Shortwave Radio Recordings: UNID 12,365 kHz USB

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Yesterday, I posted a note about an unidentified station who was broadcasting the Chile v Mexico football game on 12,365 kHz USB. Several readers sent messages with reception reports, most of which indicated a signal strength of less than S5.

Several of us speculate that this could be a relay from a South American (perhaps Chilean?) shipping service for their fleet in the Pacific; hence the weak signal reports in North America. SWLing Post reader, @K7al_L3afta, suspects that it could even be an audio feed for a radio station.

We may never know, but it’ll be fun to listen for future broadcasts.

I recorded almost four hours of the station last night, starting around 22:00 UTC –during the Ecuador v Bolivia game–on my Elad FDM-S2 software defined receiver (see screen grab above). Below, I’ve embedded a 30 minute clip from the Chile v Mexico game, starting at approximately 23:45 UTC.

The FDM-S2 was hooked up to my large horizontal delta loop wire antenna.  The signal was certainly very much buried in the static at time. I could have improved the clarity of the signal by using the FDM-S2’s built in DSP noise reduction, but opted to keep the USB audio unaltered to better represent reception.

Click here to download this audio clip as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Pirate Radio Recordings: UNID (percussion)

AlwaysBeAPirateOn New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2013), while band scanning, I tuned to 6,955 kHz around 22:15 UTC, and  heard a relatively strong pirate station.

For at least 51 minutes, this unidentified pirate played various percussion music, much of which sounded like recordings of live drum circles. I never heard an ID during the broadcast, nor did anyone on the HF Underground board.

Listen for yourself: click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below.

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Firedrake?

"Who can this be?"

“Mum, this sounds like Firedrake. Quick, make a note of it in the logs!”

I’ve noticed a broadcaster that routinely transmits weekends at 11:00 UTC on 6,970 kHz.  Some mornings, it’s much stronger than others. Saturday morning, my time, I managed to record it in its typical format: music. Specifically, Chinese folk music, at least so it sounds to my untrained ear.

I searched through logs and in the WRTH, and I could find no mention of a broadcaster on 6970 kHz. It doesn’t help that the 27 minute broadcast contained no audible IDs.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that my initial hunch is correct–that this is the Chinese jamming service, Firedrake.  Using Firedrake, the Chinese government transmits music on top of broadcasts they wish to block. It’s fairly effective (and annoying). While I’ve heard Firedrake a number of times over the bands, I can’t say I’ve ever tried to listen to the one-hour production.

The following recording contains a 27 minute broadcast of what I believe may be Firedrake on 6,970 kHz, starting around 11:00 UTC, Saturday January 26, 2013. Click here to download the MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below. Note that the first two minutes have some digital noises (in the lower side band) that affected my receiver’s AGC.

If you can confirm or correct my supposition, please comment!

Pirate Radio Recordings: Two short UNID broadcasts


“Wow–those were short!”

I was travelling Saturday night, but had the foresight to set my WinRadio Excalibur to record the pirate spectrum. There were few pirates on the band–less than I would have expected to hear on a holiday weekend in the US–and some of them were plagued by a local broadcaster whose spurious emissions wiped out the whole band at times.

I did catch a couple of interesting unidentified broadcasts, most likely transmitter tests as both were very short.  The first broadcast came on around 3:10 UTC (Jan 20) and consisted of two songs, ending with the Tardis sound effect from Dr. Who. Click here to download the MP3 file, or listen in the player below:

The second broadcast came on just after 7:00 UTC and consisted of only one song–no IDs at all. I would suspect this was the same pirate; however, the first broadcast had a tinny sound that this broadcast lacked. Indeed, their USB signal was quite amazing (wish s/he would have broadcast a full show).  Click here to download the recording, or listen via the player below:

Please comment if you think you can ID these broadcasts.