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The Buzzer\UVB-76[]


  • "The Buzzer"\UVB-76.
  • Broadcast area Russia (Possibly available in Oklahoma and other middle western states).
  • Frequency 4625, 6998 kHz.
  • First air date 1973.
  • Format Repeated buzzing, occasional voice messages and generator failures.
  • Language(s) Russian.
  • Former callsigns UVB-76, UZB-76, MDZhB, ZhUOZ.
  • Affiliations Russian Armed Forces (unconfirmed).
  • Sister stations The Pip, The Squeaky Wheel.


UVB-76, also known as "the Buzzer", is the nickname given by radio listeners to a shortwave radio station that broadcasts on the frequency 4625 kHz. It broadcasts a short, monotonous About this sound buzz tone (help·info), repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, 24 hours per day. Sometimes, the buzzer signal is interrupted and a voice transmission in Russian takes place. The first reports were made of a station on this frequency in 1982. Its origins have been traced to Russia, and although several theories with varying degrees of plausibility exist, its actual purpose has never been officially confirmed and remains a source of speculation. 

Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The station is commonly known as the Buzzer in both English and Russian (жужжалка žužžalka). Its official name is not known, although some of the voice transmissions have revealed names which may be callsigns or another form of identification. Up until 2010, the station identified itself as UVB-76 (Cyrillic: УВБ-76), and it is still often referred to by that name. In September 2010, the station moved to another location, and used the identification MDZhB (Cyrillic: МДЖБ, Russian phonetic spelling "Mikhail Dmitri Zhenya Boris") from then onwards. On December 28, 2015, the station began using the callsign "ЖУОЗ" - pronounced "Zhenya, Ulyana, Olga, Zinaida". It is possible that the correct identification until September 2010 was actually UZB-76 (Cyrillic: УЗБ-76), and that the Cyrillic letter Ze (З) had been misheard as the letter Ve (В). However, it is still referred to as "UVB-76" by most people. Although the station, by and large, has used these two codes at the beginning of most voice transmissions, a few voice messages have used other identification codes. This makes it uncertain whether the names are actually the callsign of the station, or some other identifying code.


A spectrum for UVB-76 showing the suppressed lower sideband. The station transmits using AM with a suppressed lower sideband (R3E), but it has also used full double-sideband AM (A3E). The signal consists of a buzzing sound that lasts 1.2 seconds, pausing for 1–1.3 seconds, and repeating 21–34 times per minute. Until November 2010, the buzz tones lasted approximately 0.8 seconds each. One minute before the hour, the repeating tone was previously replaced by a continuous, uninterrupted alternating tone, which continued for one minute until the short repeating buzz resumed, although this stopped occurring in June 2010. 

The Buzzer has apparently been broadcasting since at least 1982 as a repeating two-second pip, changing to a buzzer in early 1990. It briefly changed to a higher tone of longer duration (approximately 20 tones per minute) on January 16, 2003, but it has since reverted to the previous tone pattern.

Voice messages[]

Sometimes the buzzing sound is interrupted and a voice message is broadcast. These messages are usually given in Russian by a live voice, and follow a fixed format. An example ws:

  • At 21:00 UTC on December 24, 1997: "Ya UVB-76, Ya UVB-76. 180 08 BROMAL 74 27 99 14. Boris, Roman, Olga, Mikhail, Anna, Larisa. 7 4 2 7 9 9 1 4."

Voice messages were thought to be very rare, until 2010 when listeners reported increased activity of the station, spurring on further monitoring and allowing listeners to "catch" more of the messages which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. On June 5, 2010, UVB-76 went silent for approximately 24 hours, resuming the normal buzzing pattern on the morning of June 6. At 1335 UTC on August 23, 2010, a voice message was broadcast:

  • "UVB-76, UVB-76. 93 882 NAIMINA 74 14 35 74. 9 3 8 8 2 Nikolai, Anna, Ivan, Mikhail, Ivan, Nikolai, Anna. 7 4 1 4 3 5 7 4" (Recording of August 23rd transmission) 

Unusual transmissions[]

Frequently, distant conversations and other background noises have been heard behind the buzzer, suggesting that the buzzing tones are not generated internally, but are transmitted from a device placed behind a live and constantly open microphone. It is also possible that a microphone may have been turned on accidentally. One such occasion was on November 3, 2001, when a conversation in Russian was heard: 

