[amsat-bb] A little OT: The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown

Glenn AA5PK aa5pk at suddenlink.net
Thu Apr 23 17:10:10 PDT 2009

"On the night of March 8, cruising 22,000 miles above the Earth, U.S. Navy 
communications satellite FLTSAT-8 suddenly erupted with illicit activity. 
Jubilant voices and anthems crowded the channel on a junkyard's worth of 
homemade gear from across vast and silent stretches of the Amazon: Ronaldo, 
a Brazilian soccer idol, had just scored his first goal with the 

"To use the satellite, pirates typically take an ordinary ham radio 
transmitter, which operates in the 144- to 148-MHZ range, and add a 
frequency doubler cobbled from coils and a varactor diode. That lets the 
radio stretch into the lower end of FLTSATCOM's 292- to 317-MHz uplink 
range. All the gear can be bought near any truck stop for less than $500. 
Ads on specialized websites offer to perform the conversion for less than 
$100. Taught the ropes, even rough electricians can make Bolinha-ware."


Glenn AA5PK
AMSAT #6694 

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