Nineteenth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 00:07:49 +0100)

Korean & Chinese stations | Morse stations | Voice stations
Various modes | Logs
Index | NS NL Home


Voice stations

The NNN station [E12, G12, V12, V18, M02]

The former NNN station was possibly the first multilingual station. Its marker consisted solely of the letter "N" sent in Morse Code, repeated slowly for five minutes. The station was on the air for sometime and is now inactive. Over the years it has appeared on many different frequencies at many different times. The station used four languages: English, Hungarian, French and either Yiddish or German - probably Yiddish, as the numbers used resemble Yiddish more than any other station. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0 in Yiddish is:
"eins zwei drei vier funf sechs siben acht neun null"

There is some doubt about whether some German numbers stations are in fact in Yiddish. It is difficult to say, one way or the other, just by listening to the numbers themselves. Similarly, certain Slavic language stations are difficult to identify positively as the numbers are so similar. One thing is certain: no German or Yiddish station uses the official pronunciation for number "2". The "zwei" sounds toomuch like the number "3" (drie) to be readily differentiated over shortwave so every station uses the word "zvo" or "svo" instead. In addition, many stations change certain numbers to improve the chances of being correctly received. For example, the number "5" (funf) is often said as "funnef'. This makes it sound like the Yiddish number "5", so one has to be careful.

In the mid-80's the woman's voice used on the station was high-pitched, with a staccato delivery. The same woman was used for all three languages. It seems strange that the operators of this set-up couldn't do better. It was hard not to laugh at her delivery, it was that bad. Around December, 1988, she was replaced but the change was barely an improvement. They went to the other extreme - a slow, lazy, laid-back sound, as though the woman was on powerful tranquillisers. This woman's voice was used till the end of NNN's transmissions. One other minor change occurred with the changeover: at the end of the French messages the old voice would say "fin". Now the word "finis" was used. The formats of the three different languages are identical. On the hour the CW "dah-dits" are sent until five minutes past when the woman announces the group count ("Groups 21, Groups 21") and then goes straight into the five figure text. The termination is either "end", "ende" or "finis". The mode used was mostly AM, although the upper sideband was usually enhanced.

Most probably "finis" was used instead of "fin" to avoid a possible confusion with "un" (1).

<source: Simon Mason>

Drums and trumpets family [S01, S02, X01, E01, M17]

Aida [S01]

No info on this one. If you have some, please send me a copy for the column.

Drums and trumpets [S02] & the bugle [X01]

Another historic station with a remarkable interval signal was the 'Drums and Trumpet' station, most probably transmitting from former Yugoslavia.

Imagine a scene at a military funeral when the lone trumpeter sounds "The Last Post" and you will have some idea of the musical signal sent by this Serbo Croat language number station. This plaintive bugle sounds about an hour before the transmission of the spy messages begins. Just before the actual message starts a different signal is sent. This is played with drums and trumpets and is a very up-tempo military marching tune similar to those played before the beginning of a battle. The woman then announces (in Serbo-Croat) "Noma 12671, Gruppi 44; Noma 12671, Gruppi 44", and then goes into the five figure text, ending with the word "Krai". The Serbo-Croat figures are: "Jedno, Dva, Tri, Ctyri, Pet, Sest, Osm, Devet, Nula." The woman pronounces the numbers like this: Edno, Dva, Dree, Seti, Pet, Ses, Seden, Octen, Deda, Nula.

The station used three main frequencies: 4740, 5500 and 6675 kHz. Although it has also appeared on 8070 and 5600 kHz.

Ready, ready [E01]

This English language station would appear to be part of the same set-up as the "drums and trumpet" station in that the main frequencies used are exactly the same: 4740 and 6675. The woman announcer tries very hard to sound British but unfortunately the letter "R" in "four" is rolled far too much to sound convincing. The broadcasts start with the woman repeating a five figure identifier. Identifiers noted:
10491 36511 35702 62794 43101 43473 69421 62467 10361 62683 62453 62378 17682 70100 17462 45690 17399 45260 43381 15181 04397 15521 43470 15371 40690 32684 43181 32831 15431

After the five figure identifier has been repeated for five minutes, the woman says the group count ("22, 22") then, "Ready, Ready" and goes into the five figure groups. Times and frequencies noted so far:

4740 2000, 2100, 2200
5695 2200
6515 2200
6655 2100
6675 2100, 2200
6935 2200
8070 2200, 2100

[Note: the station hasn't been logged for quite a while]

M17

Mode MCW Constant carrier. Each message sent 3 times each on a different frequency. They do use the same triplets of frequencies for each time slot. Transmissions are Monthly 2 weekly or weekly, on week of each month basis. Either on the Hour, Hour+20 Hour+40 or Hour+30 Hour+50 Hour+70. Mainly on during the evening but have been heard at other times of the day.

