News archive March 2013 - Koos van den Hout

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2013-03-30 (#)
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If only the predecessor SpinTop was as careful with acquiring e-mail addresses, I wouldn't have to unsubscribe in the first place. Yet another case of somebody entering a random plausible e-mail address in an on-line form and no verification.

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2013-03-29 (#)
@0xabad1dea tested with stock centos5.9 bind package, default no config (won't start), sample config will only resolve for
2013-03-29 (Loved this one! Garfield is one funky cat.)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Loved this one! Garfield is one funky cat.
2013-03-29 (#)
New lows in faked caller-id: just received a call from 001800724465 (Dutch notation) which is +1-800-724-465 in international notation, and not a valid number within the north american numbering plan (nanpa). According to a google search one of the caller-ids used by the 'microsoft support' scammers. Too bad I'm enough of a phonegeek to dismiss this as fake right away on seeing it. And I wasn't in the mood to waste the time of the scammer by discussing the non-existing windows computer in the house.

Update: And the next call, less than half an hour later, is from 009712179518 or +971-2-179518 which is also one digit short since UAE subscriber numbers are 7 digits after the area code.

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2013-03-28 (#)
Van diverse plekken kwam ik verwijzingen tegen naar beginnen met amateurradio door ON7PX, een hoop basisinformatie voor de zendamateur. Nuttige en practische tips in gevonden!

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2013-03-28 (Dutch article about a nice side-effect of the cheap (dvb-t stick/dab stick) based software defined radios...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Dutch article about a nice side-effect of the cheap (dvb-t stick/dab stick) based software defined radios: seeing which frequencies are in use is a lot easier.
Dutch mobile telcos were awarded 800 MHz frequencies for mobile communications, and the telcos intend to use it for 4G networks. Since the overview of the awarded frequencies is public information it is quite easy (with an sdr) to see which provider is testing where.
2013-03-28 (#)
@fanf windows AD will log what it misses (SRV records) in bind zoneformat. Add those, problem solved.
2013-03-27 (#)
@dagbrown it's the beginning of the rise of the machines against us!
2013-03-27 (#)
It took some waiting but @AgentschapT now recognizes me as a radio amateur, and I registered callsign PD4KH #happy
2013-03-27 (#)
It took a bit of waiting before Agentschap Telecom finally let me enter a registration, but finally I am able to register a callsign: PD4KH. Yes, the callsign has its own website. To me it is nice when I can search for a callsign on-line and find some additional information about the owner and her or his experiments. So I like to return that favour and have some more information available for those who are interested in PD4KH.

Now the next wait is for the official registration card and certificate.
Update: Modern times: I can download the .pdf version of the "Radio amateur station license". And print it. Which gives me access to the airwaves!

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2013-03-26 (#)
Interesting clash between the bind 9.8.2 package for CentOS 6.4 and puppet: When puppet updates /etc/named.conf it's not visible in the chroot setup for named. The named startup script uses bind mounts to make configuration files visible within the chroot environment.
root@geodns01:~# mount | grep named.conf
/etc/named.conf on /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf type none (rw,bind)
root@geodns01:~# md5sum /etc/named.conf /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf
d028cfee6cf1a1f77993da7c769273ad  /etc/named.conf
82d1717bb34db23804f67ad855e090ea  /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf
I first thought this was some form of caching, but a suggestion was the way the files were replaced by puppet: if puppet creates a new file and then renames the old one and the new one, the file will have a different inode after that action. I tested for this:
root@geodns01:~# mkdir test
root@geodns01:~# touch file.conf
root@geodns01:~# touch /root/test/file.conf
root@geodns01:~# mount --bind file.conf /root/test/file.conf
root@geodns01:~# ls -il /root/file.conf /root/test/file.conf
652873 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 26 19:20 /root/file.conf
652873 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 26 19:20 /root/test/file.conf
root@geodns01:~# vim --cmd 'set backup' file.conf
root@geodns01:~# ls -li file.conf* test/file.conf
652876 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7 Mar 26 19:25 file.conf
652873 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 26 19:20 file.conf~
652873 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 26 19:20 test/file.conf
This confirms that replace-by-rename will clash with bind mounts being actually inode based. The workaround isn't that hard: the startup script for named explicitly tests for an existing non-zero-byte /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf and will skip the mount --bind part in that case. Time to learn puppet about this feature, puppet now manages both /etc/named.conf and /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf.

