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What's all the Buzzzz about?
Last updated on October 17, 2014 by The C.A.R.L.A. Team | This article is Archived | Permalink
What’s all the latest buzzzz about?
In the recent days there has been some obnoxious and disruptive buzzing/hash noise heard on the
network. In fact, it has been heard on quite a few repeaters, links and transmissions throughout the
420-450 MHz Amateur bands in and around the greater Sacramento & San Francisco Bay Area (and
beyond). It’s been determined that the signal is most likely coming from the direction of Beale Air
Force Base located near Marysville, CA. in the Northern Sacramento Valley.
This is different and much more disruptive that the ‘normal’ PAVE PAWS radar clicking/popping noise
we’re used to hearing. It sounds like a different type of wide-band radar often used on planes and
ships except that it does not appear to be sweeping but rather constant and strong. When this noise
is present it’s usually overpowering and will quite often make conversations inaudible and/or
unusable. It affects both repeaters and link radios that are within range of the ‘radar’ signal and
then it can be extended throughout the entire network by repeating the noise via the link back-bone.
This can also affect other systems in different bands that use the link portion of the UHF band to
connect repeaters and other communications. Some CARLA systems should work much better if used in
the local mode and if they are far enough away from the source. Unfortunately, CARLA’s primary hub
(and many link paths) are in direct line of site to Beale AFB and therefore will suffer the worst of
So far, the noise has been intermittent as far as duration and time of day. It seems to have started
during the latter part of Fleet Week and was first assumed to be a ship that was docked and left
their radar on like has happened in past years. However, several people have been able to DF the
signal towards BAFB and this is very disconcerting to many of us with sizable infrastructure that
relies on the UHF band for communications.
As soon as we hear any more significant information regarding this issue we will try to pass it on.