News archive 2022 - Koos van den Hout

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2022-05-12 Generations of Netgear switches and interface names
In my time at Utrecht University computer science I wrote a script to search Cisco switches for a given ethernet address and respond with the port. This could be used to trace things on the network, which helped on incidents in progress.

This script was based on the typical things Cisco switches do with vlan CAM table lookups and the best implementation. CAM stands for Content Addressable Memory: memory optimized for doing lookups by certain content. In the case of a network switch a 6-byte MAC address plus 2-byte vlan id will be used to do a lookup of the 2-byte interface number where it was last seen, and this lookup is done in hardware.

This CAM table is accessible via SNMP, and the funny part is the MAC address for the lookup is also encoded as SNMP identifier. I could get the whole CAM table via snmpwalk but as I only want to lookup 1 MAC address it is way faster to go directly from MAC address to interface number. After that the interface number is translated to an interface name and that name is usually something recognizable to a network engineer.

When I started using managed switches at home from Netgear I adapted the script at home and enhanced it for Netgear switches.

I recently added a third netgear switch when upgrading the fiber to the shed and I updated the script to learn about the new switch.

I noticed the interface names are quite different over the generations of netgear switches.

The oldest switch is a Netgear GSM7224. The interface name from a query is "Unit: 1 Slot: 0 Port: 15 Gigabit - Level".

The second switch is a Netgear GS716Tv2. The interface name from a query is "Slot: 0 Port: 11 Gigabit - Level".

The newest switch is a Netgear GS310TP. The interface name from a query is "GigabitEthernet9".

The Unit: 1 in the GSM7224 suggests some option for stacking multiple switches, but I can't find any mention of that option in the on-line documentation.

The other fun part I notice is interface names never showing the fact that they are actually an SFP interface with an SFP in them. The port status for a port with an SFP is not different from the status for a copper cable at gigabit.

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2022-05-11 SolarEdge omvormers 'THROTTLING'
Na het aanpassen van het netwerk naar de schuur naar gigabit was ik natuurlijk ook de monitoring van de SolarEdge inverter met modbus/tcp aan het testen. En toen viel me even iets op, de inverter stond in mode THROTTLING en dat was me nog niet eerder opgevallen.

De uitvoer is dan
$ ./sunspec-status -v se-schuur -m 0
INVERTER:
             Model: SolarEdge  SE2200
  Firmware version: 3.2537
     Serial Number: xxxxxxxx

            Status: THROTTLING

 Power Output (AC):          342 W
  Power Input (DC):          348 W
        Efficiency:        98.50 %
  Total Production:     3964.313 kWh
      Voltage (AC):       237.40 V (49.94 Hz)
      Current (AC):         1.53 A
      Voltage (DC):       378.80 V
      Current (DC):         0.92 A
       Temperature:        42.75 C (heatsink)
Ik kon niet vinden wat de reden was van het terugregelen van het uitgangsvermogen. Ik log nu wel de statuswaarde van de inverters om te zien of dit vaker voorkomt.

Update: Achteraf denk ik dat dit gekomen is omdat ik de omvormer in de schuur gereboot had om het juiste IPv4 adres te krijgen voor monitoring. Dit was op een best wel zonnig moment. Na de reboot was ik snel aan het testen of de modbus/tcp monitoring het deed naar het nieuwe adres, en de omvormer gaat niet in een klap voluit electriciteit leveren maar brengt dat langzaam op gang.

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2022-05-11 The fiber to the shed network has been upgraded
I got around to doing the upgrade of the fiber to the shed network I had on my mind today.

A friendly network layer 1 engineer had some leftover Cisco SFP modules and the netgear GS310TP and netgear GS716Tv2 switches accepted these without any issue. So the layer 1 network link came up fine.

