News archive 2019 - Koos van den Hout

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2019-05-19 Logging amateur satellite contacts (and another contact) 1 day ago
After getting a satellite contact via SO-50 the next thing was to get it in the log correctly. I followed the instructions from Logging Satellite QSOs with Logbook of the World - Amsat, logging the contact in the tqsl program, uploading that log to Logbook of the World and importing the logfile (ADIF) into CQRLOG later.

But later I found out that CQRLOG now supports satellite logging after enabling it in the preferences. Since version 2.3.0 satellite support is included.
Read the rest of Logging amateur satellite contacts (and another contact)

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2019-05-17 Back on amateur satellites: I made a contact via SO-50 3 days ago
This evening I checked 'Sky at a glance' in gpredict and saw a nice SO-50 pass come up. It was a southwest - northeast pass with a very high maximum elevation. So a good chance to listen to the satellite for a while. I took the Arrow antenna together with the Wouxun handheld radio outside, which I programmed for the SO50 frequencies when I started with amateur satellites years ago.

I started hearing the satellite right after it got above the houses. I heard one familiair callsign: Peter 2M0SQL. In a silent moment I answered his call, he heard me fine and we had a contact.

My first satellite contact since August 2014 and directly someone in the log who I really wanted to get in the log.

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2019-05-15 Taking steps to get back on the amateur satellites 5 days ago
Saudisat 1c / SO-50 cube satellite
Saudisat 1c / SO-50
Tuesday evening we had a good presentation at our radio club about getting active on the QO-100 geostationary amateur satellite. This was a very technical presentation by René Stevens PE1CMO. This amateur satellite is actually a transponder on the Es'Hail2 satellite. The transponder is active on amateur bands: 2.4 GHz up and 10 GHz down.

A very interesting and good presentation. And for now I find it very interesting but I'm not going to invest the time and money to get on that satellite.

This did remind me that I wanted to get back into amateur satellites as planned for several years. Looking back I see a clear moment when the satellite activity stopped: The last successful amateur satellite contact was 2014-08-10: Success with the new radio and the SO-50 amateur satellite and the first HF contact was 2014-08-29: First PSK31 on HF contacts. It's easier to make a lot more contacts on HF for the same amount of work as one satellite contact.

As a first step I took out the arrow antenna and a handheld radio just to listen to some passes. And that showed the well-known problem with satellite passes: They have to fit in your schedule or otherwise you will miss them completely. But there are a lot of amateur satellites to listen to. I had two Fox-1A (AO-85) passes not higher than 23 degrees elevation. And I heard nothing on those passes, but that wasn't a big surprise given earlier experiences and what people have shared. I had one pass of Saudisat (SO-50) which went up to 29 degrees elevation and I heard at least a few callsigns on that pass. And no really bad behaviour, but maybe a Wednesday daytime is better in that regard.
Read the rest of Taking steps to get back on the amateur satellites

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2019-05-06 Making checking SSL certificates before installing them a bit more robust 2 weeks ago
Encrypt all the things meme With all the automated updates of certificates as described in Enabling Server Name Indication (SNI) on my webserver and Automating Let's Encrypt certificates further I wondered about what would happen when some things got corrupt, most likely as a result of a full disk. And a simple test showed out that the checkcert utility would happily say two empty files are a match because the sha256sum of two empty public keys is the same.

Solution, do something with the errorlevel from openssl. New version of checkcert:
#!/bin/sh

# check ssl private key 1 with ssl pem encoded x509 certificate 2 public key

SUMPRIVPUBKEY=`openssl pkey -in $1 -pubout -outform pem || echo privkey | sha256sum`
SUMCERTPUBKEY=`openssl x509 -in $2 -noout -pubkey -outform pem || echo pubkey | sha256sum`

if [ "${SUMPRIVPUBKEY}" = "${SUMCERTPUBKEY}" ]; then
        exit 0
else
        exit 1
fi
And now:
koos@gosper:~$ /usr/local/bin/checkcert /dev/null /dev/null
unable to load key
139636148224064:error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line:../crypto/pem/pem_lib.c:686:Expecting: ANY PRIVATE KEY
unable to load certificate
139678825668672:error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line:../crypto/pem/pem_lib.c:686:Expecting: TRUSTED CERTIFICATE
koos@gosper:~$ echo $?
1

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2019-05-06 Good security tips in an e-mail with a virus attached 2 weeks ago
Just seen in an e-mail with a virus, looking like it's something from a bank:
Security tips

1. Install virus detection software and personal firewall on your computer. This software needs to be updated regularly to ensure you have the latest protection.
2. To prevent viruses or other unwanted problems, do not open attachments from unknown or non-trustworthy sources.
3. If you discover any unusual activity, please contact the remitter of this payment as soon as possible. 
But the attachment has malware.

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2019-05-04 Considering enabling Server Name Indication (SNI) on my webserver 2 weeks ago
Encrypt all the things meme While making a lot of my websites available via HTTPS I started wondering about enabling Server Name Indication (SNI) because the list of hostnames in the one certificate (subjectAltName parameter) keeps growing and they aren't all related.

So on a test system with haproxy I created two separate private keys, two separate certificate signing requests and requested two separate certificates. One for the variants of camp-wireless.org and one for most of the idefix.net names. The whole requesting procedure happened on the system where my automated renewal and deployment of LetsEncrypt certificates with dehydrated happens so the request went fine. For the configuration of haproxy I was following HAProxy SNI where 'terminating SSL on the haproxy with SNI' gets a short mention.

So I implemented the configuration as shown in that document and got greeted with an error:
haproxy[ALERT] 123/155523 (3435) : parsing [/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg:86] : 'bind :::443' unknown keyword '/etc/haproxy/ssl/webserver-idefix-main.pem'.
And found out that the crt keyword has to be repeated.

This is why I like having a test environment for things like this. Making errors in the certificate configuration on the 'production' server will give visitors scary and/or incomprehensible errors.

