Wednesday, December 19, 2012

US UHF Milsat Pirate Busted

Many of us who monitoring Milsat activity are well aware of the hijinks involving Brazilian (aka Portuguese speaking) pirates transmitting over our UHF milsats. Well one another one of them has been busted, and no he was not in South America, but right here in the United States, New Jersey and an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator to boot.

So who is our winner of the "Bonehead of 2012 award?" Here is part of the story courtesy of the ARRL website:

FCC Finds New Jersey Ham Violated Communication Act, Reduces Forfeiture from $20,000 to $16,000

After unsuccessfully appealing to the FCC to cancel his $20,000 forfeiture, Joaquim Barbosa, N2KBJ, of Elizabeth, New Jersey was issued a Forfeiture Order stating that he must pay $16,000 for “willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by operating a radio transmitting equipment on the frequency 296.550 MHz without Commission authorization.”

The FCC noted in the Forfeiture Order that based on the examination process involved in pursuing an amateur license, “amateur licensees are expected to have an understanding of radio operations and pertinent FCC regulations, including Part 97 of the FCC’s rules governing the Amateur Radio Service. Licensed amateur operators know that they are authorized to operate only on the frequencies listed in Section 97.301 of the rules, as designated by their operator class and license. Pursuant to the Table of Allocations, the 267-322 MHz band -- the band that Barbosa was operating in -- is allocated solely for federal government use, which we continue to believe Barbosa knew (or should have known) was not authorized for non-government use.”

Barbosa’s Amateur Radio license expired August 31, 2008, but his timely filed renewal application was listed as “Offlined for Enforcement Bureau Action” in the ULS. As such, Barbosa was legally allowed to operate while his case was undergoing the enforcement proceedings.

You can read the complete bizarre story on Barbosa and why he thought he could operate on a DoD Milsat uplink/downlink on the ARRL website at:

And what is 296.550 MHz? From my MilcomMP database:

296.5500 FLTSAT Charlie Navy Fleet Relay (25 kHz) Channel 04 Uplink
The downlink for this uplink is 255.550 MHz.

 Here are a couple of the notes in this regard from my database about this 255.550 downlink/296.550 uplink

255.5500 Portuguese pirates music and comms (also noted using DStar digital comms)
255.5500 Portuguese milsat downlink pirates, whistling

So N2KBJ guess we won't be seeing you hand around the ham bands in the future. Just curious how is that Brazilian milsat license you got working out for you?

As old P.T. Barnum you to say, "There's a sucker born every minute" or you may better recognize it in your 296.550 MHz native tongue, " um otário a cada minuto nasce."