AR15.Com Archives
 Man Breaking Into BOLS's (Utah) ETA LEO's Call Suspect Dangerous
Zedhead  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 12:30:32 AM
Interesting story HERE I have heard of this guy before.

The hermit-like man they're looking for has been living deep in the mountains during the summer and breaking into cabins and squatting during the winter for between five to seven years, authorities believe.

What concerns them most, however, is a pattern of violence the man also seems to exhibit — including stealing firearms and shooting guns in some of the cabins.

How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


UPDATE

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=18835448&title=police-man-sought-in-cabin-break-ins-a-dangerous-individual

"He does a substantial amount of damage," Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said of the individual. "He lives in (the cabins), eats all the food he can find, burns their firewood, burns their propane up, steals a lot of stuff. In some cabins, he's shot up the walls with a gun. He's just a very dangerous individual."
psgt2  [Member]
11/11/2011 12:56:35 AM
That is a problem?
darkpaladin1  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 1:11:25 AM
Your note wasn't sufficient...VA-gunnut
Ops  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 8:42:44 AM
He's likely on the run from the law and is smart enough to avoid contact. He'd be smarter to choose a direction and keep moving instead of staying in the same area..

Ops
RR_Broccoli  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 9:13:56 AM
Finding the guy would be good practice for the rescue folks. Maybe a helicopter with IR optics equipment could sweep through and pick spots to check.

It's stuff like this that makes it a good idea to stay armed when far out in the wilderness (or not so far out).

You'd think someone would get him on a game cam at some point. OR, what's he doing with all the firearms? Those might be turning up somewhere re-sold and that would be a good point to a) catch him, b) charge him with something that sticks. Squatting isn't particularly illegal or something that will lead to jail. Stealing and selling firearms just might.
RDTCU  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 10:36:19 AM
Originally Posted By RR_Broccoli:
Squatting isn't particularly illegal or something that will lead to jail.


B&E sure is.

seek2  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 11:44:57 AM
Originally Posted By Zedhead:
<snip>

How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


There's cellular coverage virtually everywhere, you have to get into the middle of a forest surrounded by mountains
before you lose access.

So... my BOL and my brother's, 20 miles away, have full-time internet access through cellular modems. There's a
netbook server in both places, and a whole bunch of wireless security cameras. As soon as something moves into
view, server wakes up the link and blasts out the pictures. Power is solar.

We usually get one or two pics a week of deer. Last time it was people was during the census (man, those census
guys had to have been really motivated to travel so far to get to our places and jump all the fences!)

We both have arrangements with full-time neighbors about 1/2-1 mile away. Amusingly, we can probably get
someone with a gun at our BOLs to secure things faster than in the big city we live in.
ISED8U  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 1:32:02 PM
This is the reason I don't keep a lot of stock at my BOL/deer camp. For 90% of the year it remains completely unattended. I've seen signs of people driving 4 wheelers around my gate to look around the place, and anything that's worth stealing they'd just take. Other then firewood, a roof over your head, and a few snacks in the fridge, I keep the place bare.
YourMomma  [Member]
11/11/2011 2:36:53 PM
Originally Posted By seek2:
Originally Posted By Zedhead:
<snip>

How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


There's cellular coverage virtually everywhere, you have to get into the middle of a forest surrounded by mountains
before you lose access.

So... my BOL and my brother's, 20 miles away, have full-time internet access through cellular modems. There's a
netbook server in both places, and a whole bunch of wireless security cameras. As soon as something moves into
view, server wakes up the link and blasts out the pictures. Power is solar.

We usually get one or two pics a week of deer. Last time it was people was during the census (man, those census
guys had to have been really motivated to travel so far to get to our places and jump all the fences!)

We both have arrangements with full-time neighbors about 1/2-1 mile away. Amusingly, we can probably get
someone with a gun at our BOLs to secure things faster than in the big city we live in.


Can you detail your setup?
TriumphRider  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 2:45:39 PM
Can you detail your setup?


Yes, please...
36_gauge  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 3:58:47 PM

Originally Posted By TriumphRider:
Can you detail your setup?


Yes, please...

tagged
seek2  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 4:14:25 PM
Sure.

First, quick rundown on power: both places have fairly large solar power installations,
my place (which I am still working on, but is dried-in) has 1KW in panels, large battery
bank, etc. My brother's place has 2KW. So running 25-50W of load 24/7 is covered.

