NVA GONG STATION (description courtesy Langley Pierce)
The second MfS station to fall silent was characterised by its use of clock chimes
in it's broadcast preamble. This station too left the air on Wednesday May 9
1. Transmission Format. Transmissions began at half hourly intervals beginning in early evening European Time. The preamble began ten minutes before the actual traffic was due to begin and contained a set of eight separate chimes from an old clock. This was repeated for the ten minutes leading up to transmission time on the hour or half hour. The traffic began with a traffic list which repeated five times.
Preamble: Clock Chimes
06667 Trennung 81
16324 Trennung 26...
The first five digit number is an agent's address number with the second number representing the group count of that message. Note that each individual message was preceeded by an 8 second period of dead air.
Achtung! 06667 Trennung 81 06667 Trennung 81
76582 76582 40822 40822 43198 43198....Ende
16324 Trennung 26 16324 Trennung 26
43272 43272 87654 87654 16523 16523.... Ende.
Transmission ended with an 8-second dead air period followed by one set of chimes.
Note that the transmitter used for these transmissions was switched off within one minute
of the final chime sequence, and was similarly switched on at the very beginning of the broadcast and not before.
Traffic was presented at 19 groups per minute in German by a quite harsh computer synthesised female voice. Pronunciation was of the usual East German standard.
1. eins 6. Zechs
2. zvo 7. zeiben
4. fier 9. noi-in
Traffic Schedule: Traffic was broadcast at half hourly intervals in the evening around 1800hrs UTC, with the last transmission beginning at 2300hrs
Daily evening broadcasts: 1800hrs to 2300hrs UTC on 3258 kHz
Saturday morning broadcast: 1000hrs UTC on 5410 kHz
This half hourly schedule was adjusted if any transmission exceeded the twenty minutes limit set aside for each broadcast. In such a case the next transmission was carried on the next available half hourly slot. Transmissions generally contained 6 items of traffic, although 2,3,4, and 5 item broadcasts were common place Average total group counts per transmission were:
2 messages 40 to 60 groups
3 messages 50 to 70 groups
4 messages 80 to 100 groups
5 messages 100 to 120 groups
6 messages 130 to 160 groups
2. Operating Frequencies: Upper Side Band
Interesting Footnote. The thawing of the "Cold War", initiated by Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, which lead to the Brussels conference of world powers in November 1990, finally silenced the East German numbers stations on the evening of Wednesday, 9 May, 1990, when final messages were sent out to agents in the field. As the West German DPA news agency reported;
"They were always preceded by a gong being struck several times. Then on shortwave, a frequency of 3220 kHz, (really 3258kHz) one heard a synthetic voice speaking in a metallic tone: eg. one, seven, five, three, eight, combinations of numbers in groups of five conveying coded news from East Berlin to agents in the FGR and neighbouring foreign countries. Once again the routine broadcast was expected on Thursday evening by the FGR counter intelligence service, but it never came. The voice of espionage has fallen silent."