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On this page we reproduce the London Anti Repeater Group's web pages.

They were years ahead of us and infinitely more ingenious, however, we were completely unaware of their existence until many of our devices and exploits had already been deployed, just imagine if we had ever met them!


 

Bob's Anti Repeater Group History

London ARG


Page 2

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.

His 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!

I 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 modifications nothing.

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.

One 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 become popular.

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 tedious !

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 repeater.

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 ?
 


page 3

Advice

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 over-hearing it.

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 situation!

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 it.

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!


page 4

 

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 becomes.

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.

The 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.

A 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.


page 5

 

Damaging Repeaters



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 ARG.

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.


page 6

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.

To 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 route accordingly.

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.

If 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 Viking!

It shows you how serious some people take this mundane topic.

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 filled car.

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 drink!

" Me? Iíve got friends all over the world, I have...... . None in this country!"

Tony Hancock.

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!


page 7

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' entertainment.

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 pretty important.

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'.

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 system.


page 8


THE ANTI-REPEATERGROUP ISSUE 1

(LONDON) MARCH 1976




TRUMPET

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 that Ė

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 direct.


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 cards!)


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.

Best 69s

The London ARG.

 


page 9

The Trumpet

 

THE ANTI REPEATER GROUP (LONDON) AUGUST 1976.

NEWSLETTER

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, Ten-Four,



SUPERCRUD,

ARG (LONDON).


 

The website above was reproduced from an archive copy and is accurate apart from some spelling corrections.

 
 
      "Wicked" Willy Bodwen ex Sgt. 3116 (forced to retire & not a laughing policeman!)

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