There's a central "server" made up of a netbook (these happen to be Dell 7" netbooks,
but pretty much any low-power PC will do.) I'm running linux on them, and use
Verizon USB modems. Linux lets you use a thing called "cron" to run scripts on a
periodic basis, and over time I've written simple scripts that check the connection,
try to bring it up if it's down, and if it's still down try a few times before rebooting
everything. Thanks to this script everything is very reliable, I can easily go a year now
without touching the system. The system not only sends pictures, but also
records all the weather conditions from a little wireless weather station, and system
data for the solar power system.

Anyway that establishes a regular data connection.

There's a free program for linux called Motion that will watch a webcam or video
stream for changes. You can tune how much change is needed to be considered
significant, and then have it save pictures or even video. To keep the computer's
load down, and also to keep the amount of data sent low, I have it set up to look
at camera pictures every 5 seconds or so. It dumps all the pictures into different
directories for each camera.

Motion can trigger another program when it sees movement. In this case, I have
it trigger a connection program that uploads the pictures to a real server on the
internet, and fire off an email (this can either be to me, or to my phone via a
email-to-text gateway.)

I have a wifi access point hooked up to the computer, and use a number of
different webcams –– at my brother's place, they're virtually all D-link DCS-930Ls,
at my place here are a few other types, including a pan/tilt/zoom that I can
also access remotely to look around a bit. At both places we've been able to
set up exterior cameras pointing back at the building –– either in a shed or as a
completely separate solar-powered camera in a plastic ammo box. There's about
six cameras at each place, with pretty good coverage and a few strategically positioned
to get good face shots through the likely entryways.

Over the years this has been set up, I've documented a handful of "visits." Someone
did break into a trailer I had with no camera coverage very late at night once, so I did
update that with another camera and added a couple night-vision cameras.

One common theme is that everyone cups their hands over their eyes to block out
glare and puts their face up against the windows to look inside. So I've got some pretty awesome
detailed face pics of the visitors since I point one of the cameras right at the spot they do this
at. For the most part they seem to be curious hikers, but it's still surprising that someone would
travel down a dead-end road past multiple no trespassing signs, hope a barbed wire fence
and then scope out the inside of a house/cabin –– in the part of rural Arizona the places are
located in, that's just begging for an armed response.

My brother's place kept getting visited by a FedEx contractor truck over and over –– the exterior
cam pic was good enough to read the truck #'s. We have no idea why they were visiting so often
but eventually stopped. A couple years ago, in the dead of winter with temps about 20 degrees
and 4" of snow on the ground a little girl (10-12 years old) wearing a pink parka passed by his
place and the shed, all picked up on the exterior camera –– that was truly bizarre given how
far out in bumfuck it is; he asked the neighbors 1/2 mile away and they were just as WTF as
we were about it.

Overall I'd say I average about one "visit" a year, and my brother's place maybe 2-3.

Total costs (not counting power) were about $300 for the netbook, about $50 a month for the
wireless modems, and maybe $500 or so for the regular cameras and wifi access point.

I won't dump every pic due to opsec, but here's the exterior pic from 5 minutes ago ––
and I need to cut some weeds!



The interior cameras, especially the ones set up on windows, provide enough of detail to
ID someone. Keep in mind this is miles away from the nearest small town, and hundreds
of miles away from a major city:

The PTZ camera I have to snoop on things is way more expensive, but not needed for this setup.
I probably have another $200 in the exterior camera set up (20W panel, charge controller and
a voltage converter for the camera, all mounted in a plastic ammo can wedged in some
concrete blocks.)

ColdboreDreamer  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 5:33:55 PM
Awesome thread.
mattfoley  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 5:44:30 PM
seek2 , that is awesome

I'd love to see more details about how your cameras are set up
ctnsupra1  [Member]
11/11/2011 5:46:22 PM
And that is why I need to learn Linux. Awesome post seek2.
seek2  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 6:02:02 PM
Originally Posted By mattfoley:
seek2 , that is awesome

I'd love to see more details about how your cameras are set up


What kind of detail? Happy to share.
TheGrayMan  [Life Member]
11/11/2011 7:33:09 PM
So you set up a cron-job to periodically ping your gateway, and ifup the connection if it dies?
seek2  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 8:32:53 PM
Originally Posted By TheGrayMan:
So you set up a cron-job to periodically ping your gateway, and ifup the connection if it dies?


It's slightly more complicated, because it's using the USB cellular modem via pppd.
The firmware occasionally glitches out, so it goes through a routine. There's a couple different layers:

One is a process that runs in a loop and sleeps, outside of cron:
- checks system load, if the long term average load is great than 5, it reboots.
- looks at the process table, and if crond isn't running, something's really broken and it reboots
- pats the kernel watchdog on the head so it doesn't bite us.