The layer 2 link with vlan support took me a few hours, somehow I managed to get confused with vlan tagging, vlan tagged only frames and the primary vlan id. I haven't done this in a while and I sort of copied the configuration from another port which may be less than optimal too. I had to run through the house a number of times to get the configuration right, wireless devices can't access the managed switches. At least I got the whole configuration working in the end. I think I can add other vlans to the link too (I want the option of a wireless access-point in the shed).

Putting the switch, the power supply for the switch, the raspberry Pi, the power injector for the 1-wire measurement network and all network cables and fiber in the plastic box I bought for this work was a bit of work, it just fits (so a wireless access point will have to live outside that box..). But it's all in there and the box is closed again. It's just not airtight anymore with the new holes for power, fiber, network cable, gps antenna cable and 1-wire network. I may need to stuff the holes with foam or something similar to keep insects from crawling into the box.

Everything works now and the measurements from the solar inverter are coming in!

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2022-05-09 Grafana alerts working again
After reverting to Grafana 8.4.7 for a while because alerts were failing in Grafana 8.5.0 I had a look at the available version today and saw version 8.5.2. I assumed the problem with DataSourceNoData errors was fixed by now and did the upgrade.

Indeed the alerts are seeing data fine now and I trust they will work when needed.

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2022-04-23 New country in amateur radio: Iran
A notable and rare country in the log today: Iran. I've seen Iranian calls on the air a few times but it is rare. Today I saw EP2C on the air in FT8 in the 17 meter band and got the contact.

Confirming it is the next step: they have a QSL manager so I'll have to pay a few euros to get a paper card. Although the call seems active on Logbook of The World.

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2022-04-23 Grafana alerts failing in 8.5.0
I installed Grafana from their debian repository, so I get updates via the normal apt update / apt dist-upgrade process. Since upgrading to version 8.5.0 the alerts were all firing because of 'DatasourceNoData' errors. According to Alert Rule returned no data (after upgrade to 8.5.0) #48128 other people are seeing this too.

For now I downgraded to version 8.4.7 where things work fine and I'll see if a newer version shows up.

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2022-04-20 I passed the morse exam in Belgium
In October 2018 a morse course started at my local radio club under the leadership of Ab PA5ABW. Around March 2020 the people still going strong practising morse thought they had a chance of passing the morse exam in Belgium. But that pandemic happened, borders closed and gatherings of radio amateurs were impossible.

Why go to Belgium? The Dutch telecommunications authority does note whether you have 'CW included' or 'CW not included' but there is no exam possibility in the Netherlands. So in the past doing the exam in Belgium, presenting the certificate to the Belgian telecommunications authorities to get it converted to a certificate the Dutch authoritities accepted and converting that certificate to a Dutch 'CW included' note was the way.

When there was an option of a Morse exam in April 2022 in Belgium again there was a note the Belgian telecommunications authorities were not willing to do the 'conversion' for foreign radio amateurs who weren't living in Belgium. This seemed to kill the route to get the much coveted 'CW included'. After writing an article about this a suggestion came to 'skip' the Belgian telecommunications authorities and present the Belgian certificate to the Dutch telecommunications authorities. Later there was news from the Veron amateur club: Morse examen doen in België voor een ‘CW included’ aantekening kan nog steeds with a statement from Agentschap Telecom (Dutch telecommunications authorities) stating they would accept the certificate from the UBA club in Belgium at this time.

So when that became an option we registered for the exam in Belgium and kept practising. Personally I had to change to using actual pen and paper and not a keyboard because the exam would be using paper!

Between October 2018 and April 2022 we practised for about three and a half years. That means I practised morse in one way or the other for almost every day of the week.

The three of us went to Diest last Monday and all passed the test. On Tuesday I sent scans of all the needed documents to Agentschap Telecom to get those three letters removed from the amateur radio license document, going from "CW not included" to "CW included".

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2022-04-13 First IPv6 sightings at work
Years and years after writing proposals to start doing something with IPv6 at work I noticed the first systems actually having IPv6 connectivity in production networks.