So the right configuration for my test is now:
frontend https-in
    bind :::443 v4v6 ssl crt /etc/haproxy/ssl/webserver-campwireless.pem crt /etc/haproxy/ssl/webserver-idefix-main.pem
And testing it shows the different certificates in use when I use the -servername parameter for openssl s_client to test things.
$ openssl s_client -connect testrouter.idefix.net:443 -servername idefix.net -showcerts -verify 3
..
Server certificate
subject=/CN=idefix.net
issuer=/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
..
Verification: OK
$ openssl s_client -connect testrouter.idefix.net:443 -servername camp-wireless.org -showcerts -verify 3
..
Server certificate
subject=/CN=www.camp-wireless.org
issuer=/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=Let's Encrypt Authority X3
..
Verification: OK
The certificates are quite separate. Generating the certificate signing requests with a separate private key for each request works fine.

So if I upgrade my certificate management to renew, transport, test and install multiple certificate for the main webserver it would work.
Read the rest of Considering enabling Server Name Indication (SNI) on my webserver

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2019-04-29 I participated in the BARTG Sprint75 contest 2019 3 weeks ago
I participated in the British amateur radio teledata group RTTY Sprint75 contest 2019. The special thing with the 75 is that this is 75baud RTTY and not the normal 45baud RTTY.

This is a relatively short contest (4 hours) on a Sunday evening and I did not participate in the contest the whole time, I also watched some television with my family. All a matter of priorities.

I made 27 contacts on the 20 and 40 meter bands. Since I now have an RF power meter I was able to make sure my output power was right below 100 watts so I could enter in the '100 watts' category and not 'high power'.

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2019-04-29 Zonnepanelen op een regenachtige dag 3 weeks ago
We hebben nu net een regenachtige dag achter de rug, waarop we ook nog de oven gebruikt hebben voor zowel de lunch als het avondeten. Over deze dag hebben we nog steeds wel wat teruggeleverd, maar niet zo veel als op een echt zonnige dag, en het gebruik over de hele dag was ook relatief hoog.

Ondanks de regen was het niet echt donker overdag, dus dat kan nog voor minder opbrengst zorgen.

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2019-04-25 Accepting multiple passwords for IMAPS access 3 weeks ago
After upgrading to the new homeserver my old setup to allow two passwords for IMAPS logins so I can use a separate password for IMAPS access for those devices that insist on saving a password without asking.

I have the following PAM libraries:
ii  libpam-modules 1.1.8-3.6    amd64        Pluggable Authentication Modules
And I debugged the problem using the pamtester program which makes debugging this problem a lot easier than constantly changing the configuration and restarting the imap server.

The relevant configuration now is:
# PAM configuration file for Courier IMAP daemon

#@include common-auth
# here are the per-package modules (the "Primary" block)
auth    required    pam_succeed_if.so quiet user ingroup users
#auth   [success=1 default=ignore]      pam_unix.so nullok_secure
auth    sufficient      pam_unix.so nullok_secure
auth    sufficient  pam_userdb.so db=/etc/courier/extrausers crypt=crypt use_first_pass
# here's the fallback if no module succeeds
auth    requisite                       pam_deny.so
# prime the stack with a positive return value if there isn't one already;
# this avoids us returning an error just because nothing sets a success code
# since the modules above will each just jump around
auth    required                        pam_permit.so
# and here are more per-package modules (the "Additional" block)
# end of pam-auth-update config
@include common-account
@include common-password
@include common-session
And now both my unix login password and the extra password are accepted.

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2019-04-24 I applied for the ARRL DXCC award 3 weeks ago
ARRL DXCC certificate sample After getting to the magic number of getting contacts with 100 DXCC entities confirmed I applied for (and paid for) the ARRL DXCC award, the American Radio Relay League DX Century Club award.

So I guess I have to admit I'm a serious DX chaser!

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2019-04-21 New countries in amateur radio: Egypt and Colombia 4 weeks ago
After working on the URE 70 year anniversary special event I also made contact with two new countries: Egypt and Colombia. Egypt is not too far away but there aren't many active radio amateurs in Egypt so this one is harder. This evening SU9JG is active and I got the contact.

Right after that I got HK3C in the log from Colombia. Not a very rare country in Amateur radio, but with my current setup I have trouble reaching South America.

The definition of 'rare' or 'not so rare' countries (or rather: DX entities, but that's another story) in Amateur radio is based on the statistics gathered by Club Log and published as the DXCC Most Wanted List which is based on the assumption that every active Club Log member wants contacts with all available DXCC entities. Countries with lots of active amateurs such as the United States of America and Italy are at the bottom of the list, countries or entities that restrict amateur radio or are very hard to reach such as North Korea and Bouvet Island are at the top.

Update 2019-04-22: And both are already confirmed on Logbook of the World which gets the number of countries confirmed via electronic qsls on Logbook of the World to a round 100, the magic number for the DX Century Club. So, time to start checking my options to get an actual DXCC certificate! I also have three countries confirmed via QSL card which aren't confirmed electronically, so I have to look into the Dutch QSL card checker option one day.

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2019-04-21 We hebben zonnepanelen aan laten leggen 4 weeks ago
We dachten er al een tijdje over na, en we zijn eind vorig jaar serieus gaan zoeken naar een kundige leverancier van zonnepanelen. We hebben eerder contact gehad met wat bedrijven maar die wilden er eigenlijk niet aan beginnen. Een leverancier wilde niets op vlakke plekken leggen en vond dat er dan te weinig panelen over bleven. Een ander reageerde ook moeilijk en gaf geen reactie meer toen we de offerte niet gelijk ondertekenden maar nog aanpassingen wilden. Blijkbaar zijn meerdere aanbieders van goedkope zonnepanelen er niet zo blij mee dat we graag wilden dat er echt iemand langs kwam om te kijken in plaats van dat de hele offerte gebaseerd was op wat er te zien is in de satellietbeelden op google maps.

