Mystery Signal on 20-Meters


Jim W7EED
 

Hello all,

I am seeing this odd signal near the high end of 20-meters quite often.  Does anyone have a clue as to what it might be?  Sometimes it's wider, sometimes it's narrower but it always has the
same look to it.  It will abruptly stop after a few minutes then start up again.

Really curious!


Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
 

I have images from SDRC V1.5, yes... V1.5! LOL

Here's my posts on 'discovering' this signal from April, 2018:

https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,41849.msg154757.html#msg154757





73 Kriss KA1GJU


Sean - G4UCJ
 

Not sure if anyone gave an answer about this mystery signal, to me it looks like OTHR (Over The Horizon Radar), powerful radars used for detecting long range threats, on that are beyond the 'normal' radio horizon (such as Intercontinental missiles, etc.) or I think some may be used in weather research. They use separate RX and TX sites. They pop up all over the place, usually around the MUF. I read somewhere that you can have a good guess at the origin by looking at the pattern of the OTHR signal and noting the pulse rate. Typically they are 20kHz wide, but some are wider. There is a fair bit of info online (how accurate it is I wouldn't know, but it's a start).

I also read that transmitting on top of it is a way to make it go away as it is supposed to be able to identify if a QRG is occupied and move if it is - I can't vouch for the validity of that though!

73, Sean - G4UCJ


Allan Isaacs
 

I spotted this just under 40m. It sounds like a jammer with those vertical lines measuring 80Hz apart and covering a little under 1.5KHz bandwidth so presumably aimed at one specific broadcast?

Maybe that signal on 20m is merely a jammer having a different design and parked on 20m to give the owners plenty of feedback on its coverage?

Allan G3PIY

 


Marco Steiner
 

It‘s STANAG PBB Ny DenHelder Netherlands

Freundliche Grüße / Best regards

Marco Steiner

Am 01.12.2020 um 10:18 schrieb Allan Isaacs <allan@...>:



I spotted this just under 40m. It sounds like a jammer with those vertical lines measuring 80Hz apart and covering a little under 1.5KHz bandwidth so presumably aimed at one specific broadcast?

Maybe that signal on 20m is merely a jammer having a different design and parked on 20m to give the owners plenty of feedback on its coverage?

Allan G3PIY

 

Attachments:


Allan Isaacs
 

Thanks for the information Marco.

Maybe you can verify the signals on the attached picture (not 20m but nearer 20KHz)?

I think one is JXN on 16.4KHz, but the others are possibly solar panel radiation around 16KHz and the comb of 100Hz spikes might be a Siemens Gigaset C430A, but I am only guessing at these.

Allan G3PIY


From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io [mailto:main@SDR-Radio.groups.io] On Behalf Of Marco Steiner
Sent: 01 December 2020 09:22
To: main@sdr-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] Mystery Signal on 20-Meters

 

It‘s STANAG PBB Ny DenHelder Netherlands

Freundliche Grüße / Best regards

 

Marco Steiner




Marco Steiner
 

Hi Allan,

 

this ist he view here in South-Germany!

 

 

Marco

 

Von: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io> Im Auftrag von Allan Isaacs
Gesendet: Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2020 11:09
An: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Betreff: Re: [SDR-Radio] Mystery Signal on 20-Meters

 

Thanks for the information Marco.

Maybe you can verify the signals on the attached picture (not 20m but nearer 20KHz)?

I think one is JXN on 16.4KHz, but the others are possibly solar panel radiation around 16KHz and the comb of 100Hz spikes might be a Siemens Gigaset C430A, but I am only guessing at these.

Allan G3PIY


From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io [mailto:main@SDR-Radio.groups.io] On Behalf Of Marco Steiner
Sent: 01 December 2020 09:22
To: main@sdr-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] Mystery Signal on 20-Meters

 

It‘s STANAG PBB Ny DenHelder Netherlands

Freundliche Grüße / Best regards

 

Marco Steiner




Attachments:


Alan G4ZFQ
 

Maybe you can verify the signals on the attached picture (not 20m but nearer 20KHz)?
I think one is JXN on 16.4KHz,
Allan,

Well they are nor real, but you know that already.
My HF+ and.. a discone.
Any other antenna and it starts to look a bit like yours.. Lots of rubbish in and near the shack.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Allan Isaacs
 

Ah Southern Germany… memories of Oktoberfest Marco.