Then every five minutes, I run a cron job that does this:
Attempts 11 times:
- checks to see if pppd is running. If we're on check 11, it just can't do it, and reboots.
- after the first five attempts, (it #5-10)it tries to start pppd using a backup pppd script
- after the first three attempts (#3-4) it tries a forced pppd connect
- on attempts #0-2 it tries to start pppd in a demand mode.

If it clears all the pppd checks, it then pings google or my server, trying to verify end-to-end connectivity.
If the ping fails, it kills pppd.

Then it checks to see if pppd is dead. Surprise! Still not dead, tries kill -9...
checks again... still not dead? OK, reboot.

Then it checks to see if the actual modem device is actually present in /dev. If we've gotten this
far, supposedly pppd is working and we have pings, but somehow the modem is missing and
probably disconnected and reconnected as a different device than it should have. If it does this,
it reboots.

After all that... it accesses a couple web pages I can see the logs of, in case I need an IP address,
then it does a remote DNS update, then all sorts of fancy rsyncs using ssh to send all the pictures.

I know it seems involved, but every one of those rules required a 400 mile round trip when the
problem they detect/fix occurred. After years of tuning, it's stable.

Modems and PCs can break in funny ways.
TheGrayMan  [Life Member]
11/11/2011 8:41:36 PM
Excellent work... your script-writing skills exceed my own.

I have an installation that's a long drive to access... so I use one of these (bought a couple of them cheap on Ebay):

seek2  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 8:55:48 PM
I had one of those gadgets at my office, which was helpful. The problem is when you can't count on the network to work, which
is what was going on in this instance –– 90% of the work is just making the thing connect, once you can remote in, it's a breeze
to get stuff working. For a while I actually had a lamp timer that was killing the power for about 5 minutes every night until
I could sort out that I couldn't count on verizon and/or their modem to be 100%.

Needless to say, this whole thing has been an educational experience
Benjamin-Linus  [Team Member]
11/11/2011 9:03:39 PM
Originally Posted By seek2:
Sure.

First, quick rundown on power: both places have fairly large solar power installations,
my place (which I am still working on, but is dried-in) has 1KW in panels, large battery
bank, etc. My brother's place has 2KW. So running 25-50W of load 24/7 is covered.

There's a central "server" made up of a netbook (these happen to be Dell 7" netbooks,
but pretty much any low-power PC will do.) I'm running linux on them, and use
Verizon USB modems. Linux lets you use a thing called "cron" to run scripts on a
periodic basis, and over time I've written simple scripts that check the connection,
try to bring it up if it's down, and if it's still down try a few times before rebooting
everything. Thanks to this script everything is very reliable, I can easily go a year now
without touching the system. The system not only sends pictures, but also
records all the weather conditions from a little wireless weather station, and system
data for the solar power system.

Anyway that establishes a regular data connection.

There's a free program for linux called Motion that will watch a webcam or video
stream for changes. You can tune how much change is needed to be considered
significant, and then have it save pictures or even video. To keep the computer's
load down, and also to keep the amount of data sent low, I have it set up to look
at camera pictures every 5 seconds or so. It dumps all the pictures into different
directories for each camera.

Motion can trigger another program when it sees movement. In this case, I have
it trigger a connection program that uploads the pictures to a real server on the
internet, and fire off an email (this can either be to me, or to my phone via a
email-to-text gateway.)

I have a wifi access point hooked up to the computer, and use a number of
different webcams –– at my brother's place, they're virtually all D-link DCS-930Ls,
at my place here are a few other types, including a pan/tilt/zoom that I can
also access remotely to look around a bit. At both places we've been able to
set up exterior cameras pointing back at the building –– either in a shed or as a
completely separate solar-powered camera in a plastic ammo box. There's about
six cameras at each place, with pretty good coverage and a few strategically positioned
to get good face shots through the likely entryways.

Over the years this has been set up, I've documented a handful of "visits." Someone
did break into a trailer I had with no camera coverage very late at night once, so I did
update that with another camera and added a couple night-vision cameras.

One common theme is that everyone cups their hands over their eyes to block out
glare and puts their face up against the windows to look inside. So I've got some pretty awesome
detailed face pics of the visitors since I point one of the cameras right at the spot they do this
at. For the most part they seem to be curious hikers, but it's still surprising that someone would
travel down a dead-end road past multiple no trespassing signs, hope a barbed wire fence
and then scope out the inside of a house/cabin –– in the part of rural Arizona the places are
located in, that's just begging for an armed response.