"Я – 143. Не получаю генератор." "Идёт такая работа от аппаратной." ("I am 143. Not receiving the generator (oscillator)." "That stuff comes from hardware room."). On November 11, 2010, intermittent phone conversations were transmitted and were recorded by a listener (at 1400 UTC) for a period of approximately 30 minutes. These conversations are available online, and seem to be in Russian The phone calls mentioned the "brigade operative officer on duty", the communication nodes "Debut", "Nadezhda" (Russian for "hope", both a noun and a female name), "Sudak" (a kind of river fish and also a town in Crimea) and "Vulkan" (volcano). The female voice says "officer on duty of communication node Debut senior ensign Uspenskaya, got the control call from Nadezhda OK".

On July 17, 2015, the station broadcast what appeared to be a RTTY signal in lieu of the buzzer.

On October 19, 2015, listeners noticed the same buzzing sound on 6998.00 kHz, exactly in sync with the tones emitted on 4625.00 kHz. 

Location and function[]

The purpose of the station has not been confirmed by government or broadcast officials. However, the former Minister of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Lithuania Rimantas Pleikys has written that the purpose of the voice messages is to confirm that operators at receiving stations are alert. Other explanations are that the broadcast is constantly being listened to by military commissariats. 

There is speculation published in the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences which describes an observatory measuring changes in the ionosphere by broadcasting a signal at 4625 kHz, the same as the Buzzer. 

It is also speculated that the voice messages are some sort of Russian military communications, and that the buzzing sound is merely a "channel marker" used to keep the frequency occupied, thereby making it unattractive for other potential users. 

There are two other Russian stations that follow a similar format, nicknamed "The Pip" and "The Squeaky Wheel". Like the Buzzer, these stations transmit a signature sound that is repeated constantly, but is occasionally interrupted to relay coded voice messages. 

The former transmitter was located near Povarovo, Russia, at 56°5′0″N 37°6′37″E which is about halfway between Zelenograd and Solnechnogorsk and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northwest of Moscow, near the village of Lozhki. The location and callsign were unknown until the first known voice broadcast of 1997. In September 2010, the station's transmitter was moved nearby the city of Saint Petersburg, near the village of Kerro Massiv. This may have been due to a reorganization of the Russian military. Prior to August 9, 2015, the station is not transmitted from the Kerro Massiv transmitter site ("Irtysh") anymore, possibly due to a reorganization of the Russian military for the particular area which may cause the frequency to be used only in the Moscow Military District. At present, The Buzzer appears to be broadcast only from the 69th Communication Hub in Naro Fominsk, Moscow. In 2011 a group of urban explorers explored the abandoned buildings at Povarovo. They claim that it is an abandoned military base. A radio log record was found, confirming the operation of a transmitter at 4625 kHz.

The Pip[]


  • The Pip, 8S1Shch.
  • Broadcast area Southern Europe.
  • Frequency 5448 kHz (day)/3756 kHz (night).
  • First air- date Mid 1980s.
  • Format- Repeated beeps, occasional voice messages.
  • Language(s)- Russian.
  • Affiliations- Russian Armed Forces (unconfirmed).
  • Sister stations- The Buzzer, The Squeaky Wheel.


The Pip is the nickname given by radio listeners to a shortwave radio station that broadcasts on the frequency 5448 kHz by day, and 3756 kHz during the night. It broadcasts short, repeated beeps at a rate of around 50 per minute, for 24 hours per day. The beep signal is occasionally interrupted for voice messages in Russian. The Pip has been active since around 1986, when its distinctive beeping sound was first recorded by listeners.

The station is commonly referred to as "The Pip" among English-speaking radio listeners. In Russia, it is known as Капля (Kaplya) "the drop". While its official name or callsign is not known, some of the voice transmissions begin with the code 8S1Shch (Cyrillic: 8С1Щ), which is generally considered to be the name of the station. However, this code may not be a callsign, but instead serve some other purpose. Radioscanner.ru identifies the owner of this station as a North-Caucasian military district communication center with callsign "Akacia" (ex-72nd communication center, Russian "72 узел связи штаба СКВО")

A recording of the Pip during its normal operation, as heard in Russia on 12 July 2015. The station's format resembles, in many ways, that of its presumed sister station, The Buzzer. Its signal consists of short beeping sounds that repeat at a rate of approximately 50 beeps per minute. It is transmitted on the frequency 5448 kHz during the day and 3756 kHz at night. The times at which the station switches from the day to the night frequency or vice versa are changed over the course of the year, presumably to match the changing lengths of day and night. Higher frequencies have better propagation characteristics during the day, while lower frequencies do better in darkness.

