Outdoor Wifi

I like to sit on my back patio in the evenings. It usually is the coolest part of both my yards, thanks to some large trees of my neighbors and my own. Despite having multiple Wireless Access Points throughout the house already, I noticed the signal was lacking in the backyard. Now I do not have a large house or yard, not by a long shot. In fact “I’ve had bigger”.

Still the drop in signal strength was noticeable. To be honest yes, I could get away with just a single wireless access point, but then I would not have a +24mb connection 98% of the time! With a few Access Points I am able to maintain a +65mb connection rate 98% of the time. Thats worst case. And yes, I do transfer large quantities and large files from multiple machines and it helps with the video streaming – which is heavy is this house.

Getting off topic. So due to the weak backyard signal I decided to deploy an external Wireless Access Point. It is your basic Linksys/Cisco e1200 running DD-WRT. I’ve modified it to run off PoE. Saved me troubles and allowed me to just run a single cat5 to the back via the attic and a vent. I have it mounted in an external enclosure, sealed(ish). It will not get wet. Even put a fan inside via a toggle switch mounted underneath. I was thinking of IoT’ing the switch. The router board fit perfectly inside the enclosure. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit. There is even room to be able to make the antennas externally accessible or detachable (with minor effort) .

I meant to post this a while back when I made the unit. Never got to it. At least now I can vouch for its performance. The thing is rock solid. I have noticed no setbacks from its present location or enclosure. All is well, and it gets moderate use. Ive had more issues with an inside unit.

Now I just need to make the fan remote controlled and add a temperature sensor… If I get around to it I’ll post some pictures.

Random Updates

Nothing techie going on lately, nothing useful to post at the moment. So heres some drivel…

I have an AT&T Note 5 (and love it) and a Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch (also love it). No complaints on either… until the Note automatically updated to 5.1.1, then the Bluetooth died. I had a 30-50ft operating range before the 5.1.1 update, and after the update I would be lucky to get 1ft from whatever I was paired to. The watch disconnected consistently, headphones were useless. Stream music to a sound bar? The phone would have to be literally sitting on it to work. And no, I was not wiping my phone, the “format and reinstall” crap is old MS bullshit. That is NOT a way to fix a problem, you’re just going around it and hoping it doesn’t happen again. I knew there was a 6.0 update coming soon so I decided just to wait. Glad I did. Now, if it happens again…

I tried to not wake up and immediately smoke a bowl today (the 3am session to go back to sleep doesn’t count)… I paid for my mistake, with vomit. Yay amyloidosis!

Unmotivated lately. Thats me. I have so many projects but zero drive to do them lately. Being sick all the time kinda takes the fun out of shit. Or you just really don’t feel like working on a project because you are not 100%. Seems to be a lot of that lately.

I could rant all day about State Disability, SSDI and how much AT&T (as a company/employer) fucking sucks. But I wont, it would accomplish nothing except making my hair fall out and my heart rate triple.

Adventures in SSL, why not – it’s free

I was sooo tired of Chrome telling me my self-signed server wasn’t protected and that someone wants to steal my data from me. Go away Chrome I know, I signed it, it’s all good now chill out. First world problems eh? I don’t want to click twice!! Anyways. I read about someone giving out free SSLs to the webs. Time to get mine while the gettin’s good! Straight for the deep-end, we can swim right?

So if you are here for ClearOS 7 then good, if not ClearOS then go somewhere else. There’s tons of guides for other systems, and if you don’t have ClearOS chances are there is an installer for you that works. We here at ClearOS however feel that nothing should work right out of the box, or if at all. That being said, I actually found this whole process to be “not that bad”.

Heres the setup:
ClearOS 7 and its loveliness
One or Multiple websites, its all the same
Lets Encrypt

Run that for each domain and subdomain you want to add SSL to. Now hope on over and login to your ClearOS box via the web interface. Go to System >> Settings >> Certificate Manager. Scroll down to the middle of the page till you see External Certificates, hit the add button. You should see a box asking for a bunch of files. Perfect. Give it a name like YourDomain, “Certificate File” point this to fullchain.pem. Point “Key File” to privkey.pem, and “Intermediate File” to cert.pem. Hit the Add button again. After a second you should see the new certificate listed on the page. If not something went wrong. In my experience ClearOS would not let me add the certificate if there was an error, and it would complain.

Once you see your cert in the list head over to Server >> Web >> Web Server. Click on the website you want to add SSL to. Scroll down to SSL Certificate, click the scroll-down and you should see the certificate you added in the list. Don’t forget to save. You should now have SSL on your site. Now don’t forget it expires in 3 months. I’ll figure out how to renew then haha.

Now if you want to force SSL, the simplest way I have found so far is to use .htaccess. I though there was a drop-down option to force SSL but I didn’t see it. Open up your favorite editor and create or edit an .htaccess file.

This should force any request over to HTTPS. I found this page helpful when I was doing my Googling:

AKAI MPK Mini on a Mac Pro with Logic Pro

Little tid-bit of information I found out today, I’ll share with the class. I have a “late 2013” Mac Pro, aka the trash can. I dabble a little bit with Logic X Pro, sometimes I just fool around. But I do like to use it for recording my guitars and shit. Works great. I thought lol, well it didn’t today. I got bit by the music bug early this morning wanted to get something done. Was feeling in a dirty dubstep mood and wanted to play. Plugged in the AKAI and nothing. It lit up and all the pads worked but no sound. It wasn’t auto mapping to instruments and dials were not moving. Took me about 30 minutes before I switched USB ports and wha-la! Apparently it only plays nice as the main USB port. I was programming an ESP8266 yesterday on the Mac and left the FTDI plugged in on the main port, I just plugged the AKAI into the other one figuring it should work. Never gave it a second thought. The trash cans USB plugs are on the back, a rather inconvenient place for them says I. So I use some USB extension cables to get them to a more reasonable spot on the desk. They look the same so they get mixed up sometimes, which usually doesn’t matter. Did this time I guess.

ESP8266 and MQTT

ESP8266 and MQTT, Google that and see what happens (you most likely already did and that is how you got here). Shit is everywhere. It’s gobbin up the bandwidth of the intarwebs. And you know what? I couldn’t get any of that shit to work on my standard ESP8266-01. I have a few of them, I tried them all with all kinds of shit. I would get close but never a damn cigar (I can’t smoke it anyways). Until today for months I have been stuck on this. So if you are like me and have not been able to get the damn thing to work, for whatever reason, try this. Hope it helps.

This is the page that saved it all for me, thank these guys (I did not read or follow any guidelines on this page, I merely snagged their code):

I copied “mainIoTF.lua” and made some minor tweaks to get it working. I removed the orgID and changed the broker to my raspi IP address. Don’t forget to change the topic. I made those tweaks and uploaded it. BAM!! I was getting data send via MQTT to the Pi every 10 seconds.

This is what I was getting on Node-Reds debug window every 10 seconds (the number will change):  {"d": {"data":69}}

This is where it comes from, should be easy enough to modify:
m:publish(topic ,'{"d": {"data":'..t1..'}}', 0, 0,

I came back and edited this post because I hate it when I find a site that says they found the fix, but never posts it.. so heres the code. Like I said, its 99% the same code from the other site I linked/mentioned. But here it is for you anyways.