Here’s a similar range of frequencies South Coast of England on my random wire not my tuneable ferrite rod aerial as before.

I had to wait until a local CB transmission stopped as that was breaking through and this is using a 100KHz 60dB low pass filter.

You can see noise from three switching power supplies but on different frequencies to yours.

 

Your discone results are nice and clean Alan… alas my discone is down for repairs. I can’t unscrew the parts to fix it..

Allan G3PIY

 


From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io [mailto:main@SDR-Radio.groups.io] On Behalf Of Marco Steiner
Sent: 01 December 2020 10:42
To: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] Mystery Signal on 20-Meters

 

Hi Allan,

 

this ist he view here in South-Germany!

 

 

Marco

 


David L. Wilson
 

Not sure what is being asked, but the VLF spectrum shows well known "JXN" Norway on 16.4, Russian 'RDL' (various transmit sites) on 18.1, UK naval on 19.575, ICV Sardina on 20.27, French navy on 20.9, DHO38 German navy on 23.4, USN "NAA" Cutler ME on 24.0 and TBB Bafa, Turkey on 26.7.


Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
 

The signal the OP is referring to as well as the one I posted are 30kHz wide! Not the narrow signals you see down in the VLF range. The overall band scope image of these looks like a rounded mountain, not a square signal with sharp cut off on the low and upper sides.

73 Kriss KA1GJU


Mark AB0CW <ab0cwdittmar@...>
 

Perhaps these are related to the HF "stock-trading" stations ?  They are on the same freqs as I have seen them in the past...right below 40 meters.  I definitely saw them yesterday.  Didn't check on 20 m though.  They are very strong here in Cincinnati.

Mark AB0CW

On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 10:42 AM Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU <kliegle@...> wrote:
The signal the OP is referring to as well as the one I posted are 30kHz wide! Not the narrow signals you see down in the VLF range. The overall band scope image of these looks like a rounded mountain, not a square signal with sharp cut off on the low and upper sides.

73 Kriss KA1GJU


Brendan Wahl
 

Hi all,

That's one of the High Frequency Trader signals that you see above 20 meters. These are low-latency, fixed simplex circuits providing commodities traders with a faster-than-cable-or-satellite way to submit orders to the markets. Primarily used for US Midwest to Europe paths for now, and AS to USA may be under experimentation or so I've heard, but I haven't confirmed this.

Very different from all of the OTHR's, as they aren't that common yet, and are quite fixed as to frequency.

Sometime back the trading community IT people began doing a lot of work on allowing for faster and faster execution of trades. What they found was that over inter-continental distances, radio was actually faster than either fiber optic cable or satellite links. We're talking of milliseconds of course, and  that is the key for the traders: million$ are at stake each second. So, money began to be invested, licenses and sites procured, and data modes began appearing. Direct microwave links from trading offices to the transmitter sites are used: no pesky telcos to interface with or be limited by.

Mostly the links have been found to be using ~10-20kW output power with fixed multi-element beams and arrays. They are on distincly unique regulatory ground, as there is no actual license class for fixed data services at HF, so this is all being done on experimental licensing so far. The word "Proprietary" is written on most of the information about these signals, and the companies that provide the services, and the traders using them. I do believe that most of the modes used are OFDM variations, as narrower bandwidth OFDM signals have been used for some time already on HF.

A number of other folks did the necessary sleuthing on this, and the FCC database as usual provided much of the info. It just had to be pieced together.

Brendan WA7HL


 

Just another example of why its stupid to trade stocks actively (day trade).
When 70% of trades are done by algorithms you are roadkill immediately.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brendan Wahl
Sent: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 08:38
To: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] Mystery Signal on 20-Meters

Hi all,

That's one of the High Frequency Trader signals that you see above 20 meters. These are low-latency, fixed simplex circuits providing commodities traders with a faster-than-cable-or-satellite way to submit orders to the markets. Primarily used for US Midwest to Europe paths for now, and AS to USA may be under experimentation or so I've heard, but I haven't confirmed this.

