Monthly Archives: March 2016

The oddest thing happened today… Analysis of an APRS replay "attack"

The other day a fellow amateur radio operator, WJ3K, caught me on the Annapolis repeater and asked me whether I was seeing odd things happening on the APRS network.  Specifically, whether or not I was seeing station tracks getting bounced around as if an old packet had been injected into the network out of sync with the rest.  As soon as he said it I knew exactly what he was talking about.  Not only had I seen such things in recent days but I remember the Mic-E packet expansion “attack” from over a decade ago (sorry, can’t find the discussion that was held on the APRSSIG mailing list).

Anyway, I had some time to look at some recent packets and realized that something very odd was happening.  I was seeing packets from my HT (WG3K-7) coming through a digipeater across the Bay when the HT was safely off and sitting next to me.  I turned up the volume on the transceiver hosting APRS and was very surprised to hear two things: 1) packets being received but not being passed to my client and 2) packets received at my client that I hadn’t heard come across the radio!  It would seem that the problem plaguing the local network was my problem!  For some reason, my TNC was caching the packets and then, after several minutes was releasing them to my client who had no choice but to accept them with the thought they were real-time and send them to the APRS-IS.

The culprit seems to be a SCS PTC-IIusb modem in KISS mode.  Still investigating why it’s happening and I’ll update this article when I can.

VOA Radiogram #155 as received in Maryland

I finally remembered to listen in to this weekend’s VOA Radiogram transmission from the Edward R. Murrow transmitter facility in Greenville, NC.

The signal strength on 5745 kHz was marginal even with strong S9 to +10dB signals.  It seems the bands are quite noisy with a noise floor of ~S7.  As you can see below, the MFSK32 was received much better than the Olivia 64-2k.  None of the images transmitted came out particularly well, either.  Fldigi also failed to automatically change from MFSK to Olivia but did manage to make the change back to MFSK.  I’ll try to receive the last transmission tomorrow afternoon to see if I can copy that better.

Welcome to program 155 of VOA Radiogram from the Voice of
America.

I'm Kim Andrew Elliott in Washington.

Here is the lineup for today's program, all in MFSK32 except
where noted:

 ¸
Gerogr bKa.(now)
 3:01  NASA plans large fire on spacecraft*
 7:26  Rotten tomatoes produce renewable energy*
11:54  Olivia 64-2000: Legislation to counter propaganda
19:48  MFSK32: Over the horizon radar in amateur HF bands*
25:04  Early General Electric shortwave broadcasting*
27:05  Closing announcements

* with image


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: @VOARadiogram


<EOT>
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NASA Plans to Light Large Fire in Orbiting Spacecraft

VOA News
March 16, 2016

In order to see how fire-resistant to make the new lightweight
materials that will be used to build next-generation spacecju!nu
NASA plans to start a large fire in space.

The test "is crucial for the safety of current and future space
missions," said NASA's Gary Ruff in an interview Tuesday with
AFP.

In the experiment, NASA wants to see how big the flames get, how
they spread, and the amount of heat and gas released.

The fire will take place aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus capsule,
which is used to transport cargo to and from the International
Space Station, after it has made a drop-off.

The spacecraft will be launched March 23 from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, then head to the space station. Once it has moved a safe
distance away, NASA will trigger the fire.

Called "Saffire-1," the experiment is designed to give NASA
engineers a better idea about how fire behaves in space and how
much fire resistance to incorporate into new spaceships, as well
as space suits.

"Understanding fire in space has been the focus of many
experiments over the years," said Ruff, who added that while have
small fires have been purposely lit in space, NASA needs to
understand how a major fire would behave.

The fire is expected to burn for 20 minutes, during which data
about temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide will be recorded.
The event will also be filmed.

Once the experiment is over, the capsule will re-enter Earth's
atmosphere and burn up.

http://www.voanews.com/content/nasa-plans-to-light-large-fire-in-space/3240548.html


<EOT>
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Image: Orbital ATK's Cy<SOH>o &argo craft ...


<EOT>

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This is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


Rotten Tomatoes Produce Renewable Energy

Rick Pantaleo,
VOA Science World Blog
March 16th, 2016

About 21-percent of world electricity generation is estimated to
be from non-fossil fuels such as the wind or sun.

But scientists hope to boost that number by looking at new ways
to create it – one of which involves spoiled fruit.

A team of researchers found that damaged or spoiled tomatoes can
be turned into a unique and powerful source of renewable energy
when fed to biological and microbial electrochemical cells.

And the good news is, there seems to be a nearly endless supply
of damaged and rotten tomatoes. Florida alone generates 396,000
tons of tomato waste every year.

The scientists admit that right now the power produced by their
tomato fueled energy cells is quite small.

But they're quite optimistic that with continued research they'll
be able to greatly increase the electrical output of their energy
cells.

http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2016/03/16/bright-spots-of-ceres-rotten-tomatoes-produces-energy-black-hole-flashes-red/


<EOT>

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Image: Overripe tomatoes on a compost heap ...


<EOT>
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<EOT>
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VOA Radiogram now changes to Olivia 64-2000 ...


<EOT>
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Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


From Rh~Gwd4?l^)rope/Radio Liberty:

U.S. Senators Seek New Center To Counter Russian,0t<RS><(
gz5|{ropaganda'

By RFE/RL
March 16, 2016

WASHINGTON -- New legislation being introduced in the U.S. Senate
aims to improve Washington's efforts to counter "propaganda and
disinformation" spread by Russia, China, and other countries.

<SYN>}n\<RS>#C<EM>4 BQalled the Countering InformatiU3T;KWszx<GS>*@<GS>d:)C2016,
99jR amid gro<ETB>in;e_YJ
s in Congress and in man{u(lU<CAN>pean
W,@5<GS>s<DC3><FF>Ee to fight foreign disinformation campaigns.

Russia, in p<DC2>tiul3<SO>v_ through the portrayal of its @m-<DC4><ETB>K<DC3>
<EM>SMnUkraine and along the per    r5<SUB>Lm<GS>"9HNn}<DC1>uropean Union and NATO
-- has alarmed lawmakers and policymakers on both sides of the
Atlantic.

The EU 0$n!6f<EM>=<UoA small unit 1{B^[YR<VT>T4[<SUB>uropean Exte<DC2>nalm
5nvE[
 Service to counter narr<DC4>ives<FF>ln9`d by Kremlin-backed
media, such as RT and Sputnik, and govey${X8Edl8a<CAN>ored Internet
activists. NATO has also set up a Strategic Communications Center
ofu#]t_Dye<FF>L based in the Baltic state of Latvia, to counter
Russian p<DC2>#oS5J<SYN><ETB>0E9~j&u<FF><FF>@>zfg<DC4>!p://www.rferl.org/content/us-senators-seek-to-counter-russia-china-propaganda/27617521.html

VOA Radiogram now returns
Before RSID: <<2016-03-20T02:50Z OL 64-2K @ 1422100+1500>>
 to MFSK32 ...

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This is VOA Radiogram in MFSK32.
pQ eav send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


From ARRL:

Over the Horizon Radars Becoming Routine Visitors on Amateur HF
Bands

03/14/2016

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (Europe/Africa)
Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports a spate of over the horizon
(OTH) radar signals on various Amateur Radio HF bands — exclusive
and shared. Many of these signals are being heard outside of the
Region 1 confines.

A 50 kHz wide Russian OTH radar has been heard in the evening on
80 meters, often in the CW part of the band. An "often
long-lasting" Russian OTH signal about 13 kHz wide is beheCv bre00-7100 kHz segment oetn
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traffic (FSK or PSK), and a "Codar-like radar from the Far East"
are being heard in the 7000-7200 kHz segment as well as
non-amateur CW transmissions.

The same OTH radar being heard on 40 meters also is appearing on
20 meters, along with digital traffic in FSK or PSK and on CW and
broadband OTH radar signals from China. Some monitoring reports
are intriguing, such as this one on 14.280 MHz from IARU Region 1
Monitoring System Coordinator Wolf Hadel, DK2OM: "Female voice
with encrypted msgs — figures — "SZRU" = Foreign Intelligence
Service of Ukraine in Rivne — every Wednesday at 1005 UTC."

Broadband OTH radars from China, Australia,D¶ rus, and Turkey
have been monitored in 15 meters. On 10 meters, radars from Iran
with FM CW and different sweep rates have been monitored, as well
as fishery buoys on CW, and taxi operations on voice from Russia.

Voice traffic from fishing operations has been heard on all or
most HF bands, as well as a variety of broadcasters, including
Radio Tajik on 14.295 MHz, Radio Taiwan and Myanmar Radio, both
on 7.200 MHz, and Radio Hargaysa in Somalia on 7.120 MHz.

The February 2016 IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter
offers more details. There is an online archive of past issues. —
Thanks to the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System

http://www.arrl.org/news/over-the-horizon-radars-becoming-routine-visitors-on-amateur-hf-bands


<EOT>
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<EOT>

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This is VOA Radiogram from the Voice of America.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


The 14 March 2016 edition of Radio World includes an interesting
article by John F. Schneider aboout the early shortwave
broadcasting operations of General Electric in the United States.

See:

http://www.radioworld.com/article/schenectady-shortwave-transmitters-1941/278353

This image of GE's Schenectady, New York, shortwave operation in
1941 accompanies the article ...


<EOT>
 
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<EOT>
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Please send reÃeoytn´ts to radiogram@voanews.com.

And visit voaradiogram.net.

Twitter: fê½yRadioge tm

Thanks to colleagues at the Ed§,d R. Murjirortwave
transmitting station in North Carolina

I'rm El   rG: Please join us for the next VOA Radiogram.

This is VOA, the Voice of America.