Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #041 10/01/03

SCANNER SCUM - Seven members of this infamous group, which came into being 9 years ago at the Kulpsville, PA Winter SWL Festival, joined me at my QTH from 25-29 September for sessions of Shortwave and Scanner monitoring. The seven took a train trip from Martinsburg WV to Cumberland, MD area and sampled Railroad communications as well as Fire, Police, Sheriffs, State Police, and EMAs comms. Messers McColman, Coles, Cohen, Arey, Meece., Swisher, and Reynolds indicated they had a great time and were interested in returning next year in the Fall.. I was Host for Happy Hour and Buffet for the gang one evening and many, many tall Radio tales were passed.

MYSTERY TRANSMISSION - At 2230 UTC on 09/39/03 I came across continuous music on 5104 kHz. Many of you may recall the type of music that accompanied older animated cartoons. This is what this music sounded like. There were no announcements, just one tune after another. I listened well over 35 minutes. A few days later, 10/01/03, at 0023 UTC, I discovered a religious broadcast exactly on the same frequency. I surmise the transmissions were from the same station and the reason for the music was perhaps for transmission checking and/or adjustment purposes.

HURRICANES - Here is a fine source to check when hurricanes are reported. Go to http://files.hurricane alley.net/storms/13L.html. Four pages of position information can be printed out along with a terrific color graphic showing the hurricane position and its projected path. It appears that the information is updated at least every 12 hours and possibly more often as the storm approaches the U.S. coasts. Have a look at this site the next time a hurricane is announced.

UNIDENTIFIED TRANSMISSION - At 0125 UTC, 2 October on 9204 kHz, a 5L (Phonetic letters) was heard. The announcer was a YL/EE. Thus far I have not been able to place this one in the proper ENIGMA category.

BERKELEY COUNTY WV COMMUNICATIONS - The most recent step for the County emergency communications system was the County Commission receiving a study from a Virginia telelcom consulting company. This could eventually result in the replacement of the current system which dates back to the 1960s. The present system has two towers while the new system will have several additional towers. This will help in eliminating dead spots within the County. Another benefit, according to the consulting firm., would be reception/transmissions of hand held units would be enhanced from 40% to 95%. The cost is estimated at between $2.6-$2.8 million to complete the new system.

CHUCKLE - Here is a hilarious item from the ENIGMA Newsletter, Issue 16, May 03. The item is summarized here.: A defense worker, Ian Parr, was arrested for spying for the Russians. He was put into the Belmarch Prison. He attempted suicide by wiring his metal framed eyeglasses to the electrical supply in his Prison cell. He only managed to burn the outline of the frames onto his face. The ENIGMA Editor noted: This is an excellent experiment to illustrate the heating effect of electricity ... Wonder if his credit card was wiped by the magnetic lines of force around his frames???
End of Report

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2003 Don Schimmel.