon echo
              transmitted CW to all active clients (see '-p').

              Test this feature with the  'netcat'  utility:  'echo  |  nc  -u
              127.0.0.1  6789'.  This creates an active, echo-only client ses‐
              sion.
And indeed I can test my work:
$ ./winkeydaemon -s 13 -e
$ echo | nc -u localhost 6789
CQ CQ DE PE4KH
This could be used to write a morse trainer program. For now I use it to test whether I paddle what I want.

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2020-07-30 Backup to a remote webdav server using rclone 1 week ago
After the earlier issues with backing up to a remote webdav server I let the problem rest but made sure my backups were in order from time to time.

Until I came across a mention about rclone which especially mentions copying to various cloud services. Since I am trying to backup to a webdav server based on owncloud I had a look and this is a supported configuration in rclone. So I installed rclone to give it a try.

From the devuan distribution I got rclone version 1.35 which seemed to have problems with the specific owncloud server. So I had a look and newer .deb packages are available on the Rclone download page. This worked better.

On the first run rclone was convinced a lot of the files were modified locally since I transfered them with fusedav+rsync, so those were refreshed. But now it is all synchronized correctly the changes are minimal and the runtime isn't very long. I do make sure my uplink isn't filled completely so I limit the bandwidth. Command:
$ rclone --bwlimit 1M -v sync /camera/ owncloudservice:backuptest/camera/

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2020-07-27 Different SSL tests make things complex 2 weeks ago
After mention of the internet.nl tests at work I tested my webserver with the test from internet.nl and got a failed for the cipher order test. I do have the 'best' configuration according to the Mozilla SSL Configuration Generator but the test at internet.nl disagrees on this point because of the ordering of the ciphers. So with a lot of checking I now have:
ssl-default-bind-ciphers ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256
Which is not the order Mozilla suggests, but gives me an A+ on the Qualys SSL Server test and a good result on the standards test at internet.nl.

I also found out generating my own Diffie-Hellman parameters is not good for parameter sizes of 2048 bits and up. I changed to a known-good group of 4096 bits.

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2020-07-23 Twitter pointing me right at the dark side of social media 2 weeks ago
I separated my amateur radio twitter from my work and other contacts twitter to get less depressing world politics in my timeline and today Twitter showed me very clearly that I'm supposed to get agitated and depressed and not retreat into a safer bubble.

I got notifications on the @PE4KH account (including on my phone) to look at this tweet by Phil Karn KA9Q: Fascism has arrived in America. which quotes another political tweet.

I really appreciate the work Phil Karn has done in the past for networking and amateur radio, and as a person I feel sorry for him and others to have to live their daily lives in a situation like this.

But at the same time I don't want to be reminded constantly, because I can't do much about it and I will just feel more depressed. So it really annoys me that Twitter goes out of its way to point me to something that will agitate and depress me.

It seems like Twitter wants more doomscrolling and more depression to increase "engagement" at the short term.
Read the rest of Twitter pointing me right at the dark side of social media

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2020-07-21 Spam trying to sell me PC hardware 2 weeks ago
Since a few weeks I notice a lot of spam with deals in PC and mobile phone hardware. Several different domain names, but all with an overview of latest models and prices. When searching in the log for the names, the patterns are visible:
info2@bulk-laptops-europe.com
info2@notebooks-store-flow.com
info2@pc-b2bsales.com
info3@bigbuyit.eu
info3@computer-eu-trading.com
info3@elektronikresale.eu
info3@global-hardware-trading.eu
info3@notebook-resale.com
info4@laptopspro.eu
info6@bulk-laptops-europe.com
info6@it-stock-trade.eu
info6@technology-wholesale.com
info7@bigbuyit.eu
info7@elektronikresale.eu
info7@notebookb2bpartners.eu
info8@notebook-resale.com
info9@pc-stock-resales.com
Hosting seems to be at 2 or three places.

