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Messages - Token

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1
Spy Numbers / Re: V24 logs, May, 2019
« on: May 19, 2019, 1503 UTC »
And those two transmissions on the 18th were the first V24 transmissions this month, it has been missing since last month.  It has missed over a dozen time slots.

However, as I type this it is on 5715 kHz, so it may be back to normal.


5715 kHz, 19-05-2019, 1500 UTC, V24, AM
K-pop followed by message in Korean.

T!

2
The SDR’s I am looking at are the following:

Kiwi-SDR
SDRPlay
HackRF
Win radio pci card
RTL-SDR v2 or v3

Just wondering which one is the most fair one to get. I just need good performance just like my analog radio does.

Of these, and looking at HF performance specifically, the WinRadio will have the best performance.  The G31DDC is the best HF performer in its price category, but the G33DDC is among the best receivers, of any kind, I have ever used.  The G35DDC is better yet, but at several times the already expensive G33 cost it better be.  Stepping back to the hybrid WinRadio offerings, the WR-313 is very good, excellent, however it has a very limited IBW and so the "SDR" features (waterfall display, wide band record, etc) are less useful or lacking.  The WR-315 is also very good, but also has the limited instantaneous bandwidth issues of the WR series.  The WR-305 is more of an entry level receiver, although still quite good.

The Kiwi SDR is at a good price / performance point, but really its forte is its ease of setup for online use.  Not a bad receiver at all, but outside the quick and simple online setup not really a stand out rig.  If you want to place a rig at a location you are not physically at and access it, or you want to make your SDR available for others to use, the Kiwi is king.

If I had to cut down to or pick just one HF centered SDR today for me it would probably be the G33DDC, although I use my RFSpace NetSDR more, I still think the G33 is the better of the two.

RTL-SDRs are so far down my list as to be off the bottom.  They are a tremendous bang for buck, and excellent entry to the field, but frankly, compared to the others you (and other people) have listed they don't belong in the conversation.

But really, you have to decide if you want HF or if you want wider coverage.  Because that will narrow some of the field for you.  If you only want HF, and want peak performance in that region, that becomes a different list than a list that would include VHF/UHF.

T!

3
13 May 2019, 0250 UTC - 10226 confirmed. Got it with a fair signal here in Denver, sounds much better on KPH kiwi SDR in California (the 3-30 MHz one). I had it weakly for a bit on 12126 at 0230z but it faded. I have no chance at copying such fast CW.

I never updated my post, but yes, I confirmed the 0250z 10226 kHz slot on the 10th.

The Asiatic M12 Monday/Friday message on the 13th was:

412  412  412  1
7823  3T  7823  3T
61211 15684 453T3 46784 42441 91847 77533 83261 86191 T3753
14741 11923 T1423 86113 61T89 T7787 T64T9 TT117 42566 79964
68181 1647T 32172 49277 4T476 51T22 25T96 T5636 67739 91748
TTT TTT

The schedule for this TX is on my web site here:




Keep in mind there is also an Asiatic M12 on Tuesday / Thursday, the schedule for that is here:


T!

4
Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6955 USB 0235 UTC 13 May 2019
« on: May 13, 2019, 0238 UTC »
Right down at the noise floor here, I can tell something is in there, but not what.  For the first minute or so the station was on air it was S4 and nice, but faded rapidly.

T!

5
Skippy Radio is S5 to S7 here in the Mojave Desert of California.

SSTV images here  http://www.tokenradio.net/Radio/SSTV/SSTV.htm   (only shows the 12 latest images though, so these images will rotate out as others are received).

T!

6
When Wolverine first started he was only S5 or so here, now he is up to S9 or a tad better.  Got the Light theme playing on the house sound system for Mrs Token to enjoy also.

T!

7
Let me preface with, I am not sure, but I suspect:

This looks like it may be STANAG 4539 out of UK DHFCS.  This should be sequencing, frequency hopping, through 20 channels.  In sequence: 2082, 2088, 2097, 2501, 2688, 3312, 3318, 3327, 4022, 4028, 4037, 4782, 4788, 4797, 5742, 5748, 5757, 7807, 7813, and 7822 kHz.

T!

