Tuesday, November 25, 2014

iOS 8.1 with Jailbreak...well that was easy

No it wasn't easy.

Short history...I don't upgrade my iPhone until a stable jailbreak is out...if I remember to upgrade at all.

I had jailbroken 7.0.6 on my iPhone 4S.

I was (attempting) installing an app...specifically the app for the Ring doorbell...(more on that in a future post).

The app required at least iOS 7.1.   So I set about to update to 7.1.2 and jailbreak it.  I won't bore you with the details...I spent hours trying to fix the 3194 error (I tried every one the various sites list), but iTunes would not update my phone to 7.1.

That took a good portion of the afternoon.  Then I learned that 8.1 had a untethered jailbreak.

So I figured what the heck I will attempt an iOS 8.1 update.  (backup your device, download a restore image of iOS 8.1 for your device, hold SHIFT button when clicking "Upgrade" in iTunes, select your downloaded folder)

Well wouldn't you know, that upgrade went without a problem.  Now time for the jailbreak.

Some Chinese hackers created Pangu8.  I read through a few blogs, mainly Redmond Pie for the story and tutorial.

Well there is a bug with a Pangu8 verson lower than 1.2.1...I didn't know that and ended up with a boot loop.  I had to put the phone in DFU mode and restore the 8.1 install.

It was then that I learned that I had the wrong version of Pangu8.

Pangu8 takes a chunk of space to run, so you need about 3 gigs free on your iPhone.

It is pretty simple, and works just fine.

-Pangu8 1.2.1
-iOS 8.1...not any version later.
-backup first and often
-need 3 gigs of space on phone.

Good luck.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Win7 64bit (non event) with 8gig ram update (significant emotional event)


I have always multibooted OS's.  Whenever a new install is required, I start with a new disk or partition...in the old days (late 90's...pre Ubuntu) it required some special software to trick Windows.

Now it is so easy a caveman could do it.

Anywho, I had a Win7 32bit install for quite a while, but wanted some more speed, so I added a SSD...after many failed attempts to ghost/clone my running OS to the new SSD, I gave up and did a fresh install.  (oh I also had an XP install on a drive)

...after a recent 100mile move, the computer decided to default to the older Win7 install on the standard HD.  (I figured all this out later)

The computer really started getting slow for simple tasks...it was obvious the disk access was slowing it down...3gigs of ram didn't help...well that is when I realized that I had not been running off the SSD, but off the HD.

But I decided it was time to join the 20th century and go to Win7 64bit.  Luckily SSD prices have dropped so I got another SSD (twice the size of the other one) and did a clean 64bit install on it...another lucky thing, since Win7 was already installed on that computer, I did not need to buy another copy simply to use the 64bit version.

Well, If I am running 64bit, I might as well stuff some more RAM into it.  I have an older system using DDR2 ram...and the mobo is apparently touchy about the type.   I had been running 3gigs already in the 4 ram slots... 4gigs of PNY...hadn't had a problem, I didn't want to wait, so I bought another pair 2gig sticks of PNY and stuffed it in...well...you get what you pay for apparently.

The 32bit install crashed to blue screen regularly, and the 64bit install kept getting a video device crash/recovery.

I didn't need to test the ram to know that was the issue...(I attempted a memtest, but after 24 hours it completed one pass...

The issue is DDR2 isn't found much anymore...although there was a document on the ASUS support site (Asus motherboard) listing the Memory QVL (qualified vendors list).  It lists what vendors and which versions of ram (with size) are recommended.

Most were hard to find, at an other than gold plated price...I did however get some Corsair XMS ram for slightly more than the PNY I had bought.

I booted it with 8gigs of the Corsair, and haven't had a problem since.

Finding and downloading 64bit software was a bit harder to do.   The 32bit stuff works just fine, but there is 64bit stuff that should run better in theory.

Moral of the story, don't buy cheap ram.

Raspberry Pi setup and ADS-B (and FlightAware)

I had been using the Pi with the R820T dongle for quite a while...attempting a variety of things.

I took another look at ADS-B decoding...

...especially when I found out that... "As a thank you for your contribution, FlightAware offers a free Enterprise Account (USD$89.95/mo value) to users who share their data with us."

Even better than that...they have a Pi image ready to run that includes all the required software...for both the ADS-B decoding, and to upload to them...easier than attempting to install the software yourself.

