Tag Archives: Firedrake

Paul discovers Firedrake in an unexpected place

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who writes:

From time to time, I get some interesting shortwave catches here in Alaska.

Sometimes on 10 MHz, I get WWV. Sometimes I get WWVH. Sometimes I get BPM China. And from time to time, I’ve heard all three at once.

Well this clip is something a bit different…

From April 20, 2016 at 1707 UTC here is my Tecsun PL880 connected to a 225 foot long wire with audio set at 3.5 kHz while tuned to 10,000 kHz (10 MHz).

This time, I am hearing WWVH Hawaii and […] the Chinese Firedrake jammer. What’s happening is Firedrake is jamming the Sound of Hope on 10005 kHz and the signal is so wide, it’s [competing with] WWVH.

I am making no adjustments to the dial tuning or audio settings as this happens. Listen to how things fade in and out.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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Is Firedrake on the decline?

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

Have you noticed less Firedrake broadcasts lately? I certainly have.  My buddy David pointed this out to me last week and since then I haven’t heard Firedrake even once. I have, however, heard the more aggressive and noisy Chinese jamming techniques.

Perhaps it’s just a “watched pot never boils” situation? I’m not sure; some SWLs on the hard-core DX reflector have also noticed a lack of Firedrake across the bands.

Have you heard Firedrake lately? Please comment with loggings.

For readers who are unfamiliar with Firedrake, check out this previous post.

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Australia Network News: Broadcast group condemns China over radio jamming

OHtower(Source: Australia News Network)

An international broadcast association has condemned the deliberate jamming of shortwave broadcasts, including those from the ABC’s Radio Australia service, into Asia.

The Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) says English-language broadcasts from Radio Australia, the BBC World Service and the Voice of America are being jammed.

Chief Executive Simon Spanswick has told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program research has indicated the jamming signals appear to be coming from within China.

“It appears to be quite wide,” he said.

“We’ve been talking to some monitors who keep ears on the shortwave bands around Asia and they say that it’s certainly audible well outside China.

“So, one imagines, even with the geographic scale of China itself, that this is right across the region.” […]

“What the Chinese have done for a long time is actually broadcast Chinese folk music [see our previous posts on Firedrake]…what’s happening in this case is that they’re transmitting a different sort of noise.

“The aim is to simply make it so uncomfortable to listen to that people switch off and don’t bother trying to listen to the program that they wanted to get.”

The AIB has lodged protests over the jamming with the Chinese embassies in Washington, London and Canberra.

[Continue reading…]

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China appears to be jamming the BBC World Service (and the SWLing Post)

Structure of a Denial of Service attack. (Image: WikiMedia Commons)

Structure of a Denial of Service attack. (Image: WikiMedia Commons)

No doubt, in publishing this, The SWLing Post will be hit with another barrage of denial-of-service attacks. If you notice the site loading slowly, or completely off-line for periods of time in the near future, you’ll know why…

A few weeks ago I mentioned various upgrades to the SWLing Post web server.  Part of this is due to our increased traffic and part is due to the fact that we were moving to a more secure server.

You see, recently I posted an article with a recording of Firedrake along with a follow-up from Post reader, Mark. Two days later, The SWLing Post was hit with denial-of-service attacks from IP addresses, all of which appeared to originate from China. It almost brought the whole server down–however, my intrepid web host, CloudWeb, scrambled to block the offenders, and they did an amazing job. You may note that I had to temporarily remove the Firedrake posts (they’ve since been re-published).  I don’t consider this to be a conciliation, but rather a victory:  for free speech, and for its power on shortwave radio.

Anyone who follows the SWLing Post with regularity will know that I’m a strong believer in access to and freedom of news and information, so I’m a bit annoyed by the DoS attacks that attempt, however unsuccessfully, to mute our voice in China and throughout the world. No doubt, The SWLing Post is already behind the “great” firewall, anyway.

If our site does go down, follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook.

With that preamble behind me, I owe my thanks to Andy Sennitt for bringing this article to my attention:

Reuters-Logo1(Source: Reuters)

Radio broadcasts in English from the BBC World Service are being jammed in China, the British broadcaster said on Monday, suggesting the Chinese authorities were behind the disruption.

“The BBC strongly condemns this action which is designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information,” the BBC said in a statement.

China, which enforces strict restrictions on its domestic media, has been accused by several prominent foreign media of seeking to stop their news reports reaching Chinese audiences.

“The BBC has received reports that World Service English shortwave frequencies are being jammed in China,” said the London-based public service broadcaster.

“Though it is not possible at this stage to attribute the source of the jamming definitively, the extensive and coordinated efforts are indicative of a well-resourced country such as China.”

A duty officer at China’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment.

[…]”The jamming of shortwave transmissions is being timed to cause maximum disruption to BBC World Service English broadcasts in China,” said Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News.

“The deliberate and coordinated efforts by authorities in countries such as China and Iran illustrate the significance and importance of the role the BBC undertakes to provide impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world.”[…]

Click here to read the full article by Estelle Shirbon; with additional reporting by Lucy Hornby; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer at Reuters.com

For more stories like this, follow our tag: Why Shortwave Radio?

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Mark’s studio version of Firedrake

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

(Photo: Satdirectory.com)

As I suspected, the unidentified broadcast I recently posted was the Chinese jamming service, Firedrake.  Thanks to all who confirmed.

Mark Fahey even commented with a link to an article explaining how he made a studio recording of Firedrake from Chinasat 6B. Read Mark’s article here.

Mark also has the full 60 minute studio copy of Firedrake available as a 90MB MP3 file.

 

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