We do not normally consider it to be our place to condone or criticise anyone’s actions, whatever you get up to is a matter for your own conscience, but
in would appear that a group in North London did, possibly, go a little too far
with their Aylesbury Repeater Bomb! (Although it was rather funny)
Aylesbury Repeater Bomb
was an unfortunate incident that came about due to the
well meaning, but over zealous enthusiasm of a few ingenious hobbyists.
Apparently, a quite sophisticated device was made after someone heard one of ours in action.
I heard this device when it was working on GB3VA, it was a masterpiece as it had so many pieces of music and sampled speech that played completely randomly, sometimes resetting during transmit and returning to the start of that particular message.
The problem with this
device was that it transmitted for too long and
far too often, at least once every 10 minutes, and the local brain donors
(Radio Amateurs) found it, and stole it. The people who made it spent good money on the device, but they were up and running again within the week, with a new
and improved one. Annoyed at having their handiwork stolen, they incorporated an anti-tamper device in the Mk II model, this has been described as anything between a bomb and a theatrical smoke effect, I regret that due to the nature of the trouble this stirred up I am unable to get any
further firm details, as everyone concerned now denies all knowledge
It transpired that this new device was quite well hidden,
on an island, in a lake, but still it was still found. This time the brain donors of Aylesbury decided not to steal it, but to get the Police involved. Somewhere along the line, the Bomb Squad was called in to "defuse" it, and it seems
that this led to a face saving exercise by the authorities
which brought about the actual nature of the device being
BLOWN UP out of all proportion! We can do without this kind of publicity, after all, we are only having a laugh at radio amateurs' expense.
There is no need to go to these
sort of lengths, these methods are for experienced constructors and only,
and for those with time and money to invest in this aspect of the hobby. Much more simple and cheap fun can be had without making anything and by simply mucking about, but it strongly advised to do this whilst mobile and not from home,
or at least not on a regular basis. See the guidelines document and you will see what information is presented to the opposition, this should give you a valuable insight to their methods of detection. And bear in mind that recently "expert" evidence has been given in court as to voice identification.
may all seem a little far fetched, but we can assure you it is 100% true.
To prove our point here are a couple of press cuttings and the television
tele-text reports carried by both the BBC and ITV.
see the full press cuttings, please click on the thumb-nail images - the
text of the stories is reproduced below.
Police declared war today on saboteurs targeting amateur radio buffs with
boobytrap explosives. The warning came after the discovery of a
booby-trapped device buried underground near a radio repeater transmitter
in Brill, near Thame. Police believe another device exists in Oxfordshire
or neighbouring counties.
Police have declared war
on saboteurs targeting amateur radio buffs with boobytrap explosives.
They warned that somebody could be seriously injured unless a
vicious campaign is called off.
The warning came after the discovery of a booby-trapped device
buried underground near a radio repeater transmitter in Brill, near Thame.
The device, programmed to jam the broadcasts of amateur radio operators,
was fitted with an anti-tamper system containing a flare which could have
caused a serious injury if it had been detonated.
Police, who are warning people to be on their guard, say the
discovery follows long-standing efforts to harass radio buffs and jam
As always, we welcome any input from our readers, the
pictures above were e-mailed to us to support the story of the Aylesbury
Repeater Bomb. They show the teletext news reports on both independent, and BBC
television in the UK.
Terrorists of the Airwaves Laugh at Law
by Ian Burrell Home Affairs Reporter
There could hardly be a more potent sign
of society's descent into
madness. Two of post-war Britain's most inoffensive icons-the Laughing
Policeman and the radio ham-have been transformed into symbols of a
bizarre but dangerous brand of terrorism.
When the recorded peals of the Laughing Policeman are heard on the
amateur airwaves by officials from the Radiocommunications Agency (RCA),
which is responsible for stopping unlawful broadcasts they know that
they face physical risk.
