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Messages - Token

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1
Other / Re: OTHR on 40 Meters 2339 UTC 29 March 2021
« on: April 10, 2021, 1408 UTC »
The DK2OM document is a very good primer on HF radars, however there are several issues with it.  The largest is its age.  Because of its age it does not list newer radars such as the Russian 29B6 that is a serious contender for this source, and also at least one signal in it is probably not a radar.

To the OP, confirming that your question was about a radar that was present on ~7285 kHz at 2339 UTC, March 29, 2021, and terminated sometime before 0030 UTC on 30 March.  The same radar was again seen on ~7285 kHz at 2332 UTC on 30 March?  And also, you are relatively certain this was a radar, and not DRM?

The reason I ask if you are sure it was not DRM, on the nights of 24 to 31 March, from 2330z to 0000z each day, there is a signal that looks very similar to DRM that can be seen on the Twente WebSDR full day page ( http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/fullday/ it defaults to the last 24 hours, but at the top you can enter the date you want to see ).  Unfortunately, because of the relatively low resolution of that page it can be difficult to tell DRM from certain narrow radars, such as the 29B6.  But the start and stop times across a weak+ worth of time are suspiciously regular to be a radar, such timing is more consistent with other kinds of signals.  While radars which change frequency to chase propagation conditions (most radars that change frequency through the day do it for this reason) often do approximately the same thing every day for days in a row, they don't typically do exactly the same thing for several days in a row.

Here is a crop from the Twente Fullday plot of the 29th of March, showing the time and frequency in question:


If you are fairly certain it was not DRM then the 29B6 is my leading suggestion as a candidate.

T


2
Other / Re: OTHR on 40 Meters 2339 UTC 29 March 2021
« on: April 10, 2021, 0155 UTC »
Would need a bit better description, more information of what it sounded like at least, of the radar to try and narrow down the source.  Maybe a sound clip or a waterfall picture.

However, the Russian 29B6 Konteyner radar is known to hit around those frequencies, often around that time.  The 29B6 can and does hit any frequency it wants, including the middle of ham bands, aviation frequencies, maritime, etc.

T!

3
HF Mystery Signals / Re: Want to identify this 11387
« on: April 10, 2021, 0148 UTC »
Without a sound file it is not possible to confirm, but this is almost certainly HFDL, High Frequency Data Link.  This is a known frequency for HFDL and the image looks like it is probably HFDL.  A more detailed closeup image of the signal on the waterfall could help a little also.

HFDL is HF based ACARS, it is a data link used in aviation, including aircraft in flgiht.

T!

4
I haven't listened to SDR on shortwave for a littlie while. Was listening to WRMI and i came over this USB modulation signal. Of a man Saying parts of the Phonetic Alphabet. And he would stop and say "Standby await new message" And start again. I have no idea what this is. I just was wondering if anyone know what it is. It was accompanied with a ALE2G about 2kh away. Was not able to record that part. But this is what I have.

https://youtu.be/CY0PjDFgyF8
https://youtu.be/aD_jdzutPeQ

Thanks for ya help!

Are those YouTube videos actual videos of your reception?  Or are they similar videos that you have found?

In the videos, the frequency is clearly 4724 kHz.  And this is the US military used, US AF operated, HFGCS.

Some people, especially some doom porn listeners, try to correlate increased traffic on this network to world events, but the reality is that you just can't.  Sure, there absolutely can be increased traffic during world events, there can also be no traffic at all during such events, and there can be increased traffic when nothing important is going on.  The important take away here is that traffic on these freqs is not a harbinger of doom...but it might be...

Since this is not a numbers station I have moved the thread to the more appropriate "Utility" forum.

T!

6
HF Mystery Signals / Re: Amateur Band 14.125mhz unknown data
« on: April 05, 2021, 2138 UTC »
That is PACTOR IV

T!

7
Shortwave Pirate / Re: Outhouse Radio 6930 USB 0157 UTC 4 Apr 2021
« on: April 04, 2021, 0347 UTC »
0345 UTC, SSTV.  No software running, will have to pull it off the recording later.

