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Old 10-25-2017, 4:58 AM
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Question Cuban DX/Skip?

Just out of pure curiosity.... Has anybody here, I'm guessing Florida residents more than likely, ever picked up any DX/Skip from Cuba? Specifically any public safety (police fire ems), businesses such as cab companies etc or any other normal day to day radio communications other than AM/FM radio?
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Old 10-25-2017, 4:45 PM
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Some years back, before my Imax 2000 11m antenna got torn down by a tree, I did hear collective farm radio traffic some on lowband, from Cuba. Cubans, especially rural ones, have a strong accent, and "compan~ero" was used often. I heard outlying farms reporting in on things like livestock numbers. I think this had something to do with the acute meat shortage they had back then, perhaps this was a measure to defeat the black-market deals.


The best one I heard went like this....it was on a Friday, my translation " send Compan~ero Juan to Havana when the work is over ....for discipline."
I heard this back when the propagation was really running, maybe 2005 or so. I thought I had the frequency still around here, but perhaps will encounter it. I had several setups for lowband, one radio had frequencies programmed in for good stuff I had found, another searching 30-46 mhz. For some reason, 30.0 mhz had a variety of interesting stuff, some sounding like border surveillance, but not Cuban by any means..
Havana is about 800 miles from the QTH, so maybe you can have some luck. I notice the major low-band dxers here use dipoles. It may be a bit of a wait until you start seeing frequent openings again on low-band, but if you monitor enough you will have some luck- maybe not Cuba though.
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Old 10-25-2017, 7:46 PM
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Back in the 1980's while I was living in Miami, the bands opened wide open with ducting and I could clearly hear VHF high band police calls from Havana. Additionally, the Cuban TV stations were clearly visible on most TVs in Miami.

The TV Channel 6 in Princeton FL went off the air and you could see a Cuban station in its place, I suspect that the State Department and FCC requested CH 6 temporarily shut down so that the Cuban stations could be recorded for intelligence reasons. There is active surveillance of Cuban communications by the US Navy at sites in Key West, Key Largo and Homestead.

Anyway the rumors were that Fidel ordered the power increased so that Miami stations would be over powered. This was hog wash, because it was clearly anomalous propagation.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:30 AM
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I will concur with RFI-EMI-GUY, that while I was living in South Miami up until I moved out in 1985, I was copying comms from Cuba on both VHF-Lowband (34 & 40 MHz) and VHF-Highband (169 MHz if memory serves me correct).

On occasion I could copy some VHF-Midband comms (62 MHz) from somewhere south of me, always in Russian. So, I assumed Cuba.


Funny you mention WCIX (TV-6). We were up that tower one night (~1983) at the 900 foot level, working on the 147.000 (- .600) repeater, when the power went off. After a few minutes of darkness, our eyes adjusted to the low-level light, without all the light pollution from the local area. We could see the lights along US-1 and the Keys stretching off to the SW. But due south we could see some light shimmering off on the horizon. Checking an aeronautical chart, we were apparently seeing the lights from Havana!
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Old 10-26-2017, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb4cvn View Post
I will concur with RFI-EMI-GUY, that while I was living in South Miami up until I moved out in 1985, I was copying comms from Cuba on both VHF-Lowband (34 & 40 MHz) and VHF-Highband (169 MHz if memory serves me correct).

On occasion I could copy some VHF-Midband comms (62 MHz) from somewhere south of me, always in Russian. So, I assumed Cuba.


Funny you mention WCIX (TV-6). We were up that tower one night (~1983) at the 900 foot level, working on the 147.000 (- .600) repeater, when the power went off. After a few minutes of darkness, our eyes adjusted to the low-level light, without all the light pollution from the local area. We could see the lights along US-1 and the Keys stretching off to the SW. But due south we could see some light shimmering off on the horizon. Checking an aeronautical chart, we were apparently seeing the lights from Havana!
That is pretty cool, to see the light from Havana. Probably some inversion layer or refraction helping out with the optical path.

Down at Key West , at Truman Annex, there were some huge self supporting towers that the Navy owned, equipped with log periodic VHF UHF antennas pointed toward Cuba. It would be fascinating to learn the extent of the eavesdropping going on.

