Marilyn Monroooooe.

Or, “Why I wanna replace the Carlson LongHaul radios”.

I’m basing the name of this post off incorrectly remembering this glorious scene from the Pop Team Epic anime and thinking it said long strokes, not  longs for good strokes, but whatever – I’m keeping it:

Ever just work with a piece of load-bearing hardware that is just asking for the sweet release of the e-waste bin? Yeah, that’s what half the entries on this page are about, but here’s one that, uh, yeah. The Carlson Wireless LongHaul… It’s still on their website as if it were a current product but upon calling their support engineer for assistance he told me what I had already come to suspect, it was abandonware from over a decade ago. The unit is a long range microwave radio designed to carry telephone traffic and look like a TDM (T1?) link, but also IP traffic, which is what we’re using it for.

So let’s check off the Boxes Of Decay:

  • Flash user interface
  • User interface via https with REVOKED SECURITY CERTIFICATE
  • Best I can tell— based on 802.11A wifi hardware
  • Cursed
  • Did I mention cursed

The only way to keep these things in service is to have an old version of Flash that hasn’t been expired via logic bomb – Ruffle won’t cut it as it doesn’t support Actionscript 3, though it handles http://aktiv-schaum.kg4cyx.net/ just fine. I’m sure you all missed those goofy Flash shitposts, right? I sure did. It also seems to play my old Fanimutations just fine.
If you have the Ruffle extension loaded:
Aligator (unfinished!)

Guava Paste

Onsokumaru’s Great Adventure

I wish to state here that there are some dumb jokes in there that were very much a bad product of the time and I feel like they don’t age well, but not that I’d want to bury this entirely.

Anyway— on to the weird old hardware.

The board says “Avlia Networking Platform” on it and it looks like maybe an older version of this guy

The wifi card slotted into it is a Wistron-Neweb dual band radio, interestingly.. this unit only supports the 5.8 ghz side but some of the other ones we have in service, inexplicably, support both 2.4 and 5.8, consult your pineal gland

The serial and USB connections are unpopulated and I found no other way into the device…

Well, you can telnet in, but the user/password are unknown. It says it runs FreeBSD.

Finally by some sheer luck I found I had one old system with Flash on it and was able to set these creaky old things up. In the user interface (I can’t be arsed to take a screenshot) it has signal level readings which… uh, it’ll say it’s seeing -38dBm when the radio it’s connected to is unplugged and disconnected, and everything takes like four tries to get it to save and take effect and the Reboot button doesn’t work and

I’m so tired. I’m just so tired. can I just have a couple of Ubiquiti bullets and a nap? Please? Thank you. GAAAAAAABORAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

hp Instant Ink Tehpwnzriation

So I’ve known about the HP Instant Ink program for a while and I always hated it. Basically it gives you DRM encumbered ink cartridges as a service, which HP can disable at any time… Yeah uh… No thanks

This requires the printer and/or drivers to phone home to hp all the time, I never really thought of the mechanics of this until I saw someone post this response from Fiorina-Shenzhen, I mean, “hp” support ….

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

I don’t even have words to describe how terrible an idea this is and how terrible their product design is if it requires this. And yes… I’m sure that firmware can be exploited rotten for entry and lateral movement upon your network once you fucking DMZ your goddamn inkstortion device. Have I said fuck enough times? No. Fuck this actual shit!!!

Picture somehow related, I’m sure

The Sprint Magic Box

It’s long been my opinion that Sprint’s network is basically a stack of weird LTE extender technologies stacked in a trenchcoat pretending to be a network.

They started out with some very curious CDMA sites, then upgraded to LTE, working alongside Ericsson.

Alongside their EvDO “3G” network, they offered the Airave device, which was a home bridge device that offered a femtocell connected to your existing home internet to improve service in areas where it’d otherwise be weak.

The latest take on this is the “Magic Box” which is a small LTE repeater/extender.

I found one in a junk shop and pulled the covers to reveal the “magic”.

Top of the unit showing the GPS antenna. The device is intended to stand in a window with this up and facing the glass. It’s really meant to sit in a window, as the donor antennas to connect to the existing LTE network are all on the back side…

I believe this is an array of 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz panel antennas. Not sure if this unit also uses the 1.7 GHz band.

On the side that faces the user, there’s a smaller 2.5 GHz panel, and a set of WiFi antennas. The black pad is just foam to support the cool e-paper display…

The big capacitive sensor on the bottom front is the wake-up button you use to start the unit.

Unfortunately that’s as far as it’ll get, as Sprint has allowed their service to degrade to non-existent in my city.

You can often get the display to do stupid things showing some basic X.org widgets as it glitches out.

There is no Ethernet jack on this unit. Some hackers have reported the presence of a 3 pin serial header to get in to the bootloader, but I’m not sure where this lives – further disassembly may be needed.

It’s also documented that there’s a tamper detection system built in to prevent the device for being modified to do Evil Things to the network and/or users’ data.