Uiteindelijk wilde Radiair wel iemand langs sturen om een goede offerte te maken. Met die man de wensen besproken, de opties om ook op de uitbouw en de schuur panelen te leggen en dat ik graag de omvormers en optimizers goed wil ontstoren omdat ik zendamateur ben. Allemaal mogelijk. Na wat aanpassingen kwamen we op een offerte die volgens ons ook prima ging werken, dus die hebben we geaccepteerd. Het is vast duurder geworden dan andere aanbieders, maar hier werd er tenminste serieus naar de situatie gekeken en naar onze wensen geluisterd.

Ik had bij mijn acceptatie een bijlage bijgevoegd dat ik op alle optimizers ferrietkernen wilde installeren. Ook dat is prima gelukt en bij de overdracht van het project naar de uitvoerders was dat ook netjes overgedragen dus niemand keek er gek van op.

De monteur die het laatste werk kwam doen aan de aansluitingen is zelf ook zendamateur, dus die had alle aardingen en twists van kabels extra goed afgewerkt om te zorgen dat ik van mijn eigen panelen in ieder geval geen last zou krijgen.

Er zijn nu 11 panelen gelegd en die zijn sinds begin April in gebruik. De keuze van groepen waar de omvormers op terugleveren blijkt goed uit te vallen: de groepen met het meeste constante gebruik (koelkast, computers) hebben nu teruglevering dus een deel van het opgewekte vermogen wordt gelijk intern gebruikt. Maar daarna houden we bij goede zon zeker vermogen over, dus we leveren ook terug en de scriptjes die de stand van de slimme meter aflezen zien nu ook de tellers voor teruglevering oplopen.

Teruggeleverde energie wordt nu nog verrekend volgens de salderingsregeling, dus wat we terugleveren wordt weggestreept tegen wat we op andere momenten afnemen. Die salderingsregeling is natuurlijk niet eeuwig houdbaar: we leveren energie aan het net op een moment dat het net er niet perse behoefte aan heeft. Al zullen de netbeheerders en energieleveranciers tegenwoordig de zonsverwachting nauwkeurig in de gaten houden bij het plannen van de capaciteit. Een wolk voor de zon langs is bij mij al duidelijk zichtbaar in de teruggeleverde energie.

Tot nu toe hebben we alleen aardig zonnige dagen gehad. Ik ben benieuwd wat ze doen als het echt een hele dag bewolkt en regenachtig is.

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2019-04-14 Getting countries on new bands in the log 1 month ago
I haven't made an amateur radio contact with a completely new country in a while, but I have worked on getting countries on new bands in the log. This weekend I had the 6-40m longwire antenna out. It did not want to tune on 12 meters but I made contacts on the 10, 15, 17, 30 and 40 meter bands.

Some new country/band combinations were added: Moldova, Montenegro, Japan and the Slovak Republic on 30 meters, Estonia on 17 meters, Latvia on 15 meters. I also made contacts with several stations in the URE 70 year anniversary special event.

Update 2019-04-15: Tuned the longwire for 80 meters and added Serbia and Norway as new 80 meter countries.

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2019-04-13 Cornet Oaked from De Hoorn Brouwerij 1 month ago
Another find in the local supermarket. This time no complicated backstory, it just looked and sounded nice.

It's a blonde beer. The color is lighter than I expected from a blonde, it's almost like Belgian white beer (Belgisch witbier). It has a higher alcohol level for a beer, but it didn't taste/feel like a strong beer to me.

A nice taste, not too complicated.

The beer details

CompanyDe Hoorn Brouwerij
Beer nameCornet Oaked
Beer styleBlond beer
Alcohol by volume8.5 %

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2019-04-12 Corel spam 1 month ago
It seems Corel graphics still exists and part of their continued existance is sending out spam to unverified e-mail addresses. With the included lie:
You are receiving this email because you requested to receive information regarding Corel products and special offers or you subscribe to a Corel e-newsletter.
No I haven't.

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2019-04-08 I participated in the EA RTTY Contest 2019 1 month ago
In an otherwise quite filled weekend there was also the EA RTTY Contest 2019. I participated for somewhat over an hour on Sunday and made 28 contacts, 24 on the 20 meter band and 4 on the 40 meter band.

Preliminary results: 28 valid contacts, 44 points, multiplier 23, total 1012 points.
Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY Contest 2019

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2019-04-07 Goose IPA from Goose Island Beer company 1 month ago
I had a look at the beer on display in our local supermarket and noticed Goose IPA from Goose Island Beer company and I got reminded of Goose Island, Oregon which is mentioned in the Wargames movie. So I bought a bottle of the beer and did some research when I got home.

And everything about that link turned out to be wrong.

The Goose Island Beer company has nothing to do with Oregon, they are from Chicago, Illinois.

And according to Anderson Island (Washington) - Wikipedia English the scene around entering "Goose Island, Oregon" in the movie WarGames was actually filmed on Anderson Island in the state of Washington. There is a small island named "Goose Island" in the state of Oregon, it's an island in the Columbia river. Goose island measures almost 1000 meters by 680 meters. Goose Island Oregon USA on google maps.

Having left me with nothing of the link(s) I suspected when I saw the bottle there is only one thing to do: try the beer.

I would describe the colour as amber / dark amber. The smell and taste have a strong hop influence. I personally like IPA beers, but this one is a bit too bitter for me.

The beer details

CompanyGoose Island Beer company
Beer nameGoose IPA
Beer styleIPA - India Pale Ale
Alcohol by volume5.9 %

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2019-04-01 Plotting the number of radio contacts after varying months 1 month ago
QSO count plot up to March 2019 After a month with a holiday and a month with one contest I redid the QSO count plot to see the development.

before, before, before, before, before

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2019-04-01 Wat volts extra 1 month ago
UPS invoer voltage laatste jaar Het viel me op in de grafieken van het invoer voltage volgens de UPS dat het voltage vanaf het stroomnet is gestegen tot 238 volt aan het eind van september 2018. Ik vraag me af wat de oorzaak is van deze wijziging. Het kan niet zijn door de toename van zonnepanelen in de omgeving, het gestegen voltage is zowel overdag als 's nachts.

