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back to article Ofcom swoops on kiddie's bedroom

A dodgy TV aerial managed to generate enough signal to interfere with passing aircraft, until shut down by Ofcom investigators. The UK regulator was investigating complaints of interference with radio communications from aircraft approaching Luton airport, and suspected pirate radio operators might be responsible. But earlier …

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Common

This is actually quite common. Those aerials include, I suspect, an RF amplifier. An amplifier is only a feedback loop away from becoming an oscillator, and that's where the problem lies. When you combine high gain RF amplifiers with cheap overseas design and construction, you get circuits that don't always do what they should.

We had a case several years ago here in the US, with poorly built mast-mounted antenna amplifiers which became oscillators after exposure to weather cause some of their contacts to corrode.

//Ham radio guy, knows way toomuch about this stuff

//Mine's the one with the spectrum analyzer in the pocket

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Anonymous Coward

A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Hope the photographer who took the photo of that kid has had a CRB check...taking photos of kids in their bedroom is the sort of thing you'll get banged up for nowadays!

Won't someone think of the children??

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Aiding and abetting

"We'll never know for sure, as the Ofcom investigator told the family to bin the offending aerial" -- which would actually be illegal. The "crossed-out wheelie bin" symbol means that it must be returned to the manufacturer or taken to a designated site for recycling.

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Alien

Ofcom Compliance

Will they check other samples of the same model to see do they really meet CE standards or do nothing?

RSGB is taking them to court because they won't check dodgy PLT/Homeplug gear, one Model has been banned in Sweden.

Also some CFL lamps are "RF clean" and others (and some "transformerless 12" Halogen lamp PSUs) completely obliterate LW, MW and SW radio. Who actually checks the Manufacturer's self certification?

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Unhappy

Frowntastic

"The Telegraph has a picture of the offending kit, complete with grinning child" - Grinning??! If thats how that child grins, Id hate to see him upset.

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@A J Stiles

Except that those regulations do not actually apply in a domestic setting.

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Black Helicopters

Quote from the Telegraph

"Nickie, who is 12, had used the booster device for two years to watch cartoons, music channels and Big Brother on his 14-inch television."

Ahh so because he was watching Big Brother, he knew they were coming and hid the pirate radio gear. Did you see the shifty look on the kids face, you can just tell he's scheming his next plan. Still good on him watching them who watch us.

Black helecopters and posted anonymously because you know, they're out there.

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Coat

Did anyone else..

... read the last line as google boxes?

Or am I just seeing the chocolate factory everywhere?

Mines the one with the tinfoil lining and hat.

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@A J Stiles

A 15 quid Chinese aerial booster from a few years back that's known to perform waaaay outside spec?

It probably didn't have a wheelie bin symbol, crossed out or otherwise.

You're the sort of person who used to delight in lecturing those of us using "red triangle" modems, aren't you?

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Stop

@ "cheap overseas design"

"... And that, mylord, is why we need larger allowances, and only to buy wireless sets lovingly handcrafted in the Welsh dales from finest oak, to good solid British designs unspoiled by any wog's, spic's, yap's or chink's grubby mitts."

I can see you there, Sir Viggers, your "Peter Simpson" handle doesn't fool anyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Should it really be so easy?

Seems to me that we should be more concerned about aircraft communications that are so easily compromised. Now they know about it, this could save a senior citizen (aka potential terrorist) the bother of sneaking a nail file on board...

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Pirate

That child...

...is most definitely not grinning.

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Anonymous Coward

tv in kids bedroom

TV in my bedroom stopped me having to fap in the living room hoping my mother or step dad didn't come down/get home and catch me in the act. An important thing in my opinion, I even had a vcr oooo yeah and cable at one point.

And it's embarrassing, although here's a question if your kid is fapping on the sofa and you come down and see them and you don't either a: leave or b: they stop fapping and put their junk away are you a paedophile? Much as if your kid comes down the stairs finds their mother giving their step father a blow job on the sofa whilst watching someone's home porn and they don't notice immediately and stop are the parents now paedos?

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Anonymous Coward

Child Protection Alert!

"Nickie, who is 12, had used the booster device for two years to watch [snip] Big Brother .... "

Won't someone please think of the children?

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Joke

@AC 1330

posting comments about thinking about children and banging? Call the paedofinder general- we've got another one.

I really should put down this daily mail once in a while...

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Unhappy

Grinning?

If that's him grinning, he must be inconsolable when something sad happens.

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WTF?

grinning?

i think not.

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Coat

When i were a lad...

I wouldn't say the kid in the pic was "grinning"...

And wtf do kids have tv's in their bedrooms these days? Big Brother?? My god is that suitable viewing for anyone let alone a child of that impressionable age?

I'll admit I had a TV in my bedroom at age 13 onwards - however, most of the time it was used for BASIC coding on an attached Commodore 64. And the rest of the time watching...

/gets coat

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Coat

For one thing...

That explains "Donnie Darko"...

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FAIL

"...the Ofcom investigator told the family to bin the offending aerial..."

Taken to the local recycling centre and placed with the WEEE waste, hopefully.

