Ham Radio: Not Just for The Zombie Apocalypse. We Can Find Pot Growers Too


As a Ham Radio operator, I get strange looks sometimes, because I like to play with radios in the age of the Internet. But I usually joke how you want to be my friend when the zombie apocalypse happens because you want to know whats going on with the rest of the world. Well now, if you want find a pot grower, you really want to be my friend. 

potHams have had to deal with interference to the radio spectrum for a long time and some have gotten good at tracking it down. Like Tom Thompson in Boulder, Colorado, whose call sign is W0IVJ. He was getting interference on the high frequency bands (He-He, “High”), and it was pretty bad, so he decided to track it down. I won’t recount the technical details here, but if you want to read more about it, you can stop by the American Radio Relay League’s website for that. But Tom basically built a direction finding rig, and was able to track it back to a local home marijuana grower because of the ballast on the grow lights.

So what did Tom do after he found the interference? He helped the grower get rid of the interference of course. Since pot is now legal in Colorado, there was no need to call the cops and the grower was more than “happy” to oblige Tom with getting the interference cleared up. I’m betting the dude was pretty mellow about it too. I wonder if they shared some munchies after all was said and done?

Tom also gave a warning in an article in The Coloradoan, “If I can track this down, anybody can track this down. If I listen long enough, I can tell when they turn the lights off…you can tell exactly when the harvest is.” And since the Feds don’t recognize the State law, growers are still subject to arrest from the D.E.A. Take note you Mary Jane growers, your grow lights are giving your crop’s location away. My advice, get a license, and learn how to stop the radio interference. Maybe 160 meters will mellow out finally.

If you want to learn more about becoming an Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) operator and what we do in emergencies and our Public Services, stop by the ARRL’s website, or contact a local Ham Radio club.

73. KB2MOB

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About BIG Rich Lawrence

The guy who keeps this joint running, and digital hipster, because meat space is soooo old!

Posted on June 10, 2014, in Tech, WTF and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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