Adventures in radio - May 2023
2023-05-27 Cracking down on sad ham losers and their DQRM nonsense
The Northern California DX Foundation is putting together a proposal, backed up with a $100,000 incentive to implement a solution to fight deliberate QRM. The sad ham losers, like the ones that showed up for the Bouvet Island DXpedition, assume they can get away with their activities because they are 'anonymous'. They may well have their days numbered if the NCDXF approach is succesful.
Here's hoping it works out, indeed, bringing all of the pieces together Web SDRs, widely deployed low-cost SDR dongles, internet connectivity, (again) wide deployment, and maybe an incentive reimbursement on conviction to all reporting stations coupled with amateur radio-specific LLM's (AI models) for real-time processing and tracking could be done in seconds particularly if the frequencies to be monitored and tracked are known ahead of time which is the scenario for these types of DQRM.
2023-05-06 The Naked Clearnode
I made a note to revisit and update the Clearnode vulnerability assessment because it looks like folks are getting so comfortable, and cozy and complacent with these tools they are throwing them directly up on the internet.
Complacency is an area where bad actors and malware alike love to take advantage.
This seems like a good time to grab another Shodan trial to see just how many of these Clearnodes are out there live on the interwebs.
2023-05-05 Amateur Radio and AI
I have been playing around with the Chatgpt flavor of Artificial Intelligence on several fronts, with some interesting results. I found Grammarly immensely useful for editing my online writing in forums, emails, and these notes, and I have subscribed to the service.
I have paid for "points" with a couple of the image generation services because the AI image generations are far better than my 'stick figure' scribblings. I have used the resulting AI images, like the one accompanying this note, primarily for article illustration. I have also begun to see the impact and usefulness of AI for cybersecurity work and research. The following are some of the questions that I have asked Openai, along with the answers:
What is the difference between a duplexer and a diplexer in amateur radio usage?
In amateur radio usage, both duplexers and diplexers are used to enable a single antenna to be used for both transmit and receive operations on multiple frequencies. However, there are some key differences between the two:
Duplexer: A duplexer is a device that allows two different frequencies to share a single antenna. It is commonly used in repeater systems where the transmitter and receiver operate on different frequencies. The duplexer is designed to allow the transmitter and receiver to share the same antenna without interfering with each other. The duplexer consists of a set of filters that allow the transmitter to transmit on one frequency and the receiver to receive on another frequency.
Diplexer: A diplexer is a device that allows two different frequency bands to share a single antenna. It is commonly used in situations where there are limited antenna options or where multiple radio systems need to share a single antenna. The diplexer is designed to allow signals from two different frequency bands to pass through the same antenna without interfering with each other. The diplexer consists of a set of filters that allow the two different frequency bands to be separated and routed to the appropriate transmitter or receiver.
In summary, a duplexer is used to allow a single antenna to be used for transmit and receive on different frequencies, while a diplexer is used to allow a single antenna to be used for multiple frequency bands.
icom ic-705 how do i disable beep on transmit?
To disable the beep on transmit on your Icom IC-705 transceiver, you can follow these steps:
Press the "Menu" button on the front panel of the radio.
Use the up or down arrow button to navigate to the "Set" menu and then press the "Enter" button.
Use the up or down arrow button to navigate to the "Beep" option and then press the "Enter" button. Use the up or down arrow button to select "Off" and then press the "Enter" button to save the setting.
Can you provide the configuration settings for the ic-705 with Omnirig?
Open OmniRig and select "IC-705" from the rig list.
Click on the "Setup" button to open the setup window.
In the "Serial port" section, select the COM port that the IC-705 is connected to.
In the "Transceiver" section, select "CI-V" as the protocol.
Set the Baud Rate to 19200.
Set the Data Bits to 8.
Set the Stop Bits to 1.
Set the Parity to None.
Set the RTS/CTS to None.
Set the DTR/DSR to None.
Click on the "OK" button to save the settings and close the setup window.
Can a dummy load antenna transmit?
No, a dummy load antenna is designed to simulate an antenna's impedance for testing and calibration purposes. It is not meant to transmit or receive any signals.
A dummy load is typically a resistor or a set of resistors that are designed to absorb RF energy and convert it into heat. When connected to a transmitter, it provides a safe and controlled load for the transmitter to dissipate its output power, without radiating any energy into the air.
Therefore, while a dummy load antenna can be used to test the transmitter's output power and frequency response, it cannot be used to transmit signals to another antenna or receiver.
Clearly, an incorrect answer if you take the answer at face value but there is the "It is not meant to transmit or receive any signals" qualifier, which implies the dummy load may operate with unintended consequences (i.e., transmit) (which they can do). So, truly a response worthy of an "Oracle of Delphi".
I'm posting these answers because the Large Language Model (aka LLM) AI's do have quirks; they can provide inaccurate solutions; or will just be creative and make stuff up (which are known and are called hallucinations). When I asked questions about the ICOM IC-705 settings and the factory default values, I received reasonable (not necessarily 100% correct) responses as long as the results were less than a hundred lines or so of data. The AI would otherwise point to a non-existent book that it made up or was provided links to non-existent spreadsheets supposedly hosted on google drive:-)
However, AI tools are here to stay and are much too useful to ignore. I already noticed my (re)search habits changing to an AI-first check instead of the Google search bar returning the top Google paid AD results followed by links to sites (increasingly dominated by Youtube links, which are another Google property).
Due diligence applies to the AI results AND the Google search results. There is a reason why the tongue-in-cheek meme: "It must be true; I read it on the internet!" exists as you have the "raw" internet served up by Google search and then the raw internet-fed, LLM, AI result set(s) along with AI possible hallucinations.
Fun times - Don't Blink!
2023-05-02 When is a dummy load not a dummy load?
I have an OPEK DL-60 dummy load that I was using to wrap-up my IC-705 tests once the SWR issues had been resolved. On my final test I selected a hotspot and heard the parrot response from the hotspot to the radio!
The dummy load both transmitted and received!
So, the short answer to the question is: When it is transmitting! I had no idea.