The Care and Feeding of Jammers?

So, Now What? (Part 7)


There are a few terms for this phenomena – malicious interference, QRMing, but the most frequently used term is ‘Jammers’. I’m not referring to ‘Lids’ who can’t seem to coordinate their fingers on their ‘push to talk’ (PTT) buttons and “step on others’, nor am I referring to other “Lids” that can’t remember to look around their local frequency to check that no one is already transmitting on a frequency close by, before they push their PTT button and blather on, or even the type of “Lid” that likes to “tune up” for 10 to 15 minutes during someone else’s communications. No, I am alluding to those products of a brother and a sister’s poor choice of sex partners, under the influence of some cheap alcoholic beverage, that get their jollies by blocking legitimate transmissions with their blank carriers,  making weird noises, short outburst of obscenities, or specific insults at people trying to talk to each other on the air! These guys are not just jerks by accident – they are determined and planned out jerks!


If you have used your transmitter more than a handful of times you most likely have been a victim of these pitiful wretches. These people are utterly impotent – powerless in the real world. They are devoid of any true substance – mere ghosts wandering unnoticed in their real lives, unable to affect anyone, for good or bad, and then they discover the radio!


Radios are a godsend for these wretches. Turn it on, spin the dial, find someone, somewhere talking civilly to another soul. All it takes is a press of that PTT button and you can affect another soul! Someone that would not look twice at you in the street, someone that wouldn’t think it worth his time to even insult you will now RESPOND to you. Some of your victims will mention you repeatedly to each other and, even better, they will “engage” themselves with you in this random act of intellectual debasement. They will stop having their friendly little conversations and get up on a soap box to hurl obscenities back at you for half an hour! What do they say? Bad publicity is just a good as good publicity? “These guys know of me – they hate me, they FEAR me! Why should I ever stop!”


As much as I dislike trying to “get into the mind” of such human detritus, I think this is what goes thru these scabrous fellows. So, what is the best route to deal with them?


There seem to be two major schools of thought with dealing with the Jammers. The “low road” is to threaten their lives and suggest that their mother’s had immoral congress with farm animals which brought them into this world. The high road is to deny them their “15 minutes of fame”. To not “pay attention” to them, and they will “get tired” and “go away”…


It sounds reasonable, like something someone’s reasonable parent might say about “the school bully”, but not terribly emotionally satisfying. How do most hackneyed movie writers usually write that scene? It’s usually the bullied child learns Karate or “The Force”  or perhaps what a wuss most bullies tend to be, and proceeds to knock the crap out of said bully in the school yard, to a large audience from school (always including the cute girl that never really was impressed by the previously bullied kid before this). By the end of the pivotal scene the bully is skulking away, never to be heard from again and the ex-victim of his previous bullying, is the new “Karate Kid”, or “Jedi Knight” or whatever. The musical score reaches a crushing crescendo and the movie is over…


Well, life ain’t no movie, it isn’t even a tired old prison show on TV where the first day “in da joint” you find the “biggest, meanest, ugliest con”, and beat the crap out of him. Some Action Movie aficionados, no doubt, fantasize about strangling the offenders with their own coaxial cables, or bludgeoning them with the chassis of the offender’s own re-purposed CB boxes. No, I’m sorry, but we all are presently living in the real, sorta civilized world. So, put away your idle threats and your run-on creative Anglo-Saxon obscenity laced turns of phrase, and think of what might actually work.


If this were a perfect world we would react as a nation of laws. We would notify the chief enforcement agency of these acts of radio vandalism and watch the law in action. These jammers are clearly in violation of parts of Part 97 of the Federal Communications Act! Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and likely never will be. The FCC seems to be an almost toothless beast, these days when it comes to enforcement of any rules, with more and more of those few remaining teeth falling out under the policy of increasing budget cuts (if only the FCC could convince Congress that if the FCC is weak, “The Terrorist Win”, or some simplistic drivel like that).


So, physically attacking this scum might be emotionally satisfying, but it is quite illegal and for all our bluff and bluster, it is unlikely to happen. Hurling epithets at these jerks is only going to inflate their illusion of importance in the world, and will much more likely fuel future episodes. Some people respond to Jammers by behaving almost identically to them – “we become that which we hate”! The authorities simply don’t give a sh*t. They don’t understand anything about radios and they don’t really care. As they see it, this is all just adults playing with their toys, screwing with each other. The Police feel like they have much more important problems to deal with, so don’t expect a SWAT team to descend upon a jammer’s site of operations. This would leave us with…


“Just don’t pay ANY attention to them”. Ignore them. Do not even take the time to respond to  their excremental acts. Don’t mention interference, don’t mention QRM, don’t mention ANYTHING that they are producing – they are without substance, their crap just passes by us unnoticed! They DO NOT EXIST. Is it less emotionally rewarding to do? Yup! Is it the most likely way that these dip-shits will find some other way to spend their valueless lives upon this world? Perhaps!


To ridiculously paraphrase Frank Herbert’s “Dune” (it’s a great book, I heartily recommend it, if you’ve never read it):

“I must not “jam”. Jamming is the mind-killer. Jamming is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my jammers. I will permit them to pass over me and through me. And when they have gone past I will turn the inner eye to see their path. Where the jammers have gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


Right now, it’s the best route we have!


Any thoughts?


– Your [Cranky] Editor –