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Protest radio frequencies?


Lscott
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I’ve noted more protesters are carrying two-way radios. Anybody have an idea what frequencies seem to be the favorite ones used? The Baofeng UV-5R looks looks it’s the go to radio recommend by many prepper and militia groups. Poor choice IMO.

 

https://radiofreeq.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/militia-radio-frequencies/

 

I’m guessing most of the radios are the cheap Chinese ones since you program them for operation outside of the Hams bands with requiring modifications. They can be easily programmed for the public service frequencies which likely accounts for the reports of police radio communications being jammed in some cases.

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Just a caution to be civil here. This thread has the potential to get political fast, and that's not okay here. For casual listening to the protesters, I have no issue with sharing that information. I do have a problem with using that information for nefarious purposes, however. Just like how it's okay to share information for monitoring police and the military within the confines of the law, but once you try to use it for nefarious purposes that goes out the window and becomes a problem here.

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Just a caution to be civil here. This thread has the potential to get political fast, and that's not okay here. For casual listening to the protesters, I have no issue with sharing that information. I do have a problem with using that information for nefarious purposes, however. Just like how it's okay to share information for monitoring police and the military within the confines of the law, but once you try to use it for nefarious purposes that goes out the window and becomes a problem here.

The point is well taken. The info is just for general information and monitoring. After seeing photos of people carrying around what is obviously two-way radios I got curious if anybody happened to pick up the communications. There were a few protests by me and all I heard were comments by the mall security guards since some of the protesters had used it for parking.

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The issue you'll likely run into is that they are probably using whatever frequencies that come with the radios, or using random frequencies that they can program from the face. Thus they can have stored frequencies, but also tune into whatever frequency they wish when they need to talk. Likewise I'm sure they are using the scrambler function so police dont try to listen in.

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The issue you'll likely run into is that they are probably using whatever frequencies that come with the radios, or using random frequencies that they can program from the face. Thus they can have stored frequencies, but also tune into whatever frequency they wish when they need to talk. Likewise I'm sure they are using the scrambler function so police dont try to listen in.

The first point is one of the reasons why the FCC started clamping down on the cheap Chinese radios. I had a buddy that was fooling around like that with one. I got him to test for and received his Ham Tech Class license. He's having a lot of fun now, getting into the digital voice modes and hot spots. 

 

I'm only aware of a few radios older radios that have any kind of scrambler function. Many of the older FRS radios used simple voice inversion. I believe the FCC put an end to that with the rule revisions in 2017 which became effective in 2018. I know of several current higher end Chinese radios that will do digital encryption since they are both analog and digital (DMR). Several of the older Kenwood LMR analog radios have either built in simple voice inversion or the user can install a more advanced voice encryption module. I have a few of those old radios, used off of eBay of course without that option. You wouldn't believe what those boards cost. I checked in case I ever ended up with a used radio that had one installed. You never know.

 

https://www.ameradio.com/product/512172/description.html (Just one of the several types they sell)

 

The PDF files have some interesting info on the modules.

 

On your last point that does bring up another question. Has anybody seen what kind of radios are being used? Apparently the link in my first post seems to show the cheap UV-5R is widely used. The article is an old one so I would guess some other make and model has taken its place. 

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The UV-5R is still widely available, and still cheap.

 

https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-Dual-Radio-Black/dp/B007H4VT7A

People are cheap. I guess if you wanted a radio for a specific use and have no interest in radio as a hobby you would buy the cheapest thing that does the job. The strange thing is these radios are cheaper than the bubble pack FRS radios, in a dollar per radio sense, in most cases.

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I’ve noted more protesters are carrying two-way radios.  [... ...] the Baofeng UV-5R looks looks it’s the go to radio recommend by many prepper and militia groups. Poor choice IMO.

 

Interesting juxtaposition. It seems obvious both groups are using electronic communications. From text messaging on up.  Where I would expect to see a clear difference is in the level of the planning.

 

The protesters tend to be ad-hoc groups, perhaps started by some organized core, but generally attracting most participants at the last minute.

 

On the other hand, the prepper/militia groups seem to better organized, tend to plan, and meet regularly.  So, I would guess thoseorganizations would have more sophisticated equipment, be better trained to use it and have better included "security" in their plans.

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Interesting juxtaposition. It seems obvious both groups are using electronic communications. From text messaging on up.  Where I would expect to see a clear difference is in the level of the planning.

 

The protesters tend to be ad-hoc groups, perhaps started by some organized core, but generally attracting most participants at the last minute.

 

On the other hand, the prepper/militia groups seem to better organized, tend to plan, and meet regularly.  So, I would guess thoseorganizations would have more sophisticated equipment, be better trained to use it and have better included "security" in their plans.

For quickly planed events, or just a spontaneous group gathering, it's likely true.

 

I agree with the comment for the more organized groups. The frequencies used I doubt would change that much, would have to reprogram a lot of radios which isn't practical when people need to be deployed quickly. What would be hard is figuring out their "com sec" protocols. That can be quickly changed by just handing out the radios with a sheet listing the special codes used at the last minute.

 

With that said there are likely elements who are technically competent, various radio hobby orientated individuals, who could show up with the appropriate equipment and have no affiliation to any organized group. As pointed out the UV-5R is readily available and still very cheap. It wouldn't be a budget buster for somebody to keep a handful of these at the ready, per-programmed, show up at the event and pass them out to selected people. 

 

The positive point is those radios don't use any form of voice encryption or scrambling. So using a scanning type radio, likely easier done with an SDR dongle which can watch a wide chunk of spectrum, so when strong pips shows up zero in and see what can be heard. Might get lucky.

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The San Francisco Bay area had several protests about 10 years ago when the fares were raised on their subway system that were organized and coordinated using text messages between cell phones.

I think that was the time where the government shut down cell phone service for several hours?

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The San Francisco Bay area had several protests about 10 years ago when the fares were raised on their subway system that were organized and coordinated using text messages between cell phones.

I think that was the time where the government shut down cell phone service for several hours?

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You're right. The protesters filed a complaint with the FCC about interrupting the cellular network. The Association I was with filed in support of the MUNI stating it wasn't a public network that was shut down. MUNI had installed an inbuilding repeater network that carried the cell carriers. They shut down their system which did not affect the service normally available from the commercial services. The FCC agreed, MUNI could turn their system off at any time.

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You're right. The protesters filed a complaint with the FCC about interrupting the cellular network. The Association I was with filed in support of the MUNI stating it wasn't a public network that was shut down. MUNI had installed an inbuilding repeater network that carried the cell carriers. They shut down their system which did not affect the service normally available from the commercial services. The FCC agreed, MUNI could turn their system off at any time.

Interesting point about who owns the system and has the right to shut it down. One has to wonder where else kill switches are installed and who has their finger on the button.

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