Finally getting there! I wonder when workstations will start having IPv6 connectivity.

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2022-04-10 A contact with a Brazilian radio amateur in morse on the 10 meter band
As noted before Brazil was a rare country for me on 10 meter until a few weeks ago but it got easier to get those contacts with the 10 meter band getting better due to the changing sunspot cycle. I changed this even more yesterday with a morse contact with PY2ZEA on the 10 meter band. I heard him calling and getting a lot of short contacts into Europe. At first the signal started fading into the noise but about 20 minutes later it came back slowly and with more calling cq for new contacts.

I gave it a try and on the second attempt he got my call correctly and we exchanged some messages. More than just a signal report and a call, I told in morse that this was my first morse contact into Brazil.

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2022-04-06 I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2022 last weekend
RTTY Contest on websdr Last weekend was the EA RTTY Contest 2022 edition. At the last moment I decided to participate because I appreciate the contests organized by the Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles.

Conditions were good: I made contacts on the 20 meter amateur band Saturday afternoon, on the 40 meter amateur band Saturday evening and even got contacts on the 10 meter amateur band on Sunday morning. Hasn't happened a lot in the last few years: contest contacts on the 10 meter band. Including a contact with a station in Brazil which was a bit remarkable: I had my first contact with Brazil on the 10 meter band only 2 weeks earlier! For most Dutch amateurs Brazil is 'easy' DX, but my antenna points mostly to the East / South.

In the end I made 135 contacts which is a nice score for this contest.
Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2022 last weekend

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2022-04-01 Mention of my igate
In 2020 I built an igate: a device for receiving status packets on amateur frequencies and got it succesfully receiving packets and publishing them to the APRS network.

Since then the hardware has been in a corner of the radio shack receiving packets, building a good coverage of received packets and doing fine.

Today I noticed in Razzies April 2022 a Dutch-language electronic magazine of the Radio Amateurs Zoetermeer a nice mention of 'my' igate:
De enige gateway die dapper stand houdt is PE4KH-10: nota bene een iGate naar ontwerp van onze club: een RAZ iGate...
or translated: the only gateway still standing strong is PE4KH-10: notably an igate made to the design from our club: a RAZ igate.

It's nice to get this mention! The hardware is in the corner of the shack just doing its job and nothing else.

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2022-04-01 Sneeuw op de zonnepanelen
Gisteren en vandaag zijn dagen met sneeuw. Een van de gevolgen is dat er ook sneeuw ligt op de zonnepanelen. En dat heeft duidelijke gevolgen voor de opbrengst.

Wat als eerste opvalt is 31 maart, een enigzins donkere dag met wat natte sneeuw in 's ochtends vroeg. De opbrengst van die dag is ongeveer net zo laag als 1 maart. In de tussentijd zijn er in maart veel dagen geweest met een goede opbrengst van de zonnepanelen.

En nu vandaag 1 april heeft het in de avond en nacht gesneeuwd en blijft die sneeuw liggen op de panelen. Dan komt er erg weinig licht door! Pas om 12:00 begon er iets uit de omvormers te komen.

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2022-03-26 SPF/DKIM/DMARC and mailing lists
One of the founding forms of information exchange and community building on the Internet is the mailing list. A subscriber sends mail to a central mail address and the mail gets redistributed to all members.

As this mechanism has been abused by spammers in lots of ways there has been a lot of work in stopping unwanted mail being distributed by mailing lists.

There has also been a lot of work in publishing the official way in which outgoing mail from organizations is handled: Sender Policy Framework (SPF), documenting the sources from which e-mail can be send, DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) for signing outgoing mail headers and body and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) for publishing the policies for mails that fail SPF/DKIM and reporting on those. The way mailing lists forward mail isn't really compatible with SPF and DKIM. There is a 'new' source of mail from the original sender and some headers are changed/added when forwarding it with mailing list software.

