ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter - Issue 8

January 2002
Articles, newsreports and Items of interest : e2k_news@hotmail.com

Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities
XJT 'Jet Signals' | Book review : Confessions of a spy | News Items
Web sites | Requests | Stop press | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home


Oddities

Strange signal between 9240 and 9270 kHz - An unusual signal can be heard in the afternoon and evenings (European) operating between 9240 and 9270 kHz, this does not appear to be a jammer and operates when no numbers activity is present in that area. Usually commencing around the top of the hour for a varying length of time (usually 20-30 minutes). It consists of a strange 'Wop Wop Wop' noise, I likened it most to a noise made by those long pieces of plastic tube which were very popular with children a few years ago - you held them over your head a spun them round - this created a peculiar noise! If you don't know what I mean I apologise in advance. I recently noted a very good signal in the UK at 16.00 UTC. Please have a listen, I have not noted the signal anywhere else or at any other times. Comments welcome. ['C']

ENIGMA 2000 received a short note from a reader about Teleprinter 4710. The gist of the comment was 'It is not worth mentioning Teleprinter 4710, it is obviously encrypted at a very high level and we are never going to make any sense of it. It has nothing to do with number stations.'

Absolutely true, nothing to do with number stations at all. Or has it? If it is encrypted at a high level how did that correspondent know what the content is?

However, this station, along with all others that have apparently little to with number stations, but which emit bumps, squeaks and other noises are also reported. These stations are the flotsam and jetsam of the SW bands to some, sometimes ignored and sometimes tuned past. There are monitors who take a deep interest in these transmissions and the column 'ODDITIES' is penned with those monitors in mind just as we also write on Morse and Voice Stations.

Backwards music station (XM)

Gert of Holland reports:

8118kHz 2000z 12/11 [last reported 1909z 10/09, issue7]

Buzzsaw (XBS)

The beginning of November saw little XBS activity in the 5MHz band. Apart from some local severe 'buzz' QRM little has been heard of XBS at the voice station editors QTH. Was heard loitering menacingly, in two spots, LF of the December G06 transmission though. See 'Jet'.

Faders (XF)

Although E2k believes this oddity to be possibly defunct this little snippet was seen on 'Spooks':

"So much for the disappearing fader, it's on now on 9251 USB, unless It's the backwards music station, monitoring from UK, 1939GMT."

Thanks MW1DUJ

FSK bursts

Heard on 5776kHz 2112z 04/12 during XPH transmission. ['P'London].

Jet (XJT)

See E2k article. Still heard on a variety frequencies including: 2170, 4205, 4265, 5160, 6230, 6340, 8410 and 10265kHz. Whilst carrying out an audit of XBS XJT was very much to the fore in the 5MHz band.

Listening on 03/11 from mid-afternoon until cessation of activities on 05/11 the same XJT transmission was unabated around 5460kHz. 'C' notes, More 'Jet' Misery - Do they never end? Not content with a wide spread in the 6.3 & 6.4 MHz area 'Jets' are multiplying in the 6.2 MHz band with an unidentified Russian language broadcast on 6235 kHz trapped between two powerful signals. Even worse I have noted a 'Jet' signal bang on 6995 kHz completely obliterating the clandestine station Voice of the People of Kurdistan at 19.00, this station broadcast from the north of Iraq towards the south and as not been subject to jamming.

From PofLondon:

3288kHz 1941z 09/12
3365kHz 1945z 09/12
3815kHz 1943z 09/12
13410kHz 1945z 09/12

 

E2k recently received a hint that Jet transmissions are a form of mapping data using high-speed modems.

Jammers

E2k received this little gem anonymously:

I noted on [details erased] that there was a jammer on E03 in the background. I have since monitored a number of tx's since and note that two of the three frequencies are now jammed, this is much more noticeable on the higher frequencies.
The jammer is not very strong (you can hear it better at about +50Hz or in between the spoken numbers. It is not so on the lower frequencies below [deleted] (note: please don't confuse with that annoying wide band signal on [deleted] +/-10 kHz which is present on the hour when E03 is NOT there).
The jamming does not sound like the familiar Iranian type, which haunted E03 for so many years but ended with the improved relations between Britain and Iran several years ago. It may be a low powered jammer or ground wave type, which is blocking the signal in a specific area, Iraq is one strong possibility, I will try and find out if it is affecting E05. I also wonder if E03 is on in the early hours with extra transmissions? Afghanistan is +4.5 hour to GMT, so 0300z would be around dawn.

[Thanks sender].

