2022-05-30 I participated in the CQ WPX CW contest
Last weekend was the CQ World Wide WPX Contest CW organized by CQ Amateur Radio magazine. The term 'WPX' stands for 'Worked All Prefixes'. The objective of this contest is to get contacts and exchange information with as many different other radio amateurs using morse code. Points are awarded for each contact, based on which amateur band and whether they are in the same or different continents. Multipliers are calculated from the number of different prefixes contacted. The prefix of my callsign PE4KH is PE4 which is a different prefix from for example PE3. This is a 48-hour contest. A good reason for me to participate was to practise my morse in contesting skills. Those skills still need work as I had trouble understanding the serial numbers. But with a bit of asking for a retransmission or guessing from the previous/next serial it sort of worked out for me. I felt like I had a lot more trouble understanding the serial numbers compared to a week ago in the King of Spain CW contest. I guess my call PE4KH is now in the list(s) of regular contest calls. When my callsign is repeated completely, it's never a PE4KS. In morse, an H is four dots .... and an S is three dots .... In the first few contests I had to correct PE4KS a few times, or ended in the log with the wrong call, so this feels to me like my call is now more familiair. I got 102 contacts in the log. I operated Saturday afternoon and parts of the evening, and late Sunday evening, wrapped around things like sleeping and other things in the weekend. I got one new country in the log: Mongolia. And I made my first morse contacts to Japan, China and Malta. The score table:Band 160 80 40 20 15 10 QSO's 0 0 31 71 0 0 Pts: 144 Mul: 84 Score: 12096
2022-05-23 I participated in the King of Spain CW contest
Since I have been learning morse code and passed the morse exam I notice I get more enjoyment out of contacts in morse code than out of contacts in digital modes. In digital modes (FT8) it is the computer doing hard work decoding and there isn't much variation, in morse I do the decoding and contacts can be from very simple confirmations of callsigns to longer chats about things. This also means I like chances to make morse contacts. One of the simple ways to make more morse contacts is to get involved in an amateur radio contest with morse. Last weekend was the His Majesty The King of Spain CW Contest and I participated. Before the contest I tried to build a contest scoring file for TLF Linux contest software. During the contest I found out the file wasn't correct as the score wasn't calculated correctly but I will debug that later. I participated Saturday evening and I made 41 contacts: 37 on the 20 meter band, 3 on the 10 meter band and 1 on the 40 meter band. That's 41 in total, which is not a lot: the minimum number to get a digital certificate in PDF format is 50 or 100 contacts. But I'm not doing this to win anything, I'm doing this to get more experience in morse and morse contesting. I still have trouble decoding morse at 'contest speed' so I use a morse decoder on the computer. There are moments it's a lot better at decoding a callsign at speed than I am, but sometimes I decode a serial number better than the computer does. This also mean I do all of this in 'search and pounce' mode, where I look for stations calling CQ TEST at a signal quality where I can decode the callsign with help from the computer, and I can hear whether they get my callsign correctly.Read the rest of I participated in the King of Spain CW contest
2022-05-23 Recente instabiliteit VDSL verbinding
Sinds donderdagochtend viel de VDSL een aantal keer uit. Dit begon vrijdag erg opvallend te worden omdat we toen thuis werkten, en midden in een vergadering met video valt het erg op als de Internet verbinding uitvalt, zelfs als het maar heel even is. Ik dacht even dat het aan het weer lag, maar het uitvallen is begonnen voordat het heel slecht weer werd donderdagmiddag en vrijdagmiddag. Sinds zondag heel erg vroeg is het weer stabiel, dus het probleem lijkt zichzelf opgelost te hebben. Alle instellingen om de verbinding zo snel mogelijk weer gestart te krijgen werken wel, de onderbrekingen zijn vrij kort. Update 2022-05-23: De uitval is weer terug, na een stevige regenbui. Dit voorspelt vervelende problemen. Update 2022-05-30: Zaterdag verbrak de verbinding ongeveer iedere 5 minuten. Dat leverde een onbruikbare situatie op. Ik ben eens begonnen met de kabel tussen ISRA punt en VDSL modem na te lopen en heb deze aan beide zijden eens opnieuw in de RJ11 socket geduwd. Daarna was het een stuk beter, er zijn nu nog maar een paar onderbrekingen per dag. Maar ik wil natuurlijk naar een verbinding die wekenlang stabiel blijft.
