2020-06-03 I participated in the Dutch PACC 2020 in February 2 days ago
But I forgot to write about it, because I made a very minimal number of contacts: 6. I wanted to get the Veron A08 contest group using call PA0AA in the log and added some others. And on submitting the log I didn't set the category to 'checklog' so there is a result with a ranking. I got reminded today because our friendly mail delivery person brought an envelope with the token of merit (het vaantje) which is very special for this contest. The good part is all 6 contacts were valid, so 6 contacts, 6 points, 3 multipliers making a stunning score of 18, and not the last in my category! Ranking 117 (out of 122) in single operator all band low power ssb only.
2020-06-03 Paar lange onderbrekingen Internet door PPPoE probleem 2 days ago
Ik heb een paar keer de afgelopen dagen een vrij lange onderbreking van het Internet thuis gehad, die eigenlijk leken te komen door een hik in de PPP sessie zonder dat de DSL sessie wegviel. Vervolgens probeert pppd met PPPoE (PPP over Ethernet) erg enthousiast de verbinding weer aan de gang te krijgen wat niet lukt. Netto resultaat: een langdurige uitval tot ik een keer met de hand het modem herstart (en dus de DSL sessie ook laat wegvallen). Na wat navraag in xs4all.adsl lijkt dit een gevolg te zijn van het hardnekkig en snel weer opbouwen van de sessie terwijl er nog 'state' is van de oude sessie. En er is misschien wel een hik geweest in het transportnetwerk tussen de straatkast hier en de xs4all routers maar de sessie was nog niet weg. Oplossing: iets minder snel de verbinding verbroken verklaren en bij het mislukken van het opbouwen van een nieuwe sessie een wachttijd inbouwen voor de volgende poging. Dus nu in /etc/ppp/peers/dray-vdsl:persist maxfail 0 lcp-echo-interval 60 lcp-echo-failure 6 lcp-echo-adaptive holdoff 60Nu nog testen.
2020-06-01 I participated in the CQ WPX CW contest 2020 4 days ago
After a number of recent morse contacts with special event stations I decided to participate in the CQ WPX CW contest during the weekend. Not for getting a big score, but to get experience with morse contesting. Morse speeds in a contest like this are 25-30 words per minute which I can't decode, so I used fldigi to decode most of the morse. This means I have to enter my results as 'assisted'. And 'most' of the morse is the correct description because the important detail to decode are callsigns and serial numbers. The signal report is always 599 or 5NN which is usually sent faster than the rest of the conversation because it's a specific pattern a trained morse operator hears anyway. I really didn't participate very long and still made 65 contacts. I'm not sure they all went correct, but it's a start. If I make 10 errors each of those is only 1 error for the other station. It's interesting how this approach to morse contesting gets me 65 contacts when serious participation in a digital mode contest will get me about 120 contacts. But high numbers of contacts are quite normal in a morse contest. I have received serial numbers over 2000. Logs are processed and the first confirmations via ARRL Logbook of the world are already coming in.
2020-05-27 PMR channels have been expanded. In 2018, but I found out today 1 week ago
It's been a very long time since I was busy with pure radio frequency scanning. Being active on the sending side too has made me less interested in frequencies where I can only listen. But recently I was looking at what is available, and noticed the marine VHF channels. I could program them all in a scanner, but I decided to use software defined radio to see if anything is active in that band. Late in the evening there is currently no activity. But I set a scanner to scan all known channels and heard some chatter on PMR channels. On one channel was a remark that there was interference and they should switch to channel 14. In my memory analog PMR had 8 channels. So I looked it up and found out analog PMR was expanded to 16 channels on 1 January 2018. There is also DMR446 (same frequencies but with time division multiple access) on the same frequencies and dPMR446 with 32 possible frequencies in the same range. So now the scanner is updated with the new analog frequencies and I can hear a baby monitor, motorcycle driving lessons and a building site.
2020-05-25 Websites get attacked from the very first moment 1 week ago
Sometimes hobby and work intertwine when I'm not expecting it. I set up a domainname and added a dummy website for something related to amateur radio. I have no idea if it will go anywhere, but I thought I'd get the web configuration right. The domain name isn't published anywhere. But, to my surprise:18.104.22.168 - - [20/May/2020:09:14:35 +0200] "GET /.git/HEAD HTTP/1.0" 404 594 "-" "-" 22.214.171.124 - - [20/May/2020:09:14:35 +0200] "GET /.git/HEAD HTTP/1.0" 404 594 "-" "-" 126.96.36.199 - - [20/May/2020:09:14:53 +0200] "GET /.git/HEAD HTTP/1.0" 404 594 "-" "-" 188.8.131.52 - - [20/May/2020:09:14:53 +0200] "GET /.git/HEAD HTTP/1.0" 404 594 "-" "-" 184.108.40.206 - - [20/May/2020:09:15:12 +0200] "GET /.git/HEAD HTTP/1.0" 404 594 "-" "-" 2a00:d680:30:50::67 - - [24/May/2020:16:54:36 +0200] "GET /wp-login.php HTTP/1.1" 404 594 "http://******.*******.**/wp-login.php" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:62.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/62.0"I added the domain name and requested a LetsEncrypt certificate on 11 May 2020, I set up the webserver correctly on 19 May 2020. The only 'publication' of the name is via the certificate transparancy log. Somehow this is enough for the first probes for possible security issues. Looking in the haproxy logs finds even more requests on 15 and 18 May 2020. Part of the requests are via http, not https.
2020-05-24 Going for countries on other amateur bands 1 week ago
In the past few days I used the long-wire antenna with tuner to get on 'other' amateur bands. I added contacts on the 17 and 15 meter bands to several countries around my country. Some of those countries were new on those bands, so that's nice. No spectaculair new distances or countries, but a good flow of new contacts.
