Eleventh edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 20:36:21 GMT)

Enigma | Morse & RTTY stations | N&0 round-up | Voice stations | Morse code
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Morse & RTTY stations

FAPSI

Rich Knowles is one of WUNners who followed FAPSI for many years and shares a few of his early logs with us. Thanks Rich!

"For those of you who are into following the FAPSI activity, here are a couple bits of information I can add to the common knowledge.

I have followed this activity for a number of years off and on. I just read the excellent piece on the roots of the FAPSI in a past newsletter and I agree with the assumptions taken as to the origin of this activity. I can add a little bit as well.

My first notes on this go back to 1985 where I monitored KAC, YBU, JMS and the crowd of other links as they cranked out page after page of 5 figure letter or number messages. I was very interested in their organized operation, which caused me to follow them closely for several subsequent years.

At around that same time I was also monitoring some activity on 7525 nightly at 0200Z. A station called LCU would come up calling. Then would send NIL CFM SK and that would be it. I followed this activity for several months. Then one day LCU QSY'ed the other station with an open QSY and lo and behold, at the new frequency I heard "KNY31" calling. A quick check of the one of the Callsign listings and apparently KNY31 is a call which was assigned to the Russian embassy in NY.

Also at around that same time I noted some other activity on 7525 which would commence around 0145 to 0200Z. It sounded like LCU but this time it was calling COY851. Again I monitored it for a while and one day, during a QSY I heard the other station, this time its call was TRO.

I still hadn't made the connections yet until in July of 1986 I copied COY851 saying to TRO:

QSL 10/07
11177 910 694 7575 1246
11177 0116 149 3861 1249
11177 201 172 -missed-
11177 994 224 5416 1323
NIL

So this was a real breakthrough!

Sometime in 1987 LCU and COY851 stopped using the 7525 frequency and I never was able to find them again.

Now, more recent news.

On 11/4 at 0230 I found a station at 7944 sending U1K - I thought, hmm, this is interesting. I monitored him for a while and he sent the usual QSA report to the other station. It sounded as if he was correcting a message or receiving one. He then QSL'ed the message, switched to 100bd/425 FSK and started sending RY's.

He then went into traffic and sent a single 150 group letter message in the FAPSI style with a preamble of:
11100 00103 00000 07002 01519
FQNHM ODCYN UOALA SNUYR ....... ZBFAQ FFJTP EVCMR OXETN UWMLH

(Notice the last group is not the usual group length encryption!)

This piqued my interest. He sent the "NIL SK CFM SK" much the same as LCU of the past. He however didn't drop the FSK carrier and a few minutes later he began to call U1K again. This time he announced QTC 2. He sent the same 150 group letter message and then a 150 group number message:
11100 00103 00000 07001 01519
26966 52632 39642 43516 76620 ..... 49756 29340 33702 97207 07656

So for my money, I'd say that this is either LCU and company or a similar type of operation. I haven't seen any references to the link indicator elsewhere so it is either a new (previously unheard) or I've misidentified it :)

Hope this helps the cause... Can anyone add to this?

Rich Knowles"

Thanks for the interesting notes, Rich. Except for RCF in Moscow-which may even be a tactical callsign-, I had never seen a real call sign before. So the KNY31 callsign was a big surpise for me. It was also the first time that I saw callsign LCU.

Then the others; also interesting stuff because they all seem to use the same link id: 00103. COY851 has been linked to YFC for quite a while on 00103. You have copied them when they worked TRO using the same link. Your recent log of U1K -again on 00103- is even more interesting because this is most probably still COY851 now working yet another station on the same link. The question is are TRO, YFC and U1K all the same station, or are these three different stations?

The following intercepts were made during mid December till mid February.

