Radio Pirates, Spies and Chinese Jamming: This Is Internet Ham Radio

March 3, 2014 | Peter Yeh

Tune in: Wide-band WebSDR is a web-based ham radio on steroids that samples the entire shortwave spectrum. You and dozens of others can tune into radio transmissions worldwide, courtesy of the ETGD amateur radio club at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Listen to Tibetan music and amateurs chattin’. Check out illegal pirate radio stations. Eavesdrop on secretive military channels. Or, just drag the slider around the spectrum to see what you pick up. (Zoom in deeply so you can see the notes that previous amateur radio operators of what they are. Zoom out to see the spectrum and where certain bands lie.)

There’s a chat at the bottom where other people share their finds, but here’s a selection of some of our favorites:

Punch in 7415.00, set the Bandwidth to AM and take a listen. The music you hear is China jamming US radio transmissions from Radio Free Asia in the Mariana Islands.

6285 (AM-nrw) is a pirate radio station, Radio Mir, telling Russia to “grow up” and “stop acting like its the Soviet Union.”

Tune into 15540.01 (AM) to hear the greatest hits from Radio Kuwait.

15650.00 (AM) is better than Spotify and coming from Greece.

7450.00 (AM) is the Xizang (China’s name for Tibet) People’s Broadcasting Station.

7465.00 (AM) is in Russian but covering Taiwanese news.

8992.00 (AM) is the US Air Force’s secret channel. Listen for “SKYKING” messages.

5424.00 (AM) is a Russian spy station. They’re called “numbers stations.” Somewhere a spy is listening to this, waiting for his instructions. They’re mostly silent except for bursts of activity.

4625.00 (AM) is UVB-76 or “The Buzzer.” It’s believed to be a Russian military transmitter.

7515.00 (AM) is strange, it’s Voice of Marytrs broadcasting in Korean from Uzbekistan for all those oppressed Korean Christians in Central Asiam I guess.

15570.00 (AM) is the Vatican’s radio broadcasting in Africa.

Grab that slider and dance around the airwaves. Hear the world.