News archive September 2020 - Koos van den Hout

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2020-09-29 I participated in the CQWW RTTY Contest 2020
RTTY Contest on websdr I was wondering until the last moment whether to do it or not but eventually I did participate in the CQWW RTTY Contest in the last weekend. Seeing other radio amateurs get ready on social media helped me decide and jump in.

I made 165 contacts on the 20 and 40 meter band. No new countries! I was seeing decodes from a station from Thailand but he did not decode my replies. It was also interesting to see how some stations that couldn't hear me at one time were almost easy to contact at other times. But not the one from Thailand, that one never came back.

I only worked search and pounce, looking for other stations available for contacts. Some stations had major pile-ups but coming back later helped.

Getting my log in a format that I could upload was a bit of an issue. I selected the CQWW-RTTY contest in the contest setup of fldigi, and it logged the CQ zone numbers and state in the right windows. But on the export to cabrillo there is no option to export those values. Workaround: select the right adif part of the log and use the CQ WW RTTY DX Contest ADIF to Cabrillo Convertor. I did have to fix my one US contact since the state wasn't exported correctly.

Update 2020-10-04: My raw score before log checking is 22579 points according to 2020 CQ WW RTTY Contest raw scores.

Update 2021-04-10: Final score: 162 valid contacts, 1 US state, 13 zones, 53 countries: 21373 points. Ranking #23 the Netherlands.

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2020-09-27 Logging a cycling tour and visualizing the results
gpxviewer map of my cycling 2020-09-27, map from openstreetmap We went cycling today and I fixed the speed computer on my bicycle and brought the GPS unit to get a good tracklog. Both worked fine so I know where I cycled, when and how fast.

The Garmin GPS saves data in .fit format but it's easy to convert that to gpx using gpsbabel, and visualising the resulting gpx is done with gpxviewer. The maps in gpxviewer are from openstreetmap, which means they are both good and free to use.

The magic conversion command from Garmin .fit to .gpx :
koos@kernighan:~/garmin$ gpsbabel -i garmin_fit -f 2020-09-27\ 16-37-30.fit -o gpx -F 2020-09-27\ 16-37-30.gpx
Which doesn't produce any output messages when things go well. No news is good news.

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2020-09-22 TLSA records for DANE can't have it all
Yesterday I read about changes at LetsEncrypt that influence LetsEncrypt intermediate certificates and DANE and had a look at my own DANE record set up in december 2019.

I decided to change the 'usage' value to 1, meaning 'EE match validated by public CA' because it's linked to a known public CA, and the old value 3 meaning 'private EE' wasn't completely true because it's linked to a known public CA.

But I received a notification this morning, with:
Only certificate usages DANE-TA(2) and DANE-EE(3) are supported with SMTP.
With references to rfc 7672 section 3.1.1 and further which makes a valid point about CA validation in SMTP sessions.

So the validation chain is purely based on DNSSEC.

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2020-09-16 My amateur radio activity versus the sunspot cycle
PD4KH start on HF bands versus the sunspot cycle
My start on the HF bands versus the sunspot cycle. Click for full graph with legend.
Recently the start of the new sunspot cycle is mentioned a lot in radio amateur news because the influence on ionospheric propagation is strong and the start of counted sunspot cycle 25 has started. Looking at the graphs I felt like I started just at the downward trend of the previous sunspot cycle.

So I looked it up at Solar Cycle Progression - NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center and zoomed in to the time when I made my first contacts making the screenshot in this article. And indeed, August / September 2014 was part of the last peaks of cycle 24, and it went mostly downhill from there. So my experience that I made my first HF contacts on 10 meter and soon had to go to lower frequencies to get any propagation matches those measurements.

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2020-09-15 VDSL hikt als ik actief ben op de radio binnen het VDSL spectrum, maar ook er na
Dit weekend was ik weer eens behoorlijk actief met amateurradio en als ik ging zenden was dit eigenlijk iedere keer onder de 17 MHz, dus binnen het VDSL spectrum. Ik was actief net boven 14 MHz (20 meter band) en net boven 7 MHz (40 meter band). Iedere keer als ik naar een andere frequentie ging verbrak de VDSL de verbinding en moest die opnieuw opgebouwd worden, ook als ik binnen dezelfde band opschoof. Ook waren er in de nachten nadat ik actief geweest was nog onderbrekingen.

