Cynics Soapbox

Random thoughts...

Home Assistant on FreeBSD

Home Assistant on FreeBSD

After working for a couple of months the SD card in the HomeAssistant RaspberryPi died. Annoying. Of course without a suitable replacement how do we get the HA working again? We have a small server in the house that runs FreeBSD so that seemed like a good solution apart from the lack of docker support to install HA. However, after spending some time with web searches, the HA forums and...


Crowdsec Dashboard

Crowdsec Dashboard

The Crowdsec dashboard is great. The instructions provided are simple enough that it took only minutes to setup and start viewing the data. That was a few days and on my home desktop machine. Now I'm in a different country on my laptop and find that I didn't save the the 64 character password generated during the setup process anywhere :-( As the dashboard is powered by Metabase I did a quick search and found this page that details how...

Crowdsec

Crowdsec

Earlier this year I decided to start using the IPv6 connection that my hosting provider has been providing for the last few years. It had been something I'd been meaning to do for a while and for some reason it felt like the right time to look at it. As it turned out, it was as simple as adding a few lines to various configuration files and all was well. I wasn't sure how quickly I would see any IPv6...

Snap?

Snap?

The current state of package management on Ubuntu isn't great. I get the arguments about snap being superior but it does seem a little too systemd like for my liking :-( Today I ran into an issue where the vlc snap has a permissions issue that prevents it using the onboard webcam without a fix. Oddly the apt version has no such issues and in all the years I've had vlc installed have never come across such an issue. The...

Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Our Solax inverter talks to the power meter via 2-wire modbus. It works well but the inverter really does want a constant stream of information so the requests flow at a high rate. We want to monitor our consumption of electricity, which means we want to look at data from the power meter at the same time as the inverter. This isn't how the Modbus protocol works though. Only one Reader (not the term used in the spec but I'm...

Protobuf

Protobuf

I've been trying to talk to a network device that uses Googles Protocol Buffers for it's data exchange. Fair enough and thankfully someone had already done the work and created the needed protocol file. Of course, it was created a while back and protobuf has moved onto proto3! Enter proto3!After copying the original proto file across to my project, I edited it to adapt to the newer proto3 specification and pressed on with actually using it. syntax="proto3"; package...

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

I've been using VSCode as my primary code editor for a long time, but recently I've been doing more and more working on code that will run on remote machines. The whole edit, rsync, edit cycle ws getting a little boring so I finally looked at using the remote extensions. I added the Remote-SSH extension, added the first host (a RaspberryPi)  I needed and suddenly I was editing the code directly on that machine. Simples! Why didn't I do this...

Solar Control

Solar Control

We've had our solar PV panels installed for over a year now and they've been working well. The same cannot be said of the battery installation. Our setup is pretty standard. Solax X1 Hybrid 3.7kW Inverter12 solar PV panels totalling 3.6kW2 4.5kW Solax Triple Power batteriesOur inverter has stopped talking to the meter (which was giving incorrect data anyway, though it has now been replaced) which means that the batteries are essentially useless at present :-( While...

SDR Pt.6

SDR Pt.6

It's been a while since I was able to devote much time to this and as the Weather Underground service is still not accepting submissions it hasn't been a high priority. However, with the festive season upon us and some time available I sat down to look at things again. The code I had written worked on my laptop but failed on the RaspberryPi :-( thinking about the differences between them an obvious line of investigation was the relative processing...

SDR Pt.5

SDR Pt.5

After the highs and low of the last coding session, it was heartwarming when after a few minor tweaks I saw this... Reading direct from the ISS :-)Now I had readings the next step was to start collecting them and then uploading to Weather Underground via their Personal Weather Station (PWS) network. My initial aim was to get a simple uploader working and then refine the data to slowly add the more complex items as time permits, but this...

SDR Pt.4

SDR Pt.4

I've managed to spend more time looking at it and have made some progress, though have once again run into issues. After much investigation I've created a processing flow that takes the raw samples and can extract valid weather packets -  but only from recorded files. When trying with live data it always returns invalid packets :-( The flow is this parse the samples into complex numbersdown mix these initial complex numbers using an appropriate frequency offsetpass the downmixed data...

SDR Pt.3

SDR Pt.3

Having found what appeared to be signals from the weather station in the data I captured (read here for more) the next logical step was to try and decode it. Inspectrum has some useful tools and following an example of analysing data I watched on YouTube, I started by adding a frequency plot (right click, Add derived plot > Add frequency plot). The center of the plot and the spectrum covered can be easily adjusted. Frequency plot centre and spread...