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Modulator Down

Modulator is going down on April 8th, 2024. It was my last published work of Punk Fiction on September 6, 2022.


Giallo influences abound in this one. My inspiration came from a true crime documentary about wiretapping the mob in the 1970s called Fear City: New York vs. the Mafia that I watched during the pandemic. The surveillance technology of the time was fairly short-range and used radio signals, so the receiver had to be fairly close. I went down a rabbit hole in the crypto museum and became fascinated with the old technology.


The story formed from the idea of a long-ago murder and some left-behind surveillance equipment in a cabin. The killer escapes an asylum and returns to the scene of the crime in a remote mountain town. This one was for my love of Dario Argento. I had murder set pieces, modulation noise, a mystery with a twist, and a black goved killer. It was fun using all the tropes I loved growing up from his works.


The thing I regret about 2022 is missing the Dario Argento retrospective in New York. I really wanted to go. The travel and expenses were a bit much at the time. I even bought a ticket to the premiere of Dark Glasses. I wish it was like the old days when they would have sent a paper one in the mail as a collector’s item.


In honor of Argento’s last film and the solar eclipse happening here in North America, I am ending Modulator’s run when the sun goes dark. This is one I feel that I will revisit and expand on when the time is right since it had a fairly short page count, but not under Punk Fiction.


My next phase will be to decommission this website. I am retiring it to create something new. I am ending this post with an appendix from Modulator with a link to the website of the Crypto Museum in The Netherlands that fascinated me so much.


DS


CRYPTO GLOSSARY 


SRT-91 — a covert listening device (transmitter) with DP audio masking. It consists of an RF (radio frequency) module and video coder (audio masking unit) and is housed in a rectangular (13.5 x 22.5 x 110 mm) metal enclosure. 


DP — Dirty Pulse audio masking technique based on Pulse Position Modulation (PPM) in which the intelligence is conveyed by varying the time relationship of the pulses of the wave. In this scheme samples are taken at fixed intervals and transmitted as PPM. Under control of a noise generator, the back porch of each pulse is delayed by a randomly determined value. Only the relative position of the front porch contains intelligence. 


SRR-90 A/B — surveillance receiver for the reception of various covert listening devices with a modular design. A is an upright version and B is a flat version. 

SRR-145 — down-converter. It converts analog signals between lower and higher frequencies, extending the range of surveillance receivers. 


Demodulator — pulse demodulator module installed in a dedicated slot of the mainframe of a receiver to decode masked signals. 


More information is available at the Crypto Museum, a fascinating, virtual museum in The Netherlands.





Modulator Down


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