Debunked: Nexrad "unknown mode" (dutchsinse version)


Senior Member.
The subject of Nexrad radar "unknown mode" came up in a series of comment exchanges with dutchsinse. He mentions the subject in his blog post about Sandy:

Geoengineering Frankenstorm: Hurricane Sandy and the Air Force Weather Weapon System

Hurricane Sandy — “frankenstorm” was pulsed by NEXRAD RADAR in “unknown mode” ….. times match up exactly:

Which times match up exactly with what events, he doesn't explain.

Dutch asked me what I know about "unknown mode" and he went into more detail of his version:

tim.. please tell us everything you know about NEXRAD RADAR's "unknown mode". What does it "pulse" in... MHz wise eh?!

hmm.. ironic that MHz wise.. "nexrad unknown mode" is pulsing in the SAME region that it take for "corona CCN" building

hmm.. maybe you just don't WANT to connect the dots.

targeted NEXRAD RADAR is in the GHz Plasma mirror range

pulsed NEXRAD RADAR is in the MHz CCN generating range

what happens when you hit powdered metal with targeted microwaves? Plasma, heat, lightning

He's talking about the label "unknown mode" in a graphical representation of a text file that is a summary of the status of Nexrad Level - III data products issued for a given location. The rest is just gobbledygook he made up in his head.


Here's a portion of the text file the above graph fetches its data from:

20121027 00:42,,-999
20121027 00:43,A,21
20121027 00:44,,-999
20121027 00:46,,-999
20121027 00:47,A,21
20121027 00:52,A,21
20121027 00:58,A,21
20121027 01:03,A,21
20121027 01:08,A,21
20121027 01:14,A,21
20121027 01:20,A,21
20121027 01:25,A,21
20121027 01:31,A,21
20121027 01:36,A,21
20121027 01:41,,-999
20121027 01:42,A,21
20121027 01:47,A,21
20121027 01:53,A,21
20121027 01:59,A,21

Each row is a summary of Level - III data packages with a time stamp (ZTIME) of when the data were sent, a letter code for operational mode (OPMODE), and a numeric code for Volume Coverage Pattern (VCP). Not only do Level - III data packages include the actual radar data from each volume scan, the summary file also includes text messages such as routine radar status messages, notice of scheduled maintenance outages and general text messages. Some text messages do not have a code for operational mode (A, B or C) associated with them so the OPMODE field for those time stamps are blank and the VCP code is -999. The graph reads the blank OPMODE field as "unknown mode" for display on the status summary graph, color coded as a black line.

Here's the General Status Message graph for the same location and day. This graph depicts when routine radar status text messages were sent... the color coded unknown mode black line "times match up exactly" with corresponding time stamps that have blank OPMODE and -999 VCP fields in the associated status summary data file:

All Level - III summary graphs

So I basically described the above facts to dutch proving I know what "unknown mode" actually is. He replied with this:

no tim.. unknown mode is what the RADAR goes "into" when a pulse occurs... not a text message...

just blank eh.. now you're on record as saying such..

and to think.. you actually think you're on top of it.. pathetic

No dutch, what's pathetic is the way you make up fantastical pseudo- science fiction stories to explain the pretty pictures and graphs you see without even bothering to learn about the underlying data those images and graphs are based on. Thanks dutch, once again you're on record demonstrating that you don't know WTF you're talking about.

If "unknown mode" were when a radar transmission pulse occurs, there would be hundreds of them per second. In the above data file and summary graph there are only 16 instances of "unknown mode" for an entire 24 hour period.

How does the radar work?

NEXRAD (Next Generation Radar) obtains weather information (precipitation and wind) based upon returned energy. The radar emits a burst of energy (green). If the energy strikes an object (rain drop, bug, bird, etc), the energy is scattered in all directions (blue). A small fraction of that scattered energy is directed back toward the radar.

This reflected signal is then received by the radar during its listening period. Computers analyze the strength of the returned pulse, time it took to travel to the object and back, and phase shift of the pulse. This process of emitting a signal, listening for any returned signal, then emitting the next signal, takes place very fast, up to around 1300 times each second.

