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Report #117 11/01/15
I had been referring to the usual three cut number groups of M08a and the six-5F groups of HM01 as "Address Groups" however I see that others are identifying these groups as "Callup Groups" so I will follow suit and also refer to them that way.
I mentioned to Ary Boender of the Numbers & Oddities Newsletter that I could not help but wonder if we were missing a V02a schedule. Ary replied he had search for other such activity but had not found any. I likewise had not discovered others. But in going through the past year of my loggings I found there were 11 instances of V02a replacing M08a transmissions and 9 of these were on a Thursday with the other 2 on Tuesdays. Perhaps these are planned schedules for V02a.
Here are operating mistakes observed in October:
21st 8135 kHz HM01 instead of M08a
24th 8009 kHz HM01 instead of M08a
25th 8135 kHz HM01 mixing with M08a
26th 8009 kHz HM01 mixing with M08a
Recipients of the Cuban DGI messages did use Social Media for responses. Ana Montes, who is in prison in Texas, was a DIA Analyst was charged charged as having communicated with DGI via shortwave encrypted transmissions from Cuba. Montes would reply through coded numeric pager messages to the DGI via public telephones in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The codes included one that indicated she had received message.
For additional information and the encryption/decryption "Cheat Sheet" used by Montes go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_Montes
I wonder if the broadcast to Montes was ENIGMA V19 which was identified as inactive many years ago.
According to an article in the 26 October New York Times, some Russian spy ships and submarines have been detected exhibiting increased activity along the known routes of international undersea cables. U.S. intelligence and military officials are concerned about this situation.
If you missed the 10 May or 30 August "60 Minutes" Telecasts of "The Spy Among Us" you can read the script by going to this web site:
Barsky details his communications procedure indicating that every Thursday night at 9:15 PM he would tune in a frequency on his shortwave radio at his apartment. He believed the transmissions came from Cuba. The messages were sent in groups of 5 numbers. He pointed out that sometimes it required an hour to copy a message and 3 hours to decipher it.
ARGENTINE MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS
During a search period on 14 October at 2303 UTC I found an Argentine Military station, LTA (Buenos Aires) on 16030.3 kHz sending the following message: DE LTA ...STACIONS CON HORARIO AUTORIZADO POR SU NRO 1077/13 QRU BT RESTO RED QRU QAP ZYT1 FS/MES/OCE AR Note: LTA appears be Net Control.
On the 16th I again checked the frequency, this time earlier in the evening, and heard LTA calling various stations of the network. These were LTC, LTD, LTE,LTF, LTG, LTH, LTK, LTL, LTM, LTN, LTO, and LTP. At 2114 UTC Control sent LLTO DE LTA QRU QAP ZYT1 .YJA/DGA/.. ZYT1 Y LLEG... AR This was at 2245 UTC. LTA then sent VVV DE LTA LTA83/LTA23/LTA35/LTA42 BT RED DE LTA BT INT QRU. The out-stations were not heard evidently being on other frequencies. I have also heard this activity on 7984 kHz. It has been reported that LTA operates on parallel frequencies. On the 27th on 10816 kHz I heard LTA sending this: DE LTA R..AN ESTACIONES CON HORAFRIO AUTGORIZADO POR SU NRO 1077/13 QRU BT RESTO RED QRU QAP ZYT1 YA/LEG/DGA IMI ZYT1 YA/LEG/DGA AR AR. This was at 2304 UTC. I checked other known frequencies and found LOTA was duplexing on 10816 and 7985 kHz. I did not hear LTA on 16030.3 kHz.
NOTE: The Spanish RED in the above messages means network in English.
DIGTRX COMPUTER PROGRAM (2nd Revision)
This program is a means of decoding Redundant Digital File Transfer (RDFT) transmissions The Cuban DGI utilizes this format for the traffic identified as ENIGMA HM01. The DIGTRX program was written by PY4ZBZ, a Brazilian Ham and is a Freeware program available at:
There are two versions of the program. One is DIGTRX 3.11 for the older XP computers and the other is DIGTRX 2.14D for Windows 7 computers. It is suggested the program be loaded outside of the Windows shell in a separate directory on your hard drive. This will preclude possible conflicts with the Windows Operating System.
The signal is an AM double side-band broadcast. It has a very wide frequency spread. Because it is so wide it is prone to interference from nearby strong signals. The XP version is a little less likely to "Crash" than the Windows 7 version especially if you are using an older computer designed for XP. The program was originally written for XP. The operating characteristics of both program versions are identical. There are 6 audio callup groups, each of 5 figures and the sequence is repeated ten times. Then there is a tuning tone. Tune the HM01 test tones to coincide with the 110 and 1520 Hz alignment marks. These two tones are used to center the frequency of the DZIGTRX program. Once you have properly adjusted the tones according to the program, you no longer have to re-adjust before each transmission. The program makes slight automatic adjustments so you don't have to do it. DIGTRX even tells you how far off frequency you are.
The first audio group is sent followed by "start of message" tones. Then the actual message begins. A the end of the message is another set of tones, the "end of message" tones. There is information transmitted within these ending tones but to date their purpose has not been determined. The above sequence occurs for each of the six voice groups. While AM mode is the normal method of opera much better results can be realized using the USB mode and zero beating the carrier. This results in a narrower bandwidth and less noise. The audio output from the receiver headphone jack is split with one output to the headphones and the other to the computer audio in (or Mike in). This may cause "loading" problems from the headphones, but with the newer generation headphones, it is minimal. Adjust the audio input to the computer with the volume control. A very low, clean level is all that is required for proper decoding. This is critical to the successful functioning of the DIGTRX program. The receiver output should be adjusted so the program audio level bar is just peaking from dark to light green. Red indicates the level is too high. As each RDFT is completed DIGTRX will automatically switch to decode mode and display and save the decoded file number. An option to add a Date-Time-Stamp with the saved file number is available on the DIGTRX tool bar. You can connect the receiver headphone jack to a tape recorder's monitor jack and record the broadcast before decoding but you will not be able to adjust the test tones, which is extremely important. It is possible to connect the receiver to a recorder and then to the computer. This allows you to tune the signal, record the transmission, and decode the text in one operation. This works well if you want to go back and try again after the live broadcast. Remember a little audio signal always works best. There are variations to the above methods but that described was found to be the most practicable method. With DIGTRX properly configured. you can continually decode and save each tagged message to file as they are being sent. Each message is sent ten times during the schedule so you will have plenty of opportunities to play with your adjustments. If you tape record the transmissions you can monitor them for later play-back and analysis. This methods seems preferable. Sometimes it is necessary to monitor more than one of the 11 daily broadcasts as reception can vary depending on the time and frequency. Many thanks to Joe Pierce for the revised procedures.
Mike Chace-Ortiz has informed me that the noise heard on ENIGMA M08a, 1400 UTC schedule, is FUG, French Navy STANAG4285 data modem on 7554.6 kHz USB from their Saissac transmitter site. Mike added that this signal is very common throughout the HF spectrum.
End of Report
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