Tuesday, 23 December 2008

E25 strange message

My recorder got a strange E25 message on 9450 kHz.

The transmission started at 1207z, at 1208z there was 1000 Hz tone, then at 1213z the song "Inte Omri". After that, at 1216z the mechanical E25 lady started calling "830 26 835" i.e. a "control" message to 830 and a (strange) message to 835:

9999 x8, "Rebeat" x3 at 1221z, QRT at 1224z.

Just a string of eight 9999...

Signal strength was weaker than usual as a typical broadcast station (probably WYFR Family Radio) was in the background. This is a part of the transmission recorded in USB.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

E10 Jammers get aggressive

Right now (1830z) there are two Jammers on 4880 kHz. E10 sends a 115-group message starting with "GHRCA..." to ULX, and both Jammers are on the same frequency! Is this a mistake, or a ferocious attack by all means, to ULX?

So far I believe that whoever operates the Jammers, can transmit at most with two jammers. This time he/she decided to use both Jammers on the same frequency.

Here is a part of the transmission. The Jammers sometimes nearly wins ULX. Also take a closer look at their time offset in the following spectrogram images:
There is a ~25ms time difference between the two Jammer signals. Well, you can hear and see that both remain constant in terms of strength (ok both affected by a slow QSB) so I don't think this is a weird propagation phenomenon. If any of you have a different opinion, feel free to post.

The Jammers stopped at 1851z, while E10 continued with the repeat of the message, plus a weaker broadcast station in the background. E10 QRT at 1855z and the BC QRT at 1859z.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Another E17 transmission

At 1452z on 10240 kHz I found E17 sending another 50-group message. The transmission was in progress and ended at 1458z with "538 538 50 50 0 0 0 0 0" (slow zeros). No breaks/restarts this time, even the signal strength was better (S9 with peaks +10 or +20dB).

Audio sample.

E17 found on 8180 kHz

8180 kHz was set on my VFO since earlier this morning, after successfully recording three SK01 transmissions. At 1100z I switched from the E25 memory (do I need a memory for E25? Hihihi!) to VFO, to set an E03a frequency and check if E03a was on air.

And... SURPRISE! The E17(z) YL was on 8180, calling "274" but had several problems, trying to send a 50-group message (274 986 50 30238). She started again and again several times, occasionally having low audio level.

Here is the complete (24 min) transmission.

And here's a typical transmission of E17z. This one logged on 27/11/2008, 0800z, 11170 kHz.

E17z (and E17) belongs to IA family (format similar to E06/S06). E17 believed to be some kind of training net, because of the problematic transmissions. Its sister, E17z, is more accurate :-)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

S32 the "Squeaky Wheel" changes tempo

Thanks to Fritz, yesterday we were informed about the new sound of the so-called "Squeaky Wheel" (Enigma Designator: S32) which transmits on 3828 kHz during night, and on 5473 kHz during day.

S32 during night (3828 kHz)

S32 during day (5473 kHz)

Ooops! Right now (1643z) S32 sends a message on 3828 kHz! The language is Russian! (That's why it's S32 instead of XSW (the old enigma Designator; in the past we did not know that the Squeaky Wheel sends voice messages).

Here's what I got (a bit noisy...)

Wait till the end of the file to hear the Squeaky Wheel after the OM finishes!

Monday, 24 November 2008

E07 and a Pirate sending SSTV?

This is the E07 2100z transmission on 6931 AM. You can hear some "digital" QRM just from the beginning of the transmission. It's SSTV. I managed to decode the last part of the SSTV transmission, just after E07 QRT. The actual frequency was 6924.97 USB. Here's the screen shot from MMSSTV (a freeware SSTV program):

MMSSTV shows 14ZK192 as the callsign of the sender. A Google search leads to http://14zk192.free.fr/. Who's this?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A lot of E25 logs!

This morning we had 2 transmissions on 6140 and 4(!) on 9450 kHz. The last transmission on 9450 (ID "222") was over Polish Radio International. The sound samples are trimmed a bit (to get rid most of the 1000 Hz tone and the silent ends). So here we go...

