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Pirate Radio Station In Florida Jams Automotive Electronics

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the it's-not-a-bug-it's-a-feature dept.

Communications 315

New submitter titanium93 writes "For months, dozens of people could not use their keyless entry systems to unlock or start their cars when parked in the vicinity of the eight-story Regents bank building in Hollywood, FL. Once the cars were towed to the dealership for repair, the problem went away. The problem resolved itself when police found equipment on the bank's roof that was broadcasting a bootleg radio station. A detective and an FCC agent found the equipment hidden underneath an air conditioning chiller. The man who set up the station has not been found, but he faces felony charges and fines of at least $10,000 if he is caught. The radio station was broadcasting Caribbean music around the clock on 104.7 FM."

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RTFM (5, Funny)

subanark (937286) | about 2 years ago | (#42412245)

From the article:

Most drivers were forced to read their owner's manual to learn how to access their manual key, Camara said.

Re:RTFM (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412271)

But it's locked in the glove box!

Re:RTFM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412315)

It's a bank, odds are this was the Manual start:

Car Owner(shouting): Manuel, arrancar el coche!
Manuel: Si, Jefe!

Re:RTFM (3, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#42412381)

It's amazing how many people forget to use their key if the remote stops working for any reason, including a dead battery. And from my experience, it's mostly middle-aged people who were driving for decades before remote entry became common.

Re:RTFM (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#42412545)

It's amazing how many people forget to use their key if the remote stops working for any reason

Could that be because the remote also dis-arms the alarm system? Using the key alone will set off the alarm on many cars.

Re:RTFM (5, Informative)

krovisser (1056294) | about 2 years ago | (#42412625)

Negative. Unlocking the car from the inside sets off the alarm. Using your key on any OEM system will disarm the alarm.

Re:RTFM (4, Interesting)

Golddess (1361003) | about 2 years ago | (#42412735)

My Ford Escort proves you wrong. If I lock it with the remote, and then stick the physical key into the lock on the door and unlock it, the alarm goes off.

Re:RTFM (3, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42412797)

And putting said key in the ignition will turn it off.

Re:RTFM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412865)

I've never known any car alarm that does that.

In fact, in every car alarm I've ever looked at prior to and including the one I currently have, the car alarm has a "starter kill", which means that when the car is armed (or going off, because y'know, if it's going that means the car alarm is still turned on), the starter is disabled, and you cannot start the car.

What the hell is the point of a car alarm if someone can just bump-key the ignition immediately after breaking a window?

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412809)

they havent made an escort in a decade, and none that I am aware of have an OEM alarm, you have some shitty audiovox thing half assed onto your old beater

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412747)

WRONG. I have an OEM alarm system on my Honda and if I use the key to unlock the doors instead of the remote, it sets off the alarm. Of course there's a hidden button below the dash that I can push will disable the alarm.

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412829)

You do not have an OEM system -- Honda doesn't ship with anything like that. What you have may be dealer-installed, but it didn't come from the factory like that.

Re:RTFM (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42412847)

Negative. Unlocking the car from the inside sets off the alarm. Using your key on any OEM system will disarm the alarm.

Depends entirely on the car.

My owner's manual specifically states:

The driver’s door key cylinder cannot arm or disarm the Vehicle
Security Alarm.

Re:RTFM (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#42412671)

Yep, that happens with my car. Had the fob battery die while I was out at band practice, and when I unlocked it the alarm went off.

Of course, I couldn't turn it off so I just drove it home like that. I stopped off at the pub on the way.

(I had a club soda.)

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412741)

I call BS. After market alarms maybe, but not the stock ones.
If you unlock the door, either by fob or by key, it disabled the alarm.

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412803)

You don't use your key much, do you? The alarm is disarmed when the key is used to unlock the car, whether you push the unlock button or not.

Re:RTFM (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#42412799)

Some of the car makes mentioned in the article have push to start, meaning the user never needs to use a physical key if it all works properly. I can't say what those cars are equipped with definitively, but my push to start key fob has a manual key hidden inside the key fob. It's somewhat physically difficult to get it out of the fob, and it only works on the doors, there is no cylinder to insert a key into to start the car.

