Category: - MyHomeBroadband.com
 
Use an app called SmokePing to monitor your Superhub and the DOCSIS network that powers it.

This guide http://blog.kugelfish.com/2013/05/raspberry-pi-internet-access-monitor.html is an excellent start, but I found it missing a few things, so here's my way:

Install Smokeping onto the Pi

sudo apt-get install smokeping

This is a big download, and also installs the Apache2 web server, so be aware of this.I changed the default port of 80 (I will cover this later on)
Once downloaded, and installed, you need to change the Targets and Probes-here's mine (you don't need to use it but they are more relevant to me)

So Targets are accessed by sudo nano /etc/smokeping/config.d/Targets. I would delete everything in this file and cut and paste the following

*** Targets ***

probe = FPing

menu = Top
title = Using a Raspberry Pi and SmokePing to Monitor DOCSIS Networks
remark = Latency to a few select sites and services in the Internet, via the VM DOCSIS network

+ Internet
menu = Internet
title = Outbound from the Pi to the Internet (using Ping)

++ Google
title = Google
menu = Google
host = www.google.com

++ FB
title = Facebook
menu = Facebook
host = www.facebook.com

++ BBC
title = BBC
menu = BBC
host = www.bbc.co.uk

++ ThinkBroadband
title = ThinkBroadband
menu = ThinkBroadband
host = www.thinkbroadband.com

+ DNS
menu = Measuring DNS response times
title = Name Servers

++ gdns
title = Google public DNS
menu = Google public DNS
probe = EchoPingDNS
dns_request = www.google.com
host = 8.8.8.8

++ VirginMedia_DNS
title = VirginMedia DNS
menu = VirginMedia DNS
probe = EchoPingDNS
dns_request = www.google.com
host = 192.168.0.1

+ Cloud
menu = Cloud
title = Response of well known Cloud Services

++ dropbox
title = Dropbox
menu = Dropbox
probe = EchoPingHttp
host = dl.dropboxusercontent.com
port = 80
url = /u/12770892/benchmark/raspberrypi.jpg

++ gusercontent
title = Google+ Photo
menu = Google
probe = EchoPingHttp
host = lh4.googleusercontent.com
port = 80
url = /UB5Y5yJKtj51bs2asd8kJGjOxwigev7JPQz3g9tw1C0=w614-h801-no


Note that the DNS host for the Virginmedia DNS check is the default IP address of the VM Superhub (192.168.0.1).I tried 194.168.4.100, but it 
wouldn't work.

now for the  Probes sudo nano /etc/smokeping/config.d/Probes

*** Probes ***

+ FPing
binary = /usr/bin/fping
step = 60
pings = 10

+EchoPingDNS
binary = /usr/bin/echoping
step = 300
pings = 5

+EchoPingHttp
binary = /usr/bin/echoping
step = 300
pings = 3


Again, I have changed the default polling for the ICMP checks from 300 seconds to 60 seconds.And the HTTP polling is down from 900 to 300.

What you want to do now is change the default port on the Apache web server, from port 80 to some other (I chose 6666).This is basically to add a bit of security if somebody port scans you. This web page is a good guide
http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-apache2-change-default-port-ipbinding/ so:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/ports.conf

change

NameVirtualHost *:80
Listen 80


to

#NameVirtualHost *:80
#Listen 80
NameVirtualHost *:6666
Listen 6666


save and come out.Commenting out the 80 port means its not used.I left the 443 port in for SSL, but to be honest, this is not super secret stuff we are pulling back here!! Onwards...

go into

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

on the line 

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

change it to

<VirtualHost *:6666>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

save and come out.

You should now have Smokeping installed, your Probes and Targets set up, pimped up the web page it will be displayed on, and changed the web server port.Now restart the Smoke ping service

sudo service smokeping restart

and restart Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

There shouldn't be any errors-you may get one about the loopback interface (127.0.0.1) but I found this can be ignored. To be on the safe side, you may want to reboot the Pi, but that's up to you.

Once you think it is all working type in the following to your favourite web browser:

http://x.x.x.x:6666/cgi-bin/smokeping.cgi? where x.x.x.x is the PUBLIC IP adress of your VirginMedia Superhub. However, before you do this, there is one final thing-you need to open up that port (port 6666, or whatever you choose, or if you have left it at the default of 80) on the Superhub diagnostic pages. I'm not going to go through it here, here is a link on how to do it http://goo.gl/szKTK4 If this doesn't work, just Google "open a port on virgin media superhub".

That should be it-if successful, you should get a web page up, and some links down the side-click on them.The page should update itself automatically every minute, so no need to refresh. Have a play, leave it for 30 mins or so, and you should see the graphs update themselves.
Here's an example of what you should see:
I hope this helps someone, as I have found the incumbent,ThinkBroadband, to be very mis-leading.Below is the Thinkbroadband graph, inbound to the Superhub.The next one is SmokePing, outbound from the Pi to Thinkbroadband
For those that don't know, ThinkBroadband pings the Superhub every second, and people then look at the yellow spikes as a measure of their performance.These yellow spikes are the highest PING time recorded in a 100 second period-so you could have 99 PING's at 20ms, and one at 140ms-it will be the 140ms one that is displayed!
 
Been lazy (and busy) so not has a chance to post. Besides I’m not one of these bloggers who feels they have to put something up just for the sake of my viewing figures. As my wife says, quality over quantity ;-)

DLNA-or to give it its proper name Digital Living Network  Alliance. Big name, rubbish sounding but it’s all around us. PVR’s (Personal Video Recorder). It should actually say DVR (Digital Video Recorder) but the two names are interchangeable. Most people know the latter, few know the former. Thing is, you’ve got a DLNA TV or a DLNA client (PS3 is one) and you probably don’t even know it. And probably don’t even use it. So why is it a big deal?