Further reports on Iran's activity as received from 'C': Recent reports have suggested that Iran as resumed jamming of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty broadcasts in Farsi. Jamming was first noted on October 26, some jamming of a particular Numbers Station as been noted, looking at my own logs jamming of the Numbers Station was first noted on October 24th, an interesting coincidence.

The jamming of the NS was quite short-lived only about four days and mainly higher frequencies. Did someone receive an incorrect instruction I wonder? Jamming info on RFE/RL via Radio Netherlands Media Network.

Link 11

I was most interested to read that LINK 11 was associated with the EP3 Spy Plane (now returned to the US in bits) which made an emergency landing on Chinese soil. In Europe LINK 11 is easy to find and I wonder what it is used for in this part of the world?

Recent frequencies include - 4702 5732 6245 6880 7831 8030 8160 8303 9280 (often heard) and 13420kHz.

5727kHz 1940z 09/12 [V.Strong] PofLondon

S28 [formerly XB]

On 14th November Jan Michalski sent his URL [www.geocities.com/uvb76] to E2k. Opening the URL one gets an interesting insight into the behaviour of this particular 'Oddity'. Jan Michalski [Krakow, Poland] has given time and devotion to the study of S28/UVB-76 and has discovered interesting things. Jan gave e2k permission to print the contents of his site here:

Radio Station
U V B 7 6
"The Buzzer"

 

Callsign Country of Origin Type of Service Frequency Mode Hours of Operation
UVB 76 Russia Fixed 4625.0 kHz A3E 24h

 

Location: 55N50/36E47 (40 km West of Moscow, 10 km North of Zvenigorod)
Modulation: Buzzer 0.8 sec., pause 1-1.3 sec., repeating 21-34 times per minute. (Clear tone beeps observed in 1980's)
Power: ~10 kW
Antenna pattern: Omnidirectional
Operator: MoD
Schedule: 24h; daily at 1000-1050 MSK switch to back-up low power transmitter.
Purpose: Channel marker; point-to-point voice communications link covering Moscow oblast and Central Russia.
Traffic content: Rare control messages (Rus. "reskript") in Russian, male operator, live content ; example: "UVB-76. 74, 148. Antimonat. 26, 37, 09, 31."(repeated several times)
First monitored: Around 1982
Malfunctions: Stoppages, background noise, distorted oscillator ("buzzer") signal, insertions of 1000 Hz tone, on-air conversations by staff during malfunctions, 2nd and 3rd harmonics (9250 and 13875 kHz)

 

 

EVENTS NOTED

Unknown time Reports about transmissions on 3320, 3329, 5211 and 5310 kHz

 

* Presumed purpose of the control messages is to check readiness of receiving stations. Russian military communications people also call these messages "signal".

 

SOUND SAMPLES

Seven sound signal samples available on site



CONTROL MESSAGES

UVB-76 is one of the three Russian HF communications stations observed to be transmitting control messages. Below is the list of these stations and form of the messages they transmit.

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

Not reproduced in newsletter.

 

Photo 1 Russian OTH (over-the-horizon) UHF radar. Receiving antenna. Side view.
Photo 2 Russian OTH UHF radar. Receiving antenna. Rear view. Camouflaged under an apartment block.
Photo 3 AWACS of NATO forces in Europe.
Photo 4 AWACS radar operator's panel.
Photo 5 Russian "Molniya-2" communications transmitter. 15 kW, 4-30 MHz. Suitable for "the buzzer" applications.
Photo 6 Russian "VGDSh" (Nadenenko) type HF transmitting antenna for radio links up to 3000 km.
Photo 7 Russian "R-399" and "Katran" type 0.1-2/1-32 MHz communications receivers for comint applications.
Photo 8 Russian "BS-2" type HF receiving antenna for comint applications.
Photo 9 This is the place left for a UVB-76 station photograph.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

We are announcing registration of amateur radio monitors who are willing to visit the famous "buzzer". If we can collect 25 applicants, we will apply to the Russian MoD authorities with the request to accept the group of visitors at the UVB-76 station. This will be the visit of curious good will people symbolising mutual understanding between Russia and Western countries in the wake of new mood of partnership. Please send your requests to intersignal99@hotmail.com . After we get enough applications, we'll send you further instructions.

For those who have any comments or additional information about the subject, we recommend to send them to spooks@mailman.qth.net.

[Thanks to Jan for allowing e2k to publish his site verbatim. His site, available at www.geocities.com/uvb76 is well worth a visit].