The article mentions keyless entry systems specifically, and I'm not sure if they are using that term to cover cars with push button start ignitions.

Re:RTFM (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about 2 years ago | (#42412757)

Many FOBs can only unlock the door with the manual key, but won't start the car, so you're dead in the water.

Re:RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412835)

So you unlock the doors, get your Faraday cage out of the trunk (you may think of it as that Space Blanket you keep in the back in case you blindly follow your GPS into the snow), place that over your car, start your engine, grab your blanket, and drive away. Not so hard for a true Geek.

towed to the dealer? (5, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#42412259)

Keyless entry systems might be handy (although yet another security risk), but having a keyless system with no key backup is insane. Do these people also get their car towed when the keyless entry battery dies? Or if the car battery dies? I would never accept a system that didn't have some form of alternate entry and starting.

Re:towed to the dealer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412295)

entry? sure its silly no to have a mechanical entry method, but starting? If you have a newer car you probably have a key with a chip in it. If the car cant read that chip then it wont start. I had the wireless modue go back in my car last year. the effect was the remote door unlock stoped working, tire presure sensors stoped working, and the car wouldnt start. Jamming/interfearance could produce the same effect even with the key itself in working order.

Re:towed to the dealer? (0)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42412551)

entry? sure its silly no to have a mechanical entry method, but starting? If you have a newer car you probably have a key with a chip in it. If the car cant read that chip then it wont start. I had the wireless modue go back in my car last year. the effect was the remote door unlock stoped working, tire presure sensors stoped working, and the car wouldnt start. Jamming/interfearance could produce the same effect even with the key itself in working order.

Not only that, but your spelling "stoped" working as well.
Please get that wireless "modue" fixed as soon as possible, mKay?

Re:towed to the dealer? (3, Funny)

AaronLS (1804210) | about 2 years ago | (#42412785)

Thanks for that. The world is a better place now. Please follow his next 3 posts to ensure grammar compliance.

Re:towed to the dealer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412821)

Go fuck yerself

Re:towed to the dealer? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42412817)

Reprogramming the car to read the chip takes all of about 30 minutes, most of it waiting with the key just sitting in the ignition.

The 'chip' is a resistor in most cases, the car just has to learn its value and that its acceptable, there is a simple key turning sequence to get it to do so but its designed to take time rather than be instant, hence the 30 minute wait. You aren't jamming it unless you're talking about a keyless ignition, in which case, you're stupid for buying the car with keyless ignition.

Re:towed to the dealer? (2)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#42412365)

Keyless entry fob for my Prius has a physical key built into it. They can't be the only manufacturer that does this.

Re:towed to the dealer? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42412489)

On our Hyundai Santa Fe, the keyless fob is attached to the physical key similarly to yours. But you need the physical key to start the car, so it's not quite the same situation being described in the story (I think).

Re:towed to the dealer? (2)

ev1lcanuck (718766) | about 2 years ago | (#42412509)

My Prius was the same way, and when I got my Nissan LEAF I was concerned that there was no slot in the dashboard to insert the key in the event of the fob battery running out. There is a metal key in the fob but only to open the doors. For the LEAF the procedure is to hold the key over the power button on the dashboard for 3 seconds then push the power button, so there must be some sort of NFC style chip in there as well. I could imagine that illegal interference could mess that up and the car companies would generally not design a failsafe around an use case that is unlawful and reasonably well controlled, whereas a dead battery is not illegal.

Re:towed to the dealer? (5, Informative)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#42412651)

There's different kinds of "keyless" systems.

Most "keyless entry" systems are remotes that unlock the doors and disarm any security system the car might have. Otherwise, the car is as normal and has physical keys, physical locks on the doors and requires a mechanical key to operate the ignition.

My Volvo has what Volvo calls "Personal Car Communicator" -- a wireless proximity key that allows the doors to be opened and car started without any button press other than the starter button. The key can stay in your pocket.

Now in the case of my Volvo, the "normal" starting process for non-PCC cars, the same keyfob fits a slot on the dash. There's no mechanical bypass, although I assume starting would work without any battery in the keyfob.