2020-05-24 Shared my script to optimize outgoing QSL cards 1 week ago
As a radio amateur I like sending and receiving QSL cards. QSL is the Q-code for "I confirm reception" and a QSL card is the way to confirm a contact. I have my own QSL card design and a big box of cards to send out. With contacts I usually do a check if a fellow amateur mentions the wish for cards via the QSL bureau on her/his qrz.com page, because I only want to send cards to interested amateurs. Due to the way I process my cards I can put up to 4 contacts on one card, so it's a simple optimization that if I have one contact that I want to send a card for I also check for other contacts with the same callsign. The qslmaximizer.pl script does this for the CQRLOG database.
2020-05-19 Testing encryption with sslscan including deprecated TLS versions 2 weeks ago
Keeping encryption settings correct needs a lot of testing to make sure things are right. With external-facing webservices this is easy with the Qualys SSL scan, but for other services than https or services not facing outward a local tester is needed. This local tester is sslscan, a commandline tool but which depends on the shared openssl libraries which have insecure protocols disabled to helps disabling those deprecated protocols. But to test services the client needs to support those old protocols to do the test correctly. So I built a static version of sslscan with static openssl using the instructions at https://github.com/rbsec/sslscan. And that works for the full testing range!Read the rest of Testing encryption with sslscan including deprecated TLS versions
2020-05-17 New countries in the log, now waiting for confirmation 2 weeks ago
Two new countries in the log, now the wait is for the amateurs on the other side to confirm the contact via Logbook of the World. Or maybe not, but both seemed solid contacts. First was to the island of Curacao, part of the Netherlands Antilles. A lot of Dutch stations will have Curacao in the log because the Americas are the 'easy' DX but with my antenna position it has always been easier to get to the east. Second one was to Kenia, which was a sort of surprise contact, I suddenly saw signals from a station there without any other indication that there was an opening towards Africa. In other amateur radio experiences I've also had some really nice 10 meter openings recently. This is remarkable at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, but I guess sporadic E and other special propagation modes help. So I got some new countries on 10 meter. Earlier North Macedonia and today Albania.Read the rest of New countries in the log, now waiting for confirmation
2020-05-14 After years of rants, Windows can still surprise me in a positive way 3 weeks ago
Microsoft Windows does fall straight into the "does not work well with others" category for me, but today Windows 10 on my work laptop managed to give me a positive surprise. I wanted to print something at home, and my home network is set up to publish CUPS printers via multicast DNS, both via IPv4 and IPv6 so Linux devices on the network see the printer right away. On selecting "Add a printer" in Windows 10 it just showed me the main home printer as an option and sending something to the printer worked the first time. I did notice the default paper size was still Letter although I have set up A4 everywhere, so that was the only thing left to adjust. Now for the screenshot I removed the printer and tried to add it again and I notice the availability isn't very consistent. I do see a lot of mdns traffic when I start adding a printer!
2020-05-12 Changing the CSS grid depending on screen size 3 weeks ago
A special feature I realized when working with the CSS grids is that I can change the order in which objects are displayed based on screen width. Or whether they appear at all on small screens. So now I'm working on stylesheets that change the grid to what works better on a mobile device. Which is what a lot of the visitors to Camp Wireless use! On a small screen I want the important content to come first. There is not enough space for the extras at the top, and a mobile visitor wants fast answers to the question "where can I find a campsite".
2020-05-06 I discovered the CSS grid model 1 month ago
In my todo-list is a rewrite of Camp Wireless to stop maintaining PHP and make it more mobile-device friendly. The reason to stop maintaining php is because I don't like it anymore which gives me a risk of having insecure code, which would be really bad for me. I'm rewriting it in Perl which isn't todays choice in web development either but it is what I can program good enough to avoid security errors. The reason to make it more mobile-device friendly is that over half of the visitors to the site are using mobile devices. They want to find a campsite while travelling with a smartphone or other mobile device. I was already using a media selector CSS, with variations for printer, I'm now looking at CSS grids which allows me to device the page into regions that move place depending on the available screensize. This makes separating content from page layout even easier.
2020-05-05 Internal documentation of my home network 1 month ago
A few times I had to lookup something again about the way things work in my setups. I made a remark before that I should set up a documentation wiki at home to keep this information somewhere central. Right before I started with the homeserver conway I set up Mediawiki on a webserver. First on the previous homeserver greenblatt but as soon as web production was migrated to the new server I ran it on the web production server virtual machine. So for a lot of 'how did I' questions there are answers, and some future plans. Also for plans on the house and on amateur radio related things. People who know me from work will just say this is an extension of the trail of MediaWiki based documentation systems I left behind, and they are right.
2020-05-04 A fault in my firewall 1 month ago
I have a Synology NAS at home running DSM, so I had a look at the certificate options. According to the documentation it can get a LetsEncrypt certificate so I tried that. And it worked... which wasn't what I expected. Some testing later found out port 80 tcp was open for every IPv6 address at home. That's now fixed and limited to those few IPv6 addresses that need to be reachable from the outside world. Browsing the opinions about allowing outside access to the webserver on the Synology versus not allowing it showed me some differing opinions, but an article listening some malware and ransomware targetting Synology systems made me decide to close the system. Looking at the nginx configuration on the Synology gives me the idea some of the web-accessible functionality is available via port 80.
2020-05-03 New country in the log: St. Lucia 1 month ago
In my earlier activity on the 60 meter band I had a "maybe" contact to St. Lucia. This is one of the islands in the West Indies in the Eastern Carribian Sea. But in the end the "maybe" contact was no contact. Ok, fine with me, on to the next chance. That happened Friday evening in a 10 meter opening: I came to the radio with the computer decoding FT8 signals ready to go to bed, but I saw J68HZ active as only non-European station, answering European stations. So I had to try! After a number of tries I got a reply with a very weak signal report, so I kept my fingers crossed for the next exchange and it came, closing the contact. And the next evening the contact was confirmed, giving me a new DXCC entity.
