New Internet Obsession: Numbers Stations

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by daan, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station

    I JUST heard about this, and now I’ve been reading everything I can find about them. I’m out of the loop, apparently, since these stations have been around since WW1... apparently the “Wilco” album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Hotel_Foxtrot
    from 2001 was named after Mr Tweedy hearing recordings of Numbers stations.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conet_Project
    A group put out a box set of Numbers recordings, and there’s a whole community of Shortwave radio guys who monitor these stations. Now I want to go dig out my old AM/FM/SW portable radio and try to pick something up...
     
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  2. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I have an old shortwave I turn on every once in a while, however I try and find something in the English language. Interesting stuff.

    While in the US, the bulk of Europe and all that, we have regular radio, cell phones/mobile devices, INTERNET! Yet in many small countries, a lot of shortwave still operates with political, religious, etc content.

    It must have really been something "in the day" to be a HAM operator and shortwave listener......
     
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  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Feb 16, 2018
    North Central NC
    I've heard numbers stations when tuning around the bands. It's sort of creepy.

    Ham radio still has a place in the world, although as a hobby it's dwindling fast. I bet it'll find some use around the Florida panhandle about now, when all other forms of electronic communication other than emergency services have failed.
     
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  4. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    A couple months ago we were looking to relocate to SC. Then a hurricane went through. As there are little to no mechanical engineering jobs that pay a decent wage in the area, I directed efforts to the panhandle.. Now this!

    To get a ham license, you used to have to know and decode morse messages -no longer a requirement...
     
  5. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    When I was a kid, we lived somewhere without “good” radio stations. Depending on how you feel about the farm report, or hearing the local Catholic Church service rebroadcast... Anyway I figured out if I connected a bunch of antenna wires together and ran them out the window, up to the waves of the roof, I could pick up distant stations, especially at night. Apparently this is the whole idea of the number stations, their broadcast could literally cover the whole world. And hey, who doesn’t like Spy novels and/or movies, so this is right up my alley!
     
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  6. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Feb 16, 2018
    North Central NC
    I had to pass 20 wpm to get my Extra class license, but that was quite a while ago. By the time my son wanted a license he just had to do 5 wpm to get a General. As you said, now that's gone by the wayside, but having a reasonably fast paced conversation with Morse Code really is kind of fun.
     
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  7. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    imagine if there was a way we, as strangers, could all communicate day or night anywhere in the world. and be somewhat anonymous or as anonymous as we wanted to be... Imagi… oh. :D
     
  8. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I should add that I am a huge radio theater fan listening to hours and hours a week. There is something cool about the old days of radio and electronics technology.

    forget that mooer pedal I just bought. lol!!
     
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  9. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-Nut

    Age:
    37
    561
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    Radio theater is awesome... I'm 37 years old and I only recently got into it because "Twilight Zone" came in one time after Art Bell went off... I'm a HUGE Art Bell fan...
     
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  10. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago
    I haven't listened to broadcast radio in almost 20 years. I seem to remember Art Bell from time to time. I don't recall Twilight Zone ever being part of the Golden Age of radio though. The Golden Age ended Sept 30, 1962 with the final broadcasts of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

    It's pretty fantastic that thousands and thousands of hours are still available.

    People used to call Seinfeld a "show about nothing". That was the exact premise of the Jack Benny radio show.

    Here's 12,000 shows to listen to for starters... http://www.otr.net/
     
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