News items for tag statistics - Koos van den Hout

2020-06-24 Moved the shed roof temperature sensor from under the roof to above the roof 1 year ago
I wanted to do some things in the shed with cabling, some things were not ideal after the solar power installation.

One of the things was that I had a temperature sensor to measure the temperature above the roof, but with all things that happened with cables it ended up hanging below the roof. I moved it back up in the ventilation pipe and with the current temperatures it started measuring 4 degrees Celcius higher immediately.

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2020-06-15 A new home timeserver on order 1 year ago
After earlier tries to have a nice GPS-based timeserver for my home network I noticed a simple but very effective GPS 'hat' for the Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi GPS Hat from Uputronix. While the Pi's are already taking over the home network just one more could be a nice addition. In the longer run this will probably replace the shed computer.

So I ordered a Pi with an added dual-band WiFi adapter, a case, the GPS hat and a GPS antenna. The GPS hat has PPS support so I will get the time correct. With the instructions from 5 minute guide to making a GPS Locked Stratum 1 NTP Server with a Raspberry Pi it should be easy. If this all works I may even add the resulting Pi to the IPv6 NTP Pool.

Update 2020-06-16: SOS Solutions came back with some bad news: the uputronix Pi GPS Hat isn't available anymore. I'm now looking at the comparable adafruit hardware which is somewhat more expensive, but offers the same options.

Update 2020-06-18: And the adafruit hardware is also not available soon. I cancelled the GPS unit part of the order and I'm looking at sourcing a GPS module for the Pi from another source. The GPS hat which sossolutions no longer sells is originally from uputronics where a newer version of the Raspberry Pi GPS/RTC Expansion Board is listed as available on the site. Based on a ublox chipset which allows me access to a lot of the GPS data.

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2020-05-01 Time for a plot of the number of contacts in amateur radio after a busy month 1 year ago
QSO count plot up to April 2020 Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts. As usual contest months are quite visible and January is for me the month with the most contests.

But April 2020 is also quite visible. This last week I had a lot of time for radio due to holiday and not going anywhere. And other radio amateurs also had the time to be active, so there were a lot of new calls to get in the log. Combined with a good 10 meter band opening this added to a high number of contacts for a month with only one contest.

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2020-02-16 Reconsidering data gathering and processing 1 year ago
For years and years I've been doing a lot of data gathering and storing the data using rrdtool. Data such as temperatures from lots of places, from mainboard CPU sensors to an outside weather station, other weather data, web traffic data, house electricy and gas usage, solar power. I started doing this with mrtg in 2001 and switched to rrdtool.

There are some improvements to this system, such as maintaining the rrd files on one machine and doing measurements on other machines in the form of timestamped files to be transported to the machine with rrd via rsync-over-ssh. This allows the central database to do a catch-up of decentrally gathered data after an interruption.

All in all there are two disadvantages at the moment: the system isn't very flexible, adding a datasource means making the big decision about how much data to keep how long and what I want to look at.

Diskspace isn't as constrained as it once was, I may want to keep some data forever and I may want to zoom in to a period a bit longer ago. So I'm looking at different solutions. For one dataset I already added an alternate datastore: the electricity and gas meter readings get copied to a postgres database once a day so I can look at the daily readings forever.

So the search is on for the ideal solution. For gathering and transporting data I am looking at mqtt, a lightweight protocol to gather and transmit data. This also makes it easier to have multiple data collectors look at one source so I can test with a few things first before I make a real switch to any new system.

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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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2019-08-05 Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts 2 years ago
QSO count plot up to July 2019 Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts. Months with contest(s) stand out again as they elevate the number of contacts. In July 2019 I participated in the DL-DX RTTY Contest 2019 and the IARU-HF Championship 2019. That last one has added a few countries to my list of countries confirmed in phone modes.

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2019-07-25 First onewire stats ageing out 2 years ago
I was looking at some onewire temperature stats and noticed the first stats being aged out. I started monitoring temperatures with 1-wire sensors in January 2007 using rrdtool. I set up round robin archives with an expiry in 11 years, and those 11 years have passed now for the first measurements.

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2019-07-05 I tested the randomness setup 2 years ago
Doing some more reading on haveged made me decide to test the actual randomness of my setup with haveged and randomsound which I created to fix the lack of entropy for dnssec signing operations so I booted the same testing virtual machine which can tap from the host /dev/random. I ran rngtest until it was time to shut down the laptop which was showing the output. The result:
$ rngtest < /dev/random 
rngtest 2-unofficial-mt.14
Copyright (c) 2004 by Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

rngtest: starting FIPS tests...
^Crngtest: bits received from input: 4999640
rngtest: FIPS 140-2 successes: 249
rngtest: FIPS 140-2 failures: 0
rngtest: FIPS 140-2(2001-10-10) Monobit: 0
rngtest: FIPS 140-2(2001-10-10) Poker: 0
rngtest: FIPS 140-2(2001-10-10) Runs: 0
rngtest: FIPS 140-2(2001-10-10) Long run: 0
rngtest: FIPS 140-2(2001-10-10) Continuous run: 0
rngtest: input channel speed: (min=303.011; avg=543.701; max=5684.774)bits/s
rngtest: FIPS tests speed: (min=43.251; avg=64.587; max=84.771)Mibits/s
rngtest: Program run time: 9194254192 microseconds
I ratelimited the virtio-rng-pci driver from the host, so the test took a really long time. Given earlier tries with dnssec-signzone this is fast enough.

No need to buy a hardware random generator, although they are way cool and it would be an idea to have a source of correctness (NTP) next to a source of randomness.

Update: I ran rngtest on /dev/urandom and I had to ask for a really big load of blocks to get failures. The first test with 249 blocks gave the same result as above, just a lot higher bit rate. So now I know less about the correct randomness of my setup but at least the test shows that I can safely run dnssec-signzone which was the original idea.

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2019-04-01 Plotting the number of radio contacts after varying months 2 years ago
QSO count plot up to March 2019 After a month with a holiday and a month with one contest I redid the QSO count plot to see the development.

before, before, before, before, before

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2019-04-01 Wat volts extra 2 years ago
UPS invoer voltage laatste jaar Het viel me op in de grafieken van het invoer voltage volgens de UPS dat het voltage vanaf het stroomnet is gestegen tot 238 volt aan het eind van september 2018. Ik vraag me af wat de oorzaak is van deze wijziging. Het kan niet zijn door de toename van zonnepanelen in de omgeving, het gestegen voltage is zowel overdag als 's nachts.

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