My brother's place kept getting visited by a FedEx contractor truck over and over –– the exterior
cam pic was good enough to read the truck #'s. We have no idea why they were visiting so often
but eventually stopped. A couple years ago, in the dead of winter with temps about 20 degrees
and 4" of snow on the ground a little girl (10-12 years old) wearing a pink parka passed by his
place and the shed, all picked up on the exterior camera –– that was truly bizarre given how
far out in bumfuck it is; he asked the neighbors 1/2 mile away and they were just as WTF as
we were about it.

Overall I'd say I average about one "visit" a year, and my brother's place maybe 2-3.

Total costs (not counting power) were about $300 for the netbook, about $50 a month for the
wireless modems, and maybe $500 or so for the regular cameras and wifi access point.

I won't dump every pic due to opsec, but here's the exterior pic from 5 minutes ago ––
and I need to cut some weeds!

http://i.imgur.com/OQQvL.jpg

The interior cameras, especially the ones set up on windows, provide enough of detail to
ID someone. Keep in mind this is miles away from the nearest small town, and hundreds
of miles away from a major city:

The PTZ camera I have to snoop on things is way more expensive, but not needed for this setup.
I probably have another $200 in the exterior camera set up (20W panel, charge controller and
a voltage converter for the camera, all mounted in a plastic ammo can wedged in some
concrete blocks.)




Best post on SF evar!
Heuristic  [Team Member]
11/12/2011 9:11:37 AM
Wow.
After reading this I need to get my shit together at my BOL.

The one thing I can add, is that tresspassers are more comon than you think.
My BOL is an hour away in a very mountainous area (I'm lucky to be close) from my home,
and is off the beaten path, but somewhat accessable.

The amount of people that have been through there and have seen in the general area is surprising.
I've got 8-10 cords of wood stacked and I'll go there and see a bunch taken. I've also seen lots
of trash, like soda cans, candy bar wrappers, and plastic sammich bags. I've even busted people
sledding and tubing on the big hill to the west of the home in the the winter.

I need more fence and security measures, or a new location all together.


sixnine  [Team Member]
11/13/2011 9:57:58 AM
Originally Posted By Heuristic:
Wow.
After reading this I need to get my shit together at my BOL.

The one thing I can add, is that tresspassers are more comon than you think.
My BOL is an hour away in a very mountainous area (I'm lucky to be close) from my home,
and is off the beaten path, but somewhat accessable.

The amount of people that have been through there and have seen in the general area is surprising.
I've got 8-10 cords of wood stacked and I'll go there and see a bunch taken. I've also seen lots
of trash, like soda cans, candy bar wrappers, and plastic sammich bags. I've even busted people
sledding and tubing on the big hill to the west of the home in the the winter.

I need more fence and security measures, or a new location all together.




I'd say your BOL is going to have a line if SHTF. Out of all the people that have een it, somebody already thinks it's theirs to take when things get bad.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
ferfal308  [Team Member]
11/13/2011 11:54:49 AM
Originally Posted By Zedhead:


How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


Unless you live there the answer is pretty simple: you cant.
FerFAL
Zedhead  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 4:15:01 PM
Update bump
Edvvard  [Member]
1/12/2012 4:27:32 PM
Scary! This would be a potential way to fight off that type of guy
Badlatitude  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 6:07:05 PM


You could upgrade a traditional cabin to be as secure as that set up. With out having to build a whole new place. Obiviously if someone wants in and has the time they are going to get into anything. A determined theif could get into that tin can cabin in in seconds to a few short minutes. Theives break into conex containers every day all over the world.
EXPY37  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 8:10:30 PM
Originally Posted By seek2:
Originally Posted By Zedhead:
<snip>

How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


There's cellular coverage virtually everywhere, you have to get into the middle of a forest surrounded by mountains
before you lose access.

So... my BOL and my brother's, 20 miles away, have full-time internet access through cellular modems. There's a
netbook server in both places, and a whole bunch of wireless security cameras. As soon as something moves into
view, server wakes up the link and blasts out the pictures. Power is solar.

We usually get one or two pics a week of deer. Last time it was people was during the census (man, those census
guys had to have been really motivated to travel so far to get to our places and jump all the fences!)

We both have arrangements with full-time neighbors about 1/2-1 mile away. Amusingly, we can probably get
someone with a gun at our BOLs to secure things faster than in the big city we live in.



