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How To Add and Use Cisco Switch Like VLANs in pfSense Routers

Updated May 13, 2018: Configuration can be done completely within the pfSense GUI

Using VLANs and Trunking to provide subnet tagged on interfaces em3 & em4
to trunked interfaces on switches.

Available Interfaces
em2 (OPT1), em3 (OPT2), em4 (OPT3)
3 subnets each on it's own router interface to its own switch on em2 (VLAN10) on em3 (VLAN20) on em4 (VLAN30)

Note: on em2 will be untagged on em3 will be tagged on em4 will be tagged on em3 will be untagged on em4 will be untagged

This was developed on pfSense
2.4.3-RELEASE (amd64)
built on Mon Mar 26 18:02:04 CDT 2018
FreeBSD 11.1-RELEASE-p7

(Click on screenshots to zoom)

Configure Interfaces via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> OPT1
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save

Interfaces -> OPT2
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save

Interfaces -> OPT3
Check Enable interface
IPv4 Configuration Type: IPv4
IPv4 Address:

Click Save
Click Apply Changes

Create VLANs via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments -> VLANs

Click Add
Parent Interface: em3
VLAN Tag: 10
VLAN Priority: <leave as is>
Description: vlan10

Click Save

Click Add
Parent Interface: em4
VLAN Tag: 10
VLAN Priority: <leave as is>
Description: vlan10

Click Save

Created VLANs

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new em3 VLAN created
(Assuming OPT5)

Click Add

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new em4 VLAN created
(Assuming OPT6)

Click Add

Click on Interface associated with em3 VLAN (Assuming OPT5) 

Check Enable interface 
Change Description: OPT5 to em310

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

Click on Interface associated with em4 VLAN
(Assuming OPT6)

Check Enable interface 
Change Description: OPT5 to em410

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

Create Bridge via pfSense GUI

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments -> Bridges

Member Interface: OPT1, em310, em410
Click Save

Note name of bridge created

Interfaces -> Interface Assignments
Available network ports: From drop down box choose new bridge created
(Assuming BRIDGE0)

Click Add

Click on Interface associated with bridge
(Assuming OPT7)

Check Enable interface
Change Description: OPT5 to BRIDGE0

Click Save

Click Apply Changes

VLAN and Bridge setup complete

Add firewall rules for BRIDGE0 via pfSense GUI

Firewall -> Rules
Apply Changes
(As needed)

That's it. Assuming your switches are set up and connected.

Switch interfaces configuration:
switch connected to em2: Access, VLAN10 untagged
switch connected to em3: Trunk, VLAN10 tagged, VLAN20 untagged
switch connected to em4: Trunk, VLAN10 tagged, VLAN30 untagged
These are 3 separate independent switches, do not connected these 3 interfaces to the same switch or any combiantion of 2 of these interfaces to the same switch.

If anything was missed or there are questions, errors, or discrepancies please email me at:
pfs (at) curtronics (dot) com

Power Air Fryer Oven – Winner!

A friend was interested in hearing my thoughts on this Air Fryer I recently purchased and started using. Well, I saved them up while making different things and until I decided if I was keeping it or not. I’m keeping it.

My first unit was defective, cooked good at first but then not. The first time I used it it smelled. I attributed that to something new heating up off gassing what ever. Had that happen with things in the past. But then when it appeared not to be heating and cooking properly after a week I got fed up with it. I grabbed it and went back to Bed Bath & Beyond and swapped it out. When I started using the replacement and there was no startup smell I realized that smell with the first one was the unit frying itself.

When I first started to suspect the fryer was defective I emailed Tristar support explaining what it was doing and asked if it was operating properly. Basically it was set to 400°F and after cooking a half hour a thermometer I had in it barely got up to 200°F. And it’s a high end accurate thermometer.

I waited 3 days for a response and then they did not address my concerns nor answer my questions. They asked me where I bought it and nothing more. WTF? So I answered and asked what that has to do with what I asked? Waited another 2 days and they replied to take it back to the store for a refund or replacement. They never addressed my question if it was operating properly or not. So again I asked them based on what I told them if it was operating properly or not? Waited another day and this time they started talking about recipes and such… Again WTF? So again I asked them to re-read my questions and tell me if the unit is operating properly or not. Waited another day and they tell that I can raise or lower the temperature by 5°F increments. That’s not what I asked. So again I asked if the unit is operating properly or not. Finally, finally, on the 8th day and 10 emails later they tell me no, based on what I described it is not operating as it should.

Bottom line: There definitely seemed to be some language barrier issue. It did not appear they understood what I was asking. Over and over again and again.  So don’t expected much from their support and you won’t be disappointed. I was very, very disappointed and frustrated with the whole experience. I have the email transcript to backup what I outlined.

But, after that extremely frustrating experience I’ve really come to like the Air Fryer. It has a basket that rotates on the rotisserie that for one, is perfect for making french fries. They come out great. It also has 3 shelves with adjustable heights.

So far…
I made brats on the rotisserie, came out good.
Rack of lamb on the rotisserie, oh my God was that good!
Pork Butt (shoulder) on the rotisserie, something I haven’t had since my Mom & Dad made it on the Faberware rotisserie, it was as good as I remember it.
Buffalo wings from scratch, I’ll be doing that a lot.
A rotisserie chicken, as good as any I’ve had and took only 40 minutes.
An apple pie. From scratch. OMG delicious!
A grilled cheese sandwich, bread buttered inside and out, that too, delicious!
Frozen pizza’s, Screamin’ Sicilian & Lotzza Motzza, easy peasy, they taste great. But one caveat they cook fast. The Lotzza Motzza said 21-23 minutes @ 400F, it was done in 10. This has occurred with every single pizza I made so far. I’ve learned you really need to watch them.
Breakfast pizzas, with eggs and such, Red Barron and others. Fast and tastee.