The door locks are all electronic and unless you've read the manual, you might not realize that the keyfob's "key ring" is actually a slim metal key that can be removed from the keyfob and used to mechanically unlock the door.

With a system like this, common to many high end luxury cars, I can see nontechnical people freaking out and saying their car doesn't work, either not letting them in because they don't know the bypass exists or not starting because they don't know the non-wireless starting method (ie, fob in slot or similar).

Or they may just be really high strung people who figure that anything that doesn't work is Mercedes' problem and they need to get the car and give them a loaner.

Re:towed to the dealer? (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42412687)

Keyless entry systems might be handy (although yet another security risk), but having a keyless system with no key backup is insane. Do these people also get their car towed when the keyless entry battery dies? Or if the car battery dies? I would never accept a system that didn't have some form of alternate entry and starting.

You have no idea just how insecure keyless entry systems are. Let's just say you're about an hour, a soldering gun, and some arduino project parts away from being able to steal luxury cars en masse. Anyway, the kind of people who plop down $80 grand for a car are not the kind of people who want to fuck around with jumper cables and risk having to ask... one of the unwashed masses... for help. They'll call for a tow, every single time. Which, in a twisted kind of social justice, makes me happy. These people spent a small fortune on a brand new top of the line car... and they can't drive it because it lacks a standard feature found in that beater car with black smoke pouring out the back of it: A metal key.

Re:towed to the dealer? (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#42412761)

There's a difference between keyless "entry" and keyless "starting". I am unaware of any manufacturer that has keyless "entry" that does not provide for manual entry. Most keyless entry fobs have the mechanical key built into the fob and a traditional mechanical lock on at least the driver-side door. As for keyless "start" otherwise known as keyless-go, there is normally a fallback, reader slot that you can put your fob into. This works off of a different, passive technology such that even if the fob battery is dead and unable to transmit its own radio pulse (the signal being interfered with), the fob will bounce back the reader's signal. I suppose it's possible to technically "jam" the reader, but it would be from a purposed, deliberate attack not a pirate radio station.

Re:towed to the dealer? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42412811)

I have an economy car from Hyundai and I can open the doors to my car with an app on my phone.

I have the base model, but the tech package allows you to also start your car with the phone app.

This would not be effected by the pirate station since those signals are sent via the Bluelink system.

I'm confused (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412265)

I don't understand. 104.7 FM is a part of the spectrum allocated for radio broadcast. Why was that interfering with keyless entry systems? Is this just an issue of too much power?

Re:I'm confused (5, Informative)

Urban Nightmare (147344) | about 2 years ago | (#42412275)

If the keyless entry is in the 314mhz (thrid harmonic) range then it could possibly be interference. A poorly controlled oscillator can cause this.

Re:I'm confused (2, Interesting)

meekg (30651) | about 2 years ago | (#42412363)

low-quality transmitters emit more on side-bands, IIUC

Re:I'm confused (5, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#42412777)

low-quality transmitters emit more on side-bands, IIUC

"side bands" carry the information in the radio signal. They are created by the modulation of the carrier, and are what make the signal have "bandwidth". While a low quality transmitter may have some noise in the oscillator that appears as side-band information, it is probably not as much "in the side-bands" as a full power FCC licensed FM stereo radio station that has Muzak or other extended signals, also known as "SCA" [radiosca.com] .

It is the poor filtering of the low-quality transmitter that results in the emission of harmonics (third, fifth, etc.) from a non-linearity in the oscillator or the amplifiers. In this case, a third harmonic around 312 MHz, which is a common [allaboutcircuits.com] unlicensed [rfm.com] control device frequency.

Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 2 years ago | (#42412267)

I get you not supposed to run an illegal radio, but why was the signal causing problems for cars? Was it too strong or was there an underlying signal being sent out?

For me, the funny part, "people had to get their manuals out how to manually open their car doors"

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (5, Informative)

big_e_1977 (2012512) | about 2 years ago | (#42412313)

The third harmonic of 104.7 is 314.1 Mhz. Keyless entry systems operate at 314.93 Mhz. The bootleg transmitter/antenna likely didn't have any filtering to reduce spurious emisions or harmonics.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (5, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#42412357)

A lot of keyless entry systems work in the ISM frequencies around 433.920MHz - which is annoyingly close to one of the commonly-used 70cm channels around here.