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2019-03-29 Still looking for the correct frequency for FT8 on the 70 centimeter band 1 month ago
Although FT8 does great work for weak signal reception on HF bands it's also nice for the 2 meter band and the 70 centimeter band. So after lots of tries with the 2 meter band I decided to give the 70 centimeter band another try. But, there is one thing: there aren't many stations active in FT8 on 70 centimeter and even when one is active in the nearby area that station may be on a different FT8 frequency. The real standard is not there yet.

Until now I've seen:
  • 432.174 MHz
  • 432.176 MHz
  • 434.670 MHz
I check for activity via the PSKreporter site. My two FT8 on 70 centimeter contacts where on 432.174 and 432.176.

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2019-03-24 Now also mapping 70cm gridsquares 1 month ago
In the past week I made my second 70cm FT8 contact, and again with another amateur in the JO22 gridsquare. So the map for 70cm gridsquares contacted and confirmed isn't very spectacular yet, but I'm going to generate and maintain it anyway.

Now in the list of maps at pe4kh.idefix.net.

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2019-03-22 Distributed authenticated smtp scanning 1 month ago
I noticed a lot of entries in my mail logging about aborted smtp transactions
Mar 22 21:04:04 gosper sm-mta[30180]: x2MK437r030180: [193.169.254.68] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-v6
Mar 22 21:04:58 gosper sm-mta[30229]: x2MK4vv0030229: [185.234.217.222] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-v6
Mar 22 21:05:25 gosper sm-mta[30307]: x2MK5Oas030307: [193.169.254.68] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-v6
Mar 22 21:06:01 gosper sm-mta[30328]: x2MK5xAc030328: [185.234.217.222] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-v6
Mar 22 21:06:02 gosper sm-mta[30331]: x2MK5xg5030331: [185.222.209.209] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MSP-v6
And I wondered what was going on, until I did a capture of the session and had a look:
    1   0.000000 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 TCP 68 55448 → 25 [SYN, ECN, CWR] Seq=0 Win=8192 Len=0 MSS=1460 WS=256 SACK_PERM=1
    2   0.000314 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 TCP 68 25 → 55448 [SYN, ACK] Seq=0 Ack=1 Win=29200 Len=0 MSS=1460 SACK_PERM=1 WS=128
    3   0.034751 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 TCP 56 55448 → 25 [ACK] Seq=1 Ack=1 Win=65536 Len=0
    4   6.038967 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 SMTP 395 S: 220-gosper.idefix.net ESMTP Sendmail 8.15.2/8.15.2/Debian-8; Fri, 22 Mar 2019 21:00:55 +0100; (No UCE/UBE) | 220-   This is a private SMTP server. | 220-   The use of this or any related system for the transmission of | 220-   Unsollicited Bulk E-mail (UBE) is prohibited. | 220 logging access from: [185.234.217.222](FAIL)-[185.234.217.222]
    5   6.072501 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 SMTP 76 C: EHLO 82.95.196.202
    6   6.072915 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 TCP 56 25 → 55448 [ACK] Seq=340 Ack=21 Win=29312 Len=0
    7   6.073011 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 SMTP 267 S: 250-gosper.idefix.net Hello [185.234.217.222], pleased to meet you | 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES | 250-PIPELINING | 250-EXPN | 250-VERB | 250-8BITMIME | 250-SIZE | 250-DSN | 250-ETRN | 250-STARTTLS | 250-DELIVERBY | 250 HELP
    8   6.106154 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 SMTP 68 C: AUTH LOGIN
    9   6.106585 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 SMTP 86 S: 503 5.3.3 AUTH not available
   10   6.141445 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 TCP 56 55448 → 25 [FIN, ACK] Seq=33 Ack=581 Win=65024 Len=0
   11   6.141775 82.95.196.202 → 185.234.217.222 TCP 56 25 → 55448 [FIN, ACK] Seq=581 Ack=34 Win=29312 Len=0
   12   6.174430 185.234.217.222 → 82.95.196.202 TCP 56 55448 → 25 [ACK] Seq=34 Ack=582 Win=65024 Len=0
Each session starts ESMTP and even with the ESMTP reply not listing AUTH the next command is 'AUTH LOGIN' for authenticated smtp, and as soon as my server denies offering this the session gets aborted. This does mean no failed authentication attempt is logged which would trigger fail2ban.

This does look like a bit of a distributed attack, but without the network remembering that the attack is not going to work in this way and therefore trying it again and again.

Update: IPs active in this scanning attack sofar: 185.234.217.222 193.169.254.68 185.234.219.56 37.49.225.232 185.222.209.202 141.98.80.15 114.207.112.188 185.222.209.209 23.227.207.215 185.211.245.170 141.98.80.17 89.248.171.176 185.211.245.198 164.132.45.117 37.49.225.224 119.176.218.216 103.114.104.175 37.49.225.47 103.207.37.40 37.49.227.49 185.234.219.57

Update 2019-03-24: I noticed the incorrect EHLO above and looked at options for HELO/EHLO checking in sendmail. Searching did not show a lot of options, trying with the $&s delayed s macro did not fire on the given HELO/EHLO. So I kept searching and found the latest sendmail administration guide ('Bat book') with FEATURE(block_bad_helo). I activated this feature to see if it stops some of this traffic.

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2019-03-19 Time to update putty 2 months ago
An interesting bit of news: SSH client gets patched after RSA key exchange memory vuln spotted.
The fixes implemented on PuTTY over the weekend include new features plugging a plethora of vulns in the Telnet and SSH client, most of which were uncovered as part of an EU-sponsored HackerOne bug bounty.
Get your updated putty at the PuTTY download page.

Update: Interesting visual change in putty: informational lines from the client are now prefixed by a putty logo. This could make it harder to mislead the user in certain attacks.

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2019-03-17 Still working and sometimes struggling learning morse 2 months ago
Every week there is an hour of morse training at my radio club, see article CW cursus op PI4UTR (Dutch). And I'm going there every week I can, as learning morse is an important part of my amateur radio resolutions for 2019.

We're training with the G4FON morse trainer which uses the Koch method (order of characters to learn) to learn morse and so-called Fairnsworth timing (playing the dits and dahs of the characters at the high speed but leaving room to think about what you just heard).

