Bob's Anti Repeater Group History
In the Beginning
I got into Ham Radio, if thatís the right phrase to use,
through medium wave land based pirate radio.
When I was at school a guy in the year above me built a
transmitter and used to play music after school on approx.
235 metres and called his station Radio Emily.
I was transfixed! I had to have my own station which became
known as Radio Martha, donít ask why! He built the first rig
and showed me elementary radio practice, i.e. donít use wood
as a chassis material! I later improved the design by using
a buffer between the oscillator and the P.A., improving
stability and getting rid of the F.M. component on the
medium wave signal.
When I was at college I met a guy who was in my class who I
had spoken to using our home built transmitters (all valve
incidentally ) and he was a member of an amateur radio club.
Instead of afternoons at college, we went to his shack and
used the call G4APY on top band. All gear was home-brew or
modified PMR equipment.
rig on 2-metres was a modified Hudson portable, the same
size as a small suitcase! I remember hearing GB3LO for the
first time on this rig. I finally took the RAE in 1975 and
with the help of a work colleague I got on the air with a
modified Pye Cambridge 2-metre mobile FM transceiver. He got
the Rx working and I got the Tx working.
Using this rig I used to listen to GB3LO and found to my
horror the calibre of ham operating through it!
then went to one of the FM group meetings at the Grove Park
Hotel in Chiswick to see for myself if there were any
sensible home construction types. My suspicions were
confirmed. These were people who were social disaster areas!
Thatís fair enough, many hams are, but they were also
something more sinister. They wanted to pose to people, i.e.
the general public, to make them wonder if they were some
kind of authority, because they had a RADIO in their car.
i.e. Police or security forces etc. Most of them did not
know the difference between a capacitor and a resistor and
probably cared even less. My image of the radio ham had been
shattered completely! No longer the experimenter burning the
midnight oil, but now the only reason you would hear anyone
on the repeater after midnight, or before for that matter,
was that they were probably parked outside a pub or
hamburger joint with radio turned up so that members of the
public would think that they had some kind of authority.
Posers in other words!
They had bought their rig from a shop and probably paid
someone to install it for them. They push the button on the
side of the microphone and call themselves radio hams! Not
one bit of themselves are in their equipment, no
The sinister side became apparent fairly quickly. The RSGB
in the beginning did not want repeaters on the ham bands. So
the posers decided to form a breakaway group and called it
the UKFM group. If the RSGB had stayed firm and ignored this
group, the UKFM group would not have lasted a year. Instead
the RSGB panicked and gave in to minority pressure. There
was never a vote and I still maintain to this day that most
hams are anti-repeater.
In protest, many of the hams who were anti-repeater
cancelled their membership to the RSGB, others went to other
bands, others gave up completely. Some others decided to
fight back the only way they knew how.
statistic that these posers had not taken into account was
that if 1% decided to cause deliberate interference to these
repeaters they could stop 90% of all users from successfully
operating for 90% of the time.
Repeaters are OK if everyone is for them, for then no
interference takes place, but their weakness is that one
person can cause bedlam if he so desires. This is because
they use FM ( frequency modulation ) and this has a capture
effect. The strongest carrier stops others getting through!
The practicality of this aspect had never been considered.
Big business was also behind the UKFM group. The
introduction of Japanese hand held transceivers by a few ham
radio shops was not very successful mainly because of their
limited power and range, but if they had repeaters to boost
their signals they would cover a much wider area and so
At the same time the RAE ( radio amateurs exam ) went from a
written exam to a multiple choice, making it easier for
people to get their ham license. No big deal in itself, but
I wonder what pressure the City & Guilds were under to make
the exam easier?
The upshot of all this was, that instead of being able to
have a reasonably intelligent conversation with other hams,
instead of solving technical problems that each other were
finding, the rubber stamp QSO was formed thus:-
"The name is Dave QTH is Romford and Iím running a IC201 to
a 5/8thís whip on the car roof " etc.
