Sun Feb 10, 2019, 10:17 PM

Signal Weirdness - Yosemite Sam, Squeeky Wheel, and more...


THAT FINAL ITEM: HAM VS. SPY (RADIO) And finally this week, when a pair of New Mexico hams decided to trace down some interference on the 75 meter band, they had no idea that they may have been entering a world of spy versus spy. Or should we say hams versus spy. Here's more:
-- On Wednesday, February 16th, Mike Stark, WA5OIP and Mike Langner K5MGR set out to locate some annoying interference on 3 point 700 Mhz. A signal that had been on the band since last December. The interference manifested itself as a digital data burst followed by an audio clip from a Yosemite Sam cartoon. Nope. I am not kidding you. Each transmission ended with the famous line where Sam says:
--- Actual interfereing audio: (data buss followed by) "Varmint, I'm agonna blow you to smithereenes..."
-- The interference came on for just a few seconds at intervals of just under 2 minutes. The fact that Yosemite Sam was loud and clear told the Stark and Langer that the interference was intentional and not simply a transmitter gone bizzerk. Using Stark's mobile installation the pair quickly found that the signal grew stronger as they headed West. They then shifted to a Potomac Field Intensity Meter with a shielded loop antenna. Using this gear they located the offending transmitter at the MATIC facility on the Laguna Indian Reservation. MATIC is an acronym for the Mobility Assessment Test and Integration Center. This is a military facility used to develop advanced battlefield communications systems and not generally known to the public. The two hams dove up to the building. At no time did they leave the public highway. Langer began taking pictures of the towers, antennas, and building. Immediately a not-very-friendly guy started walking towards their truck. He was yelling and gesturing for the hams to stop taking pictures and go away. Langer and Stark beat a hasty retreat. Now here's the real kicker. The ham radio T-hunters found the interfering transmitter at about 2:30 in the afternoon. The signal went off the air around 5:30 that evening and has not been heard since. Langer suggests that the origin was a contractor's employee having having a little fun on the radio. Obviously his or her superiors got the message that ham radio operators do not consider interference to their spectrum to be something to enjoy."

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