Frequency UTC to link
9216 0050 GMN 00119
10584 1420 KUL 00142
11637 0045 GMN 00119
12167 1300 NOB 70004
12183.4 1653 20043 (tent)
12193 1410 KUL 00142
12239 1310 00030
13452 2235 JMS 00127
13552 1250 30088
13556 2007 HZW 00117
13850 1320 00852 (? 3rd digit)
14502 1330 70004
14711 1320 70004
14731 1505 BPA 00116
14843 2230 JMS 00127
14941 1810 WNY 00139
16218 2000 HZW 00117
17421.5 1545 50035
17460 0930 10075
18169 1720 00168 (*)
18247 0930 10075
19088 1800 WNY 00139
20938 0930 30088

 

(*) John copied the following announcement of a new SPK sked recently
SPK SPK SPK TIKAS SPK SPK SPK TIKAS SPK SPK SPK TIKAS
RYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYRYR
FM 00.00
[garble] QPP WRK NO
WRK QAA 1
WRK QSO 11.00 QSW 12101/14532
WRK QSO 17.00 QSW 20741/18048
OM PSE GA QSL QPP
QRU SK

John sez "Sorry I didn't get the date on which these freqs are to start - the signal faded just at the crucial moment. This was on 18169 kHz at 1720 GMT Saturday. (The message was sent twice, and, would you believe it, the signal faded at the same point each time, just after the "00.00" - Murphy's Law, I suppose.)"

See also Newsletter 12.

DPQT / VLDR - Czech military

General

One of the most remarkable Czech military stations is DPQT. This call sign is on the air for more than three years in a row. The station works with a number of other stations, amongst them other long time friends like HC8W, P6TM, and M5RT. As long as DPQT is on the air, the others were there too. DPQT's sister station is VLDR, another one that popped up around the same time as DPQT did.

Although I have no written confirmation that these stations are PfP related, it sure looks like it. Both DPQT and VLDR arrived on the scene at the end of 1995 or early 1996, just after the Partnership for Peace had come into force. Both use CET (central European time).

Mode:

CW

Callsigns and locations

Callsigns control stations: DPQT, VLDR

Other stations on these nets include HC8W, P6TM, M5RT and N2QG. These callsigns have been copied since the first appearance of DPQT/VLDR. Many other callsigns were copied only once or twice. Note that only the two net control stations use 4-letter calls, while the others have 3-letter + 1-figure callsigns.

VLDR and DPQT are both located in Prague, while M5RT transmits from near Milovice.

Frequencies

So far always 3, 4 and lower 5 MHz

DPQT: 2616 2665 3737 3848 3876 3935 3953 3972 4465 4478 4889 4938 4978 5000 5009 5182 5258 kHz
VLDR: 2506 2508 2785 3169 3214 3398 3951 4004 4025 4443 4511 4562 4751 4787 5226 kHz

Messages

M5RT DE DPQT QTC 744
M5RT DE DPQT QTC 58 20 30 1727 = 744 M5RT = 5FG = DPQT

Note the date and time mentioned in the message. It was transmitted on 1628 UTC on 30 Oct. The date/time group is "30 1727" which is CET.

Each transmission starts with a callup:
HC8W DE DPQT QTC 744

Because the '744' group appears in each message, I think that it is some sort of code for that particular day. It is not the group count, that's for sure. After the callup the actual message begins:
HC8W DE DPQT QTC 63 20 30 1513 = 744 HC8W = 5LG = DPQT

'QTC 63 20' means a message of 63 groups. Just like the '744' group, '20' also came back all day long and could be a key for that day. The message itself always consists of 5-letter or 5-figure groups.

DPQT and VLDR do not send blind messages. After each message the recepient has to QSL the message what often results in confirmation traffic like:
HC8W R 52 K <request to repeat group 52>
or
HC8W RPT GR AA 4 K <request to repeat All After group 4>

Another type of message that you can find is the one that is sent by the control stations DPQT and VLDR. These messages can best be compared with the USAF's EAMs or Skyking messages. They look like this:
XXX KAZETA 570 KAZETA 570 K 5C7W KAZETA 570 K


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