Mystery Ugandan Clandestine On Shortwave

Hi everyone! Paul Walker here, some of you may know me through various hobby circles via email and Facebook groups. I used to post quite regularly when I lived in Galena Alaska back in 2016 and 2017. I’m back in Alaska again, working as the Program Director for KSKO 89.5 and it’s half a dozen or so repeaters in the interior.

Back on Monday May 10th at 0601UTC here in McGrath, Alaska I ran across an unknown station on 15220kHz.  The man was  talking in African accented English but would randomly start talking in another language, which I at the time thought may have been French but very well could’ve been Swahili or some other language spoken in Uganda, I’m not a language expert.  (audio below)

The man was going on and on about Uganda, “our brothers, our struggle, the government”. The audio cut out a few times for several seconds a time, seemingly because this was a live broadcast being fed live over the internet from whatever studio location he was at to whatever transmitter site was being used.

Around 0623UTC, the host sounded like he put his phone up to the microphone and played a Ugandan song of some sort from his phone. After that was over, two studio quality songs played.. The Spice Girls “2 Become 1” and Gabriel Kelly’s “Faith”. Those songs sounded like they were being played out from the transmitter site, not from a computer over the internet. They were clear with no audio hiccups.  The transmitter went off around 0629/0630UTC.

A friend I was chatting with as we tried to figure out what this was said he had a  decent signal on a Kuwaiti SDR and based on some triangulation work using other SDR, it seemed this was coming from Europe, suggesting Nauen or Lampertheim.

The man reappeared on 15170kHz at 1500UTC on Friday May 14th.  I haven’t even been able to try and figure out a schedule. Evenings one day and mornings the next. I pretty regularly scan the dials and have only noticed him these two times, with thanks to Mauno Ritola in the WRTH Facebook group for the spotting of him on 15170khz.

I do have audio of the 15220 broadcast at this link:

I would love to know who this is, what transmitter site they’re broadcasting from and any contact information. A google search using the phrase “Uganda Clandestine Shortwave” came up with one hit, Radio Lead Africa and someone in the ODXA email group suggested Radio Munansi.

For anyone wondering, I’m using a Tecsun PL880 with a 8D battery powered DXE PreAmp and 2 Doxytronics tunable loops.. The cross that supports the antenna is sitting a few inches into 5 foot tall 2 inch wide PVC pipe which is then put in a trash can and tote container and filled with sand.  Gotta use what I have on hand here in rural Alaska.


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7 thoughts on “Mystery Ugandan Clandestine On Shortwave

  1. Paul

    Could it be Radio Munansi who broadcast to Uganda via WWCR. They’re listed on short-wave info as using 15240 between 1700-2100 UTC. Radio Munansi has a website but it’s down. Nor was there any sign of them using the Kiwi SDR in Tennessee.

    Just a wild guess.

  2. Willy

    I always like seeing mobile – DIY setups like this. Makes me feel good about my discone-in-a-bucket setup sitting outside.

  3. Andre

    Clandestine SW station from Germany? I doubt that. We wave a very high population density here, with a lot of hams and officials monitoring the waves with SDRs. Nauen and Lampertheim are situated near big cities (Berlin and Frankfurt). Ground wave would be strong there and very noticable.
    There is a freely available direction finding network based on KIWI-SDRs:

    Maybe this would help to find the location when the station comes up again.

  4. Tony Roper

    Certainly Nauen is used by AWR on 15220 but from the recording provided here, it doesn’t appear to be religious enough to be part of them. But as AWR “rent” time out to stations, you never know, though personally I find it unlikely.

    I shall try and keep a listen out from here in the UK


  5. Tim Marecki

    It’s always exciting to hear about a new DX catch on shortwave! I always like to do slow, manual scanning on my radios, even under tough conditions. Thanks Paul for this great post!

  6. Rick Moskovits VE1RNM

    Hi Paul,
    Great article and one well worth following up on. While I spend most of my time on the ham bands, I love shortwave listening and its this kind of mystery that will have me glued to my old Realistic SX190 receiver hoping to catch this transmission.
    Please keep these posts coming and thank you Thomas for the SWL post–a fantastic resource!

    Rick VE1RNM


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