2020-05-01 Time for a plot of the number of contacts in amateur radio after a busy month 1 month ago
Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts. As usual contest months are quite visible and January is for me the month with the most contests. But April 2020 is also quite visible. This last week I had a lot of time for radio due to holiday and not going anywhere. And other radio amateurs also had the time to be active, so there were a lot of new calls to get in the log. Combined with a good 10 meter band opening this added to a high number of contacts for a month with only one contest.
2020-05-01 I'm not intimidated by morse anymore 1 month ago
Today I "chased" the special amateur radio call for the Bulgarian Saint of this month, LZ177GL. The Bulgarian Saints are a set of special amateur radio calls each month, organized in Bulgaria by Bulgarian Radio Club BLAGOVESTNIK LZ1KCP. The callsigns are in honour of saints from the orthodox church. LZ177GL was calling CQ at a rate of about 28 words per minute. My current rate is 12-13 words per minute, so that's quite a lot faster. But it doesn't intimidate me anymore, I can hear the callsign on a few repeats, I can hear when the return is with my full callsign and a 5NN (signal report) or a part of my callsign and a question mark. Or when the answer is for another station. And that's enough to make the contact with the absolute minimum information, exchanging callsigns and signal reports. When I'm convinced my callsign got across I send '5NN TU 73' to finish the contact. I also made some other contacts in morse because I could hear CQ calls and was able to decode them by ear together with some help from fldigi. So my conclusion is that morse isn't "intimidating" anymore. I can understand enough to get an idea what is going on and use it.
2020-05-01 Probable lightning damage to an Intel E1000 networkcard 1 month ago
Today I noticed weird problems with the network in a desktop computer. It kept losing packets on the local network, with other computers in the same switch having no problems. In the end I switched to a different networkcard in the same computer to get rid of the problem. And that solved the problem. The most probable reason is a lightning storm that came very close yesterday evening. Update: A week or so later similar problems started happening with a different computer on the same switch. I changed the switch which made the problem go away.
2020-04-29 More 10 meter band fun 1 month ago
This month is somewhere near the absolute minimum of the solar cycle but today FT8 is active on the 10 meter band. I listened to other things on the 10 meter band but when I heard some morse I soon found out it was a beacon from Italy. It would have been nice to do some other mode than ft8 on the band. But I made the possible FT8 contacts and got bigger distances than yesterday. In the evening I got Asiatic Russia and Belarus in the log.
2020-04-29 Seeing when it's time to walk to the laserjet printer 1 month ago
I have an aged laserjet 4100 DTN printer at home and it sometimes takes a while to print something. The logs from cups will state that it has been sent to the printer but the printer will still show processing. Solution: ask the printer for the active pagecounter. This will be updated after the page has really been output, so it will only change when the printer is done with the page.$ snmpget -v1 -c internal laserjet 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 iso.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 = Counter32: 738042
2020-04-28 A nice 10 meter opening this afternoon 1 month ago
I'm at home at the moment with a few days off from work. Time to play some radio, and with the current stay at home measures there are a lot of stations active. I spun the dial to the 10 meter band this afternoon and heard signals. There was a nice E-skip opening to Spain and I even decoded some signals from Brazil. With normal ionospheric propagation South-America isn't that hard for most of the Dutch HF amateurs, but it's usually my difficult corner. I made several contacts with stations in Southern Europe, including AM2WARD so that's a new slot in the IARU 95th anniversary stations as organized by the Spanish radio amateurs. In the weekend I had contacts with other stations part of that activity, including several in morse. Those stations are using fast computer-generated morse so I can't decode everything 'live' but by now I do know what 'PE4KH 5NN' sounds like at rather high speeds.
2020-04-19 Going horizontal on 2 meters FT8 1 month ago
For all of my FT8 contacts from home until now I used the vertical diamond X-300N antenna on the roof. Most 2 meter DX stations will use a directional horizontal antenna, so I lose some signal when I try to communicate with them. So last weekend I put the Arrow satellite antenna in the attic pointing out the window with the 2 meter elements in horizontal mode. Pointing out this window means southeast direction so I hoped to make some DX contacts into Germany or beyond. Beyond did not happen, there was no special propagation on the 2 meter band. But the furthest contact was with DJ5FI with a distance of 360 kilometers. I'll try this again when there is special propagation in that direction.
2020-04-13 Beeping -- --- .-. ... . loud enough (2) 1 month ago
Today I had time to work on the transistor switching to make the morse oscillator work. As I noticed before the Kent Morse practise oscillator kit is powered directly via the key which draws more current than the nanokeyer I built can handle. So I had to calculate a transistor switch. That's something I learned a long time ago when I did electronics trade school from 1985 to 1989. In Dutch: MTS electronica. That knowledge had to be dug up again when I did the advanced radio amateur course but since I didn't have to use that knowledge it all sunk away. But, google to the rescue and I found lots of examples, but the easiest one was at Transistor as a Switch - ElectronicsTutorials which explained exactly what I wanted. The next item was 'which transistor'. The default NPN transistor is the BC547B, but the theoretical current through the oscillator is a bit more than this transistor can handle. But a fellow amateur had a few BC337 transistors spare in his junkbox, so I could continue with this project. Today I did the drawing and the calculations. I looked up the specifications for the BC337 in full saturation, at which time the Vbe is 1.2 Volt, Vce is 0.7 volt and Ibase is 1 milliAmpere. So I ended up with a resistor of 6800 Ohm at the input (which is (9 Volt - 1.2 Volt)/1 millAmpere rounded) and after building it on a breadboard it went beep with an input current of somewhat over 1.0 milliAmpere. Update: Second test was with the nanokeyer, which first gave no sound, but that was due to me turning the volume down on the practise oscillator. Turning it back up fixed the problem, and I now have loud morse! In the end this is giving me a good feeling. I had a kind of problem I haven't had to solve in ages so I had to relearn how to solve this, I found the solution method and was able to apply it in theory, practice followed the theory and it all worked as designed.
