WEEKEND EDITION: I'm back, I must have looked at
over over a hundred properties in NH and ME, and never saw anything that
interested me...but I found a lot of beautiful spots on small lakes and ponds.
This $1,000 device lets hackers hijack satellite
A satellite tracking technology can be easily hacked with the help of a
$1,000 device made of off the shelf components, according to a security
researcher who found a flaw in the technology.
Taking advantage of this flaw, criminal hackers could track and hijack valuable
cargo, such as military supplies or cash and gold stored in an armored car,
according to Colby Moore, a researcher at security firm Synack, who plans to
show off his findings at the upcoming Black Hat security conference.
Moore claims that the communications between trackers sold by GlobalStar and its
constellation of satellites is insecure, allowing pretty much anyone to
intercept it and even send its own spoofed signal to the satellites. This flaw,
according to Moore, shows that satellite companies like GlobalStar aren’t taking
basic steps to make their technologies secure.
“We’re only at the tip of the iceberg for the implications around this,” Moore
told Motherboard in a phone interview. “It’s really critical that these
companies start taking security seriously.”
“It’s really critical that these companies start taking security seriously.”
GlobalStar markets its satellite tracking devices to corporations and government
agencies that want to track their valuable assets. They can also be used to
monitor industrial critical infrastructure such as pipelines, or to track hikers
and other adventurers who use GlobalStar’s consumer tracker called “Spot.”
All these devices, according to Moore, depend on the same, flawed technology,
known as the Simplex data network, which is used to send data between the
transmitters and the satellites.
More said he was able to reverse engineer the protocol underlying the network
and find that all these devices use the same code to transmit data, making it
“very easy’ to intercept data flowing from the devices to the satellites.
Read the full story at:
RADIO REGULATION: TWO FCC CRACKDOWNS
In amateur radio, interference has a price, and in the case of repeat offender
Michael Guernsey of Michigan, it?s a hefty one. The FCC has hit Guernsey,
license KZ80 (formerly ND8V), with a $22,000 fine for intentionally causing
interference with amateur communications and for his failure to identify on the
Guernsey, who has a publicly documented history of offenses and violations
dating back for more than 10 years, had first been given an FCC warning a year
ago that he faced a fine of this magnitude. On July 2014, the agency issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability, proposing the fine in light of Guernsey's long and
contentious history, which at one point also included a nine-month license
suspension. At the time of the notice, Guernsey denied he had created the
interference, suggesting that another, nearby radio amateur was the source. The
FCC, however, said it had positively ruled that possibility out after monitoring
Last week's Forfeiture Order recapped Guernsey's violations, citing ?the
deliberate playing of music on top of the transmissions of other amateur
operators? adding that he employed ?various animal noises to prevent the
communications of other stations with whom he had a longstanding and
Guernsey has 30 days to pay up or arrange for an installment plan.
Another ham ? this time in Georgia ? has also landed in a tangle with the FCC on
charges he repeatedly failed to identify himself and to acknowledge earlier FCC
The FCC said that despite having documented charges against David Tolassi,
W4BHV, by monitoring and recording his operations, the amateur has denied that
he failed to identify himself on the air. The agency said Tolassi had shown
?deliberate disregard? for earlier warnings.
The FCC has proposed fining Tolassi $1,000......remember him?
These latest agency actions were made public a week after the FCC announced it
would be closing 11 of its 24 Enforcement Bureau field offices for reasons of
efficiency and economy.
(ARRL, QRZNOW, FCC)
UPDATE: DATE SET TO END VANITY FEE
The regulatory fee to apply for a vanity call sign becomes history on Sept. 3.
The FCC had announced last May it planned to retire the fee to reduce related
administrative costs but did not say, at the time, when the fee would disappear.
The agency now says that beginning Sept. 3, amateurs filing a vanity application
will no longer have to pay. The FCC said the revenue it would otherwise collect
from this and other regulatory fees ?will be proportionally assessed on other
wireless fee categories.? The agency has a congressional mandate to collect an
estimated $340 million in fees from all services in fiscal 2015 The vanity call
sign?s present fee of $21.40 had been increased by the FCC from $16.10 in 2014,
making it the largest hike in years.
