UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Vintage Amateur and Military Radio

Notices

Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 23rd Aug 2014, 1:01 am   #21
Biggles
Octode
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hexham, Northumberland, UK.
Posts: 1,995
Default Numbers stations

Are there any "numbers stations" still to be heard on short waves nowadays or are they all a thing of the past. My son asked me about them today, having read about them and was wondering if he could hear a live broadcast. I remember hearing them in the eighties along with the woodpecker and that horn thing that sounded every few seconds but I wouldn't have a clue where to find them now, even if they still broadcast. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Biggles is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2014, 7:07 am   #22
cmjones01
Octode
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Warsaw, Poland and Cambridge, UK
Posts: 1,810
Default Re: Numbers stations

There's plenty of strange stuff still out there, though less than there was. There's a web site called 'HF underground' on which people post their findings, and probably others as well. The horn thing you refer to its probably 'the buzzer', which is still to be heard on 4625kHz, if I remember rightly.

Chris
__________________
What's going on in the workshop? http://martin-jones.com/
cmjones01 is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2014, 7:30 am   #23
Nymrod121
Octode
 
Nymrod121's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worcestershire, UK.
Posts: 1,424
Default Re: Numbers stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
Are there any "numbers stations" still to be heard on short waves nowadays or are they all a thing of the past
Hello
During my time at the BBC Monitoring Service, we often heard what we nicknamed "German bingo" during HF out-of-broadcast band occupancy scanning. I often wondered how these codes were generated and whether there was some poor soul sat in front of a microphone reading from hundreds of sheets of paper covered in numbers ...
The 'woodpecker' (sometimes referred to as 'Gomel pulses') was the audible effect of an 'over the horizon' radar system:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duga-3
One of our engineering services was the off-air reception of Voice of America HF broadcasts for relay purposes; the 'woodpecker' could be very disruptive at times.
Best wishes
Guy
__________________
"No-one's ever complained before!"
"Are they Americans?"
(Joyce Grenfell/Edie Martin: "Genevieve")
Nymrod121 is online now  
Old 23rd Aug 2014, 12:26 pm   #24
Ian - G4JQT
Heptode
 
Ian - G4JQT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Reading/Fakenham, UK.
Posts: 816
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Although numbers stations are less common than they were, there are at least two groups which follow/catalogue/categorise their continuing activity.

Extremely dedicated groups have the following websites:

http://priyom.org/

http://www.apul64.dsl.pipex.com/enigma2000/

and

http://www.simonmason.karoo.net/page30.html

Remember that there are Morse and data numbers stations too. But possibly more intriguing are the related odd noise stations operating 24/7:

'The Buzzer' 4625 kHz audible across Europe from dusk

'The Pip' 5448 kHz (daytime), 3756 kHz (night time)

'The Squeaky Wheel' 3828 kHz (night time), 5473 kHz (daytime)

Then there's the 'backward music' or 'whale song' station that appears from time to time.

Most of these stations are clearly audible after dusk in the UK. They seem to be from the Russian military, and the noises are just used as channel markers with voice messages being fairly rare.

Googling numbers stations will bring up more pages, but for anyone wishing to follow this subject up, priyom.org (mostly UK-based volunteers) is a good place to start, with audio samples and a clear frequency list.

I find some of these signals fascinatingly creepy - especially when listening in the shack, alone... at night...

Ian
Ian - G4JQT is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2014, 12:53 pm   #25
turretslug
Nonode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey, UK.
Posts: 2,523
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

"The Buzzer" seems to have been designed to deter human beings from listening to it for any length of time- though, no doubt, there is automatic monitoring implemented by those who don't tend to shout about such things.
turretslug is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2014, 7:37 pm   #26
electronicskip
Heptode
 
electronicskip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gloucester, Glos. UK.
Posts: 775
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

I've just listened to my first "number station" recording on YouTube, and I have to say I was a bit spooked, I've never heard this before.

Swedish Rhapsody irdial?

Sounds silly I know, but...
electronicskip is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2014, 8:51 pm   #27
Biggles
Octode
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hexham, Northumberland, UK.
Posts: 1,995
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

I tuned in "the buzzer" on the radio the other night and showed it to my lad. He was intrigued and has become very interested in listening in but unfortunately I failed to find any numbers transmissions. I remember in the eighties they were all over the place. I think it is the monotonous unemotional nature of the (usually) female voice which makes them so mysterious.
Biggles is offline  
Old 25th Aug 2014, 9:14 pm   #28
Ian - G4JQT
Heptode
 
Ian - G4JQT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Reading/Fakenham, UK.
Posts: 816
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Yes, the 'Buzzer' (4625 kHz USB) has quite a following across the world, although no one can make out what the very occasional voice transmissions (in Russian) are about.