Anyone can see that listening to this all day, repeated over
and over again
( is this why theyíre called repeaters ? ) gets somewhat
This coupled with the fact that the RSGB are always telling
us to make efficient use of the spectrum otherwise we could
lose frequencies becomes a bit hypocritical. Repeaters use
up two 25 Khz channels, one for the link up or input
frequency, the other for the boosted output frequency.
Compared to C.W. or SSB this is very inefficient. SSB uses 3
Khz and C.W. uses even less. Even A.M. uses approx. 7-8 Khz
because both sidebands are present. This is still less than
one F.M. channel.
So you would think that I am strictly anti-repeater. I'm
not. I am against having repeaters in their present form,
but technology has moved forwards.
With cellular infrastructure, many conversations can be put
on one carrier frequency or repeater at the same time. This
system is known as TDMA ( Time Domain Multiple Access )
where timeslots are used and the speech is digitised. Packet
radio uses X25 protocol and uses one frequency for both Tx
and Rx. These types of repeater make efficient use of the
spectrum and, incidentally, although they can be jammed,
would be more acceptable to the majority of hams I think and
would not tend to get jammed so readily. The problem with
this type of repeater is that no manufacturer makes
equipment for the ham market yet that is digital and can use
cellular technology, but if they did up to eight
conversations could take place simultaneously on the one
The upshot of all this then becomes, " Why bother !" If cell
phones exist today, then why not use one to phone up
complete strangers anyway,
" Iím Fred, and Iím in my car going down the road !" etc.
Just as interesting as before and no one else can hear you
!! Or maybe, that is what it really is all about. An
audience. These people like to think that everybody wants to
listen to them!
Is that why they get so upset when they get jammed ?
Jamming repeaters is illegal and if you get caught large
fines and confiscation of equipment are usually the norm.
However, if you have decided to go down this route be made
aware of the risks and how not to take unnecessary chances.
Here are a few guidelines :-
1.) Always go mobile
This is by far the best way to jam, with minimal risk of
being caught. You cannot be found because when they take a
bearing on you it is already history!
The risk becomes greater if you use the same route over and
over again, like to and from work. If fellow hams at work
notice a new 2-metre whip on the car and it is co-incident
with the start of a new squeaky, they may put two and two
together and become suspicious. They would then have to trap
you and would probably do this with the help of the DTI. If
you change your route regularly and stop jamming one mile
from work you should be ok, but donít brag about it. The
grapevine is very small and news travels fast, even if you
have friendly amateurs who are anti-repeater, they may talk.
Never jam from a cul-de-sac.
Even if you find a favourite spot make sure you donít spend
more time than is really necessary. Between two and four
hours is normally ok. Anymore than this and over a period of
time they may get lucky!
2.) Background Noise
From ARG publication " How to jam it without tears".
Donít park on the perimeter road of Heathrow as Concord
takes off. Itís a bit of a give-away, or Big Ben as it
starts to chime etc.
3.) Dubious Locations
If you do park up, make sure your vehicle does not look
suspicious. With the activities of the IRA, people are being
increasingly vigilant. Make sure your vehicle does not
attract attention by standing out like a sore thumb. Try and
keep antennas small.
4.) Disguise your identity and views
If you are already a licensed amateur, you may have a very
characteristic rig. If your views are already known, it does
not take a genius to put two and two together.
If you must talk, use a squeaky voice or play music or even
a blank carrier will often suffice. If a blank carrier is
used, make sure the microphone is disabled. This allows you
to carry on a conversation if your not alone, without anyone
5.) Have you been rumbled?
Amateurs often may make you think that they know whoís
jamming. They do this in various ways like saying, " Itís
that mobile again." or " Itís that inverter whine again".
Donít be put off. If they knew who was doing it, they would
give your name, callsign and address in the next breath. If
this hasnít happened, your pretty safe!
6.) Never jam from home
This is self explanatory and the reasons are obvious.
