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Loggings => HF Mystery Signals => Topic started by: GC on March 13, 2018, 1549 UTC

Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on March 13, 2018, 1549 UTC
good day all,

There has been an UNID 1 PPS time tick ( or pip if you prefer ) transmitting between 10100 and 10150 kHz from time to time.

A search online of reports of similar signals has found a few references including some from around the first of January this year of a similar signal on the lower end of 7 MHz.  I have noted this signal mostly between 10100 and 10150 kHz but also have noted it on 7 MHz as well.

Activity is intermittent, some times on the weekends, sometimes on weekdays but always during the day Eastern time on 10 MHz and when noted on 7 MHz in the evening.

The signal appears to be synced with UTC (i.e. in step with WWV) but does not ID as does WWV nor does it change from a steady 1 PPS tick although I have on occasion thought that I have heard an occasional double tick.

Each 1 PPS tick is 16ms in length with a very sharp rise and fall time giving it very harsh sound. This also gives it a rather wide bandwidth.

The signal changes frequency from time to time but appears only frequencies divisible by 5 kHz, i.e. 10100, 10105, 10110, 10115 ... (etc).   These are carrier frequencies and you would tune 1 kHz lower for USB or higher for LSB. I have not noted any obvious pattern to the frequency changes. It sometimes appears as though the signal will change frequencies if there happens to be an interfering signal nearby - almost like it changes to find a frequency with no interference or less likely changing to one where it will cause less interference.

Assuming that the 1 PPS tick is synced to UTC and using simple time of arrival measurements, the origin is definitely in North America and an arc ( just over 1550 km) drawn from my location in Eastern Ontario includes northern Florida, central US and on up into Manitoba.

When I have monitored this signal it's strength is quite strong, S9+ and typically stronger than anything else I can hear nearby on 10xxx

I did not note this signal on this past weekend (March 10/11) nor yesterday ( Mar 12 ) but it was on this morning starting around 2018-03-13 12:30UTC and was active for about an hour and used 10100, 10110, 10120, 10125, 10130, and 10150 kHz.

I have attached a screenshot from this morning when it was on 10130 kHz. You can see how strong a signal it was with reference to other nearby signals. Those around 10138 kHz are amateur digital signals likely JT65 or similar. Signal strength alone seems to indicate power levels greater than typical amateur radio use on 30m.

I have been poking around the FCC and Industry Canada databases for licencees that might match but so far I haven't managed to look under the right rock.

There is a US company, URSANAV which has been promoting eLoran as a supplement to GPS for timing purposes due to the recent interest in mitigating some of the spoofing issues being seen with using GPS only. I wonder if there is some commercial company testing out something else but on HF.

Interesting mystery

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: Token on March 14, 2018, 1208 UTC
Hello Graham,

Yes, this signal has been noted on these forums as well as others.  A couple of points to add to your post.  I have a video up on my Youtube channel of it on Jan 1, 2018, in the 40 meter band.

Video here, ignore the part of me calling the pulse "about 20 msec long", I was rounding for description, not trying to measure the exact pulse width, which is, as you said, about 16 msec long.  But the leading edge to leading edge timing is correct.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSP8pHtqOd4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSP8pHtqOd4)


The signal has appeared on up to 5 frequencies in sequence, and it has been seen on as few as one frequency during a given time period.  When on multiple frequencies the frequencies are not transmitted simultaneously, but rather they are sequenced, freq 1, then freq 2, then freq 3, then freq 4, and back to freq 1 to restart the cycle.

Assuming the first pulse, when multi freq, or when single freq the only pulse, is synced to start at UTC T0, or at the start of the UTC second, then the distance is about 2750 km from my location in the Mojave Desert of California.  Or roughly on the following green circle:
(https://a4.pbase.com/o10/50/78250/1/166795887.nPGPPsB0.40M_dits_delay.jpg)

Now, if we could overlay your circle, my circle, and a third parties circle we might narrow down the location a bit.  Better yet, instead of assuming the pulses start at UTC T0 we could just use TDOA and arrive at a location regardless of true start time of the pulse.

You have to be careful with that assumption of start of pulse timing.  While the first pulse sent may, or may not, start on UTC T0, the other pulses, when in multi freq operation, have some kind of delay in them.  Each pulse is, as you said, 16 msec long, so you would expect P1 (pulse 1, or freq 1) to be at UTC T0, P2 (pulse 2, or freq 2) at T0 +16 msec, P3 to be at T0+32 msec, P4 to be at T0+48 msec, etc.

But what really appears to happen is that each following pulse is delayed by the pulse width plus some time delay.  So the P1 starts at T0, the P2 at T0+40 msec, P3 at T0+80 msec, P4 at T0+120 msec.  The following pulse is sent with the pulse duration delay of the proceeding pulse, 16 msec, plus a delay of about 24 msec.

What is odd about this signal, to me, is the fact it appears to only happen in ham bands (so far I have only seen it in 40 and 30 meters) but it appears to not be ham related and appears to be running well over ham power levels.  I have simultaneously heard it (using remotes) from the western Pacific to Eastern Europe, on 40 meters.  Not impossible at ham power levels, but not normal either.

T!
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 14, 2018, 1254 UTC
the UNID 1 PPS time tick signal is active again on 30m

Currently on 10120 kHz.

was noted on 10115, and 10150 earlier.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 14, 2018, 1619 UTC
Token and all,

The UNID 1 PPS time tick was active this morning for about an hour between 2018-03-14 12:10 and 13:10 UC and was observed on 10115, 10150, 10120, and 10135 kHz.

Yes indeed, it is a BIG assumption that this signal is synced to UTC and in reality at the moment is just a working theory. True time of arrival comparisons at a number of different locations is what is needed, either that or widespread system of DF sites.

I had earlier found one of Token's earlier posting of his Google Map with circle.  I converted to a simple Google Earth KML file (I use Google Earth a lot) which gave me the ability to plot that data with my own (see attached .jpg).

I have not noted this signal to be on more than frequency at a time and any time it changed frequency it never appeared to in any obvious sequence. For all intents and purposes it looks just like it changes frequency and carries on the new one. Perhaps I am just not looking close enough.

Indeed, so far seems to be only on amateur frequency allocations, 30 and 40 meters. However, 30 meters is a secondary to amateur radio assignment and in some countries so are parts of 40 meters.

I have been experimenting with and refining my setup for taking measurements and am ready to try some time of arrival tests. 

I have experimented using online SDR's but they are susceptible to unpredictable delays and other skewing, even using an SDR on a PC can have it's uncertainties if care is not taken.

cheers, Graham
 
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 14, 2018, 1620 UTC
I had forgotten a detail about frequencies, while I have ever noted this signal on 30 or 40 meters I did stumble across a posting on this message board of one example that may be this same signal but not on 30 or 40 meters:

https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,40128.0.html  noted on 6485 kHz on 2018-01-27

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 26, 2018, 1352 UTC
this mystery UNID 1 PPS time tick has not been heard, at least at my location, since March 14th nor have I stumbled across any recent postings in any other online forum.

It may have moved to some other frequency but my searches have not found it or it may have just ceased operating.  There have been periods in February where I have not noted this activity for just a bit more than a week but not as long as nearly two weeks.

Mystery continues.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 27, 2018, 1352 UTC
the UNID 1 PPS time tick appears to be on again.

currently on 10105 kHz (carrier frequency - tune 1 kHz low for USB or 1 kHz high for LSB). Started sometime in the last half hour or so.

Not as strong as usual this morning, possibly just due to propagation.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 27, 2018, 2338 UTC
Still going at 2018-03-27 23:30 UTC

Local signal strength is stronger than this morning.

I could not hear this signal on a web sdr in Edmonton Alberta but I could on Token's online sdr in the Mojave desert.

Earlier I was only able to monitor visually remotely. A poster on the UDXF groups.io group mentioned that the tick was irregular today. When I had a chance to monitor live this evening it was indeed irregular - no were near the previous monotonous once per second tick tick tick. Indeed, very irregular, some time three ticks close together over a period of second or so, sometimes pauses longer than a second and certainly not in step WWV.

I did not note any discernible pattern After listening for an hour or so.

There were no noted frequency changes today either.

This interesting UNID has taken another interesting twist.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 27, 2018, 2341 UTC
forgot to mention, I measured a few of pips and they were are consistently 16ms in length as was measured on previous occasions.

cheers,
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on March 28, 2018, 1520 UTC
Good day all,

A bit of a summary.

Started sometime around 2018-03-27 13:30 and continued right on til sometime after 2018-03-28 01:00 UTC when I stopped monitoring.  I was able to also monitor on a number of online SDR throughout the US and in Edmonton Alberta.  There was a somewhat rare amateur DX station on 30m last evening causing a bit of a pile up in the vicinity of 10105 kHz but I could still hear the tick

Indeed, apparently random and inconsistent - definitely not the same consistent repetitive tick tick tick that was earlier noted. 

Pulse width and shape was what I have measured in the past - 16ms pulse width with a sharp rise and fall.

When able, I listened on an off for over an hour and did not note any obvious pattern.