Yesterday I sent something to a mailing list from an idefix.net address and this morning I see a number of dmarc reports with failures, because the mailing list server isn't authorised to send on behalf of idefix.net. So maybe some people on this mailing list haven't received my reply. In the long run lots of SPF errors from this IP could also hurt its 'reputation score' for outgoing e-mail. Some mailing lists 'fix' this by not allowing domains with strict spf/dmarc policies, others go through interesting adjustments with 'sent on behalf of'.

I have no simple solution for this, I see an example of security measures breaking an existing use case, for which adjustments may have to be made.

Update: The general approach here seems to be 'sender rewriting'. Recently updated mailing list software should support this. But it depends on the mailing list owner to check the settings and update the software.

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2022-03-18 Using grafana for alerting too
I've been playing with grafana for about a year since starting with updating my statistics gathering and I keep seeing new options and updates in grafana.

Grafana recently got some new options for alerting and I am trying a few of those. Alerts for things that are a real problem and can cause other problems are a good start. Based on some earlier problems I keep an eye on some filesystems that are over 90% full.

Today I read Three DDoS attacks on my personal website found via Three DDoS attacks on my personal website : r/homelab reddit and this made me wonder about overloads on my webserver. The easiest way to detect problems with web serving I could think of is to look at the queue size in haproxy which is monitored in influxdb/grafana anyway for nice graphs of website traffic.

I did have a time with too high queues for backend webservers. But that was when the backend server was completely broken due to a filesystem problem so that was a logical reason.

It would be nice if I could iterate alerts, like 'for the root filesystem of every monitored system'. Or at least copy them changing only the system name in the rules and alerts.

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2022-03-10 Dear linux kernel, I know what I want with nomodeset
Just noted on bootup of a virtual machine:
Mar 10 19:42:14 turing kernel: [    0.181861] You have booted with nomodeset. This means your GPU drivers are DISABLED
Mar 10 19:42:14 turing kernel: [    0.181862] Any video related functionality will be severely degraded, and you may not even be able to suspend the system properly
Mar 10 19:42:14 turing kernel: [    0.181862] Unless you actually understand what nomodeset does, you should reboot without enabling it
It's a virtual machine which does server tasks. Anything more than 80x25 VGA text mode is pure overkill. It's currently the default card in qemu (Cirrus CLGD 5446 PCI VGA card), I could try the virtio VGA card to see if that saves on memory/cpu.

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2022-03-05 SMTP auth bruteforce attacks seen
Cybercriminal In checking recent logs I noticed several tries to find SMTP authentication credentials. Most notably is that anything that vaguely resembles something that might be an SMTP account is tried. Including plussed e-mail addresses and information from SIP urls.
Mar  5 14:12:09 gosper saslauthd[16336]:                 : auth failure: [user=8006] [service=smtp] [realm=idefix.net] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Mar  5 17:15:00 gosper saslauthd[16339]:                 : auth failure: [user=koos+web] [service=smtp] [realm=idefix.net] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]
Mar  5 18:08:04 gosper saslauthd[16339]:                 : auth failure: [user=belspel] [service=smtp] [realm=idefix.net] [mech=pam] [reason=PAM auth error]

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2022-02-25 Why the wifi in the shed is probably unreliable
I used the raspberry pi in the shed to do a wifi scan, to get an idea of the usage of the 2.4 GHz wifi band as seen in the shed.

This finds 18 to 22 networks, with our own network not as the strongest network. As you can imagine most channels have multiple networks on them. And the overlap in wifi channels makes this worse: the networks on channel 2 see interference from those on channel 1.

