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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 07-16-2007, 1:26 PM
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Lightbulb Number stations?

Has anyone ever heard a number station of this type or could tell me more about the ones they have heard?!

Apparently they were made for world war one espionage.

Here is a sample of one captured.
http://www.listverse.com/music/number.mp3

Here is the wiki site.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_stations

When I was younger I use to use a shortwave and catch stuff like this but it kinda freaked me out.

Last edited by CalgaryToad; 07-16-2007 at 1:33 PM..
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Old 07-16-2007, 1:36 PM
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Freaked you out??? Get real...

Numebr stations continue even today. The assumption is that they are coded messages to someone using 1-time pads for decoding. In fact, there is a whole sub culture of the HF world devoted to tracking these stations - some are thought to be run by the Mossad, others MI6...anyway here's the link...

http://home.luna.nl/~ary/

73s Mike
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Old 07-16-2007, 2:20 PM
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I've heard the Cuban one numerous times. Some of the others are a little tougher from the west coast. It's a very simple way to broadcast messages to people working in the field... It will probably continue on for sometime.

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Old 07-16-2007, 2:22 PM
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They are infact used for the Federal Government. The codes match up into/on certain lists in certain books/databases, where more "sense" can be made of them to the intended recepients. You'll also hear the occasional "SkyKing" test messages.
One of my uncle's used to work with these "number" messages before he retired. Interesting, to say the least.
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Old 07-16-2007, 2:59 PM
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"Number Stations" are alive and well....I pick them up all the time. The Cuban stations come in really strong where I am at (90' dipole helps) but with decent conditions I can pick up other stations. Join the Enigma2000 yahoo group if your interested in this type of thing...
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Old 07-16-2007, 3:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astro25
They are infact used for the Federal Government. The codes match up into/on certain lists in certain books/databases, where more "sense" can be made of them to the intended recepients. You'll also hear the occasional "SkyKing" test messages.
One of my uncle's used to work with these "number" messages before he retired. Interesting, to say the least.
I have only been monitoring 'numbers' for a few years but I have never logged any broadcasts that originated from the US government...I doubt the Feds use this type of broadcast anymore.
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Old 07-16-2007, 6:58 PM
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Yes, I think Astro25 is confusing the coded messages sent over the HF-GCS system (EAMs) with numbers stations. They are 2 very different animals entirely, although they do serve a similar purpose. I suppose you could think of them as 'numbers' stations....EAMs are something we would probably never know the real purpose...

Skyking Skyking do not answer....

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Last edited by ka3jjz; 07-16-2007 at 7:17 PM..
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Old 07-17-2007, 7:34 AM
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At one time not too many years ago, there was an article in Monitoring Times by someone who had traced a particular scheduled numbers broadcast to the old Vint Hill Farms station near Remington, VA. He parked near the gate and at the scheduled time the numbers came on with S9+60 signals. This was the old CIA/NSA monitoring facility, and is now home to the consolidated air traffic control center for the DC region.

Just a couple of years ago a Cuban spy was arrested in FL with copies of numbers transmissions on her laptop that were the same ones the FBI had monitored and recorded. Recent reports indicate that Cuba seems to be experimenting with psk31 and other digital sound card modes.

I remember some of the earliest things I heard on my parent's old Crosley were numbers stations in the early 60's.

There is a lot of interesting reading material on numbers stations, including schedules, on the web.
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Old 07-18-2007, 1:40 AM
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Old 07-18-2007, 6:33 AM
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A while ago I read an article in a magazine where # stations were tracked down and many times they were radio, small battery, tape player, and timer (to go on at certain times) all taped to a tree on the beach somewhere in california.
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