Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Unidentified transmissions on 7590khz USB

20MAR12 0715UTC 7.590mhz USB in Spanish (good signal):

- "Tacam, Tacam, Pegaso?"
- "Pegaso, Tacam. Recibo 3x3"
- "Tacam, Tacam de Pegaso?"

After several unsuccessful attempts, I heard a stream of cw. Not being able to decode it in either my head or Multipsk, I have recorded it for a friend at my local radio club to listen to who operates mostly cw, so I may be able to come back in a week or two with more information.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

German Police & Customs on ALE

The German Police and Customs have a very active ALE net on HF and it's a great way of logging some of the rarer and more unusual ship and coast stations. This is the first transmission I logged, a call from German Police Boat Bad Dueben BP23 to Police HQ:

and here is the vessel herself:

The two frequencies I have heard active are 8132khz and 4553.5khz. I have yet to hear any voice comms, only ALE transmissions. Perhaps someone can enlighten me: the ALE equipment, having determined the optimum frequency from a longish history of ALE soundings, uses this information for what purpose? If it's to determine what frequency to use for ongoing comms, where and in what mode is this happening? I'm not hearing any actual information exchange/traffic between stations, such as with the Italian Navy who will use voice mode to establish comms before exchanging STANAG messages.

Anyway, I am a newcomer to the data-modes and understand very little. I just know I enjoy it and it's great to have the chance to log ships and coast stations that are not active in voice mode.

Monday, 19 March 2012


I have been using the Multipsk software a lot recently and here are a couple of stations successfully decoded with it. The station broadcasting "IDN" etc is the Italian Navy in Naples in STANAG, sending these CARBs (channel availability & readability broadcasts) interspersed with encrypted data, and Royal Navy RTTY CARBs from HM Naval Base, Clyde. On this latter transmission when I saw the letter "IVVB" and "PPVYG" I thought I had unearthed some Italian and Brazillian callsigns being transmitted, but alas extensive googling proved this wasn't the case, and I wonder now if these letters were just intereference! Anyway, here they both are:

I have also had a whole lot of fun monitoring German Customs Vessels in ALE mode, but I haven't time to blog about this now, so will save it for another time.