ΓRF catches unusual activity bursts on KC area ham nets

21jan_a

We’ve set up Grafana dashboards that use data sent to the ΓRF server by the clients distributed around the city.  Some of these are used to monitor amateur radio (ham) frequencies.  It’s not unusual to see sporadic blips here and there: hams searching for other hams.  Sometimes we’ll see bursts of blips that last for awhile; these are conversations.  (Right click->View Image to see a larger version)

Something unusual occurred 18Jan2018 at about 0100UTC, and again at about 2200UTC.  Several ham radio frequencies, including repeaters and storm chaser frequencies, began to light up the dashboards.  The radio traffic lasted between six and nine hours, depending on the frequency.  Many of the frequencies seemed to cease their activity all at once.

There are a couple of theories as to what was happening.  One of our team suggested sporadic E propagation / ducting.  This had been going on in the area around that time.  Another theory was that a large, multi-repeater exercise was taking place in the area.  This is also a possibility, though a short search online didn’t provide any clues.  I was able to confirm there were indeed transmissions taking place on several of these frequencies (as opposed to noise) by using my hand-held radio – so it doesn’t seem that the cause was wide-band noise.

Either way, it was exciting to see ΓRF pick up this unusual traffic.  It will be stored in our time-series database and displayable on the graphs for the next couple of weeks.

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