Origins of the pip by a former radio technician
PeterSpb has kindly translated the following text written by a former radio technician(rw6hrm) who was responsible for running this network, I have cleaned it up a little to make it more understandable. (Webweasel)
"The PIP" - how it was started...
Many sw listeners are familiar with the
frequencies 3756 and 5448 kHz where we can hear the Pip, keeping
ears listening for almost 25 years. I will write some memories as a
person who was in reception of this station. Please note that these
memories are up to end of nineteen eightys.
Until nineteen eighty six there was a Kolos station on the mentioned frequencies. Kolos is a callsign of USSR North-Caucasian Military disctrict's 800th notification network.
It was a network of receiving devices installed in military units, military commissariats and military factory radiorooms. Receiving devices were varied a lot from professional equipment (R-154/155/250) to home receivers with sw band. Because precisie tuning of the network frequency was required to catch the signal, there was a transmission from District staff notification service in Rostov on Don 3-4 times a day and after changing the frequency. The transmission was "I'm Kolos, I'm kolos. Giving you counting for tuning one, two, three, ..., ten. I say again... ". This was transmitted live or from a recording.
Sometimes readiness checks for some services and communication
centers were made by sending the message:
"I'm Kolos, I'm Kolos. Only for 815, 223 and 44. How do you read me, How do you read me?"
After that the named callsigns should
call back and report their reception.
Because of the boredom and did not give permanent readiness of receiving device (for example in case of wrong tuning etc), one day a information service ensign suggested an enhancement, to make a marker generator, which will help receivers tuning to 800th network frequency. The enhancement suggested was approved and the ensign was celebrated with his idea being put into "achievement desk of the staff for glory expression". Before the change to a channel marker, the network transmitters were not up all the time and were switched on only for transmission checks and signal transmissions. After the change transmitters were up all the time with 15 kw (Molniya) for 5448 and 1/5 kw (R-140/Vyaz) for 3756.
Calculating of electricity costs and transmitters emission was not the kings business...
The receiving radio network was reduced significantly towards the end of 80s, some radiorooms in civilian organisations were dismantled and often military commissariat's radiocenter which were responsible for all the callsigns in the area.
The first marker generator version was working until august nineteen eighty six and was located in the staff building. In august, while I was on practice there, I assembled the second version of the marker generator, built on real printed wiring board and after that the generator started to work in receiving site of 72nd communication unit. Why on the receiving site? All major service was kept there, a shift supervisor was sitting there when on transmitter site were 3 person at maximum, who were responsible for transmitters functionality.
The signal from receiving site was sent to
transmission site through channeling equipment. Multiple generators
were available, it was possible to use one from the staff, another
from receiving site (The first generator was there as well as
There was also the third reserve generator, which was located with the reserve communication unit in Aksai and could use both local transmitters and the main tranmitter site.
The generator diagram is simple. It contains 2 multivibrators, one slow and one sounding. The slow one has porosity appr 1:3 and assembled on transistors V1 and V2. Transistor V3 works as a power switch for the second multivibrator built on transistors V4 and V5. Both multivibrators are made by myself. Also one ready-made unit from some equipment was used as microphone amplifier(V6, V7), limiter(V8,V9) and buffer cascade(V10). Power voltage was selected as 24v, microphone model was DEMSh. All transistors are type MP42. Generator operability was indicated by two leds, one for power (not showed at the diagram) and another blinking in time with manipulation. Units switching was made by using microphone switch by sending power to diagram elements. I do not think that there were any major changes for the Pip generator for the past time. There is simply nothing to improve.