- Dec 8, 2017
On July 11th, the Cuban government began restricting social media and other strict internet controls. They are also apparently jamming amateur radio frequencies. Source: Cuban Govt Blocks Internet - Jams Ham Radio Freqs - AmRRON
Takeaways:As AmRRON Corps operators have been tracking these recent developments, we also had the opportunity to conduct real-world
testing in an intentional jamming environment by a malicious communist government actor.
So far, we’re not aware of any declarations or laws being passed banning the use of Amateur Radio in Cuba. Although, that is something that might be expected. At this time, we’re not aware of any repercussions against licensed ham operators, including warnings or visits by authorities, or any directives being issued related to ham radio. It only appears that the Cuban regime is conducting ‘harassment’ measures against ham radio operations.
- The jamming (reportedly using 5000 watts of transmitting power), primarily affected voice communications, making it extremely difficult for stations using voice to copy each other.
- As the affected ham operators moved up and down the band, they were often followed, indicating ‘frequency agility’. This means they are actively following ham operators and moving to jam their signals after moving away from the portion of the band being jammed.
- AmRRON operators on the east coast and southeast portions of the US were able to successfully exchange text messages and files using digital modes inside the affected portions of the band being jammed. The jamming did not prevent digital mode communications, which is another testament to digital modes.
- This also prompted a discussion of exploring alternative frequencies within each of the bands we operate in for AmRRON operations. We could easily coordinate this among ourselves using internet-based texting and chatting apps. But if the internet was blocked, operators would need to know where to move to by either coordinating over the air, or by taking the initiative when we’re not able to coordinate at all.
- If Cuba can do it, any powerful entity can do it.
- Digital modes are able to get through the noise, but voice (SSB) can't. So make sure you can do digital modes! And remember, you can transmit outside the default frequencies.
- Establish a frequency-hopping strategy with whomever you wish to communicate ahead of time.