Signal is nice, S6 or a tad more.

Thanks Outhouse!

T!

8
About S8 into the Mojave Desert of California tonight, Wolverine on the house sound system, and Mrs Token trying to guess the next song.

Thanks Wolverine.

T!

9
HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.6
« on: April 03, 2021, 1632 UTC »
I have finally uploaded a newer video of this signal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZm8zEU9qqU

(edit) this is the corrected version, with fewer typos ... DOH! 

T!

10
If you search "pips network" on these forums you will see they have been discussed here off and on for 10 years or so.

The transmission consists of a dit or dash and a pause some multiple of that dit or dash.  In the case of this transmission it is a 40 millisecond long dit, with a 4.000 second long pause (many different combinations of pulse length and pause have been seen).  The signal starts at some low frequency, makes a pulse, steps up to the next higher frequency, makes another pulse, etc, to the highest frequency, after which it starts over at the low frequency.  So you see it allows, in this specific case, for up to 100 different frequencies to be in each sequence.

Based on past receptions, this network appears to be sourced in the US, from 2 different locations.  Some frequencies are shared between both networks / locations, and so those frequencies show double dits.

I have never been able to confirm the purpose (or exact sources) of this signal, but my supposition is that it is some kind of ionospheric tool.

T!

11
HF Mystery Signals / Re: New BUZZ sound on HF bands
« on: March 08, 2021, 1904 UTC »
Found out it was a military experiment and it was shut down yesterday. I do not know what it was about or if they will start it back again.

How did you find out it was a mil exp?  I mean, where did the information come from.

Your recording is identical to a digisonde, same data rate, same histogram.  Digisondes are often found associated with military installations, for example the one in the picture I showed is from Vandenberg AFB.  It is not unreasonable to expect a digisonde to be associated with an HF military experiment.

T!

12
Spy Numbers / Re: New Book n Spy Numbers Stations Published
« on: March 08, 2021, 1720 UTC »
@ Token, maybe you can place your review also on Amazon?
And who is the mysterious French woman (Marie?) on the ID card at the bottom of the Erwin van Haarlem story?


Is this our guy?
https://independent.academia.edu/ronmilione/CurriculumVitae

That is the fake ID card, in the name of Marie Suzanne Imbert, for Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a leader in a large spy ring operated by the French Resistance during WW II.

And yes, that is the author of the book in question.  He certainly likes to throw "classified" and his army.mil email address on things in the public view.  I wonder why he uses an army.mil email address as his "primary" (on both his resume and QRZ pages), even though he works for PSEG-LI?

T!

13
Spy Numbers / Re: New Book n Spy Numbers Stations Published
« on: March 06, 2021, 1907 UTC »
I have this book and am in the process of going over it, may do a review of it eventually.

Short take from my first quick view, the book is a congregation of public web pages, in print form.  So far I have not come across anything unique to the book, and most passages that I have searched for turn out to be word for word, cut and paste, from various web sites. Most often without crediting the web site.

T!

(edit, my review of this book below)

"Secret Spy Radio Stations" Series 1, by Ronald Milione.

This is a book I have been looking forward to since I first heard it was in work.  Spy Numbers stations have been a secondary listening hobby of mine since I first heard such broadcasts in the late 1960's.  Books on the subject are few and far between, and so I look forward to any new non-fiction publications related to Spy Numbers.

I ordered this book as soon as I was aware it was available, and had it in hand 2 days later.  I was especially jazzed when I saw the "Series 1" in the title, hopeful that this was the first installment in a series of books on the subject.

To call the book a disappointment is to be kind.  It has much outdated and incorrect information, and it appears to be, in large part, copy / paste from various web sites and prior publications.

The book is a large paperback, about 8.5" by 11", and with roughly 220 pages of large type text, single picture per page illustrations, and various tables / charts.  I say roughly 220 pages because there is not a single page number in the entire book, so I have no idea how many pages it really is.

There is also no Table of Contents and no Index.