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2020-07-18 VDSL lijkt weer stabiel te zijn 3 weeks ago
Sinds de overschakeling naar de modem5 vectored VDSL driver voor de Draytek vigor 130 is er maar een keer een VDSL uitval geweest, en die was gerelateerd aan amateurradio activiteit op de 40 meter band (7 MHz) en dat ben ik gewend.

Het lijkt er dus op dat dit een verder stabiele configuratie is. Daar was ik ook wel weer aan toe na alle problemen sinds begin Juni.

Snelheden zijn sinds die herstart wel anders. De ruimte tussen 'attainable' en 'current' zijn nu groter. Upstream is 34.5 / 30.9 en downstream is 69.1 / 111.0. Snel genoeg in ieder geval voor wat ik wil.

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2020-07-16 Time to grow the diskspace for the home server 3 weeks ago
There were some ideas for one or more new virtual machines in the homeserver conway 2017 and the current volume group is almost full. Time to order some new diskspace because there's also some upcoming Devuan upgrades where I'd like to keep a snapshot of the 'before' situation so I can go back if everything breaks.

So I ordered 2 960 Gb SSDs. They will run in a mirror anyway. I was wondering whether to add them to the current volume group or take the 2 256 Gb SSDs out of the volume group. I decided to take those two out: there will be enough space after the upgrade and it can save some power. This does mean the new SSDs will also be set to be bootable and I will have to do a move of the volume group.

The order of changes:
  • Shut down machine
  • Install 2 new disks
  • Boot up machine
  • Partition 2 new disks with boot partition, make bootable with UEFI
  • Test boot from new disk
  • Make raid-1 device from the rest of the space on both disks
  • Add new raid-1 to volume group
  • Move volume group away from old raid-1
  • Remove old raid-1 from volume group
  • Unlink old raid-1
  • Shut down machine
  • Remove 2 old disks
  • Boot up again
Quite a number of steps, this will take some time.
Read the rest of Time to grow the diskspace for the home server

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2020-07-16 En weer spam voor een Belg, misschien moet ik maar eens schadevergoeding gaan eisen 3 weeks ago
Weer eens spam voor een belg, met zelfs de naam "Maes-Swerts/A." weer in de adressering, wat dus betekent dat ze het bestand gebruiken wat ik in augustus 2012 traceerde als illegale bron.

Dat voldoet dus absoluut niet aan de huidige wetgeving op dit gebied en zowel de Nederlandse als de Belgische toezichthouder hebben ondertussen stevige boetes uitgedeeld voor het niet opvolgen van verwijderverzoeken. Een leuk overzicht bij dailybits.be: Overzicht GDPR/AVG boetes en schadevergoedingen.

Misschien maak ik ook wel kans op schadevergoeding, na 8 jaar ergernis.

Eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder.

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2020-07-15 I tamed systemd 3 weeks ago
I shared my earlier mishap with systemd on twitter: @khoos: Another run-in with systemd and got a reply to check the prerequisites: @devbeard: Is there something that needs to come after, before the thing is there for gpsctl to configure? and I added a dependency on the serial driver for the right port.

This seems to work now, it all comes up as planned. Updated file /etc/systemd/system/ublox-init.service:
[Unit]
Description=u-blox initialisation
Before=gpsd.service
Before=ntp.service
Requires=sys-devices-platform-soc-3f201000.serial-tty-ttyAMA0.device

[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/gpsctl -q -a -B 115200 --configure_for_timing

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
And now I'm greeted by a working ntpd at 115200 bps when I log in to the Pi.

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2020-07-12 I participated in the IARU HF contest this weekend 4 weeks ago
Again this year one of the important radiocontests for me: the IARU HF contest was this weekend. I made both SSB and CW contacts on several bands.

I made 22 contacts in morse. I concentrated on SSB during the day, aiming to get some nice contacts in the log. There were good 10 and 15 meter openings which is always nice in a contest. I haven't done a lot of contesting on those bands so those enabled me to get more multipliers and a higher score.

In the end I made 159 contacts, with a claimed score of 343 qso points * 74 multipliers = 25382.

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

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