I have been called by friends who have the DTI and police
already on the premises. They will take material they
believe is being used to jam the repeater, tapes etc., they
will search the premises, and if they find a transmitter on
the premises, weather or not it is installed, they will take
it and use it in evidence. You will not see it again! Plus
the fact, the police are no longer independent in this kind
of situation. They are backing up the DTI officials and not
just keeping the peace. The police are often violent in this
Of course they need a search warrant and you must let them
in, otherwise they will force entry. But you can insist that
only the people named on the search warrant enter the
premises. They must show you the warrant and you may read
A raid of this nature can take over 12 hours. If the police
are in number a confiscation order may not be produced, but
you are in a minority, buddy, and they will take anything
they want. You have been warned!
Why The DTI Canít be Bothered
To put it in context:-
The more time you spend in the police station, the more
money itís costing the tax payer. The more resources the
police and DTI put in, the more expensive their escapade
When itís reviewed, what has been the upshot of their
efforts? Usually a fine that would not cover their overall
costs. Court costs, yes, but not departmental costs, petrol,
overtime etc. You are not a murderer or even a dangerous
criminal, you are not fiddling the tax payer out of
millions. They are not interested in squabbles between radio
amateurs as long as you leave other frequencies alone.
other reason is that, it is not a source of great revenue,
i.e. Taxi & Commercial, Television and business licenses. It
is just a hobby, although some hams would argue that
repeaters are useful for emergencies. They are just posers.
Anybody who uses a ham repeater for an emergency is an
idiot, especially in a built up area. This is not a big
country and a phone is never far away when one has to be
found, especially now we have cell phones, or somebody with
a cell phone. For the time it takes to relay a message via a
third party, it would have been quicker to find a telephone
in most cases.
custodial sentence so far as I know has never been given to
a person convicted of jamming repeaters. A first offence is
usually a fine and revoking the amateur license if you have
one. You may even not lose your transmitter.
The Repeater Defeaters are a militant breakaway group who
had decided to go one step further and cause physical damage
to repeaters. This was understood but never endorsed by the
To date their activities included the burning down of GB3SN,
cutting the antenna cable of this repeater twice, physically
removing GB3WL from its location at Hillingdon Hospital,
although I believe it was eventually found, (in pieces I
think), and other criminal activities. Nobody knows who
these people are and where or when they may strike next.
Not all of their work has been publicised by amateurs and it
is believed that they are still active today.
The Repeater Defeaters are an extremist group and as such
are a completely separate organisation to the ARG. The ARG
justifies itself, if it has to, in this way:-
Although communications through repeaters are disrupted,
there is no physical evidence, except maybe tape recordings,
that anything has taken place. Nobody goes away with a
permanent loss, either of property or life.
I have spoken to a repeater defeater who argues his case
along the same lines as the IRA
"Hit them in the pocket!", he says, "As long as no-one is
injured, damaging repeaters costs the repeater groups money,
so we hit them in the pocket. This hurts them more than just
jamming. People who jam repeaters, just increase their
resolve to keep them."
In a way I suppose heís right. A repeater in the north, I
forget which, has been turned off permanently and the
repeater working group has been disbanded due to lack of
interest. If this repeater had been jammed, it would of at
least been used by the people jamming it and caused
unnecessary attention to the repeater itself, probably
making local users more determined to get through.
How to jam when youíre pissed
A few bevies seems to have the opposite effect on most
people to the effects when driving a car. After a few pints,
instead of being proverbially "all over the road", you
become very quick thinking and winding people up becomes
second nature. Totally natural, in fact. Some people donít
even need a drink.
any insult or one-liner, a reply becomes easy, and throwing
the ball into their court, very simple. Some people are
naturals, after all, it is a skill. Some people, however,
need education. There is nothing cleaver in telling people
to Ďfuck offí, and usually this is water off a ducks back.
The skill is in getting there confidence and then destroying
it. Build up their ego and then blow it away!
Use a false callsign, G3DOG, the name is Rex and the QTH is
Barking, or the name is Axle and the QTH is Greece. They
bite every time, especially the Ďold schoolí. Everyone else
is usually in hysterics and when they realise they are the
butt of the joke, they get abusive. This then becomes a
bigger wind-up and they get more abusive. Keeping it going
is the skill. More alcohol and youíre away, this can wind
the repeater up into the early hours of the morning,
especially on a weekend.
