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Capturing an RF signal from a remote controller

  1. Oct 6, 2016 #1

    This is a question that's been on my mind about RC drones for a while now but it's not really something you can just google.

    Is it possible to capture a transmitted signal from a remote control (with a sensitive receiver other than the one mounted on the drone) and store it in memory, then retransmit it at a later time to control the drone with that specific remote control protocol that you captured? (whether it be left, right, thrust or whatever. Or even a string of captured protocols) Let's consider that the drone transmitter/receiver is using a DSSS signal in this case. None of that crazy frequency hoping stuff.

    Any information would be great!

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2016 #2


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    As you learned in your other thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/understanding-an-rf-remote-control.887214/#post-5580413
    the protocols for many drones are closed (for security and reliability reasons). Probably most drones use tools to prevent "playback" hacks, although I don't know what percentage do this. Certainly the RF projects I've worked on have playback attack protections, and sometimes encryption is used as well.

    What exactly are you trying to do?
  4. Oct 8, 2016 #3


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    it sounds like he is trying to illegally intercept other people's drone control signals and then take control of that other person's drone
    That probably shouldn't be getting discussed here

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2016
  5. Oct 8, 2016 #4
    Thanks so much for the advice! I've never even heard of SDR radios before. I've been doing no-stop research since you mentioned them. Such an interesting hobby. The project is for school. It's to find a way to stop a drone, whether it be by physical means or something a little more elegant like radio.

    Thanks again for all the help.
  6. Oct 8, 2016 #5


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    @Curt Zerr -- I have deleted most of the responses in the thread temporarily. Please put me in contact with your instructor so I can discuss the legalities of using RF means to hack into drone flight. Either you or s/he is overlooking some legal issues involved.
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