From the list of networks, with names and address information removed, just leaving signal strength and channel / frequency:
-93 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-91 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-92 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-72 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-92 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-88 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-92 dBm, ch   1, 2412 MHz
-91 dBm, ch   2, 2417 MHz
-80 dBm, ch   2, 2417 MHz
-90 dBm, ch   3, 2422 MHz
-94 dBm, ch   4, 2427 MHz
-93 dBm, ch   5, 2432 MHz
-94 dBm, ch   5, 2432 MHz
-80 dBm, ch   6, 2437 MHz
-94 dBm, ch   8, 2447 MHz
-95 dBm, ch   8, 2447 MHz
-94 dBm, ch   9, 2452 MHz
-95 dBm, ch   9, 2452 MHz
-77 dBm, ch  10, 2457 MHz
-84 dBm, ch  11, 2462 MHz
-93 dBm, ch  11, 2462 MHz
This is a right mess. If I ever want reliable wifi in the back garden/shed I will have to have an extra access-point there. This option of having wireless vlan(s) available in the shed has influenced the choice in switch for the shed.

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2022-02-25 Fraudepoging "Vergeet niet binnen 2 dagen je belasting te betalen!"
Cybercriminal Ook weer een typisch geval van bitcoin afpersing. De tekst is ook hier behoorlijk goed nederlands. Bekend en berucht bij de fraudehelpdesk: Opnieuw afpersmails over bezoek pornosite - fraudehelpdesk.nl.
Hallo, hoe gaat het met jou? Ik weet het, het is vervelend om een gesprek te beginnen met slecht nieuws, maar ik kan niet anders. Enkele maanden geleden heb ik toegang gekregen tot je apparaten die je gebruikt om op het internet te browsen. Vervolgens heb ik al je internet activiteiten kunnen traceren. Hieronder kun je lezen hoe ik dit voor elkaar heb gekregen: Allereerst heb ik van hackers de toegang tot meerdere e-mail accounts gekocht (tegenwoordig is dat een fluitje van een cent om dat online te doen). Daarna kon ik heel makkelijk op je e-mail account (xxxx@example.com) inloggen. Een week later heb ik een Trojan virus geïnstalleerd in de besturingssystemen van al de apparaten die je gebruikt om je mails te openen en te lezen. Om eerlijk te zijn ging dat vrij simpel (want je opent de links uit je inbox mails).
Het bitcoinadres waar 1790 euro heen mag is 1AJcoDsSGe9teEfzSMicXprJFae7729J5y.

Update 2022-02-26: Nog een keer dezelfde spam gezien met bitcoinadres 1AJcoDsSGe9teEfzSMicXprJFae7729J5y en 1DfSBC5xbeswbXingkkf3i6VyQwYb8kYGh.

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2022-02-23 Filtering logs to only get relevant reports
I want to know if something goes wrong but with the number of (virtual) servers here at home it is not possible to check all logs constantly. So the main machines use logcheck to find the interesting error messages and the rest gets filtered out.

Ideally that leaves no messages, but I do want to know about patterns that indicate attacks so I do get messages constantly about ssh attack attempts and weird nameserver requests or misconfigured nameserver responses.

Recently I've been checking the resulting reports again carefully and noticed some more patterns that could be filtered. And I found two misconfigurations that I solved. Normally those misconfigurations would drown in the noise of the log, only to be found if I was looking for something else. Now it started to stand out after filtering out a lot of messages that are to be expected.

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2022-02-22 Shed switch ordered
In the project to upgrade the connectivity to our shed I ordered a switch with sfp slots: a netgear GS310TP. The choice is to have the same brand as in other places in the network so I can select compatible SFP modules easily. With this switch I also have vlan support so I can have a wifi access point in the shed if I want.

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2022-02-21 I participated in the ARRL DX CW contest 2022
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr As I'm trying to make more morse contacts the 'easy' way is to participate in contests in morse. Last weekend was the ARRL DX CW contest and I heard quite a bit of contest morse on the 20 meter band. I tried a few contacts and after two contacts got the reply 'USA ONLY'. So I looked up the ARRL DX contest rules and found out that indeed for non-US/Canada stations only contacts with US/Canada are valid. Since I didn't hear any stations from that area in the late afternoon I left it at that. But in the early evening after the sun goes down but before the propagation on 20 meters dies down completely it is possible to make contacts with North America. So on Saturday and Sunday evening I used that 'window' to get several stations in the log. If these get all confirmed I should get several new US states in morse.