The first page is titled "Why this book series?  Here is why...." and then launches directly into the body of Simon Mason's publication "Secret Signals - The Euronumbers Mystery" (https://labyrinth13.com/Secret%20Signals.pdf ), minus the original title or author.  The first 12 pages of the book are word-for-word identical to the first 6 pages of Simons publication.  And no indication, at all, in those pages, as to the source.  There is no acknowledgment of Simons work until near the very end of the book, when it generically lists Simons publication as a source, with no definition of what parts of this book were related to Simons work.

The next 5 pages start with a two sentence paragraph which appears to be original text, and then launches into a word-for-word cut and paste from the Wikipedia entry on the Warrenton Training Center.  Several pictures are interspersed with the Wiki text that were not originally part of the Wiki entry.  The next several pages are primarily word-for-word copies from the Wiki entry on the Voice of Korea, although that segment does appear to contain several paragraphs of original text, interspersed with the Wiki copy.

Aside from added pictures, mostly from Google Earth, in the first 30 pages of the book there are less than 2 pages of original text, the rest is direct copy and paste, without cite, from sources such as Simon Masons "Euronumbers Mystery" paper, or from something like Wikipedia.  This is a theme that is repeated throughout the book, copy some source word-for-word, do not cite the original source, throw in a sentence or paragraph here and there with original text, and add some pictures from public sources. 

Because so much of the book is copy / pasted from other sources, without editing, it often contains information that is incorrect today.  For example, it discusses numbers stations in the present tense, and calls them "active", despite the fact that particularly station may not have been active for years.  It was when the copied paper or web site was published, but there appears to have been no effort to fact check any of the information presented.

For example, the section on the Yosemite Sam oddity is written in the present tense, the book says "it transmits on four frequencies:" and then lists the Sam freqs.  For those not aware, Yosemite Sam was an oddity station that was active in 2004 and 2005, and the text in the book comes from an old write-up on the web, found here  http://www.spynumbers.com/YosemiteSam.html  The books entry on this station is word-for-word from that web page, including the colored text (light gray in the book) for the hypertext link to the .wav sound sample.


In one of the few more-or-less well cited entries in the book the author copied, word-for-word, the description text from a YouTube video of the Chinese Robot, VC01.  Including the YT channel disclaimer "Disclaimer:  Many of the radio reception recordings on this Youtube channel pertain to unusual, uncommon, unknown, or mystery signals that might be found on radio, both shortwave and VHF/UHF.  Among the subjects covered are numbers stations, utility stations, military transmissions (both in the clear and encrypted / encoded), aviation, maritime, ham radio, CB radio, radars, ionosodes, propagation beacons, ditters, dashers, whistlers, and just about anything else that might transmit, in any mode, USB, LSB, CW, Morse Code, FM, AM,FMCW, LFMCW, etc.  Think of it as SIGINT (signals intelligence) / COMINT (communications intelligence) / ELINT (electronic intelligence) lite, the hobby version.  All the recordings are made by me, most often at my home.  Although there are a few mysterious things to be found here, you will not find anything paranormal, extraterrestrial, spiritual, or mystic.  However, everyone can have their own interpretations of the sounds heard, make of it what you will."

Not sure what all that extra text has to do with VC01, or why it would be valuable in the context of this book.

The author uses ENGIMA IDs, such as E05, V07, V15, etc, as well as common nicknames, "Cynthia", "The Cuban Babbler", etc.  But never explains how such names or designations came to be, or, in the case of the IDs, what they mean.  Many of the basic concepts of the hobby are missing or glossed over.

All-in-all, the book "Secret Spy Radio Stations", by Ronald Milione, is a disappointment, at best.  It rambles, the format shifts around section to section, and there is no new or interesting data that cannot be found with a Google search.  Such a paper presented in highschool would garner a failing mark based on the blatant plagiarism alone.  This book is little more than a collection of web pages, bound and printed.  Interesting web pages, to be sure, but nothing more.

14
HF Mystery Signals / Re: New BUZZ sound on HF bands
« on: March 05, 2021, 1732 UTC »
It does not seem to matter what band you are on, but is is stronger below 15 meters and others are hearing it all over the east coast as far as i have heard so far.