It's possible that he was using a UHF link to his TX site to avoid detection, somewhere around 433.9MHz.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (5, Funny)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#42412419)

And he would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling keys.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (-1, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42412591)

And we know its a "HE" because?

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412709)

Because it has nothing to do with baking, cleaning or cooking, you feminazi cocksucker.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412715)

puh-leeeez

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (4, Informative)

aevan (903814) | about 2 years ago | (#42412743)

Four days after they removed the equipment, a man identifying himself as "Jay" left a message for a maintenance worker at the bank building, police say. When the worker returned the call, "Jay" asked if he'd taken his equipment. The answer: No, but the cops did. "

~From article

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412763)

The original article indicates "The man..." and "he"... it's possible the police have narrowed it down to men due to DNA, photos, or Magic (or they're just sexist). Not the parent's fault, though, blame the original article.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#42412861)

And we know its a "HE" because?

As someone else pointed out, because TFA said so.

But lacking that, "he" is still the correct word because in the English language "he" is both a third-person pronoun referring to "a particular person who is a man" and a third-person pronoun referring to "a person of unknown gender". This is why people who use the pronoun "she" to demonstrate their "cultural sensitivity" are just confusing, because they have forced a gender specificity on the antecedent when none really exists. How do they know it was a woman? Those who understand the language are left trying to figure out why there is something specific to women involved, or why it matters.

And those who use "he or she" are really saying "any person or a woman..."

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (5, Informative)

Technician (215283) | about 2 years ago | (#42412353)

Having been in the industry (broadcast) the issue was not with the FM band transmission. The illegal transmitter was most likely home built, improperly adjusted, and lacking harmonic filters and a narrow band tuned antenna. Most transmitters do not run class A or Class AB amplification like a low distrotion audio amplifier, but in Class C a clipped mode transmission rich in harmonics for high energy effeciency (like a switched mode power supply) and the output is filtered with a resonant tuned tank circuit. If the bootleg transmitter was not tuned, or lacked the tuned tank and tuned resonant antenna, then he was not only broadcasting in the FM band but also providing lots of energy on harmonics of the fundemental.

Fundimental is 104.7
2nd harmonic is 209.4
3rd harmonic is 314.1

My car remote is in the 315 MHZ range and would be impacted by this. The FM signal is not a narrow band frequency as it is Frequency Modulated. It could easily overlap the range used by car remotes. Not getting into the car is only one issue. The second issue is the problem with the chip in the key for anti theft immobolization.

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412531)

The illegal transmitter was most likely home built, improperly adjusted, and lacking harmonic filters and a narrow band tuned antenna. Most transmitters do not run class A or Class AB amplification like a low distrotion audio amplifier, but in Class C a clipped mode transmission rich in harmonics for high energy effeciency (like a switched mode power supply) and the output is filtered with a resonant tuned tank circuit. If the bootleg transmitter was not tuned, or lacked the tuned tank and tuned resonant antenna, then he was not only broadcasting in the FM band but also providing lots of energy on harmonics of the fundemental.

Yes, but couldn't we just reverse the phase-charge polarity of the main deflector array, route the backup thermoquantum buffers through the primary energy manifold, and use a timed tachyon-gamma pulse to cancel out the interference?

Re:Illegal Radio Frequency jamming car locks? (0)

Stiletto (12066) | about 2 years ago | (#42412767)

My car remote is in the 315 MHZ range and would be impacted by this.

Impacted? Like a tooth? I think you meant "affected". /Sorry, my pet peeve.

No thanks! (1)

DarthBling (1733038) | about 2 years ago | (#42412285)

So people were actually stranded because they couldn't get into their cars because their keyless fobs wouldn't work? The driver's door should at least have a keyed lock.

