News archive December 2020 - Koos van den Hout

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2020-12-31 The igate is still receiving packets and slowly building coverage 8 months ago
Coverage map of PE4KH-10 igate around Utrecht Since the igate build was finished and the first packets were received I left it running. I did switch to a 5 volt power supply: it works fine on a USB charger powering the whole circuit board via the USB connector for the ESP32.

Packets are received from a large area around the city as shown. I'm glad it is all working and I hope to improve the APRS network coverage here locally a bit.

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2020-12-29 Some updates to parts of my homepage 8 months ago
It's the christmas holiday and that gives me some time to fix things that have been on the wishlist for a while. This includes some parts of the scripts that make up my homepage.

The update was a learning process, I found out getting caching right is still very hard and I learned about preformatted text and the CSS grid which worked differently than expected. All fixed now.

This is now fixed, and I may find more things to fix in the (near) future.

Changes include:
  • The pages are now using a CSS grid
  • Pages have a usable righthandside
  • Updates to the footer have been made on all pages
  • The history function of the newstag page has been fixed to give usable permanent urls
  • The IPv6 check is active on more pages

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2020-12-27 Taming preformatted text in the CSS grid 8 months ago
I found out the mobile version of my homepage was a lot wider than the desktop version (which tries to fit on the screen). This didn't show when I learned about the CSS grid for Camp Wireless.

The difference is that my homepage regularly uses log samples which are displayed as preformatted text. I used the grid width 1fr which allows for the full width of <pre> items. Changing this to 100% fixed it. The desktop version uses two columns and those are already split using percentages of the full screen width.

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2020-12-27 I'm still wardriving from time to time 8 months ago
I haven't written anything about wardriving since I noticed I fell out of the WiGLE top 100 but I still do it from time to time. At the same rate as I wrote back then, switching on the WiGLE app on an Android phone when I realize I may be in an 'interesting' area for finding networks and I have the time. I don't go out on wardriving trips on purpose, but there are enough networks to be found.

By now I have dropped to the number 312 rank in the WiGLE user statistics. I guess there are other wardrivers a lot more active and plotting every day wardriving expeditions.

WiGLE also logs found bluetooth devices and there are a lot of those out there.

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2020-12-24 Getting caching right is still very hard 8 months ago
After switching my websites to https I found out caching works differently on https (for good reasons) and files included by lots of pages got reloaded a lot.

So I added some caching hints. I especially did not want the stylesheet to be reloaded constantly. So I added an ExpiresByType directive to cache stylesheets for a week.

But on the change of camp-wireless to a new stylesheet and programming language I got bitten by this: some browsers had the old css code cached and saw no reason to check for updates. The site looked strange (but wasn't really broken).

I recently made some changes to parts of my homepage too, also going to the CSS grid model, just like the changes in Camp Wireless to the CSS grid model. And I had the same problems with the CSS in the production version. It took a bit of searching to find the source of the Expires statement, it was in the .htaccess file.

Now fixed to a much shorter cache time, it is quite possible to have versions of the pagecode and CSS differ in the browser.

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2020-12-23 A bluetooth speaker that is also a serial port 8 months ago
I acquired a Blaupunkt BLP6100 Bluetooth speaker. Which turns out to support the following services via bluetooth:
  • Headset (audio for phone calls)
  • Handsfree operation (use buttons to accept, hangup or reject calls)
  • Audio sink (the main function of a bluetooth speaker)
  • Serial port
That last one I did not expect. I have tried opening the port with minicom and it will say carrier detect but sofar trying to wake it at 115200 or 9600 hasn't resulted in anything.

As a linux audio device it works fine. Or as a bluetooth speaker for my phone so I can listen to podcasts while walking around at home.

But the serial port makes me wonder!

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2020-12-22 Sunday afternoon recumbent ride 8 months ago
GPX viewer result of my sunday afternoon cycling trip On Sunday I wanted to do some cycling and deliver something in another part of the city of Utrecht. Those two can be combined! After finding the right part to do my delivery I cycled out of the city in north-west direction and returned via the northern ringway.

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2020-12-21 Contests can help other things, and other DX updates 8 months ago
I like participating in radio contests. Not to win them, but to improve my own score and have the fun of making a high number of structured radio contacts in a short time.

There is also the factor that radio contests bring out participants in places that are normally hard to reach for radio amateurs. Last weekend I was tuning on the 20 meter band looking for phone contacts and I heard a Canadian station giving out the abbreviation Quebec Charly (QC) as an exchange. I looked it up and found out the RAC Canada Winter contest was running. I made the contacts and spun the dial looking for other Canadian stations, because I never had a confirmed voice contact with a Canadian station.

