Tag Archives: Numbers station Recording

Cuban Numbers Station HM01 Goes Cuckoo! And Other Cuban Broadcast “Shenanigans”…

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Madtone, who shares the following recording of Cuban Numbers Station HM01 and notes:

Hi Thomas,

I was reading HF Underground earlier and a post on it mentioned that HM01 had gone a bit mad “10345 kHz is HM01 Cuban Lady with what sounds like a cuckoo clock“. Well I got up straight away and tuned in on VE7AV KiwiSDR and here it is in all it’s glory:

It almost sounds a bit reggaeish and even has what sounds like a little drum roll in parts.

If you’re feeling a bit down or tired today please have a listen as this’ll cheer you up!

All the best


Wow–thanks for sharing this recording with us, Pete! What a mystery behind this numbers station! Was the cuckoo intentionally or unintentionally added to the audio at the studio or transmitter level? What could that signify? Since the audio is tracking with the HM01 broadcast, it seems to be originating from the same transmitter. 

Perhaps this adds more context or confusion: SWLing Post contributor Paul Walker has noted a number of audio “shenanigans” from Cuban broadcasts. Here are a few notes from his listening post in Alaska:

  • 0320UTC Mon Aug 28 and Cuba is missing from 9700 for the 2nd time in a week, but instead of regular programming they’re broadcasting a horror movie of some kind. I can detect some kind of noise under the movie but it’s like a screech/hum, which is all I heard from 9700 last time it was on.
  • I should also add, after the first time i heard 9700 down on 9600, I subsequently heard it back on 9700 again…..so something’s up!
  • And now HM01 aka Suzie Cubana on 10345 is broadcasting……. along with Suzie counting down the numbers and the digital data bursts, theres a cuckoo bird cuckooing over the top of that audio.
  • In the 0500 UTC, Rebelde on 5025 kHz noted running TV audio too….some English language movie.
  • The domestic Radio Rebelde AM and FM web feeds appear to be running normal programming

What do you think is going on?

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Pavel’s 70s era recording of a German numbers station

towersI read this account Pavel posted on the Spooks reflector and asked if he would share his story on the SWLing Post.  He kindly agreed.

Pavel writes:

“Inspired by a recent thread about a vintage number station, I searched my old tapes (I really [have a] LOT of them, hundreds of reels, mostly with music, but sometimes with other interesting things) and finally found a short snippet of a German number station transmission. There is neither a start nor end of the transmission, just a few 5-digit groups.   It was recorded sometime between 1977 – 1980, at my cottage near Ceska Lipa, Czech Republic (but it was Czechoslovak Socialistic Republic [then]).

Reception was made on a Czechoslovak tube receiver “Barcarola” on a shortwave band with classic AM (of course this receiver was not capable of SSB or any other advanced modes) using a random wire (about 10 m) antenna.

A recording was made on the B400 Czechoslovak tape recorder using a Scotch 220 magnetic tape (exactly the one which is in the picture), speed 9.53 cm/s. Import to the digital domain was performed using the Audacity open source sound recording and processing software, without any artificial filtering or other DSP techniques.

As you can hear, it was perfect, clear readability:

I know that because the recording is incomplete, it has just a low value as such, but maybe it can at least demonstrate, which kind of equipment was obvious at this time and that it was possible to use it for activities like SW listening and number station (at least the strong ones) monitoring.

I’m curious whether somebody will identify the station.

With regards,

Pavel's Barcarola was similar to this model (Photo source: http://www.oldradio.cz/)

Pavel’s Barcarola was similar to this model (Photo source: http://www.oldradio.cz/)

What really amazes me is the fidelity of Pavel’s recording. Though the transmitter might have been relatively local, there is certainly something to be said for analog equipment–both Pavel’s Barcarola receiver and his B400 recorder.

I actually collect and maintain more tube receivers than solid state. While their sensitivity and selectivity isn’t always on par with modern receivers, their warm audio fidelity makes up for it.


If you can identify Pavel’s numbers station recording, please comment.

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