You beat me to it Seek



blackhawkhunter  [Member]
1/12/2012 8:12:13 PM
Originally Posted By seek2:
[There's cellular coverage virtually everywhere, you have to get into the middle of a forest surrounded by mountains
before you lose access.



Cell coverage at the places I go is non-existant.

Times are changing... we used to keep our camp unlocked and never had a problem. Once in a while you could tell someone started a fire in the stove and thats about it.

ETA: I was out cruising back roads one day and came on to a log landing. I was going to scope out the berry picking potential when I saw a sign. It said there was a herbicide study underway and went on to say things like dont eat any berries, dont let your dog drink from puddles, young kids should not be allowed to wander, and they suggested long pants only to avoid contact with treated plants by bare legs. It was more officially worded, but I decided I didnt really need to explore any further.

EXPY37  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 9:38:16 PM
Seek, which Verizon modem do you like? I've got the old USB-720 because I'm grandfathered into an unlimited data plan and was just talking with them this afternoon about going with their new 4G modem.

It's $10 less/mo and in more and more locations very fast w/ 5GB plan and add'l GB's for $10/ month if you use that much.

Reviews are bad/mixed on the least expensive [$39] modem.

Also, to control stuff, you might want to consider a Cradlepoint or D-Link router to plug the modem into w/ an ext antenna and then use a remote power switch to do your rebooting, etc. This might apply more to folks like me who can't write scripts and stuff and have to do redneck workarounds.

EXPY37  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 9:46:17 PM
Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:
Originally Posted By seek2:
[There's cellular coverage virtually everywhere, you have to get into the middle of a forest surrounded by mountains
before you lose access.



Cell coverage at the places I go is non-existant.

Times are changing... we used to keep our camp unlocked and never had a problem. Once in a while you could tell someone started a fire in the stove and thats about it.

ETA: I was out cruising back roads one day and came on to a log landing. I was going to scope out the berry picking potential when I saw a sign. It said there was a herbicide study underway and went on to say things like dont eat any berries, dont let your dog drink from puddles, young kids should not be allowed to wander, and they suggested long pants only to avoid contact with treated plants by bare legs. It was more officially worded, but I decided I didnt really need to explore any further.



Years ago when cell wasn't an option I used a UHF radio link over a marginal distance that activated an alarm dialer that dialed my pager. Worked well for a long time.

Where there's a will there's often a way.



TheGrayMan  [Life Member]
1/12/2012 9:48:13 PM
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Seek, which Verizon modem do you like? I've got the old USB-720 because I'm grandfathered into an unlimited data plan and was just talking with them this afternoon about going with their new 4G modem.

It's $10 less/mo and in more and more locations very fast w/ 5GB and add'l GB's for $10/ month if you use that much.

Reviews are bad/mixed on the least expensive [$39] modem.

Also, to control stuff, you might want to consider a Cradlepoint or D-Link router to plug the modem into w/ an ext antenna and then use a remote power switch to do your rebooting, etc. This might apply more to folks like me who can't write scripts and stuff and have to do redneck workarounds.



I'd like to know as well, since I'm all about redneck workarounds
45ProCarry  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 10:02:35 PM
That is pretty fucked up. If I got to my BOL and it was thrashed by some piece of shit, I would be really pissed off.
seek2  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 10:05:47 PM
I'm using the USB760 modem at my place. It sucks. There was another version that came out just a few months
later that is in use at BOL #2 (about 20 miles away) and it was much better. The frustrating thing about
the USB760 was that it changes what it is, when you first plug it in, it pretends to be a CD-ROM drive
with drivers. So you have to set up yet another script to "eject" the CDROM, and then it reappears as
a modem. It's been quite unreliable, so the scripts manage to pound it into submission with each
glitched encountered.

I honestly don't think the 4G buys you much. Seriously, everything I do could probably be done on 1XRTT
(pre-evdo, dog slow digital.) 640 x 480 pics are only about 20KB. The last thing I want is the server
going berserk and racking up a $1K phone bill because it decided to do full-motion video.

I _strongly_ advise against any of the router-type devices, the reason being that they're almost impossible
to do anything with as far as managing resets, etc, and the second is that Verizon does all sorts of unhelpful
things in the firmware (mostly doing re-compression on images and inspecting the TTL in packets to keep
you from doing masquerading.)

