Rogue carrier on 144.390MHz: The story continues...

Iain McFadyen mcfadyenusa at
Sun May 14 17:43:03 CDT 2006

Sorry to use up the mailing list resource, but I thought I had better provide
an update to the situation. 

If you are not interested, just delete this please...


Iain McFadyen    KI4HLV
As promised, here is the low-down on my travels last night.  I can't think of
an easy way to communicate the lat/longs to you so that you can easily view
them, (not knowing who uses google earth, mapsource, street atlas etc....)

**All beam headings are Magnetic**

I first went to the neighborhood of N8YSZ (Arlington), who provided a report
earlier in the week that he could hear the rogue. I heard nothing near this
location, which supports the theory that the signal has dropped in strength
over the last few days, as the reported strength at KI4MBM (Red Cross) is also
much weaker.

Based on Bob Bruninga, WB4APR's observation of hearing the rogue transmission
near RT 50 (John Hanson Hwy) and the beltway in MD, I decided to 'look East'.

I tried a couple of locations around Arlington Hall and also Washington Blvd,
looking East. Nothing heard.

I went to Gravelly Point (38 51.833N 77 02.429W). I got a bearing of 80degrees

I travelled I-395 N. Nothing heard
I travelled Independence Eastbound. Nothing heard till I reached 15th and
Independence (NE or SE: Not sure). Heard S2.

Continued to 48th and Burroughs. There is a ridge which runs East West. I did
comparative measurements on the North side (48th and Sheriff) and South side
(47th and Jay). These tests showed the rogue likely to be to the North of the

Continued to Sheriff and Eastern Ave.  (38 54.237N 76 55.420W) Attempted to
get a bearing. Not conclusive though. I got almost equal readings on a bearing
anywhere from North to about 80 degrees Magnetic. 

Moved to Cheverly Metro parking lot (38 55.0N 76 54.9W). Endstop signal.  I
got equal bearings on 30 degrees and 120degrees. Took me a long time to
resolve this. Reflections or obstructions. But eventually I got reasonable
confidence of the 120degrees bearing. (That was my first visit by the local
Police cruiser)

Moved to William Pacas Elementary School. (38 54.74N 76 52.34W).  **Bearing,
280degrees Magnetic** Important because it looks like I'm now on the far side
of the rogue.

(Went on a drive: Criss crossing the area between the last two bearings. Not

Went to Sheriff Road and Willowwood Court (38 54.655N 76 53.287W). Bearing 80
degrees. (My second visit from the local PD).

Went to Village Green Drive and Nalley Road (38 54.426N 76 52.721W), Bearing

The one piece of land between then last two bearings above looked like a
cemetery. I decided to call it a day at 4am and head home. 

You may think that spending from 6pm till 4am looking was wasteful. But it is
so difficult to take a bearing on a transmitter which (i) shares the frequency
with hundreds of other devices and (ii) transmits only very occasionally. and
(iii) to make matters worse, the transmitter only transmits the speech
elements of the UIView callsigns, making it very clear to me that the rogue
transmitter is using VOX! Between characters, the transmitter switches off, so
I hear "Kay" squelch "Vee" squelch "three" squelch "Bee" squelch "Dash"
squelch "two". Really difficult to do comparitive signal strength measurements
between each short transmission! And then, unlike the fox hunt, the next
transmission from the rogue could be 10 seconds, or 8 minutes later!

I believe the rogue is somewhere in the neighborhood just SE of TB4APR-7 (this is a mobile station and this report will
disappear from Findu shortly). Target area is intersection of Belle Haven Road
and Sheriff Road in Landover. There are no permanent Digis or active local
stations in that area.

I've now contacted Green Mountain Repeater Assn, which is based in Landover,
asking for assistance.

Iain McFadyen    KI4HLV

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