Voice messages[]

As with The Buzzer, the beeps are sometimes interrupted for the transmission of coded voice messages. There are two different message formats. Messages beginning with the Russian word для (dlya, "for") are thought to be test messages to gauge reception quality. The message itself consists of ten callsigns, each consisting of four numbers or letters. For example:

Для ЙХЬЙ ЗЬ1Б НИ9В ДМЦ3 49ФТ Ц2ЗА ЛИ27 ИННЦ ЩГЙП 8ЦЩЙ (Dlya JH'J Z'1B NI9V DMC3 49FT C2ZA LI27 INNC ShchGJP 8CShchJ) This is then followed with another "dlya" and then the callsigns are repeated again, concluding with Как слышно? (Kak slyshno?, "How do you hear?"). The callsigns are then repeated twice more, ending with Приём! (Prijom!, "Over!"). Another type of message begins with 8С1Щ (8S1Shch), thought to be the station's own callsign. This is then followed by two digits, then three, a codeword in Russian, then four pairs of digits:

8С1Щ 73 373 ВДЕВАНИЕ 84 56 22 35 (8S1Shch 73 373 VDYeVANIE 84 56 22 35) The message is then repeated four more times, also finishing with Приём! (Prijom!, "Over!").


The purpose of The Pip is also not known, although there are many theories. It is often suggested that The Pip is part of a larger radio relay or control system, which also includes The Buzzer and The Squeaky Wheel, which both follow similar formats. In particular, activity on The Pip often used to be followed a few minutes later by a voice message on The Squeaky Wheel, suggesting that both are operated by the same organization and share the same purpose. On one occasion, The Pip's characteristic beeping sound could be heard in the background while a message was being transmitted on the Squeaky Wheel's frequency, which may indicate that both stations are even operated from within the same building or room. However, these activities have since ceased. Later tables of received messages no longer show such parallels.

The Squeaky Wheel[]


  1. The Squeaky Wheel
  2. Frequency 3828 kHz (night); 5473 kHz (day);
  3. First air date 2000
  4. Format Repeated squeaks, occasional Strategic Flash Messages in Russian
  5. Affiliations Russian Armed Forces (unconfirmed)
  6. Sister stations The Buzzer, The Pip


The Squeaky Wheel is the nickname given by radio listeners to a utility shortwave radio station that used to broadcast a distinctive sound. From around 2000 until 2008 this station sounded much[citation needed] like a squeaky wheel. From 2008 the channel marker changed to two different tones in a short sequence repeated with a short silent gap. The frequencies were 5473 kHz (day) and 3828 kHz (night). Several times voice messages in the format of Strategic Flash Messages[clarification needed] have been reported. The transmitter site is unknown, but is thought to be near Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The signal strength is not very good in Central Europe and the station sometimes even might disappear for days in the noise.

Other frequencies observed are 3650 kHz, 3815 kHz, 5474 kHz, and 5641 kHz.

The Enigma designation is S32 with S indicating Slavic language. However from 2000 to 2005 it was designated XSW when voice on the station was unknown.

Also see[]

  1. Radio
  2. The Cold War
  3. Secret service radio stations


  1. http://mt-utility.blogspot.com/2009/11/cherry-ripe-frequency-change.html
  2. http://www.archive.org/details/ird059
  3. History and Info on The Buzzer
  4. Lost and Found Sound
  5. The Shortwave Numbers Mystery
  6. UVB76
  7. Global Frequency Database
  8. UVB-76 Temporary Internet Relay  
  9. UVB-76 Activity Updates
  10. Wired.co.uk 2011 article
  11. History and Info on The Buzzer
  12. http://www.npr.org/templates/topics/topic.php?topicId=1074
  13. The Shortwave Numbers Mystery
  14. UVB76
  15. Global Frequency Database
  16. UVB-76 Temporary Internet Relay
  17. UVB-76 Activity Updates
  18. Wired.co.uk 2011 article
  19. The Squeaky Wheel
  20. The Squeaky Wheel
  21. The Pip
  22. S30 - The Pip  
  23. The Pip - S30 (formerly XT)
  24. http://vk.com/akaciya
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pip
  26. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76
  27. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Squeaky_Wheel