2020-04-10 Brand IPA 1 month ago
Not imported from very far, just from the local supermarket. Again an Indian Pale Ale. There is something about that taste that I like. This one doesn't have a very 'hoppy' taste like some other IPA beers. I would describe the color as a light amber. Almost blonde.
The beer details
Company Brand Beer name IPA Beer style IPA - India Pale Ale Alcohol by volume 7.0 %
2020-04-08 I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2020 1 month ago
Last weekend was the EA RTTY Contest 2020 edition. I decided to participate beforehand so I set up radio, antenna and macros in time before the start. There was quite some time for the contest available since we're not going anywhere. Things started slow, I couldn't get as much contacts in the log on Saturday as I had in the EAPSK63 contest 2020 on Saturday. But on Sunday the contacts started happening and I ended with 143 contacts in the contest. 110 on the 20 meter band and 33 on the 40 meter band. I logged 26 unique provinces in Spain.Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2020
2020-04-07 Troy Hunt: No I won't link to your spammy article 1 month ago
A recurring theme in rants here: link request spam written to look like a serious and personal request to improve an article on my site. Troy Hunt seems to get a lot of those too, so he wrote No, I Won't Link to Your Spammy Article. So we can now all stop doing stupid 'search engine optimization' and go back to sharing actual good content.
2020-04-04 Found the probable reason of the DNSSEC subzones problem 2 months ago
I think I found the most probable reason of the earlier problem with DNSSEC signed subzones. I was trying this with a domain for which I don't have control over one of the secondary nameservers. In one of my showerthought moments I decided to try another domain where I have that full control (just less nameservers) and was able to make it all validate correctly after some tries. Forgetting one or more of all the steps needed to correctly create a domain with DNSSEC and getting the delegation right will give errors. So I guess running a nameserver with all DNSSEC options disabled hinders validation.
2020-04-03 I participated in the Dutch Digital Activity Contest April 2020 2 months ago
There is a new 'activity' promoting digital modes on the 2 meter band. It's short, which is probably why it's called an activity rather than a contest. And it's on a weekday evening. Information in Vanaf nu elke maand een VHF-UHF Digitale Mode Activiteitscontest - VHF en hoger Veron (in Dutch). On the first Wednesday evening of the Month it will be on the 2 meter band, on the second Wednesday evening of the Month it will be on the 70 centimeter band. I participated 1 April 2020 and made 22 contacts within the activity. Several new calls for me in the log, so that's always good. The contestlog processing website generates a map with locators after submitting a log, so I use that map in this newsitem. The preferred mode is FT8, and some participants were using the FT8 software in 'EU-VHF mode' exchanging serial numbers and 6-character maidenhead locators. My wsjt-x decided to switch on receiving such an exchange. The interesting part was that in a few of the next contacts the software also switched but other contacts failed with that information so I switched back to normal FT8 with the 'EU-VHF mode' disabled.
2020-04-02 Beeping -- --- .-. ... . loud enough 2 months ago
To practise my morse at the radioclub I looked for a simple morse practise oscillator and found Morse practise oscillator kit - Kent and ordered it at the beginning of Februari. It took a while for it to arrive, but it arrived and I built it in one evening. It's a quite simple kit. Which means the power for the whole circuit runs via the morse key, in theory about 120 mA. And that is more than the octocoupler on the CW output of the nanokeyer I built is willing to deliver (50 mA). So I can't use the practise oscillator straight away, there will need to be a small amplifier in between. Some searching suggests I can use a transistor as 'power amplifier'. Time to look at what I may have (which is not a lot) or find a transistor somewhere. Solution: order a bunch of transistors in a collection so I have some in the junkbox. Oh and: The dashes and dots in the title are the word 'MORSE' in morse.
The Kent morse practise oscillator built
2020-03-31 Kleine ergernissen melden in de openbare ruimte heeft zin 2 months ago
Gisteren op een wandeling een kleine ergernis: het verkeerslicht voor voetgangers bleef op rood staan ondanks dat ik op de juiste knop drukte. En dit was op het Robert Kochplein waar dan uit twee richtingen verkeer blijft komen zodat 'even tussendoor oversteken' niet echt veilig zou worden. Uiteindelijk bleek de verkeerslichtinstallatie wel te reageren toen ik op de knop bij het fietspad drukte. Melding gedaan via Slim Melden Utrecht maar daar is het wat lastig om precies aan te geven welke knop het niet doet. En deze knoppen hebben ook geen zichtbaar nummer zoals verkeerslichten boven de rijbanen. Ik werd dus teruggebeld met het verzoek om precies uit te leggen welke knop en toen dat duidelijk was is de programmering van de verkeerslichteninstallatie direct aangepast zodat de voetgangers aan de beurt komen ook zonder op de knop gedrukt te hebben en er is toegezegd dat er een onderhoudsbedrijf naar kijkt. Update: Op een volgende wandeling kwam ik toevallig weer langs hetzelfde punt en ik zag dat het verkeerslicht voor voetgangers regelmatig ook groen werd, dus die aanpassing van de programmering is actief.
2020-03-25 It's 2020 and github doesn't support IP version 6 2 months ago
Several of the machines here at home have IPv4 to the outside world disabled, simply to find every ancient service or program that still lives in the old world. Today I found one of those while installing dehydrated to automatically renew Let's Encrypt certificates. Indeed, github has no IPv6 support. It tries to be a modern service, but lacks an AAAA record. The solution is simple: use a webproxy to solve this. The only reason I still have a squid webproxy running is to be able to access IPv4-only http/https services from those hosts, so setting the http proxy in the global git config helped. I'm just surprised github doesn't support IPv6. Update: After some searching I found Github users have been asking about IPv6 connectivity since at least 2018 and the "solution" is that they currently don't support IPv6 and the request is on some list.
2020-03-20 Frastanzer Gold Spezial 2 months ago
Yet another import from our snowboard holiday in Austria. This time I'm drinking Frastanzer Gold Spezial. When poured correctly it looks very German with a big foamy head. Not too pronounced taste, a good beer to drink.
