Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mysterious Russian 'buzzer' (Enigma S28) radio broadcast changes

From our sister blog, Shortwave Central,( the following posted on the increase in Enigma S28 Russian Buzzer station activity:

The output of Russian number station UVB-76 has increased dramatically over the past week or so. The station, which broadcasts from near Povarovo [on 4625 kHz AM with suppressed lower sideband], is known as “The Buzzer” by its listeners because of the short, monotonous buzz tone that it normally plays 21 to 34 times per minute. It’s only deviated from that signal three times previously - briefly in 1997, 2002 and 2006.

In early August, a garbled recording of a voice speaking Russian was heard by listeners. A few days later, on 23 August at 13:35 UTC, a clearer voice read out the following message twice: “UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 nikolai, anna, ivan, michail, ivan, nikolai, anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4″, before returning to its normal broadcasting.

Since then, a number of other distorted voices have appeared over the normal buzzing transmission, as well as knocks and shuffles, as if someone were moving things around inside the broadcasting room. It’s believed that the transmission site has an open microphone, which occasionally picks up sounds from technicians working within the broadcast site.

Additional story at: (R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)

And from the SCAN-DC newsgroup:

UVB-76 is the callsign of a shortwave radio station that usually broadcasts on the frequency 4625 kHz (AM suppressed lower sideband). It is known among radio listeners by the nickname The Buzzer. It features a short, monotonous buzz tone, repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, for 24 hours per day. The station has been observed since around 1982. On rare occasions, the buzzer signal is interrupted and a voice transmission in Russian takes place. Only four to five such events have been noted. Despite much speculation, the actual purpose of this station remains unknown to the public, but is probably used for relaying military orders. There has been a spike in activity as of late August, 2010. More details on the spike below:

Here is the latest intercepts from the Wikipeda link above:

August 2010
There has been a spike in activity on UVB-76 in August 2010. Following messages have been detected by listeners:

On August 20, 2010 at 05:11 UTC, a garbled voice speaking Russian, was detected by amateur listeners. It made a short message with 56° 5'8.23"N little interference and then repeated itself with noticeably more static. This followed recent activity on the station tha little interference and then repeated itself with noticeably more static. This followed recent activity on the station that included more static than usual and several instances of objects being moved/dropped. All of this was detected by amateur listeners and is unconfirmed at the moment.

On August 23, 2010 at 13:35 UTC, a voice speaking in Russian was detected. The voice read out a single, short transmission several times before the line went dead, then returned to its normal broadcast. As the message was transmitted on upper side-band, reception with ordinary AM receivers was weak and distorted.
The message, repeated twice, was: UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 nikolai, anna, ivan, michail, ivan, nikolai, anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4[11] (recording of the August 23 2010 voice transmission)

On August 24, 2010 at approximately 04:00 UTC, a heavily distorted voice was heard by amateur listeners.

On August 24, 2010 at 13:25 UTC, another heavily distorted voice was detected by several amateur listeners.

On August 24, 2010 at 17:43 UTC, Hard to hear voices were heard over the transmission.

On August 24, 2010 at around 03:30 UTC, distorted voices in addition to fast beeps and pulses were heard.

On August 25, 2010 around 06:13 UTC, Random knocks or shuffles as if someone is in the room, changes in tone randomly.

On August 25, 2010 at 11:53 GMT the following message was detected: "August 3 5 2 7 Accretion 3 6 0 9 5 6 7 3". A recording is available here mirror Said message is a Google Translate of 3 8 5 2 7 ???????? 3 6 0 9 5 6 7 3. This is identical to the August 25, 2010 06:54 UTC message mentioned below.

On August 25, 2010 at 06:45 UTC, A grumble or garbled sound appeared out of nowhere for 389 ms.

On August 25, 2010 at 06:54 UTC, Another transmission occurred. (Recording of the fifth voice transmission) A new sequence/pattern with a chirping/crank noise occured on top of the previous buzzer. At times this new noise made the old buzzing noise barely audible.The message content was: "UVB-76. UVB-76. 38, 527. ????????. 36, 09, 55, 73.".

On August 25, 2010 at 18:07 UTC, Morse code could be heard behind the buzzer signal. It lasted until approximately 18:20 UTC. At approximately 18:08 UTC A tone was heard in the background followed by a short message.

There is a lot of very interesting additional details at the Wikipedia website above.

Also courtesy of the Spooks list and Jakon Hays, the following associated links:

Saw a post on MeFi this morning about it.

Which cites this site.

The wiki page has been updated quite a bit though the day.

And there is a live stream here.