Split tunnel VPN on UniFi USG

Let’s say sometimes you want to egress your home network over a VPN?  Maybe hide your traffic from your ISP who likes to snoop your traffic or insert ads?  Or maybe you want to get around geo-location blocks to stream some video only available in another country?  Installing a VPN client on your laptop is pretty easy, but might be harder on your Chromecast or other streaming device.

This article is going to try and provide a step-by-step how to configure your Ubiquiti USG series router/firewall + switch + AP to have a VLAN/SSID for “normal” mode and another VLAN/SSID for accessing the internet transparently over a VPN.  Devices you want to use the VPN just need to join the right WiFi network or have their switch port assigned the correct VLAN.  This config should also generally work for the EdgeRouter series, but you’ll need to do the configuration via the CLI instead of the JSON config file.  I suspect this should work on a DreamMachine or Dream Machine Pro, but I don’t own either of those and haven’t tested. (Nope, won’t work on the UDM or UDM-Pro. Neither support the config.gateway.json config file or the necessary policy routing features.)

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Evolution EAA Computer Mount

Due to the horrible light pollution here in San Jose, CA I decided to try out EAA- Electronically Assisted Astronomy. Traditional astro photography (AP) is actually really hard and time consuming. EAA is a lot easier and lot faster, although the results aren’t as nice as you can get with AP.

One of the big advantages of EAA is you can use a simple Alt-Az mount like my Celestron Evolution EdgeHD 8″ SCT since you’re taking dozens of shorter pictures rather than much longer photos which require excellent tracking (polar alignment) and stability.
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Skyroam Solis Review

4 out of 5 stars. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

So the Skyroam Solis has two different data plans available:

Option A: $9/day “unlimited”. First ~350MB of transfer is fast 4G, but then they drop you to 2G so it feels like dial-up after a while
Option B: $9/GB. Always 4G speeds- no performance penalty, but you pay for what you use.
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ESP-DSC Works Not Well!

So yesterday I was all happy that I got my prototype ESP-DSC working. This ended up being short lived as I realized this morning that while it does technically work, the ESP8266 can’t keep up with two medium resolution (2,500 CPR) encoders.

Ironically, I found out that the code was too slow when I started to optimize the code and I realized that the code I has was very very conservative. My original optimization was to speed it up, but maintain that conservative ethos. I figured while I was editing the code, I might as well also add a test to see if the ESP-12F was dropping interrupts… Continue reading


New low cost digital setting circles: ESP-DSC

So a few years ago, I announced TeensyDSC, project that brings telescope digital setting circles to the iPad and Android devices using WiFi. I’ve been using my TeensyDSC successfully with my telescope and SkySafari on an iPad for a few years, but one thing always bothered me about it: the “COGS” (cost of goods sold) of the TeensyDSC was really expensive: nearly $100. A lot of that cost was in two parts: the Teensy 3.1 ($20) and RN-XV WiFi module ($35).
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Should you switch from EaglePCB to KiCad?

So I’ve been using EaglePCB for a number of years. I’ve designed and created some open source projects like my SV650 ECU Decoder and TeensyDSC. While I had a cheap ($79) commercial license for a one off commercial project I did, most of my work was done using the $169 “Maker” version for non-commercial use.

Then mid-2016, Eagle was bought by AutoDesk. I’ve only used one AutoDesk product before: Fusion360 which I really like. Sure, it’s not as good as SolidWorks, but I’ve designed parts for both CNC and 3D printing and they’ve come out great. And to top it off, AutoDesk is very gracious in it’s licensing terms- allowing makers like me to use it for free.

But recently Autodesk announced that EaglePCB was moving from perpetual licensing to subscription based. Simply put, this was not well received.
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Reverse engineering the SV650 SDS Protocol

So spent a bunch of the time in the garage this weekend working on reverse engineering the SDS protocol on the SV650. SDS is basically ISO9141 aka K-Line which something you often see in a car’s ODB-II port. Unfortunately, SDS is just different enough that you can’t use any commercial off the shelf ODB-II reader to read the messages. The way I have been going about this was pretty painful and taking a lot of time/effort to iterate over so I came up with a new tool chain.
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Analyzing Your Data with Race Studio 2

As racers, we’re always looking for an advantage over the competition- better brakes, exhaust, motor work, titanium bolts to reduce unsprung weight- you name it. With the advent of modern electronics, now data logging and analysis is becoming available for not just pro-racers, but club racers as well.

Most data loggers talk about how awesome their hardware is… see how sleek and sexy it looks? It has all kinds of features like GPS and accelerometers which are sampling at many times a second. Just imagine how much data you’ll collect! So then you install the data logger on your bike and you can’t wait until you can go out on track and try it out. Everything is great! Until…
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