Well, it’s all to do with the magical expression that media companies and Internet providers will stuff down our throats called the “digitally connected home”. There-I said it. Sky will say they do it, with their multi-room facility and Virgin Media would like to say it but they’re not quite there-yet. Freeview is even worse, as you need a separate box for each room and there is no way to watch one programme on one box, on another TV.The big problem with this is you need a separate box for each room-pain in the b*tt, extra power, need one for each of the kids and costs you a fortune. Plus it isn’t scalable. Be honest-how often do you watch Sky Movies? Thing is, the media barons will have you believe that you need them-you don’t. In the US, this is called cord cutting-that is, people are ditching their traditional Pay TV subscriptions and streaming straight from the content providers-NetFlix & LoveFilm are two examples. In a few years, the TV will again become the centrepiece of the family home but this time with the Internet content on it.

(I hear people complaining that this doesn’t cater for Premnium TV-true, but Freeview is by far the biggest provider of TV in the UK-and always will  be. You could always supplement your viewing experience with a Slingbox  ;-))

What you do like is the flexibility they give you, to tie in with your busy lives. I always look at my family and friends, rather than some media marketing nutjob, to make me stop and think what people want. My wife very rarely watches anything “primetime”-she’ll watch it delayed. Why? Because a) it fits round her life and b) she can fast forward through the adverts. So I’ve set the scene and hopefully you get the point.

So you have the big TV (s), you don’t have the time and you want the flexibility-how do you do it? With DLNA, stupid. I’ll go on to describe, with a little thought and some cash outlay, how you get all your programmes, wherever you want, when you want.


Picture
Home DNLA set-up
Step 1-fire up that old desktop PC you consigned to the loft. This will be you media centre-where you have all you videos, your music and wait for it, your TV recordings. You’ll need 3 things-a TV tuner card (about £50) and 2 bits of free software. The first part is called MediaPortal and the second part is PS3MediaServer. You install the software and the tuner-tip-try to get a connection to the tuner card (which is a USB stick-no need to pull apart the PC) from your external aerial. It will come with a small internal one but unless you’re close to your TV transmitter, you won’t pick up all the channels. Might be a bit of hassle but it will be worth it.

Step 2-get your TV or client connected up to the media server PC. Now, I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you have a broadband connection. If you’re really lucky, and not like me, you’ll have a Virgin Media broadband connection-which means you’ll have blazing speeds, as well as a router. This router supplies your wireless connection and wired-I specifically mention the wired (Ethernet) side of things as that part seems to have been forgotten in the mad rush for everything wireless (see my earlier posts). I blame that bald guy and his slightly ugly female partner on the Gadget show-or Dick and Fluff as I call them. A lot of the TV’s, which have DLNA, have the facility to connect to your router via a special wireless dongle-tip-don’t bother. They will also have an Ethernet port on the back-use this with a Powerline adaptor. It’s cheaper, and faster. You can do it wireless but wireless doesn’t really scale to high-def video, plus you’re in a very congested airwaves scenario-go for wired, you won’t regret it. As your TV will need to be near a power socket, you can use these all round the house-you can now get ones with in-line sockets so you don’t even need an extension. So idea is, wherever you have a TV, stick in a Powerline adaptor. These are all connected to the router (and hence your media server) by another Powerline adaptor. If you’re really adventurous, you could just run CAT5 cabling all round your house and dispense with the adaptors but I guess you really can’t be bothered drilling holes through your walls and putting your foot through ceilings.

Step 3-ahh, but what if you have an older TV or one that doesn’t have DLNA? Well, this is where this little beauty comes in-£60 and it fits in the palm of your hand. An extra bonus is that it can also do some Internet “stuff”, like YouTube and suchlike. No hardrive, it really is meant for streaming, but you can connect USB drives off the back of it (powered or pen drive).It would also fit very nicely strapped on the back of a wall mounted LCD/LED TV.

Step 4-addtional software to make your life easier. For remote control of the media centre (you don’t even need a monitor) get TeamViewer-stick the main app on your laptop and the client app on your media centre. No more running back and forward. The more canny of you will realise that with a PC as the hub, you can download other “stuff”. Maybe a few torrents with the likes of Utorrent?

So you now have the software, you have the hardware and they are all connected up-sorted. Hopefully the diagram will show you what I mean. Because your TV’s will all have Freeview built in, you still have all your channels as before, for the usual real-time experience. The programmes will be recorded to media centre PC-in my experience, a 30 minute show will take up about 400MB of space (about half a CD). Whereas a 90 minute film will be about 1-2GB of data (half of a DVD). But you can get a 1TB (terabyte) drive for about £50 now so you have oodles of space-as as with your PVR/DVR, you can simply delete the files to clear up space.

Additional Notes (techy bits)

DLNA server software-I prefer PS3MediaServer as you don’t have to continually update/refresh your library as the likes of TV Versity and Serviio require-I Iike the latter but the PS3MS lets you browse all your drives

Media Centre software-yes, you can use the inbuilt Windows supplied one (if your operating system came with it), or you could use the likes of GBPVR but I find Media Portal to be much more feature rich and user friendly, especially where the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) is concerned.

Freeview PVR’s-there are some PVR’s coming onto the market now that have networking capabilities but they are pricey (£300) and probably best to wait until they become mass market. Besides, its just another cost.

So this is a brief intro to getting that media content around the home-hope you've found it useful!