The beer details
Company Frastanz Beer name Gold Spezial Beer style Pilsener Alcohol by volume 5.5 %
2020-03-17 I participated in the EAPSK63 contest 2020 2 months agoLast weekend was the EAPSK63 contest and I participated on Saturday. Lots of stations from Spain active and I managed to work 29 unique Spanish provinces. A total of 82 contacts. I could only participate Saturday afternoon and evening so that limited my time in the contest.Read the rest of I participated in the EAPSK63 contest 2020
2020-03-13 Frastanzer s'honig 2 months agoI bought a few Frastanzer beers on our snowboard holiday in Austria. The first one to try is "Frastanzer s'honig" which is a beer made from biological ingredients with indeed a bit of added honey. Not too much, it's not too sweet for my taste. The honey gives the beer a soft side in taste without losing the strength from hops completely.
The beer details
Company Frastanz Beer name s'honig Beer style Honey beer/spiced beer Alcohol by volume 5.1 %
2020-03-09 Newer power supply not yet delivering what I want 2 months agoI did some more testing with the HP power supply I bought last November. In previous tests the output voltage seemed to be limited at 13 volts and it seems limited to 13.10 volt at the moment. The RM Italy HLA300V plus amplifier I have will only output about 55 watts maximum in digital modes so that's less than I expect. A higher input voltage may fix this, but I'm not sure how to get the power supply to deliver this and keep running. The previous power supply gave up in a busy weekend but before that the HF linear amplifier delivered more power. I have seen it go over a 100 watt on digital modes. The difference in output from the linear amplifier with 13.10 or 13.27 volt power is quite large, which surprises me.
2020-03-08 Updating the Fritz!box 7360v1: still no PPPoE passthrough 2 months agoA while ago I noticed a mention of new firmware for the Fritz!box 7360v1. As I want a separate PPPoE process to have full control of my Internet connection I hoped the PPPoE passthrough option would become available, since this would be a firmware version later than 6.30, but no. At least the upgrade went fine without having to use the recovery options. So the 'in case of emergency' settings have been kept forwarding the necessary ports via IPv4.
2020-03-06 Grolsch klassieke blond 3 months agoSometimes the Dutch special beers need attention too. And there are other beers than IPA beers. Really. This is a special beer from the Dutch Grolsch brewery. A blonde beer, with a somewhat bitter taste for a blonde. Not too hoppy, a nice tasty beer.
The beer details
Company Grolsch Beer name Klassieke blond Beer style Blond Alcohol by volume 6.7 %
2020-03-03 Adding contact e-mail addresses to letsencrypt accounts via dehydrated 3 months agoI noticed the news about LetsEncrypt revoking a lot of certificates on 4 March 2020 and did some checking to find out eventually that one of my certificates is in that set. Users have been notified of this problem... when their account had a contact e-mail address. By default dehydrated doesn't set an e-mail address so none of my instances used one. I do like to get informed so I searched how to update the contact info. The data is in /etc/dehydrated/config field CONTACT_EMAIL but I needed some searching before I found the method to get the update passed on to LetsEncrypt. Some searching later found Update registration email address - Issue #425 dehydrated which shows that a simple dehydrated --account does the magic.
2020-03-02 Trying amateur satellites between the mountains with snow falling 3 months agoDuring our wintersport holiday in Austria I also brought my Arrow antenna and handheld radios along to try a satellite contact. Before the holiday I read on twitter that Peter Goodhall 2M0SQL has unconfirmed gridsquares which included the place I was going on holiday. So I prepared for trying to make the contact during the holiday. In the preparation I got a theory why I had problems with the satellites with a 2 meter downlink frequency. During the holiday I soon figured out there wasn't a lot of time for contacts, during the day we were on the pistes and we went to bed early because we had a lot of physical activity. And the place we stayed was between the mountains so for satellite passes I was limited to high passes. In the end I did listen to one Fox-1D pass which was high and long enough. In a serious amount of falling snow so that was a new experience in amateur radio: trying to make contacts in the snow. Reception of Fox-1D was quite good on the Baofeng UV-5R radio, but transmitting back up didn't work out, I never made a contact. I did not hear Peter on that pass, so that did not work out at all. But I learned several things, including the fact that the theory about the 2 meter downlink frequencies and the Wouxun KG-UVD1P was correct so the result is positive anyway.
2020-03-02 Back from snowboard holiday 3 months agoLast week we were on a wintersport holiday in the Montafon region of Austria. I went snowboarding and had fun. There was enough snow at higher levels when the week started and later in the week it started snowing giving fresh snow which I really like for snowboarding. Driving to Austria and back home through Germany went fine, no huge traffic jams or really bad weather. There is still a lot of work on the German Autobahns but less than one or two years ago. The lane departure warning system in our car still doesn't like the mix of orange and white lines on the road when lanes are shifted for work.
2020-02-20 I think I figured out why I didn't hear satellites with 2 meter downlink 3 months agoI was preparing for trying some satellite contacts and noticed the Fox-1B and Fox-1D had nicer opportunities for a contact. But I always have problems receiving any signal from those satellites on the handheld radio that I use for satellite contacts, which is the Wouxun KG-UVD1P I got for Christmas in 2012. Not the ideal radio for amateur satellites, but easy to bring along and to program with split frequencies. A while ago I noticed that radio was constantly receiving noise on the 2 meter band and I had to set the squelch level quite high to stop it. I thought it was some local overload or local noise in the 2 meter band. But today while working on the preparations for some satellite contact possibilities I figured the problem is with the radio and something is actually wrong on the 2 meter receive side. I have two other handheld radios. One is a Kenwood TH-D7 where I can't change the squelch level so it's not really usable for satellite contacts and the other is a Baofeng UV-5R which can't be programmed via the computer. So I spent a lot of time entering all the possible doppler-shifted frequencies of both satellites on the keypad of the Baofeng UV-5R. I hope that gives me a working radio for Fox-1B/Fox-1D and I can get a few new contacts in the log. Update 2020-02-27: I was correct! I tried a Fox-1D pass with the Baofeng UV-5R radio and I had easy reception of the satellite. Trying to get my signal over the satellite didn't work, but at least I know what the reception problem was.