8
For May of 2019 this station has shifted time 2 hours later, starting now at 0210 z on Mondays and Fridays.  This change fits the operating habits of other Asiatic Russian signals, like V07 (Sundays) and M12 (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  This station also tunes up the transmitter with BC station audio present, as does other Asiatic Russian numbers stations.  This supports all of the currently active / reported Asiatic Russian stations being from the same source, in Kharbarovsk, Russia.

May 2019 Monday / Friday Asiatic M12 schedule:
0210z    13426 kHz
0230z    12126 kHz
0250z    10226 kHz*

* Note, I have not yet observed the 0250z transmission occur, so far in May all transmissions have been nulls, and so no third time slot activity.  However, 10226 kHz fits the operating habits of this station, and is a "best guess" projection until an actual transmission occurs.  Other possibilities for this time slot are 11226 and 9226 kHz, however 10226 is the most likely.

T!

9
Utility / Re: 11016 TADIL/LINK 11
« on: May 05, 2019, 1549 UTC »
Yeah, Link 11 is almost always encrypted.  I think that is why so few decoders have ever been done for it.

As a joke we used to call it "Link 1" whenever we sent it in the clear.  Of course, that is incorrect as Link 1 was an entirely different system, but had been retired by then.

T!

10
Utility / Re: 11175 USB
« on: May 05, 2019, 1544 UTC »
On 03 May there was, for my logs, a record number of Skykings in a short period of time.

11 separate Skykings, with no errors or corrections, from 0052z to 0447z, 03 May, 2019.  That number matches one other date in my logs, 25 October, 2017, also 11 that day.  In 2015 I logged 12 on one day, but several of them were corrections ("ignore my last" etc).

I don't really do the HF-GCS network as such, but I do record a few other things nearly 24/7, and I end up catching a lot of HF-GCS traffic as collateral traffic.

T!

11
Equipment / Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« on: April 27, 2019, 0246 UTC »
I went on the internet to browse about Winradio Excalibur receivers. I could not get any real price from a real retailer : everywhere, i was requested to be a candidate buyer, writing about the products I'm interested with, if possible in German, Portuguese, Greek, Danish... (for euro zone) or in English (for UK sterling pound zone, and what with the Brexit?). I don't like that at all, and it's clear that Winradio does not want to sell Excalibur to me. When I jump to SDR, I will look to other brands.

That is very odd, I was able to buy WinRadio products directly off their web site, with prices advertised on the web page before ordering.  I know the G31DDC (and other receivers, like the 313) price is on the web page, and the G33 price used to be, but it seems you have to request a price for the G33 today.

To get the G35DDC I did have to go directly to Radixon, as that one could not be priced online.  But they responded with a simple price quote within 24 hours, and I had it on order inside a week, and most of that week took me deciding what options I wanted on it.

Also, reading a few advices, I doubt it that Winradio went far to make its software really useful on less than the higher grade PC's.

WinRadio recommends higher end PCs, that is true, however I run a G31DDC on a P4 HT machine, probably 8 or more years old.

My G33DDC runs on a 5+ year old Gateway SX2803, Pentium E5800 @ 3.2 GHz, and 6 GB RAM, running Windows 7.  This is a low cost box that I bet I paid less than $400 for when it was brand new, and it runs the software just fine.

Another concern is more general (including the Icom IC-R8600) : many receivers today have to be supplied with 12V (or 13.6V...) and it becomes harder and harder to find DC power supplies not 'peppered' with noise either on the DC or on the AC line.

That is why I run a high quailty Lambda linear 12 VDC supply for all the 12 VDC required at the listening desk.

T!

12
Spy Numbers / New Asiatic M12, Mondays and Fridays, April 2019
« on: April 26, 2019, 1205 UTC »
This past Monday (April 22, 2019) at 0050z on 12137 kHz I stumbled on a new, to me, and as far as I know previously unreported, Russian M12 numbers station transmission.  The callup was 891  891  891 891  1, indicating the 0050z transmission I heard on 12137 kHz was probably the last of three transmissions that day, with earlier transmissions at 0010z and 0030z on higher frequencies, with 100's digit of 8 and 9 and last two digits of 37.

So began the hunt, each night, to determine what days this station is active.  For M12 it is common for their to be two active days per week for a given schedule.  ANd this morning I found the other transmissions.