It’s an interesting device, and I find myself wondering what the performance of those antennas is. They’re pretty impressive and would certainly net you more signal than the tiny stripline antennas inside your handheld device!

Sonicwall, schmonicwall

How to forward ports on a SonicWall:

Okay, it’s easy, just start steeping some hemlock into the blood of a virgin in a quartz flask upon an altar of old single sided floppies and get to work—-

you will not know this horror unless you experience it for yourself and i recommend you not.

sonicwall was clearly developed by someone who had a raging databases-where-databases-are-not-due fetish.

you do not just specify addresses. you do not just specify ports.

No.

You create address objects.
You create service objects to define ports.

Then you define NAT rules.

HOWEVER…. if you manually enter or edit anything about a NAT rule, for arcane and horrible reasons that have apparently never been addressed in over a decade worth of firmware versions, they break. The only reliable way to create these rules is to go into Quick Configuration and use the Public Server Wizard. There, you can create your objects (or select them if they’re existing already) and bake them into a NAT rule.

Then maybe 40% of the time it works and the rest of the time you’re frantically SSH’ing into a remote shell somewhere else and crying into your coffee over the output of nmap.

FUCK SONICWALL.

Yeah I wardrive sometimes

zowie. click for fullsize

This is the map of wireless APs I was first to discover in the wigle.net database. Note that this is not necessarily areas I have travelled in — rather, it represents intersections between where possibly mobile (as in, cell phone or vehicle integrated hotspots) APs and my travels have intersected. As other wigle users log later locations of these APs, the database will update to reflect where they’re actually from.. or where they’re traveling. That’s why I show up as missing the rains down in Africa, for instance.

Phone guy tags are fascinating

It’s not uncommon to find where old Bell System techs have left their mark next to the equipment.

There’s something oddly fascinating seeing it like an old dusty history book. Where are they all now?

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I imagine him having very big hair.

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Try try try to understand.... He's a magic man.

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Dudley Doright was pure 1970s classiness

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But then he left.

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Jesus saves. Moses invests.

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There used to be some piece of very hot running equipment here; the black object above is a Biscuit blower.

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Old nasty paper insulated cable. How's your luck? Well...

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If it's good, go talk to Big Casino.

See, these guys were classy, and cared about their work, unlike the douchecasserole who did this:

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Let's not and say we dropped a TACTICAL NOPE on it

The oddball embedded spectrum analyzer

It’s no secret, the Technicolor home cable gateway sucks. However…. if you have one, try http://10.0.0.10:8080 in Chrome or Safari…. (Link will just error if there’s nothing there).

Voila— you have your very own 21st century Graph Channel.

There’s a RF spectrum analyzer in there. Now, it’s not a GREAT one, the minimum frequency resolution is a big wide 6 megacycle wide sweep…. but it’s there.

cable-specOverall view, you can see the bands used for upstream and downstream, divided by a blank band around 100.

That band has some spiky bits in it. What are they? Well… I live within walking distance for the transmitters for a couple of 100KW ERP FM’s…

ENHANCE! There’s 93.5 “The Bull” W228BV-FX; 106.7 WDXJ-FM + HD, 105.9 WBGG-FM, and a few others, all leaking into the cable system at fairly harmless looking levels. I suspect Comcast simply leaves this band of spectrum empty on their cable system to make life easier in the face of RF leakage. (??)

spec-fm-band

I’ll code a GUI interface in Visual Basic…
The view goes in just enough to make the analog carrier and HD sidebands of WXDJ-FM visible and distinct. It looks like the lower one MIGHT be suppressed a bit – this is an interference mitigation feature present in modern HD exciter firmware from Harris/GatesAir, Broadcast Electronics, and Nautel. You can back it down a bit to be all cool and avoid adjacent channel interference.

cable-iboc
I dunno — you can’t expect a spectrum analyzer built into cost engineered nasty home internet CPE to be the best thing ever, but it’s still fun to play with.

Yet Another “Comcast Sucks” Post…

Adding another one to the ether of the Internet.

I’m paying over $80 a month for supposedly 25 megabits from Comcast via cable. Price keeps going up, speeds keep going down, as does the connection itself.

The fault appears to NOT be with the last mile – the modem’s SNR and signal levels look quite acceptable. I’m gonna call 36.8dB SNR and -1.9dBmV “Lucky Duck!” levels for QAM256 demodulation… aka “you’re in luck, your DSP can accurately decode this in its sleep”.

NO EXCUSES ON 'DA BOWL
NO EXCUSES ON ‘DA BOWL

Over the past couple of weeks, this is about average:

--- kg4cyx.net ping statistics ---
2598 packets transmitted, 2428 packets received, 6.5% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 53.373/535.039/4664.892/482.324 ms

And that’s IF, or WHEN, it works.

Calling Comcast support yields ONLY a “support” script telling me to scan my computers for viruses with their free version of Norton Antivirus. No thanks.

Sadly I live in an area where Comcast has an ABSOLUTE monopoly when it comes to home Internet.

Anyone know of a way to get a real tech on the line at Comcast who is CLUE equipped?