Edit:

I got curious and looked up the modem for BOL #2, it's the UM175VW USB modem, I think it was actually
the "cheapie" at the time. Neither of these modems appear as current Verizon offerings, but I'd be inclined
to go with the more expensive modem of their two current ones UML290, but I'd search out reviews from
linux types first to make sure it's operable.
brasidas  [Member]
1/12/2012 10:14:48 PM
Tons of cabins up there. Lots of developments, ranging from off the grid dumps to million dollar getaways for Vegas doctors. Quite a bit of roadless wilderness where a guy could hide out during the summer, with the only human traffic being during hunting season.
seek2  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 10:18:25 PM
Originally Posted By Badlatitude:


You could upgrade a traditional cabin to be as secure as that set up. With out having to build a whole new place. Obiviously if someone wants in and has the time they are going to get into anything. A determined theif could get into that tin can cabin in in seconds to a few short minutes. Thieves break into conex containers every day all over the world.


Another thing to consider, if you know you can get someone out there relatively quickly, would be a burglar-bomb add-on
to a security system. This basically floods the place with OC pepper dust when activated. I say having someone come out
is important, because I can easily see the break-in artist getting payback by starting a fire, etc.

Again, I think the key is if you can't be there 24/7 yourself, to know someone nearby who's reliable that can respond
if you call them. In the case of both BOL's I deal with, we've got awesome neighbors that are really on top of things.

One of the benefits of out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere homes is activity like vehicles sticks out like a sore thumb.

In exchange we bring stuff up "from the city" on request for the neighbors when visiting the BOLs.
armednhappy  [Member]
1/12/2012 10:23:31 PM
Seek, what you have done it absolutely bad ass, and probably above the heads of 99% of us on SF lol.

I know you may not be interested, but you could probably make a killing selling preconfigured setups like yours as plug-n-play for us idiots.
TheGrayMan  [Life Member]
1/12/2012 10:56:44 PM
Originally Posted By armednhappy:
Seek, what you have done it absolutely bad ass, and probably above the heads of 99% of us on SF lol.

I know you may not be interested, but you could probably make a killing selling preconfigured setups like yours as plug-n-play for us idiots.


Or provide us Linux types some of your scripts... those could be very helpful.
Schweinhund  [Team Member]
1/12/2012 11:45:43 PM
Great thread. Thanks for the info gang!
EXPY37  [Team Member]
1/13/2012 4:13:04 AM
"I'm using the USB760 modem at my place. It sucks. There was another version that came out just a few months
later that is in use at BOL #2 (about 20 miles away) and it was much better. The frustrating thing about
the USB760 was that it changes what it is, when you first plug it in, it pretends to be a CD-ROM drive
with drivers. So you have to set up yet another script to "eject" the CDROM, and then it reappears as
a modem. It's been quite unreliable, so the scripts manage to pound it into submission with each
glitched encountered."


If you haven't already you need to pick up a Cradlepoint router because I think it would handle all your concerns re the unreliability of a bare modem.

Our USB-720 works great all over the country and I set it up in the trailer and serve the tow vehicle w/ it and also the Cradlepoint has a Ethernet jack and I plug a switch into it and serve a computer and a Vonage phone modem in there.

Then I can take the cordless phone plugged into the Vonage up front and make calls w/out running up minutes on our cell and have my SO surf driving long trips. Sure is nice....

An external antenna for your USB-760 would help a lot too if you aren't using one.


EXPY37  [Team Member]
1/13/2012 4:21:10 AM
Also Seek, how do you keep track of the WAN IP addy of the Verizon modem?

Of course the Cradlepoint can be set to email its log w/ the IP info every so many hours or days.

I think I'll run some tests by setting it up with a camera and a remote control like this and put it thru it's paces in an application similar to yours. The nice thing about this setup is it is easy for anyone to do and a lot of stuff can be controlled from these power sipping tiny devices.

Rather amazing actually...

http://www.controlbyweb.com/temperature/partnumbers.html



Cradlepoint:

http://www.cradlepoint.com/



Quote––-


WIRELESS or WIRED INTERNET ACCESS

•Enables internet access through 4G/3G wireless broadband networks, existing WiFi, or Ethernet -based data services ( Cable / DSL / Satellite )
•Supports most wireless data modems from the leading carriers ( modem and service sold separately )
•Special Feature: Use WiFi as a Data Source
FLEXIBILITY

•Configurable Designate the Ethernet port as “WAN Mode” and create a WiFi hotspot from a wired internet connection. (Cable/DSL)
•Pass-Through VPN Connection Support Enables a laptop with a VPN client to create a secure tunnel to corporate networks. (IPSec, L2TP, PPTP)
•Network Failover Support When using a wired internet source (DSL/Cable Modem) connected to the Ethernet port, the CTR35 will detect an internet outage and switch to an attached 4G/3G data modem.

