23 November 10
Just Another Morning Around 60 Meters
I’ve been doing a fair bit of shortwave listening these days. I enjoy the randomness of what one finds there. For example, the following is from between 1607 and 1708 UTC on Saturday:
- miscellaneous voices in Spanish talking to each other on 4888 kHz USB, one of them using a call tone like those irritating ones on FRS radios.
- air traffic using HF, including an Alaska flight out of San Francisco on 5574 kHz.
- two RTTY-like digital signal stations (5306 and 5403 kHz). I try to decode these, and without any surprise fail; all I know is they have an 850 Hz tone shift.
- a shortwave broadcast from Sarawak (5030 kHz). No confirmatory ID on it, but it matches the published schedules.
- on 5810 kHz I heard Radio Free Asia being jammed. What I heard was voices on a news broadcast fighting it out for the frequency against orchestral music. Radio Free Asia is a US-funded set of propaganda stations broadcasting to various undemocratic regimes in East Asia.
- and best of all, a numbers station, at 4724 kHz (1607 UTC)! It was saying “Charlie Charlie Charlie Zulu Romeo…Bravo Two Three X-Ray Seven Tango….” Numbers stations are generally believed to be communications to spies over shortwave radio, and are the subject of much amateur sleuthing.
Throw in the religious broadcasters, and we have quite the microcosm here
On Sunday’s sketchcrawl, I got to see Pete Scully’s sketchbook for his project of drawing fire hydrants. This gives me an idea for an infrastructure-related drawing project: how about a sketchbook of antennas!