Top Band Dragon Fire Signal

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Sat Nov 5 06:29:59 CST 2005


The IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS) says radio amateurs in Japan and
elsewhere in Asia and Oceania are reporting an unidentified intruder signal
on 160 meters. In Japan, the wideband signal, which IARU Region 2 Monitoring
System Coordinator Bill Zellers, WA4FKI, has dubbed "Top Band Dragon's
Fire," reportedly began transmitting continuously about October 1,
blanketing 160 meters and rendering it useless for Amateur Radio work in
some places.

"The intruder is detectable from approximately 1700 kHz up to about 1930
kHz," said one report, likening the sound to "a diesel motor with a ticking
sound at a constant rate which is evenly spread across the band." The signal
has been heard in the US Northwest at about 1830 kHz on a north-pointing
Beverage. Reports also have arrived from New England.

First heard as long ago as December 2004, the signal turns up at different
times at different locations, reports indicate. In some cases, it's only
during so-called "gray line" propagation, while others hear the signal 24/7.
Near Perth, Australia, the intruder was heard slowly rising out the noise
floor about a half-hour after sunset, increasing to around S7 and remaining
long into the night. Amateurs in Singapore report that the signal recently
shifted from wideband noise to a pulsed signal. 

Veteran Top Band DXer Tom Rauch, W8JI, in Georgia says he can "just detect a
noise floor increase some mornings," but was unable to identify an actual

Forward reports, accompanied by sound recordings if available, to Chuck
Skolaut, K0BOG <cskolaut at>, at ARRL Headquarters.

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