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Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:49 pm
by m0lsx
I spotted this story else where.

The communications regulator is hunting a radio pirate who has repeatedly hijacked the airwaves of a local station with a deliberately offensive song about masturbation.

The Winker’s Song, a 1970s ditty by an artist going by the name Ivor Biggun, has been illegally forced on to the output of Mansfield 103.2 at least eight times in the last month.

Ofcom said it was taking the incident “extremely seriously” and its engineers were working closely with the radio station to trace and identify the pirate.

Listeners were last subjected to the song, which uses the word “wanker” 36 times, this weekend during a live family broadcast from Mansfield’s Party in the Market event.

It is believed the rogue broadcaster could be using a small transmitter to play the adult theme on the same frequency, overriding the station’s scheduled programming.

Tony Delahunty, managing director of Mansfield 103.2, said: “Some people have told me that their children have started humming the song in the car.

“We have had calls from people who have found it hilarious, while some have raised their concerns, including our competitors, and a lot of people in the industry are aghast at how difficult it is to stop these people.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he added: “There’s is absolutely nothing we could do about it and we’re trying very hard to do something about it.

“We are told by Ofcom who are investigating the matter, that you only need, and this is the frightening thing, a small transmitter and if you can get near where there is an outside broadcast or a signal and you can overpower that signal [and] you’re on the airwaves.”

He claimed the incidents raised the potential for a more serious hijacking of a radio station. “This is a clown but it exposes a situation that is available for, who knows a terrorist, that type of person, some idiot who wants to put emergency messages on. It could become an awful lot worse. The big problem is you can’t catch them …

“I want it to stop, because it could be inflicting a very nasty message to very young kids and their parents could be annoyed.”

Ofcom said maliciously causing radio interference was a criminal offence carrying a potential sentence of two years in prison and an unlimited fine.

But a spokesman said “it doesn’t happen that often” and requires specialist knowledge and equipment. “You need quite a high-powered transmitter to be able to go over the levels that the station is broadcasting at to interrupt their frequencies.

Ofcom stressed that it is not as easy to hack a radio station as Delahunty suggested

He added: “We have a spectrum enforcement team who look after our airwaves and make sure they are kept free from interference, whether it is deliberate or accidental, and we have strong enforcement powers.

If radio stations broadcast content that is deemed harmful or offensive, under the Digital Economy Act they can be suspended. Last week Ofcom suspended Sheffield based Imam FM after it broadcast lectures from a former terrorist leader.


Re: Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:24 am
by G4RMT
The song, by today's standards is not offensive at all, and is very catchy. I remember it being sung loudly by school kids on the bus! There was a report somewhere yesterday that said the Ofcom's van was outside the radio station and spotted a man on a moped with a satchel behaving oddly, who then drove off!

I suspect this is wrong and they were outside the transmitter site. Ofcom's WTR lists the frequencies of the radio links. My own local radio station went across town on 1.5GHz and could easily have been taken over as it was simple analogue FM. The radio station can solve it simply by using an IP link solution which is cheaper than RF nowadays. Just a fun story, that I suspect could well be putting up their listener figures that advertisers might well appreciate. Far be it for me to suggest they're letting it happen for business purposes but .............

Re: Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:17 am
by m0lsx
A Norwich 28 day station had issues with their link a few years ago after the rental company gave them a link on the same band 1 frequency as Hospital Radio. So they interfered with each other.
Plus the 28 day station was given a transmitter that was well below licence power :shocker: :shocker: Which given what you pay for a licence is not good.
The jamming does suggest that the jamming knows something about radio. So it's not your usual black box FM broadcaster.

Re: Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:44 am
by FreqFreak ... nkers-song

Sounds like some idiot with a Baofeng or other cheapie 400-470 walkie talkie has found the UHF outside broadcast link frequency (455?) and that's all it takes.

Keep doing that and yet another class of spectrum users will go digital en masse and there will be even less interesting stuff for enthusiasts to tune in to.

Re: Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:42 pm
by m0lsx
Most broadcasters use an internet link. The quality is better, it's cheaper & this sort of thing cannot happen.

Re: Local FM radio station keeps getting jammed.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:29 pm
by G4RMT
The UHF comms links send out studio programme to the distant reporter and take back their output - but that is switched through the desk and normally firmly off - so won't be the problem. You'd have to wait until an OB was due then overpower the receiver with your signal - and after tow or three seconds somebody would mute it - transmitter site RF links in the GHz bands are the only 24/7 way in, and often the studios does NOT listen to the off air output, so it's only when the phones ring you get to know it's happening.

For those who have no idea what the song is - it was sung by Doc Cox who was a BBC presenter, under the Ivor Bigger pseudonym, and for the 70s it was shocking - however nowadays we are used to gansta rap so far worse words than are in this one!

This youtube link has added graphics that were of course added recently.