Various blog postings and DX forums have recently discussed the poor behavior of many DXers in pile-up situations - intentional jamming, pirates and other forms these folks have of demonstrating their inbreeding.
“What to do about it” is an ongoing theme…but it is a theme that can’t be implemented without knowing who they are.
With today’s DSP capabilities and with powerful computers and sophisticated software, there may soon be a way to tell who these people are. I believe the possibility could exist.
Being exclusively a CW op, I’ll speak strictly from that perspective:
First, consider the software that enables skimmers. Before VE3NEA developed it, most of us couldn’t even have imagined its existence. When it was released, it took the contest community by storm. It was a game-changer and new rules regarding its use had to be implemented.
A modern home computer can now decode multiple CW signals over a broad portion of spectrum and display the decoded text in real-time…and display the numerous signals in a frequency domain presentation.
Now consider this:
Each transmitter has its own electronic signature. This is true of ham transmitters, commercial TV stations, radar…everything. For example, no two Elecraft K3′s form a 20 wpm dot or a dash in exactly the same way. They will differ in terms of rise time, fall time, harmonic content and other parameters.
Each individual rig has a unique fingerprint. Could modern software be written that would allow a number of calibrated receivers to discern one transmitter’s signature from another’s? If so, could a database then be built?
Phone would be even simpler. Everyone’s voice has its own timbre and numerous other characteristics. My smart phone has an app that will allow me to place it near a music source. After a few minutes of “listening” – during which time it digitizes the song, sends that data to an online database for comparison and identification - it displays the name of the song and the singer.
It may sound far-fetched – and perhaps it is for this application – but such techniques have been used for decades by various militaries who had the technology to do it. Today, we have more computing technology in our shacks that a nuke submarine had in the 1980′s.
Back in the 1980′s - when the words Snoop Tray, Snoop Plate, Sheet Bend (Google them if you wish) were a part of my daily vocabulary - we routinely discerned which platform we were hearing. Not which radar type – but rather which individual radar and therefore which individual ship, submarine, etc.
Submarine sonar surveillance does the same thing with acoustic signatures.
I can’t go into any more detail on what was possible back then, but it was amazing. And that was 30 years ago.
I think the solution to much of today’s problems lies not in blacklisting or any of the other solutions that have so far been offered. All of those methods can be beaten. The solution will be software-driven.