DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER: I have no association with UVB-76 station, neither do I have any clue what is the content I am relaying. I can only assure, that the signal is received on 4.625MHz AM-modulated 900km NW from supposed origin and retransmitted unaltered. In no way can I guarantee this service, nor be considered responsible of any content re-transmitted. The only purpose for this relay to exist is because lot of people who do not have equipment or are located too far from station seem to be interested about listening to it. Should the UVB-76 station- or transmission content owners feel violated in any way, please contact me at uvb76.repeater@gmail.com and we will work it out.

Note, that because of shortwave radio signal propagation specifics the station can be more or less reliably received from around 4pm to 6am GMT on summertime. It is almost 24h audible during the winter, with short "skip-zone" blank-out around 6pm GMT.

The USB feed is considered as main source of audio today, as the voice messages are much better audible there than on the AM stream. However, the buzzer sound from the AM stream is somewhat more pleasant to listen at, so both feeds are kept simultaneously.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The first real "Blog Post" - What to do, when UVB-76 is off the air?

With UVB-76 still silent (although the RF part of the transmitter is sending strong carrier, so it cannot be called as off the air), there is still something to listen at other than static. The occasional morse burts on 4.626MHz and 4.628MHz have been making lot of people downoading decoders and wrestiling with morse charts and the packet data transmissions on upper and lower sideband of UVB-76 signal have so far been undecoded, but I am sure some day someone figures it out (I am planning to do, at least).
However, with no comfortable buzzing around, it does not mean, that all you have to listen to is static and youtube. The shortwave band is much more than I am broadcasting from here, so I am encouraging all of you to dial in and explore!

Some words of nostalgy - I was a kid way before the internet and WWW became widely available. I am not too old (37), but I had the shortwave receiver since I remember (well, my family radio did have 3 SW bands), and spent hours dialing left and right on it. Shortwave was crowded with signals then as it is today. The mystery about it was there back then as it is today.

Look at this as an early youtube - someone, somewhere, is transmitting something all over the world. Its a real thing - imagine somebody with the morse key or reel-to-reel tape deck in the middle of Namibia desert, runing its shortwave transmitter off the diesel generator and sending a music or messages towards ionosphere. Does not get any spiritual than that in the middle of the night!

While the buzzer is on its resurrection process, there is what to consider meanwhile:

- First, and possibly most rewarding solution, is to aquire a shortwave receiver of your own. You can get a decent one from eBay for about $30. The $10 pricetag from garage sale will get you going as well, be sure that it works tho. I will write a longer article about selecting the receiver later. Those legal to drink are encouraged to take a glass with your favorite liquor with you. Turn off the lights and start exploring. I assure you, its worth it!

- My Conet Radio feed was not the most popular one, as seemingly not many like to listen to a mystery in a yar. So I kill the feed. What I replace it with, is a "weekly special" of the radio stations possible to receive here. I would not limit it to shortwave as there is plenty of options out there starting from fancy satellite repeater transmissions, meteorological maps received through the air, lightning strikes (yes, you can listen to them with radio!) etc. I promise I will try being creative.

- Surprisingly, internet is also providing some nice resources for shortwave listening. The one I like most, is located at WebSDR.org. It is a portal to the growing list of various radios around the world. While each of them is giving you ony a certain frequency span on shortwave amateur band, it is possibly as good as it gets in the web by concept! The best equipped is the site at the University of Twente, Nethrlands, aparently at the lab of the  Pieter-Tjerk de Boer (PA3FWM), the guy who has created the whole concept in a first place.

And of course there is Globaltuners with its receivers around the world.
Word of caution - Hamsphere.com IS NOT an online shortwave listening station. It is good if you want to become (or are) a radio amateur and fancy using internet instead of actual trancievers and antenna. It simulates the shortwave interferences and stations quite convincingly, but it has no connection to real world whatsoever. It is sort of "Second Life of radio bands".

So, lets hope the UVB-76 will return soon, I will meanwhile set up something else to listen at!

8 comments:

  1. Nostalgy, You had me actually laughing out loud this morning. I'm 39, and also remember growing up before "www" meant anything. At 6 years old, my HamRadio father brought home a Tandy computer and I learned everything there was to learn back then while the 2 meter band scanned in the background. I never took to the radio, never got a license, but remember fondly the QSL cards on the wall, the hum of equipment, the beeping of the morse code and the smell of solder growing up. Thanks for kicking off the memories.

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  2. Hey, great blog post! I'm only a "young'en" at 23 years old with little experience in Shortwave Radio/Scanners etc, but it's certainly picked my interest thanks to your service here.

    Regarding your first suggestion of picking up your own Shortwave Reciever, I've been looking at a nicely priced ICOM IC-R5. The aerial supplied must be about 4-5 inches long? Would that be sufficient to pick up most SW Signals, such as The Buzzer?

    I'm roughly twice the distance from the transmitter compared to yourself, about 1800-2000km away. I don't mind picking up a small Discone Aerial if that's required as well.

    I know SW propogates well around the Earth due to the Ionosphere etc, but presumably there is an absolute minimum size for an Aerial, otherwise sufficient signal collection would be hampered?

    Thanks for any assistance anyone can provide :)

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  3. I have a stupid question to ask...

    Can I use Winrad with Winamp? as in receive input from Winamp?

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  4. Thank you for mentioning the packet signal. All day yesterday, I was getting shot down and told "that's not packet. It doesn't sound a thing like packet".
    When you listen to static, the hum of professional transmitter equipment, the clicks of a key, and untranslated packet for 27 years, you know it like the voice of an old friend.
    Though, once your favourite CD gets ruined because your father's morse rig interferes with the player, you come to hate that old friend for a while. But just a while.

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  5. UVB-76 is really weird :\
    What is seriously the point of it?

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  6. @lukedhx: Don't you be hatin' on the buzzer!

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  7. You should offer a link to the Conet Project (and Electric Enigma for radio lightning) on the side of the blog or something. Those free downloads got me back into numbers stations and shortwave listening after 5 years. While "buzzzz buzzzz" with weird noises is exciting, so is a in-your-face transmitter broadcasting a string of numbers with an unknown intent! Could be someone's wife saying hi to agent Johnson, could be a command to pull the trigger tonight! Awesome blog and majorly appreciate what you're doing. On the east coast of the US I've only heard UVB-76 live maybe once.

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  8. @Ruro For shortwave work you should consider an areal of at least 30ft long. It should not necessarily be a straight wire, but can be zig-zaged. However, the larger area the better!
    R5 is decent receiver tho, it will make a good listening experience at nigttime even with the antenna supplied!

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