Kind of reminiscent of the radio signal in the 1959 movie "On the Beach". I think there was something similar in "Ice Station Zebra".


the mystery it seems, has taken on yet another twist.

cheers, Graham  FN25 nr Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 07, 2018, 2302 UTC
After no noted appearance for some time, the UNID 1 PPS time tick is active on 40m

currently on 7150 kHz (tune 7149 USB)

errr.. make that 7125 kHz.  It has been actively jumping around. no noted pattern to when and to what frequency other than it is maintaining it's usual preference to 5 kHz frequencies i.e. 7100, 7105, 7110 .... (etc).

now 7145 kHz

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 08, 2018, 0015 UTC
transmission appears to be off the air at 2018-04-07 2345 utc

typical behaviour as noted on 30m (101xx kHz), appears as a steady 1 PPS, very strong signal strength in Eastern Ontario, changes frequencies from time to time but always on some multiple of 5 kHz i.e. 7100, 7105, 7110 (etc).

Lowest frequency noted tonight was 7100 and highest was 7300 kHz.

I did notice something unusual tonight. When on 7165 around 23:30, I noted several pips on 7300 which were out of sync of those on 7165. Image attached shows this, yellow box identifies the noted time period and a narrow yellow line (hopefuly visible on the attached image) showing that the pip on 7165 was not in sync with the pip on 7300. I had not noted this previously on 30m but (Token I think) was noted sometime ago on a posting regarding similar activity on 40m around the first of the year.

Pulse width is 16ms as before and signal strength was very strong S9+30

A quick tip - if you make a recording offset 1 kHz from the carrier i.e. tone of pip will be 1 kHz and play back with audacity, you can zoom in on the pip and count cycles - one cycle will be 1ms. This is only a quick an dirty measurement but you can get withing a half ms if careful

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canda
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: CaptnKliegle on April 11, 2018, 1113 UTC
I found this one on 7.28505 MHz, is this what you are hearing?
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 11, 2018, 1502 UTC
yes, that is the one.

Still going at 2018-04-11 15:00 UTC

Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 11, 2018, 1541 UTC
This is getting even more interesting.

the main 1 PPS is still on 7285kHz BUT I am also seeing pips every three seconds on frequencies above and below 7285kHz.

7200, 7320, 7440, 7560, 7680, 7800, and 7920.  I did not notice anything above 7920, between 7285 and 7200 nor below 7200.

Pulse width on 7285kHz is 16ms and on the other frequencies, at least on 7200 and 7320 kHz where I measured, was 128ms which is the main PIP's width x 16.  These were measured using a recording and measuring using Audacity.

Image attached showing some details.

Still going as of 2018-04-11 15:39. Now I am off to check some of the frequencies noted by Token in his report of his Ditter network.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 12, 2018, 1306 UTC
The UNID 1 PPS signal remained active til at least 2018-04-11 22:30UTC when I last checked.

Some observations,

The UNID 1 PPS signal remained on 7285kHz from the time CaptKliegle reported it at 2018-04-11 11:13UTC until I last checked at 22:30UTC

At 2018-04-11 20:00UTC China Radio International started broadcasting on 7285kHz but the UNID 1 PPS pip could still be heard, at least at my location. I did not note when China Radio International stopped broadcasting and I am not sure where the transmitter for this broadcast was located - maybe Cerrik Albania ?

Having had a bit of time to poke around, I started to check about for the PIP or ditter than Token has reported. I noted quite a lot of interesting activity.

Firstly, above and below 7285kHz I noticed PIP's every 3 seconds (approximately), one was 35kHz above at 7320kHz and the other 85kHz below at 7200kHz. further searching found PIPs every 120kHz at (6960kHz - not sure but I thought I could hear this one), 6900kHz but nothing lower in frequency; 7440khz, 7560kHz, 7680kHz, 7800kHz, 7920kHz, 8040kHz, 8160kHz, 8280kHz, 8400kHz, 8520kHz, and 9300kHz . All with an apparent repetition rate of once every 3 seconds (approx) except 9300kHz which appeared to be every 6 to 7 seconds  I measured pulse width from a simple recording using audacity at 128ms which is interestingly 8x the pulse width of the UNID 1 PPS signal on 7285kHz (16ms pulse width).

Time wise, this was all between approximately 2018-04-11 16:00UTC and 17:00UTC

Also noted where PIPs on 7880kHz, 7640kHz, 7620kHz, 7400kHz, and 7300kHz all with an apparent repetition rate of once every 6 to 7 seconds (approx)

Furthermore, I noted another set spaced 110kHz apart at 7460kHz, 7570kHz, 7680kHz, all with an apparent repetition rate of once every 3 seconds (approx) and another on 7920kHz also every 3 seconds.

All of these nice and neatly spaced and repetitive PIPs has me wondering whether or not these were real signals and not just some artifact of my SDR receiver (airspy HF+) and computer BUT most were quite weak and others a bit stronger and all exhibited fading as would a signal which was propagated rather than locally created. Still, this is something to consider with respect to these other PIPs I was hearing and seeing on the SDR waterfall. Was I chasing my tail or where these PIPs real signals?

I did not note any double PIPs but occasionally one may have been dropped or just not heard as a result of fading.

Whether these PIPs were related to the UNID 1 PPS on 7285kHz is uncertain.

Whether these PIPs were related to the PIP or Ditter signals that Token has reported is uncertain other than being of a similar pattern and repetition rate.



cheers, Graham

 
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on April 12, 2018, 1311 UTC
oops, should have mentioned - all frequencies are carrier frequency, tune + or - 1kHz for USB or LSB respectively or whatever offset give you your preferred tone.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: kidgradius on April 13, 2018, 1340 UTC
I spoke to GrahamC on 04-11 about 7286.00

No longer hearing beeps on:
7286.00
Gaithersburg Md, USA
FM19KB
Title: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: CaptnKliegle on April 24, 2018, 0042 UTC
7115 KHz @ 1 sec intervals 0027UTC S9+43 dB
OFF at 0030UTC (freq jump)

Found again:
7060 KHz @ 0033 (moved from another freq between 7115 and 7060 at 0032UTC Still S9-9+43

Seems to jump around the CW portion of the band.
Not a very clean signal either, edges are 20kHz wide

Currently near 7094....
Title: Re: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: CaptnKliegle on April 24, 2018, 0048 UTC
Jumping all over the band now, about every 15 sec...
Title: Re: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: GC on April 24, 2018, 1227 UTC
Missed this yesterday evening as I haven't had much time to spend in front of the radio of late.

Sounds like our UNID 1 PPS pip alright, same typical operating pattern.

When I have measured the PIP pulse width I get approximately 16ms and it has a quick leading and trailing edge plus whatever it is seems to be running a lot of power all contributing to it's apparent bandwidth. I can often here the PIP even when tuned off frequency 10kHz.

Still no idea on who or what. Maybe related to some HARRP or SUPER DARN or Aricebo research activity. I have been poking around the FCC licence database (and the Canadian one too) but so far have not stumbled across any likely candidates but then again maybe I did but couldn't see the connection.

This does not appear to be related to the PIP's that Token often mentions (but it may be). I have seen them both active at the same time and I have seen each active while the other was not. Also the UNID 1 PPS PIP seems to stay within the amateur 40m and 30m bands whereas the other PIPs do not.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada.
Title: Re: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: Boriken on April 24, 2018, 1317 UTC
Graham,

I was on 40m CW last night using my HW-8 (DC receiver, wide as a barn door). I could hear the Pips from 10kc away. Really loud here. Heard them around 7095, 7105 & 7115. Had to shut down due to an approaching t-storm. I'll have to hook up the 40m coaxial loop & see if I can get some kind of bearing. 100% analog here so I have to find them first then chase 'em when they move.

Scott / WB4YZA
Title: Re: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: GC on April 24, 2018, 1735 UTC
Hi Scott,

I had a HW-8 40 years ago. Wished I never sold it. Certainly not a high performance design by any stretch but it is one of the classics and a joy to use in that class of radio.

I have been testing out a simple loop antenna with the intention of being able to take bearings and help null out some very persistent and up to now difficult to get ride of EMI/RFI.

cheers, Graham VE3GTC near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time tick
Post by: GC on May 02, 2018, 2253 UTC
Good evening all,

The UNID 1 PPS time tick has taken an interesting twist.

Some local (to me) amateur radio operators reported hearing what by their description sounds like the the UNID 1 PPS time tick which has been noted on 40m and 30m since around the first of this year.

first report was around 2018-05-02 15:25 UTC on a frequency near 18073 kHz.

I suspect but have no evidence that the carrier frequency was really 18075 kHz due to the history of this signals modus operandi of using even 5 kHz frequencies (i.e. 10100, 10105, 10110 kHz etc)

The signal was reported to be very strong S9+30dB.

One person who heard this signal reported a bearing of 270 degrees true.

No idea when the signal stopped being heard but the last report was 17:25 UTC

This is first report I have found of this signal on 17m

I will have to check some of other online forums to see if anyone else has reported this on 17m.

