Monday, December 8, 2014

Getting the Word Out by the Numbers

Scattered across the shortwave radio bands, often on the fringe of broadcast portions of AM shortwave, or Amateur Radio allocated frequencies, are mysterious signals... mostly repeating music tones with a spoken string of disjointed numbers... they are covert spy "Numbers" stations.  It is the surest method to send coded messages to deep cover operatives in the field, without risking compromise of both the message, and who is receiving the message.
The mysterious "John has a long mustache... the chair is against the wall" types of numbers & tones isn't just a Hollywood plot device, they're how Intelligence Agencies instruct their deep cover field agents covertly.  Despite all the technological advancements in internet, computers and smartphones, nothing offers a safer, & completely unbreakable method of communication.
You can hear these stations yourself, you just need a shortwave radio receiver to tune in the frequencies these signals are broadcast. Enthusiasts in the Shortwave listening (SWL) hobby often post frequencies & times they've encountered a "numbers" station, it's a hobby of sorts to seek out these signals. The fact of these signals being publicized doesn't diminish their effectiveness at all. Websites like The Global Frequency Database, are akin to a White Pages directory, for some of the signals you may encounter.

The importance of radio hasn't diminished one bit, despite all the advances in technology. It's proven everyday by these ghostly signals, showing they are not a relic of the past, but still a vital part of intelligence today.

How well are you Prepared?
Do you have a good portable Shortwave Radio? There's a wide selection of portable shortwave radios available today, most able to monitor police, fire, & rescue, as well as the worldwide radio broadcast bands. Some able to be powered with a hand crank or solar power and can even charge other devices. It's always a smart idea to have one handy, just in case. How knows? Maybe hearing "Mary had a little Lamb" may mean more than just a nursery rhyme.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Handheld Radio Offers Colorful Strength

Just when you got used to 8 Watts of power in a handheld radio, Baofeng/Pofung ups the ante with a new tri-power powerhouse that comes in a variety of COLORS.
 Recently released BF-F9 V2+ HP delivers up to 8 watts of transmit power in a colorful assortment of cases.  The BF-F9 V2+ HP has an expanded frequency range like the UV-82 line, and a new chipset with noise-reduction features that block out noises caused by signal intensity changes along with tail tone elimination when transmitting or receiving signals between 50Hz-55Hz. The BF-F9 V2+'s tri-color display makes for easy reading on the bright LCD, and this radio can be programmed with or without a PC to work on private repeater systems. The most powerful, versatile Baofeng, it has transmitting power selectable up to 8 watts. It is fully backward compatible with all UV-5R accessories.
Just in time for the holidays, Baofeng has pulled out all the stops by offering this newest model for even less than it's other popular 8 watt handheld, the BF-F8 HP.
Not only can you have the most powerful 2 Meter/70 CM handheld radio currently available, you have a rich variety of case colors to choose from. The handheld radios are available direct from Baofeng via Amazon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Local officials say radio can fill in for Internet in event of cyber attack

By Victoria Taylor
By vtaylor@wbbjtv.com

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. -- Life in the digital age is filled with the World Wide Web, which is why some first responders wanted to re-wire their ham radio skills Friday.

In order to continue communicating if the Internet fell victim to a mass cyber attack, agencies from across Tennessee would turn to radio.

"We can actually send email and attachments, video and what-not via ham radio without ever using Internet," said Mike Winslow, risk manager for Madison County. READ MORE


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wide Range Receive Radio via SDR & Android

So much technology is changing the face of radio. A new type of "sound card"... this one processing RF frequencies instead of sound waves, has opened up the realm of low-cost radio receivers with virtually limitless potential to explore the electromagnetic spectrum.
Software Defined Radio, SDR, center around a specific processor chip... RTL2832, initially used to tune HDTV broadcast TV on desktops & laptops. But it wasn't too long before some imaginative types figured out that it can tune a lot more than the narrow part of the spectrum carved out for HDTV. Now it's like every day there's new apps, new circuits, and new things being done with a SDR dongle and some software.
The hardware being explored here is just a tiny example of what can be utilized. Matching up a Proscan Android 7" Tablet, to a UHF/VHF/HF RTL-SDR Tuner Receiver to receive FM Radio is a snap, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's not just local Broadcast stations, the set-up potentially can tune in ANYTHING in the UHF & VHF part of the radio spectrum. Adding a tuned antenna other than the one that comes stock, tuned for Broadcast FM, you'll have a capable portable receiver for a huge part of the radio spectrum.  Being that it's done on a portable Android Tablet demonstrates practicality & portability in spades.
SDR Shopping? Check these out...
UPDATE: The Software Defined Radio hobby is brand new territory. Practically each day, enthusiasts  are exploring new ways to utilize the hardware, creating new software, and coming up with new applications. No license is required to operate a radio receiver, so anyone can get into the hobby. And if you are inclined to "roll your own" and build your own electronic circuits, there's plenty of SDR kits, plans & schematics available to tinker with.

RF Analyzer: brand new App for SDR's driven by Android like the Hack RF One

One of best places to learn more about SDR's is RTL.SDR.com a continually updated clearinghouse of everything SDR. From there you can unleash your inner geek learning about cutting edge SDR circuits, test new apps and software plug-ins that unleash more features and new applications.


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