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Mar 21 / thebrotherswisp

TheBrothersWISP – Matt Whiteley’s Tips



This week Greg talks to Matt Whiteley about his top 5 tips, British TV, and Brexit.

The Tips:

1. If you don’t know how it works, you won’t know how to fix it.
If you’re new to wireless, put a bridge pair up and set it to auto-everything and then put it into production, you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time retrospectively learning about DFS, interference, Fresnel zones and wireless in general. Understanding how it works before you put it into production will save a lot of phonecalls which leads into

2. Bench it and break it. (Then document it and put it in production)
Then you’ll know how to fix it and also which config should go on there from the get-go. Put it in your test bed and break it every which way you can and fix it every time. Then get someone else to break it for you. You’ll know your products and your setup inside out at the end of it. In a rush to get the service up and running … don’t! At least don’t make a habit of it. It’s so much harder to try and put a proper config onto something once it’s in production and you’re trying to keep services running whilst you change the config, I estimate you will waste 4x however long it took you in the first place to put it right. Also I bet you rushed it and didn’t document it up-front and you’re now trying to retrospectively document it which takes longer. And finally because you’ve now put a new config on something probably remote from where you are, you’re not going to have the right labels on the right bits of equipment. It will be a maintenance nightmare.

3. Somebody else fixing it this time isn’t going to help you fix it next time.
Sure if you’re in a bind and your service is down then get some external help, else fix it yourself. You’ll know what to do next time and it’ll help you improve on how you set your service up to avoid it ever happening again.

4. Understand/Replicate/Fix/Confirm
Understand the issue, if a customer is explaining it or a tech is telling you what’s going on, probe them to make sure you get a good understanding of the issue and make sure their language is the same as yours. Rubbish WiFi could mean anything from WiFi connection flapping to poor signal to poor download speeds. Really nail what they’re saying.
Replicate it. If you can’t replicate the problem yourself then you’re going to have no idea when you’ve fixed it. From section 1 “Understand” you might have realized it was poor download speeds, so jump on their PC and replicate that. Ensure you can replicate it and you also get poor download speeds.
Fix it. Now you have a repeatable process from section 2, you can be sure you’ll know when you’ve fixed it.
Confirm it. No point fixing it if you don’t then get back to your client. If they still think it’s broke for the next 24 hours you’ll just get bad feedback even though you did good work . Not just an email confirmation either but a telephone conversation so they can thank you in person!

5. You can fix anything! If it’s still broke then you just don’t have enough information yet to know what the solution is.
When people come to me and tell me they can’t fix something what they normally mean is they haven’t gathered enough data to analyse. They’re normally skilled enough to fix it, they just haven’t enabled the logs yet, gone through them and picked out the line that tells them what’s wrong and often the difference between a good engineer and a great engineer is nothing than some more patience. The best engineers will have an instinct and will know how to get that information the quickest but anyone can be a great engineer just by being methodical and persistent.

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Mar 17 / thebrotherswisp

TheBrothersWISP 85 – Mikrotik New Hardware, UBNT 60Ghz, Dangers Of Wifi



This week Greg and Tomas have a chat while recovering from their respective illnesses LOL.

This cast we talk about:
Nvidia acquires Mellanox
Mikrotik EU MUM 2019 New Hardware
Ubiquiti has 60GHz radios with 5GHz failover in beta – $130
Fiberstore merged with an optic factory; SFP+SR $15, SFP+LR $21
Windstream in chapter 11, business as usual it seems
WISPAmerica next week
*Slack Updates*
Default configs via netinstall on Mikrotik
Via Cox; Post v6.42 Mikrotik Hotspot creates hotspot server queue by default. This bricks user rate-limits. Miller suggest an on-login script that moves it to the bottom.
Thrift noticed that the new CCRs have a fan between the redundant PSUs.
Rob laments the fact that some Mikrotik switches have the top left port set as “port 2”
Steve says to watchout for fasttracking pure IPSec traffic “I’ve been burned in the past by it.”
Network statement in Cisco and Mikrotik says “Run OSPF on these interfaces”, it also happens to advertise those networks too.
Finding fiber crews; ask local municipality and colleges for recommendations.
Bostjan summarized a lot of discussion on the dangers of wireless:
1) everybody I know was running around like theirs hair is on fire and screaming how all antennas are bad for you. We all are going to die. This seemed not logical to me so I tried to ignore it.
2) A guy who works for a carrier and installs antennas on towers for them said that antennas are dangerous. I couldn’t ignore that so I came here to educate myself.
3) This is what I’ve learned so far
-WISP is using 0.2 watt radios. Cell guys are using 20 watt radios. Broadcast (AM, FM, TV) are using 20,000 watts.
-There is no health risk unless you are sleeping on the Tower’s transmitter.
-if you are cold, go stand in front of the dish to warm up (is true, but don’t do it)
-and there is this guy who makes other people nervous https://youtu.be/ii82I1IzFRY?t=486
-some proteins in your body starts to changes it’s molecular structure from about 42°C. You’ll be dead before cooked
-one more thing, I think that antennas are dangerous; they can kill you if they fall from a tower on your head