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2013-03-24 (#)
Gisteren ben ik voor het eerst naar een beurs geweest gericht op radio-amateurs. De landelijke radio vlooienmarkt van de Bosche Radio Amateur Club. Ik was uitgenodigd door een vriend en ik had besloten dat het gezinsleven er toch wel tegenkon dat ik een deel van de zaterdag ontbrak.

De term 'vlooienmarkt' was ook duidelijk terug te zien in de stands, er was een hoog percentage aan verkopers van losse electronische onderdelen en oude electronica modules die hergebruikt zouden kunnen worden voor projecten. Het aandeel verkopers van nieuwe kant-en-klaar apparatuur was klein. Ook waren er wat standjes waar hobbyisten zelf enthousiast vertelden over hun clubs en hun hobby zoals de VERON, werkgroep kunstmanen en de Surplus radio society. Mensen die enthousiast vertellen over hun hobby en ook op zo'n dag iedereen weer eens zien die ze verder eventueel alleen via de radio spreken.

Ik heb er ook wat dingetjes aangeschaft: een extra accu en een antenne verloopplug voor mijn porto en wat ferriet klemmen om apparaten in huis te ontstoren.

Persoonlijk heb ik sterk de neiging deze beurs te vergelijken met de HCC-dagen. De drukte op de vloer is deels vergelijkbaar, het aanbod heeft overeenkomsten (er waren zeker ook aanbieders van computeronderdelen) en de sfeer heeft overeenkomsten. Het aspect bekenden uit de hobby ontmoeten is duidelijk aanwezig voor veel bezoekers. Ik ben ook mensen tegengekomen die ik langs andere wegen ken die tegenwoordig ook iets doen met amateur radio. In vergelijking met de HCC dagen waren er ook een paar aanbieders van spullen die erg verdwaald leken (bijna letterlijk spiegeltjes en kraaltjes) maar die niet te klagen hadden over aanloop. Ook is er sommige jaren een file bij de A59 en zijn er parkeerproblemen. Ik weet nog wat de HCC-dagen in de stad Utrecht konden aanrichten.

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2013-03-22 (#)
RT @kernelslacker: How long before someone tries to shut down Shodan because OMG CYBER TERRORISTS
2013-03-22 (#)
@briankrebs @cindelicato remember when school holidays were the busiest time for computer attacks?
2013-03-21 (#)
As I plan to combine recumbent bicycling and amateur radio I was wondering whether there are more people combining these two. I am aware of Rob PA3CNT, a Dutch recumbent cyclist who uses D-STAR and DPRS. A quick google search came up with some more, all of them in the US.

The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning by Ed Nisley who does a lot of interesting stuff with amateur radio, recumbent bicycles and Linux. An agreeable set of choices!

Bicycling and Ham Radio - KD5LWU Ham Radio a post promoting combining recumbent bicycling and amateur radio on an otherwise dormant blog. He does link to the site of Steven K. Roberts The tools of technomadics who is the ultimate recumbent bicycle rider and amateur radio example. The articles I read about Steven K. Roberts and his book Computing Across America may have been an influence in my choice for recumbent cycling!

And mobile recumbent contacts (QSOs) are even a special category in this video by K6BBQ making contacts on a recumbent tricycle on a ride in the Bay Area in California, USA.

There is even a club for bicycling hams in the US: Bicycle Mobile Hams of America which I found via K0LEE Ham Page.

Wayne Estes W9AE also combines recumbent cycling with HF dx contacts.

Across this pages I do note that it described as 'bicycle mobile' and not as 'portable'. I was wondering about whether it would be mobile (/M) or portable (/P). I asked one of the amateurs listed above about this and he prefers 'bicycle mobile'.

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2013-03-20 (#)
I thought of another reason for noise / bad reception of PI3UTR, which I earlier was quite sure was due to some local noise source. Using google maps I drew a line straight from our house to the Gerbrandy Tower and found out there are two high buildings right in the line of sight. And we have fairly new double glazing which can also limit reception.

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2013-03-20 (#)
Good use of having learned the Nato phonetic spelling alphabet: today I had a support person on the phone who called from the UK and who needed an e-mail address to exchange some information. Spelling as I learned it in English class didn't work, but the Nato phonetic spelling alphabet helped.

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2013-03-20 (#)
@shortiezzz stuur ze dan tzt een foto van de "tevreden telefoongids gebruiker"
2013-03-18 (#)
Continuing the search for the source of the interference on 2 meter amateur bands. This evening I tried disabling the powerline network completely, unplugging both ends of the link.

First I made a 'baseline' fft graph with gnuradio of the 2 meter band and then I disabled the powerline network and tried to make the same graph. Which failed completely: the dab stick I use for software defined radio has some automatic gain control which made comparing baselines difficult, the graphs had a jump in signal level of more than 20 dB. But I left that run of gnuradio with the fft graph running and switched the powerline network on again. Those two graphs are somewhat easier to compare: the peak signal level on 144.800 (aprs frequency) is nearly the same. The base noise level on the band indeed goes up about 1-2 dB. Listening with a receiver earlier I did notice the noise starts to actually have rattling sounds and high tones in the back yard. Time for more research there.

I should compare the results with receiving and interference on a receiver with powerline networking enabled and disabled, but I didn't find time to do that with all the running around to change the powerline network.

This is what I like in amateur radio: researching how something works or doesn't work and why.

Update 2013-03-19: Some walking around and some testing again: the linksys WAP54G indeed does cause some noise. And the most likely source of the noise in the back yard is the automatic light switch!

The heater we have is a Vaillant with OpenTherm support, but it does not cause interference.

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2013-03-18 (#)
Discussion about imap access from multiple devices made me wonder whether it is possible to set up courier-imapd to accept multiple passwords. I can't tell my android tablet to not keep my imap password, and I don't like it keeping a unix account password that may be able to do more damage. Who knows how secure the storage of passwords is on android.

This is at home, so a setup with ldap with multiple userPassword fields is a bit overkill. But I found the right setup: I changed the pam.d/imap config to have a separate auth setup which allows multiple password sources while the rest of the settings is still default from The authdaemonrc config is simple: just use pam.

The new /etc/pam.d/imap:
# PAM configuration file for Courier IMAP daemon

auth    sufficient
auth    sufficient db=/etc/courier/extrausers crypt=crypt use_first_pass
auth    required
@include common-account
@include common-password
@include common-session
I kept running into errors at first:
Mar 18 20:51:14 greenblatt authdaemond: pam_userdb(imap:auth): user_lookup: could not open database `/etc/courier/extrausers.db': No such file or directory
Until I read pam userdb auth issue (pam_userdb can't open database) vsftpd Sarge - Debian which explains I have to leave out the .db part in the config (corrected above). Generating that /etc/courier/extrausers.db file is done in two steps, first I use htpasswd to change/add an account to a user:pass textfile:
root@greenblatt:/etc/courier# htpasswd extrausers koos
New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Updating password for user koos
And to generate the berkeley db file:
root@greenblatt:/etc/courier# awk -F: '{print $1; print $2}' < extrausers | db4.6_load -T -t hash extrausers.db
This converts the username:cryptedpassword file to the format which db4.6_load expects: key and value on alternating lines. It all works when the database file has access mode 0600. This is now in a Makefile:
extrausers.db: extrausers
        awk  -F:  '{print  $$1;  print  $$2}' < extrausers | db4.6_load -T -t hash extrausers.db
        chmod 600 extrausers.db

Now there is a separate password for all devices which insist on keeping the password stored.

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2013-03-17 (#)

A very well produced promotion video for amateur radio. From Canada, made by the le Club Radioamateur VE2CWQ / Canwarn-Québec. Here and there specific to the situation in Canada / USA, for example in amateur radio for extreme weather spotting. One Canadian thing I note is equal use of French and English voices. But a good overview in itself.

