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Author Topic: Personal Drones, a local problem. How can I jam them?  (Read 35183 times)
N6YW
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Posts: 64




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« on: July 28, 2014, 09:36:03 AM »

Greetings
Lately, we here in the Venice Canals where I live and am a homeowner, have been witness to an ever increasing presence of personal drones, or radio controlled aircraft. These are the multi-rotor types that can hover and maneuver much like a copter but much more maneuverable.
These are always loaded with some sort of video camera, like a GoPro. The stream of the video is captured via an iPhone which is docked onto the flight controller.
While I am into such contraptions. I am vehemently opposed to individuals who come into our neighborhood and have free reign on our privacy. So far, the one's we have spoken to and on a couple of occasions. "Accosted" have remarked with dismay that we are upset, and had the audacity to feel they have every right to do so and could not understand why they should stop. One individual with an Aussie accent, felt that I was just expressing an opinion. I informed him it was a fact and that he should heed my warning of an impending lynch mob. Shortly afterwards, he took his toy home to entertain himself with I'm sure.
Here's the bigger problem. Only 9 states have regulations, bans or other ordinances that prohibit this activity. Unfortunately, not here in Los Angeles, or California or at least none I am immediately aware of.

I mean, we all have hobbies and this one is a cool one. But, taking video of your neighbor in the shower and peering into people's dwellings is not a good idea... people tend to get a little touchy about this sort of thing and we here in the Venice Canals are no different. Our location is a prime attraction for millions of people each year, which has caused this new technology to become so pervasive. It's the new trend and once one person does it, 12 people who see it go out and purchase them to do the same thing and it just grows from there. Other than a law banning these aero-voyeurs peeptomming their way into our lives, the only way to deal with this is vigilante style enforcement... which is against the law. On the other hand, some of these flights are at higher altitude above our houses and are capturing the view from above which I am sure is very cool. Our neighborhood is quite eclectic and unique in this perspective, so I am understanding of the reason why many like to do this, but it does cross a line at the "bedroom level" which is a cause of great concern by many of my neighbors.
There is an article in today's LA Times editorial section that is quite interesting that sheds some light on the privacy issue.

So, I am going to look into the possibility of a jamming device that uses the same technology for the control signals for these craft. My solution would be a high wattage carrier based signal that would "swamp" the receiver on the aircraft which would render flight control useless. Does anyone here have knowledge on what type of signals these craft use? Is it spread spectrum? VHF/UHF?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for reading.
73 de Billy N6YW
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W8GP
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Posts: 211




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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 10:17:33 AM »

Where I live, a load of 00 buckshot would be an effective jamming device.
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KU7PDX
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 10:19:16 AM »

My only thought is that if you're caught, the FCC will slap you with a fine and take away your amateur license.

Otherwise, when I want to make sure I have privacy, I close the blinds... Maybe some sort of 1-way window treatment would be more appropriate for more sensitive rooms?
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73,
Chris - KU7PDX
N6YW
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 10:25:32 AM »

My only thought is that if you're caught, the FCC will slap you with a fine and take away your amateur license.

Otherwise, when I want to make sure I have privacy, I close the blinds... Maybe some sort of 1-way window treatment would be more appropriate for more sensitive rooms?
Not quite. The FCC would do no such thing because unless specified, this would not occur on the Amateur bands. Your interpretation of the how the FCC works is not correct.
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SM6XUN
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 10:27:22 AM »

It's certainly not a good idea to commit a crime yourself,
regulations would of course be the best weapon to use.

Most drones are controlled on 2,4GHz with frequency hopping or spread spectrum,
The videolinks for FPV uses 900MHz, 2,4GHz or 5,8GHz and 5,8GHz being the most common.
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N9LCD
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 10:28:35 AM »

If you jam a drone and it crashed, you can be liable for any damages the crash causes.

N9LCD
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N6YW
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 10:31:31 AM »

It's certainly not a good idea to commit a crime yourself,
regulations would of course be the best weapon to use.

