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 #120 02/01/16

It is getting close to the annual Winter Fest time and I plan to attend this annual event which will be held again in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania February 19-20, 2016. I like to arrive a day early as it affords the opportunity to chat with others prior to the commencement of the Forums. I am particularly interested in the Forum this year to be presented by Kevin Carey (author of Listening to Longwave) regarding Beacon Monitoring. I like to monitor beacons every now and then so it will be a treat to hear what an expert in the field has to say. For details regarding this premier event for radio listeners, go to http://www.swlfest.com

Fred Osterman forwarded the interesting E-mail he had received from Sam Godfrey who had intercepted a "weird repeating signal on 89.1 MHz, CBC Radio One, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada." The signal was described as being of about 20 seconds in duration accompanied by "tinkly music" and a mechanized male voice repeating a nine digit sequence of 582429370. No additional intercepts of the signal have been reported. The transmission certainly does not resemble ordinary broadcast station testing. Of course, it could have been the action of a prankster or?

Note: All schedule times are UTC.
ENIGMA HM01 had its usual odd behavior. The callup groups on the 1600 schedule of Wed 7 Jan 2016 were identical to those of Sun 27 Dec 2015. Then on 8 Jan some of the callup groups showed the one-up increase in the 5th digits. On 14 Jan the callup groups on the 2100 schedule reverted to those first sent on 27 Dec except for the 4th callup group which was then 73040. Looking at the 26 Jan 1600 schedule the 4th callup group was different, but the other callup groups were as they appeared on the 14 Jan 2100 schedule.

I have always wondered if there is something in each callup group that serves as an indicator for the message recipient? If so, is such indicator the position of a particular digit or of two or more digits in the callup group? Fellow SWLer Gary Donnelly raised the point about the absence of schedules during 0000-0400 and 1100-1300. He mentioned that such periods in the Eastern U.S. should be times when traffic could be received by field personnel without interruption from any distractions. I likewise have long doubted some of the schedule selection times as being appropriate. However, for the most part, I generally experience quite good reception of these transmissions during 1400-2300. It seems reasonable to believe that some of the callup groups are for individuals located in the Eastern U.S. I question the selection of some of the frequencies in use at certain times. For example: For Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun the 0500 schedule is on 5860 kHz. One hour later the frequency is almost doubled at 10345 kHz. Is there really going to be that much difference in reception at a particular location to require such a change. On Tue, Thu, Sat these schedules retain 14375 kHz as the frequency. There appears to be a similarity when comparing the 0500 & 0600 schedules with the 1000 schedule. Does this frequency use indicate that the schedules for 0500 & 0600 for Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun have one or more addressees located at a different location than the same times on Tue, Thu & Sun? If so, is that also the case for the 1000 schedule?

Here is another odd situation. Reportedly the Cuban Economy is not very good. Electricity costs money, generator supplied or Power Company furnished. Why do they continue to run such extensive daily Agent transmissions, eleven HM01 and three M08a schedules? Add to this the infrequent V21 and V02a schedules.

In the past it has been documented that Cuban Agents have gone to meet with their DGI Agent Handlers in such locations as Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. These meetings outside the U.S. were probably a security precaution by the DGI after the arrest in September 2001 of Ana Belen Montes, who was employed by DIA as an Intelligence Analyst.

End of Report

Click here for index of previous editions of Radio Intrigue

2016 Don Schimmel.