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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tracking Ship "Kosmonavt Yuri Gagarin"

Running this site is all about the radio and mysterious signals. However, if there is a picture what would summarize everything I ever wanted to do with my life, then this is pretty much it:


The sea, the space, the radio, technology, science, mystery, journey .. you name it, its all there. The largest ever built space tracking ship, Kosmonavt Yuri Gagarin was a foundation to a prominent fleet called "Space Marine Fleet" (Morskoj Kosmicheskij Flot) of the USSR.

Built at the Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) on 1971, the technical facts are:

  • 11 decks
  • lenght: 231.6 m 
  • beam: 32 m 
  • displacement: 45 000 tons 
  • engines: two 9000 hp steam turbines
  • speed: 18 knots. 
  • crew: 136 seamen + 212 mission specialists
In total, the ship had 75 different antennas, most spectacular of which were two 25 meter parabole dishes. The tracking system of the huge dishes involved not only directing the antennas, but also keeping the entire ship steady in desired position and angle - the act reportedly possible up to gale 5 winds.

Surprisingly, the fleet of tracking ships did formally belong to a USSR Academy of Sciences rather than Ministry of Defense. However, the military had a de facto command over the ships.

The misson for the space fleet was to help tracking the Russian (and in some cases also other countries, such as US on the Sojuz-Apollo mission) space missions. Since the ground stations can not track the space objects beyond horizon, these ships were extending the communication capabilities significantly, relaying data to ground stations. 

The ships were therefore performing a long missions and covering considerable distances, visiting many different ports around the world and creating lot of admiration around.

The specifics to mission were also reflecting on facilities on a ship - 1250 different rooms, more than 100 labs and workshops, library, 300-seat lecture hall, football field, three swimming pools etc. were all there to keep the crew fit for a task, once the long waiting was over. 

The advances in communication and signal processing technology, as well as economy constraints, have put most of the ships of this kind out of service and to scrap. It is more practical to run a satellite-to-satellite links rather than try capturing everything on earth. The very same space-race she helped to run, became also a reason for her becoming obsolete.

Kosmonavt Yuri Gagarin was sold to scrap metal after a dispute between Ukraine and Russia, where Russia had no finances to keep the ship, but Ukraine, although claiming her as part of the Black Sea fleet after the collapse of USSR, had no use nor resources to operate her. 

So it happened, that the most beautiful and prominent of all the space fleet tracking ships was sold to India for a $170 a ton...

I compiled all the photos I have about this ship to a video. Its good for daydreaming, what was the communications world like before it all became about satellite links and WiFi!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Dual Buzzer

There has been several reasons to speculate that more than one buzzer exists and that there could be more than one transmitting location.
The recent short appearance of the second buzzer signal on 4622kHz on 12'th of October 2012 leaves no doubt, that both statements hold true.

The second signal is present for about 7 to 8 hours at around till 12.00pm to 7.30pm UTC. Please note, that this appears in parallel to a signal on 4625.
Also the fading characteristics at the 4622 signal are entirely different from the 4625, while the fading characteristics of the latter is as it appears normally.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Streamer Back in Business

Just to let you know that the streamer is back in business and stable now, with archives and 24-hour screen capture etc. working as before! There is a gap in archives for August and September what I will try closing some time later, but about a week worth of recordings from September 2012 is permanently lost I'm afraid. Happy Hunting!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Den' Radio

Happy Radio Day to everybody!

Each nation has its own history of radio and different countries celebrate the birth of radio at different time. May 7'th is the Den' Radio for Russia and some other post-soviet countries, as this day on year 1895 Alexander Popov demonstrated his coherer based radio receiver to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society.

The whole "who did really invent the radio, Popov or Marconi" subject has been almost a century-long topic for propaganda war between eastern and western block. What is often missed is, that would it be Popov, Marconi or someone else, the history of inventing radio is much more vivid and sophisticated than narrowing it down to single inventor would allow.  Hughes, Herz, Tesla and many more have all contributed to the birth of radio besides Marconi and Popov, so everyone can just pick the favorite!



Image courtesy of AllPosters.de

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mirror Streams

The mirror streams have been silent for a simple reason of system upgrade taking .. umm .. different path than the server owner would have really wanted :)
While the server is going to get what it has deserved, enjoy the main feeds and at some point the links to mirrors start again working as well.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Raspberry Radio

Besides of its recent manufacturing setback, Respberry Pi, the small small but powerful $25 single board Linux machine, has the potential to do the same same to higher-end DIY field as Arduino did for artists.
The Broadcom BCM2835 based 700MHz machine seems to pack all the processing power of decent smartphone, including the graphics engine what is rumored to outperform iPhone!



Something like that can not be afforded to be ignored by radio enthusiast, so designing the radio add-on card for it is in order!

As my current SDR developments have been dedicated to high-end, this could very well be an answer to everyone not being able to afford spend big bucks on SDR, but still wanting to get their fair share of fun surfing the bands!

http://www.rockethub.com/projects/6526-raspberry-radio-sdr-board-for-raspberry-pi

As this is a crowd-funded project, the success of it is yet to be seen. However, please spread the word around, and lets find out! :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dolphins on the air

Last time I spotted something like this while scanning on VLF frequencies, it did not occur me to record this strange and beautiful phenomena. Better luck this time!



With center frequency around 9kHz, the signal sounds like a whale or dolphin singing while demodulated as USB or LSB. No idea if its a natural phenomena or some sort of VLF/ELF transmitter tuning artifact (or a trolleybus passing by), but it is a spectacular signal nevertheless!

The audio recording is here: HDSDR_20120210_155552Z_13kHz_AF.wav (11.8MB)
Corresponding RF spectrum recording : HDSDR_20120210_155552Z_20kHz_RF.wav (47.5MB)
Another RF spectrum recording: HDSDR_20120210_155054Z_20kHz_RF.wav (42.7MB)

To browse the RF recording yourself, one will need HDSDR software.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

VLF World

It was exceptionally poor reception around here for anything above Long- and Medium Waves, so the only thing to do was to seek, whats happening on the longer wavelenghts.
Since discovering that my magnetic loop antenna works miracles on the VLF region, I find myself now browsing regularly through the very low frequencies, from the 10kHz to 20kHz region on my case. Its a strange world of all sorts of noise, but also with surprisingly large number of signals.

The most exciting discovery from last night was another buzzer-like signal found at around 15kHz. Apparently, this is a keying/sync signal for the chirp sounder. You may have noticed on the waterfall screen of your software radio a passing narrow stripe, what looks like someone is quickly scanning the band with the transmitter. Which is exactly what is happening. The chirp sounding is used for determining the propagation quality and delay of the signals what travel by reflecting off the different layers of the atmosphere. It is pretty common technology and there are many such transmitters all around the world, but I have always been wondering, on what frequency and how the scan cycle starts. Not sure if it has not been there before, or have I just missed it earlier, but here it is - the frequency where the (possibly closest to me) chirp sounder signal starts from:


The buzzer-like signal is clearly visible on the 15.612kHz, followed by the chirp pulse (the slightly diagonal line scanning away from the signal). The horizontal lines are some sort of digital downconverter artifacts and I have yet to figure out where they are coming from. Please also pay attention to the nice submarine communication session ending on 18.2kHz.

It seems that for a reason or another, atmospheric sounders seem to love buzzer-like signals, so may be there are some grounds for UVB-76 and atmospheric research theory. On the other hand, the similarity may also have led to speculations - go figure ..

And as an eye-candy and a proof that the VLF band is worth looking at, here is another picture from the same evening:


I have no idea what is the signal on the left, but does not seem like a random noise to me ..