Sixth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 22:23:17 GMT)

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Morse Stations

Without Guy, the morse section will be shorter than it used to be. I have the profiles of M51 and M63 on the shelf, but that's it. So if you have additional profiles, news or info, please send them to me for the column. Thanks!

M21: Russian Air Defense

Another type of 'mystery' station that is around for quite some time, is in fact not one single station but a network of stations belonging to the Russian forces. To the Russian Air Defense Forces to be more precise.

This is a typical message that can be best described as a QRV message: 'BT990457??8?????'. The digit after the first two question marks [8 in this example] may be different on the various frequencies. Each message starts with BT -...- followed by 99 and the time, being UTC+x. Then two question marks ?? ..--.. followed by a digit and again five question marks.

Besides 99, also other pairs of equal numbers have been logged like 44 and 66. In the past the other combinations were followed by messages of 13 characters, while the QRV messages consisted of 16 characters. Nowadays the normal messages may start with any combination after 'BT'. The length of all messages is now always 16 characters including 'BT'.

The timestring can vary from station to station from UTC+3 to 6 or even up to +12 hours, depending on the geographical area that the station services.

The stations have been heard on many frequencies. Here is a list:
2316, 2360, 3825, 3839, 4402, 5053, 5181, 5205, 5214.5, 5278.5, 5369.5, 5446, 5471.5, 6635, 6800, 7530, 7821, 8084 kHz.

Examples:
BT992T17??8?????
BT1TT654T7564312
BT1674788393212T

BT1TT63464491218
BT1TT6346449132T
BT1TT6446449292T
BT2TT25T11TT9T8?

In the early 90's a similar station transmitted on 5416 kHz. It sent the following QRV message in 50bd RTTY: VV99+1804+0++++++

The timestring was UTC+1. Just like the CW stations, this also was a military station. Probably belonging to the Russian forces in Eastern Germany or the East German forces.

More on M21 to be found in Newsletter 7

M18: 'time station'

Location: Ust'Kamenogorsk, Kazachstan

Frequencies: 3803, 4073 and 4503 kHz, probably on more freqs.

The transmission is in CW and consist of 4 digits. This represents the time in -presumably- Russia. Time given is UTC+2 to UTC+6. The station's clock is between one minute behind to one minute ahead of DCF77. Each time block is repeated 8x.

Example: 0317 (R8) 0318 (R8) 0319 (R8) etc.
indicating 03 hrs, 17, 18, 19 mins....

The time difference on various frequencies follows the same pattern as the Russian Air Defense stations (M21), where the time given depends on the area that is serviced. Is this its sister station???

See also Newsletter 24.

Location | ENIGMA Update | Cuban spies | Israeli intelligence | Voice stations
Morse stations | XPH frequencies | Internet Numbers |VENONA project
NS CD-ROM | Logs
Index | NS NL Home

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