For hams, this may be the closest they?ll get to having dual citizenship:
British amateurs are getting the opportunity next month to take the American
license exam being offered at Lyne Village Hall in Surrey, England. ARRL
Volunteer Examiners will offer the test on Aug. 27, charging the customary fee
of 15 U.S. dollars ? which comes out to be approximately 1 pound sterling in the
Advocates in Britain are encouraging amateurs to go for it, since an American
license would enable them to get on the air in the United States should they
find themselves visiting and with access to radio equipment.
The exam is being made possible through a reciprocal license offer between the
U.S. and Britain?s Office of Communications. Registration deadline is Aug. 13.
Applicants are being directed to Gene Reynolds, M0ZRG, N2ZTX.
(Southgate Amateur Radio News, Russ Roberts/KH6JRM blog)
PIMA COUNTY GETS PREPARED
In Pima County, Arizona, first responders have adopted a reliable backup for
when their emergency communications network fails. Not surprisingly, it?s ham
radio. Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, has the story:
(Pima County, Arizona)
IRELAND'S NODE FOR NEWS
The opportunity for more international QSOs via EchoLink just grew by one more
gateway, thanks to the Avondhu Radio Club in Ireland. Club members have
announced that their new node, based in Watergrasshill, County Cork, has become
operational, under the call sign EI7WHG. Hams looking for access to the repeater
should key in EchoLink node number 395897. Locally, the repeater is at 430.075
MHz, with a 67Hz tone.
(IRISH RADIO TRANSMITTER SOCIETY)
DEVELOPING NATIONS GET GRANTS
Three amateur radio projects have been announced as the newest recipients of
supporting grants from the Yasme Foundation, the California-based not-for-profit
which assists such projects in developing countries.
They are: The Organizing Committee of the 2018 World Radio Team Championship,
for fees associated with special call sign stations; the Reverse Beacon Network,
to enable equipment to be bought to establish a node in Ethiopia at club station
ET3AA; and in Liberia, a representative of the Voodoo Contest Group for
materials to train future licensees.
Yasme, named for the boat of pioneering DXPeditioner Danny Weil, a Silent Key,
works to advance development of amateur radio around the world. For more
information about the foundation, visit www.yasme.org
CASSIOPE FIELD DAY RESULT
More than a month after Field Day, the excitement continues over that big
event?s results -- only this time the scores have nothing to do with points and
The success, in this case, belongs to the Canadian-built CASSIOPE Satellite and
the international group of researchers working with it. A radio receiver
instrument on board the satellite was able to pick up, decode, and listen in on,
numerous Field Day stations tramsitting CW on 80 and 40 meters, according to
researchers. The radio receiver instrument, known as the Enhanced Polar Outflow
Probe, or ePOP, measured the outflow of plasma from the ionosphere into
Most of the 23 stations the on-board instrument picked up and decoded were in
Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana ? with most of them on 40 meters.
Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, a graduate researcher from Virginia Tech, said the
experiment opens the door to design more tests of this kind.
(ARRL, Russ Roberts/KH6JRM blog)
STUDENTS BREAK FOR LAUNCH
Six Colorado students, working in cooperation with their school's amateur radio
program, can honestly say they had a blast - or rather, a blastoff - earlier
The youngsters created an Automatic Packet Reporting System beacon that was sent
into space on July 18 aboard a 25-foot United Launch Alliance rocket in Pueblo,
Colorado. The students from the STEM School and Adademy in Highlands Ranch
designed and built the payload with the help of Academy instructor Jeff Dunker
and the students? mentors at Ball Aerospace and United Launch Alliance.
Transmissions from the 2-meter, 2-pound payload allow those on the receiving end
to determine speed, elevation and GPS data while the rocket flies at 10,000
feet. The APRS uses the school?s AB0BX repeater on the national APRS frequency.
