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Messages - Token

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How often are you seeing these signals?  These are not the same (at least, I think they are not) as the Pips network, however I think I have seen the same signals you are talking about, the modulation you mention is familiar, but on different freqs.


This is PBB, a Dutch navy station.

850 Hz shift, 75 Bd, FSK.  And it is not encrypted, you should be able to turn it to clear text.  I don't remember off the top of my head, but try 850 Hz shift, 75 Bd, 5N1

The results might look odd to you, but should be the same line repeating every transmission cycle, something like:
02A  04B  06A  08B  12A  PBB


HF Mystery Signals / Re: 9977 kHz at ~6kHz wide Data?
« on: June 19, 2020, 1517 UTC »
Honestly, to me that does not look like data to me, it looks like a carrier modulated with a 325 Hz tone.  Alternately, it could be FMCW of some kind, sinusoidal, sawtooth, etc, with a 325 Hz modulation rep rate.


During the local "big" (coordinated effort resulting in about ~1000 marchers) gathering here a week ago there was reportedly an MQ-9 Reaper overhead the entire time.  If true it may, or may not, have been related to the protest, they are often overhead here anyway.


Equipment / Re: What are you using for SWLing?
« on: June 02, 2020, 1615 UTC »
I have a Realistic DX-300 which is nice at times, but impossible to use if for SSB - it drifts like an unmanned boat on a swift river.

I almost got a DX-300, but missed out on the auction. Then I was going after a DX-160, and then DX-150, and outbid again.
But I managed to get a DX-392, and then Sangean ATS-803A in good price.  These are great receivers I find. They are very sensitive, stable and sounding good.

I am shocked to hear nice looking DX-300 is such a bad performer drifting too much to hear SSB.  Should I be glad that I missed them out, or is your DX-300 a lemon?

I find the DX-300 acceptably stable on SSB if you let it warm up for a while before hand.  For sure for the first 30-40 minutes it is all over the place, but it does stable out a bit after a while.  It kind of depends on what your reference is, compared to radios I started with the DX-300 is OK, accpetable, but not great.

In my collection I have most of the DX series desk top radios, DX-75, DX-100, DX-150, DX-150A, DX-150B, DX-160, DX-200, DX-300, and DX-302.  The only two DX desktops I don't have that I can think of off the top of my head are the DX-120 (never have had one of those) and the DX-394 (have had one before).  For sure the two best are the DX-160 and DX-302 (I never liked the 394, but that is probably just opinion based, I never liked the look), but really, except for the DX-100, they are all pretty similar in basic performance, even when very different in features and appearance.

What do I use for SWL today?  I am more of a Utility guy, but I do SWL a bit, most often one of my local SDRs when searching, but if I am just letting a radio set on a station it might be one of the boatanchors, the Hallicrafters SX-42, SX-71, and 62A are all favorites, but the National NC-183D is also something I like to hear.  I rotate which baotanchors are beside the listening desk, so really it depends on what is in the living room at the time.  The other day I had a Hallicrafters SX-16 out that I was listening to VoK on.


The local police station where I live went encrypted years ago so I can't listen to them, however I can listen to the Victoria Police Department and the Sooke RCMP as they are digital and in the crest system.

Almost nothing is encrypted here, and only a little is digital.  You can still grab 90+% of the stuff around here with a Pro-2004 ;)

Local PD has one analog FM channel and one digital channel, but it is not encrypted.  They speak on it at times like they think it is secure, I wonder if they think it is?  The local mil base went digital and secure for base operations, but the base PD and FD are still analog and clear.  All of the county agencies around are analog and in the clear.  The county SWAT unit has a digital and secure channel.  That is about it.

Basically I can hear almost everything for a 90 mile radius, with only a couple of channels that I can't get.  We are behind the times here, kind of very 1990's in comms here.


This is the kind of activity that pushes public service to digital and encrypted.

And while I am totally against banning any kind of radio from private ownership, this is also the kind of activity that gives strength to regulations on what can and cannot be sold in the country.


I suppose it depends what one means by "numbers station." I know the classic ones are pretty much Cold War entities.

I think it is a soft line of were "numbers stations" end and where other types of coded traffic begin.

Personally, I put suspected "spy" oriented, or external intelligence oriented, stations in the numbers station realm, and coded military traffic, or internal to the source country, stations not in that realm.  Of course, then the problem is that various external intelligence agencies might be run directly by the military, use the militaries techniques / habits, etc.  And it can get pretty fuzzy at that point.

Examples would be something like Chinese V16 and V22, stations going back to at least the early 90's and probably before.  The Chinese numbers station V16 and V22 were pretty clearly in the "numbers" categories to me.  Sure, no one ever had any kind of confirmation that those stations were aimed at external targets, but the times and frequencies made it pretty likely.  But then V16 and V22 were replaced by a digital modem, initially (but no longer) in existing V16 and V22 time slots.  That digital modem was identical to one being used by the Chinese military.  That modem is now seen on various frequencies and times with somewhat regular schedules, are these still V16 / 22 replacement signals or are they unrelated military signals?


Was installing cabinets and just stopped for the evening, checked the band and WDDR in nicely, well worth the break in work.  S9 or so here in the Mojave Desert of California.  Sounds good on the house sound system.


I moved your post to this forum as it covers VHF/UHF things more, and people are more likely to see it here.

Yesterday there were some significant openings in VHF.  If this was not a local station or pirate it is possible that some distant station was heard.


