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TheBrothersWISP – Matt Whiteley’s Tips

Published on March 21, 2019, by in Networking.



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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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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TheBrothersWISP Nick Buraglio’s Top 5 Tips

Published on February 22, 2019, by in Networking.



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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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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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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TheBrothersWISP Top 5 Tips John Osmon

Published on January 31, 2019, by in Networking.



This week Greg talks to John Osmon about his top 6 tips.

The Tips:

1) *BE* the packet (Know how the network works)
2) pcap or it didn’t happen (get proof)
3) don’t confuse network and physical diagrams
4) give back to the community
5) vocabulary — learn others, teach yours. Necessary for communication
6) lab it / break it — you don’t know it until you see how it behaves when broken

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TheBrothersWISP 81 – CEPH/ZFS, Charging for RFO, Dynamic SIP Servers

Published on January 20, 2019, by in Networking.



This week Greg, Mike, Dave, and the coolest kid I know in VA, Miller, take it to the mat.

This cast we talk about:
CEPH and ZFS
Open media vault
Dynamic SIP server location
DNS SRV
“Tubes” book PDF?
AT&T charges for RFO
Certifications?
DNS Flag day
What bandwidth bursting be used for other than online video streaming services in effort to improve end user experience in a practical sense.

Slack Updates
Austin MUM – record a little brothers wisp podcast?
Andrew Thrift is now prepared to answer all of your Fortinet questions.
Jeremy has found success with receiving and processing is abuse notifications at abuse.io
NV2 for 802.11ac is broken on Mikrotik ARM kit, so avoid it.
Thrift is pushing for a standardized API with Mikrotik.
802.11 beaconing with additional SSIDs
When you think an optic may be running too hot, you can try wrapping fiber around a pencil
Tomas wants unimus feedback “If you aren’t using it, what are your reasons?”

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TheBrothersWISP Top 5 Tips Colin Z

Published on January 8, 2019, by in Networking.



This week Greg talks to Colin Z about his top 5 tips.

The Tips:

Colin Z
1) Look at things in terms of a Link Budget.
2) 6 dB delta to make a noticeable difference.
3) Follow basic grounding practices (R56 is a good reference).
4) Plan for outage.
5) Document what you can.

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TheBrothersWISP 80 – Favorite Things 2018, SIP Tshooting, Centurylink Outage

Published on January 6, 2019, by in Networking.



This week Greg, Mike, and Dave do the first cast of the new year…time to start out on the wrong foot 😉

This cast we talk about:
UBNT vs. Cambium Lawsuit Update
Centurylink outage
Mikrotik NAT (as it pertains to SIP and RTP) Broken
Greg fav things: hAP AC^2, pickleball, your mom’s house podcast/Harmontown podcast, little brothers wisp slack
Mike’s Fav things
Daves My son, Ham Radio
completely useless phrases that sound inspirational
Mikrotik bug fix for CRS3
Hammett would look amazing with a mow-hawk
PoE power cycle ping

*Slack Updates*
In Mikrotik, flush connection table when troubleshooting and making changes

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TheBrothersWISP Top 5 Tips Tommy C and Greg

Published on January 4, 2019, by in Networking.



This week Greg and Tommy C(TCent to his fam) talk about their top 5 tips.

The Tips:

Tommy C
1. Have a test bench: I read somewhere “everyone has a test network, not everyone has a production network” I have been able to pull off so many changes/upgrades to our network just because I was able to show how the system would work before implementing it. I also have a couple friends who my company serves. They know they are on testing equipment and enjoy buying me beers when I come over to try out “some new hardware”. We are now setting up a test tower that will just be
2. Radios + antennas are just like old flashlights: Remember those old Mag Lights and the light pattern they would make? Dish antennas are the exact same way. If you think you have a good alignment, keep moving the antenna another 20 degrees and see what happens.
3. Don’t break EIRP: It’s not worth it, get a bigger antenna or fail the customer. Noise only goes up and you can only make so much more noise. (Which everyone else has to hear) Set a minimum signal level and stick to it, be willing to fail a new Install if you can’t get a good signal. You will thank yourself when you are able to get more customers on an AP and push more bandwidth to existing customers. (Far fewer phone calls as well.)
4. Wireless is not “Set and forget”, Have some sort of monitoring as well as record keeping for signal levels and bandwidth. Call people if they have a rapid drop in signal or their signal has dropped a lot over several months. People will pay more money for longer if you are the one telling them “your internet sux, we want to fix it”.
5. If you climb towers, have a good safety guy give you classes, if you have employees make them take safety classes and enforce safety policies. If someone routinely breaks safety rules get rid of them, eventually they will cost you a lot of money. Someone called OSHA to report a bunch of false safety violations against us while we were putting up a tower in a competitors area. Because we had our safety guy on site while we were setting up the tower OSHA decided we were not the ones making trouble.

Greg
Keep a spare on the shelf Keep a spare of everything you have. Great for emergencies as well as labbing scenarios.
Keep backups This will save your life one day.
Diagram current and future builds This is for you and every engineer/consultant you employ.
Don’t be affraid to ask for help Being on an island is lonely, especially when you don’t have a volley ball.
Don’t be affraid to help others Your knowledge is a gift that should be given, not horded away like the one ring.

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