The mystery continues.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: UNID PIP 14265 kHz 1718 UTC 4 April 2018
Post by: Traveling Wave on May 04, 2018, 1720 UTC
1718 UTC - Checking out the 20 meter amateur band when I just noticed the PIP on 14265 kHz, signal is sS9 +20dB in WNY. One second intervals between signal pulses.
1723 UTC - Just moved to 14260 kHz.
1724 UTC - PIP is gone.
Title: Re: UNID 40M PIP's
Post by: CaptnKliegle on May 06, 2018, 0124 UTC
1 sec PIP bouncing around the 40M band, again...
Title: UNID (TIME REBROADCAST?) 6959 kHz 2358 09may18 UTC
Post by: WA4FHY on May 10, 2018, 0237 UTC
Did anyone else notice this transmission? It was on and off
several times this evening. I hit the SDR record at 2358. The sig
was S9+20 here. It reminded me of a kind of screwed up WWV
sound but there was never any announcements. At 000200 UTC
the sound changed and then it was off at 000500 UTC and I
haven't heard anymore this evening but I do think I've heard it
on other days. Best sound seemed to be in AM mode...
Title: Re: UNID (TIME REBROADCAST?) 6959 kHz 2358 09may18 UTC
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on May 10, 2018, 1119 UTC
I had this in my SDR recording, looks one of the digital UTEs that occasionally appears in the 43m band.
Title: Re: UNID (TIME REBROADCAST?) 6959 kHz 2358 09may18 UTC
Post by: WA4FHY on May 10, 2018, 1308 UTC
Thanks, Chris
I'm glad it wasn't just some local crud. Since a pic is worth 1K words,
here's a screenshot for Justin Case (anyone is curious). The shot is just as
the sound changed at 000200 UTC. With the volume turned up, I could hear
what sounded, to me, like 1 second time ticks.

I heard something similar ~a week ago but I was on the phone so
I just clicked mute. As I recall... I was looking at the 20 meter digital
area around 14100 kHz or so. The sig was gone by the time I got off the phone.
73, Paul
Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on May 20, 2018, 0318 UTC
0316 UTC - PIP has been pulsing every second since 0312 UTC  on 6370. Signal S9 in WNY.
0329 UTC - PIP still going, signal drops to S7 at times.
0341 UTC - PIP still going, checked Web SDR's in N.E. Pa, Texas, Wash. D.C, and N. Utah and all are picking up the signal from S7 to S9. 
0408 UTC - PIP still going.
0420 UTC - PIP still going.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 21, 2018, 0009 UTC
UNID pip 6370 kHz (carrier frequency) active

Tuned in at 2018-05-20 23:45

still going 2018-05-21 00:10

steady one PPS with what sounds like occasional missing pips but no noticeable pattern to when the missing pips occur

Signal strength is very strong in Eastern Ontario near Ottawa.

cheers, Graham near ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 21, 2018, 0202 UTC
still going strong at 2018-05-21 01:58

Not quite as strong as it was two hours ago.

WWV on 5 MHz is increasing in strength as evening propagation changes, WWV on 10MHz is fading away.

conditions are not too bad this evening. RWM on 4996 kHz and on 9996 kHz are both audible but weak with QSB this evening.

Based on those observations I would guess the UNID PIP is somewhere in North America and West or South of my location.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 21, 2018, 1157 UTC
Just checked this morning and this UNID 1 PPS PIP is still active.

Signal strength is about S3 in Eastern Ontario near Ottawa Canada

WWV on 5.0 MHz is a bit stronger

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Boriken on May 21, 2018, 1209 UTC
About S5 here in western North Carolina at 1200 UTC.

Scott
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 22, 2018, 0046 UTC
This signal has been pip'ing away all day.

I took some time this morning to take some measurements on the signal.

Pulse width is approximately 16ms - measured multiple times between 16 and 16.6 ms, depends on what you consider the start and finish. Most consistent results were using my FT-950, AGC off, NB off, bandwidth 2400hz, IPO on (preamp OFF), and in AM mode. (first image).

Assuming the UNID PIP is synced to UTC and using my GPSDO as my local reference were it's 1 PPS was fed into the receiver antenna I measured a delta T of 4.760 ms.  Again, assuming the UNID PIP is synced to UTC that would give a range of approximately 1427 km or  770 nm. Methodology as to receiver settings as noted above (second picture)

I plotted the 1427km on google earth but the image to large to include with this post so it will be in a following post.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 22, 2018, 0047 UTC
part 2

pulse width image - for some reason it did not make it to the first post

Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 22, 2018, 0057 UTC
Part 3 - google earth range ring of 1427 km and some additional comments

Note - that 1427km was NOT corrected for a reflection off of the ionosphere so is likely a bit long.

For what it's worth, while monitoring this morning I listened for this signal on a number of online SDR's throughout North America and in Europe.

As expected I did not hear this signal on any overseas online SDR. Of those in North America, the strongest signals were noted on those located in Eastern US - up to about S9.  Texas was moderate at around S5, nothing heard in California but it was audible on Token's SDR in the Mojave desert and audible as well in Alberta, not very strong but audible.

This signal's characteristics are the same as what was being reported on the amateur 40m, 30m, 20m and 17m bands. Perhaps whatever this is has finally set up on this frequency and will continue ???

Now, if we could get a couple of other good TOA measurements from Western and Southern North America we could pin it down a bit better.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Traveling Wave on May 22, 2018, 0108 UTC
0102 UTC - I started monitoring the PIP at 0051 UTC and the signal was S7-S9, suddenly at 0102 it jumped from S9 to S9+10dB to +20db in WNY.
0106UTC - Signal is now S9 to S9+10db. Static crashes are getting stronger as the storms are moving into WNY tonight.
0113 UTC - Signal back up to S9+20db.
0125 UTC - Signal strength varies from S9 to S9+20db to S9+40db. Checked web SDR in Waller County TX and signal was S7.
0347 UTC - PIP signal S9 to S9+10dB to +20db.
1412 UTC - Checking this AM, PIP signal is S3-S5.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 22, 2018, 2328 UTC
Still going strong pip'ing away.

Signal has been strong since I started to monitor this evening around 2018-05-22 21:30 UTC and was likely active all day but that is just a guess.

Currently at 23:25UTC about S9 in Eastern Ontario near Ottawa.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 23, 2018, 1125 UTC
checked early this morning at 2018-05-23 09:30 UTC and the signal was either off the air or inaudible at my location in Eastern Ontario

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: UNID PIP 40m 0224 UTC 24 May 2018
Post by: Traveling Wave on May 24, 2018, 0230 UTC
Been monitoring the UNID PIP on 40 meters since 0200 and it has been pulsing continuously on the following frequencies. 7120, 7130, 7165, 7170, 7180, 7205, 7210, 7265, 7290. 7300 kHz.
Signal is s9+20 to S9+40db. in WNY. PIP only pulses a few times on each frequency before changing to one of the other frequencies listed.
Checked back at 0311 UTC and PIP is gone.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 40m 0224 UTC 24 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 24, 2018, 1433 UTC
Interesting.

I was monitoring 6370kHz for the UNID PIP which had been operating there for a several days while at the same time searching from about 15MHz down (or up if you think of wavelength) to 4MHz for the same or similar signal including the "Ditter network" but I stopped listening around 00:30. I will have to listen a later tonight.

If this is the same signal that was on 6370kHz it is interesting that it has usually been noted on the amateur 40m/30m bands and occasionally on 20m and also 17m. 6370kHz being unusual in that it is not also an amateur assignment.

Of note, I have also not noted the "Ditter network" i.e. dits every 3 seconds in some time. I am guessing the two activities are not related but they might - truth is often times stranger than fiction.

A wide bandwidth SDR waterfall sure makes it easy to scan broad swaths of frequencies quickly. Much easier than the "good old days" of slowly tuning a receiver through many MHz's looking for something.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: 20M PIP 14.311 now on 14.325
Post by: CaptnKliegle on May 24, 2018, 1511 UTC
1 sec ticks, S9=15 at 15:05UTC


Title: UNID PIP 8120 0138 UTC 25 May 2018
Post by: Traveling Wave on May 25, 2018, 0141 UTC
Just noticed UNID PIP pulsing on frequencies 8115, 8120, 8125, 8135, 8140, 8145, 8150, 8155, 8160, 8165. 8175, 8180. Signal S9+ 20dB to S9+40dB in WNY.
One pulse per second and the amount of pulses for a frequency is random.
0153 UTC - Still going, noticed some pulses are S9+60dB in WNY.
0203 UTC - PIP still going.
0215 UTC - PIP still going, jumping around frequencies at random.
0253 UTC - PIP still going, jumping around frequencies at random.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 40m 0224 UTC 24 May 2018
Post by: CaptnKliegle on May 26, 2018, 0222 UTC
Active again tonight:

At 0210 UTC, jumping around near the following freqs:
7125
7150
7170
7180
7190
7250

S-9+20dB
and more, hard to pin down.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Mixer on May 30, 2018, 1319 UTC
This signal has been pip'ing away all day.

I took some time this morning to take some measurements on the signal.

Pulse width is approximately 16ms - measured multiple times between 16 and 16.6 ms, depends on what you consider the start and finish. Most consistent results were using my FT-950, AGC off, NB off, bandwidth 2400hz, IPO on (preamp OFF), and in AM mode. (first image).

Assuming the UNID PIP is synced to UTC and using my GPSDO as my local reference were it's 1 PPS was fed into the receiver antenna I measured a delta T of 4.760 ms.  Again, assuming the UNID PIP is synced to UTC that would give a range of approximately 1427 km or  770 nm. Methodology as to receiver settings as noted above (second picture)

I plotted the 1427km on google earth but the image to large to include with this post so it will be in a following post.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Have you tried your GPSDO timing offset technique on time signals from known transmitters? Perhaps WWV on 5000? It would be a good way to validate if the derived range to the unknown emitter is reasonably accurate.



Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 30, 2018, 1440 UTC
Yes I have, every time I make measurements on the UNID PIP.

In fact, I can use WWV for which I know precisely the distance between myself and their transmistters to correct my time offset for one reflection off the ionosphere. WWV is close enough that I don't imagine that the 5 or 10 MHz signal is ever a ground wave signal nor subject to more than one "reflection".

Using that as a reference, I can apply the same measured vs real offset to apply a correction to the UNID PIP which would make the distance calculated for the UNID PIP more realistic with respect to signal having one "reflection".  In the previous posting in this thread I DID NOT however apply that correction.

And, this is of course assuming that the UNID PIP is indeed synced as precisely to UTC as my GPSDO.

What we really need is to have several stations making similar measurements at the same time and using TDOA we could better zero in on the TX location without assuming the UNID PIP is synced to UTC.

There have been a number of thread on some of the online forums on this signal. This is a recent one on qrz.com

https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/time-signal-intruder.614510/

where someone mentions that a listener in Illinois was receiving this signal very well WITHOUT an antenna connected to his radio.

My google earth snippet with the red ring puts the rings West of Illinois but if corrected using my WWV measurement at the same time would put that line much closer.

I will check my notes and make a new with that correction and post it later.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada


Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Token on May 30, 2018, 2109 UTC

Have you tried your GPSDO timing offset technique on time signals from known transmitters? Perhaps WWV on 5000? It would be a good way to validate if the derived range to the unknown emitter is reasonably accurate.

I am going to pretty much repeat a lot of what GrahamC said, sorry, I typed it and responded before I saw his response ;)  That will teach me to read to the end of the thread before I respond, but my phone showed your post as the last one on the page...  DOH!

With these kinds of range rings the derived range to the unknown signal is only accurate assuming the start time of the unknown pulse is triggered by / simultaneous to the GPS time.  However, if you do know the start time of the pulse, for example if the pulse is triggered with minimal delay from a UTC disciplined source, then the total range, including ionospheric reflections, will be included.  It is physics, and pretty easily defined.  The delay behind UTC second will be equal to the distance radio waves travel in that time.

You will also have to account for any delay your radio puts in the signal, and this can be a sticky issue, as DSP radios can have highly variable delays.  SDRs are even worse.  But the technique of feeding your 1 PPS reference into the antenna normalizes the delays.  I do not do that, however I use analog receivers with fixed delays, and I have characterized the delays of the receivers in each mode/filter/decay/etc setting, so I know the delay through the receiver.

If two people get timing on this type of signal (simultaneous with UTC second) it will result in two range rings, one from each receive source.  Those two rings will intersect in two places, roughly the two possible source locations.  Add a third person and all three range rings will intersect in only one place.  There will be variables in each range ring.  For example, if one person is far enough from the source to be receiving via double hop, and the other two are single hop, then the plotted position will be shifted in a direction away from the double hop receive location.  But, if all three are the same number of hops away it is possible to get some pretty accurate results, not down to city blocks but down to a few tens of miles are quite easily possible.

Using this technique, and treating such known location signals as WWV as "unknown" sources, we have been able to get results inside 25 miles of the actual location.  This with receive locations more than 1000 miles away.

Several of us here on HFU have been playing with a similar GPS derived timing technique to DF targets for a few years.  Including targets that are not triggered by / simultaneous to UTC second.  With such targets you use TDOA (Time Difference Of Arrival) to plot curves, vs range circles, but the idea is pretty much the same.

T!
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on May 31, 2018, 1534 UTC
For what it's worth, I corrected my earlier calculation using my timings on WWV and re-plotted a range ring for the UNID PIP from my location in Eastern Ontario.

I also plotted a range ring for a measurement noted by Token and using his approximate location in the Mojave Desert and corrected for one propagation hop.

These distances are of course ASSUMING that the UNID was synced to UTC.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Mixer on May 31, 2018, 2108 UTC
The northern crossing of the range rings appears to be in a very sparsely populated section of western Ontario, CA. The southern crossing looks to be generally in the vicinity of Paducah, KY.

As you said, the accuracy of the technique depends on whether the mystery pulses are indeed synced to UTC. Iím now shopping for a GPSDO, as I find the whole idea of doing these sort of timing measurements very intriguing. Among other receivers, I do have a Drake R8B with purely analog IF which should negate the delay issue.

I have also just put a Wellbrook AL1530LN loop in service on a rotator. Though it would not have the ultra sharp nulls at 6-7 MHz that it does at LF and MF, might still be able to get a general idea of azimuth to these pulses if I catch it on air. (Have not heard them yet).
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: GC on June 01, 2018, 0012 UTC
I did some simple TDOA calculations using my measurements and those posted by Token. Not surprisingly with only two data points the calculated position of the UNID PIP is geometrically in the center of the overlapping area of the two range rings I plotted earlier.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Token on June 01, 2018, 0019 UTC
The northern crossing of the range rings appears to be in a very sparsely populated section of western Ontario, CA. The southern crossing looks to be generally in the vicinity of Paducah, KY.

As you said, the accuracy of the technique depends on whether the mystery pulses are indeed synced to UTC. Iím now shopping for a GPSDO, as I find the whole idea of doing these sort of timing measurements very intriguing. Among other receivers, I do have a Drake R8B with purely analog IF which should negate the delay issue.

I have also just put a Wellbrook AL1530LN loop in service on a rotator. Though it would not have the ultra sharp nulls at 6-7 MHz that it does at LF and MF, might still be able to get a general idea of azimuth to these pulses if I catch it on air. (Have not heard them yet).

The issue with small loops and direction is they do not DF skywave signals well.  Often the nulls are nice and sharp, even at 6-7 MHz, but only for direct path and groundwave signals.

T!
Title: Re: UNID PIP 6370 kHz 0316 UTC 20 May 2018
Post by: Token on June 01, 2018, 0021 UTC
I did some simple TDOA calculations using my measurements and those posted by Token. Not surprisingly with only two data points the calculated position of the UNID PIP is geometrically in the center of the overlapping area of the two range rings I plotted earlier.

The most probable general location would be near one of the two intersection points.

T!
Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: CaptnKliegle on June 01, 2018, 0034 UTC
Just happened to catch the pips on 17M.

Only heard it for few minutes, weak here in NH, but just after local sunset at 0020UTC
Found it on ~18.066 and also on ~18.120

Same pattern as the others, usually 7 pips then change freqs. Sometimes missing on or two, but seen on an adjacent frequency.

Round and round we go...

73  Kriss
Title: Re: 17M Pips (18MHz)
Post by: CaptnKliegle on June 02, 2018, 1718 UTC
June 2,  1715 UTC
S9 stays on one freq for while, then jumps around after few ticks. Then back for long duration of ticks and repeating.

Light horizontal streaks are from the electric fence, need to weed whack the fence line again.
Title: Re: 17M Pips (18MHz)
Post by: Traveling Wave on June 04, 2018, 1604 UTC
June 4, 2018, 1558 UTC, found PIP on 18158 kHz this AM. PIP signal starts at S3 and slowly climbs to S9 them back down again. At times I can't see a trace on the waterfall but I can still hear its one second pulse tone.
1631 UTC - Checked 18158 but PIP is gone.
Title: Re: 17M Pips (18MHz)
Post by: GC on June 04, 2018, 1733 UTC
currently 2018-06-04 17:28 PIP is piping away on 18133 kHz (carrier frequency) 18132 USB but is hopping around from time to time

Interestingly, the UNID pip has always seemed to favour even 5 khz steps (i.e. 18130 or 18135 or 18140) but today is not.

Also noted on 18068 (18067kHz USB) kHz 18143 khz (18142 UsB) but never remains on one frequency for very long - still hopping around at 5kHz increments just not on the even one (i.e. xxxx5 or xxxx0 )

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

 
Title: Re: 17M Pips (18MHz)
Post by: GC on June 05, 2018, 1601 UTC
back on 17m again this morning, currently pip'ing away on 18078 kHz (carrier frequency) 18077khz USB

Interestingly, something new, at least for me. From time to time there are secondary PIPs offset by some multiple of 5 kHz slightly offset in time (trailing) from the PIP on 18078 kHz. see attached image.

I am monitoring remotely at the moment and unable to make any quantitative measurements on the signal.



Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on June 06, 2018, 0230 UTC
0224UTC - The PIP is now active on frequencies 8100, 8110, 8115, 8120, 8130, 8135, 8170, 8180,8190,8195, pulsing from frequency to frequency in no specific pattern. Signal S9+20 to S9+40 dB in WNY.
0233 UTC - Now viewing double PIPs in random frequencies.
0247 UTC - PIP still going
0327 UTC - PIP still going
Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on June 10, 2018, 0257 UTC
0250 UTC - PIP is pulsing on 40 meter amateur band, frequencies logged 7165, 7265, 7285, 7275, 7215, 7255, 7290, signal pulsing to S9+20 dB/40dB.
Doing its usual thing pulsing randomly between these frequencies for one to nine or more pulses per frequency per second.
Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on June 16, 2018, 0035 UTC
0027 UTC - UNID PIP now pulsing on 20 Meters amateur band, frequencies logged 14060, 14125, 14130,14140, 14160, 14315, 14300, 14320,14325, 14345, 14350. Signal varies from S9 to S9 +20/40/60dB at times. 
0100 UTC - PIP still pulsing away on 20 meters.
Title: Re: UNID PIP 20 Meters 0027 UTC 16 June 2018
Post by: Boriken on June 17, 2018, 1510 UTC
I was chasing some unidentified carriers & birdies last night (Jun 17 ~0200Z) & heard the Pips on 14745. Didn't look for any other frequencies. Fairly strong signal on an indoor 20m dipole.

