News archive January 2020 - Koos van den Hout

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2020-01-30 Backup to a remote webdav server, first success! 1 year ago
I 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:
$ 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.

Reliability is still an issue. I added the --timeout=30 parameter to make rsync abort when the bytes stop flowing.
Read the rest of Backup to a remote webdav server, first success!

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2020-01-24 Longest matching IPv6 address selection biting me 1 year ago
Trying to get devuan updates, I see:
Err:5 ascii Release
  404  Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80]
Err:6 ascii-security Release
  404  Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80]
Err:7 ascii-updates Release
  404  Not Found [IP: 2001:878:346::116 80]
While has no shortage of IPv6 and IPv4 addresses:
;; ANSWER SECTION:   78083   IN      CNAME         78083   IN      CNAME  845     IN      AAAA    2001:638:a000:1021:21::1  845     IN      AAAA    2a01:4f8:140:1102:2b76:955d:b48f:bdf3  845     IN      AAAA    2001:878:346::116  845     IN      AAAA    2a01:4f8:162:7293::14  845     IN      AAAA    2800:a8:c001::a  845     IN      AAAA    2a01:4f9:2a:fa9::2  845     IN      AAAA    2001:590:3803::31:151  845     IN      AAAA    2001:4ca0:4300::1:19  845     IN      AAAA    2a02:2a38:1:400:422a:422a:422a:422a  845     IN      AAAA    2a0a:e5c0:2:2:400:c8ff:fe68:bef3

;; ANSWER SECTION:   78063   IN      CNAME         78063   IN      CNAME  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A  824     IN      A
I 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:
So 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 ascii InRelease [25.6 kB]
Get:2 ascii-security InRelease [25.6 kB]
Get:3 ascii-updates InRelease [25.6 kB]
Get:5 ascii-security/main Sources [185 kB]
Hit:4 ascii InRelease
Get:6 ascii-security/main amd64 Packages [480 kB]

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2020-01-21 Suricata and ppp: restart of suricata needed after ppp down/up 1 year ago
Suricata 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 argument
Which 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 mode
The 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.

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2020-01-17 Added the javascript IPv6 test 1 year ago
With very little javascript programming experience I managed to program a version of the IPv6 inline test that is what I wanted for a while: a simple IPv6 check in the right hand column of my homepage. With credit to the IPv6 test by Iljitsch van Beijnum. A needed test, because we really ran out of IPv4 addresses.

It took a lot of tries and debugging because I have absolutely zero javascript experience. But I learned slowly and managed to get what I want.

This is where I like having test environments. There were a lot of broken versions of the test on a separate minimal test page, then I implemented it on the developer version of my homepage and fixed the last errors in that combination and after that I committed the change to the versioning system and updated the production version which showed the update without problems in one go.

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2020-01-13 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 1 year ago
PSK63 contest in fldigi Like 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

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2020-01-08 Changed to a new alerting option for radio amateurs 1 year ago
I 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.

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2020-01-06 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2020 1 year ago
RTTY Contest on websdr This 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.

Update 2021-04-10: Checking on several contests and finding the score for this one: 109 qso points and 33 multipliers = 3597 points. I entered in the 'single operator unlimited, low power' category and ranked #10 for the Netherlands.

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2020-01-06 Security tools can help practise morse 1 year ago
Today 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 oucho
And 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 16078
Or both letters and digits:
$ pwgen -A 5 12
sa7la oc7ko an5ne axae6 vohz6 aez5i eh3qu sha5m inai8 eor3a fuv1o ro6ha
Use better parameters with pwgen to generate actual passwords.

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2020-01-03 No longer associate on The Virtual Bookcase 1 year ago
I received a message from amazon that The Virtual Bookcase no longer qualifies as an 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 API anymore.
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2020-01-01 Closing 2019 in amateur radio, time to plot the number of contacts and look back 1 year ago
QSO count plot up to December 2019 Time 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:
  • 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!
Now I have to think about 2020, but the year is still young.

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IPv6 check

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

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