Call Preamble Message Ending
70832 R4 5 seconds Dots 29 29 = 29x5f VA

First 2 figures of header are schedule numbers.

Frequencies used 3410 3910 4270 4460 4740 5235 5695 5865 6290 6675 6935 7425 7790 8070 9050 9245 10470 kHz

Only known sked: Wednesday 2000 UTC, 3410/3910/4740 kHz

See also Newsletter 22 for more about M17.

<sources: Simon Mason, Guy Denman>

Cherry ripe [E04/E03A]

Simon Denneen supplied Cherry Ripe's complete broadcast schedule.

MON - FRI (Southern Pacific Local)
SUN - FRI (UTC)

1000Z 20474//23461 USB
1100Z 17499//23461 USB
1200Z 17499//23461 USB
1300Z 17499//22108 USB
2200Z 17499//24644 USB
2300Z 17499//22108 USB
2400Z 17499//22108 USB
0100Z 19884//21866 USB
The lyrics of the folk song, the tune of which is broadcast in a transmission preamble, are in Newsletter 21 "Spy carols". More about E4 is to be found in Newsletter 23.

Three note oddity [G04]

Hans-Friedrich's monthly analysis

03.10.99 2005Z 5.320 kHz (same frequencies as in September!!!)
2035Z 5.320 kHz
07.10.99 2005Z
2035Z 4.540 kHz Message : same as 03.10.99

Message

62125 78545 33025 98545 75125 44125 95458 33014 77458 95214 33258 12014 75458 96258 33654 45212 85452 33222 85412 33014 11258 95458 00145 32125
= 24 groups

Analysis

Frequent groups: 33014 2x
75458 2x
95458 2x
First two figures : 00145 Last three figures: 12014
11258 33 2x
12014 33025
32125 32125
33014 2x 44
025 62
222 75
258 00145
654 45212
44125 95214
45212 33222
62125 11258
75125 33
75458 2x 96
78545 85412
85412 85452
452 75458 2x
95214 95 2x
95458 2x 78545
96258 98
98545 33654

History

Summer 2005 2035
Winter 2105 2135

Check for pre-1999 schedules older N&O's

01/99 3415 3315
02/99 3905 3805
03/99 4520 4420
04/99 5310 5210
05/99 5570 5470
06/99 5720 5620
07/99 5680 5580
08/99 5730 5630
09/99 5320 5220
10/99 5320 5220
See also Newsletter 20.

Russian military and E10

On 24 August at 0100 UTC, a Russian military station interfered with E10 EZI's transmission at 9130 kHz. The Russian transmission resembles the ones heard on the 'Pip' station. Here is some of the text:
Liniya-43 ya Liniya-44 priyom (Line-43 here is Line-44 over)
Liniya-49 ya Liniya-44 Priyom (Line-49 here is Line-44 over)

Liniya-44 tried to call Liniya-43 and Liniya-49. There was probably a response from the latter because Liniya-44 asked "I receive you ..... [unreadable], how do you receive me?". Then "I don't receive you, repeat". After this, 44 continued sending calls to Liniya-49.

One of the most interesting thing is that the RR speaker seemingly waited for the beginning of the message repeat before transmitting its own message. What a courtesy !?!
See also Newsletter 22.

Czech station 2136

Still going strong on 2136 kHz, every Saturday and Sunday.

