Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #030 04/01/2002

15TH ANNUAL WINTER SWL FESTIVAL - Another successful Fest took place 8-10 March. The schedule included sessions on Intro to SWL/DXing; Inside your Radio - Basic Do it Yourself; Who needs Shortwave?; Scanning in Emergency Situations; The Year in Pirate Radio; SWL/DXing from Europe; SWL/DXing from Japan; The Story of Jazz and Shortwave; and the Broadcasters Forum - The Year in Shortwave. All were very fine presentations. Many bargains were to be found in the Silent Auction and several hundred dollars raised for a charity. The raffle provided numerous prizes including some excellent receivers such as Icom R-75, Sangean ATS-505, and a Grundig Satellit 800. RADIO INTRIGUE won a shortwave receiver donated by Universal Radio. It is a neat compact Kchibo KK-E200 which gives me an extra capability to take along on monitoring trips.

COAST GUARD FACILITY - The Martinsburg Journal had an interesting article describing the Coast Guard Center which is located at nearby Kearneysville. The Center is run with a blend of Coast Guard personnel, federal employees, and personnel from contractors: Unisys, QSS Group, Inc., and STG Inc. The facility is responsible for the Computer Aided Search system which can provide information to ships in trouble. In addition the Center tracks ship movements and maintains logs with details concerning cargos carried on vessels.

THE BOOKSHELF - Here are some titles I just added to my bookshelf. Intelligence and the War Against Japan by Richard J. Aldrich; Presidents' Secret Wars by John Prados; Between Silk and Cyanide - A Codemaker's War 1941-1945 by Leo Marks; and The Wizards of Langley - Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology by Jeffrey T. Richelson. And I just lack about a chapter to finish reading Battle Ground Berlin - CIA vs KGB in the Cold War written by ?David E. Murphy (ex-CIA), Sergei A. Kondrashev (ex-KGB), and George Bailey, former director of Radio Liberty. This is a fascinating account of the efforts and counter-efforts in Berlin and Germany told by individuals who were there plus including declassified material.

FAPSI - Several FAPSI transmissions were heard during the month but the frequencies utilized were quite high compared to the usual frequencies seen in the past. Also the signal strength of these transmissions was not what I had experienced previously from the FAPSI HF relay site in Cuba. The word is that the Lourdes facility is currently being dismantled. If the signals I heard were coming from Cuba, a number of possibilities exist. The transmitter site has been moved, perhaps to the Russian Embassy in Havana? The transmitter power output is considerable less than was the case at Lourdes? The transmissions are now coming from some other location. Moscow?

MARCH LOGGINGS in kHz order with comments and UTC date/time
13528 KAWN, USAF coded wx, 5F grps at 18/1355
14466 Aero wx in RTTY 50/480. This probably DDH8, Hamburg, Germany. 27/2030
14728 Fast 5F grps in CW, fair sig but with echo and fade. Cuts zero at T. 27/2018
14931 Vs 8BY 153/237/906/914/970/124 in auto Morse. l23/1758
16619 BO BO BO BO in CW. Nothing more. 30/1512
17179 FUG (French Navy, La Regine) in RTTY 77/848 testing. 23/1805
17363 WLO (Mobile, AL) with voice wx. 23/1810
20946 LN2A (Sveio, Norway) propagation beacon in CW/FSK/850. 23/1308
20991 Stn tuning, Vs in FSK Morse, sends QSY 22864. 23/1332
22864 Stn sends Vs and LAY LAY. Traffic sent, copy fair. 11166 00099 56179 23284 00623 text of 5L grps. Next msg: 11177 00099 41446 23282 06353 - text of 5L glrps. Believe another msg sent but sig now uncopy.
20989 Stn tuning, 64s in RTTY 100/500. Other end not hrd. Bad QRM from another stn this freq. This heading probably has errors: 11187 80059 11189 30373 04669. Very bad copy of 5L grps text. 30/1430
End of Report

For further information on numbers stations, and other mystery communications we recommend . . .

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    The Underground Frequency Guide

    A Directory of Unusual, Illegal and Covert Radio Communications

    By Donald W. Schimmel
    A fascinating directory of unusual, illegal and covert radio communications. Learn where to tune to hear mysterious transmissions. With hundreds of frequencies and informative commentary. Third Edition. 1994 HighText 209 pages.
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    Available from Universal Radio and other select radio and book dealers.

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2002 Don Schimmel.