Shortwave Radio Recordings: Listen to Cuban Spy Numbers Station HM01

WFL_015Numbers stations have always been a dark oddity that pop up from time-to-time in the course of shortwave radio listening. There is unquestionably an air of mystery and intrigue which surrounds them. With the release of the movie The Numbers Station, many non-SWLers may be enticed to explore the HF bands.  A good thing, as it may draw fresh interest to this classic radio hobby.

I have heard numbers stations since I first started listening to shortwave radio broadcasts some thirty years ago, and I find that I often pause to listen (and to wonder) when I come across one on the bands.  The numbers station I hear most often, though the country of origin cannot be confirmed, is in Cuba–well, at least, we’re pretty certain of that. The same female voice, reading numbers in Spanish, has been Cuba’s calling card in the spy numbers world for some time.

Two weeks ago, on a Sunday morning between 10:00-11:00 UTC, I captured the Cuban spy numbers station widely recognized as HM01 (Hybrid Mode Number 01) on 5,855 kHz. HM01 broadcasts a mixture of AM voice and digital file transfer modes intermixed within the same transmission. The voice heard is the familiar Spanish female voice described above; the digital portion of the broadcast uses a mode called RDFT, a differential phase shift keying mode that has never become popular or standard in the ham radio world. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Windows software DIGTRX (download here) can decode RDFT.  Let us know what, if anything, you discover…

You can click here to download the entire HM01 broadcast as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

This entry was posted in Broadcasters, Numbers Stations, Recordings, Shortwave Radio, What's On Shortwave and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Shortwave Radio Recordings: Listen to Cuban Spy Numbers Station HM01

  1. Roland says:

    Hello Thomas,

    I am the author of the program DIGTRX!

    My article on HM01: http://www.qsl.net/py4zbz/en.htm

    73s

  2. Pingback: How to decode that RDFT in numbers station HM01? Roland explains | The SWLing Post

  3. Hi Thomas,
    First of all, thanks for your work on this fascinating blog.

    I have additional information on how and who used these Cuban numbers stations. I composed a paper, based on FBI and court documents. “Cuban Agent Communications” can by found in the Papers section of my website.

    Here’s the direct link (pdf):
    http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants/papers/cuban_agent_communications.pdf

    Have fun reading!

    Dirk Rijmenants
    Cipher Machines & Cryptology
    http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants
    http://www.rijmenants.blogspot.com

  4. Pingback: Rijmenants’ paper sheds light on Cuban numbers stations | The SWLing Post

  5. Pingback: North Korean numbers station detected; possible submarine instructions | The SWLing Post

  6. Pingback: Show #280, 23rd April 2013 w/ Edward Ka-Spel, Fracaso, Mechonat Hereg, The Bleak Twins, Pirate Shortwave recordings a.o. | L'étranger, Radio Panik 105.4FM, Brussels

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