2022-05-19 Uitval zonnepanelen door slecht weer
Vanmiddag aan het begin van de middag trok er een gebied met regenbuien en onweer over en dat zag ik echt terug aan de productie van de zonnepanelen. Het werd ook zo donker op dat moment dat ik het licht aan gedaan heb. Maar de zonnepanelen schakelden terug van productie naar slaapstand, wat ze normaal alleen doen na zonsondergang. Wat me ook opviel is dat de frequentie van de netspanning inzakte tijdens deze periode, net alsof de productie in het net er ook even moeite mee had dat overdag de zon wegviel. De grap was dat ik de afwasmachine geprogrammeerd had met het idee dat deze zou draaien op energie opgewekt door de zonnepanelen, door deze bewolking en regenbuien is dat plan niet gelukt. De twee pieken in energiegebruik van de afwasmachine vielen precies samen met donkere perioden.
2022-05-18 A nice 10 meter opening to Italy, getting more WRTC stations in the log
Today when I had time to use the radio I noticed the 10 meter band was open. I had some nice contacts and saw II3WRTC on 10 meter FT8 and made the contact. II3WRTC is one of the WRTC 2022 Award stations and before today I had a lot of those in the log but none on the 10 meter band. I changed this quickly with II3WRTC on 10 meter SSB too, II9WRTC on 10 meter CW and II3WRTC on 10 meter RTTY.
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.
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.
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!
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.
2022-05-08 Trip to Iceland day 15
Our flight was leaving Keflavik International airport at 07:40 so we wanted to walk through the door of the airport at 05:40 and return our car before that time. So the alarm went of at 05:00 and we put everything in the car and drove to the airport rental return area. Hertz has a huge parking area for returning rental cars so we parked in that area and walked to the return office. The office was still closed so we dropped the key in the key return box and walked to the main airport building. There we used a luggage cart and went to the check-in for our flight back home. The check-in was a bit of waiting but nothing really bad. After check-in it was time to go through the security check and even with a bit of extra checking of our luggage we were past that point fast. We found ourselves in the main waiting area for departing flights with lots of time to spare, so we finally had time to eat some breakfast and get an extra fresh juice. The flight back was fine, I decided to watch the film 'Rush Hour' from the entertainment system. Back in the Netherlands temperatures were higher again! We took the train from Schiphol airport back to our house.
2022-05-07 Trip to Iceland day 14
After breakfast we left the apartments and walked towards the center of the city and the main shopping street. Most of the shops were still closed in the morning. We changed plans a bit and visited the Reykjavík Park and Zoo which was more of a botanic garden. We tried to hop on a bus to get there but that was the first time we actually needed cash money. Trying to get the app for the Reykjavik bus working with a Dutch credit card also did not work. So we had to get actual money from an ATM to pay for bus trips. My wife and son went swimming for a while and we went back to the city center, now open. We walked along Laugavegur, which is the main street of Reykjavik. We also visited the Hallgrimskirkja which is a magnificent church building. Several signs were there to remind the tourists that it was also a house of worship.
2022-05-06 Trip to Iceland day 13
We woke up in Eldhestar hotel and had breakfast. My wife and son had booked a horse ride for the afternoon, so we had some hours before that started and visited Hveragerði. The area around Hveragerði has had several serious earthquakes. The library and shops building had an exhibition on the 2008 earthquake with pictures and stories from eyewitnesses. The building that this is all in has a scary detail of its own: during construction a huge crack in the earth was found right between the foundations. The decision was made to not build the 4 floor tower nearby and adapt the building to deal with earthquakes. Still the 2008 earthquake caused damage. To the north-east of Hveragerði is an area with lots of geothermal activity which can be hiked easily.