I am doing ok, now we're getting to the level of 37 characters I have a hard time remembering the newest characters. Constant exercise seems the only way to fix this a bit, making exercises with just the characters I keep making mistakes in, although I can go blank again on new characters when switching to testing the whole set. As soon as I get reasonable low amounts of errors I'll try to raise the speed (by raising the effective speed, the dits and dahs of a single letter still come at 15 words per minute).

I want to learn this, with the plan to pass the Belgian CW test some day, and get up to enough speed to be able to participate in morse parts of contests and DX contacts. But there will be a lot of practice before I'm at that level.

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2019-03-13 Scam mail really on the rise 2 months ago
According to “FINAL WARNING” email – have they really hacked your webcam? - Naked Security there is a big flood the last day(s) of "Sextortion" scam mails going around. Don't fall for these. It's all fake.

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2019-03-13 My lineup of amateur radio related podcasts 2 months ago
I like hearing about other experiences in amateur radio from around the world. Podcasts are an easy way to hear experiences, news and opinions from other amateurs. And they fit nicely into my daily commute.

The list of amateur radio related podcasts I follow:

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2019-03-12 A stupid extortion attempt: with an embedded image 2 months ago
A new level of stupid in the "I have you on video watching porn" extortion scams: the whole message embedded as an image, including the instructions to carefully cut and paste the bitcoin wallet address.

Links: Report history for 12Vso1cRX7zQovZG4wH7RAz2HqtdW1Lvek - Bitcoin Abuse Database, Bitcoin Address 12Vso1cRX7zQovZG4wH7RAz2HqtdW1Lvek.

Before, before, before.

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2019-03-11 I participated in the EA PSK63 contest 2019 2 months ago
PSK63 contest in fldigi This weekend was the EA PSK63 Contest and I participated Saturday evening, Sunday morning and a bit Sunday afternoon. I planned to participate in this contest so I set up the endfed antenna outside Friday evening because I would be away most of the Saturday daytime.

With the current radio propagation and a serious part of my participation after sunset I decided to enter in the single operator 40 meter category. I made 106 contacts, with 25 different spanish provinces in the log (out of 52 possible province codes). Spain by itself has 50 provinces with Ceuta and Melilla not counting as a province but they do count in the contest.

I also participated in the EA PSK63 contest 2016 with 60 contacts and EA PSK63 contest 2018 with 125 contacts (but only 79 in the 40 meter band).

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2019-03-08 Another extortion attempt mentioning video 2 months ago
In the inbox this morning, another attempt at extortion.
Subject: IMPORTANT! You have been recorded masturbating! I have Koos Website.mp4!

Hi there,

The last time you visited a porn website with teens,
you downloaded and installed the software I developed.

My program has turned on your camera and recorded
the process of your masturbation.

My software has also grabbed all your email contact lists
and a list of your friends on Facebook.

I have the - Koos Website.mp4 - with you jerking off to teens
as well as a file with all your contacts on my computer.

You are very perverted!

If you want me to delete both the files and keep the secret,
you must send me Bitcoin payment. I give you 72 hours for the payment.

If you don't know how to pay with Bitcoin, visit Google and search.

Send 2.000 USD to this Bitcoin address as soon as possible:

34vKT8SpK2zYAgJUDww9ih1o7Ky3JKmCdP
(copy and paste)

1 BTC = 3,850 USD right now, so send exactly 0.525386 BTC
to the address provided above.
Do not try to cheat me!
As soon as you open this Email I will know you opened it.
I am tracking all actions on your device.

This Bitcoin address is linked to you only,
so I will know when you send the correct amount.
When you pay in full, I will remove both files and deactivate my program.

If you don't send the payment, I will send your masturbation video
to ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES from your contact lists I hacked.

Here are the payment details again:

Send 0.525386 BTC to this Bitcoin address:

----------------------------------------
34vKT8SpK2zYAgJUDww9ih1o7Ky3JKmCdP
----------------------------------------


You саn visit police but nobody can help you. I know what I am doing.
I don't live in your country and I know how to stay anonymous.

Don't try to deceive me - I will know it immediately - my spy software is
recording all the websites you visit and all keys you press.
If you do - I will send this ugly recording to everyone you know,
including your family.

Don't cheat me! Don't forget the shame and if you ignore this message your
life will be ruined.

I am waiting for your Bitcoin payment.
You have 72 hours left.

Anonymous Hacker
Given the address it's clear someone managed to visit this website. Actually hacking my computer and removing the webcam cover or installing the webcam is harder!

Bitcoin links: Report history for 34vKT8SpK2zYAgJUDww9ih1o7Ky3JKmCdP - Bitcoin Abuse Database and Bitcoin Address 34vKT8SpK2zYAgJUDww9ih1o7Ky3JKmCdP.

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2019-03-08 Nieuwe experimenten met RFID kaarten 2 months ago
Na mijn experimenten met RFID kaarten in 2011 heb ik er een tijd niets aan gedaan. Het afgelopen half jaar kwam het onderwerp weer op door wat beveiligingsvragen rond RFID kaarten en heb ik weer de software uitgezocht.

Naast de linux tools is RFID support onder Android nu ook normaal en ik heb ontdekt dat NFC TagInfo by NXP prima software is om snel een kaart te onderzoeken. Bij sommige MiFare classic kaarten geeft deze software dan al een melding dat er standaard bekende sleutels ('factory default keys') gebruikt worden.

In vergelijking met 2011 is het wel anders dat Mifare classic kaarten met een wijzigbare UID (uniek kaartnummer) gewoon te koop zijn (zoek op 'UID changeable card') en de wijziging kan met nfc-mfsetuid wat onderdeel is van libnfc en dus bij een moderne linux uit package libnfc-examples komt. Een complete clone van een mifare classic kaart is dus prima mogelijk, zie bijvoorbeeld deze beschrijving: Cloning Mifare 1K cards (engelstalig).