The fryer I have is the Power Air Fryer Oven. What sold me on it was it’s versatility. The rotisserie basket, the rotisserie with end forks, the rotisserie with the 10 or 12 shish-kabob like skewers, and the 3 shelves. As opposed to other air fryers that just have a basket you put stuff in and slide it in. Below is the link for BB&B and with a 20% off coupon you can get it for $128, Which is on the low end of the range of $99 to $299 for decent (reputable) ones.

Also, do a search on YouTube for “Power Air Fryer Oven” and you can see all that it can do. As for the epic fried chicken fail video. If you read the comments, one thing that needs to be done on homemade breaded chicken is to spray the breaded chicken with oil. I didn’t the first time and that happened to me, the second time I sprayed using olive oil Pam and it worked great.

Power Air Fryer Oven

Tuna Casserole (Really really good!)

I winged another Tuna Casserole for dinner. But. It came out so good I wrote it down. After the fact. I want to make this one again. Really moist which was something I was striving for.  It was so good I’m sharing the recipe too.

Baked Tuna Casserole

10½ oz can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
10½ oz can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
10 oz Milk
10 oz Water
½ cup Water
3 5 oz cans of Tuna (drained)
2 Medium Onions chopped
1 can Corn
1 can Peas & Carrots
½ can Peas
1½ cups Elbow Noodles (uncooked)
1½ cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
½ tsp. Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix soups, 1 soup can of milk and 1 soup can of water in 2 qt baking dish. Add in garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder and wisk to mix well. Add in tuna, onion, noodles, and corn and mix well.

Add peas & carrots, remaining water and fold in with spatula so as to not squash the peas.

Bake for 45 minutes then stir casserole adding in cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

APC RS1500 UPS Going South

My UPS for my mail and web server is going south. Been headed there slowly for a while. While all the UPS’s were reporting line voltage at 120V it started reporting the line voltage at 118V. Then 115V. Then 110V. then 101V. then 99V. I thought no big deal as long as it kicked in when the power would go out.

But it’s low voltage trip point was 97V. So when it got that low it went into Voltage Boost mode. Which uses the batteries. When the batteries got low it shutdown the server. And itself. Took a few hours to shutdown. No warning, no beeping. But it came back on rather quickly and the server’s set to reboot when power is restored. So it did. That happened twice now. Lowered the low voltage trip point to 94V. Wanted to go lower but that’s as low as it will allow.

So I swapped it out today with the one for my Windoze box. Cuz I hardly use Windoze. I can limp along that way until I get a replacement UPS. After rewiring when I turn on the UPS now it immediately goes into Voltage Boost mode. It thinks the line voltage is 88V. Have/had 6 of these UPS’s a long time. 3 1000VA and 3 1500VA. Bought many of them at the CompUsa store and they’ve been gone 10 years. This is the second 1500VA now to become unusable. Can’t complain I guess. 10+ years is good service.

Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate. Pffftttt…

In the WTF department.

I don’t like to swear and try not to do it as much as possible but stuff like this just gets me going and IMO deserves it.

Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate. Video editing software. New software version. Probably been using it since Version 2.

I put a hour and half of video on the timeline and the computer stops responding. Click on ‘File’ to save the project, it takes 3 minutes for the drop down menu to show up. Try to get into setup, same thing!

It’s so F’n slow Windows pops up the ‘this program has stopped responding’ menu.

Mind you this is an 8 core AMD FX-8350 CPU, 32G of memory, Areca battery backed up RAID controller, 6G nVidia GTX 980 Ti graphics adapater, and 8G nVidia GTX 1080 graphics adapter computer and its not responding??!!

I look at the resource monitor and 7 out of 8 cores are screaming along doing something. But what?

I finally notice this green and yellow bar moving slowly to the right above the timeline. Then I wonder, is this thing rendering?

I didn’t tell it to render. I didn’t click on any render button. Why is it apparently rendering? Rhetorical question because all I want to do is make it stop!

The project is no where near ready to be rendered. I just put the scenes on the timeline for God’s sake!

So I start looking around in the Setup Control Panel for Background Rendering or some such thing to disable it.

Can’t find an F’n thing. Before I can even do that I have to delete the video from the timeline so it stops rendering so the computer can be used!

Actually looked in the manual. Search for ‘background render’, ‘background’, ‘render’, nothing nada zip.

Google for it. Find some suggestions, one being you can wait till the background rendering finishes. Not. Find some stuff for older versions to disable background rendering but what is said to do can’t be done in Version 20.

Finally find some obscure reference to Optimization. And a sliding bar you’re supposed adjust to give you a good balance of performance. Huh? No reference there regarding background rendering.

Is it supposed to be intuitive that a sliding ‘Optimization’ bar is how to disable background rendering?

It isn’t to me… But that was the trick…

Rice & Tomatoes. YUM! Some may say, Spanish rice…

I was bouncing around the kitchen working on coming up with something for dinner tonight. I decided on rice and maybe some chicken. So I get the rice going, one of my favorite ways by boiling the water with chicken bouillon cubes and butter. A cup of rice and two instead of the usual one bouillon cube along with a 1-1/2 tbs. of butter. Continue reading Rice & Tomatoes. YUM! Some may say, Spanish rice…

My Salmon Casserole

Salmon casserole you’re wondering? No this is not like a tuna casserole.

Can’t claim this one as my own, a past girlfriend made this dish with orange roughy and I think it was from a published recipe. The broccoli, rice, and cheese part is my favorite and I sometimes make that alone. The secret is it’s not just broccoli, rice, and cheese, there a sauce on it that is what makes it one of those things you just can’t stop eating… Continue reading My Salmon Casserole