NEXRAD spends the vast amount of time "listening" for returning signals it sent. When the time of all the pulses each hour are totaled (the time the radar is actually transmitting), the radar is "on" for about 7 seconds each hour. The remaining 59 minutes and 53 seconds are spent listening for any returned signals.
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Senior Member.
again.. for the record.. you cannot go back on this.. you're saying "unknown mode" is a text alert..
and you explain the pulse on RADAR appearing at the SAME TIME as unknown mode as being a coincidence and that pulse is just an anomaly .. and that pulse is just background clutter.. and that pulse is just a readout error..
its been a year and a half of DIFFERENT explanations from you..
which is why i asked where the "we got it wrong" page is on metabunk
ironic there isn't one!
dutchsince in reply to timsolrey (Show the comment) 14 hours ago

Timsolrey.. last year.. this time.. you said it was background clutter. JUST FOR THE RECORD.. i can go turn comments back on the 2011 videos if necessary for you to NOT deny saying the pulses were background clutter last year.
THEN.. somewhere mid 2011.. you switched to saying it was a pulse created by the SWITCH between clear air - and precipitation mode..
NOW you're saying its just an anomaly on screen and a text alert and its just COINCIDENCE the pulse time matches with unknown mode?! wow
dutchsince in reply to dutchsince (Show the comment) 14 hours ago

Indeed, here's more "for the record" evidence that dutch is clueless.

To begin with, and to get this point out of the way quickly, there are a variety of causes of non-precipitation returns, each requiring a different explanation.

Echoes from surface targets appear in almost all radar reflectivity images. In the immediate area of the radar, "ground clutter" generally appears within a radius of 20 nm. This appears as a roughly circular region with echoes that show little spatial continuity. It results from radio energy reflected back to the radar from outside the central radar beam, from the earth's surface or buildings.
Returns from aerial targets are also rather common. Echoes from migrating birds regularly appear during nighttime hours between late February and late May, and again from August through early November. Return from insects is sometimes apparent during July and August. The apparent intensity and areal coverage of these features is partly dependent on radio propagation conditions, but they usually appear within 30 nm of the radar and produce reflectivities of <30 dBZ (decibels of Z).
Even with limited experience, users of unedited products can differentiate precipitation from other echoes, if they are aware of the general meteorological situation.

Another cause of radar anomalies is when the system is sending data online while the radar is returned to service after being down for maintenance. Normally the radar would be "offline" until it was functioning normally. The case of dutch's "pulse" where the radar image time coincides with a summary status time stamp containing a blank OPMODE and -999 VCP fields (unknown mode on the associated graph) on 10/27 @ 00:44Z.

10/27 00:44Z comes at the end of a period where the radar was offline, as indicated by the summary report for 10/26:

The individual volume scan summary reports confirm that the radar was not producing volume scan data:

The only data being sent out during that period were general status messages and free text messages, note these are in "unknown mode":

All Individual Inventory Graphs 10/26/2012

The associated status summary data file shows blank OPMODE and -999 VCP codes for all time stamps while the radar was down, starting at 20:31.

20121026 20:21,A,21
20121026 20:27,A,21 (last full volume scan before going down)
20121026 20:31,,-999 (radar is offline/"unknown mode")
20121026 20:32,,-999
20121026 20:33,,-999
20121026 20:37,,-999
20121026 20:38,,-999
20121026 20:42,,-999
20121026 21:15,,-999
20121026 21:18,,-999
20121026 21:20,,-999
20121026 21:22,,-999
20121026 21:23,,-999
20121026 21:24,,-999
20121026 21:34,,-999
20121026 22:02,,-999
20121026 22:03,,-999
20121026 22:04,,-999
20121026 22:22,,-999
20121026 22:57,,-999
20121026 23:57,,-999

Full summary data set 10/26/2012

Which continues into the next date and through the time of the radar anomaly dutch calls a "pulse". Data from the first full volume scan is sent at 00:47, it takes about 5 or 6 minutes to complete a precipitation mode volume scan.

