Sunday, 28 June 2015

Russian Navy Kaliningrad 8459.0 (more)

Last night at 1843 I tuned again to 8459.0khz USB and cw signals were present. This time I didn't record it, but fed the signal directly into MULTIPSK using the QRP decoding function and switched from the big signals with white noise of the outdoor vertical to the quiet signals with no noise of the indoor loop. The results were much, much better using the indoor loop: despite the signal really dropping very low at times, the QRP function on MULTIPSK had no problem decoding. You would never believe such a low signal level could result in such good decoding - it had to be seen to be believed.

In fact, MULTIPSK has always proven to be exceptionally good at handling low quality and low level signals, consistently beating the competition hands-down. And having such an enormous array of modes makes it a very good value and high-quality package.

Anyway, back to the Russian Navy. After the familiar "tire" and "tok" words and numbers I was familiar with from the other night, we got "peterburg" and an "AR" at the end of the message. The next message began:

"REO REO de RMP RMP QTC ........"

Here is the screenshot of this interesting ID part of the message:

Have a look at Tony's PLANESANDSTUFF BLOG blog and his Russian callsign list and you will see this is a weather warning for the Baltic Sea (REO) from Baltic Fleet HQ, Kaliningrad (RMP). I am not too sure about the QTC. Perhaps it is "message follows", "we have a message for you" from what I see on Google.

 I entered the word "RABOTY" into a Latin - Cyrllic alphabet online site and then copied the Russian characters to Google language translator and it means "WORK". It is time-consuming but fascinating to a language enthusiast like myself to decipher the text in this way.

My next challenge is to move away from this mostly broadcast oriented transmission to decoding CW to and from actual ships.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Russian Navy Kaliningrad 8459.0

Earlier in the week I was trying a few Russian Navy CW freqs in my DX394 when I heard some activity on 8459.0khz. I recorded it and then played it back into various CW decoders to check what it was. MultiPSK was best  (tried FLDIGI and a few others) and decoded some strange sets of numbers, some letters (TIRE and TOK in our alphabet...oh and KARTA which is Russian for map). But best of all the words KALININGRAD.  There were non of the ususal 5 figure groups associated with military and utility stations. Here is the multipsk screenshot:

Saturday, 20 June 2015

18030.0 Russian Air Force ACTIVITY

19JUN15 18030.0USB 1255UTC Pskov AB (KORSAR) wkg 76719 an Ilyushin IL76 based Taganrog
19JUN15 18030.0USB 1301UTC Pskov AB (KORSAR) clg Orenburg AB (POLIS) and sev others
19JUN15 18030.0USB 1400UTC Pskov wkg 22457 (presumed RA22457, an Alrosa Mirny AL Mil8 helicopter, as I couldn't find any other "22457" serial. This AL operates scheduled AND charter flights, so it is feasible it was chartered to the Russian AF in the same way Atlas Air flights are used to transport USAF troops and equip.) This was a very interesting catch as I also managed to hear the words "raschetnoye pribitiya" which means "ETA" and the time afterwards of 1710.

I am going to try and upload the audio as an AVI ile and show the actual Mil8 helicopter as the background. Never done this before, but wanted you to hear the excellent signal.    


Tony, from the blog planesandstuff, has been helping me with my Russian and I wrongly heard the numbers. They should be 52456 (pyat dva chetirye pyat shest). Can't find this serial number on Google, but it isn't the Alrosa Mirny Mil8 helicopter I thought it was. Silly me. This is the problem with working with another language and of assuming you know some of it! ha ha. Never mind, the error has taught me to listen to EVERYTHING many times before thinking I understand it.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Introduction to Monitoring Russian Military HF Frequencies

I have heard more Russian activity on the naval aviation (11354) and Air Force (11360) frequencies this afternoon. I've actually been using my Tecsun PL660 and homemade passive loop in the kitchen while baking a cake! I am starting to get my head around the numbers and, once you learn the pattern, it's not too hard to grasp. The best site I have found for learning is here. You will definitely need a tape recorder. I have a few in the shack, but for portable ops like this afternoon I use a small Sony one with a 30min tape. It was only 50p at a tabletop sale and has given me hours of deciphered messages!

But even if you think learning Russian numbers is out of the question, you can easily learn to identify the Air Force Base callsigns. I will try and post a comprehensive list later if I remember, but for starters listen for these words, spoken at the beginning of transmissions:

"Ya Karsar, priyom"

This means:

"This is KORSAR, go ahead"

KORSAR is the callsign for Pskov AFB in NW Russia and about 99% of all the calls I've heard are to here.
DAVLENIE is the callsign for Taganrog AFB near Ukraine in SW Russia

At some point you will hear:

"Davlenie ya karsar priyom"

This means:

"DAVLENIE this is KORSAR, go ahead"

The aircraft serial numbers are given as either individual numbers. Eg

"syem vosyem syem pyat syem" (7 8 7 5 7)

or as compound numbers and individual numbers. Eg serial #78000:

syem-deesyat-vosyem (78)
nul nul nul (000)

At the end of the transmission I am hearing "das viagem" which I presume is something like  "Have a safe flight"......


I was looking at the Ilyushin IL76 production list just now and managed to find one of the serials I heard this afternoon. So the log details are:

16JUN15 11360.0KHZ USB Korsar wkg 78757 IL76MD Military Transport

Here she is:

Monday, 15 June 2015

New Russian Frequency Logged

I just changed my DX394 dial to 11193khz thanks to a call freq list Tony from the planesandstuff blog sent me, and lo and behold I heard some Russian voice activity followed by 4 selcalls. I was recording so played them back into MultiPSK and they decoded perfectly each time as FPCL a Transaero AL Boeing 777 EI-UNP recently arrived at Moscow on a flight from Anadyr, Siberia.

11193.0USB 15JUN15 1626UTC voice Ru and selcal FPCL tx 4 times (Transaero AL B777-300)

Monitoring the Russian Air Force

A friend of mine cuts out newspaper articles she thinks will interest me, and a few weeks ago she gave me one about a Russian Air Force Tupolev bomber that had penetrated UK airspace in Cornwall. Ever since, I have been fascinated by the idea of hearing the Russian military on HF and more recently I have some info on the planesandstuff blog and the UDXF yahoo group with freqs etc.

My first few catches have been on the 11mhz band:

11354.0USB voice 11jun15 1531utc caught the russian numbers 364 clg 362
11360.0USB voice 12jun15 0907utc "Davelenie (Taganrog air base), ya Korsar (Pskov air base), priyom (over) it actually sounded like "yakarsar" but a bit of playing around on google translator audio produced the Russian sounds "yakarsar" when I entered "I am Korsar" over in the English box.

As someone who studied linguistics and language at college I find this aspect of the radio especially enjoyable. Pity I chose Spanish and not Russian!

Now I have to start getting my head around Russian numbers.

I will try to keep my logs on the blog for a while in case it helps.

French Military Log:
8992.0USB voice 06jun15 0937UTC wkg Boeing C135 tanker #740 with selcal check on MSFL