The Electromagnetic Fountain

Sniffer sounds from Martin Howse

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Martin Howse has been working in Berlin on the sniffers for the Electromagnetic Fountain.

He has sent me nine audio samples from 4 different detectors where he mainly focused on placing a mobile phone close to different antenna/detector pairs while making incoming and outcoming calls.

You’ll find links to the sounds below as well as location details and notes that he enclosed with the sounds.

**location
Backyard (hinterhof) studio in berlin, Mitte – plenty of 50 Hz power
lines, laptop in 30 m2 room and wireless router at other end of
room. Around 20 wireless networks close by in the yard. Also worth
noting is that the studio is very close to the huge Alexanderplatz TV
and radio transmitter (Fernsehturm).

**samples

**8307printedantenna.mp3

This is using a detector based on the AD8307 chip which is looking at a
low/mid range of frequencies (DC to approx 500 MHz). I’m using it here
with the largest printed antenna which is kind of A4 sized (all the
printed antennas are the green ones for which I sent you the link
before) and is for 400 to 1000 MHz. As in most of the recordings the
mobile phone (standard Nokia on o2.de network – see below) is moved
around 1 to 3m from the detector. In this case the signal is not
amplified much (all recorded to minidisk and then transferred to
laptop).

**8307wireantenna.mp3

As above but with a bare wire antenna of maybe 1m length.

**8313_basic.mp3

Using a detector based on the AD8313 chip which demodulates (roughly) in
wide band, high frequency range of 100 Mhz to 3.5 GHz. This is used with
a medium-sized printed antenna for 900 Mhz to 3 GHz. This one needs a
bit of amplification but the phone signal is very strong and clear even
4m away from the device.

**8313_outsidetoin.mp3

As above but coming from 10m outside street door into studio with phone
ringing and then talking on the phone.

**8318mobile.mp3

Using a detector based on the AD8318 which demodulates (again in rough
terms) a very high range of frequencies from 1 MHz to 8 GHz. Used with
smallest printed antenna (maybe 6 cm long) for 2-11 GHz. Amplification
is needed and the phone is quite close (maybe 1/2 to 1m) to get a
signal.

**8318torrentandrouter.mp3

As above but with a laptop (external wireless card, bittorrent
downloading) providing this strong noisy signal up to 5m away. The
regular beating is from the wireless router which is then turned off
towards the end of the sample and turned on again. The other signals I
have no idea!

**ownsniff1_10mHcoil.mp3

This is my own designed sniffer (from the Maxwell workshop but altered
with filter removed for a stronger signal). Here it is used with a tiny
coil (enclosed in plastic) – the one for this recording is 10
microhenries (Mh). Little amplification and a good signal from 2 to 3
metres away

**ownsniff_2kmcoil.mp3

As above but using a wire coil around 1m diameter and made from 2 km
thin copper wire. Power lines 50 Hz overwhelms all signals. Phone is
maybe 2cm away to be heard.

**ownsniff_6x1mHcoil.mp3

As above but with a chain of six 1mH tiny coils arranged in a circle.

**conclusions

The “ownsniff” detector (with small coils) covers a good, general range
and the other three focus well on more defined parts of the spectrum,
with 8313 working well for GSM900/1800 network devices (mobile phones),
and the 8318 for wireless networked devices (2.4 GHz and UMTS/3G –
around 2 GHz (untested)). These detectors are particularly sensitive
even at around a two metre distance and with only one phone. It may be
necessary to avoid overloading the detectors.

**further notes

The standard Nokia phone (o2.de network) used is a dual band GSM900/1800
model (operating at both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz). These frequencies are
common throughout Europe. The high frequency signals are detected by the
devices and demodulated – what we here is the lower, now audible
frequencies (for GSM900 apparently 217 Hz) which pulse the higher
(carrier) frequency, and the overall envelope of the signal (a rough
analogy would be to standing outside a room with a cocktail party
happening inside – we can’t hear the individual voices or listen to the
conversations but we have an idea of how many people there are, when
they start and stop talking, and how loud they are).

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