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2019-03-04 Terug van snowboard vakantie 2 months ago
We zijn een week op wintersport vakantie geweest naar het gebied van Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Tirol. Ons onderdak was een leuk appartement in Ladis, vlak aan de piste en we hebben ons prima vermaakt met snowboarden en een dag bergwandelen. Na een onderbreking van een paar jaar kan ik nog goed snowboarden en heb me ook weer vermaakt met boardercross en mooie afdalingen.

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2019-02-27 Rare verandering in VDSL upstream snelheid 2 months ago
VDSL upstream snelheid week Ineens is de haalbare VDSL upstream snelheid (engels 'attainable') gezakt naar wat daarvoor ongeveer de huidige VDSL upstream snelheid (engels 'current') was. Een opvallende hik in de grafieken. Ik heb geen idee wat de aanleiding is en of dit weer kan veranderen.

Dit is alleen te zien in het modem, de hele PPP sessie is gewoon in stand gebleven.

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2019-02-17 Sunday ISS pass with good results 3 months ago
Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International Space Station by Koos van den Hout PE4KH 2019-02-17 Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International Space Station by Koos van den Hout PE4KH 2019-02-17 Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International Space Station by Koos van den Hout PE4KH 2019-02-17 Sunday had less time to be at the radio for ISS passes but one pass was ok. It started with the end of one image, one full image and the start of the next image. The audio recording of the whole pass is included.
Listen to audio attachment:
MP3 media: ISS pass with SSTV 20190217 at JO22NC recorded by PE4KH (rightclick, select save-as to download)

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2019-02-16 One more ISS pass with good results receiving slow scan TV 3 months ago
Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International Space Station by Koos van den Hout PE4KH 2019-02-16 Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International Space Station by Koos van den Hout PE4KH 2019-02-16 After hickups in recording audio from the radio on two previous passes I rebooted the whole system (it was nagging about a reboot anyway) and I received two more partial images.

Thanks to ARISS Russia team member Sergey Samburov, RV3DR for making this possible!

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2019-02-16 Second ISS SSTV pass: more results 3 months ago
Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International space station received by Koos van den Hout PE4KH on 2019-02-16 Slow Scan TV transmitted from the International space station received by Koos van den Hout PE4KH on 2019-02-16 Second pass of the International space station gave me one partial picture and one complete (with some noise).

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2019-02-16 Received SSTV from the ISS 3 months ago
Slow scan TV transmitted from the International space station received by Koos van den Hout PE4KH on 2019-02-16 In this weekend there are extra slow scan tv (SSTV) transmissions from the international space station (ISS). The ISS moves across the sky when viewed from earth so I calculate beforehand when it will pass across the sky and what the trajectory will be.

I woke up in time to be outside for the first one. A low pass over the horizon and most of the pass matched a pause between transmissions, so not much image received.

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2019-02-06 Meer afpersmail met bitcoins 3 months ago
Het blijft actueel: Verschillende afpersmails in omloop - Fraudehelpdesk.

Ik zie ze zelf ook op verschillende plekken. Trap hier niet in.

Dit keer een bitcoin adres waar nog geen transacties in zichtbaar zijn: 12PUa2SHjWAUEpZZUxQNvxa7epab7g2Ksb alleen is mij niet duidelijk of deze site het verschil tussen een echt aangemaakt adres zonder transacties of een willekeurig adres weet.

Toevoeging 2019-02-07: Een bedrag van 808 dollars in bitcoins staat nu in de wallet, in 2 transacties. Gegeven het bedrag in het originele mailtje zijn er dus 2 mensen ingetrapt.

Toevoeging 2019-02-11: Er is nu over de 3000 dollar in bitcoins binnen. Als ik zo naar de transacties kijk lijken er 7 mensen ingetrapt.

Nog meer informatie: Bitcoin Abuse Database for 12PUa2SHjWAUEpZZUxQNvxa7epab7g2Ksb (engelstalig).

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2019-02-05 Starting tcpdump causes bluetooth drivers to be loaded .. on a virtual machine 3 months ago
I noticed something really weird in the kernel log of a virtual machine:
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936066.990621] Bluetooth: Core ver 2.22
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.005355] NET: Registered protocol family 31
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.005901] Bluetooth: HCI device and connection manager initialized
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.006404] Bluetooth: HCI socket layer initialized
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.006838] Bluetooth: L2CAP socket layer initialized
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.007280] Bluetooth: SCO socket layer initialized
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.009650] Netfilter messages via NETLINK v0.30.
Feb  5 11:46:54 server kernel: [2936067.056017] device eth0 entered promiscuous mode
The last two are the giveaway about what really happened: I started tcpdump to debug a problem. But I did not expect (and do not need) bluetooth drivers on a virtual machine, it will never have access to a bluetooth dongle.

After setting up /etc/modprobe.d/local-config.conf with
blacklist bluetooth
tcpdump still works fine and no bluetooth drivers are loaded.

Update: Most recommendations are to disable the bluetooth network family:
alias net-pf-31 off

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2019-02-01 Plotting the number of amateur radio contacts after a contesting month 3 months ago
QSO count plot up to January 2019 After a month with three digimode radio contests I plotted the number of amateur radio contacts again. The number of contacts is clearly higher each January as a contest month, with this January a new peak.

The contests were the ARRL RTTY Roundup on 6 and 7 January, the UBA PSK63 prefix contest on 12 and 13 January and the BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest on 26 and 27 January.

Nicer looking font due to the upgrade of "radio workstation" thompson. I guess even gnuplot is coming along with the modern times.

before, before, before, before

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2019-01-30 Misconfigured backups 3 months ago
I have "always" been running amanda for backups on linux. Or rather, I can't find any indication when I started doing that several homeserver versions ago, it's just still running.

Or it was running, but first I had to tackle a hardware problem: all SCSI controllers I have are PCI and the newest homeserver has no PCI slots. So I searched for a solution. The first solution was to try using the desktop system for the tapedrive, but the powersupply in that system has no 4-lead Molex connectors so I can't connect the tapedrive.