Just an FYI, this signal was last on the air on April 24, the day I put up that video on my YouTube channel.  Or at least that was the last time I saw it, and I checked every evening.

Until this morning, May 4.  The signal was observed on 9024 kHz, normal mode and content, before 0300 UTC.  At 0457 UTC it switched from 9024 kHz to 9008 kHz, same mode and content.  It turned off at off 0601 UTC.  I don't believe I have ever seen it shift frequency like that before, although it has used both those frequencies in the past.

Again, these frequencies are "close" to Link-11 freqs.  The entire time the signal was on 9024 kHz there was a Link-11 on 9022 kHz.  Although I did not see it active at the time of the frequency switch, by the time 9008 kHz went off the air there was a Link-11 on 9007 kHz.  I have no idea if the Link on 9007 kHz was there the whole time or not, and if propagation was just preventing me form seeing it at first.


Link11 on hf is for los or near los only, not distant over the horizon like typical hf comms, wich is odd because they also have a uhf version of the protocol. I think they cover a cbg with it and that's all they want from it. The link sig might be strong enough for those within los to be unaware if the other signal.
Thus the jammers dilemma, how to jam the jam resistant.

Link-11 is more designed for regional use, beyond LOS but not really long range.  That is why you find it on the frequencies you do, most typically below 15 MHz with a real emphasis below 10 MHz.  It is often used it at beyond LOS, but seldom as far as 600+ miles.  At ranges where you could use the ground wave portion of a 2 to 6 MHz signal.  And yes, you can do Link-11 on VHF and UHF also, but that really is LOS.

Link-11 is for the entire battle group, whatever kind of group it is, and anyone attached to it.  Or it can be simply two (or more) ships independent steaming but supporting each other.  Push the pickets out to screening positions 75+ miles away and the battle group commander, or anyone else in the network, can see the radar / sonar / ESM picture from the pickets.  You can put up the Lamps 3 bird and push it out 200 miles (or more, but then he starts getting short on fuel), and watch his LN-66 picture.  Better yet, when prosecuting an ESM contact you can put the -3 out on a tangential bearing to get another ESM bearing cut on the target, giving you a position plot.  Since the link to the aircraft (this is a dedicated link, not Link-11) is on a tight beam and at UHF the chances of it being intercepted or giving your position away are lessened, so you can end up with a 2D location of a threat while not exposing yourself by lighting up any radars, and often at ranges beyond what your radar could see anyway.  That 2D position then goes out over Link-11 to the rest of the units.  And of course if it is a carrier battle group you can put up an E-2 Hawkeye and push him out several hundred miles with all the same advantages.

You can have the entire group in EMCON, using only passive systems, and one platform active and providing the tactical picture to everyone, obscuring details of who is in your group or where, exactly, you are (assuming you push the active platform outside the group).  This works particularly well with a helo or fixed wing aircraft as the active emitter.  Of course, your Link transmission gives you a way, but it is of limited use as many potential bad guys can't get as much information on an HF signal as VHF and up.


SDR - Software Defined Radio / Re: Kiwi SDRs
« on: April 30, 2020, 1834 UTC »
These SDRs have time limits because only a limited number of people (depending on the configuration 4 or 8 total connections, mine is configured for 4 total connections, and one of those is reserved for me, leaving only 3 for other users) can be connected to them at one time and because some people squat on the receiver for extended periods, sometimes obviously not listening to anything at all.

When I first put my Kiwi online I did not have a time limit on it or a reserved slot for me.  I often could not connect to my own receiver.  I had people set on the receiver listening to AM stations and baseball games for hours that they could have streamed online just as easily.  I had listeners set for hours on HF-GCS frequencies, sometimes the same listener on multiple different HF-GCS freqs at one time, one listener used to regularly tie up all the slots in the receiver with HF-GCS frequencies so no one else could use it, and stay connected 12 or more hours per day.  I had people, sometimes obviously the jammers themselves, set and listen to themselves on various ham bands, one person would tune to 3840 kHz and retransmit his audio for half an hour at a time.  In the middle of the night I would find people that had been connected for hours on a frequency the propagation had dropped out around sundown.  I connected one time and found the same person had three seasons going on my Kiwi, all on the same frequency and the same mode, and they had been connected for 6 hours.

So I put a time limit on my Kiwi.  I did not put a 24 hour limit on it, just a reconnect requirement.  This reduced the kinds of things I mention above to near zero.  This allowed more people to connect to my receiver in a given day.  And yeah, it is annoying at times to have to reconnect, but if some people were not inconsiderate that would not be a problem.  If one person ties the receiver up all day no one else can use it, and that is not fair to other people.  And I give the timer override password to people who I know are long term listeners or who ask for it.

Mine is in much better shape today, not only do the time limits keep people form camping on it but relatively few people can see my Kiwi as it is not listed on several public Kiwi lists.  That was not my doing, it was just a fact after it was put behind a proxie.

WebSDRs like Twente can get away with no time limits because some of them (not all) can have hundreds of people connected at one time.  Twente itself can support over 700 connections at one time, the highest number I have seen is ~730'ish.


Shortwave Pirate / Skippy Radio 6926 USB 0225 UTC 27 April 2020
« on: April 27, 2020, 0230 UTC »
So far UNIDed on 6926 kHz USB, started about 0225 UTC, 27 April, 2020.

S8 or a bit better into the Mojave Desert of California.

I did not know the first song played, but the second, at 0229 UTC, was "Wake Up" by Rage Against the Machine.


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