Scott
Title: Re: UNID PIP 20 Meters 0027 UTC 16 June 2018
Post by: GC on June 18, 2018, 1241 UTC
The mystery UNID 1 PPS PIP has continued to be active. 

I have not been able to actively monitor lately but have had a few spare moments from time to time to monitor remotely using online SDR's.

I have noted this UNID 1 PPS signal on 20m the past several evenings. Last evening around 2018-06-18 23:00 (approximately) I observed this signal on 20m moving around from about 14060 kHz up to around 14300 kHz - always on 5kHz frequencies i.e. 14305, 14310, 14315 (etc) I did not note the actual frequencies.

The signal would be on one frequency for a handful of PIPs, then switch; sometimes plus or minus 5kHz, sometime to the other end of the band - that is somewhere around 14300 kHz and then change to somewhere around 14060 kHz, then plus or minus 5kHz for a few PIPs then back up to the high end of the band.

Note - any noted frequency is the carrier frequency, you would need to tune 1kHz lower (i.e. 14304kHz) in USB for a 1Khz offset tone.


there has been a fairly long running thread on qrz.com discussing this signal:

https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/time-signal-intruder.614510/


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada


Title: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on June 23, 2018, 0009 UTC
What looks and acts like our UNID 1 PPS time signal like signal is active on 12MHz.

Has been hopping around between 12200kHz and 12400kHz favouring frequencies at 5kHz i.e. 12255, 12250, (carrier frequencies) etc.

Hasn't been staying on anyone frequency for very long, no more than a few PIPs before it changes.

cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time signal like signal active on 12MHz
Post by: GC on June 23, 2018, 0117 UTC
what happened to being able to attach and image?


I don't see it any more under "attachements and other options"


cheers, Graham

Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time signal like signal active on 12MHz
Post by: radiogaga on June 23, 2018, 0141 UTC
https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,43385.0.html
Title: Re: UNID 1 PPS time signal like signal active on 12MHz
Post by: Token on June 23, 2018, 0418 UTC
These are around 8225 kHz, +/-, at 0415 UTC, 23 June, 2018.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on June 29, 2018, 2236 UTC
The mystery UNID 1 PPS signal is currently active on 12270 kHz (carrier frequency) tune 12269 USB.


signal strength is about S3  SINPO 32243


So far in about 15 minutes of monitoring it has not changed frequency.


cheers, Graham near ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Josh on June 30, 2018, 1431 UTC
Suppose they're doing a prop/system study? Also, why are they bothering the HAM bands with what is surely going to be commercial traffic in nature.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on June 30, 2018, 2142 UTC
Suppose they're doing a prop/system study? Also, why are they bothering the HAM bands with what is surely going to be commercial traffic in nature.

It has been mentioned here, and some of the folks over at QRZ forums are pretty emphatic, that this might be related to HFT experiments.  I am skeptical of that.  Over at QRZ and a few other forums they have gone as far as finding the experimental licenses that might be involved, but again I am skeptical.

Why the skepticism?  No one really compelling reason, but lots of little things that push me away from any such connection.

No license found covers all of the frequencies observed.  Between the 3 or 4 license being discussed they cover most, but not all, of the freqs seen, and no one license comes close to covering them all by itself.

The majority of the licenses seem to apply (based on emission types) to much wider bandwidth signals.  I think only one of the licenses lists OOK or N0N modulation.

The most promising license was not valid until a month after I first logged these signals, and I have no idea how many other people saw them before I did.

So technicalities of the licenses aside, what about the signal?

These signals appear to be simple unmodulated pulses.  There is no data that I can detect on the pulse itself.

It has been suggested that maybe the data is in the pulse timing, but the timing of these pulses is very consistent, they may, or may not, be timed at zero UTC second, but whatever their start time is they don't seem to vary much.  All variations I have seen to date could be accounted for by propagation changes (altitude of the reflective layer, single hop vs double hop, etc)

It has been suggested that the data is in the frequency selection.  However this would seem to me to be a very limited data set, and for a system that is supposed to be based on blindingly quick trades (advantages in milli, if not micro, seconds) having to get your next bit of data one full second later seems like a non-starter.

So really, I just don't see it being related to HFT unless it is very early in the process and they are still trying to figure out how to predict / quantify / resolve varying propagation delays.  And if they were doing that, why such small frequency segments and steps?  When they are active they are a couple hundred kHz wide hopping at most, and often sub 50 kHz across multiple freqs, what does that tell you that setting on one freq will not?

So, if not HFT, what is it?  Hell, I don't know, ain't radio great?

What we really need to happen is a couple of other people take accurate time cuts on when the pulses arrive.  We have two measurements, at least one more will give us enough data to do a TDOA calculation on the signal, and arrive at an approximate signal source location.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on June 30, 2018, 2326 UTC
I'd be happy to help with the timing measurement, but I don't find out about these until hours/days later.

However, I do think I found some up in 16 MHz somewhere a week or two ago.


Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on June 30, 2018, 2328 UTC
Right now, 2325z, it is all over the 20 meter band.  Bouncing from about 14305 to about 14350.  Lots of time around the 14315-14330 area.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on June 30, 2018, 2340 UTC
Got 'em on 14330 kHz at ~2335 GMT.

After posting this, I re-read earlier messages in this thread on the possible delay of the pips themselves. I looked at a bunch of them sequentially in my recording and they vary from around 80 to 110 samples delayed from UTC, in no apparent order. From an earlier description, I was expecting as I went in a direction, that it would increase/decrease by a regular interval.  However that was not the case.

For a string of 11 PIPs in a row, this is what was found for the number of samples between UTC PIP (GPS) and the UNID PIP. Since I was eyeballing it, there's is some inaccuracy of the samples but should be within a few samples. These are uncorrected values for the delay of the radio (which at the recorded bandwidth is 6 samples).
117, 124, 101, 94, 98, 104, 110, 95, 116, 126, 100


This is from a pip at delayed 88 samples (corrected for internal radio delay) from UTC. This is equivalent to 1.9955 ms (using 44100 Hz sample rate):

(https://i.imgur.com/7UpcL0H.png)
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Mixer on July 01, 2018, 0246 UTC
Heard at 02:35Z  01 Jul 18 around 10.103 MHz on the K3FEF WebSDR
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on July 01, 2018, 0250 UTC
I've got it here at 0250Z on 10145 kHz.







Perseus SDR with Bonito Boni-Whip antenna
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: MDK2 on July 01, 2018, 0253 UTC
10145 kHz is very strong here in Denver as of 0253z.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 01, 2018, 0322 UTC
 1 July 2018
0319 UTC - Just logged PIP on 12250, 12240, 12230, 12340 kHz, at S9 +20/40dB in WNY. The PIP is bouncing randomly on these frequencies.
0327 UTC - PIP logged on 12355 kHz at S9 +40dB.
0328 UTC - PIP logged on 12245 kHz.
0332 UTC - PIP on 12250 kHz.
0335 UTC - PIP still on 12250 kHz.
0337 UTC - Checked University of Twente Web SDR and signal is S7-S9 in the Netherlands.
0343 UTC - PIP on 12245 kHz.
0348 UTC - PIP still on 12245 kHz.
0353 UTC - PIP went back to pulsing on different frequencies, 12250, 12365 12245, 12250, 12240 kHz.
0414 UTC - PIP on 12345 kHz, signal S9+60db in WNY.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on July 01, 2018, 1526 UTC
Got 'em on 14330 kHz at ~2335 GMT.

After posting this, I re-read earlier messages in this thread on the possible delay of the pips themselves. I looked at a bunch of them sequentially in my recording and they vary from around 80 to 110 samples delayed from UTC, in no apparent order. From an earlier description, I was expecting as I went in a direction, that it would increase/decrease by a regular interval.  However that was not the case.

For a string of 11 PIPs in a row, this is what was found for the number of samples between UTC PIP (GPS) and the UNID PIP. Since I was eyeballing it, there's is some inaccuracy of the samples but should be within a few samples. These are uncorrected values for the delay of the radio (which at the recorded bandwidth is 6 samples).
117, 124, 101, 94, 98, 104, 110, 95, 116, 126, 100


This is from a pip at delayed 88 samples (corrected for internal radio delay) from UTC. This is equivalent to 1.9955 ms (using 44100 Hz sample rate):

Thanks for the info Skeezix.  I will play around a bit with this and see what I come up with.

The variations you saw are about 0.7 msec, and my first assumption would be some mixing / multipath of groundwave and skywave.

Because we (GrahmC, you, me) took different measurements at different times and on different frequencies I would not expect much accuracy, but we should get the general region.  Also, you might be ground wave or at most single hop, GrahmC is probably single hop, and I am probably double hop.

