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The Buzzer

Enigma ID S28

Spectrum image S28_sample.jpg

Name The Buzzer, Жужжалка, UVB-76, UZB-76, MDZhB
Frequencies 4625 kHz + occasional, unintended parasitics
Status Active
Voice Live male and female operators
Emission mode Varies (H3E, R3E, J3E - all USB)
Location St. Petersburg, Russia (60th Communication Hub "Vulcan", Staff of the Western Military District) (transmition sites near St.Petersburg and Moscow)

Russian

Activity pages

Download audio sample

Known counterpart stations The Pip, The Squeaky Wheel, Plovets-41

"The Buzzer" is a common nickname for a Russian Western Military District commandment network, which operates on the frequency 4625 kHz around the clock. The name comes from its signature channel marker used to keep the frequency clear - 1.85 s buzzing tone, followed by a 1.25 s pause.

The source of its transmissions is the Communication Hub #60 of the staff of the Western Military District, known by its callsign "Vulcan" (pictures of their HQ antennas). Messages are sent out in a format known as "Monolyth", using a circular callsign "MDZhB", assigned to the military units in the Western Military District. There also are special command messages, for example КОМАНДА 145 (Command 145). It has been found that Command 145 means training alert (while Command 45 means real alert). By this command all personnel should arrive into assigned positions.

Because of the large area to be covered, The Buzzer uses at least two transmitters and the emission varies by the transmitter, and even within the same transmitter due to their instability. It is possible that there is a third transmitter that is responsible for transmitting the carrier while the other two alternate on transmitting the buzz.

One of the transmission sites is located near Saint Petersburg, which belongs to the 60th Communication Hub located on Palace Square in St. Petersburg. There is a document circulating on the Internet, related to the site renovation project, which has provided us with the site antenna field schema. The second buzzer transmitter site is believed to be located near Moscow, which belongs to the 69th Communication Hub.

The Buzzer was first reported as early as 1976, and as late as 1982. Prior to 1990, its channel marker was a short, high pitched tone emitted every two seconds. In September 2010, its activity has significantly increased, due to much larger area to be covered (new Western Military District; The Buzzer formerly served the Moscow Military District) - some facts and faces about The Buzzer site move can be found here (in Russian).

Notes from the Conet Project booklet

The Buzzer
Can be heard in the UK on 4625khz after dark, buzzing relentlessly. Just before the top of every hour, the signal changes, as in this example. The Buzzer has been on the air since at least 1987. The station is not I.T.U. registered, and has no callsign. See Enigma Newsletter number 11.

Tcp d4 32 the buzzer irdial by The Conet Project