Quote of the day—Jeff Soyer

A drone from PETA? Think of it as another trap shooting opportunity.

Jeff Soyer
October 24, 2013
PETA Now Using Drones to Spy on Hunters
[I wonder what the legality of shooting down a drone is. Shooting it down over the owner of the drones property almost for certain is illegal. Shooting it down over public property probably is is illegal. But shooting it down over your own property or the property of someone who gave you permission? That might be legal.

To do this right I think you should do it in one of two ways, neither of which is that suggested by Jeff:

  1. Radio controlled fighter plane with working gun(s).
  2. Explosives filled clay pigeon. It launched as close as possible to the drone then shoot it to detonate it.

I’d give you bonus points if instead of the clay pigeon you launch a milk jug filled with gasoline in combination with the explosives such that the detonation of the explosives disperses the gasoline and ignites it. It would sort of be like using a tactical nuke to remove a stump in the back 40 or an artillery shell loaded with sarin gas to take out the wasp nest. It would be more expensive than necessary but with PETA “making a statement” and “sending a message” is probably more important than the loss of the drone.—Joe]

20 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Jeff Soyer

  1. The PETA folks are about to face lawsuits and criminal charges for harassing wildlife and disturbing those hunting, without a 1st Amendment leg to stand on.

    And I bet the donations to their drone program work just like their donations to keep pound puppies alive – 95% won’t go to the drones, just as thousands of animals were euthanized immediately after their publicity value was over.

  2. Ok, so if you kill a person, they use forensics and gather all of the details of the crime committed.

    If you kill a drone… take the sucker, chop it up, and burn it. You think the cops are going to do much because some PETAphile says a hunter stole their helichopper with a GoPro stuck to it?

  3. Drones of the sort being discussed are most assuredly of the (multi)-copter platform. Easy enough to capture using your own (multi)-copter with several dangling strings underneath. (kite string should work just fine). No guns needed

    Position the ‘hunter’ over the ‘prey’ and allow the ‘prey’s’ blades to ‘wind and bind’ the string… at which point you now have the ‘captured’ copter suspended under your own for easy retrieval. IIRC the US set precedent for returning aircraft that invaded friendly airspace back in the mid 70’s …wink wink…nudge nudge..

    (See also : Viktor Belenko’s MiG 25 Foxbat)

  4. If they are just using commercially available hardware, those all run within a fairly narrow frequency band. I’d imagine it would be possible to just scan to find the frequency in use and either jam it, or use a higher powered transmitter to take control of the drone and deliver it to a convenient place for retrieval or disposal.

    • Jamming was my first thought. Also, maybe bow and arrow, with string or net trailing from it?

  5. Saiga S-12, 3″ FaSteel BB loads, bump-fire, or use a jammer. I made a simple RF jammer in high school, probably just as easy now. Also, consider using another drone to get images of the PETA filk, including their vehicles, etc. Cockroaches don’t stay out in the sunshine very long. Definitely stay away from arming your drones.

  6. Even a full-on goose gun with heavy goose hunting loads has a very limited range. Trap loads are pathetic when it comes to effective take-down range. I’ve recovered intact clay targets from about 50 yards that had several little #8 shot holes in them, and being hit like that (peripherally) didn’t even make them flinch in flight.

    A spectrum analyzer of the type, selectivity and sensitivity we’re talking, in my memory from about 15 years ago, was a VERY expensive instrument, but I don’t know what’s available now. The idea of finding the operating frequency is an interesting one, but given the amount of RF in any given area, unless you’re way out in the boonies, finding the actual transmitter in all that noise, when it may only be putting out a few Watts, may not be so easy. And once you thought you found it, you’d need the technology to either DF that frequency or set of frequencies, or the technology to tune to it and transmit your own signals for jamming or taking control of it. That’s a pretty tall order, but not out of the realm of possibility so long as your target isn’t using Spread Spectrum.

    The only people I know who come close to having this kind of capability outside of military electronic warfare units are Ham Radio operators. They regularly conduct “fox hunts” which are DFing contests. Still, so far as I understand it, that’s generally a transmitter in a fixed location operating on a single, known frequency. Now try finding a mobile transmitter operating on a set of unknown frequencies.

