Band Conditions

20 July 2019

Two Weeks Left Until Virginia Sparks31 Class

My next to last class is in two weeks. My last class is in July. The locations are Virginia and Connecticut. There will be no classes west of the Rockies, or in Texas, or any other place for that matter.

If you wanted to attend a class, and never got around to it, there is still plenty of time to grab a flight, rent a car, or ride the dog to either location. If you want to get the latest from the person who began it all, you have two more chances.

Things I will be talking about include:
  • Recent discoveries about Chicom radios.
  • Recent discoveries about common consumer electronics devices that make them better than your Baofeng.
  • Learning electronics to the level where you'll be able to modify/kit-bash off-the-shelf gear, and eventually roll your own stuff.
  • How to organize your communications monitoring efforts for best results versus time spent.
  • What to look for when buying gear, and what to buy.
This is no field radio or "RTO" class. There is no field component. This is the distilled essence of the latest research from a 30+ year technical professional who has worked for companies and agencies that include  Motorola, General Dynamics, Raytheon, United Technologies, MCI, DOD, DOJ. and DHS. As an added bonus I, unlike some others, have also enjoyed technology such as radios, computer science, and electronics as a hobby for even longer, rather than rote learning what was just needed to satisfy some prepper or threeper itch. And unlike some bloggers who have only been active for a few years, you can follow my history all the way back to the beginning:

From the beginning:
Cybertek exists because its producer feels that we are sliding downward to become more and more of a totalitarian society, and that part of the solution to this problem is to impart knowledge and information which is essential for people to have if they desire to exist as free citizens in a free country.  An ignorant populace is very easy for a tyrant to keep down, but people who are knowledgeable in the ways and means to live independently and fight totalitarianism are impossible for despotic state to have control over.  As James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution, once said, "A people who to mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

Cybertek is unique from other libertarian periodicals in that it is mostly (90%) practical, how-to type information.  We feel that enough editorializing has been done in regard to how bad things are, and how "they" are going to come and take away all the gun owners, readers of controversial literature, and other people who are a threat to "the new world order."  We figure our readers have heard enough of that, and now they're ready for information on how they can do something about the rising crime rate, increasingly totalitarian government policies, worsening economy, and other problems facing them today.  Cybertek's content is intended as a powerful tool to assist its readers maintain themselves, and those close to them, in an increasingly hostile world.

14 May 2019

Electronic Security A La Carte - Part 2 (and Some Crazy Rant You Can Ignore)

Redacted for various reasons, but 2.4 GHz, digital, and FHSS. Looks like I also found the chipset used, which is very useful to know if you harbor nightly fantasies of functioning around a dystopian society in the high Cybertek tradition. Nah, don't dream it. Be it. Like T.W. Lee once said, 

"Youngest ever veteran of the Psychedelic Wars, Tommy Hawk was."
That should give the poor gormless drones (probably the ones who were honey potted in from lurking among us something to try to think on for a while. 

In the meantime, I got a lab full of assorted shithouse fixtures I need to fuck with and write about for those readers who are among the Great Pumpkin's loftier creations.


13 May 2019

Free Class Offer!

I will offer a free class (out of the last two remaining) to anyone who has a Vietnam War to 1980s era Flack Vest, Vietnam Era Rucksack, or PRC-25/77 radio to trade for a slot.

Electronic Security A La Carte

You need an electronic security solution yesterday, you have a tight budget, waiting for Amazon to deliver the goods is not an option, and you'd rather not have the purchase on a debit/credit card for, ahem, certain reasons.

No fantasy there. Pretty easy actually. Cash, carry, and the receipt says "office supplies."

This is not a TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, or WROL thing. This is right here and now. Zero to rocking out with your rooster out in about 30 minutes in most places. Total cost was less than the heart attack special at the scary clown. And here's a bonus: no Bearcat or Baofeng is going to find it.

This is the stuff that's important these days. Stuff you can do now to protect yourself and collect information, as opposed to waiting for the TEOTWAWKI WROL Zombie Apocalypse SHTF 2nd American Revolution which should have happened a long time ago, and is not likely to happen any time soon. I've been watching for a long time now, and there are a few disillusioned geriatric boomers who have been waiting even longer.

Want to learn more? Come to class. There are two more left and then they're gone. 