I will plot it two ways.  The first will assume the pulse is at UTC zero second, the second will assume the start time is in sync with the UTC second, but not starting at zero second.  If I don't at least assume this later part then the measurements we took are meaningless, and we would all have to to take a cut on the same single pulse for it to be of any use.  But based on the stability of the timing referenced UTC zero second for me (for months now the timing has been the same for me with acceptable propagation caused variations) I think at least this last part is a safe assumption.

(edit)  Adding plots based on some loose measurements and assumptions.

I must start by saying, the measurements these plots are based on were taken on different days, different frequencies, and different times of the day.  In other words, there is the potential for a lot of slop.  Further, some large assumptions were made.

This is not something I would put in a peer reviewed paper, but it may be a good starting point to get an idea of the potential source region of these signals.

The Range Ring plots hinge on the assumption that the pulses of the 1 PPS ticks start on the UTC second.  If this is a false assumption then the plots are totally useless.

The TDOA plots do not care (relative to UTC second) when the pulse starts, but because they were taken at different times and on different pulses they assume the pulses are in sync with UTC second, even if not coincident with it or they do not start on the UTC second.  Long term observation, and timing measurements, make this a safe, but not confirmed, assumption.

Uncorrected maximum range rings

For GrahmC, near Ottawa, Canada, we have only a single measurement.  For Skeezix, near Minneapolis, MN, and for myself (Token) in the Mojave Desert of California, near IYK, we have a range of measurements.  These ranges are probably caused by changing propagation delays and multipath.

The following images are range rings plotted with no consideration of the altitude of the reflective layer of the ionosphere, and no attempt to correct for path length increases due to propagation.  They are just range rings plotted based on time of propagation, and they are worst case, maximum possible, ranges.  The actual value will be something less than what is plotted here, the rings should be a little smaller.

In other words, the target will probably be someplace inside the common, overlapping, area of all three rings.  It should be skewed towards the points of intersection of the rings.

The rings are color coded.  Skeezix rings are Yellow, GrahmC rings are Red, and my rings are Green.

The overall map, note that the intersection to the north is fairly tight.  This might lead someone to believe that is the source location.  However I believe the actual source location is near the lower, more scattered, intersection.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/Uncorrected_rings_001_s.jpg)

Zoomed in view of the same plot above.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/Uncorrected_rings_002_s.jpg)



Corrected range rings

The following range ring images are loosely "corrected" to compensate for the added distance of skywave propagation.  Skeezix should have ground wave or at most single hop propagation (the shortest numbers are assumed to be ground wave), GrahmC should have single hop, and I should have single or double hop.  Very rough correction was made for the single and double hop deltas.

The rings are color coded.  Skeezix rings are Yellow, GrahmC rings are Red, and my rings are Green.

The overall map.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/Corrected_rings_001_s.jpg)

Zoomed in view of the same plot above showing the area of the southern intersection.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/Corrected_rings_002_s.jpg)


TDOA

Time Difference Of Arrival curves, uncorrected and corrected as above, were plotted for the three pairs of receive locations.

The curves are color coded.  Skeezix vs Token curves are Blue, Skeezix vs GrahmC curves are Green, and GrahmC vs Token curves are Red.

TDOA Uncorrected plots.

The overall map.  Since two pairs pf stations will have hop or multiple hop sky wave propagation, and one may have no hop, these intersections are probably pushed out a bit, a tad long.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_uncorrected_001_s.jpg)

Zoomed in view of the same plots.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_uncorrected_002_s.jpg)

Zoomed in view of the same plots, centered on the southern intersection.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_uncorrected_003_s.jpg)

TDOA Corrected Plots.

As for the Corrected Range Rings, a rough normalization was done to try and remove or reduce the variations of propagation.  Since the receive locations were at vary different ranges form the target, the measurements were done on different days and frequencies, this normalization is, at best, "loose".  It is mostly done to show the potential variations.

The overall map.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_corrected_001_s.jpg)

Zoomed in slightly on the overall map, still showing both intersections.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_corrected_002_s.jpg)

Zoomed in and showing only the southern intersection.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_corrected_003_s.jpg)


Both Corrected and Uncorrected TDOA plots, on a single map.  This shows both TDOA plots and the area they encompass.  If I was a betting man I would say there was a pretty good chance the source is in or near the highlighted area of this map.
(http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SharedFiles/ImageTfer/TDOA_possible_area_s.jpg)


T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on July 01, 2018, 1551 UTC
2018-Jun-01

Time pips.
1550Z S9 12345 kHz
1602Z Disappeared sometime in the past couple of minutes.
1603-1630Z Searched from 2 MHz to 30 MHz and didn't see it.
164000Z S9 12345 kHz
164110Z Disappeared. Don't see it in the vicinity of 12345 kHz
1833Z 14340 kHz S6-S9
183549Z Stopped. Don't see where it moved to.
185200Z Started again. Much weaker. Its in & out of the noise.
185250Z Off




Perseus SDR with Bonito Boni-Whip
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 01, 2018, 1648 UTC
July 1 2018

1645 UTC - Caught PIP on 14300 and 14305 kHz for a few pulses then gone, signal was S9+40dB in WNY.
1652 UTC - PIP back on 14305 foe a few pulses then off .
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 01, 2018, 2220 UTC
Token,


Excellent work, well done and explained.


cheers, Graham

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 02, 2018, 0034 UTC
2 July 2018 -

0030 UTC - PIP now pulsing on 20 meters, frequencies logged 14130 kHz, 14060, 14040, 14055, 14045, 14050, 14065, 14030, 14060, 14160, signal is s9+20/40dB in WNY.
0035 UTC - PIP also on 14325, 14315, 14350, it appears the PIP is pulsing back and forth from the lower to the higher frequencies on 20 meters,
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on July 02, 2018, 0055 UTC
Token, very well done.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 02, 2018, 1556 UTC
2 July 2018 Nice work Token.
1555 UTC - PIP pulsing away on 18133kHz, signal S9+20/40 dB in WNY.
1605 UTC - PIP switches to 18078, 18143 kHz. Steady on 18143 kHz.
1802 UTC - PIP steady on 18068, signal is a weak S7.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 02, 2018, 2200 UTC
As has been reported by others, the UNID 1 PPS time tick has been active on 18xxx kHz today hopping around from one end to the other of the amateur 17m band plus some reports higher up in frequency.


I spent some time taking some measurements on the PIP. I had reorganised my listening desk with an eye to setting it up in a configuration that I could more easily take such measurements without having to spent 15 minutes looking for cables and connectors to hook everything up when I want to make some measurements. I have been playing around with trying to measure WWV second pips to see if I could measure them well enough to identify changes in the ionosphere - still working on that, so far I can say that I can but not very reliably. More practice and refinement may see an improvement. I have changed from using my Yaesu FT-950 to my ICOM R75. The R75 seems to be better suited to making these kinds of measurements. Not only can I lock it's frequency to my GPSDO but the delay through the receiver is much less and seems more consistent than the FT-950.


In any case, my measurements of the UNID 1 PPS PIP shows the pulse width is still consistently around 16ms and I was able to get some very good and consistent measurements on the start of PIP with respect to UTC as well as on WWV on 15MHz.


My simple way to calculate a range on the UNID is to use WWV as a reference. Since I know the distant from my location to WWV and using a simple ratio of the time differences between WWV and UNID I can calculate the distance to the UNID. This technique will also provide a result that is independent of any delay of the signals through the receiver and tends to nullify the impact of propagation with respect to a simple great circle distance for the signal vs one that bounces off the ionosphere and what applies to my reference, in this case WWV on 15MHz, will also apply to the UNID signal. This is of course assuming the UNID PIP is or is very closely synced to UTC.


At the end of it all, my calculated range calculation to the UNID today was 1128.2 km or if you prefer 609.18 nm where one nautical mile is exactly 1.852 km.


I think to date these have been my best measurements.


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada



Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: R4002 on July 03, 2018, 1843 UTC
Rockford, Illinois (roughly close to the center of the circle in Token's map) is 1123 km (just a hair under 698 miles) from Ottawa, Canada so yes, that figures (nearly) perfectly.

One wonders if this is a defense contractor messing around or if there's actually some sort of goal/purpose with these UNID pips all over HF. 
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: er1c on July 03, 2018, 2038 UTC
If someone feels ambitious, here's a list of all Defense Contractors in Rockford, IL. You have to scroll a bit before you get to the list...

https://www.governmentcontractswon.com/department/defense/rockford_il_illinois.asp
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on July 05, 2018, 2000 UTC
I believe that circle also includes one of the high frequency trading sites?
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 05, 2018, 2355 UTC
That is my understanding.


I have been trying to follow some of the online postings on the subject high frequency trading and reports of the antenna sites in Chicago area but haven't seen anything new of late.


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on July 06, 2018, 1631 UTC
I'd like to try to take some timing information (delay from UTC) from these pip stations. Any particular time of day / frequencies I should try?  I am on the RocketChat all day, so if you notice any on the air and can let me know in real time so I can check, I can try to take the measurements.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 06, 2018, 1705 UTC
Chris,


Seems to be active most days but frequencies and times vary.


I haven't had too much luck lately, just a matter of not being in the right place at the right time.


Of late, there have been reports on the amateur 17m and 20m bands and I have found activity on 12Mhz between about 12200 kHz and 12450 kHz as well as on 8Mhz between about 8200 kHz and 8400 kHz - those frequencies are approximate.