    Sure; knowing in advance the most likely frequencies on which you might find an RC controller would help, but there are several bands that can potentially be used for that purpose. RC freaks sometimes get their Ham Radio licenses and in that case it opens up a lot more spectrum to them. Then knowing the mode of the signal (what exactly would it look like) would be a big help, but I’ll assume there are several modes used in RC.

    You’re looking at having a lot to learn and having some serious equipment to acquire. Even then it is illegal to knowingly jam someone’s signal, if I remember my FCC operating rules correctly.

    Using a highly directional antenna connected to your spectrum analyzer would allow you to easily find the frequencies of the drone’s feedback and telemetry transmissions (because you already know where it is if you can see it) and in that case you might jam those, thereby blinding the operator, but if you’re on the ground you’re at a disadvantage because the elevated drone would have a better line-of-sight line to the operator, i.e. your jamming output power would have be immensely more powerful than the drone’s output.

    Now think of what it would take to be able to respond to the random sighting. You’d have to be carrying this equipment around with you on standby all the time.

    Not bloody likely, Jack, but if you get it all together and have successfully tested it, be sure and let us know. My guess is that the number of people in the world who have this capability on a personal level run between zero and a small handful. I would LIKE to see that number increase, but well, we shall see. Those who regularly operate these drones would have a bit to say here, no doubt. It may not be all as complicated as I’m making it out.

    • Things in RF Spectrum analysis have changed a lot in the last 15 years, between WinRadio, the $10 European digital television USB dongles that make great software-controlled radio receivers, and the $130 handheld portable RF-spectrum analyser I posted in a comment above. The seedstudio analyser was developed by the remote-control modelist hobby, to help them deconflict frequencies when many are operating in the same club or whatever. Odds are that any RC aircraft you see will be operating in 2.4 GHz-2.485 GHz, and if you are far enough away from dwellings to legally hunt, then by far the loudest thing in the 2.4 gig band will be the remote control transmitter for that aircraft.
      You may recall that at the London Olympics there were “wifi police” to enforce the ban on unsanctioned portable wifi hotspots. These guys basically used a hand-held log-periodic paddle antenna (http://www.rohde-schwarz.com/en/product/he200-productstartpage_63493-9375.html) to identify which direction the signal was coming from — you just point the antenna away from you, sweep around in the circle, and the direction where the signal strength is loudest is the source of the transmission. With two people doing the detecting, they could triangulate to work out who in a crowd had the mifi in their backpack, the crowd on hunting land would presumably be less populous. and the transmitter easier to spot visually.
      My point is that the FAA has been pretty clear that operating any “drone” on behalf of a business or nonprofit is illegal until such a time as the promised drone regulations are in place. And the FAA is also pretty obligated to investigate and fine such operators $10,000 if they are given a complaint with enough detail to prove the infraction and identity of the operator.
      Most hunters probably just want to hunt, but if such drones become a problem, I’m sure that some people would take great pleasure in taking their camera and tracking to find the elusive PETA drone operator.

  7. Isn’t what PETA is proposing to do a conspiracy against civil rights? Seems to me lawfare might be more effective. Of course, you’d have to gather evidence…


  8. Now you’ve got me fantasizing about a large scale P-47 with eight full auto .22s in the wings. The gun camera footage would be awesome, even if you were just shooting at tethered helium balloons way out in the desert. Need to repeal NFA, or at least the Hughes amendment.

  9. I’m thinking potato gun, shooting a satellite killing type round. Need a fast rotating projectile with multiple lines radiating out with weights and treble fishhooks. If rifling isn’t feasible, use a model rocket engine venting at angles to create spin. Need the spin to create the spiderweb effect. Could also use the spin to activate the delayed release of the web. Probably have to come up with a means of setting the delay prior to firing, due to the expected short range of flight after activation/deployment. Or, proximity fuse!
    Most, if not all, of the projectile should be reuseable, unless it impacts something solid, like a tree trunk.
    The less fun optional projectile is some sort of chain-shot. Maybe buckshot connected with fishing line.

  10. Someone in England is selling adhesive backed charges that fit into the top recess of a clay bird. Set off by birdshot impact, the pictures were impressive. I see no reason why these could not be stacked to some arbitrary level. But then you would need to be able to set up your assault clay bird launcher in very short order. Better, might be a handy box of strung buckshot, much as Will suggests. I think I recall picture wire being used too. Of course, this is all quite hypothetical.

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