11 May 2019

Old-School Redux: Radio Shack PRO-43 Scanner

The year was 1992, and this was the top of the line handheld scanner that Radio Shack had to offer. Its performance blew away the PRO-34 it replaced, and it'll still give more modern scanners a run for their money. I sold my first one years ago to someone who wanted it more than I did, and spent the proceeds on a Uniden BC-250D with the optional P25 decoder board. Been looking a while now for one in mint condition, as most out there have been heavily (ab)used. Finally found one that is so mint the diode hasn't even been clipped on it to restore full 800 MHz. coverage. No, I'm not going to bother doing it.

As an analog AM/FM scanning receiver for common LMR bands, there are few handhelds that will beat its performance. It was the communications monitoring operative's unit of choice during the 1990s until trunking and P25 systems started becoming more common. There is one that looks pretty mint on Ebay right now for $100. I'd consider that a reasonable price, although I didn't pay that much for mine.

I once knew a CI agent and former Cybertek subscriber, now deceased, who used a PRO-43 with some old Motorola Flip Phones when he needed to do audio work. He was also fond of modifying baby monitors. Shades of Frank and the FLMA (Chapter 5), anyone?

Documentation and service manuals are available for download at

Anyway, I've been looking for a nice one for a while now, and I'm glad I finally found it. If you come across one in decent working shape at a hamfest you should go buy it. It'll work a hell of a lot better as a receiver than that Baofeng HT.

General Update

Finally seeing a slowdown of visits from a certain patriot/prepper site. It's about time the dilettante deluge ended.

Only three weeks until the Virginia class, but still plenty of time to sign up. Alumni can come free, and since it's been five years since I did a full scale East Coast class, there's a lot of updated material to cover, including Baofeng vulnerabilities that will shut one down with common off the shelf equipment. Hey, I let people know that they were junk, and after June I suspect many of them will become non-operational when some less-restrained folks get ahold of the info. Yes, Virginia, Baofengs still suck as bad as they did five years ago. Only difference is that now people should know better. If they would only pay less attention to Brietbart and Barnhardt and listen closely when the adults are speaking.

The state of Connecticut, and I suspect other states, offer free college tuition to veterans and National Guard members. So to answer the retarded ass clown on another blog who made the MIT comment, no one wouldn't be able to do MIT, but if one joined the National Guard (in Massachusetts) they could go to UMASS for an EE/CS degree which would be good enough, if they would only grow a pair and leave their safe space, but that is the typical behavior I have come to expect from that scene.

For those of you who posses more common sense, there are worse things you can commit eight years towards than the National Guard. If you can't get an electronics or tradesman MOS then go clerical, finance, or logistics. The military needs support people as much as they need combat arms.  Actually, go for the available MOS or AFSC that requires the highest ASVAB score you qualify in.  We had the biggest, baddest, most ornery trouble-maker in High School talk to an Army Recruiter, take the ASVAB, and go into the Finance Corps. He's now a CPA with enough money to do whatever he wants, including buy politicians. He's been getting legislation he doesn't like subtlety altered to be less odious to his sense of aesthetics. I'm glad he's on my side, or more realistically I'm glad the dude doesn't hate me.  You can be that guy, smart instead of a stupid ass-clown hanging out with other ass-clowns hand-jobbing each other whenever someone reposts an AOC or Biden meme on their walled garden safe space.

Amyway, to reiterate, there are two Technology, Intelligence, and Communications Classes left. One is in Connecticut, and the other is in Virginia. Advanced training is available from your state college/university, and in many cases can be free (or close to it) if you're willing to join the state organized militia for a few years. As a bonus, some desirable MOSes offer a cash incentive if you sign up for them, and you get some useful training to help you out in other aspects of your life. Yes, there is a certain risk entailed, but since you're one of the Great Pumpkin's loftier creations you're going to put it back in your pants and become a 36B, 94F, or 42A instead of an 11B or 19D. Don't know what those MOSes are? Then go Google them. For those of you who are broke and spent your youth doing things to ensure that you'd never make it though MEPS, here is a freebie:

07 May 2019

Newsletter Mailing List Update

The mailing list for the newsletter is now fully operational, and subscribers should have received the first message. If not, please let me know.

