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Jammer, Chinese Firedrake transmitter coming back online, June 17, 2011, 1415 UTC

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Published on Jun 17, 2011

Firedrake Jammer, recorded at my location in the Mojave Desert, California, June 17, 2011 at 1418 UTC. At the beginning of the recording the Firedrake jammer is off-line, and starts to come back up on frequncies at about 1415 UTC.

The Chinese Firedrake Jammer periodically takes its transmitters down. Typically it is at the top of the hour and on the hour, in this case 1400 UTC. It probably does this to confirm that the signals it wants to jam are still active on the frequencies it is jamming. Typically at around 15 minutes after the hour the jammer starts coming back up, sometimes on the same frequencies but sometimes shifted to new frequencies. It generally takes several minutes for all 5 to 10 frequencies to come online. This recording is done after the first several frequencies have already come on line and as the jammer is in the process of bringing more online.

Using the ability of the Excalibur wideband spectrum display you can see when a new transmitter comes up on the air. As the timing is odd for shortwave broadcasters to be coming on during these windows most of the larger signals seen coming up are the Firedrake. You will note that I did select one frequency (17151 kHz) that ended up not being the Firedrake though, it was a WEFAX signal that probably also started at about 15 minutes after the hour.

The first signal I notice coming online is on 13500 kHz, next is 14720, 15780, 10300, and 7970 kHz. You can tell that the pattern on the waterfall is fairly distinctive and easy to see. But I still managed to grab a "wrong" signal on 17151 kHz between the time the 15780 and 10300 kHz signals come online.

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