11.00pm, pub chucking out time, and they may also be pissed
(two halves of shandy usually), this means theyíre easier to
wind-up, shorter tempered and louder mouthed. The majority
of these Ďrepeater junkiesí do not have, and have never
kissed, a girl, and are very sensitive to this fact.
"My girlfriend asked me to kiss her somewhere smelly, so I
took her to Grimsby!".
Insults are OK if theyíre clever insults, usually with
humour. This then becomes entertaining for other listeners.
Alcohol helps in achieving this. Iíve found that Cannabis
does not do much in this context, it just makes you laugh
too much and makes it difficult to find the microphone.
Obviously, with the drink-driving laws the way they are, you
must be careful. Iíve found that if youíre driving through
country lanes and small villages youíre pretty safe. Towns,
on the other hand, and London in particular, are very risky.
You have to choose your area bearing this in mind and your
Travelling when other cars are on the road, i.e. rush hour,
also cuts down the risk. An ideal situation for a copper is
a main road at two in the morning by a roundabout. You are
slowing down and the only car on the road. If heís bored
heíll pull you.
If he sees the rig, make sure you have a license otherwise
it could get tricky. If the radio is turned off, he probably
wont mention it because itís probably not what heís looking
for. You donít have to produce the license, you could of
left it at home. You just have to see and play it as it
goes. Most police are not well up on wireless acts. They are
more involved with criminal law.
The type of car you drive and how you drive it may also
attract attention. In the early hours of the morning, cars
that are stolen easily, are the ones that attract the most
attention of the police. You can listen on police
frequencies in your area, usually on VHF in and around
London, and UHF for the rest of the country, although some
police use VHF outside London and some use both. Again
surveillance of these frequencies can always be useful to
let you know if theyíre bored or not.
theyíre busy you can relay their messages through the
repeater. This winds the hams up into a fervour and doesnít
cause any problems to the police comms.
If you have 100 watts mobile, you can broadcast continuously
and be fairly sure that your beating most people in. If you
have only 10 watts, you have to choose a decent site or use
tactical jamming techniques.
This means comments and interruptions between overs. They do
not know who is who, so you can call Ďbreakí and be let in.
If they hog the repeater they are effectively jamming it
anyway, because not even legitimate users can use it, so
theyíre doing your job for you. G3TCO used this technique
and didnít realise it. Heís now dead because he had a heart
attack due to the stress he received from the repeater
GB3SL. I believe he died microphone Ďin handí. A true
It shows you how serious some people take this mundane
Another alcohol induced incident was a suicide by a ham. He
came on the repeater saying he was going to kill himself. He
got no sympathy from the jammers who said he didnít have the
bottle! The hams were trying to persuade him not to, but
they kept on being jammed by the squeakies who were taunting
him. He was found the following day by police in his exhaust
I believe his wife had left him or he had a business failure
or something. I donít think he was depressed because the
repeater was being jammed, although some hams would come
close to suicide because of it.
Some hams are so depressing to listen to, they have to be
Ďjammed outí to preserve life. They are enough to drive the
sanest people to suicide, with their monotonous, sad,
depressing drivel, mainly, I think, because they donít
" Me? Iíve got friends all over the world, I have...... .
None in this country!"
You often find that when youíre jamming pissed and after pub
chucking out time, you get some anonymous back up. This is
because some amateurs also like a laugh. Theyíre not all
straight laced, train spotter types. Some are piss artists
and will give active support, although they may not be out
and out anti-repeater. Their involvement is usually
sporadic, but it always helps and is always welcome.
Wether you give a damn or not or just like a laugh
occasionally, I hope you find much enjoyment in giving your
local squeaky a hand now and then. Heís probably as pissed
as you are!
Captains log supplemental.....
Many of our members are not anti-repeater, they are just
anti-anorak. They see a wind-up as just taking the piss out
of the stuffed shirts and enjoying every minute of it. To
them repeaters are an amusing form of 'in-car'
Another myth, is that jammers are non-licensed. The majority
of people who jam are licensed amateurs, only a small
minority are unlicensed. These are usually friends of
licensed amateurs who have been introduced to repeaters
while out for a drink. Many go on to become licensed.