It appears the schedule is on Mondays and Fridays, at 0010z, 0030z, and 0050z, on frequencies of 14837 kHz (at 0010z), 13937 kHz (at 0030z), and on 12137 kHz (at 0050z).

Unfortunately, we are near the end of the month, and there is only one more day this month this station should be active on this schedule, that would be next Monday, April 29.  After that it will still probably be active on Mondays and Fridays, but on a new set of frequencies, and possibly in a new time slot, will have to search next Friday to find the new schedule.

It is very likely that this Monday / Friday M12 is transmitted from the same location as the other known Asiatic M12 on Tuesday / Thursday, and the V07 on Sunday.  There also used to be another M12 from the same source on Wednesday and Saturday, but as far as I know that schedule is no longer active.

T!

13
Equipment / Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« on: April 25, 2019, 0151 UTC »
But can the SDR box really find the tiniest  signals in the mud when things are really hard ?
Side by side between the R8600 and the best SDRs, which one is the best to find the really weak signals ?

I consider my G33DDC SDR to be my best SDR receiver, possibly the best receiver I have ever owned, the G35DDC might be a bit better, but I do not own that, I just have access to use one occasionally.  Comparing my R8600 to my WinRadio G33DDC it is hard to tell which is best, under some conditions the G33, and others the R8600.  The NetSDR and the G31DDC may not quite be up to the level of the G33DDC, but are still extremely good, this is splitting hairs.  I never have compared the R8600 to the Perseus (I got rid of my Perseus before I owned the R8600) but based on comparisons of the Perseus to the G31/G33DDC I suspect the Perseus would perform in the same class.

Really weak signals is not an issue for any of the better SDRs, SDR-IQ, Airspy HF+, RSP2Pro, Afedri, etc.  Most show adequate sensitivity for real world noise levels on HF.  The differences show up in specifications like dynamic range and wide/narrow blocking.  And the software, and how the software handles various aspects of operation.

A good SDR will deliver world class performance, no problem.  But then you also have to make sure your support systems are up to the same level of performance.

T!

14
Equipment / Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« on: April 24, 2019, 1326 UTC »
The R8600 is an outstanding receiver, no two ways about it.  I have  owned mine since release day, and am extremely pleased with it.  And, in my opinion, the R8600 is the best candidate for “having only one RX and doing it all”, but is that really such a good option?

I find that I always want more than one radio running.  For dedicated scanning I use the Uniden BCD536HP and just let it do its thing.  For HF I use multiple SDRs, often because I am looking at multiple chunks of spectrum at any one time.

I guess I could talk myself into, if required to downsize for space, keeping only the 536 and the R8600.  But it would take some convincing, I like my WinRadio G31 and G3DDC a whole lot, and my RFSpace NetSDR is my “go to” tool, the other HF SDRs here are mostly redundancy for monitoring many things at once.  I know this is the opposite of what you asked, but if there was a better computer tool to use the R8600 (not that HDSDR is bad, it is just not as clean as some others) I might be more satisfied with only the R8600 and the 536 combo.  I find it less comfortable today to use the front panel controls of a radio, despite having grown up with (and still owning a couple hundred) tube type boatanchors.  And without a large, high detail, waterfall I feel like something is missing today.  I have been using waterfalls since the early 1980's, and at home for more than 10 years, I feel almost like I have forgotten my glasses, or something, working with a radio with no waterfall today.

The Icom R8600 has no numerical keyboard.
Is there a roundabout to enter frequency direct ?
 

Direct frequency input is easy on the R8600.  You simply touch the frequency display on the touch screen, a number pad pops up on the screen, and you type in the frequency you want and touch the ENT soft button.

So while there is not a hardware numerical keyboard, there is a soft numerical keyboard on the display.

T!

15
Spy Numbers / V07 new sched April 2019
« on: April 07, 2019, 0307 UTC »
April 7, 2019, 0300 UTC, V07 on 12218 kHz USB.

Callup is 254, so 0320z freq may be 11518 kHz and 0340z freq may be 10418 or 9418 kHz.  I guess we will see at those times.

V07 used to use a time slot at 0300z, however it stopped using that a bit over a year ago.  It appears it is back.

(edit)  Yes, V07 has added (or returned to) a 0300 / 0320 / 0340z slot using the freqs 12218 / 11518 / 10418 kHz.  The time slot has been used before, but I think the freqs are all new.

T!

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