S30 [The Pip]

This seemingly pointless 'pip' can still be heard on 3756/5450kHz, however 'C' writes: "I recently came across a reference to this signal on a Web Site and mention was made of the location as "Southern Russia". I had a search through several rather old documents in my files, these date from January 1999. According to two independent sources the 'Pips' transmitters are located in an area between Krasnodor and Volgograd, this area is North of The Republic of Georgia if you wish to look it up on a map."[Tnx 'C']

Slot machine (XSL)

XSL is heard on 4233, 4292, 6419, 6445, 6466, 8555, 8589 and 8703.5kHz. USB mode

Still being heard in US, Oceania and like areas. E2k would like to receive details of any observations made in Great Britain, Eire and Europe please.

XSL general transmission times [freqs of 8588.0//8703.5]

Sun 1600z    
Mon 0900z 1700z 2215z
Tue 1510z 1530z 1600z
Wed 1400z 1500z 1545z
Thu 1600z    
Fri 1450z 1600z 2140z
Sat 1400z 1600z 1700z

 

More Info on 'oddities' can be found on Brian of Sussex excellent web pages:
http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/brogers/page2.html

Squeaky wheel

Heard once again by Ary [N&O] as:

3828kHz 2245kHz 02/12

 

Ary mentions that this peculiar signal is a channel marker.

Teleprinter 4710

In the last issue 'C' wrote "Barford St John - also operates on 6702 and 9000kHz. On the evening of Sept. 11th the Teleprinter was very busy and seemed to have changed format. I am now of the opinion that the signal which we normally hear is possibly an 'idler' as the traffic sent SEPT 11th onward was at a much slower rate and with far fewer breaks. Is it possible that this could be some kind of link from the US Embassy London ?" This is a valid point to which we still await answers.

At his QTH in S.London 'P' measured the repetitive slip at a rate of 300bd but noticed a change in speed and perhaps mode on textual or numerical transmission.

Tones

Peter of Saffron Walden states, "On the subject of tone transmissions the Saturday lunchtime high-pitched polytone transmission is back; something like XPH but much higher in audio frequency. This was noted from December through until the end of January last winter always at 1230z on 18942kHz. This winter I have heard something similar - not at the above time and frequency - but at 1250z on 18716kHz. Noted on Saturday 03/11. The transmission consisting of two minutes of slow tones, then tones at a faster rate then slow tones and QRT. I had been tuning around on the chance that it might turn up this winter and found a very strong carrier at 1246z. It was on again on Saturday 10/11, same time and frequency but on this occasion was two minutes of slow tones then ten seconds of fixed tone, then QRT - must be 'No message'. Perhaps there are further sendings spaced by 20 minutes - must investigate!"[Thanks Peter] See XPH too.

X06

Last time PoSW wrote in to mention that he had managed to decode part of a FSK message :

[The printout was enclosed by Peter]:

11144 40034 85784 11003 02549

HARRU YZLPT OOPCS CVIAA XYZKG RFDWH ABMEA VMAEY PGPBO KGTXN
CVACJ QEOEF IQGKC PUTWX EIBKH NGTJJ RJORV TLUVC LJPKW JMHLI
HXRMV XYICQ ERAUM KPCQU GHYZX MUDII UUCRY UMHNA JLDSL HPQJP

Ending.................

 

LFMMU WTLAH XFGCL DACOO DIGDN OZGUX WLMHM UMFSN CNNGI ZFVFP
TMJPR DOYPJ IIURI


11177 40034 69708 11001 13870

Ary contacted us to say

" This is a M42 transmission. X06 is a selcal system for transmissions outside a normal schedule. It is followed by a RTTY transmission (baudot or Crowd36) on the same freq or other fixed freq."

Thanks Ary [For further info readers can turn to the X06 entry NL6 P18, where a fuller description, from Ary, is written].

From 'C' we have:

14947kHz 1603z 02/11 [No msg]

 

Whilst 'Secret Squirrel US' reports hearing X06 as:

9077kHz 2000z 05/11

 

Whilst waiting for UNID[4] PofLondon heard Mazeilka:

5781kHz 2130z 30/11 [Finishing at 2145z]

 

again heard by CD as:

5781kHz 2148z 12/12
7524kHz 2100z 12/12

 

Thanks to AF, AK, ANUER, Anon UK, Anon Scandinavia, Ary, 'C', 'D', D of Kent, '45;E', Eddy of Australia, Gert of Holland, HFD, IB, J of Aylesbury, JM, Ben Mesander, Jan Michalski [Poland], JMM, K of Kent, LP, Mike of Kent, Mark Slaten, 'P', Peter of Saffron Walden, R anon, Rob of Essex, selco, 'S.Squirrel US', Spy Numbers Robot, and all others for their contributions to the Morse, Voice and Oddities columns. As ever we acknowledge information from the spooks site.


Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities
XJT 'Jet Signals' | Book review : Confessions of a spy | News Items
Web sites | Requests | Stop press | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home

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