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What happened to the four digit spanish numbers stations?

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W4KRR

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#1
Many years ago, I monitored lots of four digit spanish numbers stations. They were booming in here at my location in south Florida. I haven't heard them in a long time or been able to find any current references to them at all.

I did find an "HM01" schedule on another website, but while the schedule is accurate, and I can hear them, they are very weak at my south Florida location when supposedly they are using Radio Havana transmitters. Why would this be? Are any spanish four digit stations still around?
 

ka3jjz

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#2
There's a heckuva lot of possibilities here - and I doubt anyone knows for sure (or is willing to say). But just for argument's sake, let's take a look at a few of them...

a. You're in the skip zone in South Florida for at least some of the frequencies, putting you in the 'shadow'
b. Antenna orientations have changed;
c. Maintenance on these old transmitters hasn't kept up, so power is being reduced on the 'non-broadcast' times (you think Arnie would admit to that? heh...)
d. Now that Havana and Russia are now buddy buddy, I wouldn't put it past Putin to use some of the less used transmitters at his disposal

I still see HM01 and HM02 logs in the UDXF, but why things have changed...who knows? Mike
 

dlwtrunked

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#3
The Cubans were/are 5 not 4 digit. The 4 digit transmissions shut down years ago. Those transmissions were strong in S FL as the transmissions were directed toward the Caribbean of course. That means the transmitters were not there as coverage would be better by putting the transmitters farther away. For the same reason, the 5 digit transmissions from Cuba were stronger farther north than in S Florida.

On HF, strong usually does not mean "close" unless one is real close. This is an exercise I have done many times in a car. I once drove between two HF sites separated by about 1000 miles. Very near the site near the 1st site, the both the sites were strong. But after going about , I could not hear the 1st site but the farther away 2nd was strong. Halfway both were quite good. As I approached the 2nd site, I could not copy it but the 1st site was booming in. But when I got just a couple miles away, the 2nd site was of course very strong. This is typical of what one sees on HF but few seem to know it and not knowing it leads to a lot of misinformation.
 

Token

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#5
When you say four digit Spanish Numbers Station and Florida the station you are probably talking about is known as either V05a or V14 (need more detail to know which). These stations were actually transmitted from the US, out of Virginia, and yes, they ceased transmissions years ago, possibly around 2001 or earlier.

Almost all the other Spanish numbers stations used/use other formats, most often 5 figure groups. Off the top of my head the other Spanish stations would be V02 (and variants), V06, V07, V10, V09, V20, and V21. As far as I know the only Spanish numbers stations still active today are V02a (five figure groups, from Cuba, not heard often, but still a couple times a month), V07 (five figure groups, Russian source, sent from Kamchatka every Sunday morning), and V21.

The HM01 you talk about is the relatively new Cuban format, HM means "Hybrid Mode" and it combine a Spanish language female voice (the same voice used by V02a) with a RDFT digital data mode (the same digital mode used by the old SK01 station). At one time Cuba ran three primary stations, V02 (voice), M08 (Morse), and SK01 (digital). A couple of years ago the combined V02a and SK01 formats to arrive at HM01. SK01 disappeared entirely, V02a and M08a are still heard but not as often as in the past.

The HM02 station that Mike mentioned is another Hybrid Mode station, mixing FSK and CW, however it is not sent from Cuba, it is probably from Russia. We may, in the future, see it sent from Russian facilities in Cuba, but right now I believe all its outlets are European.


T!
 

W4KRR

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#7
I seem to recall Warrington, VA being mentioned as the origin of the old spanish four digit numbers stations. I also seem to remember the message for when they had no traffic to pass was (in spanish), "545, 545, 545, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0" repeated for the duration of the transmission.
 

Token

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#8
I seem to recall Warrington, VA being mentioned as the origin of the old spanish four digit numbers stations. I also seem to remember the message for when they had no traffic to pass was (in spanish), "545, 545, 545, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0" repeated for the duration of the transmission.

That would have been the station given the ENIGMA designation V05, this was a "family II" station, presumed to be run by CIA out of Warrenten, VA. It had English (E05), German (G05), and Morse (M68) sister stations from the same source.

T!
 
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