Numbers & oddities: Column 1

editor: Ary Boender

[Back to list]

In this column I'd like to deal with the more obscure part of our hobby. Numbers stations, strange sounds, beeps, pips and items about intelligence organizations is what have in mind for the 'Numbers & Oddities' (N&O) column. It is both a difficult and a fascinating part of the hobby. There is little known of the stations I just mentioned and the main part of the information here comes from a bunch of dedicated N&O monitors. It is the result of many, many hours of listening, comparing and discussing the loggings with fellow dxers.

Useful information can be found in Popular Communications, Monitoring Times, the Enigma Newsletter and of course DX-Club bulletins. The following books are also highly recommended: Underground Frequency Guide (Don Schimmel), Secret Signals (Simon Mason), Uno, Dos, Cuatro (Havana Moon) and Intercepting Numbers Stations (Langley Pierce). The most heard numbers stations are operated by the CIA, Mossad, KGB, MI6 and BND.

In many countries it is prohibited to listen to utility stations, particularly to government or military stations. Therefore I will omit the names of the people who send me their info, unless you want to be mentioned.

Lincolnshire Poacher

Believed to be operated by MI6 from sites including RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and aimed towards the Near East. Transmissions are often heavily jammed.

Frequencies (kHz)
Primary Secondary Tertiary
6959 8302 7887 2000UTC - 0000UTC
6959 8464 9251 2000UTC - 0000UTC
11545 12603 13375 1600UTC - 2000UTC
13375 11545 14487 1200UTC - 1400UTC
14487 15682 16084 1400UTC - 1600UTC

Mossad "Phonetic Alphabet" stations

Transmissions are in AM but with best results obtained in USB.

Frequency (kHz) Callsign
2270 JSR
2957 SYN
3150 PCD, ART
3270 KPA
3417 ART
3840 YHF
4270 PCD
4360 CIO
4463 FTJ
4560 YHF
4665 VLB
4780 KPA, ULX
4880 ULX
5091 JSR
5339 OEM (occasional)
5437 ART
5531 BAY (occasional)
5629 SYN, CIO
5715 ZWL (occasional)
5820 YHF
5911 OEM (occasional)
6270 ULX
6500 PCD
6745 CIO, VLB
6840 JSR, EZI
6912 OEM (occasional)
7323 ???
7446 KPA
7540 JSR
7605 VLB, SYN, CIO
7613 GPO (occasional)
7760 ULX
7918 YHF
8127 CIO, MIW
8465 SYN, CIO
8641 MIW
9130 EZI
9402 YHF
10125 CIO
10648 YHF
10820 VLB
11565 EZI
12747 SYN
12950 MIW
13533 EZI
13921 CIO
14750 CIO, MIW
17410 EZI
19715 EZI
20740 SYN


Lots of strange noises, pips and beeps can be heard throughout the shortwave spectrum. Many of them are simply hets, natural noises or originate from navigational systems like Omega, Loran and Decca. Other transmissions however, are more difficult to pin-point. Why would someone transmit the time in CW without any form of identification, or what about the stations who transmit the pips and beeps ?

On 4625 kHz a buzzer can be heard 24 hours a day. This one started in the early eighties as a 2-second pip and changed a couple of years ago into the buzzer. The station is located in Byelorussia according to a DF-expert. No-one knows its purpose.

On 4081,3 kHz there is a beep with a duration of 2 seconds which is transmitted every 4 seconds. No id has ever been heard. Another one can be found on 3757,1 kHz. A pip is transmitted every second. No id so far.

Also on 4625 kHz is a strange kinda timesignal station. It is best heard in the late evenings here in Europe and transmits the time (UTC+3 hours) in CW. No id heard. The time UTC+3 is Moscow time. It is unknown if the station transmits from the former USSR. The Middle East is also a possible location.

End of message - Ende Ende - Final Final

'till next time. Please, send me your comments, suggestions and loggings.
CU, Ary