2020-02-17 Tweaking the SSL cipher settings for 2020 3 months agoA few days ago I changed the configuration of haproxy to stop accepting TLSv1.0 and TLSv1.1. With the upcoming deprecation of TLSv1.0 and TLSv1.1 this seemed the right SSL configuration. Today I remembered there is one directly reachable Apache server, so I had a look at the settings there and checked the results with the Qualys SSL Labs SSL Server test where I noticed some ciphers listed as 'weak'. And seeing different results between my haproxy and apache servers, which I did not expect as I used the same settings for SSLCipherSuite in Apache and ssl-default-bind-ciphers in haproxy. The last issue was caused by the fact that Apache2.4.25 in Devuan ascii uses libssl 1.0.2 and haproxy 1.7.5 uses libssl 1.1.0. I'm not sure that's an ideal configuration but it's what I work with. With the output of openssl ciphers -v I get a list of cipher names. But this is with libssl1.1.0 so the output lists ciphers that Apache doesn't have access to (yet). The good part is that Apache ignores ciphers that aren't available, so the net result is a running and working configuration. The current result is for Apache 2.4.25:SSLProtocol All -SSLv2 -SSLv3 -TLSv1 -TLSv1.1 SSLHonorCipherOrder on SSLCipherSuite ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256And for haproxy 1.7.5:ssl-default-bind-options force-tlsv12 no-tls-tickets ssl-default-bind-ciphers ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256The fun part is that I can test the SSL negotiation with sslscan locally but sslscan is linked against openssl 1.0.2 so it misses some of the newer options. And I also test with the Qualys SSL Labs ssl test but that takes a while.
The too long; didn't read version of finding the right configuration optionsAnd later I found I could have saved a lot of time researching options using the Mozilla SSL Configuration Generator. I don't completely agree with the suggestions there because I want to generate my own dhparams. Using 'well-known Diffie-Hellman paramaters' has security risks. But otherwise all the suggestions for ciphers are very usable and save me a lot of time.
2020-02-16 Reconsidering data gathering and processing 3 months agoFor years and years I've been doing a lot of data gathering and storing the data using rrdtool. Data such as temperatures from lots of places, from mainboard CPU sensors to an outside weather station, other weather data, web traffic data, house electricy and gas usage, solar power. I started doing this with mrtg in 2001 and switched to rrdtool. There are some improvements to this system, such as maintaining the rrd files on one machine and doing measurements on other machines in the form of timestamped files to be transported to the machine with rrd via rsync-over-ssh. This allows the central database to do a catch-up of decentrally gathered data after an interruption. All in all there are two disadvantages at the moment: the system isn't very flexible, adding a datasource means making the big decision about how much data to keep how long and what I want to look at. Diskspace isn't as constrained as it once was, I may want to keep some data forever and I may want to zoom in to a period a bit longer ago. So I'm looking at different solutions. For one dataset I already added an alternate datastore: the electricity and gas meter readings get copied to a postgres database once a day so I can look at the daily readings forever. So the search is on for the ideal solution. For gathering and transporting data I am looking at mqtt, a lightweight protocol to gather and transmit data. This also makes it easier to have multiple data collectors look at one source so I can test with a few things first before I make a real switch to any new system.
2020-02-15 Active on the 60 meter amateur band again 3 months agoI had one whole contact on the 60 meter band a few years ago with a German station. This band is supposed to be outside of the reach of my longwire, but with a lot of tuning it can work. This weekend the longwire and the tuner absolutely did not want to get to a workable state on the 80 meter band so I tried the 60 meter band again. In FT8 mode, as that is what gets me the most result from home outside of contests. This got me a number of contacts. Also one new country already confirmed: Tajikistan. And a new country with a questionable contact, so I'm waiting to see whether the other side will confirm or not. Formally 60 meter doesn't count for ARRL DXCC, but to me every contact counts in some way. I even got stations responding to me before I called CQ, I guess some amateurs are keen on getting a new callsign in the log. I took down the wire antenna Saturday early in the evening because the winds were picking up for another storm.
2020-02-10 Getting with the times and limiting the webserver to TLSv1.2 3 months agoIn 2020 the support for TLSv1.0 and TLSv1.1 will end so the famous qualys SSL test is giving capped grades. I decided to get with the times and limit my outside web ports to TLSv1.2 so now I am back at an A+ grade. Eventually this will start to cause problems as Devuan stable doesn't have an openssl with TLSv1.3 support yet.
2020-02-10 Een nieuw jaar, nieuwe kansen voor spam voor een Belg 3 months agoOok in 2020 gaat inktbestellen.be vrolijk verder met spam sturen naar adressen van een illegaal verzamelde adressenlijst. Maar spam van inktbestellen.be hadden we al gezien in de spam voor een Belg in 2019. Eerder, Eerder, Eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder.
2020-02-08 Lagunitas India Pale Ale 3 months agoI decided to look for some special beers while shopping and I found this one: Lagunitas India Pale Ale. Sounded good, so I bought it. The first taste is mostly hoppy, as expected from an IPA. Stronger than I've seen in some other IPA beers. In general it has a strong hop influence in the tast and reminds me of English bitter beers. Reading the label shows me Lagunitas is from Petaluma, California and Chicago, Illinois. I guess Chicago has a serious beer culture with multiple breweries.