The article said people actually had their cars towed to the dealership because they couldn't unlock them, so I'm disinclined to this this is operator error, but a really bad design by asshat engineers. At least the article gives us a clue as to which car companies to avoid in the future: "Cars made by Ford, Lexus, Toyota, BMW and Mercedes were reportedly affected."

Re:No thanks! (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42412429)

My BMW has a good old fashioned mechanical key inside the fob, with a good old fashioned lock cylinder inside the drivers door handle. This sounds like clueless South Florida douchebaggery to me.

Re:No thanks! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42412667)

And perhaps equally douchebaggery corrupt towing services, all of which should have known about the physical keys.

On the other hand...
Its entirely possible that the interference was so strong that even getting in the car your fob would not allow it to start.
There is no physical key slot for starting the engine in my car, but holding the but of the fob against the start button is
supposed to work.
If that was being DOSed as well, towing might be the only option.

Re:No thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412515)

Not sure if trolling, but all major manufacturers who offer remote entry/keyless ignition include physical keys with their fobs for backup, and a port in the car into which the non-functioning fob can be inserted for ignition unlock. People are just dumb, believe it.

Re:No thanks! (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#42412877)

People being dumb would be them not figuring out to put the key in the hole and turn it. Something they've been accustomed to doing for decades.

I think it's fair to say that a new user interface (emergency key fob ports that may be well hidden and keys hidden in the fob) could confuse people without them being dumb.

Re:No thanks! (2)

egranlund (1827406) | about 2 years ago | (#42412559)

I initially thought this while reading the article, but then I realized that the people interviewed were people who lived in the apartments and thus parked in that lot every night.

I too would have my car towed to a dealership after this happened more than a few times - especially with a new car. A pirate radio station is so far outside of the realm of everyday possibilities of your car malfunctioning that even some basic troubleshooting would have completely missed this issue.

Re:No thanks! (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#42412653)

I don't know about you, but if my keyless entry is not working correctly but I could still get in and start the car manually, I think that I would DRIVE my car to the dealership instead of getting it towed.

Re:No thanks! (4, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#42412825)

And as soon as you drive it to the dealer, it starts working normally again, thereby becoming a wasted trip. Better to have the dealer/towing service come and see the problem while it is failing instead of being put into the 'idiot who does not know how to use keyless entry' file.

Re:No thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412663)

Why would you have it towed if you knew you could start it and drive it to the dealership?

Re:No thanks! (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#42412727)

They probably do have a physical lock and key that opens it but with many cars there has been a bad decision with the on board anti theft and security systems that the car alarm will go off if the key is used to unlock the vehicle after it has been locked the the remote. If that weren't bad enough when the car alarm goes off the ignition locks and won't let you start the car until you lock and unlock it with the remote.

It is also becoming more and more common to have sport and luxury cars with no key only the key fob with a rf chip similar to the ones in credit cards. I saw that in one of my friends cars it seems ridiculous to me considering that any one with the right equipment could listen in on the key exchange.

Re:No thanks! (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#42412849)

Actually, I'm afraid this is just a case of stupid/ignorant people. Keyless entry systems have a mechanical key--which is normally built into the fob--that will fit a nice little mechanical lock on at least the driver-side door. Keyless-go (start) systems normally have an RFID reader slot--which is unlikely to be affected by the pirate radio station--that you can insert your fob into. Could the engineers have made their keyless systems less susceptible to interference? Probably. Could the car owners have still have unlocked and driven off in spite of the pirate radio? Almost certainly. Are the towing companies going to tell save their customers the expense of a tow by telling them this? Doubt it.

Re:No thanks! (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#42412851)

Funny, the doors on my car can be unlocked by my phone and it is an economy car from Hyundai.

I'd bet on corroded antenna leads (5, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | about 2 years ago | (#42412287)

I'd bet it was corroded feedline or antenna connection not protected against the salt air. If it formed a diode [wikipedia.org] , it would set up a strong 3rd harmonic right next to the 315 Mhz band used by keyless remotes according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . Without that, they may have been able to stay on the air much longer.

