Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


Up Front





Glenn Hauser's DX Listening Digest

Glenn Hauser's Continent of Media

Don Schimmel's Radio Intrigue

Joe Carr's Tech Notes

Radio Basics

Frequency vs. Wavelength

Modes and Modulation

Call Sign Prefixes

UTC/GMT Conversion

Radio Terms

Shortwave Radio

Introduction to Shortwave Listening

Tuning 150 kHz to 30 MHz

Selecting a Shortwave Radio

Reporting and QSLs

Receiver Reference

Modern Shortwave Receiver Survey

Favorite Tube-Type Shortwave Receivers

Scanner Monitoring

Introducing the "Action Bands"

The World Above 30 MHz

Selecting a Scanner

National Scanner Frequency Guide

Other Radio Hobbies

Ham Radio

AM Band DXing

Longwave DXing

Clandestine Radio

Pirate Radio

Numbers Stations


Radio Links

Shortwave Listening

Radio Clubs

International Broadcasters

Scanner Listening

Ham Radio

Web-Controlled Radios


Universal Radio

Top of Page

Report #103 09/01/14

It appears that the 2300 schedule of HM01 has been discontinued. It has been some time since I heard it and Ary Boender of the N & O Newsletter indicated he also had not heard that one. Over the years, the Russians and others would send an Agent message and then perhaps one or two hours later it would be repeated, often on a different frequency. For each Cuban schedule which is approximately 50 minutes in duration, each message is repeated ten times. There are normally 11 schedules per day so this means each message is repeated a total of 110 times in a 24 hour period. It is a mystery as to why the Cubans feel all of this repetition is necessary. The use or non-use of the digit 9 has shown up in past by some Russian communications. Since the Russians trained the Cubans, it follows that the Cuban practice probably stems from the training they received. The one-up for the 5th digit of the six voice groups does not hold completely true as many monitors have no doubt observed. If the increase is to show the number of days the message has been transmitted, how do we explain the group that shows no increase in the 5th digit? Unless it indicates the message is dummy traffic! August had its share of operating mistakes. There were several schedules transmitting on the wrong frequency. Sometimes the error was realized and the correct frequency brought up. There was a curious procedure on 13 August during the 11530 kHz 1700 schedule when very brief Spanish was spoken but then nothing more was heard. Then on 14 August on 8135 kHz two different types of RTTY were heard very briefly on the 2300 schedule but again nothing more. Looking back at the July logs the 10 July 1800 schedule was heard but during 11-13 July the reception conditions were very bad. Ary Boender also mentioned experiencing bad reception during this period. On one of those schedules I thought there was a weak signal down in the mud but it was completely uncopyable. Conditions had improved by 14 July and most of the daily schedules were again hearable.

As mentioned in last month's report, I had been using GOOGLE EARTH program with the computer to try and detect the four intercept facilities built some years ago for the Sandinistas by the Russians. With the news of reactivation of the Russian intercept station at Lourdes, Cuba, I was curious to see if it was possible to see if the four Nicaraguan sites could be located and if it appeared there was any activity at those sites. Perhaps vehicles in the parking lots or some other evidence which showed the sites still in use.

The community of San Francisco is located at the junction of highways 7 and 19. The intercept site should be somewhere in the surrounding area. The town of Puerto Cabezas is easily found on the map and here again the intercept facility should be in the nearby area. Santa Maria is believed located between Masaya and Diriambe and Santa Rosa is believed located in Region II, a bit east of Chinandega. Of course if the four sites have been abandoned, it might not be possible to spot their locations as they could now be overgrown and former buildings may have been demolished. However, I will continue to carefully scan those four areas with the GOOGLE EARTH program on the off chance something may turn up.

Freq/Remarks/Time of Intercept [DDHHMM]
  7039 Russian Military beacon D Sevastopol 222256
  8015 ENIGMA M51, Auto Morse, 5L groups 252305
10872 Russian Military beacons P Kaliningrad & D Sevastopol 222253
13528 Russian Military beacons P Kalininrad & D Sevastopol 222252
16332 Russian Military beacons D Sevastopol & C Moscow 222251
20049 Russian Military beacon K Peptropalovsk Kamchaskiy 222248

End of Report

Click here for index of previous editions of Radio Intrigue

2014 Don Schimmel.