Very different from all of the OTHR's, as they aren't that common yet, and are quite fixed as to frequency.

Sometime back the trading community IT people began doing a lot of work on allowing for faster and faster execution of trades. What they found was that over inter-continental distances, radio was actually faster than either fiber optic cable or satellite links. We're talking of milliseconds of course, and that is the key for the traders: million$ are at stake each second. So, money began to be invested, licenses and sites procured, and data modes began appearing. Direct microwave links from trading offices to the transmitter sites are used: no pesky telcos to interface with or be limited by.

Mostly the links have been found to be using ~10-20kW output power with fixed multi-element beams and arrays. They are on distincly unique regulatory ground, as there is no actual license class for fixed data services at HF, so this is all being done on experimental licensing so far. The word "Proprietary" is written on most of the information about these signals, and the companies that provide the services, and the traders using them. I do believe that most of the modes used are OFDM variations, as narrower bandwidth OFDM signals have been used for some time already on HF.

A number of other folks did the necessary sleuthing on this, and the FCC database as usual provided much of the info. It just had to be pieced together.

Brendan WA7HL


Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
 

17M today at 1730z
Left hand side is KA1GJU@PCARC and righ thand side is KA1GJU Super Station #1.  Both servers use end fed wires, and settings are the same on each (gains, preamp, waterfall contrast, etc).
These two servers are 12 miles apart, so it's not local, but there is an antenna site out near Chicago in a field with beams pointing towards Europe per the web.
https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/shortwave-trading-part-i-the-west-chicago-tower-mystery/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-08/the-gazillion-dollar-standoff-over-two-high-frequency-trading-towers
https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/networks/hft-traders-dust-19th-century-tool-search-market-edge



As I type this post out, it moved to 20M, same two RXR locations:


73 Kriss KA1GJU


Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
 

So much for working the UK on the upper portion of 17M!
Looks a little different today, not the rounded hump:



Just as strong on Simon's server too!
Just stopped at 1255z though, now active on 14757 kHz. Same shape

73 Kriss KA1GJU


sm6fhz
 

Hi.
These signals seems to have invaded all bands. The attached screenshot includes a variety of funny signals.
I have also come across BC-stations on the higher SW BC-bands that look like AM-stations, can be read with both AM and SAM but with severe distortion. The station next to such a station sounds nice in modulation (at the same signal strength). It sound like there is some kind of digital modulation overlay on the AM-modulation.
Is that a special modulation or just inter-modulation?
I have a IQ-recording but it can hardly be attached here.
I am using a AirSpy HF+ and an active whip antenna far out into the woods.
73 / Ingolf, SM6FHZ


Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU
 

Ingolf,
With the uptick in solar activity, the SW BC stations on the upper bands can now be heard. I heard WRMI out of Florida (due south of me at 1200miles) booming in on 21,525 kHz, beaming east!
They are also on 15,770 kHz beaming NE to Europe. There are other HF BC's now capable of being heard due to the good band conditions.

73 Kriss KA1GJU


jdow
 

Changing modulation schemes to get more bits per symbol. That will get the data through faster.

On 20201202 05:02:24, Kriss Kliegle KA1GJU wrote:
So much for working the UK on the upper portion of 17M!
Looks a little different today, not the rounded hump:



Just as strong on Simon's server too!
Just stopped at 1255z though, now active on 14757 kHz. Same shape

73 Kriss KA1GJU


Roger Need
 

On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 08:37 AM, Brendan Wahl wrote:
Hi all,

That's one of the High Frequency Trader signals that you see above 20
meters. These are low-latency, fixed simplex circuits providing
commodities traders with a faster-than-cable-or-satellite way to submit
orders to the markets. Primarily used for US Midwest to Europe paths for
now, and AS to USA may be under experimentation or so I've heard, but I
haven't confirmed this.
A number of other folks did the necessary sleuthing on this, and the FCC
database as usual provided much of the info. It just had to be pieced
together.

Brendan WA7HL
Do you have a link to any recent investigations or discussion concerning these shortwave stock trading transmissions?  I think it might be interesting to use the  kiwisdr direction finding feature to pinpoint the transmitter location.

Roger