The type of sounder I was referencing sweeps across a wide frequency range, and so it is heard on many frequencies.  Unless you are looking at a waterfall display, and if you are going strictly by audio, it can be tough to tell that it is stepped / swept upwards.

The sound in your recording is almost certainly a digisonde.

The following image shows two different digisondes moving up in frequency.  You can see them moving to the right in frequency and upwards on the waterfall as they move right.  You can also see they walk right through 40 meters ;)  The one marked in green sounds very similar to your recording.


While I said the one in green sounds similar to your recording, keep in mind these sounders, even the same types of sounders, can have different step sizes and dwell times, so the same type can sound different depending on the settings.  In fact it is probable the two shown in that image are the same types of sounder, just in different modes / settings, and they did, in fact, sound very different on the recording.

T!

15
HF Mystery Signals / Re: Possible Ionosonde?
« on: March 05, 2021, 1619 UTC »
2 Dec 2020, @ 0105 UTC tune/in.

I'm hearing / seeing a signal that is sweeping the HF bands from 2025.5 kHz up through around 6500 - 6600 kHz or so. The higher it goes, the weaker it gets.

It sweeps quickly through that range in 2 seconds, then repeats.

It's not a constant carrier though, like the normal ionosondes - there's only a signal every so often. There are carrier signal on these frequencies as it sweeps:

2025.5
2098.0
2165.5
2231.0
2297.0
...etc

Not a constant difference between signals either. As it gets higher in the frequency range, the signals seem to turn into a "double beep" whereas at the bottom of the range, it sounds like a single beep.

Here's a video recording of my waterfall, using HDSDR:

https://spacetubes.com/DX/2020.12.02_0015UTC_UNID.Sweeper.mp4

Can't recall seeing anything like this before. I left it zoomed all the way out so you could see the sweeper going from left to right across the bands.

Location: N. Indiana
Radio used: RX888 SDR, 8 MHz bandwidth setting
Mode: SSB to hear the carrier as it "passes by", but AM detects it too, just like a normal ionosonde
Antenna:  south-aimed DKAZ loop

First, I do not know exactly what this is, but my thoughts on it:

When i see a signal like this (and I have seen essentially identical signals, if different frequency steps) my first thoughts are either some type of system test (antenna and / or transmitter) or ionospheric testing.

For system testing, someone may have installed a new wideband transmitter and antenna, or possibly they are pulling maintenance on an older, existing one.  And they are stepping up across all of their authorized frequencies or spot frequencies across their authorized bands of operation.  I have done the same thing myself and seen others do it also.

And while chirped / compressed pulses are more common for ionospheric testing, this kind of transmission absolutely could be used for such testing.

Observing its habits may help narrow things down.  If this was a hardware test of some kind it will probably not be seen very often, maybe only active a few minutes / hours / days.  But if it is some kind of atmospheric / ionospheric test it is more likely to be seen about the same time every day for an extended period.

For a first guess this is some kind of ionospheric test.

(edit below)
DOH!  This is probably (almost certainly) the Pips Network.  I did not recognize it at first because the pulse length and timing is different from what I have normally observed in the past.  Typically you see it with some multiple of about 62.5 msec pulse duration, instead of the ~40 msec duration in this example.  And typically the cycle time is longer, often 3 seconds or some multiple of 3 seconds.

With that in mind, there are probably about 50 frequencies involved in each set, with two sets, and propagation is killing the higher frequency ones for you.

Note the pulse duration, about 40 msec.  Note the repetition time, about 2 seconds.  It steps up in freq, from one to the next, with no significant delay between each step.  In 2 seconds that allows for 50 different 40 msec dwells.

Typically this is two different networks of frequencies, with some frequencies shared, meaning some frequencies have 2 Pips on them, while others are single Pips per frequency.

This network has been seen off and on for many years now.  If you search for "Pips Network" on these forums you will probably find several threads concerning it.  No one has come up with a solid explanation of what it is, but ionospheric testing / measurement of some kind is a front runner.

T!

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