I love how Wikipedia makes it easy to give a lot more context for these type of explanations. 8)

Re:I'd bet on corroded antenna leads (5, Informative)

Technician (215283) | about 2 years ago | (#42412431)

Corrosion or a Class C power amplifier without an output resonant narrow band antenna or tuned tank. My bet would be home built transmitter with a Class C amplifier and lack of harmonic filtering.

The rusty bolt can give some harmonic power but not nearly as much as an unfilterd power amplifier.

Rusty bolt tends to be problems near a receiver such as a rusty downspout on a builting making a clean transmitter look bad to locals within a building. This is most often seen with Ham radio complaints where the ham is clean, but the TV in the apartment a block away is due to rusty guy wires or downspout on the apartment. IE the harmonic is generated in close proximity of the TV viewer a block away.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_C_amplifier#Class_C [wikipedia.org]

Class-C amplifiers conduct less than 50% of the input signal and the distortion at the output is high, but high efficiencies (up to 90%) are possible. The usual application for class-C amplifiers is in RF transmitters operating at a single fixed carrier frequency, where the distortion is controlled by a tuned load on the amplifier. The input signal is used to switch the active device causing pulses of current to flow through a tuned circuit forming part of the load.

Very Impressive (1)

codewarren (927270) | about 2 years ago | (#42412453)

Sherlock Holmes, is that you?

Re:Very Impressive (2, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42412501)

I think that the KA9DGX combination of characters and numbers that is the GP's screen name should ring a bell [hamcall.net] to any self-respecting /.ter.

Re:Very Impressive (2)

codewarren (927270) | about 2 years ago | (#42412619)

Yes, but Sherlock Holmes is also a master of disguise [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I'd bet on corroded antenna leads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412499)

And this is why you have illegal immigrants set up your illegal pirate radio...

wow (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42412305)

" "We were blaming it on the police. The police were blaming it on the courthouse. We didn't know what was going on.""
Maybe you should stop blaming people for things when you don't know what's going on?

""Something mystical was going on,""
And there it is. people ascribe something as mystical and then they stop using their brain. This is why SCAMs* are dangerous. "It's energy and mysterious? well then I guess we can't find a real answer."
This thing happens, and it's always in the same area. Clearly Aliens.

"Most drivers were forced to read their owner's manual to learn how to access their manual key, Camara said."
Sigh.

*Supplements and Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Re:wow (1)

ankhank (756164) | about 2 years ago | (#42412475)

> "Most drivers were forced to read their owner's manual
> to learn how to access their manual key, Camara said."

Regrettably, as the owner's manual was usually inside the vehicle ....

My Solution (4, Funny)

Westwood0720 (2688917) | about 2 years ago | (#42412377)

Drive a shitty car with the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition. Worked for me for over a decade now!

Re:My Solution (1)

berashith (222128) | about 2 years ago | (#42412427)

I left the keys to my first car on top of the car everywhere i went. Never lost them.

Re:My Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412503)

Some "shitty" cars top stolen car lists, such as ooold Dodge Caravans (which are prone to flipping over at high speeds unless you turn it slower than an 18 wheeler, and other nasty things).

Re:My Solution (1)

CodeReign (2426810) | about 2 years ago | (#42412853)

The Dodge Caravans can be popped open with little to no effort using a flat head screwdriver.

Re:My Solution (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42412595)

I dunno... thieves aren't always the brightest bulbs in the box. I had one break into my beater of a Ford Pinto to steal my crappy $10 speakers, back when I was a teenager.

Re:My Solution (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#42412693)

I dunno... thieves aren't always the brightest bulbs in the box..

Well, he was smart enough to leave the Pinto, wasn't he?

Re:My Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412711)

Drive a shitty car with the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition. Worked for me for over a decade now!

I did that and the car got stolen. Then they brought it back and slapped me.

I guess it's true what they say.. (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42412389)

104.7 FM brings you the best jams~

Nothing New (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412391)

This happened in NYC this summer [foxnews.com] but it was faulty wiring rather than a pirate radio station.

Ballsy pirate... (2)

guyniraxn (1579409) | about 2 years ago | (#42412393)

Not only was he broadcasting pirate radio but he did it in the commerical frequency range, more likely to interfere with a licensed operator (who wants that ad money) and get the FCC called to investigate.

