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Messages - Token

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31
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!

32
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!

33
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!

34
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!

35
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!

36
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!

37
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!

38
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!

39
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!

40
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!

41
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!

42
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!

43
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!

44
Keep in mind I am just a listener, and while I have worked professionally in the world of RF for most of my adult life I have never had anything first hand to do with HAARP.  The following are just my observations.

From March 26 to March 29, 2019, HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) conducted a series of experiments.  While an interesting radio happening, this is not particularly uncommon, occasionally HAARP shakes the dusts off and does a few days of science.

But this series had a bit of a twist over past experiments.

To do some of the science it does HAARP uses sweeping tones, stepped tones, continuous tones, or CW.  And by CW I mean Continuous Wave, an unmodulated carrier transmitted for extended periods, not Morse Code, as the term CW has become in the radio world.  And while these types of modulation are common with HAARP, they are not the only things that would get the job done.

Amanda Dawn Christie, an "interdisciplinary artist" ( http://www.amandadawnchristie.ca/about ) was closely involved this time.  And she added a different twist to the typical HAARP experiments.  Instead of the more canned techniques most often (but not always, HAARP has done some odd audio before) used in the past for Air Glow and Luxembourg types of experiments, she brought a series of art based audio and images.

The series was called "Ghost in the Air Glow".  It consisted of 10 Movements, adding up to about one hour of total air time each of the four days.  Descriptions and schedules here https://www.ghostsintheairglow.space/#home-section

Don't take it wrong, for the most part pretty standard HAARP science appears to have been done, but the content was a bit more varied than typical.

I made SDR based I/Q recordings of every minute of each transmission for all 4 days.  Unfortunately, propagation and other variables made some of the segments pretty poor recordings.  But over that time I did manage to get at least one decent copy of each of the 10 Movements.

I have converted them to video recordings and uploaded them to my Youtube channel ( https://www.youtube.com/user/FirstToken/videos ).  Any transmission involving 2 frequencies (such as the several Luxembourg experiments) are recorded using stereo sound, so that the lower RF frequency is in the left audio channel, and the upper RF frequency is in the right audio channel.

Movement I, II, and III:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGkoOJJ4XZA

Movement IV:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyj_MaAuDi0

Movement V:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sT2N1LulZ4

Movement VI:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2tC6z7uMk

Movement VII:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8zngbmqO0A

Movement VIII:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32wxv8d6ZOc

Movement IX:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv5Nfj2-738

Movement X:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5So4Zwe6k0



A few notes on some of the receptions:

The first video, Movement I, II, and III consists of a Prelude, a poem (in Morse code), and a description (again, in Morse code) of the methodology used in the later Stochistic experiment (Movement IV).

Movement VIII is a Luxembourg event.  The HAARP array was split in two and two counter rotating beams were formed, with a rate of about 2 revolutions per minute.  You can clearly hear the mixing of the two RF channels, the Luxembourg effect, happening about twice per minute in the left audio channel.

Movement X is another transmission of Morse.  In this case a bit of a poem, but maybe a description also.  This Morse leads me to believe that there is WSPR (a low bandwidth ham weak signal digital mode) buried in the transmissions.  But I have not yet attempted to locate it in the recordings, maybe this coming weekend ;)

All recordings were  done on local SDRs, I mean SDRs physically located at my home.  Multiple SDRs were in use at any one time, typically the SDRs in use consisted of WinRadio G33DDC, WinRadio G31DDC, RFSpace NetSDR, and 2 RFSpace SDR-IQs.  However, not for any specific reason, all of the recordings I chose to convert to video came off either the NetSDR or one of the two SDR-IQs.  The antennas used were a Wellbrook 1530+, a 450 foot apex-to-apex Rhombic, and a triband fan dipole.  Again, for no particular reason, all of the recordings I converted to video came off the fan dipole.

T!

45
Utility / Kids doing test counts on HF-GCS, 22 March, 2019
« on: March 25, 2019, 1536 UTC »
The HF-GCS (High Frequency Global Communications System) is an integral part of US military readiness.  For those unfamiliar, this is a US Air Force maintained global communications network consisting of multiple transmitters at multiple transmitter sites around the world.  Although the USAF maintains it, all US services, and sometimes NATO forces, can use it.  This is the radio network that transmits Skykings and EAMs, among other traffic.

Among its regular transmissions are test counts and radio tests, typically heard many times per day.  And, while the USAF personnel running the mic can sometimes sound a bit young, March 22, 2019 had some younger than average sounding voices.

I don't know if it was a command open house, or just a take your kids to work day, but two test counts in a row, starting at about 1826 UTC, were kids voices.  Whatever the circumstances it was quite cool, and a reminder that the folks making up the armed forces, all armed forces, are humans, many with children of their own.

This is not the first time kids voices have been heard on HF-GCS, but it is the first time I caught a recording of it.

A video of my recording here, unfortunately I missed the start of each transmission.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtrbAyPCQQ



T!

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