There's even a 24/7 web radio live stream (http://uvb-76.net) and although not really a numbers station, it remains one of the strange signals lurking in the murky corners of the short-wave spectrum!

Ian
Ian - G4JQT is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2014, 12:43 am   #29
Martin G7MRV
Heptode
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 522
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

The Buzzer clearly audible on 4625 tonight, M08a also heard weakly on 8010 (used spectrumlab to see it rather than listen)

They're still out there, http://priyom.org/ will help you find them, it has a useful 'next station at...' feature!
__________________
I got food in ma belly and a license for ma telly

My Blog - http://g7mrv.blogspot.com
Martin G7MRV is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2014, 9:19 am   #30
Martin G7MRV
Heptode
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Selby, North Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 522
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Just listened to S06s 'Russian Lady' on 11655 and 14373. Very active and very eerie!

Followed with a demo to my son of how 'one time pads' work!
__________________
I got food in ma belly and a license for ma telly

My Blog - http://g7mrv.blogspot.com
Martin G7MRV is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2014, 6:57 pm   #31
Aaamusements
Pentode
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK.
Posts: 181
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

The first time I ever heard of these rather eerie transmissions was on a Radio 4 program called "Tracking The Lincolnshire Poacher" after the now defunct number station of the same name. It turned out that it most probably emanated from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and was probably used by MI6.
The documentary is available on Youtube and worth a listen.
Aaamusements is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2014, 10:03 pm   #32
russell_w_b
Dekatron
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 3,082
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian - G4JQT View Post
'...Then there's the 'backward music' or 'whale song' station that appears from time to time.'
Isn't this what the Soviets used for their HF jamming of the BBC World Service?
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2014, 10:46 am   #33
Radio Wrangler
Dekatron
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 10,917
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

I've just noticed what 4cx250b posted a while back, that one of the numbers stations 'Cynthia' was just down the road from him. Now he lives near Mainz.

Mainz is the town where BAPT (Bundesamt fur post und telecomm) has its headquarters, and they are the radio regulatory agency for the German government and have over 100 VW vans running around the place tracking interference, chasing pirates and doing general spectrum management duties.

This makes it pretty definite that that numbers station was official.

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2014, 2:21 pm   #34
Ian - G4JQT
Heptode
 
Ian - G4JQT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Reading/Fakenham, UK.
Posts: 816
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Quote:
Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
Isn't this what the Soviets used for their HF jamming of the BBC World Service?
No. The Soviet jammers were of at least three types. One was what sounded like a diesel engine (and probably was!), one was noise, but another was more sophisticated; it was their domestic Mayak channel (sort of equivalent to BBC R2) with distortion and echo.

They'd discovered that psychologically, it was much harder for the brain to unscramble a wanted signals if it was masked with the same language but distorted and echo applied. They could also give the feeble excuse that it wasn't 'deliberate interference' but a transmitter fault!

All the Soviet jammers also had a Morse ID superimposed on them so jamming HQ knew which jamming stations were operating.

Jammers operating in the Middle East sounded like seagulls, there were (are?) wobble jammers, then there are the fantastic Chinese "Firedrake" Jammers (audio) that go on for hours!

The backwards whale is an odd one. Audio here.

I think the belief is that it's some sort of audio feedback between rx/tx, but I don't think anyone knows for sure.

The SW bands are still full of weird stuff!

Ian
Ian - G4JQT is offline  
Old 22nd Oct 2014, 2:41 pm   #35
russell_w_b
Dekatron
 
russell_w_b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK.
Posts: 3,082
Default Re: Numbers stations and short wave mentioned on the One show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian - G4JQT View Post
They'd discovered that psychologically, it was much harder for the brain to unscramble a wanted signals...

Ah. Thanks; it's the brain thing I was thinking of. I knew the Soviets had done much research into messing with peoples' heads and I thought that it was this way they did it. I knew about the Firedrake from China.

We (the 'royal we', that is: slightly before my time!) used to operate 'barrage' transmissions from Skelton: eighteen frequencies, all with the same programme on them, so the 'what, why, where, when and how' of the news could get through to the audience before the jammers cut in - which wasn't very long.
__________________
Regds,

Russell W. B.
G4YLI.
russell_w_b is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 7:04 pm   #36
Boom
Nonode
 
Boom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Westbury, Wiltshire, UK.
Posts: 2,451
Default Number stations

Rears its head.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_...nyone-can-hear
__________________
Dave
--------------
A lovely childhood. Just me, my mother and the voices.....
Boom is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 8:08 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2018, Paul Stenning.