News archive November 2017 - Koos van den Hout

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2017-11-25 Portable operation close to my home 3 years ago
Today I had some time left and the choice was between staying at home and throwing out the endfed and making a lot of contacts in digital modes or going out and trying a nearby park and making a lot less contacts but learning about my options there.

Fibermast on parkbench I chose the latter one: I loaded my gear in the bicycle trailer and cycled to a nearby park, just outside the city limits of Utrecht. I took the fiber mast and used two elastic straps to tie it to a parkbench. The effect was that the mast was slanted but using it with the wire of the endfed twisted around it the fiber mast stayed up fine without needing its guy wires. And I forgot to bring the tent pegs anyway so I was unable to guy the mast.

I tried the endfed as a vertical with some slack at the bottom and the transformer at the bottom. This gave me a horrible standing wave ratio on 40 and 20 meters. I guess the endfed is only balanced when it is stretched. The quick fix was to add a common-mode choke in the coax to the radio. I also added a counterpoise wire to the earth of the endfed to be somewhat balanced again.

On the 40 meter band reception was ok but I could not understand a lot of stations. On the 20 meter band there was local interference.

In the end I logged one whole contact on the 40 meter band with an Italian special event station. He gave me a 4-4 report and I gave him a 5-9+. After a few tries I gave up making him log me as /portable so I logged it in my PE4KH log. The location is still within JO22NC so I logged in my home log.

As soon as the sun set it started cooling down and the grass got wet and I went home.

It's a nice location and quite reachable from home. It's 10 minutes cycling and in 10 minutes I had the mast and the radio set up.

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2017-11-22 ( a great writeup...) 3 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : a great writeup by +John Brier on why the new Fox satellite will make amateur satellites more accessible by all radio amateurs.
2017-11-15 Lots and lots of distributed SSH scanning 3 years ago
I am noticing lots and lots of distributed SSH scanning, not doing enough attempts from one IP address to trigger fail2ban. Timing and choice of login names used suggest a strong link between the ssh attempts even when source IPs are very different. Login names also refer to websites hosted on the same address.

At a given moment I started wondering if this was just me, but others reported the same and exchanging IP address lists showed a lot of matches between attacks on totally unrelated systems.

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2017-11-13 Linux and enabling NFSv4 name mapping 3 years ago
Note: even with full name mapping enabled you will still have problems. To get this mapping fully working you will need to establish trust relations via kerberos.

When I shared my article on NFSv4 on the synology I noticed I left out the fundamentals about Linux and NFSv4 with name mapping. All kernels I nowadays run into have the same preference to disable using names over NFSv4 because somewhere the decision was made to assume most Linux systems will be in an environment with centralized UID/GID management.

In any environment with devices with their own UID/GID management (such as synology devices without central LDAP) this will not be true. So the defaults need an override.

The runtime way to change this is, for the nfs client kernel process:
# echo N > /sys/module/nfs/parameters/nfs4_disable_idmapping
And for the nfsd server kernel process:
# echo N > /sys/module/nfsd/parameters/nfs4_disable_idmapping
Notice the one letter difference.

To make this change more permanent, set up a file with a name like /etc/modprobe.d/local-config.conf with
options nfs nfs4_disable_idmapping=0
options nfsd nfs4_disable_idmapping=0
And you still need to set /etc/idmapd.conf on all systems involved (both clients and servers) with the same value for the 'Domain'. I obviously have:

Verbosity = 0
Pipefs-Directory = /run/rpc_pipefs
# set your own domain here, if id differs from FQDN minus hostname
Domain =


Nobody-User = nobody
Nobody-Group = nogroup
And enable idmapd. How you enable this depends on your Linux distribution. In ubuntu server it's in /etc/default/nfs-common with
# Do you want to start the idmapd daemon? It is only needed for NFSv4.

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2017-11-13 The television version of "The Cuckoo's Egg" 3 years ago
I read the Dutch version of "The Cuckoo's Egg" when it came out in 1989. Later I bought the English version.

Via a complete diversion I found out this weekend the book was made into a TV documentary: The KGB, the Computer and Me which has a lot less personal diversions than the book. It is played by Clifford Stoll himself and others involved in the original story. Although the CIA guys look a bit more stereotypical than they come out in the book.

A very interesting part is there is a closing remark in the documentary by Markus Hess. Now I want to get a view of the movie of the other side, '23'.

The funny part is that I found this documentary from following news related to amateur radio: Cliff Stoll -- K7TA -- Has THE KNACK. And a GREAT NOVA Video. Clifford Stoll does have a callsign: K7TA

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2017-11-10 Really disabling framebuffer on a modern linux 3 years ago
Framebuffer is nice but I want it really disabled on my new homeserver 2017 because that will end up in the attic where I don't want a repeat of the earlier Linux-related radio interference problem. And for virtual machines it's a bit of overkill too.

To disable framebuffer in both grub and the running Linux it has to be disabled twice. Both in /etc/default/grub which now has these two lines:


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2017-11-10 NFSv4 on the synology isn't complete NFSv4 until you do some special configuration 3 years ago
This solution fails at the moment I start using rsync to sync directories to the Synology. Update when I find out where that goes wrong.

I am now using a synology for storage in the home network. Linux clients use NFS to access the Synology, and nowadays the default NFS version is version 4, which does things quite differently from version 3. NFS version 4 is supposed to use user names with NFS domain names and rpc.idmapd instead of numeric user and group IDs.