TIP Use your CTR35 + 4G/3G modem to back up your home network when not traveling.



RANGE & CONNECTIONS

•Wireless “N” WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
•Up to 350-feet WiFi Range
•Supports up to 16 WiFi Connections at a Time
•Two WiFi Networks ( SSIDs ) (1 for owner / private + 1 for guests / public )
•Ethernet port to connect devices without WiFi
SECURITY

•Secure WiFi with WEP, WPA, WPA2 and AES encryption
•Prevent unwanted access to connected computers with SPI Firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) Security features for safer internet access ( URL filtering, traffic filtering, DMZ, virtual server, port forwarding )
************************

It's similar to D-Link routers as far as setting up for cameras and other devices accessed over the WAN...

Wanted to be clear, the Cradlepoint runs on 12vdc and the Verizion modem plugs into it and is powered by it. An external cell ant should be plugged into the modem in remote areas.

When we go to someplace in a building where we don't have cable, this is what we use and it works well.


seek2  [Team Member]
1/13/2012 2:51:57 PM
Actually the linux server handles the unreliability, so the cradlepoint introduces another point of failure and doesn't
allow me to force a hard reset onto the device without adding more dongles to switch 12V on and off –– but it's probably
a good device for a non-linux hacker

since I have true line-of-sight to the verizon tower from my BOL (I can watch the anticollision lights blink from where the
server is at) and I'm getting solid throughput when it's up, that's not much of an issue either. I've run diagnostics a few
times and it's clear two things happen: 1) modem gets plain confused, usually after a long uptime, and needs to be
reset and 2) Verizon actively screws with your connection, such as ceasing to answer DNS queries when a packet with
too low of a TTL is sent. It's pretty clear they actively sabotage connections that look like anything outside of a single
PC doing web browsing. Fortunately I run everything over SSH tunnels so they can't mess with it too much.

As far as keeping track of the WWAN address, I do several things. The most important one is that when the
BOL server brings up the connection, it issues a SSH connection to a linux VPS I have (it used to be an actual colo server,
but I moved to virtual private servers last year) that SSH connection executes a script called "ipupdate"

Heck, it's a tiny script, here it is:

#!/bin/bash
MYIP=`env | grep "SSH_CONNECTION" | cut -d" " -f 1 | cut -d"=" -f 2`
echo -e "server localhost\nzone $2\nupdate delete $1.$2 A\nupdate add $1.$2 300 A $MYIP\nsend" | `which nsupdate`

This script pulls the WWAN address from the connection, then updates the DNS on the VPS server to point the
name (this is the first and second argument for the script) at the WWAN address. You could probably do something
similar with dyndns.org, but I do everything myself This script is activated by pppd through the "ip-up" script.

Later in the connection process I have a separte script run, the "net-connect" script, and this includes
backups to the ip-up in the pppd script. I have a couple web servers that I have access to, and the BOL
server connect script also accesses a file (think something like iamhere.html) on each server using wget. This way
I can even lose the VPS, DNS, and still pull the server logs on the web servers and look up the IP.

The BOL server knows the WWAN IP as well, but I went with the script pulling it from the connection in case
Verizon starts doing anything like masquerading. The BOL server brings up the connection through pppd,
and that reports all the connection data you can imagine.

Here's the basic network connection script (this isn't the pppd stuff, just the "get stuff into the cloud" after
confirming there's a working connection and triggering pppd.)

#!/bin/sh
# network connect script

for i in `seq 1 11`;
do
if !( ps -A | grep -q "pppd" )
then
echo $i | logger

# 11 retries, system is FUBAR, reboot
if [ $i -ge 11 ]
then
/sbin/reboot
fi

# 5 retries failed, switch to backup script
if [ $i -ge 5 ]
then
/usr/bin/eject /dev/sr0
sleep 1
/usr/sbin/pppd call 1xevdo.backup
echo "pppd exit $?" | logger
else
#Normal attempt
/usr/bin/eject /dev/sr0
sleep 1
/usr/sbin/pppd call 1xevdo
echo "pppd exit $?" | logger
fi

sleep 60
else
# attempt to contact google, if not sucessful, kill connections and retry
if ( ping -c 1 -w 20 -q google.com 1>/dev/null )
then
echo "online" | logger
break
else
echo "ping unresponsive, killing pppd" | logger
/bin/killall pppd
sleep 10
if ( ps -A | grep -q "pppd" )
then
echo "pppd not dying, trying kill -9" | logger
/bin/killall -9 pppd
sleep 10
fi
# If evdo device is missing, system is FUBAR
if ! [ -c /dev/evdo ]
then
echo "/dev/evdo missing" | logger
/sbin/reboot
fi
fi
fi
done