Most hams have a 'hang-up' about something or another.
Normally it's no big deal to us, but to the ham it's usually
If you can find his 'hang-up, it's usually fairly easy to
get him worked-up about it. This then turns into a slanging
match and is great fun to argue the devils advocate
approach. Such subjects as drink-driving, Sailing, Shooting,
motorbikes etc., it's easy to see what they have a passion
for, just argue against it and you'll see how quickly they
lose their temper. Religion is also quite good, politics,
not so easy unless it's racist. The terms of the amateur
license restricts free speech, so the conversations are
usually boring. Get them to talk about something interesting
and they're normally breaking their license conditions.
Hams are usually fairly gullible and inexperienced in sex.
Sex is usually fairly taboo so it's usually a good start to
a jamming session. Years ago Sexy Samantha had various
repeaters turned off for her graphic description of child
birth! Not so easy these days though.
Amateurs are very hardened to repeater abuse these days so
they're not so easy to wind-up. In the countryside, some
repeaters never see any abuse, so these are usually quite
entertaining to wind-up, but in towns they get abuse all the
time. In this case a better approach is the blank carrier.
I've found it causes much frustration and in its own way
becomes entertaining because of this.
Broadcasting continuous music or material also causes a
great deal of disruption, especially if you have
Listen-through, enables you to monitor your transmissions
via the repeater output, so if you're not getting through,
maybe because the repeater has timed-out, you will notice.
Dropping carrier and then inserting a 1750 Hz tone normally
will bring it back up again. If another ham is stronger into
the repeaters receiver than you, you will hear him instead
of the material that you are putting out.
Listen-through is quite difficult mobile, because the
transmitter normally de-senses the receiver, especially if
the two antennas are close together. If you have a mobile
friend, a good wheeze is to get him to park up about 100
yards away from your vehicle with his Rx listening to the
repeater output. If your getting in, over the top, as we say
in the ARG, get him to flash his lights. If your being
beaten, then his hazards etc. You can work out your own
THE ANTI-REPEATERGROUP ISSUE 1
(LONDON) MARCH 1976
Hi! (and you can take that anyway you wish) Ė welcome to
the very first edition of the Anti Repeater Group (ARG)
newsletter. This issue is being published to coincide with
the first major event in this years amateur radio calendar Ė
the VHF/UHF convention at Brunel. But first, a word about
what the ARG is all about:
The ARG is a band of dedicated people, both male and female
and usually callsign holders, who are determined to ensure
a.) The repeater GB3LO is used for one of its intended
purposes, i.e. mobile to mobile working.
b.) That people who disregard this rule are jammed.
c.) To ensure that when the repeater is not in use it is
taken over by ARG members and used to relay "Convoy", a
record by C.W. McCall on the MGM label, which is all about
truck drivers in the US of A using citizens band sets and CB
jargon. The repeater is defined as not being in use when no
one is talking, e.g. between the end of a previous over and
the start of the ĎKí.
You should not assume that ARG members are jammers;
To deliberately jam mobile stations who are having a
sensible contact is pointless.
ARG members only jam people who come under the categories
below, with a few exceptions. Anyone jamming a mobile
contact on the repeater is probably a non ARG member and
should be blacklegged. ARG members do not recognize the
following categories of station who use the repeater, and
are therefore liable to jamming:
1.) Stations with high power and high gain beams who persist
in working stations through GB3LO who they could work
2.) Stations who live very close to each other but who
insist on talking to each other via CP ( Crystal Palace).
3.) G stations in London working continental stations
through GB3LO during lift conditions (some even ask for QSL
4.) Stations in contact via the repeater who, when one
station times out is greeted with the reply "You timed out
but I copied you on the input".
You would be surprised at the numbers of ARG members in
London; some of us operate regularly on the repeater, and
you would never suspect that the rather pleasant amateur you
are talking to on R7 is a militant ARG member, his finger
ever ready to blip the K, his trembling larynx ready to
scream " SPINY NORMAN ON CHANNEL" at the top of his voice.
