First edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 17:03:36 GMT)

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Morse Stations

by Guy Denman

Ary has asked me to write some information for those of you interested in Numbers stations. As my main interest is in Morse stations I intend to cover some of these to start with. Particularly as there are many more morse families than voice. A very busy time is 2000, where you can have 4 on at the same time. Whatever your morse speed there is one that you would be able to copy out of the many. They vary in speed from 5 WPM to 40 WPM. I intend to use the ENIGMA classification for these.


M1 A Network is hand sent using short zero,and the messages have a usual group count of 40 groups.Although just recently the group counts have been varying between 32 and 48. The last group is now always the date the message was compiled and the group count minus one. For example a message of 40 groups compiled on the 10th of the month, the last group would be 10039.

This also applies to the M1 B network.

Type of transmission is MCW using low modulation of 2 audio tones.

Sent at about 17 WPM although this can vary depending on the operator

Reference Call Preamble Message Ending
M1 197 R4 381 381 40 40 = = 40x5F = = 381 381 40 40 000

The IDs for this group remain the same for the following months.

197 November December January February
463 March April September October
025 May June July August

Transmission times are

Sunday 0700
Tuesday 1800 2000
Thursday 1800 2000
Saturday 1500


197 5464 5320 4490 5320 4490 5810
463 6508 5474 5017 5474 5017 6261
025 6780 5280 4905 5280 4905 6434

Variants of M1


End of Month transmissions, the last Thursday and Saturday of each Month. But not always. The February end of Month were just the normal transmission.It has happened before when one month was missed, but they returned the next month. Hopefully this will be at the end of March.
These transmissions are an entirely different format to the normal M1 but they can vary each time. One characteristic is the long pauses between various parts of the message. As the last part of the format is a repeat of some of the groups in the message sent, I assume the pauses are for replies to be sent. There is not always a message sent so the transmission can be considerably shorter than the example listed.

463 463 463 88528 88528 Repeated 5 times
Pause 60 seconds
463 463 333 89909 89909 Repeated 2 times
Pause 60 Seconds
111 Pause 10 Seconds
111 223 43 =
Message of 43 single 5 figure groups, the last group is not always the date and group count as in M1A
= 223 43
Pause 35 Seconds
111 48738 65465 Repeat of groups 17 and 32
Pause 15 Seconds
111 000

M1 B Network

These are sent to individual IDs and the frequencies are changed at intervals so cannot be listed. I can supply some current frequencies if required. These messages are repeated and can be the same for four weeks or more. Parallel freqs are used, group counts vary between the low twenties and as high as seventy five. Some present skeds are:

Day Time Freq ID
Sunday 1640 4771 ?
Monday 1818 4950 103
Monday 2110 5335 136
Wednesday 1610 5235 325
Wednesday 1818 4950 103
Thursday 2132 4905 302
Friday 2202 4761 271
Saturday 0810 4959 594
Saturday 1610 5240 325

Some of these repeat the same message to a different ID The one on Thursday at 2132 and Friday at 2202 are the same message. It is also strange how some of them start at odd times


A common format of these is listed. Several other formats exist.

If a message is sent it is nearly always 10 groups:
385 385 385 84297 84297 Repeated 8 times
30 Second pause
385 385 385 86652 86652 Repeated 8 times
Can be any number of these, usually machine sent, ending is hand sent.
385 385 385 000

These can be on at any time and do not use the normal M1 frequencies so are very difficult to find.

See also Newsletter 23.

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