Frequency: 2136 kHz
Schedule : Saturday and Sunday only. 0700 and 1645 UTC. The station has been noted on other times and in the evening as well.
Callup : 9 tones (sounds like a telephone ringing)
Messages : Countinuous counting from 50-59 by a YL, repeated again and again from tape.
Counting : padesat 50
padesat jedna 51
padesat dva 52
padesat tri 53
padesat ctyri 54
padesat pet 55
padesat sest 56
padesat sedm 57
padesat osm 58
padesat devet 59

I am still looking for schedules and a good recording. Anyone???

See also Newsletter 20.

Czech station 1122

2136's sister station is a daily guest on 1122 kHz. Apart from the interval signal, the transmission is identical.

Frequency: 1122 kHz
Schedule : Czech daytime hours at h+10-12 and h+40-42.
Callup : None, the transmitter is just switched on and off.
Messages : Every 2 minutes long transmission consists of continuous counting from 50-59 by a YL, repeated again and again from tape.
Counting : padesat 50
padesat jedna 51
padesat dva 52
padesat tri 53
padesat ctyri 54
padesat pet 55
padesat sest 56
padesat sedm 57
padesat osm 58
padesat devet 59

Spruch [G20]

Andreas Erbe writes "Though I never heard the station myself I know from recordings that these musical pieces used were not always used for the same Spruchnummer."

Andreas also heard that the time group (Zeit) was actually the time when the message was prepared and not the broadcasting time. If anyone has more details, please drop me a line.

English man [E06]

Hans-Friedrich Dumrese took another look at Mike's Russian Man freq list and covers the English Man (E06) transmissions. The floor is yours, Hans-Friedrich!

