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Author Topic: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017  (Read 1395 times)

Offline R4002

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One of the main freebander / outbander / peskie watering holes is booming in this morning (east coast US morning anyway) with Spanish-speaking operators chatting away.  Several references to locations in Florida (Miami, Pensacola).  One of the stations is barely readable while the other is a solid SIO 555.  At 1110-1111 UTC, conversation topic switched back to antennas, then band conditions on 11 meters.  Stronger station remarking about how there "are no conditions on 11" [which likely explains why he's using 43 meters].

Further topics included:  Talking to stations in Mexico, "there's nobody on 11 right now" and other similar things

At 1115 UTC, several other stations came on, stations started talking over each other...then heard one station say "change to a free frequency", another op said "have a nice day" and the frequency went quiet.

Tuned back up to 6900 kHz at 1143 UTC and the frequency is active again.  Seems like the same group of two operators I originally heard at around 1100 UTC.  
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 1144 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 1233 UTC »
Sounds like these are just typical freebanders?
Chris Smolinski
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 1319 UTC »
They certainly are. I'd even go so far to say that the 6900 LSB guys are the prototypical 43 meter freebanders / outbanders....just like the ever-present 6925 LSB fishermen are the prototypical peskies.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 1416 UTC »
I've not heard him recently, but a while back there was someone with an incredibly strong signal on 6900 LSB. We used to refer to him as "Master Blaster".  Reminds me of the guys on CB channel 6.

It does seem quite likely that we have a mix of stations on 43m that we lump together in the pesky category. Some are indeed fishermen as you noted, others are freebanders.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 1659 UTC »
I've heard some serious "flamethrower" signals on 6900 LSB in the past so its possible we're talking about the same station(s) [re: Master Blaster].  

I have a feeling a lot of these operators have moved down to 43 meters since 11 meters isn't consistently open like it was a few years ago.  I think the fishermen, fishing fleets (which includes land-based stations / base stations talking to people on fishing boats) have likely always used these frequencies, even when the higher bands such as 11 meters are open, so having the freebanders move down to the 6-7 MHz area (and elsewhere) only confuses things. 
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 1732 UTC »
Several years ago we had some FL based shrimpers on 6925 USB. You can probably find some logs of them here on the HFU. They were fairly active for a while, then disappeared.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 1746 UTC »
Interesting, I presume nobody found any FCC enforcement documents regarding them using unauthorized frequencies?

I bet they simply moved to another frequency (maybe one of the legal HF marine channels).  Early morning scans of the 4000-4438 kHz 4 MHz marine band shows dozens of QSOs going on at once, not to mention several digital stations carrying e-mail services etc.  Same can be said for 6 MHz, 8 MHz and the higher marine bands later in the day.  

Hopefully they realized they weren't using the "right" frequencies and moved to the 6 MHz marine band (or maybe they're simply using another out-of-band frequency that isn't 6925 kHz :D)
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 1952 UTC »
I don't recall hearing they got busted, I assume they just moved on. Maybe they didn't like the programming on 6925  ;D
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 2043 UTC »
The shoe was on the other foot - in that case, pirates were the "peskies"  ::) ;D

Considering how many clear frequencies there are in the various HF marine bands, I doubt they had a problem finding a clear frequency.  I'm sure they eventually figured out that 6925 USB (and 6925 AM) were both very popular frequencies for people to play music on, which probably makes chatting about last night's catch difficult to say the least
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 2105 UTC »
They used a NECODE selective calling system to alert each other when they had traffic. So it was a very distinctive sound when they were going to start a QSO.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 2319 UTC »
Is that similar to the SELCAL system used by the HF aeronautical systems for HF-SSB aircraft communication or is it another system? 

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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 2352 UTC »
It was a different system, it sent the address to be called via FSK.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline R4002

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Re: UNID Spanish Language 6900 kHz LSB 1100+ UTC 10 April 2017
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 0155 UTC »
Interesting...and that probably means they're using equipment that is slightly more sophisticated than an old Kenwood HF ham rig that's been modified for full MF/HF transmit and receive...they're probably using (or were probably using anyway) modified marine HF SSB equipment that supports selective calling protocols.  Odd that they did that and then decided to use an out-of-band frequency.  

Of course, there is always the possibility that an outband frequency was selected as a "private channel" or "back channel" for ship-to-ship chat away from the prying eyes ears of the supervisor/boss man either on shore or in another fishing boat monitoring the "official" channel.  

I remember seeing one of those Discovery Channel or History Channel shows about fishing in the waters off Alaska..Deadliest Catch is/was the name of the show, I think.  Anyway, I remember seeing an interior shot of the wheelhouse of one of the ships and not only did they have several VHF marine radios, a couple SEA 222 MF/HF SSB marine radios and regular old Icom IC-M700 or IC-M710 SSB radios but they also had at least one Superstar 3900 export radio [25615-28305 coverage, AM/FM/USB/LSB] mounted nearby the SEA 222 radio (which appeared to be the primary SSB radio) and the Icom VHF marine radio (which appeared to the primary short-range ship-to-ship radio).  

I have a feeling a lot of these fishing fleets have similar setups.  Several frequencies are decided before the ships leave port, ideally in various bands to cover different times of day and propagation conditions, and these frequencies are likely picked at random.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 0431 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers