News archive November 2014 - Koos van den Hout

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2014-11-28 Moving the lightning strike detector to the shed
I have noticed the lightning strike detection in Weather station Utrecht Overvecht goes completely mad when I transmit on the 20 meter amateur band. With the detector being quite close to the antenna I can understand this.

The solution will be to find a place to mount the detector in the shed. It will be lower (less reception of the radio energy of the strikes) but it will also be further away from my interference.

That also means the reading of the detector will have to be done using w1retap since that is what I use on the shed weatherstation computer. I was a bit confused whether w1retap supports this counter but I found out it's based on the DS2423 counter chip which is supported in w1retap, as part of a wind speed meter in a TAI8515 weather station, but w1retap will give the count on readout and the conversion is up to the user.

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2014-11-26 Getting the DSL linespeed from the Fritz!Box 7360
The fact I couldn't get the DSL linespeed from the Fritz!Box 7360 annoyed me a lot, especially since there is a new telephone wiring cabinet which should raise VDSL2 speeds. I went through a number of websites about getting data out of the Fritz!Box with upnp, and finally I made it work and I get the results I want:
The hint that worked for me was at MRTG en Fritz!Box 7360 (firmware 124.06.05) - tweakers (in Dutch) where it mentiones the changeover to TR-064 protocol which should be reachable over the url which will ask for authentication with the root username and the Fritz!Box password. More about the Fritz!Box TR-064 implementation at Schnittstellen für Entwickler | AVM Deutschland (in German) which has more documentation at AVM TR-064 – First Steps (pdf, English). This made me end up at doing a SOAP request (post) to which failed. All SOAP requests fail with an HTTP error code 500, but there is a separate SOAP error set in the HTTP status 500 body. I used tcpdump to look at the SOAP error body and found:
<errorCode>504</errorCode> <errorDescription>SSL needed</errorDescription></UPnPError>
The SSL port is (according to the TR-064 first steps document above) 49443 and the URL is over SSL: and this works, giving the answers I want.
Read the rest of Getting the DSL linespeed from the Fritz!Box 7360

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2014-11-26 (Joined this community because I bought an FT-857 secondhand last summer. I bought it with the idea portable...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Joined this community because I bought an FT-857 secondhand last summer. I bought it with the idea portable sat ops (walking) would be possible but it turns out I let it sit on the table due to the weight of the radio+battery and wave with the antenna.
I also chose it because I hoped to get into HF a bit. Which turned out fine: digital modes on HF work as soon as there is enough propagation to get signal levels above the urban radio noise.
2014-11-24 Updates to my homepage
With some newsitems here on my homepage getting longer I started to feel the need to make a more blog-like format possible with items with an introduction and longer text. And titles here and there to give a better title to newsitems that deserve it. So some changes to the database format, support scripts and all the scripts generating pages.

The changes were big enough to update the version number so now it is 4.5.

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2014-11-24 (The site with the answer to "how is your day/week in information security".)
Google+Koos van den Hout : The site with the answer to "how is your day/week in information security".
2014-11-22 (Working at a university with a reasonable open policy for finding e-mail addresses of employees (which...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Working at a university with a reasonable open policy for finding e-mail addresses of employees (which originated before spammers invented themselves) I receive my share of 'you must submit a paper to our prestigious conference/journal on such a broad range of subjects anyone working at your department can enter'. This result is not unexpected giving what I found when looking up some of those names.
Found via
#spam #fakejournals
2014-11-22 (
Google+Koos van den Hout : A well-produced and very nice video of raising an HF amateur radio antenna on the roof of a building. Using a drone, timelapses and other visual techniques makes this an interesting video of what can turn into a boring subject.
2014-11-21 (#)
It seems I am a very special person for google: the 'Birthdays' calendar which should be filled with the birthdays of all people in your google+ circles had the option to remove it from the list of calendars or unsubscribe totally. After being on the receiving end of some rants about this it is clear a lot of people don't have the option to get rid of this calendar. I found a possible workaround: How to delete the Birthdays Calendar from your Google Calendar.

Update 2014-11-28: I was happy too early: now the calendar is back (without me asking for it) and I can't disable it normally.

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2014-11-17 (Interesting WTF-8 breakage + html escaping)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Interesting WTF-8 breakage + html escaping
2014-11-17 (#)
I recently took some pictures of the HF dipole antenna in our attic:
Attic dipole center - Koos van den Hout on flickr
Attic dipole center - Center of the 10 meter/20 meter dipole in the attic
Attic dipole ugly balun - Koos van den Hout on flickr
Attic dipole ugly balun - Ugly balun for the 10 meter/20 meter dipole in the attic
The 'real' current balun is ready, but needs different antenna connectors. It does use PL259 connectors but the surrounding weather cover means I can't secure the BNC - PL259 connector I use at the moment. Better cable and connectors are on order.

I also borrowed the antenna analyzer from the radio club and measured this antenna. It turned out the frequencies with the best SWR (1 to 1.1) are below the planned frequencies on both the 10 meter and 20 meter band. It was supposed to be at 28.120 MHz and 14.070 MHz, it turned out somewhere 26.97 MHz and 13.20 MHz. The good news is that means the antenna wires are too long and need shortening. I'll probably do that 'for real' when I have different antenna cable and connectors to use the balun.

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2014-11-16 A wet roof and radio transmissions from the attic don't get along
The current rainy weather is reasonably deadly for any transmitting, given the report from Digital mode reception maps at which states:
Monitoring PD4KH (last heard 20 hrs ago).
while I am quite sure I transmitted PSK31 CQs and answers more recently than that and the 10 meter band being open according to the same site.

The attic dipole is right under the roof so any rain making the roof tiles wet is probably dampening the radio signals. This may get interesting when there is snow on the roof. I imagine some raised eyebrows when there is an antenna shaped hole in the snow on the roof.

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2014-11-13 Voor de buren van zendamateurs
De forumthread RTV Rijnmond: zendamateur bergschenhoek stoort hele buurt - deed mij denken aan een heel goed stuk wat ik eerder tegenkwam: Voor de buren - PD5WL. Een heel leesbaar verhaal voor de buren van zendamateurs wat op een leesbare manier omgaat met antennes, radio en eventuele storing. Het blijft natuurlijk vaak gaan om vooroordelen en emotie, maar deze uitleg is open en duidelijk zonder al te technisch te worden.

Ik heb nog geen antenne op het dak, maar al wel eens interesse gehad van een buurman waarom ik soms een antenne uit het zolderraam stak. Omdat ik nu ook actief ben op HF heb ik wel mezelf in het antenneregister gezet ook al is er niks zichtbaar: mocht er ooit iemand in de buurt reden hebben om het Agentschap Telecom te benaderen over storing die misschien over HF uitzendingen gaat dan kunnen ze simpel vinden dat ik hier soms actief ben.

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2014-11-13 Truth in e-mail virus filenames
Truth in e-mail virus attempts seen (note the filename) :
Subject: MDaemon Notification -- Attachment Removed

----------------------------------------- (order01\bot_crypted10394.scr)
Oh, and another one came through with attachment:
  Length     Date   Time    Name
 --------    ----   ----    ----
   385024  11-12-14 17:00   order01/bot_crypted10394.scr
 --------                   -------
   385024                   1 file
$ md5sum ; sha256sum 
$ md5sum order01/bot_crypted10394.scr ; sha256sum order01/bot_crypted10394.scr 
509670b354f356dcd38f3d47408d9910  order01/bot_crypted10394.scr
93098ab5d8827339b17e4510676c40c79f6eb09c7cbb5cf0931100fce647a64f  order01/bot_crypted10394.scr
Lots of German text in the .scr file:
And I pasted the complete strings -a bot_crypted10394.scr into pastebin.

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2014-11-12 (A good writeup of the current state of the Rosetta project by +Philip Plait. I kept an eye on things...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : A good writeup of the current state of the Rosetta project by +Philip Plait. I kept an eye on things today during work and it was awesome.
2014-11-11 (Ham Hijinks.. or for real?)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Ham Hijinks.. or for real?
2014-11-10 (Recent een keer met de camera tijdens werktijd een poosje rond het Wentgebouw kunnen wandelen. Imposant...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Recent een keer met de camera tijdens werktijd een poosje rond het Wentgebouw kunnen wandelen. Imposant hoe zo'n hoge kraan bezig is.
2014-11-10 (#)
Interesting spam in my inbox lately, and I can't find one of the usual spamfighters writing about it. I don't know which language and the google translate auto detect thinks 'Slovak' but fails most of the translation.
privet. prisoedniaytes' k moei grupe vkontakte!!!! makeup ochen' deshevo!!!!!
Takzhe so mnoi mozhno svyaztsya i uvidet' tekuschie raboti po
Instagram: #yuliannakir
Skype: kir_yulianna
Instagram: kir_yulianna
Vkontakte ( is a social network which has most of its visitors from eastern Europe. Vkontakte just happens to look a lot like facebook. I can find Yulianna Kir makeup artist on for example Instagram with a Russian phonenumber but it doesn't explain the spam, and trying google translate with the source language set to Russian doesn't work either.

So the reason of the spam and the profit model is inconclusive.

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2014-11-09 (A heatmap of cycle routes logged by Strava. I dislike the idea of gathering data like this because it...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : A heatmap of cycle routes logged by Strava. I dislike the idea of gathering data like this because it will be abused in ways that endanger your privacy, but on this aggregate level it shows interesting things like 'where are people cycling'. In this case the border between the Netherlands and Germany is quite visible. And cycling in London isn't as rare as some might think. Found via
#privacy #bigdata #visualisations  
2014-11-07 (#)
Interesting new problem: transmitting on 20 meter PSK31 causes the lightning strike detector of the Weather station Utrecht Overvecht to go slightly mad. If you look at the graphs it seems like there was a really heavy thunderstorm last Thursday but that's just the result of trying 20 meter PSK31 all day and making 11 QSOs (radio connections). Time to move the lightning detector to a better location: in the shed with the rest of the weather station.

Update 2014-11-08: And another side-effect: I used a really cheap gimmick USB hub to hook up the radio to the workstation because I needed an extra USB port for something else. The next thing that happened was the USB chip in the serial cable to the radio (CAT interface) completely locking up on transmitting. I also hear buzzing on speakers when I transmit on 20 meters so this is a big hint I need to change some things. At least a balun for the attic dipole is on the way.

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2014-11-05 (Interesting opportunity for some student with a big interest in amateur satellites and in the right ...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Interesting opportunity for some student with a big interest in amateur satellites and in the right part of her/his education.
2014-11-03 Fun with network connection managers
I tried NetworkManager again because wicd was showing downsides, such as:
  • Not dealing correctly when the laptop is resumed with the ethernet cable attached: it doesn't run dhcp on the wired lan which makes services which only have IPv4 addresses unreachable. Took a while to understand that one for obvious reasons.
  • Making the wired network interface flap between connected and disconnected state when a network cable is inserted after boot. Solution: restart wicd first.
I tried NetworkManager again, kicked out ages ago because it fully depended on a Gnome desktop, which I don't run. But now it has nm-connection-editor and nm-cli which should make things less impossible. But after testing I found out NetworkManager is even worse for me than wicd.
Read the rest of Fun with network connection managers

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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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