It was also a good practise in decoding callsigns and return information in morse with noisy conditions.
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0    0   30    0    0
Mult     0    0    0   16    0    0
Raw Score: 84 Qpts x 16 Mults = 1344.

The objective for this contest is to expand knowledge of DX propagation, so I already met that objective with fine-tuning my operating window to have a good opportunity to work US stations in morse.

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2022-02-19 Receiving DMARC reports and trying to debug my DKIM setup
Since November 2021 I have been running DKIM with sendmail. First for a test domain, later also for the main domain sending e-mail.

I directly added a DMARC record with options to notify me of spf/dkim errors. I have seen a few reports of fake mail injected but most reports were about valid mail. For a long time google kept sending reports about dkim errors but I couldn't find out why. After I added the option to receive debug information this problem did not come back, so I'm not sure whether I fixed this.

Today I sent something to a mailing list and got a debug report instantly. Somewhere after the mailing list software had changed the body of my message (it stripped the pgp signature and noted this) a mail server checked the DKIM headers and found out the body signature was wrong. Indeed. Mailing lists and DKIM/SPF are complicated.

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2022-02-16 Closing 2021 in amateur radio
QSO count plot up to December 2021 I noticed I didn't do a "Closing 2021 in amateur radio" post yet, so time to catch up. Looking back at the Review of 2020 in amateur radio with plans for 2021 I can say:
  • Practising morse has happened! Just no exam yet, but that is mainly due to the current circumstances
  • Satellite contacts: none.
  • Morse and phone in contest: yes!
  • New qsl cards ordered and in use
And the plans for 2022:
  • More and more morse, and that exam. There is an exam date now and it will be possible to get the wanted 'CW included' on my radio amateur identification
  • Again satellites
  • In contests: try to get more morse and phone contacts.
  • Use the better propagation to get contacts on different bands

More detailed statistics over 2021

And I had to check my own notes again how I got these numbers last year, so I'm adding the sql queries I typed at the mysql/mariadb client. With the database behind cqrlog available I can make all kinds of queries.

By month

The influence of months with (digital) contests isn't as strong as in previous years.
+-------+-----+
| month | cnt |
+-------+-----+
|     1 | 234 |
|     2 | 204 |
|     3 | 238 |
|     4 | 161 |
|     5 | 131 |
|     6 | 111 |
|     7 | 211 |
|     8 |  19 |
|     9 | 232 |
|    10 | 204 |
|    11 | 191 |
|    12 | 101 |
+-------+-----+
Query: select month(qsodate) as month,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by month order by month;

By band

No real surprises there. And the feeling that 10 meter was improving isn't showing in the statistics yet.
+------+-----+
| band | cnt |
+------+-----+
| 40M  | 699 |
| 20M  | 849 |
| 17M  | 151 |
| 15M  |  40 |
| 10M  | 243 |
| 2M   |  51 |
| 70CM |   4 |
+------+-----+
Query: select band,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by band order by freq;

By mode

Almost double the number of morse contacts compared to the previous year.
+-------+-----+
| mode  | cnt |
+-------+-----+
| JT65  |   2 |
| PSK31 |   3 |
| FM    |  19 |
| FT4   |  35 |
| PSK63 | 226 |
| CW    | 240 |
| SSB   | 267 |
| RTTY  | 386 |
| FT8   | 859 |
+-------+-----+
Query: select mode,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by mode order by cnt;

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2022-02-15 My work PGP key needed replacement and using PGP keys in thunderbird with their original passphrases
PGP logo Today I tried to sign a key with my work PGP key, and after lots of tries the conclusion was that my 2006 work pgp key was too infected with SHA1 signatures that I couldn't remove, so I created a replacement work PGP key. Even a signature for the new key with the old key was rejected.

