Mystery Signals of the Short Wave

Dedicated to the more unusual, strange, bizarre and apparently meaningless signals on the short wave bands !

From the Archives

Russian Woodpecker | Yosemite Sam |

Site Information

What's New | About Me | Email |

The Time Signal   -   M21 (Now withdrawn)

Frequency:   Various  

Past Frequencies Used
3271 kHz 3301 kHz 3320 kHz 4391 kHz** 4552.5 kHz* 4632 kHz
4951.5 kHz 5015.5 kHz 5053 kHz 5181 kHz 5201 kHz 5730 kHz
5772 kHz 6218.5 kHz* 6293 kHz 6823.5 kHz 5730 kHz
* Simulcast TX ** Heard Mar 2014

The list of frequencies given is only a sample as these signals can appear anywhere in the general area of these frequency bands.

Sends a 14 figure CW signal - silent for 50 secs - then a 14 fig group again with the sequence - including a time signal which advances every minute.

  "The Time Signal"  (32 kb)

The sequence is:

   BT992309??8?????    (50 sec gap)    BT992309??8?????   (50 sec gap)    BT992310??8????? etc

? is sent as ..--..   Zero is sent as single dash (Short 0)

Time is usually +4 hrs, (Incidentally the time difference between UTC and Moscow Time), but others logged have been +2 hrs, +3 hrs, or +8 hrs. It is not very accurate either, since it can vary up to several minutes or more from Standard Time.

Ary Boender from the Netherlands is a well known and respected monitor. He is also President of the World Utility Net (WUN), which reports and studies utility stations on the short wave. Ary tells me these signals are Russian Air Defence Stations, and that the signals are beamed to various parts of the country. As Russia has several time zones, the time difference depends on the area that is serviced by the transmitting station.

Messages are occasionally sent which consist of the same signal, but with the ???? characters replaced with figures. These are believed to consist of co-ordinates for target tracking.

Ary adds that Russian Air Defence now forms part of the Russian Air Force, having merged in 1998.

Thanks to Ary for this information, and for allowing it's use on my site.

Update Mar 2014