The beer details
Company Lagunitas Beer name India Pale Ale Beer style IPA - India Pale Ale Alcohol by volume 6.2 %
2020-02-08 Still learning morse, getting some help 3 months agoI'm still working on learning morse code. Sending morse code with the paddle is going ok at about 10-12 words per minute. Receiving is also somewhere around that rate, but I make more errors receiving. I practise receiving morse with G4FON (Windows), xcwcp (Linux) and IZ2UUF morse trainer (Android). G4FON offers Farnsworth timing, where the letters are transmitted at a higher rate but there is extra spacing between letters to lower the rate of transmission. In xcwcp I can add extra dots between letters and in IZ2UUF morse trainer I can set extra length as a factor of the letter length. Three somewhat different methods to help learn morse at a reasonable speed. To practise sending morse I use either the FT-857 radio or the control unit of the remote radio as expensive morse sounders. For the morse training at the radio club this is somewhat bulky and the internal buzzer of the nanokeyer is not loud enough so I ordered a practise oscillator kit from Kent morse equipment in the UK. I also joined The Less Involved Data Society where I hope to meet newcomers to morse on the air. So I am now LIDS member number 414. And for the rest: practice, practice, practice. Changing between modes of practice such as whole words in English or Dutch or back to random characters or groups of 5 letters helps improving speed and accuracy.
2020-02-04 Chasing more DX with HamAlert 4 months agoThis weekend I had some random radio time so I made a number of contacts. By numbers mainly in FT4 and FT8 but also some SSB and CW via the remote radio. I activated HamAlert triggers and used that to get a few countries in the log that I wanted confirmed via LoTW. This worked for Corsica and San Marino. I got an alert for a San Marino call on Saturday and worked it reasonably fast after an FT8 CQ from that station. On Sunday I saw a notification for a Corsican call on FT8. When I saw the activity I noticed the station was just calling other stations. So I just started answering the callsign in the hope of getting the contact and after a few tries the hint came across and I got the contact in the log. This is an area where an alerting system that uses more sources than just the DX cluster network works better: the station from Corsica never showed up on the DX cluster, but the activity was seen by PSKreporter and filtered by HamAlert into a notification to me. The contact with Corsica is already confirmed on LoTW.
2020-01-30 Backup to a remote webdav server, first success! 4 months agoI found a completely different option for transferring files from linux to a remote webdav filesystem: fusedav. Mounting the remote 'cloud' disk with fusedav and synchronizing files with rsync is starting to work. I decided to split my backups into two categories: first there are file collections that usually only grow, like digital camera pictures and audio project files. This takes the most diskspace and doesn't really need versioning. The second category is configuration files, homedirs, mail and other things that change and where I may need an older version. This is where backups based on amanda work better. I mount the filesystem with:Read the rest of Backup to a remote webdav server, first success!$ fusedav -u koos -p topsecret https://webdav.cloudprovider/remote.php/webdav/ /home/koos/webdavmount/And the rsync command to backup to this mount:$ rsync -av --progress --bwlimit=512K --size-only --timeout=30 /camera/2003/ webdavmount/camera/2003/This looks scriptable so it can run on a regular basis with just a status update to me. Update:
Reliability is still an issue. I added the --timeout=30 parameter to make rsync abort when the bytes stop flowing.
2020-01-24 Longest matching IPv6 address selection biting me 4 months agoTrying to get devuan updates, I see:Err:5 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii Release 404 Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80] Err:6 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-security Release 404 Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80] Err:7 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates Release 404 Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80]While nl.mirror.devuan.org has no shortage of IPv6 and IPv4 addresses:;; ANSWER SECTION: nl.mirror.devuan.org. 78083 IN CNAME deb.devuan.org. deb.devuan.org. 78083 IN CNAME deb.roundr.devuan.org. deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2001:638:a000:1021:21::1 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2a01:4f8:140:1102:2b76:955d:b48f:bdf3 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2001:878:346::116 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2a01:4f8:162:7293::14 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2800:a8:c001::a deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2a01:4f9:2a:fa9::2 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2001:590:3803::31:151 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2001:4ca0:4300::1:19 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2a02:2a38:1:400:422a:422a:422a:422a deb.roundr.devuan.org. 845 IN AAAA 2a0a:e5c0:2:2:400:c8ff:fe68:bef3 ;; ANSWER SECTION: nl.mirror.devuan.org. 78063 IN CNAME deb.devuan.org. deb.devuan.org. 78063 IN CNAME deb.roundr.devuan.org. deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 220.127.116.11 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 18.104.22.168 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 22.214.171.124 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 126.96.36.199 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 188.8.131.52 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 184.108.40.206 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 220.127.116.11 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 18.104.22.168 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 22.214.171.124 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 126.96.36.199 deb.roundr.devuan.org. 824 IN A 188.8.131.52I always get the error for 2001:878:346::116 when connecting. This site seems to have a problem with the devuan mirror at the moment, so I'd like to use another one, but apt keeps going back to the same source. This has to do with IPv6 address destination selection (RFC 3484 / RFC 6724). A good explanation at IPv6 Destination Address Selection – what, why, how - Karl Auer with:Rule 9, “use longest matching prefix“, will prefer the candidate destination address that shares the greatest number of contiguous leading bits with the source address that would be chosen for it. Such an address is likely to be topologically closer to the source address.Indeed that address is close to my home network addresses:2001:0878:0346:0000:0000:0000:0000:0116 2001:0980:14ca:0001::/64So the "roundr" round robin isn't very round for IPv6 users. Workaround: reject the address that is giving me problems:# ip -6 route add unreachable 2001:878:346::116 # apt update Get:1 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii InRelease [25.6 kB] Get:2 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-security InRelease [25.6 kB] Get:3 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-updates InRelease [25.6 kB] Get:5 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-security/main Sources [185 kB] Hit:4 http://packages.roundr.devuan.org/merged ascii InRelease Get:6 http://nl.mirror.devuan.org/merged ascii-security/main amd64 Packages [480 kB]
2020-01-21 Suricata and ppp: restart of suricata needed after ppp down/up 4 months agoSuricata is running and detecting attacks, but it was causing a 100% cpu load after a restart of the ppp connection (the DSL here uses PPP over Ethernet). The errors point at the problem starting when the ppp connection restarts:21/1/2020 -- 00:59:36 - <Error> - [ERRCODE: SC_ERR_AFP_READ(191)] - Error reading data from iface 'ppp0': (100u) Network is down 21/1/2020 -- 00:59:37 - <Error> - [ERRCODE: SC_ERR_AFP_CREATE(190)] - Couldn't set fanout mode, error Invalid argumentWhich also starts to fill the system log with:Jan 21 00:59:42 xxxxxxxx kernel: [11347441.726755] device ppp0 left promiscuous mode Jan 21 01:00:13 xxxxxxxx kernel: [11347472.055712] device ppp0 entered promiscuous mode Jan 21 01:00:13 xxxxxxxx kernel: [11347472.071533] device ppp0 left promiscuous mode Jan 21 01:00:13 xxxxxxxx kernel: [11347472.091653] device ppp0 entered promiscuous modeThe interesting part is that this causes higher power usage about five and a half hours later. Solution: restart suricata in an /etc/ppp/ip-up.d/ script.
