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bison

Odd pulsing radio signal

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Found this odd signal, pulsing away at a rate of about 50 per minute, at 14.320 MHz. First heard it on Dec. 30th. Usually heard between 17:30 and 23:30 Universal Time. This is inside a band reserved exclusively for amateur radio, but the 'hams' don't seem to know what to make of it. Heard as recently as today at 22:00 UT. It was stronger today than I've ever heard it before; up to 4 bars. I'd be interested in reading other reports of this signal from anyone with a shortwave or amateur radio receiver. I'm in California, but a signal this strong might be heard over a very wide area. None of the possible explanations I've explored so far seems to fit the facts.

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Maybe the Russians are reactivating their SW long range radar system again like in the 70s.

Get some people to use directional antennas and triangulate the signal (sorry right now I have only a long wire, can't help) and my bet is that the origin is somewhere in Siberia.

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Can you make a recording or it? I used to have a short wave receiver years ago, but I don't have one now. I remember listening to strange sounds and wondering what they were. I like listening to number stations and odd signals on Youtube.

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I remember the old 'Russian Woodpecker' radar. This new signal seems nothing like that. The 'Woodpecker' made 10 or more tapping sounds per second, and jumped around in frequency a good deal. This new signal is modulated with two audio tones, each tone persisting for about 3/4 of a minute, before switching to the other one. The pulsation rate, at ~ 50 per minute, is less than 1 Hz. The frequency is always the same - 14.320 MHz. I've never posted or even made an audio file, so supplying a recording may take some time. Was still hearing the signal as I wrote this post, at about 23:30 UT.

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on youtube, there are recordings of several "anomalous" radio signal, from the famous pip to the misterious number stations(look for the conet project)perhaps your signal is also on yt?

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Could it be an old 'Numbers Station', maybe kept open so spies can make sure they have the right channel tuned in case there is a message sent out?

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on youtube, there are recordings of several "anomalous" radio signal, from the famous pip to the misterious number stations(look for the conet project)perhaps your signal is also on yt?

I've listened to many recordings of peculiar or unidentified radio signals on YouTube, and as recently as yesterday, but haven't encountered the one I hear on 14.320 MHz. At about 50 pulses per minute, they mark out ~ 1.2 seconds intervals, rather than one second, like the 'pip'. There are 37 pulses in one tone, a slight pause, then 37 pulses in a tone of a different pitch, before the process repeats itself.

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Posted (edited)

Could it be an old 'Numbers Station', maybe kept open so spies can make sure they have the right channel tuned in case there is a message sent out?

I don't recall hearing of a numbers station inside the 20 meter amateur radio band. This would seem a too-conspicuous place for an espionage transmitter. The beeps could be intended to get someone's attention, of course. The questions would be: 'who' ? and 'For what purpose' ? This isn't a legitimate amateur radio station; it never identifies itself with a call sign. Edited by bison

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Could it be an old 'Numbers Station', maybe kept open so spies can make sure they have the right channel tuned in case there is a message sent out?

I really wonder if that is the reason for the number stations yet the Chinese Robot kind of destroys that theory because the numbers are at such a rapid pace that it's near impossible to keep up with. Another one that I found interesting was an alarm sound that kind of sounds like the background noise in the Pacman arcade game.

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I really wonder if that is the reason for the number stations yet the Chinese Robot kind of destroys that theory because the numbers are at such a rapid pace that it's near impossible to keep up with. Another one that I found interesting was an alarm sound that kind of sounds like the background noise in the Pacman arcade game.

The numbers from the 'Chinese Robot' station may be recorded, and the playback slowed down by the intended recipients, so they can be decoded. The intention may be to make the message a bit harder for unauthorized listeners to understand, though it seems it really wouldn't be very hard for others to figure out how to do the same thing. Edited by bison

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The signal on 14.320MHz is still being heard, as I write this. It has been operating at least since December 30th, when I ran across it. A malfunctioning transmitter seems unlikely after at least 10 days. It would probably have failed completely, been repaired, or taken off the air by now. I note that the the two tones, used alternately in groups of 37 each, are quite low in pitch. They are also rather long in duration, with the spaces between them only about half as long. The signal has been strongest at around 22:00 UT, at four bars. It is currently (19:45 UT) running about 2 bars.

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The signal on 14.320MHz is still being heard, as I write this. It has been operating at least since December 30th, when I ran across it. A malfunctioning transmitter seems unlikely after at least 10 days. It would probably have failed completely, been repaired, or taken off the air by now. I note that the the two tones, used alternately in groups of 37 each, are quite low in pitch. They are also rather long in duration, with the spaces between them only about half as long. The signal has been strongest at around 22:00 UT, at four bars. It is currently (19:45 UT) running about 2 bars.