06 May 2019

Guest Post: R-Pi OTP/DRYAD True Hardware RNG How-To

R-Pi OTP/DRYAD True Hardware RNG How-To

by Jefferson.Thomas <>

I had been looking for a way to generate OTPs that would (in theory) be as secure as possible without the encumbrance and time involved by using dice, locked in a windowless basement with a Smith-Corona. I also wanted to be able to make them as small as possible. After a lot of digging that was only mildly fruitful, I decided to make one myself. I also wanted it so that I - and anyone else capable of following a recipe - could make more with a minimum of trouble.

04 May 2019

Sparks31 June Lynchburg VA Class Info Sent

If you signed up for the class in Lynchburg, VA next month, you should have an email with the specifics waiting for you.  If not, let me know.

If you have not yet signed up, there is still time. See for more info. I'm also doing a July class in Watertown, CT. These are the last two classes "Sparks31" is doing, so if you wanted to attend, and have not yet done so this is your last chance.

If you are a Sparks31 alumni, and want a free refresher, send me an email.


27 April 2019

Five Weeks Until June Sparks31 Class

We're five weeks out from the June Sparks31 class in Virginia. An email with specifics will be sent out to everyone who's signed up. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time to get in on my second to last class ever.

I was doing a "Tempest" experiment a few days ago, and made an interesting discovery about Baofeng radios. Those of you who will be at the June class will learn about it first. It's pretty ironic, and in my opinion very amusing.

23 April 2019

FMLA Links - Repeaters are self-defeating.” - Ed Tilton, W1HDQ/SK

20 April 2019

Militaria Show Today

13 April 2019

Essential Reading For Rural Northeasterners

If you live in the Northeast, and are rural (or want to be), you should be subscribing to this periodical or at the very least picking up an occasional copy at the local Tractor Supply. The more austute among you will recognize the essential need to stay informed about local and regional issues, which includes reading material you might not necessarily agree with 100%. 


06 April 2019

In A Kid's Meal Giveaway

For the ignorant, this is a mono-alphabetic substitution cipher.

Subway and Nickelodeon get my kudos for introducing crypto to 3-12 year kids. It teaches linguistics and analytics. And promotes privacy.

Crypto. So easy an elementary school kid can do it. What's your excuse?

Linkz From Yesterday

Just stuff I was looking at.

02 April 2019

More Spread Spectrum

It was one of those times when I realized I've forgotten more than many people know about electronic communications.

I was chatting on a private forum, and one of the participants sent this link: - Spread Spectrum Scene

This was one of the earliest resources we used in the early days of the l0pht's G'net (Guerrilla Net) project, working on wireless data infrastructure. It had escaped my recall until then.

Lots of good information on that site.

01 April 2019

Outland Tek Musings: Reference Material

The Reference Material Page is back up.

Outland Tek Musings: Reference Material: FM24-20(60) - Field Wire and Cable Techniques Frank and the Five Meter Liberation Army (FMLA) The VHF-UHF DX Book The VHF-UHF Primer-...

31 March 2019

Final Sparks31 Class Schedule for 2019 - Connecticut and Virginia - This is it! Last chance!

More information at

Lynchburg, VA - June 1-2, 2019 - $300
Watertown, CT - July 20-21, 2018 - $300
Visit to enroll.

These are the last two Sparks31 classes being held. Ever. Unless you want to dump $2,000+ for a private class, and I don't think you're an ass-clown.

If you paid for a past class, and couldn't make it because something happened on your end, this is your last chance.

If you kept saying you wanted to go, and couldn't for whatever reasons, this is your last chance.

If you have attended a previous class, and want a free refresher with the latest information, try to attend one of these two (and send me an email to let me know you're coming).

I have distilled thirty plus years of experience in the electronic communications field (and not just as a hobbyist as some people erroneously think) working with companies such as Motorola, General Dynamics, Raytheon,  MCI, and United Technologies. This is not a go into the field and set up radios after talking about different radio services and police scanners class. This is a brain dump that'll help upgrade your electronic communications skill set by an order or two of magnitude, from one of the people who helped start the technological survival movement.

And if you remember Cybertek from back in the day, send me an email, and come visit for a private (old-school friends only) party Saturday night. Think Summercon '96 or HOPE '94. You know who you are. Bring Sam Adams, or Spaten. And esoteric electronics. We'll reminiscence, try to stay out of trouble, and toast absent frieknds.

We're not getting any younger.