After serious debugging I found out NFSv4 with the synology doesn't use names as I expected. I kept looking at nfs client settings but eventually I used tcpdump, wireshark and tshark to find out owner names aren't used at all. Numerical UIDs are used as text in the NFSv4 answers, even for files that have an owner that is known in the synology. As if the nfs4_disable_idmapping=0 is never set for the NFS server.

I confirmed this with capturing the NFS traffic with tcpdump and analyzing the pcap files with wireshark and tshark. I indeed see:
                        reco_attr: Owner (36)
                            fattr4_owner: 1026
                                length: 4
                                contents: 1026

A lot of google searching confirms this, including anyone have nfsv4 actually working? - Synology Forum. The next step is to adjust the idmapping in the running kernel on the synology, using:
# echo N > /sys/module/nfsd/parameters/nfs4_disable_idmapping
Now I indeed see the right strings in the NFSv4 traffic, but the idmapd on the client doesn't translate for some reason. Fixing the /etc/idmapd.conf file helped.

The next step is to make this change permanent on the synology. Adding a file /etc/modules.local.conf with
does the trick. This I learned from reading the startup file /etc/rc.subr which loads the kernel modules.

And now I see the right data in the NFS traffic:
                        reco_attr: Owner (36)
                                length: 15
And the user mapping works. On an older system I have UID 501, on the synology I have UID 1026 and on a new system I have UID 1000, and I'm owner of the files everywhere.
Read the rest of NFSv4 on the synology isn't complete NFSv4 until you do some special configuration

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2017-11-08 Trying to receive Fox-1A (AO85) telemetry 3 years ago
I decided to try to receive telemetry data from the Fox-1A (AO85) satellite to prepare for receiving telemetry from the new RadFxSat right after launch. The FoxTelem program is ready to receive data from all the Fox series satellites so this was a good way to test my receiving setup.

This afternoon there was a reasonable pass so I decided to give it a try. With the FT-857D radio tuned to the downlink frequency 145.978 MHz in FM packet mode. While I did hear the conversations on the satellite in the noise the program did not seem to receive anything. And then I noticed the sound display in the program reacted strongly when I tapped the microphone connected to the mixing board. I chose the wrong audio device. I have two USB audio devices connected to the computer, one feeds audio from a mixing desk and one feeds audio from the radio. Normally I can keep them apart but FoxTelem was only showing one of them.

The solution was to set FoxTelem to the audio device 'default' and use pavucontrol to switch the input of the application to the right USB audio device. But by the time I figured that out the satellite was already too far to receive any useful telemetry data.

Time to find another nice pass with useful elevation (above 10 degrees) to try this again. And it's a good preparation for the launch of Fox-1B.

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2017-11-07 Waiting for the launch of RadFxSat (Fox 1B) 3 years ago
The subset of radio amateurs that is interested in amateur satellites is waiting for the launch of RadFxSat / Fox 1B. The name 'RadFxSat' stands for 'Radiation Effects Satellite'. The primary mission is in cooperation with Vanderbilt University ISDE studying radiation effects on commercial off the shelf components.

The amateur radio mission is a FM U/v repeater with CTCSS, which means it can be used by radio amateurs to make long distance contacts.

As any new satellite, the first phase after launch is a lot of testing before any experiments or radio services are started. During the testing phase the satellite will transmit short radio messages (audio with data mixed in as low frequency tones) with telemetry data. By receiving the telemetry data and forwarding it to the operators radio amateurs can help the testing. This telemetry includes voltages and temperatures which allow the operator to find out if the satellite operates as designed and whether the power budget (generated power from solar panels minus used power) is good.

To receive telemetry from the Fox series satellites and forward it a program has been developed named FoxTelem and I am glad to see a linux version is available. This allows me to receive the satellite unattended and forward the data. I will at least try to participate in the 'Launch and Early Orbit program' during the first few days.

Current launch date is planned at November 14th.

More information:

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2017-11-07 Spammers using old lists 3 years ago
I'm easily amused by the rejects in the maillog clearly caused by spammers using ancient lists.

For example, I'm still seeing attempts to mail the address that I used for signing up to linkedin. When the first spam came after the linkedin breach in 2012, I changed the address and disabled the original address. But spam for that address still came in this week.

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2017-11-01 DAB services scan 1 November 2017 3 years ago
DAB+ logo Tijd om weer eens een DAB services scan te doen. Een extra reden was omdat bij de scan op de Pure DAB+ radio zelfs de Vlaamse multiplex binnenkwam.

Bij de scan met de Noxon USB stick kwamen die niet meer binnen (en waren tegelijkertijd aan het wegvallen op de Pure radio), maar die heeft weer even de Duitse landelijke multiplex gezien. Maar de regio's Noord/Oost en Zuid kwamen dit keer niet in de scan. De typische volgorde van kanalen komt trouwens omdat de Noxon software de scanvolgorde nog altijd geoptimaliseerd heeft voor de Duitse situatie en dus de scan begint bij 5C.

Met alle testen met lokale radio via DAB+ is dat nog steeds niet in de buurt actief geworden.

Opvallend is dat MTVNL op 5B opduikt. Op 12B had ik wel MTVNL maar volgens Muxxi zonder services (0 CU in gebruik).
Read the rest of DAB services scan 1 November 2017

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IPv6 check

Running test...
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