Rogue transmissions at NASCAR race in Dover.

gordonaustin

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I was scanning a number of cars at Dover and there was someone attempting to sabotage a few of the cars with rogue radio transmissions (450 MHz band).
1. How effective would a DF installation be in a venue like a NASCAR track? If NASCAR installs it on a trailer would they be able to direct LE to anything more specific than the seating section (assuming the signal was coming from the stands)?
2. Would a DF2020T do the job or would they need something like a Rhode-Schwarz system?
 

WB9YBM

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I was scanning a number of cars at Dover and there was someone attempting to sabotage a few of the cars with rogue radio transmissions (450 MHz band).
1. How effective would a DF installation be in a venue like a NASCAR track? If NASCAR installs it on a trailer would they be able to direct LE to anything more specific than the seating section (assuming the signal was coming from the stands)?
2. Would a DF2020T do the job or would they need something like a Rhode-Schwarz system?
searching for rogue transmissions, jammers, etc. is commonly referred to as "fox hunting" in the amateur radio community. The ham radio operators to this for sport as well as to track down "live" jammers, so you might want to check that avenue for more information, starting with any local hams, ham clubs, etc. in your neighborhood or the national organization ARRL (American Radio Relay League).
 

ecps92

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Many of the large RF Venues [NFL, NASCAR, MLB, NBA etc] already have teams to coordinate and track both intentional and non-intentional RF interference matters

I was scanning a number of cars at Dover and there was someone attempting to sabotage a few of the cars with rogue radio transmissions (450 MHz band).
1. How effective would a DF installation be in a venue like a NASCAR track? If NASCAR installs it on a trailer would they be able to direct LE to anything more specific than the seating section (assuming the signal was coming from the stands)?
2. Would a DF2020T do the job or would they need something like a Rhode-Schwarz system?
 

Skypilot007

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I suspect Nascar will one day go to DMR for race comms. They're been carrying DMR radios on their belts for years but only use digital during practice or comms in the garage area. Not that going to DMR will prevent this type of thing, it will make it more difficult for someone to interfere with them.
 

mmckenna

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I was scanning a number of cars at Dover and there was someone attempting to sabotage a few of the cars with rogue radio transmissions (450 MHz band).
1. How effective would a DF installation be in a venue like a NASCAR track? If NASCAR installs it on a trailer would they be able to direct LE to anything more specific than the seating section (assuming the signal was coming from the stands)?
It would require more than one to triangulate the position. 2 minimum, more would be better.
Then someone has to be running the system.
It needs to be nimble enough to listen to all the possible frequencies in use.
Even then, it'll get the area down to a certain "area of probability", that might be a seating section. Things like reflections, interference can throw that off easily.
From there, it's come down to tracking down the individual. That requires a lot of foot work and pure dumb luck. Pretty much you'd have to witness it in action. Since it's easy to conceal a radio and having so many other fans around them, it's going to be difficult.

And most local law enforcement has better things to do.

Easier solution is to just go encrypted or something that isn't hackable by Cheap Chinese Radios.


2. Would a DF2020T do the job or would they need something like a Rhode-Schwarz system?
It would require at least two DF2020T's. Those only show a 10 degree resolution. That's going to leave a lot of area to search. All the jammer would have to do is stop transmitting until the heat is off.

Rhode-Schwartz might have better resolution, but it's still going to be difficult.

This is where encryption makes sense. It's a cheaper approach.
 

N8RDF

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I was scanning a number of cars at Dover and there was someone attempting to sabotage a few of the cars with rogue radio transmissions (450 MHz band).
1. How effective would a DF installation be in a venue like a NASCAR track? If NASCAR installs it on a trailer would they be able to direct LE to anything more specific than the seating section (assuming the signal was coming from the stands)?
2. Would a DF2020T do the job or would they need something like a Rhode-Schwarz system?
My DF2020T (and other amateur dopplers) I've used full time for years is great, but anyone who's used a (hobbyist) doppler knows that, unless you're in a corn field or on open water, readings from a stationary doppler are pretty meaningless. Doppler uses phase shift, so any multipath can completely fool the doppler. Moving/driving causes the multipath shift to average out, giving more meaningful (but never precise) readings. A yagi/beam uses signal strength, so it's better for stationary use. (My KerberosSDR looks promising but still requires a tech geek to operate and maintain IMHO.) You'd likely still have to go on foot with a sniffier or similar, hard to do covertly.
Also, I think those suggesting going digital are forgetting that NASCAR probably sees fans listening in as part of the entertainment (hence the scanner/headset rental booths at the events). Now if they went digital for teams and re-broadcast analog for fans, the interference wouldn't mean much and would probably go away. (And digital/encryption is not interference resistant unless it uses frequency hopping.)
My guess is if the problem is serious, NASCAR would have no trouble getting the Feds involved and resolving it quickly.
Now if we had a doppler on a drone...;)
 