E25 6140 AM 0836z:

1000 Hz tone
804 repeated several times
5488 0301 6511 2157 2589 9588 2447 9952 8795 6115 0301 8721
"Rebeat" x3

(sound sample 1)

The signal was S9 peaking +10dB, carrier began slightly off-frequency.

E25 6140 AM 1019z:

1000 Hz tone
205 repeated
9774 6277 5844 1083 0472 3266 4393 2509 3442 7900
"Rebeat" x3
... audio problems ...

(sound sample 2)

Note at repeat the machine sounds like having a slower pace. Signal was S9 with peaks +10dB and some QSB & thunderstorm QRN.

Let's see what happened on 9450 kHz ...

The "a" (E25a) denotes a type: (ID), (number 1) , ... , (number n) transmission. These believed to be "control" transmissions. Also all recordings on 9450 kHz made with the receiver set to USB, while the actual TX could be in AM mode.

E25a 9450 USB 1154z:
1000 Hz tone
277 1 2

(sound sample 3)

The transmission started off-frequency.

E25a 9450 USB 1211z
"Inte Omri" song
830 21 from the mechanical YL

(sound sample 4)

The signal strength was lower than the previous (and the next) transmission.

E25a 9450 USB 1238z:
1000 Hz tone
785 20

(sound sample 5)

And here's a transmission over Polish Radio International:

E25 9450 USB 1345z:
"Arouh Le Min" song (the other song by Umm Kalthoum)
8111 2061 9711 9810 4916 6472 2366 2183 5413 4651
7691 3668 5764 9317 9756 9711
"Rebeat" x3

(sound sample 6)

So that's the end of a busy E25 day! Please be warned; tomorrow we might have repeats of some transmissions on 9450 kHz.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

E10a calling HNC B on 4114 kHz

After following Mike's hint, I caught E10a calling HNC B on 4114 kHz at 1947z having a strong S9+10dB. The transmission was QRMed by an XJT transmission which went away exactly when the E10 YL QRT at 1949z. Here's a short clip.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A new version of the rfax.pdf is out there

Please update your favorite HF-Fax list with this one (28 October 2008).

Sound Sample from "Friday night: Special mix night"

And here is the sample from the E10 mix occurred on 31 October 2008...
Please refer to my previous post.


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Friday night: Special mix night

Yesterday evening I was hunting for the famous E10 Jammer and I accidentally found the 6842 kHz, 2000z transmission of XPA. The transmission was interfered from the E10 EZI2 transmission from 6840 kHz, also at 2000z. Here's the recording. XPA was very strong (+10 to +20dB) but someone can listen the YL and the jammer.

And another surprise a few moments later! On 2456 kHz (an E10 ART frequency) there was a nice ART/PCD mix! The ART message was a g44 UMHQN and PCD has the long g106 message starting with AEOYY. Both messages were sent complete, till 2023z when PCD ended.

Sound sample will follow...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Jammers, OTHRs and E10 stuff...

This is the Jammer alone, as recorded today at 0446z on 6840 kHz.



This is an OTHR (Over the Horizon Radar) found today at 0447z on 9130 kHz (another E10 frequency) which is not related (I guess!) with E10...




And this is the Jammer who stops after an PCD2 transmission on 4270 kHz, yesterday at 1900z. (The other noises are just QRM.) The fact that the Jammer stops after the "null" xxx2 E10 transmission may be an indication that the Jammer posses a monitoring station somewhere and checks if he jams an actual message.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Some better images from Honolulu

Yesterday evening I tried again on 11088 kHz and luckily the reception was a bit better! Now you can see a "real" map!


Unfortunately the test transmission is a short white chart with a black horizontal line...


That's better, isn't it? Compare it with the original:

I received two more complete charts until I quit due to excess noise but I think it's unnecessary to upload them now I have at least one good image from them. I'm happy I'm back to HF-FAX DXing, after a long time.

QUESTION: Does anyone of you know if they answer to QSL reports? Any ideas for how to send a proper QSL report? So far I got response only from amateurs, so far no response to a letter sent to Northwood and an e-mail sent to Hamburg...

Thursday, 9 October 2008

And yes... Honolulu!

Propagationally speaking, Honolulu is more difficult than Wellington, New Zealand, even if it is closer (13700 km instead of 17400 km).