Found via @shortiezzz: Mooie video over de radiohobby (gisteren gehoord in de Amateur Radio Newsline)

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2013-03-17 (#)
RT @Wilboard: wilbert@boreas:~$ telnet wap610n 1111 [ ... ] 00> system id uid=0(root) gid=0(root) Dit is t makkelijk! #Linksys Wif ...
2013-03-17 (#)
@Wilboard volgens mij nog een nadeel van #NAT: allerlei consumer-grade devices zijn meer gebruikersvriendelijk dan veilig
2013-03-15 (#)
@remco72 ik vul meestal het formulier op in (werkt perfect!), telefoonnummer staat daar ook
2013-03-12 (#)
@remco72 online cursus bij
2013-03-11 (#)
@remco72 ik heb ook een cursus Novice gedaan en volgens mij vorige week het examen gehaald
2013-03-11 (#)
@remco72 hee, ook bezig voor zendamateur? Novice of Full?
2013-03-09 (#)
Viewing the 2 meter band with a simple FFT plot in gnuradio from the rtl-sdr receiver shows the entire band at once when I use 145 MHz as centerfrequency and 2.048 MHz as samplerate. This is a fun way to find activity in this band: soon APRS traffic (144.800 MHz) showed up and later simplex traffic on 145.3625 where I heard one end of the conversation clearly and nothing from the other person.

FFT plot from gnuradio of the 2 meter band
FFT plot from gnuradio from the 2 meterband
Update 2013-03-10: At a different moment I let the same gnuradio companion script run for a while and made this plot. There seems to be a slight offset between the expected and the plotted frequency (such as 144.800), confirmed when listening to a receiver at the same time as watching the graph.

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2013-03-09 Searching for source of interference and PLC network
In the search for the source of the interference I do note the Devolo dlan powerline network has lousy performance when I compare the speed the devolo utilities say I will get compared to what iperf says:
koos@metcalfe:~$ dlanlist eth0
Type    MAC address        Mbps TX/RX       Version/Product
local   00:0B:3B:5F:95:AB  ---.-- / ---.--  INT6000-MAC-3-3-3348-00-2764-20080808-FINAL-B devolo dLAN 200 AVplus [MT2165]
remote  00:0B:3B:6F:AE:90   73.50 / 112.88  INT6000-MAC-3-3-3348-00-2764-20080808-FINAL-B
And from iperf:
[  3]  0.0-10.2 sec  1.43 MBytes  1.18 Mbits/sec
Interesting difference of opinion there, 73/112 megabit versus 1.18 megabit.

Update: it helps when I remember the setup of the system: I installed the wondershaper on that system which throttles bandwidth at .. 1 megabit. Re-running the test with the throttle disabled gives totally different results:
[  3]  0.0-120.1 sec    308 MBytes  21.5 Mbits/sec
Testing with udp gives even higher speeds:
[  3]  0.0-120.0 sec  1.34 GBytes  95.6 Mbits/sec
And in the other direction:
[  3]  0.0-120.3 sec    649 MBytes  45.2 Mbits/sec  0.204 ms 1075187/1538185 (70%)

Reception of 2 meter radio doesn't get worse/better during these tests. According to the devolo dlan 200 faq the devices work in the range of 0 to 30 MHz with notches for HF amateur frequencies. With the software defined radio I also see no change in the 2 meter band when running bandwidth tests. Which doesn't say a lot: I can't even find the output from PI3UTR at 145.625 MHz in the output plot, even with a receiver nearby receiving that same signal fine. The output plot does show APRS active on 144.800 MHz.

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2013-03-08 Tried receiving PI3UTR on 2m and noted interference
I tried receiving PI3UTR on 145.625 MHz yesterday and noted serious QRM (man-made interference). Time to investigate the possible sources. One serious 'suspect' is the Devolo powerline setup which links the computer of the weatherstation in the shed to the network. In the plans for the future "sundial" weather station and time receiver that link will be replaced with a wifi link. Searching for 2m QRM also gives me linksys router interference to ham radio bands which suggests that the WAP54G access-point we use may also be a suspect.

Time to get out the scanner with some 2meter frequencies programmed and search for the culprit. The linksys router interference article above has an explanation of the procedure:
Here is a handy method of locating many noise sources on the HF/VHF ham bands. Using a 2 meter handheld, adjust it to an unused frequency. Leave the "Rubber Duckie" antenna attached. (Note that you may also use a portable shortwave receiver tuned to the respective hf band with an external "loop" probe setup as described below.)

Stand back several feet from the suspected device or if needed in another room or location if the white noise "floor" is too strong.

Adjust the squelch (on vhf transceivers) just to the point that the white noise stops if possible. If it does not, then you will have to remove the antenna and get much closer to the suspect device. On portable shortwave receivers without squelch, tune as needed for a "quiet" hf frequency in the band you have rfi on.

