I have been monitoring S30's (Pip)
night frequency since the 22nd of October and here is a
short presentation of my findings so far.
First of all, the seasonal schedule circulating online appears to
be wrong, at least when it comes to the summer and autumn
schedules. The first time I tuned to record Pip I noticed that it
was already in progress, so to provide proper coverage I decided to
wait another day and start my recording at midday UTC so I
definitely wouldn't miss the beginning. On that day the first pip
was heard at 1428z, quite a bit before the "scheduled" 1700z.
Sending ended at 0328z and this was the regular schedule for the
rest of the month, 1430z to 0330z with couple minutes of variation
at the beginning and end.
Then, on the night between the 31st of October and
1st of November the transmission started at the usual
time but ran one hour longer than usual, the total transmission
time being from 1430z to 0430z. I could verify that the
transmission started at 1430z because I have the habit of starting
my recording 1 hour before the transmission is supposed to start.
Because Pip ran long and the month changed I added couple more
hours to my buffer, expecting that Pip will finish it's transition
to a new schedule by starting it's first transmission in November
at a different time. This preparation paid off and I managed to
catch the first transmission on the new schedule without any data
loss. The new schedule runs from 1300z to 0430z, making the
nighttime slot much longer than the daytime sending.
I am only able to monitor the nighttime frequency due to Pip's
interesting frequency choices. The daytime frequency is 5448, only
2kHz down from RAF VOLMET which makes copying Pip voice messages
completely impossible for me. I hope the intended recipients of
Pip's messages are further east than I am!
Nighttime frequency is 3756, inside the 80 meter amateur radio
band. Usually this is not a problem as amateur radio station
operators don't want to listen to the Pip while having QSOs.
However during the CQWW contest on October 29th the band
was so full that amateur radio operators used the Pip frequency.
And at 1648z that afternoon a message was sent, which prompted the
amateur radio operator to flip his transmitter to USB and say "The
frequency is in use". It's a shame the Pip operator didn't
Для ВЫЙ1 3ДЗ1 ЗЬ1Б 27ЩЬ ЦЬ9В Н1ДУ НЕДУ 78МВ 36МА ОСОГ Как
слышно? Как слышно? Приём!
Dlya VYJ1 3DZ1 Z'1B 27Shch' C'9V
N1DU NYeDU 78МV 36MA ОSOG Kak slyshno? Kak slyshno? Priyom!
On these 17 nights I have received
28 messages from Pip. So far voice messages have been of two
different types, Dlya (Для) messages and messages with a 8S1Shch
(8C1Щ) call sign. Messages with a "call sign" Dlya are much more
prominent (25 messages), occurring almost nightly, while messages
with 8S1Shch call sign have only been heard 3 times.
Dlya means "for" and one might theorize that it's a propagation
test message for other stations. Dlya is not read phonetically but
pronounced as one word. Furthermore Dlya messages end with a
question (Как слышно?), asking how well the other station receives.
Presumably other stations reply on another frequency, and this is
something that I will keep an eye on in the future. It's also worth
mentioning that S32 (Squeaky Wheel) also sends Dlya messages.
If Dlya messages are tests, then
8S1Shch (8C1Щ) could be real traffic. During the monitoring period
only 3 messages of this type were received. Two of them came on
24th of October and one on the 26th. First
two messages were read normally, but at the end of the third
message the pip is turned on and after that the last number group
and word "Priyom" is repeated 4 times.
Interestingly S32 (Squeaky Wheel) seems to send a similar type
message 4 minutes after Pip has sent one, something that warrants
8С1Щ 63 616 БОЛЮГА 23 59 36 41
8S1Shch 63 616 BOLYuGA 23 59 36 41 Priyom!
After noting down all the times that Pip has sent a Dlya message
it became obvious that these messages seem to have a loose
schedule. Out of 25 Dlya messages all but 2 fit this
Morning schedule seems to run between 0247z and 0330z, with 10
messages observed so far in this time frame. Evening schedule has
been observed between 1638z and 1844z, with 13 messages. Remaining
2 messages have been sent at 1316z and 1423z.
This scatter graph illustrates the grouping in the broadcast times
of Dlya messages. Please click to enlarge.
|Nighttime frequency active
I will write a follow-up article
once I have managed to gather more information. All recordings
should be available on Priyom soon, messages shown in this post
have been transcribed by Avare. If you have any questions or if you
know where I can send a QSL for this station, please contact me via
email at email@example.com.