Yesterday, I had some luck with Honolulu!!! The frequency was 11088.1 kHz USB, starting at ~1723z till ~1834z.

Here is a comparison of my received images to the ones actually sent. Mine are the top (and noisy) ones:




Despite the noise, I think there is some resemblance with the original images. These are provided by NOAA and I was lucky to find the originals today since they keep only the latest images! I've got Honolulu! What do you think?

More on E10 jamming

This morning I decided to check 6840 and 7690 for any jamming over EZI. Interestingly, the jammer started at 6840 kHz and then decided to jam 7690 kHz, even if there was an EZI2 message.

The recording is from 0627z this morning, on 6840 and 7690 kHz, USB mode.
The first 1min 58 sec is on 6840 kHz. You can hear the YL calling EZI2 just before 0630z. Then at 1min 33sec the jammer stops. I'm still on 6840 kHz. At 1min 53sec you can hear some code and then at ~1min 59sec I switched to 7690 kHz. Hey! The jammer is here now! At 3m 18sec or ~0630z EZI2 starts normally. I switched back to 6840 at 4min 24sec but no jammer there, just CW. Then I switched back to 7690 kHz, till the end of EZI2 transmission, The jammer stopped just few seconds before the YL.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

...and EZI being jammed by E10!

I continued monitoring EZI for this jammer game. But something else happened during the EZI transmission 0n 7690 kHz, Sunday 21 September 0830z. At 0840z another E10 message transmitted in parallel to EZI g31 HCEZY message! The second YL had a slower pace! If you take a closer look at the recording, you'll notice there is a small frequency difference between the original and the "culprit" E10 transmission.

E10 EZI being jammed

Last weekend I was able to do some monitoring other than E25. What caught my attention was a "bubble" jammer on E10 EZI frequencies 9130 kHz and 7690 kHz.

This was recorded on Saturday 20 September at 1002z on 7690 kHz, USB mode. EZI carrier is slightly off, and while I was playing with mode settings, the jammer appeared!

I continued monitoring EZI and the Jammer. It seems they don't jam all the messages. Also sometimes the Jammer is present before E10 lady starts. They also avoid jamming EZI2 transmissions.

Monday, 15 September 2008

E25 switched to winter time

Since August 28-29, Egypt switched back to winter time. E25 also shifted its schedules +1 hour. So someone can except a transmission on 6140 kHz at 0800 UTC - 1200 UTC and on 9450 kHz at 1200 UTC - 1400 UTC. Good luck!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Anothe mix of music and voice

Last Saturday, 16 August, E25 had a 35-minute long music session (and some brief voice but no real traffic) on 6140 kHz, starting at 0936z.

Here is the entire transmission (a bit cleaned-up using the usual software techniques) recorded in USB mode. An initial carrier offset is apparent in the beginning of the transmission. If you're going to listen the sample with good-quality speakers (good bass response), please keep the volume down (not to scare your siblings!)

Mr. DXer also logged the transmission and identified one more song from Kalthoum, "What can I say about missing you." at ~0954z, and songs of Chris Be Burgh.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

E25 rocks on 6140, then on 9450!

E25 on 9450 kHz playing "Don't pay the ferryman"!


And this one shows my scanner (Icom R20) with its stock antenna (ok, ok, I'm cheating... placed near the window for better reception) also tuned to 9450!


A lot of odd things happened today... music started on 6140 at 0918z and ended at 1003z. Then at 1006z a carrier appeared on 9450 kHz and a mix of music and E25 transmissions occurred till 1147z!!!

If you still don't think there's a connection between the music heard on 6140, 9450 and E25, just listen to this! It starts as a normal E25 transmission (well... wrong frequency! 9450 instead of 6140!) but then... Please be patient and listen the whole file. What do you think now? You can verify that it's not something edited, since there's a BC station audible in the background (which should be WYFR Family Radio).