I will say, their website is confusing...the install was fine, the directions are a bit off.

If you have a Pi, and no SDR software installed...


...but after Step 3 on that page,

...start with Step 3 on this page https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/install

You have to do those steps to put your FlightAware username and password into their software, so that you get credit for the uploads...and so the software runs automatically.

Once you have done that, look at step 3 of this page  https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/upgrade

...it tells you how to check that your data is uploading...

...if you go to the Pi's IP address and port 8080 on your browser, you get the 1090 dump map etc...

- for example

Happy ADS-B-ing.

RTL-SDR updates

There are a lot of new hardware devices out there that work as relatively inexpensive Software Defined Radio.

I can't properly list them all, but one with a lot of capability is the $330 HackRF One.

Don't expect me to review that one...

However I need to follow up on my usage of the RTL-SDR dongles.

I have been using the NooElec R820T SDR&DVB-T dongle.   If you look on Amazon you will see that company has expanded their line of products in this category...

A limitation of these type of SDRs is they only go down to about 50 Mhz... (NooElec website says 25Mhz)...if you want to go lower you need some kind of converter.

I am using CT1FFU's HF converter version 4.  I need to install it an the SDR dongle in an altoids box...but keep putting it off.

Works great!

There are always updates to the software and installs etc...

Right now SDR# is the easiest install, and it includes the new driver for those using a dongle like my R820T.

Remember you only need the HF converter to get in the low HF bands...you can use the plain Dongle for a lot of other SDR related projects without it.  (see my info about ADS-B)

Asus Transformer T100 tablet/laptop. (new to me)

I will be using this to run some SDR software and for traveling.

If you go to the Asus Transformer T100 wiki, you will see that there are a number of versions...all with the same title, but with different coded models...

Mine is the plain version, 1.33ghz processor 32gig ram, detachable keyboard with no storage inside.

It runs Win8.1  I will say that so far, I would hate to run this OS on a normal laptop, but since most of the time I use this one as a tablet...it is fine.

I picked mine up off ebay.  Works fine, knew the charging cord had an issue.

What I learned so far...


I travel with my assortment of charging plugs and wires, I have a few 2.1A and 1A chargers + European plug adapters.

The T100 owners manual says it requires a 2.1A charger...well not exactly.  The adapter that comes with the T100 is a wallwart, 3' attached cord, terminated with a microUSB plug.

So the trick is, you apparently need a specific kind of USB cord to trick the T100 into charging at full power.  When I plug a standard microUSB cord into one of my 2.1A adapters...it will take approx a week to charge...and I wish I was exaggerating.  I gained 8% charge after sitting for 8 hours on the charger.  After I got home and used the Asus adapter (with an intermittent connection)...it was fully charged (from 8%) after about 2 hours.

I have ordered a new USB cord to use with my adapters...we will see.


I have never seen Win8 in person...I have seen Windows Phone 7 (or whatever it is called).

On a tablet it is mostly useful...I will skip Win8 things...but there are some tricks to maintaining the software on the T100.

There is built in software called ASUS Live Update Utility.  (also available on the Asus support site)

This software does all the driver and BIOS updates that you would normally do by hand...but does not check for updates automatically, you have to run the software and check for updates...this T100 I got had zero updates, BIOS or otherwise.   Updates pretty much required a reboot mid update to complete...weird but worked.

Of course Windows updates also runs...that one at least is automatic.

So far, all the software I have tried to install has installed and run.

I will leave the Win8 debates for someone else.

--SDR stuff--

Well for a laugh I installed SDR# and my RTL-SDR dongle...but I and not convinced the T100 has the horsepower to do all that...but we will see...

...to be continued...

Nov 2014 update and future topics.

I will admit I mostly use this blog to document projects I do so I can refer back to them...

Despite that...or maybe because of that...I am way behind...

I will say that a lot of stuff has been going on, and not much applied to the blog, however I did notice that some projects did not get updated, and I have done a few things...

Here is a list of upcoming topics.

Asus Transformer T100 tablet/laptop. (new to me)

Raspberry Pi setup and ADS-B (and FlightAware)

Win7 64bit (non event) with 8gig ram update (significant emotional event)

RTL-SDR updates

SDR using a Yaesu FT-857D (in progress)

HF radio install in Jetta (in progress)

Ammo Box grab and go radio setup...just notes, someone else has done the planning

B-Ramping using Nexus7 tablet.

...maybe more...