Re:Ballsy pirate... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412461)

Umm, if he didn't do it on a commercial frequency range, how else would people have heard it?

Re:Ballsy pirate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412795)

Radio doesn't stop at the ends of the commercial frequency range. I could build a receiver for 1.8MHz to 30 MHz and here some pretty cool chatter.

Re:Ballsy pirate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412823)

I think he meant that frequencies from the bottom of the FM band up to 91 or so are reserved for noncommercial operators (public radio, universities, etc.). They don't have as direct an incentive to care if their reception is poor in certain areas as someone who sells ads.

Jammin (4, Funny)

PaddyM (45763) | about 2 years ago | (#42412395)

...

We're jammin', we're jammin', we're jammin', we're jammin';
Hope you like jammin', too.

...
Credits to Bob Marley

Re:Jammin (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 2 years ago | (#42412649)

The radio station was broadcasting Caribbean music around the clock

Maybe that's where they should start looking for the operator....

Pirate Caribbean radio? (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#42412397)

Anyone else finding this amusing?

Re:Pirate Caribbean radio? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 2 years ago | (#42412477)

I thought Christian Slater would have more work by now.

You're not seeing the big picture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412399)

What a badass.

Say a prayer for me now (4, Funny)

ischorr (657205) | about 2 years ago | (#42412401)

'"At first I thought it was me," said Jacobson, who started to say a little prayer every time she tried to use her electronic key.'

God: Messing with people's vehicles since 4000BC.

Re:Say a prayer for me now (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42412675)

God: Messing with people's vehicles since 4000BC.

Well, at least He didn't make the wheels fall off this time around. But maybe if these had been Segways...

Clear warning given (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#42412443)

We be jammin'

It's right there in the lyrics!

Class C, no filters-- (2)

sillivalley (411349) | about 2 years ago | (#42412493)

Yep, 3rd harmonic, probably from an unfiltered Class C power amp -- and it will desense those silly little receivers if it doesn't block them completely. The more modern ones have some front-end filtering, but not a lot.

A lot of automotive stuff in that frequency range -- keyless entry, TPM (tire pressure monitoring), and garage door openers.

I'm surprised nobody has gone after the protocols to see how many low tire pressure warnings they can set off at once...

Same problem near Sutro Tower in SF (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 2 years ago | (#42412577)

Upside though is that cars start without a battery as well :)

Tempting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412579)

My work is right by the casino up here in cold Canada... This is oh so tempting to do now. Just for a laugh. I'm a horrible person >_

I'm a bit confused (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#42412639)

On TV, the pirate radio stations are always broadcast from little ships sitting 12 miles offshore - so this guy was obviously doing it wrong.

The only other option is to use an old motor home as your base of operations... if you're 20 minutes into the future, anyway.

How dare they! (1)

admiralh (21771) | about 2 years ago | (#42412699)

How dare the Evil Government abridge my Rights to Disable said other Persons keyless entry systems!

This was Obviously not the Intent of the Founders when they Wrote the Constitution!

WOLVERINES!

Re:How dare they! (1)

ogar572 (531320) | about 2 years ago | (#42412783)

HACK THE PLANET!

Just check janitors and maintenance (1)

ugen (93902) | about 2 years ago | (#42412717)

Relatively few people will have access to building roof. Radio station would need constant maintenance, and (assuming it is running autonomously) a way to change music selection (although perhaps they were feeding data wirelessly?).

Just check janitors and maintenance personnel, and there you'll have it.

Also, it's Regions bank, not that anyone cares.

I bet it was...... (1)

ogar572 (531320) | about 2 years ago | (#42412745)

Hard Harry. Pump up the volume people!!!

The bright side (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42412759)

At least with the jamming effect in place, nobody would walk by with a laptop and steal your car by hacking the doors and keyless ignition. So that's a plus.
Seriously, all this wireless proximity bullshit it ridiculous. It's jammable, hackable, and breaks often. What exactly is so bad about laser side-cut keys, huh?

Re:The bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42412867)

What exactly is so bad about laser side-cut keys, huh?

They're jammable, hackable, and break often.

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