Nagoya RB-400 fell to pieces

Nagoya RB-400 – it just fell to pieces

I purchased a new, unused Nagoya RB-400 lidmount antenna mount from a seller on eBay. After a couple of days of use, I was going to adjust the angle using the hexagon socket screw. When unscrewing it, a part of the mount just fell off (see photo).

I did not overload the mount (largest antenna used while driving was a 65 cm whip). Did I overtight the hexagon scew? Obviously 🙂
I’m quite used to dealing with mechanical stuff and I applied a resonable force while tighting it, to keep the antenna upright while driving but not really enormous force.

Nagoya RB-400 fell to pieces
My brand new Nagoya RB-400 fell to pieces. This ring is not supposed to come off. It is a part of the mechanics keeping the antenna straight up.

I guess it was a manufacturing fault but getting it replaced from the eBay seller would cost me a great part of the price as a new one as the seller policy for returns was that the buyer pays the return cost. Worst case is that it was a construction issue and in that case I will probably soon end up with the same result. I didn’t want this to be bothering me anymore.

Instead I went to a local ham shop and bought another (more expensive) brand and the RB-400 went into the trash.

Anyone else who have experiences like this with the RB-400? My experience with Nagoya products so far is not impressing (see my article on RB-66 rusting scews), so I will probably avoid them in the future.

Nagoya RB-66 rusting screws

I purchased a Nagoya RB-66 lidmount antenna mount from a seller on eBay. The product was new (not second hand used). After two weeks use, I noticed the screws had started rusting.

Nagoya RB-66 rusting scews
Nagoya RB-66 rusting screws

Dear Nagoya. The antenna mount is supposed to be used on cars. Cars are outside all year around, in all kinds of weather conditions. Why don’t you use stainless steel screws? Yes, I know they are more expensive.

I replaced the two screws and the four small hexagon socket screws (they also started to rust) with stainless steel ones so hopefully my problem is solved. But quite annoying. I think a product supposed to be used on a car should be able to handle all year weather conditions and it is quite annoying having to replace parts before being able to use the product properly.

Yaesu FT-818ND QRP and CW keyer

How to operate QRP successfully

Operating ham radio QRP, that is using low power, is probably not a good choise for the new beginner. To successfully operate ham radio QRP you need to use all your skills when it comes to selecting the correct bands, modes, propagation and evauluating current conditions. As a beginner to amateur radio it might be a better idea to start off with for example a 100 watt rig to get a lot of successful QSO:s and acquire knowledge about propagation and conditions first.

However, when you start to know how propagation and band conditions work, operating QRP from a portable location with a small temporary antenna can be an exciting and rewarding challenge. When operating QRP any contact is a success, not just far away DX stations. A contact just 500 or 1000 km:s away using a few watts is really exciting. But operating QRP requires patience. Don’t expect to come home with a log book with hundreds and hundreds of QSO:s.

  • Use CW. It comes through better with small amounts of power than SSB.
  • Listen around on the bands to estimate which bands are open and select the one with most or strongest stations. I usually start off on 10 meters and walk downwards on 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 and 80 meters. If 10 meters is open, it can give you nice contacts with small amounts of power. That is during day time, if it is evening or night you might start off at 30 meters and walk your way down to 40 or 80. But as you know how propagation works, this is not news for you 😉
  • If you have Internet connection, send out a few CQ:s on each band and search for your call on Reverse Beacon Network (enter your callsign in the DX box) to see on what bands you show up and where your signals are strongest.
  • I prefer the WARC bands (12, 17 and 30 meters). They are contest free and generally less crowded.
  • Responding to CQ:s are way more efficient than sending CQ:s yourself. Even though your CQ might be heard, people have a tendency to respond to stronger signals and your will be weak when operating QRP.
  • If you decide to CQ yourself, use the QRP calling frequencies; 28.060, 24.906, 21.060, 18.086, 14.060, 10.116, 7.030 and 3.560 MHz. I usually add “QRP” one time before “PSE K” to indicate that I am operating QRP.