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Mar 13 / Greg

Silencing An HP DL380 G6

If you have any unknown hardware, you will need to rectify that first.

After that make sure you set your power profile(in BIOS or ILO) to as low as you can(this will ramp things down when they aren’t needed).

Next, update your ILO firmware to the newest version possible. I found this link at pingtool.org that has the newest ILO firmwares. You can extract these firmwares on a linux box to get the .bin file.
Take that bin file and upload it via the ILO interface. One curious note is that I could not seem to get this to work, it would get to 99%, then fail. The log would spit out the message:

firmware upgrade via webpage failed

The fix was to run the update from firefox. Edge and Chrome just wouldn’t do it.

After following those steps, my server now runs whisper quiet!

Feb 22 / thebrotherswisp

TheBrothersWISP Nick Buraglio’s Top 5 Tips



This week Greg talks to Nick Buraglio about his top 5 tips.

The Tips:

* Be the dumbest person in the room
* Know your network
* Failure is your friend
* Grey is the new black, grey is the new white
* Networking is largely social, technical is an artifact
* Play to strengths

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Feb 20 / Greg

Cisco ASR9006 Pasting To CLI Issue

If you are repeatedly getting errors like “Invalid number(-117) sent as ASCII value to command-line process from VTY/TTY, refreshing prompt.” when pasting, to an ASR9006 with RSP440s, it’s likely due to the serial port configurations.

Ensure you have your serial terminal set to:
8 data bits
No parity
2 stop bits

It’s the stop bits that will get you!

Feb 17 / thebrotherswisp

TheBrothersWISP 83 – Unimus Internals, Big Switches, State of Opensource



This week Greg, Dave, Mike, and the ever elusive Tomas go on some rants!

This cast we talk about:
Unimus update from Tomas
New Weekly Feature
Big Boy Switches
Chi-NOG
LibreNMS PHP Requirement Change
*Slack Updates*
Mike K says use silicore HDPE conduit to pull fiber in underground.
Mike K also suggests the use of fiber enclosures that use standard man-hole covers
Tomas muses over the fact that opensource projects with corprate backers who make money from support always seem to be lacking in documentation.
Tomas says to safely make multiple Mikrotik changes: enable safe-mode, Use an open curly brace, put all your commands in, close curly brace. The commands will be applied after the final brace.
Companies are offering zeroday bounties for Mikrotik routers

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Feb 3 / thebrotherswisp

TheBrothersWISP 82 – Mikrotik news 87, Ubiquiti DoS Vector, CRS’ Future



This week Greg, Dave, Nick, and Andrew Thrift along with his hair, do the thing with the mics. Cox also teases us…we don’t deserve two Andrews in one cast.

This cast we talk about:
Mikrotik newsletter 87
Intel may be purchasing Mellanox (as per Thrift) Tilera–>EzChip–>Mellanox–>Intel
DNS Flag Day anyone?
John Osmon’s 5 tips, send me yours
Ubiquiti Discover Service DoS attack(thanks Chris A)
Polar Vortex is cold
Slack Updates
CRS3xx switches will act as port expanders for CCRs in the near future.
Email Mikrotik to add MC-LAG support to the CRS3XX
Tomas found a smoking deal on hosted servers from Scaleway 22X 2.4 GHz CPUs, 42GB RAM, 400GB SSD ~$75
Tomas still hates nginx webservers
Josh started a #code channel, which is him volunteering to do all ofyour scripting
#conferences channel is getting ready for MUM in Austin
What’s your EDC pocket tool?
Boštjan doesn’t know what console to get his kid.
Thrift hates Mazda “come at me bro” -haha I would say I hate them, just 1 bad experience
http://exomotive.com/exocet/
https://www.eliomotors.com/gallery/

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