For now I use an old 'test' system with some software upgrades to run amanda and shut it down when all backups are done and flushed to tape. But amanda had a serious problem writing stuff to tape. With some debugging this turned out to be caused by the variable blocksize I used on the previous systems, with
# mt -f /dev/nst0 setblk 0
and I can't even find out why this seemed like a good idea years ago. But now amanda really wants to use 32768 byte blocks and filled a DDS-3 tape (12 Gb without compression) with about 1.8 Gb of data before reaching the end of the tape.

Why this default has changed isn't clear to me, but I found a way to re-initialize the tapes so the backups fit again. Based on block size mismatch - backup central I created a script to do this. I did not get the error about the blocksize, but I searched specifically for 'amanda 3.3.6 blocksize'.
#!/bin/sh

if [ "$1" = "" ]; then
        echo "Usage: $0 <tapename>"
fi

mt -f /dev/nst0 setblk 32768
mt -f /dev/nst0 compression 1
mt -f /dev/nst0 rewind
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/nst0 bs=32768 count=200
mt -f /dev/nst0 setblk 32768
mt -f /dev/nst0 compression 1
mt -f /dev/nst0 rewind
amlabel -f kzdoos $1
And now normal amounts of data fit on a tape again. I just have to initialize every tape before using it for the first time in this setup.

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2019-01-29 (Last post to be automatically imported into https://idefix.net/ For years I automatically imported ...) 3 months ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Last post to be automatically imported into https://idefix.net/

For years I automatically imported posts from google+ into my homepage at https://idefix.net/ and made them available on my own timelines.
This is one of the things about Google+ I like: it's relatively easy to get access to the content and use it in other places.

Google+ does not have (did not have) the tendency to suck in your data and keep it shielded from the outside world. This is why I liked it over other social networks.

I don't expect a social network to keep things I post private. There's always that stalker in the back of my mind when sharing things online. So anything I post is completely public anyway, no need to keep it locked in. If I post a solution to some problem it's for anybody to read. And laugh at, snicker, or maybe use the solution.

Byebye Google+ API. You will be missed.
2019-01-27 I participated in the BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest 3 months ago
RTTY contest on websdr This weekend I participated in the BARTG (British Amateur Radio Teledata Group) RTTY Sprint Contest.

I went into this contest with the idea of maybe getting some contacts and things turned out somewhat better than that: I made 82 contacts. No new countries or anything else special. The one that got away was PJ4P, Bonaire. I saw that station calling and I kept answering but the contact did not happen.

I used the topendfed antenna outside and the amplifier. So I entered in the high power category.

As with other recent contests the propagation wasn't cooperating very well. When I started in HF at home (October 2014) I would switch from 10 to 20 meters after it got dark because of the changing propagation. Now I change from 20 to 40 meters as soon as it starts to get a bit dark.
Read the rest of I participated in the BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest

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2019-01-24 (Fun in packaging: Hi mum!) 3 months ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Fun in packaging: Hi mum!
2019-01-14 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix radio contest 4 months ago
PSK63 contest in fldigi Like in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 I participated in the UBA PSK63 Prefix Contest in the past weekend. Before I really dove into the contest I first mounted a new end-fed 10/20/40 antenna which can handle more power and tested it.

It took a few tries to get the antenna tuned on the 40 meter band. I tested this with the amplifier which has proven to be really precise about the SWR of the antenna in the 40 meter band, as noted in my post about the ARRL RTTY roundup 2019. I had planned to get this antenna up and running before that contest but that did not work out.

After testing I switched back to 50 watts power without the amplifier because the rules of the UBA PSK63 prefix contest limit the power.

I made a total of 69 contacts as single operator 40 meter. I had a short look at PSK63 activity in the 20 meter band during daylight but it was completely none.

After the contest I tried some FT8 contacts on the 40 meter band with the amplifier active. The amplifier did not like this and went into SWR protection. I must have tuned it perfectly for 7.040 - 7.050 MHz but the SWR is already outside the limits for the amplifier at 7.074 MHz.
Read the rest of I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix radio contest

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2019-01-12 Enabling some old web userdirs 4 months ago
I received a "complaint" that a very old site on the webserver wasn't working anymore. I am not a person to just stop something without planning that so this was an oversight. It was one of the userdirs on idefix.net: Ivo van der Wijk who hasn't updated the page sinds 1994. No, really, not even the broken links.

In restoring this one and the others I found that php in userdirs is disabled by default nowadays, found via PHP not working in userdir (public_html) - devPlant. Maybe a good idea, but I only enable php on virtualhosts where I want it, so I disabled that rule. I hadn't missed it on my own webspace yet, but a site like Het online dagboek van hester (Renate) in Australie (en daar in de buurt) depend on PHP completely.

While I was looking for the reason the php failed I also noticed that /etc/apache2/mods-available/userdir.conf also has some configuration I do not appreciate, it enables userdirs globally when the module is loaded:
<IfModule mod_userdir.c>
        UserDir public_html
        UserDir disabled root

        <Directory /home/*/public_html>
                AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit Indexes
                Options MultiViews Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch IncludesNoExec
                Require method GET POST OPTIONS
        </Directory>
</IfModule>
I disabled that part: I only want the userdir to work on specific virtual hosts.

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2019-01-08 Amateur radio resolutions for 2019 4 months ago
The last time I did those was in 2017: Reviewing my 2016 amateur radio resolutions, and the new ones for 2017 and the hindsight results for 2017/2018 are:
  • Improve the holiday/portable setup with solar power and a lightweight multiband inverted V
    No solar power (due to costs) but the portable setup is improved and tested: the fiber mast I bought for playing radio from several locations including amateur radio from a local park. Now to find more time to actually use it.
  • Keep doing the digimode contests
    That part went better in 2017 and I had less time and/or energy for contests in 2018. Also in 2018 the interference situation got worse. So my net results in contests improved in 2017 and got worse in 2018.
  • Maybe those satellites
    I tried at least receiving them a few times, but no contacts yet.
  • Get a 2m/70cm vertical antenna on the roof of the dormer
    It's there, it has already been upgraded to a bigger antenna with higher gain and it's mostly used for 2 meter FT8. But also for actual talking to other radio amateurs sometimes.
The Sotabeams newsletter had an item "Setting your targets for 2019" which had some nice ideas and which triggered me to write this post. Things I want to try :
  • Keep learning morse!
  • Get more countries on more HF bands in the log
  • Moonbounce on 2 meter
  • Those digimode contests, and maybe a few phone contests
  • Operate HF outside
  • At least one satellite contact

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2019-01-08 Seeing the 451: Unavailable due to legal reasons in the wild 4 months ago
Today I tried to follow a link to http://www.independentri.com/ but I got an error message:
451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time
And indeed in the headers:
$ lynx -head -dump http://www.independentri.com/
HTTP/1.1 451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons
I see the real reason as 'not wanting to comply with European consumer protection laws'. I have no idea how many visitors the site is missing due to this regionblock but since it's a regional weekly newspaper in the United States of America: probably not a lot of the intended audience.

