Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #027 01/01/2002

20510 kHz - Monitoring Times columnist Mike Chace-Ortiz advised me on 16 December of an interesting transmission he had picked up on 20510 kHz at 1300 UTC. The signal was 200bd/500 shift and was encrypted. The text was predominately digits but also included sequences of from 2 to 32 lower case letters. All letters were used except K and L. Digits 1-0 were used. In addition there were symbols such as = + $ @ ~ ) ' - . # % : , ? ( / & interspersed throughout the text. The total number of characters appearing in the text was at least 51. I may have missed a few more. I commenced coverage on 17 December and checked the frequency daily for the next week. As typically happens in these matters, the target did not show again during that time. I do plan to devote some time to see if a new schedule time and/or a frequency change can be recovered.

CALLSIGN WPC - A high speed sequence was encountered on 13560 kHz and noted frequently at various times during the day and on numerous days. Callsign WPC would be sent one time followed by a burst. One day it was sent 13 times in the space of an hour. I checked the Confidential Frequency List, Grove International Callsign Handbook and Klingenfuss Utility Guide. These sources did not completely agree with each other. I asked Mike Chace if he might know which ID was correct. Mike gave me a neat web address where you can check on U.S. callsigns. Go to http://gullfox2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/genmen/callsign.hts
You type in the callsign and you now have access to extensive details concerning the particular station. I did this for WPC and learned the license is held by Seawave, LLC located in Middletown, RI. The transmitter is located in Gladstone (Somerset Copunty), NJ and lists the street address of the transmitter facility. Next was a list of all the frequencies in use and the power output. Lastly the Emission Code was given. Mike said that the company was an HF Email provider and he had previously prepared a profile on this activity. Go to
www.chace-ortiz.org/umc/comm/Pinoak.txt for the profile.

FAPSI AMERICAS LINK - I have continued to check the frequencies previously used by this FAPSI activity and on 20 December at 1416 on 16218 kHz I heard what sounded like the Cuban HF relay transmitter. The ETFNGX TKAGAS sequence was sent followed by transmitter tuning at 1420 and then the ETFNGX etc was resumed at 1422. At 1423 it seemed that the keyer must have hung up because only rapid dashes were sent for at least 45 seconds and then back into the ETFNGX transmission. At 1425 the calling was discontinued. At 1431 a brief signal was passed which sounded like CROWD-36 mode. On 21 December at 1348, two weak possible CROWD-36 transmissions were heard on 13519 kHz.

INTERESTING BOOKS - Aegean Park Press recently added some new titles to its catalog of Cryptographic and Intelligence books. Many of these books are reprints of declassified U.S. Government publications. A new addition to the Intelligence series is ROBERT PHILIP HANSSEN - Alleged KGB "Mole" Within the FBI. For a complete listing of titles go to www.aegeanparkpress.com
If you have not visited that site before, I think you will be amazed at the variety of subject matter available.

DECEMBER LOGGINGS In kHz order with comments and UTC date/time
5095 NAWS DE CFH (Halifax, NS, Canada) RTTY 75/850 w/taped frequency listing ZKR F1 3394 4158 6254 8309 12371 16555 at 14/0106
6356 CQ DE SAA (Kariskkrona, Sweden) in CW at 14/0121
12102 Sounds like a CROWD-36 signal. 13/1550
12748 FAX wx charts at 08/1501
12902 RBSL (Mumbai (Bombay) Indian Navy) in RTTY 50/895 w/calling tape then into brief procedural msgs. 14/1350
12971 Very fast CW, 4 character grps (cut numbers) This particular system is A U 3 4 5 6 7 D N T. Slight echo to signal. Station went down with DE XSQ SK. This is Guangzhou, PRC. Hrd 08/1429. Also hrd 14/1335 on 12699 kHz w/CQ DE XSQ UP 446 CLG and then down.
13508 WX information. RTTY 74/867 at 12/1452
14846 OM/EE in AM w/5F grps, each grp sent twice. Hrd 12/1446
17015 CQ DE UTQ (Kiev, Ukraine) QSX 8341/12573/16639 AR at 14/1359
20450 - 20550 Signal is 100 kHz wide and sounds like a woodpecker. Probably OTH Radar. 23/1400
End of Report

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2002 Don Schimmel.