Most drones are controlled on 2,4GHz with frequency hopping or spread spectrum,
The videolinks for FPV uses 900MHz, 2,4GHz or 5,8GHz and 5,8GHz being the most common.
Thank you. Very useful information.
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N6YW
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 10:42:15 AM »

This brings up another subject that is interesting. On certain frequencies bands, we Amateurs are required to accept interference because we are secondary users. Does the same hold true for these aircraft? Is this industry immune by emissions that are co users of these bands? Are these bands "itinerant"? Are they open to different types of use, intended or not?
I'm not sure how this can be enforced and requires a deeper look into the books.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 12:00:55 PM »

...Otherwise, when I want to make sure I have privacy, I close the blinds... Maybe some sort of 1-way window treatment would be more appropriate for more sensitive rooms?

That's what window blinds and shades are for.  Why do you want to invite such activity (peeping toms) by leaving them open?  These days that's the way some sick people get their jollies--and it isn't getting better, it's getting worse.  And yes, those mini blinds will still let in light while helping you keep your privacy.
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SWMAN
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 01:01:43 PM »

I second the 00 buckshot idea. Just do it and go back in the house and shut the door and if anyone asks you about the loud bang just say you didnt hear anything, I dont know what it was. Nowdays you have to defend for yourself and your family no mater what it takes.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 01:10:59 PM by SWMAN » Logged
K9AIM
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 02:17:02 PM »

If you jam a drone and it crashed, you can be liable for any damages the crash causes.

N9LCD

otoh, if you had a signal strong enough to over-ride the owner control which told the thing to descend and land, that might be as good as shooting it down without the fallout  Wink
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N6YW
Member

Posts: 64




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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 02:21:55 PM »

If you jam a drone and it crashed, you can be liable for any damages the crash causes.

N9LCD

otoh, if you had a signal strong enough to over-ride the owner control which told the thing to descend and land, that might be as good as shooting it down without the fallout  Wink

According to a source of mine, when these rotorcraft lose their signal, they revert to hovering in one spot until the batteries are depleted, thus falling from the sky. This may present a harmful situation for a passerby. There is much to learn on this subject. Back to the point of this thread, the idea is to prevent them from flying in our neighborhood, PERIOD. We have a right to our privacy and having to shutter my windows is not the point of this thread.
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K0OD
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 02:38:46 PM »

Quote
the idea is to prevent them from flying in our neighborhood

What the heck do you'all do in that neighborhood that you imagine is so drone-worthy? It's not like they can see into those California basements with all the grow lights.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 02:55:43 PM by K0OD » Logged
KU7PDX
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2014, 02:53:22 PM »

My only thought is that if you're caught, the FCC will slap you with a fine and take away your amateur license.

Otherwise, when I want to make sure I have privacy, I close the blinds... Maybe some sort of 1-way window treatment would be more appropriate for more sensitive rooms?
Not quite. The FCC would do no such thing because unless specified, this would not occur on the Amateur bands. Your interpretation of the how the FCC works is not correct.
Sure, they wouldn't "cancel" your FCC issued license, however they would absolutely consider any actions against you within the purview of the FCC when deciding to allow you to renew or upgrade your existing license.
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73,
Chris - KU7PDX
N6YW
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2014, 02:59:45 PM »

Here is a reasonable answer to my question, seeing how some of the responses are from individuals
who are topically challenged:
"OK - most of these things use 2.4GHz direct spread spectrum for control, 5.8GHz for the video down. SS is resistant to jamming to a certain extent depending on the coding gain, which I suspect in a bit of consumer crap is not huge, just enough to stop multiple controllers nuking each other. So say 20dB coding gain. That and that the receiver front end is cheap and dirty, too, with iffy large-signal capability makes it vulnerable to brute-force jamming. A typical RC transmitter is about 100mW with an omni antenna; getting say 30dB up on that is quite doable - a few Watts and some antenna gain. Stiff drone."

You see? No mention of grow lights.
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