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Service Provider Tools

All Service Providers and especially smaller Private Cable Operators (PCO’s) that support Multi-family housing are challenged when monitoring their access networks proactively. There is a new product on the market offered by Diablo Data Networks called Gunslinger that can give PCO’s great visibility into the health of the network supporting their customers. You can find them here. They can monitor DOCSIS networks and provide provisioning for cable modems and customer equipment.

Its worth a look.


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Pi3 Adds a Twist

I guess I was overly optimistic that the Raspbian system image I had crafted for the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B would just work when I plugged in the MicroSD card and powered it up. Nope, just a pretty colorful screen was all I got. So then I started to read. I know, right? I did a quick GTS and read a post about trying to update “Wheezy” for use on the Pi3, but it seems that the repository for Wheezy is not being updated with all the latest modules for the ARM v8 processor in the Pi3 Model B. Oh well.

Continue reading Pi3 Adds a Twist

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Pi at Work

While it has been a while since I posted an article here, that is about to change. I have a special Raspberry Pi image which is an ongoing effort for over a year now. The goal was to create a portable compute tool that my colleagues and customers can use to test and troubleshoot cable modem networks and video applications over DOCSIS. I work with small scale DOCSIS CMTS systems and my Raspberry Pi build has a lot of applications installed that are meant to help you test and troubleshoot that environment. Continue reading Pi at Work

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Display Modes for RPi

Your Raspberry Pi will attempt to detect the modes supported by your monitor and make a choice for what is feels is the best option for the display mode. If you operate in a “headless” mode (no display attached at boot time), and then later decide to connect a monitor, you either get a very ugly display or none at all. The solution is to configure your Pi with the ideal HDMI settings. Continue reading Display Modes for RPi

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BananaPro WiFi Access Point

The BananaPro has built-in WiFi which you can use as a WiFi Client or as a WiFi Access Point. Having spent a lot of time working with Raspberry Pi systems that operate as access points, I thought I would try to do the same with the BananaPro. I faced similar challenges with the compatibility between the wifi driver and the hostapd application when using the Bananian operating system as I had with the Raspberry Pi with the Raspbian O/S. The good news is that after a number of attempts, I was able to make the BananaPro work as an Access Point with repeatable success. Continue reading BananaPro WiFi Access Point

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Banana Pro

bananaProI just received a new Banana Pi – actually a Banana Pro model. I needed a small, portable host like the Raspberry Pi that had a Gigabit Ethernet port and the Banana Pro delivers that and many additional features. I am working on a build using the Bananian OS – A debian derivative – that does a lot of what my Raspberry Pi builds do. But can also be a test device for network performance. I will update this post later with more details and you can look forward to more posts on the B-Pi.



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Pi2 Finally Arrived!

IMG_1773Yay! I got my new Pi-2 and today I am creating the good ‘ol WAP build which I use as the basis for all my other builds. So far it does seem a bit snappier, although I haven’t done anything unusual yet. I actually have 2 of them and I ordered 6 more. Yep.. addicted to Pi, I am.

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DXpedition Build – Part 2

Anytime you need a computer to do many things, there are challenges. The Pi Collector doesn’t have to scale to support a high connection volume or stream video, or handle high transaction rates. It just needs to work – and work reliably. It has to do its job unattended, headless and flawlessly. This mission has no time for failures or the unexpected. So our challenge is to make sure we use apps that are stable, and reliable. Continue reading DXpedition Build – Part 2

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Pi OSPF Router

This How-To project describes how to build a router that runs a dynamic routing protocol. I chose OSPF for this project, however other interior gateway protocols are becoming more popular, such as ISIS. To make this project go quicker, I used a previous Pi SD card build that already had support for a Wireless Access Point to make it easier to manage the Pi remotely. In that build we had installed the apache2 server, hostapd for Wi-Fi AP support, tftpd-hpa for tftp server, and the isc-dhcp-server to support the AP functions.
Lets get started.

Continue reading Pi OSPF Router

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At times you may need to connect networks together but you don’t necessarily have a spare router up your sleeve to make it happen. Well, while your waiting for the IT budget to come through, why not have a Raspberry Pi router in your back pocket for a temporary fix. It won’t be a barn burner, but hey, at least you can make some progress. Continue reading PiRouter

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tin-can-telephoneWhen I tell my friends that they can access their Pi remotely from Windows Remote Desktop their eyes light up.

So I thought I would post an brief article on xrdp – a nice little linux module that allows Windows machines to connect to the Pi graphically with the X-Window interface. Continue reading Pi RDP

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DXpedition Project


This project is about creating a special build of the Raspberry Pi for a Ham Radio Operator Club. Periodically Ham Radio Organizations partner with other organizations and government agencies to embark on “expeditions”. They travel to remote locations, set up a communications operation, and try to contact other Ham Radio Operators world-wide within a very specific time frame. These guys go to seemingly impossible locations, bringing their own power generation and resources. They leverage many laptop computers, a network, and a satellite uplink to record all the radio contacts made during the expedition. With power being so precious, using Raspberry Pi’s where possible is a huge help in saving energy. This story is about a configuration of Raspberry Pi’s to support such an adventure. Continue reading DXpedition Project