How to Setup PIA VPN on a VLAN in pfSense 2.4.4

I set up a dedicated VPN VLAN on my home network this weekend with the latest version of pfSense (ver. 2.4.4 as of July 2019) for IoT and Firestick types of devices. I ran into some hiccups with older guides because a few of the settings and menu options have changed, so I’m putting together my notes here for my own reference and anyone else struggling with more recent pfSense releases and VPN/VLAN configuration.

Continue reading “How to Setup PIA VPN on a VLAN in pfSense 2.4.4”

Launching a Dell R610’s iDRAC 6 Virtual Console with Java 8

I was setting up an old Dell PowerEdge R610 server in my home lab this week and kept getting an error message from Java 8 after I attempted to launch the Virtual Console Client from its iDRAC 6 Enterprise card:

Unable to launch the application.

I narrowed the issue down to the disabled algorithms in the file. You’ll need to open this file in a basic text editor and look for the jdk.tls.disabledAlgorithms entry.

Then, delete RC4 from the list of algorithms in that entry. Make sure you save the file as a .security file (not a .txt file) and then launch the Virtual Console Client again.

After I removed RC4 from the disabled algorithms, it connected just fine.

Notably, I ran into a slightly different issue on my MacBook Pro. I went through all the steps above that I had done on my Windows 10 machine but I still had the error. When I clicked through for more info, I saw that a different algorithm was the culprit.

So, I deleted MD5 from the jdk.tls.disabledAlgorithms entry and that solved the problem on my Mac.

I’m not sure how this is handled with later versions of iDRAC on Dell servers; however, removing RC4 and/or MD5 from the list of disabled algorithms in your Java 8 file should solve connectivity issues with other 11th-generation servers like the R710, R510, R410 and so on.

ProVideoInstruments VeCOAX PRO-X QAM RF Modulator Review

VeCOAX PRO-X 4-Channel HD Video to QAM RF Modulator with Simultaneous IPTV Output

The ProVideoInstruments VeCOAX PRO-X QAM RF Modulator has been a great tool for me to use in our campus-wide video distribution at my church. Essentially, it has allowed us to take an antiquated RF distribution system to campus-wide HD distribution in an almost plug-and-play upgrade.

When I was doing research for last year’s complete video overhaul, this is a device that was on my radar. While I wasn’t certain it would work out of the box, it is something we needed to find a way to make work. I was thrilled when we racked it up into our system and connected the 20-year-old RF network. We had four channels available to every coax connected TV accessible via their QAM tuner.

While we upgraded several of our RF splitters to more modern Extreme 5-1002MHz splitters at our various IDF locations. Other than that, the PVI VeCOAX just works.

Having the four channels gives us plenty of flexibility to distribute content on channels 1-1 through 4-1 with a simple auto-tune setup on every TV’s cable tuning menu. And we can quickly swap out signals if we need something special for a one-off event just by changing the HDMI input source. We can roll our primary video program feed from our SDI switcher output to a Decimator MD-HX and then to HDMI. We also use a dedicated MacBook Pro equipped with ProPresenter for running digital signage that can quickly be altered to all endpoints on the fly.

I’ve wanted to write about this device for a long time because I love it so much. And it’s part of the reason I dusted off Tech Tilt to fire it up and write about things like this.

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