Additionally, it has been noted frequently on the amateur 30m band as well as 40m and for a time I finding between 6 and 7Mhz but I haven't found it there in quite some time.


So far, no reports of it about 17m or below 6Mhz.


There is still a tendency for the signal be use frequencies of 5 kHz steps i.e. 14250, 14255, 14260, 14265 (etc) and those are the carrier frequencies and you would (of course) need to tune off by 1 to 2 kHz plus or minus for USB or LSB and your preferred "tone" or beat frequency if you prefer.


The signal does jump around alot. I hesitate to say "hop" as that would imply a for knowledge and implication that the signal was frequency hopping in some predetermined order. It likely is but after spending much time watching the PIPS jump around in the waterfall of a SDR, I cannot say with any certainty that there is an obvious pattern of any rhyme or reason. However, perhaps I am just not seeing the obvious and I may just be to closed minded and can't see the forest for the trees as it were.


It has been noted that the signal may remain on one frequency for extended periods of time as well, sometimes minutes, 10's of minutes, even more than an hour.


Good hunting.


cheers, Graham
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on July 06, 2018, 1733 UTC
Thanks Graham, I will hunt for it today after lunch.

Do you get a good signal from the Link-11 transmission around 6940 kHz? That might be an interesting target as well.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 06, 2018, 2311 UTC
UNID 1 PPS PIP is currently active on 14305 kHz (carrier frequency) tune 1 kHz lower for USB


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on July 06, 2018, 2321 UTC
UNID 1 PPS PIP is currently active on 14305 kHz (carrier frequency) tune 1 kHz lower for USB


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Good copy here, I am taking some timing measurements.

First cut at a timing map, I hope I am not too rusty and didn't make any errors:

(https://i.imgur.com/FLTvsJ7.jpg)
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: ChrisSmolinski on July 06, 2018, 2334 UTC
I re-took the data after adjusting the RF gain on the NRD 545 to get a cleaner audio waveform, and came up with a total delay of 447 samples. My radio delay is 291 samples (based on measurements taken some time ago, I do not think it would have changed), so that leads to a net delay of 156 samples (this is all at 44.1 kHz) or 3.5374 milliseconds. Here is the new map, with a slightly larger circle due to the slightly longer delay time.


(https://i.imgur.com/4fl0Ynx.jpg)
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: skeezix on July 07, 2018, 2326 UTC
Yeah.... closing in on a location alright.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 08, 2018, 2346 UTC
Chris,


Well done.


All roads seem to be pointing in the direction of the Windy City.


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 10, 2018, 2154 UTC
UNID 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick is active on 14315 kHz (carrier frequency - tune -1 kHz for USB).


Bouncing around as usual from time to time.


14290 kHz now.....


back to 14315 kHz.


Signal strength is strong in Eastern Ontario  SINPO 52245


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 10, 2018, 2224 UTC
now on 10149kHz (carrier frequency) at 2018-07-10 22:20 UTC


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 10, 2018, 2247 UTC
now ( 2018-07-10 22:40 UTC ) pip'ing away on 12370 kHz (carrier frequency).


SINPO 52245


and jumping about. On 12235 and 12240 (and perhaps others) as well.




cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 12, 2018, 0154 UTC
12 July 2018 - 0151 UTC- PIP pulsing on 6320, 6325, 6330, 6335, 6360, 6375, 6400, 6405 kHz, random pulsing as usual, the signal is  S9 +40/60dB in WNY.
0200 UTC - PIP still going strong.
0232 UTC - PIP frequency hopping still going strong.
0304 UTC - PIP spread spectrum frequency hopping still going strong.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Boriken on July 12, 2018, 0219 UTC
Strong here in NC using a Sony ICF-SW11 with whip antenna.
I'll add my 2c to the conspiracy theories...
1) DoD experimental signal (maybe NPT) from Crane Naval Facility in Indiana
2) Really slow data where frequency/pips equals bits
3) Some guy ROFL at the rest of us playing whack-a-mole

Scott
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 12, 2018, 1428 UTC
As some may have already heard, the KiwiSDR network has had a new feature added to it's already impressive capabilities and that new capability is the ability to do Time Difference of Arrival ( TDoA ) in near real time on LF/MF/HF signals.


first post (that  noted) on the development was here:


https://www.rtl-sdr.com/locating-various-hf-transmitters-and-number-stations-with-kiwisdrs/


authors very interesting web page here with lots of details on this and other interesting topics:


http://hcab14.blogspot.com/


a follow up on the first link here:


https://www.rtl-sdr.com/kiwisdr-tdoa-direction-finding-now-freely-available-for-public-use/


and a posting on qrz.com on someone's first use of this KiwiSDR capability and using to located the UNID 1 PPS PIP/tick/time pulse:


https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/time-signal-intruder.614510/page-31#post-4727876


I tried this technique last evening and my results were similar to those described by the poster on qrz.com


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 19, 2018, 0109 UTC
19 July 2018
0107 UTC - PIP is hopping around 40 meters on the following frequencies: 7145, 7150, 7180, 7195, 7200, 7210, 7240, 7245, 7250, 7295 kHz.  Signal is S9 +20/40 dB in WNY.
0147 UTC - PIP still hopping frequencies on 40 meters.
0258 UTC - PIP still hopping frequencies on 40 meters.
0342 UTC - PIP still hopping frequencies on 40 meters.
0400 UTC - PIP gone.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on July 19, 2018, 1125 UTC
I had stumbled across the UNID 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick about an hour earlier on 14320 kHz (carrier frequency). It was there for a bit and then stopped. Did a scan from 40 meters up to 20m but probably just wasn't looking in the right spot at the right time before I got distracted with something else.


I was hoping to find it on one frequency long enough that I could try KiwiSDR TDoA on it but no such luck.


cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Josh on July 19, 2018, 1853 UTC
Strong here in NC using a Sony ICF-SW11 with whip antenna.
I'll add my 2c to the conspiracy theories...
1) DoD experimental signal (maybe NPT) from Crane Naval Facility in Indiana
2) Really slow data where frequency/pips equals bits
3) Some guy ROFL at the rest of us playing whack-a-mole

Scott

Hey Scott, do you have any examples of hf traffic from Crane?
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 20, 2018, 0036 UTC
20 July 2018

0036 UTC - PIP is pulsing steady on 7180 kHz, signal S9 + 20/40 dB. in WNY.
0040 UTC - Now seeing PIPs on 7170, 7175. but still steady on 7180.
0044 UTC - PIP steady on 7140 kHz.
0053 UTC - PIP hopping frequencies 7170, 7145, 7185, 7175, 7180, 7125, 7140, 7135, 7130.7195 kHz.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: MegatonRange on July 20, 2018, 0306 UTC
It's been on 8 MHz tonight (0250-0300 UTC) July 20, 2018. Frequencies were 8164.0, 8154.0, 8189.0, 8224.0, 8194.0, 8184.0, 8144.0, 8164.0, 8159.0, 8229.0, 8174.0, 8164.0 & on & on, jumping around every few seconds, but staying longer on some frequencies.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Boriken on July 22, 2018, 0120 UTC
Josh,

Sorry, no samples from Crane. Interviewed with them many years ago as an RF Engineer. Wide variety of electronic countermeasure experiments. Went to NTTR in Tonopah NV instead. Fascinating place, amazing what the military can get away with.

Scott
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 23, 2018, 0143 UTC
23 July 2018

0142 UTC - PIP hopping frequencies on 12320, 12310, 12315, 12260 kHz. Signal S9 +20;40dB in WNY.
0145 UTC - PIP holding steady on 12320 kHz.
0155 UTC - PIP is gone.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on July 31, 2018, 0038 UTC
31 July 2018

0037 UTC - PIP is hopping frequencies on 17 meters: 18088, 18093, 18098, 18103, 18123, 18128, 18133 kHz,  Signal is  S7 to S9 in WNY, not the usual strength.
0047 UTC - PIP signal now S9 +20/40 dB.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Josh on July 31, 2018, 1713 UTC
Josh,

Sorry, no samples from Crane. Interviewed with them many years ago as an RF Engineer. Wide variety of electronic countermeasure experiments. Went to NTTR in Tonopah NV instead. Fascinating place, amazing what the military can get away with.

Scott

Thanks. A friend just moved to Nellis to take your place in the electronics dept of area 51. He was going to do fed law countermeasures but the aliens were more interesting.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on November 12, 2018, 2318 UTC
The 1 PPS oddity, a quandary

Since at least as far back as January of 2018 a 1 pulse per second odd signal has periodically been seen up and down the HF bands.  This is a signal that sounds very much like a time station, ticking one time per second, changing frequency sometimes swiftly, sometimes slowly.  Naturally, it has been reported on several forums.  Some of the places it has been discussed:

https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/time-signal-intruder.614510/
https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,41025.0.html
https://forums.radioreference.com/utility-listening/363866-unknown-pips-pulses-ham-40-meter-band-01-jan-2018-2238-utc.html

Various plotting methods have been applied to the signals, most results seem to point to the area around Chicago, Illinois.

