Category: Offbeat

via HACKADAY: Live Apollo 11 Transcript On eInk Display

There are few moments in history that have ever been recorded in more detail or analyzed as thoroughly as the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. Getting three men to our nearest celestial neighbor and back in one piece took a lot of careful planning, and recording every moment of their journey was critical to […]

via the ARRL: Hams Help Trace “Mystery” Signal Disrupting Keyless Entry Devices in Ohio

A recent article in The New York Times reported that many garage door openers and keyless vehicle entry fobs in an Ohio town near Cleveland mysteriously stopped working. While the article invoked The X-Files and hinted initially that a NASA research center somehow could be involved, the cause was not so much mystifying as arcane. “Garage door repair people, local ham […]

via HACKADAY: Radio Piracy on the High Seas: Commercial Demand for Taboo Music

The true story of pirate radio is a complicated fight over the airwaves. Maybe you have a picture in your mind of some kid in his mom’s basement playing records, but the pirate stations we are thinking about — Radio Caroline and Radio Northsea International — were major business operations. They were perfectly ordinary radio […]

via the ARRL: ARRL “Radio Communications” Billboard Promotes Ham Radio on I-40

A new billboard on Interstate 40 in Tennessee promotes ARRL and Amateur Radio. Working with ARRL Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, and Communications Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN, ARRL Graphic Designer Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, completed a design for a the new 10 × 20 billboard, owned by ARRL Life Member Cliff Segar, KD4GT. Segar says […]

via HACKADAY: Eavesdropping On Cosmonauts With An SDR

Usually when we hear about someone making contact with astronauts in orbit, it’s an intentional contact between a ham on the ground and one of the licensed radio amateurs on the ISS. We don’t often see someone lucky enough to snag a conversation between ground controllers and a spacecraft en route to the ISS like this. For […]

via HACKADAY: WOPR: Security Loses Some of its Obscurity

As we’ve seen time and time again, the word “hacker” takes on a different meaning depending on who you’re talking to. If you ask the type of person who reads this fine digital publication, they’ll probably tell you that a hacker is somebody who likes to learn how things work and who has a penchant […]

Nellie Ohr: Ham radio not used for Russia contacts (Massachusetts)

A transcript made public on Thursday by a GOP lawmaker in Congress shows that the wife of a top Justice Department official said she got a ham radio license as part of an effort to help with local community emergencies, not as part of any effort to communicate with anyone overseas, or to monitor broadcasts […]

Canadian artist to use HAARP to transmit SSTV

Concordia transmission artist Amanda Dawn Christie will use the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter HAARP in Alaska to send art around the world and into outer space using Slow Scan TV Concordia News reports: In the shadow of Mount Sanford, surrounded by Alaskan wilderness, you’ll find the most powerful radio transmitter on earth. On […]

Deltona man impersonating police officer uses public warning system on real cop (Florida)

A Deltona man playing policeman caught up to a real one and used an illegal public address system and lights to warn a sheriff’s sergeant driving an unmarked vehicle in Pierson, Volusia sheriff’s officials said. Shortly after that, Sgt. Todd Smith turned on his real blue lights and pulled over Thomas Farmer, 64 (NOTE: QRZ […]

via HACKADAY: Justin McAllister’s Simple, Post-Apocalypse-Friendly Antennas

Watch Justin McAllister’s presentation on simple antennas suitable for a zombie apocalypse and two things will happen: you’ll be reminded that everything antennas do is amazing, and their reputation for being a black magic art will fade dramatically. Justin really knows his stuff; there is no dangle-a-wire-and-hope-for-the-best in his examples. He demonstrates that it’s possible to communicate […]

via HACKADAY: Does WiFi Kill Houseplants?

Spoiler alert: No. To come to that conclusion, which runs counter to the combined wisdom of several recent YouTube videos, [Andrew McNeil] ran a pretty neat little experiment. [Andrew] has a not inconsiderable amount of expertise in this area, as an RF engineer and prolific maker of many homebrew WiFi antennas, some of which we’ve featured on these […]

via the ARRL: VE7DXW’s “RF Seismograph” May Be Real Seismograph

Alex Schwarz, VE7DXW, in British Columbia, Canada, is exploring the possibility that “RF signatures” detected by the RF Seismograph propagation tool could also be indicating earthquakes, and may even be able to predict them shortly before they occur. A real-time HF propagation-monitoring tool developed by Schwarz and the MDSR team, the RF Seismograph shows both band noise and activity or […]

via HACKADAY: Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, We’re Hunting Baofengs

In the world of ham radio, a “Fox Hunt” is a game where participants are tasked with finding a hidden transmitter through direction finding. Naturally, the game is more challenging when you’re on the hunt for something small and obscure, so the ideal candidate is a small automated beacon that can be tucked away someplace […]

Police bust their own radio shop manager for dodgy software updates (Manitoba)

The manager in charge of Winnipeg’s police radios was arrested last Thursday for allegedly using fraudulent licenses to update the encrypted Motorola radios that police use to keep their conversations private, CBC News reports. According to court documents, an employee tipped authorities off about the alleged actions of Ed Richardson, who was the manager of the radio […]