"It's like fox hunting with radios," said Byron Paul Veal of the Rocky Mountain
Division of the APRL. "We find triangulations that are emitted by a frequency
when it launches."
Students will also be able to locate the ultimate landing spot by receiving
longitude and latitude via GPS. While in flight, however, the rocket and that
special payload will provide high adventure -- in every sense of the word.
(Centennial Citizen, ARRL Rocky Mountain Division)
ALL'S FAIR IN RADIO AND WAR
In amateur radio, as in war, poor conditions don?t bring the action to a
grinding halt. And so it was with Special Event Station ON1418WOD, which faced
off against uncooperative propagation on Sunday, July 19, as its crew in Great
Britain proceeded with their planned commemoration of those who died in World
War I. The portable station kept its spirits, and its signal, up and contacted
what it called ?a large number? of stations against the odds. Their next battle
strategy: to prepare for next year?s event and hope the bands do the same.
(SOUTHGATE AMATEUR RADIO NEWS, Russ Roberts/KH6JRM blog)
RADIO RESEARCH: HAARP GETS A TRANSFER
HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is going to college.
The ionospheric research facility is set to move from the hands of the U.S. Air
Force to join the University of Alaska-Fairbanks on Aug. 11. The Gakona, Alaska
facility was spared from shutdown and demolition last year by the military?s
agreement to delay that plan. And now it is about to become part of the
university?s Geophysical Institute, under a agreement between the school and the
The news is especially heartening to the ARRL, whose CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, had
praised HAARP?s research for its value to amateur radio operators in a letter
earlier this year to Chuck Hagel, then Secretary of Defense.
?Most of our 164,000 members employ ionospheric propagation of HF radio signals
for their communications and technical investigations,? Sumner wrote. ?Ionospheric
research,? he continued, ?therefore has great significance and importance to
University researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, was among those from the amateur
community advocating for the facility. He has told ARRL that HAARP, which has
180 radio antennas, has ?unique relevance to hams.? He said, however, that the
facility has been relatively idle since June of last year and it wasn?t likely
research would resume there until next spring.
(ALASKA DISPATCH NEWS, ARRL)
During the upcoming International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend, Aug. 14 through
16, look for members of the RADIO CLUB URUGUAYO operating as special event call
sign CW1R from Punta del Este Lighthouse. They?ll be on 80-10 meters using CW,
SSB and the Digital modes with at least two stations on the air. QSLs are via
the Bureau or direct to: Radio Club Uruguayo, P.O.Box 37, 11000, Montevideo,
URUGUAY, SOUTH AMERICA (w/self-addressed envelope and 1 new IRC or 2 green
The Nikola Tesla birthday celebrations aren?t through yet. Members of the Radio
Club Nikola Tesla, E74BYZ, are continuing their activity honoring the radio
pioneer through Aug. 10 from Banja Luka. QSL direct via E77E or E7 QSL Bureau.
Also via e-QSL. The anniversary of Tesla?s birthday was July 10.
Kenji JA4GXS, will once again be active as JA4GXS/4 from Kasado
Island in Yamaguchi Prefecture between August 22-23rd. Activity
will be on 40/20/17/15/6 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via JA4GXS, direct or by
Henning, OZ1BII, will once again be active as ZF2EE from George Town, Cayman
Islands (NA-016), between August 7-9th. Find Henning on 160 through 10 meters,
on mainly CW using an Elecraft K3 w/100w into Cushcraft R6 vertical and a 110 ft
Long Wire. It will be a busy time for Henning, who also plans to be in the
Worked All European DX CW Contest as Single-Op/All- Band/Low-power entry from
the ZF1A clubstation. He plans to work non-EU stations before and after the
contest. QSL via OZ1BII, by the Bureau or LoTW. For more details and updates,
Rene, DL2JRM, will be active as OY/DL2JRM from the Faroe Islands (EU-018)
between August 7 and 10th.˙ Activity will be on 80-10 meters using mostly CW.
QSL via DL2JRM, by the Bureau or direct.
(OHIO-PENN DX NEWSLETTER)