Dit keer ook opvallend: het 'geheugen' van de VDSL verbinding is veel korter. Een avond later kreeg ik weer een onderbreking als ik op dezelfde frequenties actief werd, ik was gewend dat dat bij meer dan een week was.

Al met al is de VDSL dus een stuk gevoeliger voor het soort storingen wat amateurradio veroorzaakt (korte storingen op wisselende frequenties). Ik dacht dat dat in DSL termen "impulse noise". Nu begrijp ik ook dat de firmware met 'optimized for KPN' modem driver die ik nu gebruik anders reageert op dit punt dan de versie die ik gebruikte voordat er problemen met rare verbroken verbindingen kwamen. Geen vooruitgang dus. Wanneer komt er glasvezel naar de huizen? Glasvezel veroorzaakt geen storing op radiofrequenties en het raakt niet verstoort van nabij radiogebruik.

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2020-09-13 A weekend with some radio: first hand-paddled morse contact, a new country and data contacts
After lots of other things a weekend where I made time for amateur radio. I set up the endfed antenna and used a mast to raise the antenna at the end of the garden a bit, which hopefully increases the range a bit.

The big new thing was the last radio contact of the weekend: I decided to get on the air with the paddle as an exercise in morse. After looking for a contact at a reasonable speed where the exchange would be more than just callsigns and signal report I heard someone call CQ on the 40 meter band at about 20 words per minute. So to exercise my sending and not try to decode everything at 20 words per minute I cheated and used the computer to decode most of the morse code. I answered with my call and some basic information, with the printed CW QSO example in front of me. The other radio amateur had the patience to listen to my relatively slow speed (12 words per minute) and I had the contact. So I ended with a good - ..- which is morse for TU which is the abbreviation for "Thank You!"

Earlier in the weekend I made lots of FT8 and some FT4 contacts, just getting more calls in the log. I saw some for me new countries active. I managed to get French Guadeloupe as a new country in the log, and Saint Julia on a new band.

My notifications for the Bulgarian Saints showed me that LZ595IP was active in PSK31. I haven't used that mode in a while. I made the contact, so now I have that call in morse and PSK31, still looking for other modes.

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2020-09-09 Romantiek, gevaar en lust: de Curry en van Inkel podcast
Ze zijn er weer! Ruim 15 jaar nadat ik met vertraging ontdekte dat Adam Curry aan podcasting was begonnen is ook Jeroen van Inkel begonnen met een podcast, en gelijk over het onderwerp waar ik graag dingen over terugluister: Curry en Van Inkel, het radioprogramma wat ik elke vrijdagavond wilde horen in 1984-1987.

Ook nu weer met vertraging, want deze podcast loopt al sinds november 2019. Maar dat maakt de lol niet minder! Het is echt weer genieten van de oude jingles, stukken 'aircheck' (opnames die gemaakt werden van de gehele uitzending zoals die er uit ging), gesprekken met mensen die er bij waren, anecdotes en stukjes van de muziek zoals die toen was (geen lange stukken, want de muziekrechten blijven een ding).

De lol die ik er toen in had om er naar te luisteren komt ook gelijk weer terug. Waarbij ik ook sommige dingen ontdek die ik in die jaren gemist heb, wat dan te maken heeft met de ondertussen iets meer gevorderde leeftijd.

Het mooie is dat het me uit de eerste aflevering duidelijk wordt dat al het archiefmateriaal wat in de podcast gebruikt wordt beschikbaar is in digitale en doorzoekbare vorm omdat een enorme fan de hele voorraad met audiocassettes heeft gekregen van Jeroen, en een jaar later was er een gedigitaliseerd archief.

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2020-09-02 An update to the home 1-wire network
For more than 12 years now(!) the house has temperature sensors using the 1-wire protocol. I recently redid some of the wiring between floors and I finally got around to rerouting the 1-wire network via this new route.

I also added a temperature sensor in the big room in the attic, we are thinking of using that room more often. To get an idea of how good that idea is we wanted to get an idea of the temperatures up there and that's what I have 1-wire sensors for! I soldered an 18b20 sensor to the end of a 4-wire flat phone cable, added it to the network and it's measuring.

So now 12 environmental temperatures are measured every 5 minutes: 9 in the house, one in the weather hut, one in the shed and one on the roof of the shed.

I also updated the 1-wire projects overview with how I use 4-wire flat phone cable in RJ45 connectors for 1-wire network. I had to look up how I did that previously before I could start adding new cables!

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Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
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