Why do jammers jam?

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Having spent many hours listening to major DXpeditions such as FT4TA and FT5ZM, one has to wonder, why do Jammers Jam?

It seems with the passing of each successive major Dxpedition that the jamming just gets worse and worse. The jamming on FT4TA has been extremely fierce at times. Music, sounds, RTTY carriers across SSB and CW frequencies. It is often called DQRM for deliberate QRM.

When I was a young man in High School, our Electronics teacher taught us how to make pocket “TV Jammers” This was a small circuit and a 9 volt battery that would fit in your pocket. It was fun to go over to a friend’s house and push the jam button and watch their TV go blank or see the picture become twisted and distorted. We tried this in the TV section at the local Sears store and much to our surprise it worked.

In the 1970’s CB radio was all the rage for my peer group. Some of my friends created jammer boxes called “phasers” and they enjoyed jamming the older CB enthusiast on the adult frequencies. These were not the legal limit of four watt stations mind you. The jammers enjoyed the reaction that they got. I thought it was senseless and a waste of time back then as I still do now.

In my view, the jammers jam for a reaction. If they don’t get a reaction they might continue or grow tired and do something else. All too often, Hams give the jammers quite a reaction and things really get out of hand. The DX often picks up on this and often go QRT until the problems subside and they can continue.

Let’s all try an experiment. Let’s not react to the jammers and just ignore them. Use some Psychology and not give them the attention that they may be seeking.

Don’t mention about the jammers on the radio or on the spotting clusters. Let’s see if the “ignore them” approach might be better than what we have now.

What do you think?

  1. Jim Leder says:

    I call them QRMorons.. they are childish and usually are wasting their time. I really don’t understand why they do what they do. It is totally senseless. Maybe it’s the DX station’s fault at times. Come on now, a 30 KHz. spread for the pile, starting 5 KHz. up? This alone would probably peeve a lot of non DX chasers. Still, NO excuse for the deliberate QRMorons.

  2. Ed Muns says:

    Don’t waste time trying to understand intentional QRMers. Just ignore them … entirely.

    Ed W0YK

  3. ky6r says:

    This may sound strange, but I have gotten used to all kinds of jamming, DQRM, local noises and whatnot. Over the years I have developed (with the great and awesome help of the K3’s filtering abilities) a way to still hear the DX and block out the noise.

    It seems to happen in “waves”. Oddly, when I ride my bike, I also experience times when drivers seem to hate cyclists on the road – sort of like road rage. For whatever reason – this behavior seems in vogue for a while – then subsides – then comes back. I have read QST articles where people complained about the same thing many years ago. Gil even had some cartoons with the OM saying his “blood was going to boil” with such bad on air behavior.

    However, some times its just so bad that I then switch to trying the DX on another band – or I go on a bike ride and when I get back, I can then work the DX.

    This past weekend – while trying to work 7O2A – several stations dropped pretty much right on his frequency and started calling CQ contest or whatever. They were much louder. With the K3 filter, I was able to notch things down to where DIma was somewhat “garbled” and the offending (and accidental) QRM-er was nothing but click click “thumps”. There was enough of Dima’s signal to work him.

    The QRM was not intentional – I suspect that the station did not hear Dima well enough, so thought the frequency was clear – or was just not listening much. People are in a hurry in a contest too – you can hear it . . . Contests are very different than big DX-peditions though – especially because this was one of the times Dima was simplex. However, even if he were split – the QRM on RX would have still been there.

    I can change my focus and concentration to the point where I almost don’t hear the offenders. Its weird.

    Maybe its like when my wife asks me to do a “honey do” – my “selective hearing” turns on? (Don’t tell her I said that – doh!) . . .

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