N4DJC

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@N8RDF

No doubt they want some race comms in the open, it’s a pretty big business. The rebroadcast idea sounds good. I haven’t been active in quite a few years. There was a bunch of hullabaloo when some teams went to 800 MHz and it seems there were a couple of teams using some type of encryption. Dover looked empty yesterday. Disheartening in comparison to the late 80’s and early 90’s.
 

gordonaustin

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Also, I think those suggesting going digital are forgetting that NASCAR probably sees fans listening in as part of the entertainment (hence the scanner/headset rental booths at the events). Now if they went digital for teams and re-broadcast analog for fans, the interference wouldn't mean much and would probably go away. (And digital/encryption is not interference resistant unless it uses frequency hopping.)
My guess is if the problem is serious, NASCAR would have no trouble getting the Feds involved and resolving it quickly.
The fans being able to scan is a huge part of the issue. I think they would also be concerned with the cost associated with rebroadcasting a digital from the car. If I recall correctly, the existing radios used for feeding their web feed are capable of digital (could be wrong here, it has been a while since I saw them), but they don't have infrastructure in place to rebroadcast those over UHF (only a couple of NASCAR channels get that treatment).
I have sample clips of it if anybody is interested.
 

Forts

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As mentioned most of the teams (maybe all) are carrying XPR6550s or similar. The crew channels are digital and encrypted, while the driver/spotter stuff on raceday is mandated by Nascar to be analog. Usually during practice you will hear a lot of digital chatter (I'm assuming you don't want other drivers hearing you discuss your setups etc). Also the Nascar garage & pit road officials, fire crews etc are all digital and encrypted. The race command stuff you hear on Sunday with the pace car etc is a rebroadcast of one of the digital channels.
 

TampaTyron

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Working with the frequency coordinator at local NFL games in a former life (they were local broadcast engineers from the area), they have spectrum analyzers and Omni/directional antennas to track crap down. A few fixed professional DF units would make short work of these kinds of things. +/- a few degrees from 2 different DF units at only 1/8 mile away is very accurate. TT
 

ecps92

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they have come a long way, since just showing up with a Scanner and a few Scanner Guides :ROFLMAO:
Working with the frequency coordinator at local NFL games in a former life (they were local broadcast engineers from the area), they have spectrum analyzers and Omni/directional antennas to track crap down. A few fixed professional DF units would make short work of these kinds of things. +/- a few degrees from 2 different DF units at only 1/8 mile away is very accurate. TT
 

evilbrad

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Not very many teams with non DMR radios. Nascar only rebroadcast the race control. Freq from DMR to analog.. And only radio carried and used by officials are Moto trbo radios as mentioned.
 
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evilbrad

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I agree if the NFL game day coordinators were there all the shenanigans would cease. Most are all hams.
 

surfacemount

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Encryption isn't the answer, without getting too deep into the weeds, you don't have to speak the same language to drown it out.

NASCAR would be pretty easy to implement a fixed mesh or networked locating system. (Jails are testing this for rogue phones). They honestly wouldn't even need to make it fixed, there are throwdown sensor flyaway packages they could toss prior to an event and recover afterward.

The same entity that coordinates RF spectrum from all the visiting teams could hire a recently separated EW/ECCM troop or federal guy to run it all (give him a free all access pass to the beer garden, might not even require a salary)... if it mattered. NASCAR appears to be alienating its core fan base; I think they have bigger fish to fry regarding culture shift.
 
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