Most of the reports seem to be in the ham bands, however that might just be a factor of how many people watch the ham bands at any given moment.  To the best of my knowledge, the frequency ranges that have been observed and reported have been:

6320 to 6510 kHz
7095 to 7300 kHz
8100 to 8400 kHz
10100 to 10150 kHz
12200 to 12450 kHz
14060 to 14350 kHz
18065 to 18160 kHz
21200 to 21300 kHz

You can see it has at least 3 full bands that are well outside the ham bands, and a few frequencies just outside ham bands.  There absolutely may be more ranges outside ham bands that are simply not being reported because no one has noticed.  The reports of operation inside ham bands vastly outnumber the reports of operations outside ham bands, however I am not sure if this is an actual trend, or if it is just a result of the source of data (mostly hams).  I know watching the signal today it seemed to spend as much time outside the ham bands as inside.

Various sources have tried, or tentatively, connected these transmissions with High Frequency Trading (HFT) experiments.  Some specific HFT experimental licenses have been suggested as related to these transmissions, the following license are sometimes quoted:
WI2XNX
WJ2XGD
WH2XWU
WH2XVO

However, none of these license cover all of the frequencies observed.  In fact, all of the authorized frequencies for all of those licenses combined still do not cover all of the frequencies observed.

Further, the HFT application of radio links is in a quest to gain advantages of milliseconds, if not microseconds, on trading transactions.  So even if the pulses observed did contain data (and they don't appear to) they would update that data only once per second.  It seems, to me, an unlikely fit.

It has been suggested that these pulses have nothing to do with the data of HFT itself, but are just tools to measure or model propagation delays for future HFT ventures.  While certainly possible (the signal does look like a propagation / scatter experiment to me) the frequency ranges observed are pretty narrow, and such measurements generally do not require stepping across such narrow frequency ranges.  Is moving 10 kHz every 2 or 3 minutes really going to tell you much about the real time propagation variations between the frequencies?

So, what is this 1 PPS oddity?  I really don't know.  But the more I look at it the less convinced I am that it has anything to do with HFT experiments, or any of the license so far identified.  Can anyone convince me differently?

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on November 13, 2018, 0220 UTC
token,
Well reasoned and I doubt that I could convince you otherwise.
I think you are correct, there have been more observations in the amateur radio bands simply due to their being more listeners.
 
There is a what I believe to be a part to this mystery which has not been reported very often. There have been reports of and I have logged on numerous occasions a very wide band signal noted just below the amateur 40m band, on 8MHz and 12MHz; some reports from Europe as well.
I have not done much of any real analysis on this signal other than to note that it appears to be something like PSK/QAM and looks a lot like the Pluto II OTHR on a SDR waterfall but is 25kHz wide whereas I think the Pluto II signal is note quite as wide. Signal strength has been the same as the 1 PPS signal and also seems to be located somewhere near Chicago when I have used the KiwiSDR SDR's to get a TDoA fix. I did not check this evening but a couple of evenings ago I noted this signal around 6800kHz (just a vague recollection as a I don' t have my log handy).
It always pays to be somewhat skeptical even when you have a growing list of evidence that points to one thing. In other words, it is too easy to jump to conclusions when what you think you know is conveniently leading you along.
these are the links to some of the interesting postings on high frequency trading, chicago, and HF antennas (they are also embedded in the links Token provided);
https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/shortwave-trading-part-i-the-west-chicago-tower-mystery/
https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/shortwave-trading-part-ii-faq-and-other-chicago-area-sites/
https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/shortwave-trading-part-iii-fourth-chicago-site-east-coast-patent-regulation-and-farmer-kevin-mystery/
https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/shortwave-trading-part-iv-sleuthing-examples-research-tools-techniques-deputies-wanted/
I am sure that this mystery has been discussed on other english and non-english web sites; the challenge in searching for them is to search for the right terms and human nature being what it is, everyone and every group will post using somewhat different language making it difficult to find said discussions.
My suspicion is that the 1 PPS signal and the 25kHz wideband signal are related and most likely related to this HFT stuff.  The PPS signal itself likely little more than a measurement tool rather than a conveyor of much data itself but I leave some room for doubt - too few real hard facts and what we have is mostly circumstantial.
cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on November 13, 2018, 0233 UTC
I agree the wideband data is very possibly, probably even, HFT related.  The wideband data fits the authorized freqs for several of the suspected HFT licensees.  But the 1PPS generally does not fit those authorized freqs.  To me it makes no sense that one does (wideband), one does not (1 PPS), and they would be related.

Both Kiwi TDOA and other measurements have the sources from the same general area.  But other than that I cannot resolve a connection between them.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on November 17, 2018, 1349 UTC
Update on frequency ranges I have seen the signal in:

6320 to 6510 kHz
7095 to 7300 kHz
8100 to 8450 kHz
10100 to 10150 kHz
12200 to 12450 kHz
14060 to 14350 kHz
18065 to 18160 kHz
21200 to 21300 kHz

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: andbov on November 18, 2018, 1844 UTC
Hello, i have received today this signal at 15:00 utc in Roma Italy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9aTvaywns (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9aTvaywns)

I't's the 1 pps PIP ?

73 de IW0HK Andrea
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: GC on November 18, 2018, 2011 UTC
Andrea,


yes, that sounds and on the waterfall looks like the 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick that has been discussed.


cheers, Graham ve3gtc near Ottawa Canada

Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: NJQA on December 16, 2018, 1530 UTC
A recent note about HFT transmissions here:

http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2018/news1811.pdf
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on December 16, 2018, 1621 UTC
A recent note about HFT transmissions here:

http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2018/news1811.pdf

Unfortunately that newsletter, and its comments about HFT and 10Band LLC as a possible source, appear to be repeating assumptions made by others on the source.

Yes, there is little doubt that at least some, if not most / all, of the 1 PPS signals are coming from near Chicago.  And several of the suspected HFT experimental licenses are from that area.  However, 10Band LLC, the company quoted in the newsletter, is operating under the Part 5 experimental license WI2XNX.  Their form 442 is here https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/442_Print.cfm?mode=initial&application_seq=73846&license_seq=74564

WI2XNX does not appear, to me, authorized emissions on all or even most of the observed 1 PPS freqs.  The same can be said for other supposed HFT experimentals, none I have found, even if you add all of their authorizations together, allow for many of the frequencies seen.

It seems to me, either there are HFT licenses not yet found, or the known ones are transmitting outside their authorizations, or the 1 PPS is unrelated to HFT.  So far I would have to lean towards the last.

Further, this signal has been seen for about a year now.  The 1 PPS is not carrying significant data, so a tenuous tie has been made that maybe the 1 PPS is testing propagation for future digital HFT modes.  Seems a long time to test propagation on frequencies for which they are not authorized and other signals have not been seen, while several digital signals matching the HFT experimentals authorized emissions modes and freqs have been seen.  But no 1 PPS noted on those probable HFT freqs.

The more I see of this the less I think the 1 PPS is related to HFT in any way.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on February 08, 2019, 1643 UTC
Update on frequency ranges I have seen the signal in:

6320 to 6510 kHz
7095 to 7300 kHz
8100 to 8450 kHz
10100 to 10150 kHz
12200 to 12450 kHz
12885 to 13105 kHz
14060 to 14350 kHz
18065 to 18160 kHz
21200 to 21300 kHz

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Rizla on February 09, 2019, 1950 UTC
UNID time signal/pip was on 14304 kHz this morning (2/9)  a few minutes before 1900UTC, it sounded exactly like T's recording.

Tried to get recording together but was off at 1900. Anybody else heard it lately?
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: N0TZU on May 21, 2019, 1324 UTC
Hearing the 1 PPS intruder right now (1323Z, 21 May 19) on 14164 kHz
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: jasmine on June 12, 2019, 0341 UTC
i think i've picked this up tonight in Washington state. 03:40 UTC on 6519.00 khz, USB
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Matambale on June 18, 2019, 2331 UTC
Evident on 10105 kHz at 2330 UTC
(Courtesy Simplio)
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Traveling Wave on June 23, 2019, 1655 UTC
1652 UTC - The PIP is doing its thing on 14.310 kHz, strong signal 20dB to 40dB over S9 in WNY.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Strange Beacons on December 18, 2019, 2253 UTC
I'm not sure if it is the same signal that has been discussed in this thread, but I recently recorded a mystery "time signal" at 7475 kHz in AM mode (https://youtu.be/9uD8HztuqF8).
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: KM0NAS on December 25, 2019, 2327 UTC
Yes, on 7450 kHz today, Christmas day. December 25th. Hearing right now since I tuned in around 11:00 UTC.
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Token on December 26, 2019, 0332 UTC
I'm not sure if it is the same signal that has been discussed in this thread, but I recently recorded a mystery "time signal" at 7475 kHz in AM mode (https://youtu.be/9uD8HztuqF8).

No, this is not the signal being discussed in this thread.  The signal here is short pulses, like CW dits once per second, not a carrier with ticks on it.

T!
Title: Re: All 1 PPS pip / pulse / tick logs here please
Post by: Strange Beacons on December 26, 2019, 1622 UTC
I'm not sure if it is the same signal that has been discussed in this thread, but I recently recorded a mystery "time signal" at 7475 kHz in AM mode (https://youtu.be/9uD8HztuqF8).

No, this is not the signal being discussed in this thread.  The signal here is short pulses, like CW dits once per second, not a carrier with ticks on it.

T!

Thanks for the response. Anyone have any idea what the 7475 kHz signal I recorded might be?