Numbers Stations on MW

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4NSF, Aug 15, 2019.

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  1. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    While playing with antennas today, I ran across two of the old fashioned "Numbers Stations" on the MW / AM bands.... specifically on 635khz, at ~11:45 CDT, and on 730khz, at 12:02 pm CDT.

    Both transmissions were similar, with a Spanish language femail voice reading a string of four digit numbers for about 4 minutes, then shifting to a four digit number followed by a 5 second tone that sounds like an old fax machine. After about ten minutes, they faded away.

    These sort of transmissions were common when I first got into radio, but I thought they had gone away a long time ago. I guess not! My guess is that they are coming from Cuba, especially since I also heard "Radio 26" on 1060khz from Matanzas. It's been quite a while since I've heard any Cuban stations on MW.... I guess there's an opening at the moment. Propagation never ceases to amaze me.
    KB2FCV likes this.
  2. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Little doubt the numbers stations you heard were from Cuba.

    Across the Gulf here in Tampa most days its easy to hear Radio Enciclopedia way at the bottom of the band on 530 KHz. It's actually very pleasant all instrumental music, and used to be fun to listen to when it was a clear channel, however a few years ago another station fired up on the same freq from Mexico, and its annoying when propagation causes QRM.

    There is also Radio Reloj (Radio Clock) which is on several frequencies. The one I tune to the most is 950 KHz. Even if you have QRM from another broadcaster, it may be possible to ID it from the "ticks" every second that sound just like WWV, and on the top of the minute when they announce the time with a beep there is also an ID sent in Morse code "RR" .-. .-. which is very distinctive. Otherwise the Spanish language programming under the time signal seems to be mostly just highly propagandized news blurbs.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  3. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll check both of those out. I had forgotten how much fun AM DX can be!
    W2JKT likes this.
  4. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Indeed. On my long list of "projects I will never get to" is a ~500ft long beverage antenna (longest dimension of my property) to use for SWL on the lower frequencies.
  5. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    A farmer buddy of mine used his wire fence for SWL was pretty incredible what he could pull in.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in my travelling days I often worked all night on the road in Louisiana and Florida locations and really loved listening to Radio Enciclopedia. It was an all-female staff at that time. They boomed in during the day in Cedar Key, FL well north of Tampa.
    W0PV likes this.
  7. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very cool! I had no idea this kind of stuff was in the AM broadcast band. I'm not sure I'd hear it from NJ but I'll certainly take a listen for it (I do pick up ndb beacons from the Caribbean so anything is possible). There are certainly plenty of numbers stations on HF.

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