Monday, September 26, 2005

The Art of Radio Jamming

Governments that make use of jamming argue that they have the rights to protect their citizens from dangerous ideas. For me (as a Free-speech minded American) the idea, that some ideas are dangerous, is the most dangerous idea of all.

Radio jamming is an invention of politics and not radio. No radio station (that I know of) ever got jealous at another staitons share and began full-scale jamming operations. Yet there is a massive technological effort directed toward forcibly censoring unacceptable broadcast content in many countries. My short list includes the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany, China, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Lithuania, Vietnam and many other countries.

great site here:

The first occasions of jamming of military radio telegraph were recorded back in the beginning of the 20th century. Germany and Russia were the first to engage in jamming. The jamming signal most frequently consisted of co-channel characters. In the late 20’s Berlin started to jam the programs of Radio Komintern. In 1931 the USSR jammed the Romanian radio, in 1934 Austria jammed the German radio. The Lithuanian language broadcasts of the Vatican radio were jammed by the USSR in 1940. By 1940 Everyone was jamming someone else.

What interests me most is Jamming by the U.S. or alternately, jamming of the U.S. Thsi illustrious history starts of course with our infamous Fearsome Communist Nemisis... CUBA!

March 27th 1990 we began broadcasting TV Marti into Cuba from the U.S. air balloon Fat Albert. Thsi was part of the U.S. border surveillance system that floating over Cudjoe Key, South of Florida. The Cuban government had installed many small jamming transmitters beforehand that effectively killed the earlier TV Marti programs.

This jamming became inadequate in the face of fat Albert and his floating transmitter. To extend the jamming range, Castro’s engineers and pilots equipped several Russian made Mi-17 helicopters with jamming equipment. The Cubans got so exited that they even started jamming Radio Marti’s services from transmitters in Greenville, NC, and Bethany, OH. Prior to this Radio Marti had not been successfully jammed by Cubans for at least 5 years.

Nifty how-to info here: