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Terrible noise of HF SSB

Radio/Satellite/Phone/E-mail

Terrible noise of HF SSB

by Brian D » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:11 pm

I went to the boat today to do some work on my SSB and my outboard. The outboard will not go up or down. It is electric trim and I found out that a lot of wave action a few months back cause the marina's rentals to do some what of the same thing. So I think it is salt build up that is causing that issue. OK, enough about the outboard.

I get to the boat and start working on the outboard. When I finally decided I need to do something else about the outboard I move instead to the SSB radio. While working on the outboard, this beautiful RIB belonging to Homeland Security with three heavily armed guys pulls in. This is a Military Marina so there must be some kind of agreement for them to park there. I looked around but did not see S/V Drama Queen anywhere. So I went about my business.

I turned on the radio and this is what I hear:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqer9PfNLeg

First thoughts are the Solar Charger and/or the battery charger. I turn them off and the noise did not go away. So I made a video for the purpose of sharing and seeing if anyone could identify the noise. It is pulsating so it must be radar. I could see many boats with radar but they are just sitting there. Maybe military radar, but I don't see any in sight. So it has to be something on my boat that is causing the noise. Disconnect the antenna and noise is gone, so proof positive it is outside interference.

I then poke my head up and look around one more time. The Homeland Security boat. Let me go ask. So I walk over and explain very politely about the noise. I explain I am a Ham and use SSB on my boat. I asked them if they had anything that was running, but I also tell them not to answer that question. (They smiled) Their radar was not running, but one guy said their AIS was active. So I feign surprise and said I never thought of that. Key opportunity to shut down their electronics and they volunteered to do just that.

Noise gone! How about that?

So feigning disbelief I ask for them to power up their "AIS" again. They did, but no noise. Even more interesting.

OK, time for them to depart and just as they were backing up... BANG! there is that noise again.

Lesson learned here, guys. If you have HF SSB and you start to hear the noise in the video look around for an armed HomeLand Security boat moving up on you, or near you, or in the area and I mean close like around 100ft.
Brian D
S/V Takara
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Vessel Name: Takara
Vessel Make and Model: Lancer 27 Power Sailer

Re: Terrible noise of HF SSB

by hellosailor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:58 pm

I wouldn't think that noise was radar or AIS, after all both of those devices normally don't create that problem. But it is anyone's guess what they might have been running or testing out on that boat, quite possibly some type of jamming equipment. That wouldn't be a totally irrational thing for a "government" security party to be running, or testing out.

This is why web pages concerning EMP devices were mainly taken down after 9/11. Too many folks might want to build and use them, for a little domestic tranquility.(G)
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