So the new work key:
pub   rsa4096/0x36FF19C6159C0262 2022-02-15 [SC] [expires: 2027-02-14]
      Key fingerprint = 1401 EE9F 25AD 23F1 C299  FD07 36FF 19C6 159C 0262
uid                   [ultimate] Koos van den Hout <k.vandenhout(at)uu.nl>
uid                   [ultimate] Koos van den Hout <koos(at)surfcert.nl>
sub   rsa4096/0x918F8E7A170EA93E 2022-02-15 [E] [expires: 2027-02-14]
I also signed it with my personal key, and I will try to get more signatures for the new work key to make things work better. Available at PGP key 0x36ff19c6159c0262. There you will see I also signed it with my old work key 0x42216fe29ee949cf but since that signature is also a SHA1 signature the new gpg implementation immediately rejects it. So I should get some signatures from people who have relatively new PGP keys. I've been using PGP since 1993 (29 years now!) and I can see the developments in PGP over the years in my keys.

In the process I noticed one thunderbird installation insists on managing PGP keys completely and the other doesn't. Searching for the reason eventually found Use Thunderbird 78 with System GnuPG Keyring and I made sure the option mail.openpgp.allow_external_gnupg was set to true.

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2022-02-14 I participated in the CQ WPX RTTY 2022 contest
RTTY Contest on websdr Last weekend was the same as in 2021: the PACC and the CQ WPX RTTY contest in one weekend. Since the CQ WPX RTTY contest is 48 hours and the PACC contest is 24 hours I participated in both. Not for 48 hours, I had a normal weekend otherwise.

In the end I made 106 contacts in the CQ WPX RTTY contest. 50 contacts on the 40 meter band and 56 contacts on the 20 meter band.

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2022-02-14 I participated in the PACC 2022 contest
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr Last weekend was the weekend of the Dutch PACC contest, 'our' contest organized by the Veron. Open for radio amateurs from all over the world, making contacts with Dutch radio amateurs especially interesting.

I decided to only do morse in the PACC this year, to get the practice with contest-speed morse and maybe improve the number of countries with morse I have in the logs. In the end I made 43 contacts. The report:
Callsign: PE4KH
Category: SINGLE-OP ALL LOW CW

Band     Qso    Cancelled  Dup  Point  Penalty  Mult        Score
160M       0            0    0      0        0     0
 80M       0            0    0      0        0     0
 40M      38            0    0     38        0     6
 20M       5            0    0      5        0     4
 15M       0            0    0      0        0     0
 10M       0            0    0      0        0     0
-----------------------------------------------------------------
          43            0    0     43        0    10          430
I'm not going to be the winner in my category with this score but I'm happy with my amount of CW contacts.

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2022-02-08 Upgrading the fiber to the shed network
The current fiber to the shed network is working fine but only gives the Raspberry Pi based NTP server network at a speed of 100 mbit.

The link is working fine but the next device with network problems due to unreliable wifi is showing up: the solarpanel inverter in the shed is sometimes unreachable for my solar inverter monitoring using modbus/tcp and that means I 'miss' measurements. The propetairy monitoring that solaredge does can deal with interruptions in reachability and upload older data, but the modbus/tcp monitoring I use can only access real-time data.

My first plan was to look at industrial switches because of the extended temperature and humidity ranges in the shed. But having both 'industrial' and 'sfp slot' costs a lot of money.

My next thought is to put all the possibly sensitive electronics in one case and hope the temperature and humidity inside that case stay within a reasonable range. This thought is based on the fact that the Raspberry Pi based NTP server functions fine in a not very closed wooden box without being affected by temperature or humidity.

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2022-01-29 Brand krachtig blond
Beer illustration There is a lot of special beer available in the Netherlands too. I checked what was available in the local supermarket and found this one: Brand krachtig blond.