Now for some news; Rubber Duck and friends have reported
what an enjoyable time they had on Tuesday March2nd;
apparently after drinking most of the evening (Rubber Duck
was on the bathwater again) they decided to do a few laps of
CP, and ended up staying down there until 2 oíclock on
Wednesday morning. After dominating the repeater for 4
hours, they decided that their sides were aching too much
with laughter ,so decided to head for home. The team
consisted of Rubber Duck, Pig Pen, Supercrud, and the
driver, who shall remain anonymous, but for the sake of a
name we shall call him Mr. E. Gotts, of The White House,
Gambles Green, Terling, in Essex.
This months UK FM group meeting in Chiswick was the usual
bore, but we were pleased to hear ourselves mentioned by
many; our representatives at this meeting were hesitant as
to wether or not to take a bow!
Some good suggestions were however made by the speaker.
KMD 990 (pronounced KM Deeniner niner zero) has decided to
take a rest but will be back on soon, and Sexy Samantha
would like to announce that she is not called Vicky, but
wonders who she does sound like? She will be active until
July 1st, when she takes up a post near GB3PI as the
Cambridge Anti Repeater Group representative.
Congratulations Samantha. Iíve no room for any more news,
but if you wish to contact the ARG, listen on R7 any
evening, or write to PO Box 49, Aberdeen, in Scotland.
The London ARG.
ANTI REPEATER GROUP (LONDON) AUGUST 1976.
HELLO AGAIN! This must be about the third or fourth ARG
newsletter so I wonder if anyone would like some back
numbers, if you wish to acquire all of our publications so
far. New members include Wild Weed, Jacques Coustou and
Adolph Hitler, bringing membership of the London ARG to 37.
A few members went to the FM group meeting this month after
stopping off at the Rose and Crown for a few beers. How they
managed to drive there I shall never know, as they were
quite paralytic. They didnít bother to go in as they all got
bored the last time, so they stood around outside singing "
Tavern in the Town" (the ARG theme). Little G8IJT got rather
annoyed at having his toy camera thrown on the floor when he
tried to take our picture and he nearly got beaten up by
four ARG members. G8IJT left in a sulk.
My thanks to G8GYP for turning up about two weeks ago. He
did not agree with our principles, and I would like to make
that clear to all< but I think he liked our ale and we had
quite a friendly discussion. Remember you are all welcome.
And now I have a report from Synthetic Elephant.
" I was sitting in the RAC on Tuesday 20 July wondering what
news to put in this months newsletter when Suicide Jockey
burst into the pub and said that he had seen KOY 248K,
Victor Frisbeeís private car (postman), parked in a side
road over the other side of the green. I thought to myself,
" A SCOOP!" and quickly grabbed a pen and a piece of paper.
Malcolm Muggaridge drove us down there and waited around the
corner. I tapped on the window of his Volvo, which he wound
down. I asked, "I am a reporter for the ARG newsletter,
could I have a story".
He replied, "Who are you".
I said, "I canít tell you that".
He replied, "I have nothing to say".
When asked if he wanted a copy of our newsletter, he
replied, "I can get hold of one". Well Victor you certainly
will, we will be sending one to your home address.
I noticed a magnetic mount antenna on his car roof but it
did not appear to be a 5/8th wave or a ľ wave. It was
probably a general purpose piece of wire for any frequency
and was issued by the Post Office. Eric Gotts was seen ten
minuets later trying to hide on the corner of Kew Green
behind the clubhouse. We went back a while later to obtain a
photograph but all the postmen had gone. Suicide Jockey won
a pint of ale for being the first to spot them. Well Done!"
This newsletter is, of course, going to be distributed at
the Alexandra Palace Convention.
It is proposed to have an Idi Amin contest night. Best
imitation of Idi wins a wax effigy of CP tower to stick pins
in. The competition will be held on Tuesday 3 August 1976.
So why not join in.
The London ARG would like to thank all those members of the
ARG who are active on GB3MP (Monty Python). One of our
members was up that way and got a reply straight away when
he whistled" Tavern in the Town". We shall soon be
international. Thatís all for now. Have fun, be good,