2022-05-05 Trip to Iceland day 12
We left from Lækjaborgir Guesthouse and started driving along the ring road again. We stopped in Vik for a visit to the local souvenir shop. When we visited Vik in 2006 it was very rainy and cold so we were looking for warm gloves. The gloves were found in a small shop. Between 2006 and 2022 this small shop was replaced by a huge store with all kinds of Iceland souvenirs. And they still had gloves, but we had brought our own. Along the coast were some great views. The erosion of lava rocks is very interesting. We stopped at Skógafoss Waterfall which is so high the last 50 meters before the fall you're already walking in a big spray. There is a path to climb to the top but we decided against it as it's quite high up. We stopped at the Lava centre in the afternoon. The Lava centre has exhibitions around the very active volcanoes on Iceland including reports on the 'famous' Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. Outside of Iceland it mainly made the news for causing massive disruption to air travel because of the ash that was in the air which made flying impossible. The Lava centre had the Iceland side of the experience which was with disruptions everywhere due to ash falling down all over, and people who looked out the window to see if the rumbling volcano had changed and seeing the first explosive eruptions. The Lava centre has a lot of explanations on how volcanic eruptions work and how certain influences can change them completely. And it turned out the person behind the cash register in the entrance also had extensive knowledge of volcanoes so we chatted with them about our views. The Lava centre also has an observation deck where you can see a few of the big volcanoes of Iceland in the distance. But due to rain and thick clouds there was nothing interesting visible.
2022-05-04 Trip to Iceland day 11
We had breakfast in the Framtíð Apartments cabin and got going again. The Framtíð hotel wasn't staffed very well as there wasn't someone available to return the cabin key. Eventually a cleaning person showed up and took our key. This day was again going to be a long drive. The Iceland ring road is quite close to the Atlantic Ocean here in parts. The ring road is also close to the mountains and glaciers, there just is not a lot of space for the road here. The weather was warmer and with a lot more sun than the day before. We were glad to have sunglasses while driving and on stops we could do with less layers.
2022-05-03 Trip to Iceland day 10
2022-05-02 Trip to Iceland day 9
First we had breakfast at the guesthouse, which was included. It was reasonably busy at the breakfast and we chatted with some tourists from the United States of America who turned out to be from the city of Las Vegas in Nevada. When they asked if I had ever been in Las Vegas I told of my red-eye flight in the US in 1997 between Michigan and San Fransisco where I had a stopover in Las Vegas in the middle of the night and the daylight saving time in the US started during walking around the airport in Las Vegas which was very weird. And even in the Las Vegas airport you can gamble! It's fun to recall old travel stories. We left for a daytrip from Eldá Guesthouse, Reykjahlið for a drive around Myvatn, the mosquito lake, and surrounding areas. Beforehand we thought we would maybe rent bicycles to get around Myvatn but with temperatures around 0 degrees Celcius it was too cold for that option so we stuck to the rental car. Our first visit was to Krafla Power Plant which is a huge geothermal energy based power plant. The use of geothermal energy means they do vent some sulfuric acid gasses all the time. So we drove on the road through the powerplant with the windows closed and the ventilation set close to the outside world and we only stopped on a viewpoint high above the powerplant where you don't smell it that much.
2022-05-01 Trip to Iceland day 8
We left from Sunnuhlid houses apartments. There is a toll tunnel in the ringroad from the Akureyri bay to the east but Sunnuhlid houses is so far to the North it is easier to take the old route around the mountain. We could see why the tunnel was built: the old route was a high and winding route through the mountains, which could be difficult to keep open in winter conditions. Milady Landy. Daddi's Pizza which had a nice selection of pizza. I drank a beer from Einstök Beer Co. because I remembered that name from the Reykjavik grapevine youtube channel we followed to see the latest on the eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in 2021. Weather conditions changed a lot during the day: we started with sunny weather near Akureyri but we ended with freezing temperatures.