Four police forces are investigating attacks on the homes of RCA
officials as well as incidents of booby-trapped explosive devices planted in trees
and bushes. They are gathering evidence against members of a secretive
group that calls itself the Laughing Policeman Wireless Society, which
appears to be dedicated to disrupting the harmless hobby of Britain's
60,000 radio hams who communicate with each other over the airwaves. The organisation states in its literature that it is determined to close
down all of the country’s 50 hill-top radio transmitters that
law-abiding hams use to relay their long-distance messages. The Birmingham
transmitter has already been turned off because obscene and unlawful
broadcasts were relayed from it at regular intervals.
The authorities are baffled as to what
the society's motives are. The society, whose members identify
themselves only by codenames, takes its
name from the 1950s song The Adventures of the Laughing Policeman, by
Charles Penrose. Members broadcast the song over the airwaves when
boasting about a successful operation. The RCA, which is responsible for stopping unlawful broadcasts, has
obtained copies of the Penrose Gazette, the society's newsletter, in
which death threats have been made against its inspectors. Cartoons of
investigators have been depicted with their heads on spikes. In one issue a picture of a hangman's noose carried the message: ''This
space reserved for the radio investigation service."
Government inspectors believe the group
was behind the planting of an
explosive device near a radio transmitter at Brill, Buckinghamshire, in
September. The equipment was sending out a jamming signal and had been
buried on a small island in a lake. It was fitted with a flare which was
designed to go off in the face of anyone who disturbed it.
The booby trap had a solar panel to recharge its batteries. An army bomb
squad was called in to make the device safe.
The RCA, part of the Department of Trade
and Industry said that in recent weeks the Laughing Policeman song had
been broadcast to
announce that two similar devices were to be planted at transmitters in
the New Year. At the same time there was a succession of attacks on the
homes of its investigators. Paint-stripper was poured over their homes
and cars in nigh-time raids. Police are investigating more than a dozen
attacks, seven on RCA officials and the remainder on radio hams who have
complained about the organisation's activities.
Assistant chief constable John Burbeck,
of West Mercia police, who is co-ordinating the inquiry, said: "We
are taking this very seriously. We are
concerned there may be a campaign against the enforcement officers of a
government agency." The victim of one recent attack, a senior RCA
official in the Midlands, said last week that his family was terrified
by the ordeal. "My telephone number is ex-directory but they must
have found out where I live by following me home from work," he
said. The attackers struck one evening last month, shortly after 11pm,
pouring gallons of paint stripper over the inspector's car, his wife's
vehicle and his son's motorcycles. Bricks were thrown through his
windows. The repair bill will total more than £9,000.
Investigators are examining links between
the society and rogue hams who have tried to confuse pilots by
broadcasting false messages in the jargon of air traffic controllers.
Incidents have been reported at Manchester, Newcastle and Heathrow
airports. Others have sent bogus maritime distress signals to
coastguards in the northeast of England in an attempt to launch futile
West Mercia detectives are working with
colleagues from the West Midlands, Thames Valley and Hertfordshire
forces to establish whether such acts of "airwave terrorism"
are linked. Mohan Dhamrait, an RCA investigator, described the attackers
as "lunatics''. He said: "Their intelligence network is
uncanny and up to now they have kept one step ahead of us."
From the highlighted section
above, it would appear that the police were attempting to enhance their
clear-up rate, and if they had successfully apprehended the culprits, no
doubt pressure would have been put on them to also admit to the activities
of the "Northern Nutters" who, bored with ferrets down their
trousers, had been playing silly buggers with Air
Needles to say, this was nothing to do with the LPWS, and nothing was
ever heard about the alleged attacks on RIS officers - we suggest that
this was most probably the work of disgruntled pirate radio (UBR)
operators who lose £thousands in confiscated equipment and records -
just a suggestion chaps!
The Laughing Policeman Wireless Society is a
non-profit organisation for the furtherance of amateur radio. With annual turnover of less then GBP £1000,
LPWS qualifies for UK Charitable Status.
Access to, and use of