My QRP “go to” band usually is 30 meters. It is often open, it has propagation characteristics between 20 and 40 meters. And I usually get best results on RBN when I work 30 meters.

In the pictures below, I am operating QRP as SM0RGM/6 from a location nr Strömstad, Sweden.

Good luck and hope to see you on the bands! 73 de SM0RGM / OZ0RGM

Why is my Dropbox full?

Your dropbox is full and the amount of space you are using shown in the app or web interface does not correspond to the size of the Dropbox folder on your computer. You are not using selective syncing, i.e. all folders in the Dropbox cloud should be equal to the size of the Dropbox folder on your computer.

The reason might be you are using an external USB-drive on your computer.

When external USB-drives are connected, Dropbox asks if they should be backed up. If you selected yes, the content of the USB drive is copied to Dropbox cloud and occupies your space. If this was not the intention (for example if the external drive contains a backup copy of your files in the Dropbox folder), remove the external drive from the Dropbox folder.

How to make WordPress display PHP errors

Your site is down just displaying “This site is experiencing technical difficulties” and you need to investigate what is causing the error. If you turn on PHP error reporting at your hosting provider, WordPress still just displays the generic message.

Turn on PHP error reporting at your hosting provider.

Edit the wp-config.php file and comment out the line define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false );

// define( 'WP_DEBUG', false );

Then add the following lines and make sure they occur before the line /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true );
@ini_set( 'display_errors', 1 );

When you are done, remember to revert the above changes.

apt update error message “Could not execute ‘apt-key’ to verify signature”

It turned out the reason for this was changed permissions on the /tmp folder (caused by restoring a folder with BackupPC to /tmp instead of it’s original location).

Solution:

chown root:root /tmp
chmod 1777 /tmp

After this apt update worked as normal.

How to indicate where a word should wrap in HTML/CSS

By using word-wrap, word-break and overflow-wrap in CSS you can control the browser’s behaviour when it comes to word wrapping. However, it is not possible to control where the word breaks. It just breaks when the word no longer fits in the container.

To indicate where a word can be broken, the soft hyphen can be used. The soft hyphen is a html code:

­

For example:

Thisisaverylongword

and we want it to break just after “very”, then we type:

Thisisavery­longword

When the container doesn’t fit the word, it will be displayed on two lines:

Thisisavery-
longword

L2TP VPN fails after january 11, 2022 update

Microsoft January 11, 2022 update breaks L2TP VPN [solution]

Microsoft update KB5009543 breaks L2TP VPN functionality causing error message “The L2TP connection attempt failed because the security layer encountered a processing error during initial negotiations with the remote computer“. Investigating the log shows error 789 for rasclient.

A temporary solution is to uninstall KB50009543. Run cmd as administrator and enter:

wusa /uninstall /kb:5009543

After reboot VPN will work again.

See also this article.

How can I use a PC to recover data when my Synology NAS malfunctions?

Purpose

This article will guide you to recover data on your PC when Synology NAS malfunctions.

Notes:

The drives may not be able to mount the volume again after being migrated to a new NAS.

Environment

  • Available on DSM version 6.2.x and above.
  • Only applicable to ext4 or Btrfs file system.
  • Ubuntu version should be 18.04 and above.

