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Author Topic: Numbers Stations  (Read 19521 times)
SWL2002
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Posts: 895




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« on: August 31, 2015, 03:32:05 AM »

Did anyone see the Jack Barsky segment on 60 minutes called "The Spy Among Us?  Jack Barsky talks about receiving orders from the KGB via shortwave number stations.  He said he assumed his orders were coming through Cuba.

" Steve Kroft: How often did you communicate with the Russians?

Jack Barsky: I would get a radiogram once a week.

Steve Kroft: A radiogram, meaning?

Jack Barsky: A radiogram means a transmission that was on a certain frequency at a certain time.

Every Thursday night at 9:15 Barsky would tune into his shortwave radio at his apartment in Queens and listen for a transmission he believed came from Cuba.

Jack Barsky: All the messages were encrypted that they became digits. And the digits would be sent over as, in groups of five. And sometimes that took a good hour to just write it all down, and then another three hours to decipher."

« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 03:39:56 AM by SWL2002 » Logged
N0YXB
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Posts: 1543




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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 06:58:43 AM »

I saw it too. Very interesting.
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K4JK
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Posts: 456




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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 07:22:20 AM »

You can watch it here (at least in the US)

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-spy-among-us-li-na/

Interesting story for sure.

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ex W4HFK
AD4U
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Posts: 2537




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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 07:52:41 AM »

Back in the 1960's and 1970's during the Cold War numbers stations were all over HF.  I imagine the Russians were not the only ones who used numbers to broadcast information and instructions to agents all over the world.

Dick AD4U
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W6EM
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Posts: 1940




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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 08:57:55 PM »

Yes, a fascinating story.  Not so sure that the Cuban numbers station just below 40 meters has departed.  Although I haven't looked for it recently.  Has anyone heard it in the last year or so?
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N7ZAL
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 01:33:35 PM »

The TV series "The Americans," shows how some numbers were handled in various circumstances. Actually pretty accurate.
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Later, Bill N7ZAL (ex. WA2DPB, WB3BOC, N2FWS)
N0SYA
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Posts: 402




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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 05:04:09 PM »

The dgi has moved into the digital age;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2dWU_ktfHM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direcci%C3%B3n_General_de_Inteligencia

The "end" of the cold war should have gotten rid of these stations but I think they've actually increased in number. The only station I can think of that stopped doing these kinds of transmissions, in this case single letter beacons, is Israel.
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
AA7LX
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 07:53:21 PM »

Actually, nothing new here. However, Number Stations are really interesting to listen to, especially when you let relatives listen in or grade school students; its a wonderful way to introduce others to Ham radio. I remember before I got into Ham Radio-- in the 60's in grade school and High School... It was really interesting to listen to. Some stations were on every day; others would come and go. Otherwise you must have an official translation code book to know what they are really saying.
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SWL2002
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Posts: 895




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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2015, 04:42:17 AM »

Otherwise you must have an official translation code book to know what they are really saying.

LOL... Oh, say, do you really think so?  Roll Eyes
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HFCRUSR
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Posts: 350




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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2015, 06:26:08 AM »

Yes, a fascinating story.  Not so sure that the Cuban numbers station just below 40 meters has departed.  Although I haven't looked for it recently.  Has anyone heard it in the last year or so?

Yes. It even tags itself on at the end of a R Havana's BC. There are a couple more I still can hear-Korean and a Russian one that operates on 15721kHz usb, just under R New Zealand's 15720kHz BC in my evening PST.
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Not a ham, but an avid hobbyist in HF world. All things, short of transmit happen in this shack.
W6EM
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Posts: 1940




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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2015, 02:58:54 PM »

Something New.  On 11630 AM between 2145 and 2150Z.  It may have begun before that as I happened upon it at 2145.

Just heard a series of Spanish numbers followed by what sounds like 1200baud or higher modem connect and sequence for about 30 seconds worth.  I heard seven different numbers sequences followed by the modem strings.  All of them were 5 digit number strings spoken by a woman, with the modem strings after each of the strings.

Her voice appeared to me to sound like Cuban Spanish (as opposed to Castillian or Mexican Spanish inflection).

The signal strength was quite good.  S9 +20dB in Birmingham, AL.

At 1355, she began with a continuous, uninterrupted number sequence that lasted for a minute, then the carrier went away.

Quick, someone phone the Cuban embassay and ask if they need a fill........ :-)

 
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KD8IIC
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Posts: 786




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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 09:16:46 PM »

 A few years ago there was a station between 8-10kHz sending cut numbers in groups of five in MCW. Anyone hear that one lately or what frequency did you log it when heard?  Thanks, Lane
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N1RND
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Posts: 56




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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2015, 12:48:20 PM »

Last night I was tuning around below 40 meters and found a CW signal sending letters in groups of threes.  I don't remember the exact frequency.  I'll try again tonight.
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W6EM
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Posts: 1940




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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2015, 05:16:55 PM »

The Cuban station I wrote about is apparently nothing new.  11635kHz from 2100-2150Z several times each week.  http://www.qsl.net/py4zbz/eni.htm

Known as station HM01.  It reportedly uses RDFT for the digital part of its transmissions.
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WX4O
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2015, 08:17:41 PM »

1964-1967 (at least) we copied Chinese stations that used 'cut' nrs. in 5 letter groups. I was in the Army Security Agency
in Japan.
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