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Radio direction finding (DFing) has many applications from aircraft navigation to locating unlicensed or clandestine transmitters. In amateur radio circles DFing provides sport in what is known as 'foxhunting' , and to locate sources of interference including deliberate jamming.


In foxhunting a hidden, stationary transmitter is hunted down by groups of suitably equipped radio amateurs.   Not as boring as you might think, and can require a great deal of skill! It is also a good opportunity for a social get together. Foxhunts are normally carried out in vehicles although the final stages are often done on foot particularly if the hidden transmitter is not accessible by road. The frequency of the transmitter is normally in the VHF or UHF bands.

Tracking down interference

Occasionally signals arise on the bands that cause interference to amateur radio reception. Quite often such interference can be deliberate jamming. Unlike CB radio, amateur radio frequencies are generally free of abuse.  However, abuse of amateur repeaters in the VHF/UHF region has become quite common in the UK.  Repeaters offer large areas of coverage and give the abuser a much wider audience.  Often simply ignoring the abuser will be enough, and when he finds his audience aren’t responding he’ll clear off.  However, occasionally a hardcore abuser will surface and these people tend to be very persistent.  Whilst many of them are unlicensed (the proliferation of extremely cheap hand held radios is probably responsible for this), a few are licensed amateur radio operators.  Abuse can take many forms from music playing to gross indecency.  I guess the majority of these people must have similar mentalities to the heavy breather on the phone or the strange guy in the long brown raincoat….(nuff said).

Tackling Abuse

In the UK amateur radio is not a protected service and the authorities often don’t have the resources to find these people and prosecute them.  However, passing information on to the authorities saves them a lot of time (and presumably money), and allows them to target offenders eventually removing them from the airwaves.
Before you put on your boots and get a posse together do remember the golden rule:



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