More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

“Should I feel guilty about ham radio?” asks Homeplug user

"Should I feel guilty about ham radio?" writes Guy J Kewney in an item on powerline network adapters at Wireless.net. Well in my humble opinion there is a special place in Hell for the purveyors of these spawns of Satan and any user who is aware of the problem but carries on regardless.

Well I ask the question to anyone in the The HomePlug Alliance will it piss you off if a disgruntled radio ham jams your mobile phone, WiFi and keyless car fob and wipes out your TV just as the big match starts? Because we could if we wanted and due to the Internet we know who you are and where you live. Not that I advocate such radical action, at least not yet, but anyone who went to war with these morons would get more than a little sympathy from me.

It is not just the fact that vital filters have been removed from the ones on sale after type approval or the grey imports from the far East that are the problem, the whole concept is flawed. I am sure if most users recognised the security issues with these devices they would shy away from them. I know of several people who have been able to connect to friends home network and use their broadband several streets away with these adapters. Think what would happen the same was done by criminals? Then there is the issue of what is radiated from your home wiring. The same thing interfering on the ham bands is your data being broadcast to anyone who cares to listen and decode your every key-press and if it comes out on the amateur bands where there are people with the know-how listening then your darkest secrets are ours. We will know all your passwords, be able to read all your emails, know what kinky porn sites you are visiting and what you are buying on eBay.

The wider issue is that these damned things interfere with other more vital things than amateur radio, but when the Emergency Service have a problem thing are done and done quickly. Not the case for us hams.

Should you feel guilty about ham radio? Yes but more than that you should feel worried that the worm may turn or your Ambulance does not get there because someone's PLC interference stopped the message being received.

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