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Old 10-26-2017, 9:25 PM
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I remember back in the 90s there was a vhf ham repeater in southern miami dade county which often carried amateur radio traffic from Cuba. If I recall correctly, the primary repeater linking the US and Cuba was located somewhere in the Florida Keys. When conditions where right, Cuban hams would be able to hit the Florida keys repeater, which was then linked to the Miami repeater. Unfortunately I don't recall the frequencies and I do not think that the practice is still active.

On a side note, I have some Cuban ambulance, police and industry vhf frequencies programmed in my scanner and to date haven't had much luck hearing any traffic on them. I was able to confirm them during a recent cruise to Jamaica so I know they're active. Some of the repeater sites must have been on top of some of the highest mountains as I was able to hear them for quite some distance.

Here in south Florida we have an old analog VHF National Park Service repeater that often gets interference from a Cuban station. It sounds like a telephone link of some sort (Cuba uses a lot of vhf and uhf frequencies for telephone links). My best guess is that the Cuban repeater output frequency is the NPS input frequency, thus the interference.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:41 PM
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I remember back in the 90s there was a vhf ham repeater in southern miami dade county which often carried amateur radio traffic from Cuba. If I recall correctly, the primary repeater linking the US and Cuba was located somewhere in the Florida Keys. When conditions where right, Cuban hams would be able to hit the Florida keys repeater, which was then linked to the Miami repeater. Unfortunately I don't recall the frequencies and I do not think that the practice is still active.

On a side note, I have some Cuban ambulance, police and industry vhf frequencies programmed in my scanner and to date haven't had much luck hearing any traffic on them. I was able to confirm them during a recent cruise to Jamaica so I know they're active. Some of the repeater sites must have been on top of some of the highest mountains as I was able to hear them for quite some distance.

Here in south Florida we have an old analog VHF National Park Service repeater that often gets interference from a Cuban station. It sounds like a telephone link of some sort (Cuba uses a lot of vhf and uhf frequencies for telephone links). My best guess is that the Cuban repeater output frequency is the NPS input frequency, thus the interference.
I remember monitoring the NPS repeater and phone calls from my QTH in the grove.

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Old 10-27-2017, 7:04 PM
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I have the distinct feeling that the 2-meter repeater you are thinking of is the 147.000 (-.600 kHz) CSQ which was down on the WCIX tower in Princeton until Hurricane Andrew.

Us locals referred to at the "four-Oh-Double-Oh" machine.
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Old 10-27-2017, 7:06 PM
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Add to that, we had folks in the Bahamas get into the 147.000 repeater too. Mostly from Nassau and Andros.

People in Freeport/Grand Bahamas mostly accessed the repeaters in the Palm Beach area. As I did at the time.


73,
Mark KB4CVN / C6AMC
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:31 AM
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From another forum I subscribe to....



<snip>

1a. Re: logs
Posted by: "Jurgen Bartels"
Date: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:47 am ((PDT))

Hi David,
>>> 39.875 MHz NFM CUBA Voice net 1457 2017-10-16 CM_P92 clg 918, SPN W, strong.
>>> Then clg 904. Another UNID 1501, passing power usage stats. 904 wkg 906 at 1548.



Have you checked the tone?
I had 94.8 Hz in Dec 2014


<snip>


NNN
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Old 10-28-2017, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb4cvn View Post
I have the distinct feeling that the 2-meter repeater you are thinking of is the 147.000 (-.600 kHz) CSQ which was down on the WCIX tower in Princeton until Hurricane Andrew.

Us locals referred to at the "four-Oh-Double-Oh" machine.

Oh yes, I remember that repeater well. I remember being able to work it from locations far and wide. It was at 1,500 ft if I recall correctly. But for some reason I was thinking that there was another repeater in Key West that actually received Cuban traffic and linked it to Miami. Although it was very possible that Cuban hams could hit the 147 machine under good conditions though.
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Old 10-28-2017, 5:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb4cvn View Post
From another forum I subscribe to....



<snip>

1a. Re: logs
Posted by: "Jurgen Bartels"
Date: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:47 am ((PDT))

Hi David,
>>> 39.875 MHz NFM CUBA Voice net 1457 2017-10-16 CM_P92 clg 918, SPN W, strong.
>>> Then clg 904. Another UNID 1501, passing power usage stats. 904 wkg 906 at 1548.



Have you checked the tone?
I had 94.8 Hz in Dec 2014


<snip>


NNN
Interesting. I'll have to plug this one in. Thanks.
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