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2019-01-08 Ook in 2019 meer spam voor een Belg 4 months ago
De spammers hebben geen goede voornemens, of voornemens die ik niet als goed zou benoemen, want ook in 2019 gaan ze vrolijk door. Nog steeds spam die gericht is aan een belgisch bedrijf op een .nl adres.

Hetzelfde patroon, nu van Ticket Restaurant Belgie. De advertentietekst is allemaal in het nederlands, de standaard leugens dat ik me geabonneerd zou hebben en dat ik me zo kan uitschrijven zijn in het frans en verwijzen naar NeoPro.

En ook van onlinevisa.eu krijg ik spam, zelfs met de naam "Maes-Swerts/A." er weer eens in. Die had ik een tijd niet gezien!

Ook King Oak VOF gebruikt blijkbaar het zelfde bestand om te spammen. Dat bestand is minstens 7 jaar oud.

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

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2019-01-07 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 4 months ago
RTTY contest on websdr As planned I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup contest this weekend. It was possible to participate in FT8 mode but since I had not prepared for that and had no duplicate checking between FT8 and RTTY I decided to use the mode I am familiair with for this contest: RTTY.

I operated on the 40 meter band Saturday and Sunday evening, and on the 20 meter band during the daylight hours of Sunday. Everything was search and pounce, no responses to calling CQ. I used the power amplifier on the 20 meter band which did help in getting the contacts to almost every station I could decode. The amplifier does not like the SWR from the antenna on 40 meters so I ran without the amplifier on that band.

I made 115 contacts. A number of US stations, already the first new US state confirmed via LoTW. Two more new US states in the log, hope I can get those confirmed too.

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2019-01-02 New country in amateur radio: West Malaysia 4 months ago
In between a few other not too far FT8 contacts I suddenly had a contact with 9M2TO in West Malaysia, a new country for me in amateur radio. I had seen the call before but I did not expect the contact to happen.

And it's already confirmed via Logbook of The World too.

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2019-01-02 Migration to new server finished 4 months ago
More than a year after I started migrating from homeserver greenblatt to the new homeserver conway the last migration is done and the old server is switched off. The new server is in a good position in the rack, and the old server is still taking up space in there too. It has taken a lot of time, I decided to stop some websites and other unused services in the process and my energy levels haven't always been that great. I have improved several things in the process, which also caused delays.

One thing hasn't changed (which I did expect to change): the power usage of the new server isn't lower! The UPS tells me the output load is about the same. Ok, the new hardware has a lot more CPU power, a lot more memory and faster storage, but I expected the poweruse to go down a bit.

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2019-01-01 Switching to 1-wire over USB and forwarding a USB device to a guest VM 4 months ago
The new hardware for the homeserver has no external serial ports, so I could not use the old serial / 1-wire interface that has been doing the home monitoring for years. But I had a spare USB DS2490 interface. So I plugged this into the server and wanted to forward the USB device to the guest VM that runs all the monitoring.

First I had to blacklist all the loaded drivers to have the device available to kvm as-is. In /etc/modprobe.d/local-config.conf:
blacklist w1_smem
blacklist ds2490
blacklist wire
Next step was to attach the device to the right vm. I followed the hints at How to auto-hotplug usb devices to libvirt VMs (Update 1) and edited the definition for the vm to get the host device like:
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='usb' managed='no'>
      <source>
        <vendor id='0x04fa'/>
        <product id='0x2490'/>
      </source>
    </hostdev>
But that did not get the usb device attached to the running VM and I did not feel like rebooting it. So I created an extra file with the above and did a
root@conway:~# virsh attach-device --live gosper /tmp/onewire.xml 
Device attached successfully
And then I had to do the same blacklisting as above in the virtual machine. After doing that I detached and attached it from the VM without touching it with simply:
root@conway:~# virsh detach-device --live gosper /tmp/onewire.xml 
Device detached successfully

root@conway:~# virsh attach-device --live gosper /tmp/onewire.xml 
Device attached successfully
After that I had to set up rules for the telemetry user to have enough access to the USB device:
#
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", GOTO="usb_w1_start"
GOTO="usb_w1_end"
LABEL="usb_w1_start"
ATTRS{idVendor}=="04fa", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2490", GROUP="telemetry", MODE="0666"
LABEL="usb_w1_end"
And now it all works:
telemetry@gosper:~$ digitemp_DS2490 -a
DigiTemp v3.7.1 Copyright 1996-2015 by Brian C. Lane
GNU General Public License v2.0 - http://www.digitemp.com
Found DS2490 device #1 at 002/003
Jan 01 21:53:11 Sensor 10A8B16B0108005D C: 9.500000
Jan 01 21:53:12 Sensor 28627F560200002F C: 17.062500
Jan 01 21:53:14 Sensor 10BC428A010800F4 C: 19.562500
Jan 01 21:53:15 Sensor 1011756B010800F1 C: 11.937500
Jan 01 21:53:16 Sensor 10B59F6B01080016 C: 16.312500
Jan 01 21:53:17 Sensor 1073B06B010800AC C: 18.687500
Jan 01 21:53:18 Sensor 102B2E8A010800F0 C: 29.250000
Jan 01 21:53:20 Sensor 28EF71560200002D C: 16.687500
Working house temperatures again!

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, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. PGP encrypted e-mail preferred.

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