Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #107 01/01/15

Although it was ready to be sent, the lateness in posting the column was due to the presence of a Trojan virus on my computer and it defied efforts to get rid of it. I had to take it to a computer tech service company where it underwent intensive "Search & Destroy" procedures. I once again have my computer and the virus met its doom.

As A Christmas present to myself, the shack now boasts of the addition of a CommRadio CR1a. I was attracted not only by the small physical size but also the rather extensive receiver coverage of 500 kHz - 30 MHz, 64 - 260 MHz and 437 - 512 MHz. Modes are USB/LSB, CW, AM & FM. There are two 50 ohm BNC antenna inputs with one for LW-HF and the other for VHF-UHF. By adding the options of an internal battery plus, a 12VDC 500 mA transformer, you are set for both portable and fixed location use. This is not another foreign built receiver but rather is American made and measures only 5.64 x 2.43 x 6.10" and weighs under 2 lbs. Check the current Universal Radio catalog or website page for further technical details and pricing.

I am looking forward to attending the upcoming NASWA SWL Festival to be held on February 27 & 28. As things are shaping up it appears that Messrs Cuff and Figliozzi will again produce another successful and informative Fest. Of particular interest for me will be the Forum on DIGITAL SIGNALS. This will be presented by Mike Chace Ortiz whose monthly column was a long running part of Monitoring Times magazine and is now a feature of the SPECTRUM MONITOR digital publication.

ENIGMA M12 I have been looking at several months of the M12 intercepts reported in the Numbers & Oddities newsletters. The ENIGMA Control List shows "M12 - Keeps to CET (Central Europe Time)". Thus far the loggings I have reviewed show schedules on every day of the week except Fridays and with just a few loggings on Sundays. It appears to be normal procedure to have the schedules 20 minutes apart but for some reason on 1 October and again on 8 October 2014, the schedules were only 10 minutes apart??

ENIGMA HM01 and M08a TRANSMISSIONS It was noted that for most of the month the schedules I monitored had a low level of operating errors. But on 22 December 2014 the 2200 UCT schedule on 10715 kHz showed a mixture of the Cuban cut numbers in CW along with the RDFT signals. The same thing happened on 23 December on the 2300 schedule of 8009 kHz. Again on the 24 December 8009 kHz schedule at 2300. This was also the case for the 26 December 8135 kHz, 2300 schedule, On Sunday 28 December at 2300 on 8009 kHz the CW/RDFT mixture was again observed. To close out the month, the same thing took place on 29 December, 2300 schedule on 8009 kHz.

kHz Call Comments & Date Time of Intercept
14100 YV5B Caracas, Venezuela at 101945
18150 - - - -  Frequency completely blocked by HAMS. 101943
21150 OA4B Lima, Peru at 101933
21150 YV5B Caracas, Venezuela at 101933

115 MHz THS Call sent in CW. This is St. Thomas, PA VORTAC at 201926. (My first logging with the CommRadio CR1a receiver.)

End of Report

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2015 Don Schimmel.