Monday, April 1, 2019

I've decided to start my own numbers station

A rig I owned many years ago has been sitting, boxed up, in my closet for over a decade now. It's a Yaesu FT840 - a simple, cheap and very basic rig that is capable of much more than squirting out dots and dashes on the ham bands.

And it deserves more than a closet QTH.

At some point, even though I had no aspirations of space travel, I performed the MARS mod on it and the FT-840 will now transmit anywhere from 3.5-30 MHz. And it has AM capability.

In 40 years of being a ham/SWLer, I've heard around half a dozen numbers stations broadcasting their cryptic instructions in either English or Spanish. What are they saying? Who are they talking to?

It is one the more intriguing aspects of the radio hobby. I've never tried but have always wondered what it would be like to be a radio spy - so I've decided to put a numbers station on the air, on a variety of frequencies, both SSB and AM, in English and Spanish.

If all goes according to plan, an unwitting secret agent (Анжелика) will receive my message, decode it and learn that she is being instructed to sabotage the Russian "Sunflower" radar that is QRMing the HF ham bands. This is my goal.

It could get dangerous.....


  1. A great idea John. I hope Angelica doesn't read this blog to see what you're up to. I would welcome the possebility of sabotaging that damn radar (especially on 60m that is). The only problem is that you announced everything on the wrong date.... :-) 73, Bas

    1. Hello Bas,

      Yes I just realized it's 1 April - no one realize I'm being truthful...