Panda RF-41A00A HF Transceiver

Michele IZ8XOV spotted a Chinese HF transceiver which appears to be developed for military purposes, the Panda RF-41A00A.

Panda RF-41A00AFrom Panda’s website:
“RF-41A00A 125W HF ALE/FH transceiver is advanced communication equipment with solid-state power amplifier. ECCM technologies have been adopted in this radio. With the operating frequency ranging from 1.6-30MHz, it can perform various kinds of communications in the severe environmental conditions and operating modes such as plain, secure voice between short and medium ranges.

The transceiver makes features of easy operation, flexible parameter configuration, and handiness for transportation. ALE meets witch MIL-STD-188-141A and FED-STD-1045.It can be used as the fixed stations for both navy or land force communications and the communication in emergency. With the high-tech, the radio features excellent specifications, accessories are ready for the user’s selection.”

ECCM?
There are a few meanings possible, but I think this Wikipedia article might be relevant to this military radio.

Electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) is a part of electronic warfare which includes a variety of practices which attempt to reduce or eliminate the effect of electronic countermeasures (ECM) on electronic sensors aboard vehicles, ships and aircraft and weapons such as missiles. ECCM is also known as electronic protective measures (EPM), chiefly in Europe. In practice, EPM often means resistance to jamming.”

Why wireless keyboards are a bad idea

It’s a bad idea for two reasons: 1) possibility of interference (see one of my old posts) and 2) data can be sniffed.

A great example of the sniffing part is the development of the $10 keysweeper.

The “Keysweeper” looks and functions like a generic USB phone charger, but conceals Arduino-powered sniffing gear within.

The device targets Microsoft wireless keyboards and contains a host of functions allowing hackers to monitor keystrokes in real-time and have SMSes sent when certain keywords such as login credentials are typed by victims.

“Using a few-dollar Arduino and a US$1 Nordic RF chip we can decrypt these packets and see any keystroke of any keyboard in the vicinity that’s using the Microsoft wireless keyboard protocol and it doesn’t matter what OS is used.”

keysweeper_1keysweeperVery interesting project – by changing the design slightly, you could also take over someone’s keyboard. Nice for April 1 pranks! (via The Register)

Ofcom wants to prosecute owners of interfering broadband devices

Ofcom. the UK equivalent of the American FCC and Dutch Agentschap Telecom, proposes that people with “power line” networking equipment could face prosecution if it interferes with radio signals.

The Government agency has become increasingly concerned in recent years about “power line” networking equipment. This allows people to use the mains wiring in their homes to transmit data, as an alternative to a Wi-Fi network, and has been distributed to BT and TalkTalk customers to connect their television set-top boxes to broadband.

Ofcom, the communications watchdog, published a consultation on Monday on new regulations that would allow its officials to issue enforcement notices to shut down such networks when the electromagnetic radiation they can emit interferes with radio signals. Those who fail to comply will face criminal prosecution.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom’s proposals are designed to update existing regulations to take account of developments in technology. They are not in response to requests from any organization.”

As well as interference causing security issues, regulators also want to ensure that police and ambulance, and air traffic control, services are able to communicate clearly. The BBC has previously said DAB radio broadcasts are affected by power line technology.

plcOfcom said: “Communications networks form an important part of the UK’s national infrastructure, both directly and as an input to other services including safety and security services, utilities and industry (e.g. banking).

“Communications networks are a key aspect on which these services depend for their organisation and operation, and therefore it is important to protect their correct function from undue interference.”

GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) is particularly sensitive to interference because part of its role involves monitoring international military radio signals that can be very weak when they reach its receivers.

As well as networking adapters, Ofcom said that in the past two years it had received complaints of electromagnetic interference from TV aerial amplifiers, electrical transformers, high voltage power cables and lighting, among other equipment.

Under the regulator’s proposals, those who do not comply with an order to stop their equipment causing “undue interference” face prosecution and fines of up to £5,000 in England and Wales in the most serious circumstances, where lives could be threatened. In Scotland and Northern Ireland the worst offenders face up to three months in prison.

Current legislation blocks the sale of equipment likely to cause interference but Ofcom said the rules do not account for problems once devices are in use caused by deterioration, poor installation, maintenance or improper use. The regulator received 114 complaints of electromagnetic interference last year but had powers to resolve only three, it said.

GCHQ declined to comment on the proposed clampdown. The agency has lobbied for stricter enforcement of anti-interference legislation for several years and in 2011 warned in a rare public intervention, later withdrawn, that power line networking “is likely to cause a detrimental affect to part of the core business of this department”.

Source: The Telegraph

Download DKARS Magazine – it’s free!

DKARS-1DKARS stands for the Dutch Kingdom Amateur Radio Society. Its goals are:

  • To represent the interests of amateur radio operators in European and Caribbean Netherlands;
  • To represent the amateur radio interests at local, regional, national and European authorities; promoting the radio hobby (especially for the younger people);
  • Promotion of Radio Engineering / Telecommunications in general and in education in particular;
  • The use of amateur radio emergency services, especially of the BES islands;
  • Issuing of its own FREE monthly PDF magazine;
  • Help with antenna permit problems (especially in the Netherlands);
  • Solving (mainly) in the Netherlands of increasing interference problems, things like power line communications, plasma TV’s and not CE marked products will have our attention;
  • And more issues that might attract our attention

The DKARS magazine is bi-lingual, part of the content is written in English, the other part is written in Dutch. Main website: http://www.dkars.nl/. Part of an example article below:

DKARS-2

Download link: http://www.dkars.nl/index.php?page=magazine_uk

You can also contribute to the magazine! Just use the contact form and let the editors know.