Now move the handheld or portable receiver around or near each and every piece of equipment in your station that is near your router or associated cables. This includes it's power supply, wall wart, interconnecting cables, etc.

If the squelch breaks and or noise poors from the receiver when you are very close, then you have pin pointed the suspect device! Now remove the antenna from the handheld remembering the device, cable, etc, that caused the squelch to break!

At least it seems our cable provider Ziggo seems to keep the 2 meter band free. One less possible source.

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2013-03-07 (#)
Tijd om #wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet weer echt actief te maken!
2013-03-06 (#)
En nogsteeds is het de nationale theaterkassa niet gelukt om het correcte e-mail adres in hun bestand te krijgen en krijg ik dus weer een bevestiging van een door iemand aangeschaft kaartje. Maar er zit nu een link bij om de gegevens te corrigeren, daar maar gebruik van gemaakt.

Dit loopt al 10 maanden: eerste spam van de nationale theaterkassa en nogsteeds spam van de nationale theaterkassa.

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2013-03-06 (#)
@fanf laptop with rdnssd hasn't complained at all (resulting resolv.conf is the same as on the other system)
2013-03-06 (#)
@fanf I have a (global) IPv6 address and as second option an IPv4 address. Only tshark complains (text-only system). Squid 3.2.3 is fine.
2013-03-06 (I am quite sure I just passed the Dutch Novice radio amateur exam: 40 questions, 5 errors out of a maximum...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : I am quite sure I just passed the Dutch Novice radio amateur exam: 40 questions, 5 errors out of a maximum of 11 to pass. Official results to be expected in about 2 or 3 weeks after which I can request a callsign.
2013-03-05 (#)
Naast de commerciële landelijke radiozenders die snel via DAB+ te ontvangen willen zijn willen ook de regionale zenders snel via DAB+ te ontvangen zijn volgens Ook regionale stations willen snel starten met DAB+ -

Ik kan me wel voorstellen dat radio aanbieders in eenzelfde tijdsperiode ook op DAB+ beschikbaar willen komen: de 'stationskeuze' knop op een DAB+ radio kiest alleen uit de bekende stations in alfabetische volgorde, om nieuwe stations te ontdekken moet je de radio een zoekactie laten doen die even tijd kost. Dus stations die er bij komen nadat de eerste golf DAB+ ontvangers zijn aangeschaft zullen moeilijker luisteraars bereiken.

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2013-03-04 (#)
Net in mijn vakantie hebben de commerciële radio aanbieders in Nederland hun keuze gemaakt voor Broadcast Partners voor het aan te leggen DAB netwerk voor de landelijke commerciële multiplex op kanaal 11C, volgens onder andere Commerciële radio gaat digitaal - Berichten over de te halen dekking en de planning zijn nog niet heel concreet. Het bovenstaande artikel noemt:
Op 1 september zal de multiplex van de commerciële radiostations al landelijk dekkend zijn.
Maar het artikel Commerciële radio gaat digitaal - Nederlands media nieuws noemt alleen een start per 1 september 2013. Gezien de ervaringen met het project met het netwerk voor de publieke omroepen door KPN in 2012 kan de tijd tussen antennes aanbrengen en inschakelen redelijk kort zijn. Maar er zijn natuurlijk maar een beperkt aantal mensen die dit werk kunnen en de apparatuur zal ook nog uitgezocht en besteld moeten worden.

Kortom, ik ben benieuwd wanneer ik mijn eerste service scans kan doen.

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2013-03-03 (OMFG. This is awesome! - A CGI animated Looney Tunes cartoon. (Note...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Memories from way back when cartoons were actually funny to me and Road Runner, Woody Woodpecker and Tex Avery cartoons were the standard. This is new stuff, and CG animated Looney Tunes works quite well.
2013-03-03 (#)
Interesting new twist between all the attempts to reach Palestinian cell phone numbers: one try to reach the US embassy in The Hague. I guess someone attempting to abuse my SIP server thought maybe just international calls are blocked and used a number which is easy to find from abroad. Incoming audio was recorded, but it's a recording of pure silence.

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2013-03-01 (#)
RT @kevinmitnick: LMAO! Thanks, Dan!

IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

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Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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