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Coat

I think this is a hoax...

.. i was tipped off by this suspicious phrase:

"The UK regulator was investigating complaints"

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FAIL

The kid...

.. deserves it. According to the Telegraph he was using it to watch Big Brother (how ironic !).

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Go

@Stiles

Recycling 'bin' perhaps?

In many places small electrical items are disposed in a bin.

Bob

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FAIL

Kid not grinning as reported shocker!

As title says.

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Dead Vulture

"grinning child"???

He looks pretty miserable in the pic as far as I can see...

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He stopped wathing TV

And went to play with he Laser pen.

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Only Fools and Horses

Anyone else reminded of the Only Fools and Horses episode where Del Boy geta a hookey satellite dish rigged up on his balcony and at the end a plane starts flying towards them?

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Unhappy

Numpties, of course the little sprog is smiling

You're simply holding the picture upside down.

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Boffin

@ John 186

Aircraft radios are not difficult to interfere with, but it's not really *that* much of a problem for a number of reasons:

Most airports have more than one frequency - so they can change to another if there is interference (or emergency communications) on one.

There are written-down procedures for dealing with a complete radio failure - which may involve things like flying a certain pattern the radar controllers will recognise, or setting a special transponder code which will also show up on the radar screen.

If a terrorist wanted to interfere with aircraft transmissions, it's easy enough to do, they could just buy a transceiver for about £100-£200 from one of the online pilot shops - many pilots carry them as a backup, but inevitably some have fallen into the hands of "pranksters", so the legitimate users are certainly aware of the possibility there's a nutter or terrorist on the other end.

It's fairly easy to recognise someone on the radio who hasn't been trained in the language and mannerisms and can therefore be disregarded - inconvenient, but not dangerous; plus, the control tower can get a bearing accurate to a few degrees of the direction of any transmission (google "VDF", probably how they found the equipment in the article). Police have this capability too, I think.

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WTF?

Hmmmm

I've got two of them in my garage, and my neighbour also has one

Anyone wanna purchase a couple of aircraft comms blockers cheap

I'll bung them on ebay for £5 each

Should be ideal for those blinking terry nappy ists

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Flame

Little Nicki Strikes Again....

Almost Succeeded too....

back to hell with you son.......... (shame u didn't manage to take the passengers with you)

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Direction Finding

I've yet to see an airport that can DF a VHF airband transmission with their standard equipment, and the police certainly can't do it either.

There is no substitute for a good aerial system - an amplifier certainly won't cut it in place of a properly fitted aerial - for TV or anything else.

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Stop

Crossed-out recycle bin means recycle?!?!?!

@ A J Stiles 13:31" The "crossed-out wheelie bin" symbol means that it must be returned to the manufacturer or taken to a designated site for recycling."

WTF... You learn something new every day. Our only wheelie bins are for recycling so I'd naturally assumed that a crossed out one mean the item couldn't be recycled and had to go in the normal rubbish! What genius thought that symbol with no text or explanation would be a good idea?

Anyway, after checking the 7 different bags, boxes and bins our council have sent us to recycle various items we don't use, I can't see one appropriate for pretty much anything electronic!

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Pint

Ugly, ugly children!

To quote, "I know no one thinks their kid's are ugly, but there are some damn ugly adults about, so something doesn't quite fit!"

Rather than wasting money putting a TV in his room, spend it on getting the dozy little git a half decent hair-cut!

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Troll

A-HA!

They finally found one! I hope they lock that remorseless little terrorist bastard up for good! Put him away before he gets his hands on something really dangerous. Like a laser pointer!

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Proud of the Regtards

I'm glad you saved me having to comment on the non-grinning grinner. But now I've had to comment on the commenters. Boo!

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Anonymous Coward

Re; John 186 by lIsRT

>There are written-down procedures for dealing with a complete radio failure...

or scrambling a couple of fighter jets.

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oops

@lIsRT that's 'information likely to be of use to a terrorist' ya know.

Go directly to jail etc.

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Anonymous Coward

He uses it for watching Big Brother

Now Big Brother is watching him.

@A J Stiles

I'm sure he has been properly trained to tell them the politically correct line of responsibly disposing of the appliance.

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Anonymous Coward

@A J Stiles

'The "crossed-out wheelie bin" symbol means that it must be returned to the manufacturer or taken to a designated site for recycling.'

You must have good eye-sight as I can't see it in that photo.

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Re : Ayrshore

I was maintaining such equipment in the very early 70's. The data feed was sent on only to our own control tower but also to West Drayton where they intergrated the output of VHF DF equipement from all over the country.

Radio DF is ridiculously easy to do.

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Headmaster

"how long it had been interfering with pilot's communications we don't know"

...but it's certain he's bl**dy annoyed by now.

// I've got one of those.

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This one, methinks

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5344008/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CHome+entertainment+and+sat+nav%7C14419512/c_2/2%7Ccat_14419512%7CClearance+Home+entertainment+and+sat+nav%7C14520847/gotoTab/reviews.htm

// (I've got the non-signal-boosting TCE2000, it turns out)

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