G03 – Gongs or Chimes

G03 was a numbers station operated by the East German army (NVA).  This station was well known for it’s eerie gongs and chimes intro signal, which was played from a tape.  Over time, the tape containing the gongs sound had stretched out and distorted over time, making it sound even creepier as it aged.  This was significantly noticeable by the time it went inactive.

The voice of G03 was created by using the Stasi Sprach Morse Machine, and was manipulated in a way to make the voice sound higher than usual.  The station was transmitted from Zeesen, but was remotely controlled from Wernsdorf outside of Berlin.

Message Sample

G03 was last observed on May 9th,1990 after the thawing of the Cold War was initiated by Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, which lead to the Brussels conference of world powers in November 1990.  After the final transmission was sent, the West German DPA news agency reported on the station:

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 neighboring 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.

Final Message From G03

The final Gongs and Chimes broadcast was certainly not routine.  The last message started with the Gongs intro, and then drunken NVA soldiers singing a well known children’s song “Alle meine Entchen” (“All My Ducklings”). Before that, one of them says: “Und nun die Sendung fuer das aufgeweckte Kind” (“And now the transmission for the bright child”).

Schedule

G03 transmitted daily every evening from 18:00 UTC to 23:00 UTC at half hourly intervals on 3258 kHz.  It also transmitted on Saturday mornings at 10:00 UTC on 5410 kHz.

Station Structure

Preamble Each Message
Gongs Play “Achtung” 14803 “Trennug” 68 “Achtung” 14803 “Trennug” 68 67554
67554…
“Ende”
Interval
Signal
Attention 5-Digit
Recipient ID
Group Count Attention 5-Digit
Recipient ID
Group Count 5-digit
paired groups
end
Repeats with different data for each message Format for each message
Repeats for
5 minutes
Repeats for
5 minutes

Station Summary

Nickname: Gongs or Chimes
Activity:
Inactive, since 1990/1991
Emission mode:
USB
Voice Summary:
Female voice generated by the Stasi Sprach/Morse Machine, manipulated in a way that made it sound higher than the default tone.
Believed Country of Origin:
East Germany
Family Relatives: G08, M49, M41(?)
Station Family:
Family 17 “DDR”

Sources

The Conet Project – Gongs or Chimes Recording
Simon Mason’s Website G3 Page
Simon Mason’s Website, Secret Signals Page