Mon 261 93/12 2100 5810
Mon 283 95/01 2000 4527
Mon 283 95/04 2000 6923
Mon 531 99/08 2010 9225
Mon 531 99/09 2010 9225
Mon 597 94/04 2000 8140
Mon 597 94/05 1900 12160
Mon 597 94/05 2000 9245
Mon 597 94/07 2000 9075
Mon 597 94/08 2000 7890
Mon 597 94/08 2000 7890
Mon 597 94/12 1600 8038
Mon 597 95/04 1600 13423
Mon 628 96/01 2130 4470
Mon 628 96/02 2130 4630
Mon 705 99/06 2013 12980
Mon 705 99/08 2000 12989
Mon 705 99/09 2010 10839
Mon 715 96/02 1910 v 6860
Mon 715 96/02 2010 v 5420
Mon 715 96/03 1910 v 6860
Mon 715 96/03 2010 v 5420
Mon 715 96/04 2010 v 5420
Mon 947 94/02 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/03 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/04 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/05 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/06 2000 v 10160
Mon 947 94/06 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/07 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/08 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 94/08 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/09 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 94/09 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/10 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 94/12 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/03 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/04 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/04 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/05 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/05 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/06 2000 v 10160
Mon 947 95/06 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/07 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/07 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/08 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/08 2010 v 8074
Mon 947 95/11 1910 v 10160
Mon 947 95/11 2010 v 8074
Tue 235 94/04 2100 8140
Tue 235 94/08 2000 10440
Tue 235 94/08 2100 8140
Tue 235 94/10 2100 5820
Tue 235 95/09 2100 6940
Tue 395 94/06 1900 14395
Tue 395 94/07 1900 14395
Tue 395 94/07 2000 11395
Tue 395 94/08 1900 14395
Tue 395 94/08 2000 11395
Tue 475 93/12 2220 4475
Tue 475 94/09 2115 8140
Tue 475 94/11 2115 5375
Tue 475 94/11 2215 4475
Tue 620 94/08 2000 14620
Tue 620 94/09 2000 14620
Tue 628 96/02 2130 4630
Tue 715 96/01 2030 5423
Tue 761 97/04 1700 5820
Tue 947 94/06 1910 10162
Tue 947 94/06 2010 8074
Tue 947 94/08 1910 10169
Tue 947 94/08 2010 8074
Tue 947 94/09 1910 10162
Tue 947 95/06 1910 10156
Tue 947 95/06 2010 8074
Wed 235 94/06 2000 12200
Wed 235 94/08 2000 10440
Wed 235 94/08 2100 8140
Wed 395 94/07 2000 11395
Wed 738 94/08 1810 13390
Wed 947 94/03 2010 8074
Wed 947 94/05 2010 8074
Wed 947 94/07 1910 10153
Wed 947 94/07 2010 8074
Wed 947 94/08 1910 10162
Wed 947 94/08 2010 8074
Wed 947 94/11 1910 10162
Wed 947 94/11 2010 8074
Wed 947 94/12 1910 10162
Wed 947 95/02 1910 10162
Wed 947 95/02 2010 8074
Wed 947 95/04 1910 10162
Wed 947 95/04 2010 8074
Wed 947 95/05 1910 10162
Wed 947 95/05 2010 8074
Wed 947 95/06 1910 10172
Wed 947 95/06 2010 8074
Wed 947 95/07 1910 10162
Wed 947 95/12 2010 8074
Thu 176 94/09 2000 11410
Thu 217 94/08 2000 13420
Thu 439 94/11 2100 6920
Thu 572 94/04 2100 7966
Thu 572 94/07 2100 9071
Thu 572 94/08 2100 8070
Thu 821 95/06 1920 12210
Thu 872 95/06 2000 12170
Fri 458 95/05 1900 11139
Fri 501 93/08 1830 14620
Fri 562 93/08 2200 7633
Fri 572 94/01 2300 5875
Fri 572 94/02 2300 5875
Fri 572 94/03 2300 5875
Fri 572 94/04 2200 v 6925
Fri 572 94/05 2200 6925
Fri 572 94/06 2200 v 6925
Fri 572 94/07 2200 v 6925
Fri 572 94/08 2200 6925
Fri 572 94/10 2200 4610
Fri 572 94/10 2200 6912
Fri 572 94/10 2300 5875
Fri 572 94/11 2300 5875
Fri 572 94/12 2100 4576
Fri 572 94/12 2200 6917
Fri 572 95/01 2300 5871
Fri 572 95/01 2300 5875
Fri 572 95/02 2200 6925
Fri 572 95/02 2200 6925
Fri 572 95/02 2300 5875
Fri 572 95/02 2300 5875
Fri 572 95/03 2200 6925
Fri 572 95/03 2300 v 5875
Fri 572 95/04 2200 v 6920
Fri 572 95/05 2200 6917
Fri 614 95/08 1730 12145
Fri 761 95/06 1400 13475
Fri 821 94/01 2020 5803
Fri 821 94/02 2020 5810
Fri 821 94/02 2020 5802
Sat 273 94/12 1000 11470
Sat 458 95/01 2000 5860
Sat 458 95/11 2000 5784
Sat 572 94/11 2200 6925
Sat 572 95/02 2200 6925
Sat 572 95/04 2200 6925
Sat 572 95/05 2200 6913
Sat 614 95/04 1730 12146
Sat 729 94/08 1905 11050
Sun 458 95/08 1900 10621
Sun 458 95/05 1900 11136
Sun 458 95/07 1900 11493
Sun 458 95/08 1900 10621
Sun 458 95/09 1900 8140
Sun 458 95/10 1900 8136
Sun 458 95/10 2000 6845
Sun 597 95/06 1600 12116
Sun 597 95/04 1600 13423
Sun 597 95/07 1600 12116
Sun 597 94/10 1600 12208
Sun 682 96/01 1915 3810
Sun 729 93/10 2000 8160
Sun 729 94/06 1905 12150
Sun 729 94/07 1900 14620
Sun 729 94/07 1900 12190
Sun 729 94/07 1900 14620
Sun 729 94/08 1900 13578
Sun 729 94/10 2000 8160
Sun 838 94/02 1700 8135
Sun 980 96/01 2310 5418
Sun 982 94/05 1600 12130
Sun 982 94/08 1600 10180
Sun 982 94/08 1700 8020

What can we see:

235 2000/2100Z Tue Wed
395 1000/2000Z Tue Wed
458 1900/2000Z Fri Sat Sun
572 2100/2200Z Thu Fri Sat
(2200/2300Z)
597 1900/2000Z Mon Sun
614 1730Z Fri Sat
628 2130Z Mon Tue
715 1910/2010Z Mon Tue
729 1900/2000Z Sat Sun
821 1920/2020Z Thu Fri
947 1910/2010Z Mon Tue Wed

 

See also Newsletter 47.

Korean & Chinese stations | Morse stations | Voice stations
Various modes | Logs
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