By colour it is indeed a blonde beer, but by taste it was quite hoppy, almost like an IPA.
CompanyBrand
Beer nameKrachtig blond
Beer styleBlond
Alcohol by volume7.8 %

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2022-01-21 Looking at RFID cards and NFC again
I haven't done anything with NFC in ages. Almost three years ago I dug up my knowledge again and learned about UID changeable cards and before that the last real digging into RFID was 11 years ago: Interesting development with the magna carta rfid card.

Anyway, my interest is renewed due to several factors, with "just looking for something to learn about and enjoy the process" as main one. As a first step I dug up my trusty touchatag reader and the collection of RFID tokens/cards. The touchatag reader still doesn't see any of the collected ski passes so I guess those are for other frequencies.

The collection of RFID tokens includes a number of one-use public transport tickets. Those are based on Mifare Ultralight "MF0ICU1" according to NXP TagInfo. The little bit that annoys me is that NXP TagInfo manages to list the transport company and the transaction date/time while I can't find any listing of the fields in a Mifare Ultralight for transport use online on a first search. Later searches (see below) give a lot more!

So I have to do some digging myself. And maybe get a few more recent one-time-use public transport tickets to get an idea.
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2022-01-17 I participated in the UBA PSK63 contest 2022
As the UBA PSK63 is the first radiocontest I participated in after the start of my HF career in 2015 I decided not to miss it this year and get some contacts going. My first article about the UBA PSK63 contest: Playing in a radio contest.

Last weekend was the 2022 edition of this contest and I participated on Saturday and Sunday. The bands didn't seem as full with PSK63 signals as I have seen them in other years. Most remarkably the PSK63 traffic seemed gone late Saturday evening. When I tried again Sunday end of the morning the traffic was back. Returned serial numbers suggested stations with more time and/or better reception could get enough contacts in the log.

In the end I made 74 contacts. I started on the 20 meter band on Saturday afternoon, switched to 40 meter after dark. Late in the evening I tried to make a few more contacts but saw only a few other stations on 40 meter. On Sunday I resumed in the 40 meter band and made a number of contacts there. In the last hour of the contest I switched back to 20 meter in the hope of finding a lot of new calls there but only one new call showed up, the rest was in the log already. So I squeezed out a last few contacts on 40 meter before the end of the contest. I may have switched back to 40 meters a bit too fast according to the rules of the contest, I'll see what happens.

Anyway, a good contest. I see a few things to improve in how I participate in digimode contests that aren't really huge: better timing, especially trying to get more contacts during daylight hours on higher bands.
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2022-01-08 Artikel op Veron A08 website geschreven over de morse cursus en het niet meer kunnen krijgen van 'CW included' via een examen in België
Ik ben al heel lang bezig met morse leren, en de nieuwste ontwikkelingen zijn dat het niet gaat lukken om de 'CW not included' op het pasje van Agentschap Telecom wat me identificeert als gelicenseerd zendamateur om te laten zetten in een 'CW included'. Dat was even een zware tegenvaller, maar ik heb die energie omgezet in een artikel met onze ervaringen. Misschien dat het nog ergens tot gevolg heeft dat er toch een route komt om dit op te lossen.

En daarnaast is het wel leuk om te schrijven merk ik. Misschien moet ik over meer onderwerpen die me bezig houden schrijven.

De illustratie bij het artikel van de 'CW not included' en 'CW included' op de pasjes heb ik zelf gemaakt (samenstelling van foto's van pasjes), de illustratie met de certificaten heeft Frank van der Pol PE2A gemaakt.

Het artikel is verschenen op België-route voor “CW included” niet meer mogelijk - Veron A08 Centrum en ook in sociale media gedeeld: België-route voor “CW included” niet meer mogelijk @pi4utr. Ook op het zendamateur.com forum: Morse examen in België niet meer mogelijk. Daar is een antwoord gekomen dat de stap via het Belgisch instituut voor postdiensten en telecommunicatie (BIPT) overgeslagen kan worden, dus die route gaan we proberen.

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