I am trying to get some friends from the old HAM days to triangulate and analyze the signal. Will let you know as soon as I know something.

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This odd, pulsing signal on 14.320 MHz has been heard from points as far apart as the East to the West coasts of the United States. The two alternating tones have been estimated at around 500 and 1000 Hz. I heard the signal as early as 16:22 UT, this morning, with a strength of ~S.5 (2 bars).


Heard intermittently as I write this, at about 17:00 UT. A report from the East coast of the U.S. mentions hearing an apparently recorded voice on this frequency, saying, in English, 'broadcasting on 14320 a.m.' . It not did not seem to be a ham operator, the only permitted users of this frequency.

The possibility of a 'pirate' broadcaster was mentioned. These are common just outside the edges of the Amateur Radio bands, but rather unusual within the ham bands. If a 'pirate' broadcaster is responsible for the pulsating tones, these could be due to transmitter testing and/or a ploy to draw attention to the frequency.

Edited by bison

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The odd signal on 14.320 MHz is still being heard. I intended to try to get a rough idea of the direction from which the signal is coming , but found this wasn't possible, with the method I was using. This was probably because the signal has been weak, with marked fading in and out, during the last few days.


It was pointed out to me that certain commercial fixed-service stations share the 20 meter sub-band of 14.250 to 14.350 MHz. These are allowed only in certain Eastern hemisphere countries, and they are limited to about 250 watts. While such stations might be heard in the United States under certain conditions, I doubt that they would repeatedly produce signals as strong as S. 7 to S. 9, over a period of several days, as I have heard.

No indications of a 'pirate' station on this frequency. After over two weeks of transmitter testing or 'watch this space' beeping, one supposes that such a station might have begun transmitting programs.


As the signal is heard only sporadically, anyone wishing to hear it should be prepared to listen for it frequently for a considerable length of time.

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It could be KH6WO Laie, Oahu received on a mirror frequency. It is a amateur positioning beacon broadcasting two pulse signals.

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The South East Asia Amateur Radio Network (SEANET) was established in 1964 on 20m (14.320 MHz plus or minus QRM).

May just be something to do with emergency broadcasting. SEANET uses this frequency and is about the most popular thing I could find online regarding 14.320 MHz.

Edited by Mentalcase

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May just be something to do with emergency broadcasting. SEANET uses this frequency and is about the most popular thing I could find online regarding 14.320 MHz.

They are transmitting on SSB, which means that it would not be a two tone pulsing signal (unless for power rating measuring purposes, but that is a hour long procedure, not a week long one).

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Thanks QM. I'm not going to pretend I know much about HAM. Been quite some years since I've fiddled with it!

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Thanks QM. I'm not going to pretend I know much about HAM. Been quite some years since I've fiddled with it!

The last station I had was in '75, so I hardly know much of what is going on lately.

Edited by questionmark

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I've always been fascinated by the supposed HAM listeners during Apollo 11. What really happened!!??!!

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I've always been fascinated by the supposed HAM listeners during Apollo 11. What really happened!!??!!

I would not know, even if all here think I am Methuselah I watched the moon landing on TV as most everybody else, I was 14 at the time.

But listening to space radio traffic and satellite tracking was very popular even when I had the station. All transmissions were made in clear voice and on frequencies where it could be received on the whole planet when facing the craft. Classified information was generally relayed directly.

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You old fart! :innocent:

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It could be KH6WO Laie, Oahu received on a mirror frequency. It is a amateur positioning beacon broadcasting two pulse signals.

KH6WO uses 14.110 MHz in the 20 meter band, as part of a system of beacon stations worldwide on that frequency, on a time-shared basis. No indication of the use of a second 20 meter frequency. I just listened on 14.110, but could not hear it. I *am* hearing the 14.320 signal, as strong as S. 5, at times. Ham beacons identify themselves with their call letters in Morse code, on a frequent basis. The unidentified signal on 14.320 has never done this, to my knowledge. Given the amount of time I have listened to this odd signal, a call sign identification should have been heard many times by now, if one were being sent.

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The numbers from the 'Chinese Robot' station may be recorded, and the playback slowed down by the intended recipients, so they can be decoded. The intention may be to make the message a bit harder for unauthorized listeners to understand, though it seems it really wouldn't be very hard for others to figure out how to do the same thing.

That's true but with no identifier and not to mention a start and end? Yikes! I wouldn't want to venture a clue as to what that's saying and I know Chinese numbers. This is akin to the "I Love Lucy" episode where she's trying to gather the candies coming down the conveyor belt...

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