Resolution

  1. Make sure your PC has sufficient drive slots for drive installation.
  2. Remove the drives from your Synology NAS and install them in your PC. For RAID or SHR configurations, you must install all the drives (excluding hot spare drives) in your PC at the same time.
  3. Prepare an Ubuntu environment by following the instructions in this tutorial.
  4. Go to the Files on the left bar and select Home.
  5. Right-click and select New Folder, and create one or more folders as mount points for accessing data.1
  6. Right-click on the new folder(s), click Properties, the parent folder with folder name is ${mount_point}.
    Example: If the parent folder is /home/ubuntu/ and the folder name is Test, the mount point will be /home/ubuntu/Test/.
  7. Go to Show Application in the lower-left corner > Type to search….
  8. Enter Terminal in the search bar and select Terminal.
  9. Enter the following command to obtain the root privileges.

sudo -i

  1. Enter the following commands to install mdadm and lvm2, both of which are RAID management tools. lvm2 must be installed or vgchange will not work.

apt-get update
apt-get install -y mdadm lvm2

  1. Enter the following command to assemble all the drives removed from your Synology NAS. The results may differ according to the storage pool configurations on your Synology NAS.

mdadm -Asf && vgchange -ay

  1. Enter the following command to get the information of ${device_path}.

cat /proc/mdstat
lvs

According to the output of pvs/vgs/lvs, the device paths are as follows:

${device_path}
No lvs output/dev/${md}2
With lvs output/dev/${VG}/${LV}3

Below are the samples of md status corresponding to its RAID and volume type:

Device PathsClassic RAID with single volume
cat /proc/mdstatroot@ubuntu:~# cat /proc/mdstat Personalities : [raid1] md4 : active raid1 sdc3[0] 73328704 blocks super 1.2 [1/1] [U] unused devices:<none>
lvsNo output
${device_path}/dev/md4
Device PathsSHR with single volume
cat /proc/mdstatroot@ubuntu:~# cat /proc/mdstat Personalities : [raid1] md3 : active raid1 sda5[0] 73319616 blocks super 1.2 [1/1] [U] unused devices:<none>
lvsroot@ubuntu:~# lvs LV VG Attr LSize Pool Origin Data% Meta% Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert lv vg1000 -wi-a—– 69.92g
${device_path}/dev/vg1000/lv
Device PathsClassic RAID/SHR with multiple volume
cat /proc/mdstatPersonalities : [raid1] md3 : active raid1 sdc3[0] sdd3[1] 73328704 blocks super 1.2 [2/2] [UU] unused devices:<none>
lvsroot@ubuntu:~# lvs LV VG Attr LSize Pool Origin Data% Meta% Move Log Cpy% Sync Convert syno_vg_reserved_area vg1 -wi-a—– 12.00m volume_1 vg1 -wi-a—– 30.00g volume_3 vg1 -wi-a—– 30.00g
${device_path}/dev/vg1/volume_1
/dev/vg1/volume_3
  1. Enter the following commands to mount all the drives as read-only to access your data. Enter your device path (according to RAID and volume type in Step 12) in ${device_path} and mount point (created in Step 6)in ${mount_point}. Your data will be placed under the mount point.

$ mount ${device_path} ${mount_point} -o ro

  1. Check the data in Files > Home > the folders you created in Step 5.

If you still cannot recover the data through the above steps, refrain from trying any other methods to repair because it may cause more damage to your data. As your last option, please seek the help of a local data rescue company. Kindly understand that data retrieval is still not guaranteed.

Notes:

  1. A mount point is equal to one volume. If you have multiple volumes that need to be recovered, please create the same number of folders as the number of volumes.
  2. The number of md (array) will be listed in the result of cat /proc/mdstat.
  3. syno_vg_reserved_area can be ignored, the number of volume_x is equal to the number of volumes.

Akeeba Backup restore problem restoring large backup file [Solution]

I had a rather large Akeeba Backup file (about 25 GB) which I tried to restore using Akeeba kickstart from the web browser. It took a long time unpacking the archive but never reached the point where database is being restored.

The Akeeba kickstart (version 5.0 or later) can be run from command line (shell) and this works better with really large backup files. Simply go to the directory where you have your JPA-file which should be the same directory where it should be restored and enter:

php kickstart.php archive.jpa

But of course replace archive.jpa whith your archive name. There are more command line options available.

After unpacking the archive, go with your browser to https://yourdomain.com/installation and complete the restore.