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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Voice stations

Oblique [E11], Strich [G11], Presta [S11]

by Simon Mason (from his book Secret Signals)

The STRICH. This station may be the most pointless waste of time in the history of radio. Quite a claim, but when one considers the mind-numbing banality of these transmissions it would be difficult to think of other candidates for such an award. The station, like many others, is multilingual - in this case, Russian, English and German.

When I first heard the German version I couldn't believe my ears! The woman used has an impossibly high pitched voice, almost like the yapping of a small dog. The voice was repeating "acht, acht, drie, strich, zero, zero" The word "strich" is German for the / stroke sign. After five minutes the voice stopped. No traffic followed and in the years since then no traffic has ever been heard, just s women repeating 883/00 for five minutes and then off the air. Later on, more German stations appeared - 317/00, 117/00, 897/00, 493/00, all with the same format. No traffic was ever sent. Then an English version using the same female voice popped up. This time the voice repeated Two eight eight oblique zero zero and left the air after five minutes. Then a Morse code (CW) version appeared repeating 971/00. Again, no trafic was sent. Then on 4370 kHz one Wednesday evening at 2300 the familiar woman's voice was repeating something like "jezinta, osem, sedni, presta, dvonta, sedm" (or 187/27). And, miracle of miracles, 27 five figure groups were sent. The language was hard to determine but it seem to be a form of Russian specially adapted for radio (akin to English operators saying "fower" (4) and niner (9). The 1 to 0 figures seemed to break down as:

0 zero
1 jezinta
2 dvonta
3 trunta
4 czdiri
5 peyonta
6 sesh
7 sedm
8 osem
9 prunka

This was the only time that I heard traffic being passed, in any language. A mistake in one of these transmissions was noted on 4015 at 2100. The German voice was repeating "75-100". The third digit was obscured by a sound like someone keying a mike over that figure. After three minutes the fault was noticed and the voice then said "751/00" until five past the hour when, of course, it went off the air. A Russian broadcast similar to the previous station and using altered numbers was noticed one night at 0000. An unfamiliar voice was heard on 7537 - a woman repeating "Edna, sednitzer, nula" very, very slowly. At 0005 the voice said "Norm 162, Gruppi 22" and then sent 22 five figure groups, ending with "nula, nula, nula". The number breakdown seemed to be:

0 nula
1 edna
2 dvoytze
3 tri
4 chetryi
5 pedartze
6 sest
7 sednitzer
8 asem
9 devet

Again, this was either enhanced Russian or another Slavic language. Early the next morning I continued the hunt. On 10180 kHz I noticed exactly the same voice I'd heard a few hours earlier, repeating the same numbers. Again, the transmission ended with "0,0,0". Since then the same station has been noted on 5580 at 2230, 6750 at 2200 and 5668 at 1930. The format has remained the same; e.g. repeating "121" for five minutes, then "norma 69, gruppi 13" and always ending with "000".

The stations were noted on:
2805 3225 3247 3823 4006 4015 4030 4090 4370 4540 4723 4780 4882 5050 5090 5157 5247 5445 5500 5624 5830 5860 6430 7740 7840 kHz

More on E11 can be found in Newsletter 13, more on S11 in Newsletter 42, and more on G11 in Newsletter 113.

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