Monday, 4 August 2008

Athens HF-FAX service improves its transmission quality

The local HF-FAX service, Athens, suffered from bad transmission output (probably too much audio level in an SSB transmitter). See my older post. Nowadays all seems to work fine; the image quality is superb:

8105 kHz USB, 03/08/2008, 1007z

8105 kHz USB, 03/08/2008, 1019z

Both images logged yesterday morning on 8105 kHz USB mode with a +20dB signal. Athens also transmits on 4481 kHz (had an S9 signal). Usually the lowest frequency is better received at my QTH, but if ionosphere permits (relative) local propagation on higher frequencies, the 8 MHz transmission is better, with less multipath distortion (fuzziness of the lines).

Monday, 21 July 2008

At last! Some activity at the higher freqs!

Yesterday morning I was able to hear CB stations (27 MHz) from Italy and Turkey with the R75 (and my brother's wireless mouse at 27.1 MHz...) Even the scanner (R20) could receive them outside, with its stock antenna.

And for the first time in my life (yes!) I heard some true activity on the 6m band! Some CW stations (except the beacon from a nearby town; even this one is not all days audible!) and some USB voice. I don't remember any call signs now, but I do have logs and sound samples!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

A nice HF-Fax picture from Tokyo

Last night I decided to give a try to JMH HF-Fax service. I only got this nice picture at 1930 UTC on the highest (13988 kHz) JMH frequency:

13988.5 kHz, 1930z

The following transmissions were noisy so 1930z sets a limit for the reception on 14 MHz from Japan to my Location.

Monday, 16 June 2008

ART2 and EZI together

This morning as I was browsing Icom's memories and I stumbled on a noisy (buzz) E10 carrier on 6840 kHz and decided to record it. Suddenly ART2 and EZI appeared on air at the same time (~0526 UTC) for some moments, then the buzz stopped and EZI continued with an S9 signal. Sound sample!

Friday, 13 June 2008

New edition of rfax.pdf available

Check out http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf for an updated HF-Fax schedule compilation from NOAA, as of 30 May 2008.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

E25 -1 h shift confirmed

Egypt switched to DST and the expected -1 hour shift of E25 slots happened. The problem is I have a few logs confirming this phenomenon (only 3):

  1. 29 April 2008 a message sent to "111" at 0800z instead of 0900z.
  2. 30 April 2008 a "control" message sent to "200" (200 9) at 0800z instead of 0900z.
  3. 04 May 2008 a message sent to "128" and a "control" message sent to "126" (126 6) at 0945z (well 0952z actually but you know E25's punctuality!) instead of 1045z.
It is a quiet period for E25, I hope they are ok and didn't chance anything regarding their frequencies! BTW the mechanical YL still tries her best :-)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

New non-oriental song from E25

The new mechanical YL delivered this message today at 0914z and after that, two minutes later, a different kind of music appeared! It started at 0921z and finished at 0928z. Both transmissions (message & song) were in AM mode having an average of S9 with some QSB, esp. during the message (S5-S9). During the song, the signal reached 10 dB over S9.

Egypt switches to DST soon! A -1 hour slot shift is expected! Let's see what will happen!

Local timeDST?UTC offsetZone
Thursday, April 24 at 11:59:57 PMNo+2 hoursEET
Thursday, April 24 at 11:59:58 PMNo+2 hoursEET
Thursday, April 24 at 11:59:59 PMNo+2 hoursEET
Friday, April 25 at 1:00:00 AM1 hour+3 hoursEEST
Friday, April 25 at 1:00:01 AM1 hour+3 hoursEEST
Friday, April 25 at 1:00:02 AM1 hour+3 hoursEEST

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

New Orleans HF-Fax service: New frequency found

Nairam send me a tip that New Orleans may be using a new frequency, 8763.96 kHz USB. And indeed, there was a fax signal there, and luckily I managed to get the schedule transmission which indeed is from New Orleans, but it does not mention the new frequency:

8763.96 kHz USB, 2045z

The above was received a couple of days ago; 17 March 2008. Note that this image is different from the schedule I logged last year. You can find the source image at the NOAA site:

Thanks Nairam for the tip!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The first steps towards E25 automation are always difficult...

We were glad to hear again a YL behind the microphones of E25, during live transmissions, some time ago. Now the operators seems to start using an automated system for message broadcast, using voice samples from a YL.