2020-01-13 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 4 months agoLike in previous years I participated in the UBA PSK63 Prefix Contest in the weekend. Overall it was a nice contest, with 111 contacts in total which makes this a good contest score. I started in the 20 meter band on Saturday, moved to the 40 meter band after propagation died down due to the sun going down. On Sunday morning I started on the 40 meter band but soon gave up, there was a lot of interference on that band. I switched to 20 meters and made some more contacts. In the end: 38 contacts in the 20 meter band and 73 in the 40 meter band.Read the rest of I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest
2020-01-08 Changed to a new alerting option for radio amateurs 4 months agoI turned on the remote radio today and saw in the DX cluster that the ZC4UW dxpedition was still active although 7 January was the last day. The signals were never good enough to make the contact, but this made me rethink the DX alerting options I have. I used 'DX Alert' on Android before, but this program had some difficulties and I can't find it anymore on the google play store which suggests it's really going out of support. The new suggestion is HamAlert which processes data from the DX Cluster network, PSKreporter, Reverse Beacon network and Sotawatch, allows the user to set triggers and report via push notification to a Android/Iphone when the HamAlert android app or equivalent iPhone app is installed. I created an account, installed the app and set up my first triggers: countries in and around Europe I don't yet have confirmed in bands/modes that I can use. It's a lot easier in HamAlert to set these up compared to DX Alert because it can all be done on the HamAlert website and can be customized more easily. Update 2020-01-12: First score: I activated the alerts today because I had some time to get on the radio between other things. I saw alerts for E44RU which is in Palestine on a non-standard FT8 frequency. I spun the dial, adjusted a bit and made the contact. And that's a new country for me.
2020-01-06 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2020 5 months agoThis weekend was the ARRL RTTY Roundup edition 2020 and I participated. Late Saturday evening I saw a few US stations come up on 40 meters. Sunday afternoon I made a lot of contacts to mostly European stations on 20 meters. In the evening after dark the contacts from Europe seemed to stop after the first 24 hours were over but when I checked again late in the evening more US and some Canadian stations were decoded on my end and I worked them. In the end 110 contacts, a nice score for this contest. Claimed score: 110 qso points * 33 multipliers = 3630. The one that got away: I saw a station from California calling and giving state 'CA' in contacts, but he never heard me. That's the first time I heard or saw anything from one of the western US states.
2020-01-06 Security tools can help practise morse 5 months agoToday I needed blocks of random letters to practise sending morse. What better tool to create those blocks than good old pwgen with the right settings:$ pwgen -0 -A 5 12 ahhud eizaa kuoku ahyoo aequi epiis eiwei eimap sohsh papai ikeit ouchoAnd the trick for generating groups of five digits is a bit longer:$ pwgen -r abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz -A 5 12 97228 85996 98876 38451 06091 98556 53369 73632 29509 29032 89601 16078Or both letters and digits:$ pwgen -A 5 12 sa7la oc7ko an5ne axae6 vohz6 aez5i eh3qu sha5m inai8 eor3a fuv1o ro6haUse better parameters with pwgen to generate actual passwords.
2020-01-03 No longer amazon.com associate on The Virtual Bookcase 5 months agoI received a message from amazon that The Virtual Bookcase no longer qualifies as an amazon.com associate. That was no big surprise as I haven't done a lot of maintenance on the site and haven't added a lot of content in the last years. The only serious maintenance was for the migration to the new web server where php 7.0 is the standard version. I wish to some day migrate to perl but haven't found time yet. So I removed all amazon affiliate links I could find. This also means I can't use the amazon.com API anymore.Read the rest of No longer amazon.com associate on The Virtual Bookcase
2020-01-01 Closing 2019 in amateur radio, time to plot the number of contacts and look back 5 months agoTime for a new plot of the number of radio contacts. Months with contests are quite visible. After the peak in number of contacts in July there was first a holday and after that no big peaks in number of contacts. December 2019 jumps out a bit again due to the FT8 roundup on 8/9 December in which I made 66 contacts and later in the month the troposperic ducting allowing contacts over interesting distances in the 70 centimeter and 2 meter band added to a sprint at the end. In 2019 I made a few more contacts than in the previous record year 2017. Looking back at my amateur radio resolutions for 2019 I think most came true. If I look at them one by one:
Now I have to think about 2020, but the year is still young.
- Keep learning morse! - I'm still working on my morse, but there is measurable improvement. I have learned the full set for the Belgian CW exam and I'm working on accuracy and speed.
- Get more countries on more HF bands in the log - More countries and more slots on HF are in the log. I also use the club station to achieve that goal. The ARRL DXCC Award shows that I'm getting somewhere.
- Moonbounce on 2 meter - I've listened on the right frequencies to the moon on 2 meter. Nothing heard.
- Those digimode contests, and maybe a few phone contests - I participated in two phone contests and a number of digimode contests. No serious improvement in scores.
- Operate HF outside - I operated HF outside. Not as much as I would like.
- At least one satellite contact - Multiple satellite contacts have been made!