wget ––tries=2 ––timeout=20 http://www.YOURDOMAIN.COM/ping -O /dev/null

HOSTNAM=`cat /etc/HOSTNAME | cut -d. -f1`

if !( ps -A | grep -q "rsync" )
then
rsync -ave ssh /var/tmp/status/ $HOSTNAM@vps.YOURDOMAIN.COM:/var/www/ops/status/s
rsync -ave ssh /var/tmp/s0 $HOSTNAM@vps.YOURDOMAIN.COM:/var/www/ops/img | logger
# this repeats for every image directory, I presently have 8 cameras uplinked.
fi



Medester  [Team Member]
1/13/2012 3:28:53 PM
Thanks seek, some very interesting stuff. I've never used linux before but I might start playing with it some.


SS109  [Team Member]
1/13/2012 3:41:05 PM
Same scenario, different guy was happening near my BOL. Our place is 4 miles from the nearest neighbor but that is a dense development of five acre plots so during winter a guy could live pretty well moving from cabin to cabin. Downside? The people in the development tend to have money so once someone noticed a pattern of cabin break-ins, law enforcement from all over the state went to South Park to catch the vandal.

And cold camping! If you use the fireplace or furnace, people can see from miles around.
SirSqueeboo  [Life Member]
1/14/2012 2:53:48 AM
If I ever bought a BOL I always planned on putting these signs up:



tc556guy  [Team Member]
1/14/2012 8:29:35 AM
Originally Posted By RR_Broccoli:
Squatting isn't particularly illegal or something that will lead to jail.


Where do you get that idea?

Seek, I'd like to agree with others as to your set up. Nice stuff.
SALTDOG  [Team Member]
1/14/2012 9:37:16 AM
This kinda throws a monkey wrench into a lot of plans that people have for having there BOL fully stocked and ready to go...you get there and find it all gone when TSHTF...that would be a game changer for many people here.
With this happening now, given the current state of the economy, it might give others ideas and cause a lot of problems for those that hardly ever go to there BOL.
This is a HUGE reason to be worried about bugging out....all those that think there BOL is safe...he just proved how many wrong?

Where I am located hunting cabins get broke into a lot too...so those with BOL...be warned, your supplies might be gone when you get there.
SALTDOG  [Team Member]
1/14/2012 9:47:26 AM
Originally Posted By ferfal308:
Originally Posted By Zedhead:


How do you secure your BOL? Do you keep stuff hidden?


Unless you live there the answer is pretty simple: you cant.
FerFAL


This is exactly why I wanna live at mine...
I am currently looking for another...to be a full time place and be there year round.
SALTDOG  [Team Member]
1/14/2012 9:54:27 AM
Originally Posted By armednhappy:
Seek, what you have done it absolutely bad ass, and probably above the heads of 99% of us on SF lol.

I know you may not be interested, but you could probably make a killing selling preconfigured setups like yours as plug-n-play for us idiots.


I second that!!
I m not a computer guy, so having a fellow SF'er help hook it up would be AWESOME...
My skills are not of the electronic kind...but they can get sparks to fly!!!.LMAO
biere  [Team Member]
1/14/2012 12:35:09 PM
Thanks for this discussion, I have to read it and think a bit more about it but it sure the heck is educational.

Does anyone know if an old verizon usb modem is worth diddly squat? I have one that I have not used for a few years. Once I could get a blackberry and tether it to my laptop I headed that direction because it was cheaper than a usb modem and cheap cell phone back then.

These days the usb modem and some sort of pay as you go cell phone might be cheaper by a decent amount.

As far as verizon messing with the connection I think everyone does that. I use us cellular these days but I still recall the verizon usb modem needing a reboot now and then and my blackberry needed the same thing now and then and my droid these days also needs the same thing now and then.

As far as being on topic, I am a huge fan of living at your bol or having someone check it constantly. Having neighbors who can watch for vehicles, especially quads out in rural areas, is a big deal.

Part of why I currently have a cheap place to rent is because the owner needed someone to watch the place since she was buying a place closer to her work. I work various hours and days off change up now and then and I check on anything that seems out of place.




TheGrayMan  [Life Member]
1/14/2012 1:00:27 PM
Those USB modems are all over Ebay for 25 bucks.

Hmm...