September 2, 2016

My Nights With GWEN

One of my early interests was SWL. My first receiver was a Radio Shack DX-100. It was not a bad radio, but I soon realized I needed something better.  At the next hamfest, I acquired my first "commercial grade" receiver, a Stoddart NM-20, shown above. It was actually a piece of test equipment, but was one of the most sensitive receivers I ever had the pleasure of using.

I liked to listen for the exotic stuff, and now that I had the capability to tune below the AM broadcast band, one of my monitoring targets was a relatively new (back then) radio system called GWEN (Ground Wave Emergency Radio Network).  It was pretty difficult to accomplish any type of LF communications monitoring on 3/4 of an acre in suburbia, but I did manage to log GWEN and a few other signals down there.  Loop antennas and portable radio gear are your friends.

The GWEN system was shut down in the mid 1990s, and many of the sites were refurbished into DGPS nodes. Alas, even DGPS is on its way out.

So why am I talking about obsolete, long shut-down, LF radio systems?

Because the fucktard conspiracy posts about GWEN and other alleged electromagnetic mind control systems have started circulating again.

I especially have to take issue with the pictures of the PCS and cellular radio sites (operating at 800 and 1900 MHz.) that are shown as "GWEN sites" that are operating down in the 100-400 KHz. region. Even if there were some rather huge loading coils at the base of those towers to help make the microwave wavelength-sized antennas resonate down there, their efficiency would be as bad as transmitting into a dummy load.

Here is the layout diagram of an old GWEN site:

And here is what one looked like in the wild:

They look a hell of a lot different than a cell-tower.  That's because they are, quite literally, on opposite parts of the RF spectrum.

Now that's not to say electromagnetic weaponry doesn't exist, and sees operational use.

But you need to be able to discern between fantasy and reality.  That's where education, experience, and having the right equipment to detect RF signals over a wide spectrum range comes in.

Now most of the time the bullshit story is a repost from someone who unfortunately is too ignorant to tell the difference. Ignorance can be corrected, however.   The important question is did the OP, whoever he or she is, do proper research with the necessary test equipment, and do they have enough education to properly interpret and analyze what they might have discovered?

From what I've seen, the answer is no.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this post regarding the Stoddart. I have 2 old watt meters w/ the Weston scales and meter, the build qualiy is outstanding. I'm thinking of trying to locate one of the Stoddarts for AM broadcast band DX'ing and lower - NDB DX'ing for example. Is there enough audio output for headphones since this seems to have used w/ a chart recorder? Tnx.