That doesn't mean I haven't talked to Canadians over amateur radio, I had a really nice chat with a Canadian who knows the area where I grew up a few months ago. That's totally different from a contest contact and also very nice to have.

In total I got 3 different Canadian stations in the log and I entered my log. It won't be the winner in the DX category, but I appreciate the fact that the Radio Amateurs of/du Canada organize this so I do my part in making the scoring possible.

And yes the first LoTW confirmation already came in, so I now have Canada confirmed on phone.

Other DX update: Patience helps, I now have the earlier contact with Cuba confirmed.

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2020-12-20 SMTP credentials brute force 9 months ago
Cybercriminal Interesting find in the logs: SMTP authentication brute force.
Dec 20 20:57:22 gosper saslauthd[1616]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknidcam1974] [service=smtp] [realm=camp-wireless.org] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Dec 20 20:57:26 gosper saslauthd[1613]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknidcam1974] [service=smtp] [realm=] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Dec 20 21:54:42 gosper saslauthd[1615]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknikieh] [service=smtp] [realm=camp-wireless.org] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Dec 20 21:54:47 gosper saslauthd[1617]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknikieh] [service=smtp] [realm=] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Dec 20 21:57:14 gosper saslauthd[1614]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknikieh] [service=smtp] [realm=camp-wireless.org] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Dec 20 21:57:23 gosper saslauthd[1615]:                 : auth failure: [user=iknikieh] [service=smtp] [realm=] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
With lots more for different names. The last one is probably this session:
Dec 20 21:57:16 gosper sm-mta[15854]: STARTTLS=server, relay=[5.188.206.203], version=TLSv1.2, verify=NOT, cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384, bits=256/256
Dec 20 21:57:24 gosper sm-mta[15854]: 0BKKvEuN015854: [5.188.206.203] did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA-SSL

Due to the fact that they abort the session when they can't log in the IP is seen as annoying by fail2ban and added to the deny list. But that list grows (suggesting a distributed attack) and is at this moment at 142 currently blocked hosts.
Read the rest of SMTP credentials brute force

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2020-12-19 Het DVB-T2 aanbod via Digitenne 9 months ago
DVB logo In de services scan kwamen de volgende services beschikbaar:
  • NPO 1 tv
  • NPO 2 tv
  • NPO 3 tv
  • RTV Utrecht tv
  • Omroep West tv
  • NPO 2 Extra tv
  • NPO Radio 1 radio
  • NPO Radio 2 radio
  • NPO 3FM radio
  • NPO Radio 4 radio
  • NPO Radio 5 radio
  • NPO Soul & Jazz radio
  • FunX radio
Volgens Publieke themazender NPO 2 Extra nu ook te zien via Digitenne is die pas net toegevoegd. Ik ben benieuwd naar de bitrates per dienst.

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2020-12-19 Weer TV kunnen kijken zonder Internet in het pad 9 months ago
DVB logo Sinds het uitschakelen van digitale televisie in de DVB-T standaard keken we de live uitzendingen van NPO 1/2/3 via de NPO app voor android en de chromecast. Meestal werkt dat, maar op de dag dat er meer storingen waren bij google wilde de chromecast ook niet werken op een onhandig moment.

Tijd om toch eens te kijken naar een manier om live NPO 1/2/3 te kijken waarbij er niet zo'n afhankelijkheid is van verschillende complexe systemen en aanbieders met verschillende belangen. Terug naar TV kijken met een antenne en eigen ontvangst dus, die ook werkt als er een hapering met Internet is. Op zoek naar een simpele DVB-T2 ontvanger die voor de FTA (free to air, gratis te ontvangen) kanalen van Digitenne werkt kwam ik terecht bij deze: Edision Picco T265 - DVB-T2 H.265 HEVC - cardwriter.nl waar heel erg duidelijk in de omschrijving staat dat deze alleen voor de FTA kanalen van digitenne is. Precies wat ik zocht.

Deze is nu binnen en doet het. De ontvangst van DVB-T2 komt wel gevoeliger over, ik moet echt een goede plek voor de binnenantenne zoeken. En de 'digitale klif' is duidelijk, of er komt HD beeld uit of het staat stil / geeft blokjes.

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2020-12-18 Some people actually read instructions 9 months ago
Back when I started with world wide web things I created my own links page. For my own use, so I had my web links available on all my computers.

With the rise of 'search engine optimization' I started to receive requests to add certain links. First as bulk 'link exchange' mails but later as automated "personal" requests which have their own special rant.

The "personal" requests sometimes used interesting backstories such as a school project where the children had found such a good resource together and the teacher hoped to bring a smile to the childrens' faces by having the suggestion from the schoolchildren actually implemented.

