A numbers station is a special type of unusual radio broadcast, generally on the Short Wave (SW) radio bands, reading out incomprehensible lists of spoken numbers or morse coded messages.The most common type features a female voice, reading long strings of numbers, generally in groups of five, often preceeded by a preamble and/or a series of musical notes. During the Cold War number stations were often operated from Eastern Block countries, such as Czechslovakia, East-Germany (DDR) and Russia (USSR) with their broadcasts aimed at spies and secret agents operating undercover in West-European countries. The agents were instructed to listen to specific SW frequencies at fixed days and times, often using a commercially available SW-receiver from brands like Sony, Panasonic and Grundig. The Sony ICF-2001D (called ICF 2010 outside Europe), a commonly available receiver, became really popular amongst the spies during the 1980s.
The Sony ICF-2001D, as a spy tool…
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In 1925 a group of amateur radio operators in Milan led by Ing. Eugenio Gnesutta (Italian radio pioneer, who already founded in 1923 the Group Radiotecnico Milanese), pending the entry into service of the URI (Unione Radiofonica Italiana, the public service radio) had begun (perhaps as a provocation to push the public service radio to open a station in Milan) on May 5 1925, more or less regular evening broadcasts from a private radio station called “Place Zero” (Posto Zero, in italian) located in Via Santo Spirito (where the event is commemorated by a plaque which is reproduced in the above picture). Behind this acronym also they kept the anonymity, to avoid trouble with the law.
Their action will lead to the birth of the first URI public radio station in Milan at the end of 1925
RADIO POSTO ZERO, ”THE STUDIO”
RADIO POSTO ZERO, ON THE ROOF
“Why we did it? Because our need to communicate over the radio has let us passed thirty years of problems with the law? It is not just the fact of being able to transmit a record of the Rolling Stone without authorization, it is a matter of freedom. Before being turned off by the Broadcasting Act, Radio Caroline was the only English radio station that had no direct control by the institutions. The official reasons of the closure of our station were not our potential interference to other radio or violations of our laws on territorial waters but just the fact that everything that can not be controlled by the government must be eliminated “
Peter Moore, manager of Radio Caroline (a british pirate radio broadcasting from a ship in international waters since 1964, closed down by the Labour government in 1967)
“Perche lo facevamo ?…
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