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Warwalking in DC

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:49 am
by arizonajon
I've been here since Wednesday afternoon and am going home today.

I have a decidedly sub-optimal warwalking setup. I use my work pc, with dual-band wi-fi, left on when the lid is closed, so all I have are the antennas in the lid, and it's stowed in my backpack with the lid facing away from my back. It generates a fair amount of heat.. The GPS is my trusty Garmin GPSMap 60CSx, a handheld unit with a USB output and an external antenna. The GPS gets clipped onto the outside of the backpack, so at least its antenna is exposed. Perhaps one day I'll get myself one of those slick tiny WIndows 10 boxes and come up with a nice external antenna setup for dual-band wi-fi and GPS...

Anyway, when I arrived they were preparing for the Nuclear Summit, which meant that many streets around the Convention Center were blocked, there was an incredibly strong military / police presence, ops tents everywhere, interesting comms gear (at least interesting antennas), and it was very obvious from a few setups I saw that there was wideband monitoring and possibly sigint trilateration going on. I have a little non-classified experience with some of that in my past job and it's amazing what the technology is able to do.

I walked many miles. I rented a bicycle and rode. I Ubered around town. The important thing for me, I was able to visit Capitol City, Right Proper (Shaw/Howard location), New District, Public Option, DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, Bardo, all while wearing my own SigInt backpack running Vistumbler.

One thing was obvious: I've got to improve my setup. Too much heat and I was experiencing a problem with losing the connection between the GPS and the computer on occasion, effectively killing a bunch of APs (and miles of walking) since there was no location data associated. The internal Wi-Fi antennas sucked also. It weighed a lot. It was bulky to wear. I had little feedback from the stuff while walking.

Once reviewing the data, some interesting things:
GPS location varied wildly. Some of this is due to the urban canyon effects, to be sure. There were other locations, though, where the sky was pretty open and I was getting fair satellite coverage, and still the locations were bad. Could this be some GPS jamming going on? Maybe, maybe not.
AP reception varied. A walk from the hotel up to Right Proper in Shaw/Howard neighborhood was nearly silent on APs, but there were a few along the way, so the gear was working. Could it be widespread jamming? Dunno. Again, no way to monitor discreetly the bands and see stuff.

Anyway, it was loads of fun to warwalk in the city, and it's urging me to set up a better dedicated warwalking setup for the next time that I'm in the position to take advantage of it.

Cheers - Jon N7UV

Warwalking in DC

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:31 am
by ACalcutt
Your braver than me scanning at a conference like that. I'm guessing you didn't have the full antenna setup that day :-).

I wouldn't doubt that they are doing some gps jamming. Maybe something like this?
jammed.jpg (29.26 KiB) Viewed 3110 times