[opendtv] Re: Freeview Box Signals SOS

  • From: Cliff Benham <cbenham@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 11:10:57 -0500

An AMPEX ADO did about the same thing at a production house in NYC about 
15 years ago.
Someone had left the 3-1/2 inch door on the top of the mainframe open 
and the RF 'leaked' out to an
orbiting satellite causing much the same response from the Air Force.  
This item was written up in
either Broadcast Engineering or TV Technology at the time, don't 
remember which.

John Shutt wrote:

>Once again it is shown that DVB-T is far more advanced than ATSC.  If only 
>ATSC STBs could signal to be rescued from oblivion...
>John Shutt
>Mayday! Mayday! British rescue sparked by faulty TV receiver
>Sun Jan 15, 10:53 AM ET
>A faulty digital television receiver has sparked a helicopter rescue mission 
>after sending out a rogue distress signal, the Royal Air Force said.
>The "freeview" box -- which normally allows television viewers access to 
>dozens of digital TV and radio channels via a standard, rooftop aerial --  
>sent out a signal identical to that for emergency beacons at sea.
>The SOS, beamed from Portsmouth, on England's south coast, was picked up by 
>a satellite and sent to the RAF's Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre 
>in Kinloss, northeast Scotland, in the early hours of January 5.
>Personnel then alerted English coastguards, who sent a helicopter to 
>investigate. The aircraft spent two fruitless hours flying over Portsmouth 
>Harbour looking for stricken sailors until the signal was traced to dry 
>RAF spokesman Michael Mulford said: "Our Kinloss rescue centre picked up 
>this beacon from one of five orbiting satellites listening out for these 
>"It was a 121.5 transmission -- that's the major emergency frequency, a 
>'Mayday'. We traced it to Portsmouth Harbour, checked and found out there 
>were no vessels in the area or missing planes.
>"We checked with (British telecoms watchdog) Ofcom and they quickly 
>established it was coming from a household. It turned out to be a faulty 
>'freeview' box.
>"This is very very unusual, it's a complete freak and the odds of a digibox 
>sending out a 121.5 signal must be astronomical."
>Ofcom described the incident as a "real one-off" as digital boxes should 
>only receive and not send signals.
>"The householder was happy to hand it over to our engineers who are trying 
>to get to the bottom of the defect," a spokesman said.

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