20121027 00:42,,-999
20121027 00:43,A,21 (partial volume scan 0.5 deg. only)
20121027 00:44,,-999 (radar anomaly occurs/"unknown mode")
20121027 00:46,,-999
20121027 00:47,A,21 (first full volume scan)
20121027 00:52,A,21

Full summary data set 10/27/2012

What appears to have happened is partial volume scan radar data was sent before the first full scan was completed after being down for about four hours. Only the 0.5 degree elevation angle scan for velocity and base reflectivity were sent at 00:43 a minute before the time of the radar anomaly (dutch's pulse) and blank OPMODE block at 00:44. Reading from left to right, the following graphs show there's one instance starting on the far left, at what would be about the 00:43 mark, of data sent on the 0.5 degree graph that does not occur on the graphs for other angles that start a few minutes later at what would be around the 00:47 mark. Note that all the status summary graphs for the individual elevations, even the errant 0.5 deg. scan, are in Precip Mode. The data line at 00:44 with the blank OPMODE and -999 VCP blocks must be associated with a general status/text message.

All Individual Inventory Graphs 10/27/2012

This means dutch's "pulse" associated with unknown mode was just partial volume scan information, at the 0.5 degree angle only, inadvertently sent at 00:43/44 before the full volume scan was complete and sent as a full data set at 00:47. The "unknown mode"/blank OPMODE field in the status summary file is associated with a general status message. No nefarious "pulse" or any of the other non-sinse dutchsinse carries on about. Where is your "I got it wrong" page/video there dutchie!?

Most of the instances of unknown mode are associated with routine general status messages, many of which are nothing more than station identifiers on the hour at the top of every hour, as required by FCC regulations for any broadcast source. Here's an example of general status messages sent like clockwork at the top of each hour from the Portland, OR station on a clear day in August, with many of them coded "unknown mode".

The FCC requires all stations to identify themselves in this specific way. Called the Legal ID, it must be played during a natural break as close to the top of the hour as possible. Within five minutes on either side of the hour is generally acceptable.

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Senior Member.
The summary graph that dutch weaves into his fantasmagorical tale is really just a quick look graphical summary of archived data available to order. So I ordered. Turns out I was right about the radar going down and all the rest. Just a little icing on the cake.

These are the Free Text Messages from 10/26:

20121026 20:42,,-999
20121026 22:22,,-999

NOUS62 KMHX 262042


Message Date: Oct 26 2012 20:42:03


NOUS62 KMHX 262222


Message Date: Oct 26 2012 22:22:51

MHX WSR-88D remains inop. El Techs are currently working on an oil pump issue and it will likely be several more hours at the earliest before radar is returned to service.

Free Text Message from 10/27 announcing the radar was back in service at 01:41, almost an hour after the radar had been producing full volume scans:

NOUS62 KMHX 270141


Message Date: Oct 27 2012 01:41:45

mhx wsr-88d back in service.

The unknown mode that dutch makes such a big deal about in the summary graph of all Level - III products, are only for text messages listed under General Status Message for 10/27:

20121027 00:42,,-999
20121027 00:43,A,21
20121027 00:44,,-999 (Unknown Mode - code below)
20121027 00:46,,-999
20121027 00:47,A,21
20121027 00:58,A,21
20121027 01:47,A,21
20121027 01:59,A,21

Here's what the code looks like for the instance of "unknown mode" at 00:44 in the above list of general status messages, the same time stamp as dutch's radar "pulse" (a partial scan):

NXUS62 KMHX 270044


phw��R "+<c����

The Short Range Base Reflectivity 0.5 deg. elevation scan, like all the other volume scan elevations that prove all scans were in precip mode:

20121027 00:43,A,21
20121027 00:47,A,21
20121027 00:52,A,21
20121027 00:58,A,21
20121027 01:03,A,21
20121027 01:08,A,21
20121027 01:14,A,21
20121027 01:20,A,21

Leaving no doubt that the radar was reinitialized after being down for several hours, and "unknown mode" (only found in the archived data inventory, btw) simply applies to text messages.

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