So I added a line at the beginning of the page:
If you want to mail me to notify me about your very special link that really needs to be here to help children all over the world, enable world peace, would be the best resource ever or simply increase your pagerank: Don't. These are my links.
and this seems to help. For now.

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2020-12-13 Makefile logic not working perfectly 9 months ago
I noticed the certificate for idefix.net was expired according to my webbrowser. I dug up the reason and found out the scripts to maintain the ocsp files managed to confuse the Makefile to keep the haproxy certificates updated.

The ocsp responses have more updates than the certificates, but a certificate update needs to be processed anyway.

So I updated the Makefile in the previous post. The dependency is now certificate-stamp depends on installed certificates, installed certificates depend on copied certificates. And installing the certificate also updates the ocsp response.

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2020-12-11 Put all the scams together, maybe one of them works... 9 months ago
Interesting scam e-mail today, I guess it tries all possible scams and hopes to find out which one(s) work. Sent using the invite option of google forms, which seems to be popular with scammers recently.
I've invited you to fill out a form:
Attention Dear Customer
Attention Dear Customer,

We attempted to dispatch your item at 11:29 AM GMT+1 on the 19th of November, 2020 [11-19-2020].

Your delivery attempted to be delivered was affirmed to be among the list of deliveries abandoned in our delivery factory loft in the category

of the delivery file cases that consist of Stimulus Payment, Lottery Winners/Contract payments, Compensation & Inheritance Payments and

unclaimed consignments(concealed funds) From 2017 - 2020 and was abandoned due to the the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic that has

caused the lockdown in the country at large including the Holiday that has stopped it from getting to you respectively.

The shipping charge of this delivery has been paid & covered, so this notification has been automatically sent to notify you of this parcel

because if the parcel is not re-scheduled for delivery or picked up within 72 hours, it will be cancelled/confiscated along with the Tracking

details which will be null & void.

Yours sincerely,
Bruce Springs
404-666-6485
fedexpress109@hotmail.com
Secretary, FedEx Factory Loft


**************************
The content of this email is confidential and intended for the recipient specified in this message only. It is strictly forbidden to share any

part of this message with any third party, without a written consent of the sender. If you received this message by mistake, please reply to

this message and follow with its deletion, so that we can ensure such a mistake does not occur in the future.
************************************************************

1006205-4-9-US-EN-80147623


©2020 FedEx. The content of this message is protected by copyright and trademark laws under U.S. a


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2020-12-05 Playing with a fully programmable LED strip 9 months ago
At work there is a sort-of competition for the best christmas decorations in the office. At the end of last year I considered doing something with programmable LEDs to 'participate' in this competition in 2020.

This year turned out somewhat different, but slowly my son is also somewhat interested in electronics, soldering and making the computer do something.

So I set out to find fully programmable LED strips. I found a good comparison of LED strips in a Youtube video: LED Strips, what's the difference? WS2811, WS2812B, 2812Eco, WS2813, WS2815, SK6812, SK9822. which compares the several available types and their pros and cons. After viewing this video and for my limited experiment I thought the WS2812B based LED strip would be the best choice. The next hurdle was controlling it and I found Connect and Control WS2812 RGB LED Strips via Raspberry Pi which has pointers to the right code.

I am not following the advice on that page about working with mains power cables. That looks dangerous.

I ordered a WS2812B based LED strip and a matching power supply for 5V 40Watt from a Dutch webshop and got it in a few days later. I was amused by the warning the webshop gave that a LED strip like this is for advanced users only because you have to add a controlling device and do all the programming. That is exactly what I intended to do!

Programming is in Python3, and I haven't written any Python code before. But with a lot of google searches and looking at samples I got the idea right.

I now have the LED strip blinking in exactly the patterns I want, including a nice pattern for a christmas tree. And it blinks 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' in morse code, because why not!

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2020-12-04 Using a snapshot for an upgrade so I can roll back 9 months ago
This evening I upgraded the production webserver from Devuan ascii to Devuan beowulf and to have the option available to roll back everything I created a snapshot and left that running until I was satisfied with the new configuration and everything worked.

The steps were simple, found via Commit or revert a Linux LVM snapshot? - serverfault:

Before starting the upgrade, create a snapshot:
# lvcreate -L 10G -s -n turing_upgrade /dev/conway_ssd/turing_root
Do all the upgrade stuff, reboot, make sure everything works again.

The usage of the snapshot went up to 22.38 percent:
# lvs
  LV               VG         Attr       LSize   Pool Origin    Data%  Meta%  Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert
  turing_root      conway_ssd owi-aos---  30.00g
  turing_upgrade   conway_ssd swi-a-s---  10.00g      turing_root 13.17
After everything worked, remove the snapshot:
# lvremove /dev/conway_ssd/turing_upgrade

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. 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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Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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