Specifically, they recorded the YL saying each number, 0-9, "Rebeat", "EOM EOT" and use some sort of machine to convert text-to-voice samples. It is interesting that they have separate ending numbers, like E10 and some more Enigmas who wants to have a more realistic voice. A nice touch, but the whole project seems to be problematic.

Listen what happened yesterday, Tuesday 11 March on 6140 USB at 1028z. The usual hum, but then, some more noise and a staggering mecha voice with a strange noise after each gap. The transmission ended abruptly at 1033z so they replayed it a few moments later.

The same problems occurred in the next transmission at 1113z, again on 6140 USB, as you can hear here! Again the TX starts with some hum noise, then again YL's voice is broken.

Things were better on 9450, where 2 YL mecha transmissions occurred. Both of them were "control" messages. This one recorded at 1213z, and the next one at 1243z. Note that my tuner was set in USB mode.

Any ideas regarding the failures? What about the noises? I wonder what kind of system they use (mechanical/analog or a PC playing the samples)...

Ahh! I forgot to mention that a typical live transmission happened at 1044z, featuring an OM, sending a message to 128 (initially read as "182" another reversal!) and the "control" message "4" to 126.

Today I managed to forget connecting my antenna to the RX and set my PC record 6 hours of nothing... It is a good precaution to unhook your antenna when a storm is coming but you must remember to hook it back again :-) So I'm waiting your logs for today!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

E25 young (automated?) lady

"557 6 557 6..."

This is a "control" message sent by a young lady voice on 9450 AM, today at 1225z. The song "Arouh Le Min" played as an introduction. Excellent signal in my QTH, peaking at S9+30 db. The audio S/(S+N) ratio exceeded 40 db!

The voice has a constant tempo so I suspect it is not a live transmission, but somehow created from pre-recorded voice samples.

Enjoy it here!

Monday, 11 February 2008

ABC and ULX together

Yesterday ABC spotted on the same frequency as ULX.
At 1038z on 6270 kHz ULX was repeating the g23 IWLXY message and ABC was in the same frequency! At 1040z ULX ended but ABC was still there. It suddenly stopped at 1042z.


Saturday, 9 February 2008

One of the longest E25 messages: 36 groups!

Agent 315 got a 36-group message on 9450 kHz today at 1115z, S9+10 signal on the Icom!

Here's the message:
6808 0921 3063 1954 0199 9166 5385 9671 9142 5440
3378 4022 3531 4014 8553 6385 7442 1377 2985 0340
0351 2201 7807 9140 9024 2969 6240 6138 2506 5311
7286 2065 1714 2522 0921 1234

Note that the 3rd group gives the gc and 3 as a serial.

And here's the clip!

At 1222z another strong carrier appeared and at 1230z sent the control message "557 5".

Except from the large message logged today, E25 traffic is lower than usual.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New Year's Eve gift from E10

Happy 2008 to everybody! I wish health and prosperity to you, your families and your friends!

A couple of hours before 2008, E10 gave as a little gift! In the numbers scene, where things should run with mathematical accuracy, there is always a weak link: the human factor. And humans do mistakes. People like myself who enjoys the "numbers game" wishes for such mistakes hoping to reveal something about the true identity of the numbers stations. I am an amateur of course; my friends who are more experienced can learn a lot more from these mistakes.

I did a short scan to my E10 memories of my RX just for fun, hours before the New Year. At ~1809z I stumbled on 4270 kHz, PCD's place and noticed a kind of "pops" and audio breaks. The YL had real trouble this time. On the other hand, things were fine on 5170 kHz. This is what happened on 4270.

My friends were anxious for delaying them by listening to my RX when usually people are making preparations for the New Year's Eve party (but I was the driver for the party anyway hihi!). I was lucky enough to listen the next 2 scheduled slots of PCD. And yes, the same problem occurred at 1830z, on 4270 kHz and also on 3150 kHz. Both freqs had breaks (not at the same time) during the TX.

And another nice gift later: This time one of the usual mixes, specifically ULX2 and PCD. That happened on 3150 kHz at 1900z. Here's the clip!

But unfortunately I was unlucky at Simon Mason's Appeal2007. Congrats to Phil from Wales! A clever move on his side to choose his own 5f ID. Very Clever!