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  The GB3VA Repeater Bomb!

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)

 

The 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 of it!

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.

This 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.

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To see the full press cuttings, please click on the thumb-nail images - the text of the stories is reproduced below.

Click me to see full sizeBrill: Police declared war today on saboteurs targeting amateur radio buffs with booby-trap 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.


Click me to see full sizePolice have declared war on saboteurs targeting amateur radio buffs with booby-trap 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 their equipment.

 



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.

Hear the TV News Report
Thanks to one of our many contributors, here is an MP3 file of the TV news report. CLICK HERE

Click me to see full size, poor quality thoughBooby-trap 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 named 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 rescue missions.

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."


Notable

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 Traffic Control.
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!

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

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.

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