UVB-76 (also known as, UZB-76, and more recently MDZhB) is the call sign for a shortwave radio station that broadcasts on the frequency of 4625 kHz (AM suppressed lower sideband). Around 25 times a minute, 24 hours a day, this Russian shortwave radio station, nicknamed The Buzzer, plays a short, monotonous buzz tone on the AM frequency at 4625 kHz. The station’s official callsign is “UVB-76?, and the sound it transmits has been on an almost continuous loop since it was first herd around 1982.
UVB-76 transmits a buzzing sound that lasts for 1.2 seconds, then a pause for 1–1.3 seconds, and repeated 21 to 34 times per minute. Up until November 2010, the buzzer tones lasted for approximately 0.8 seconds each. One minute before the hour, the repeated tone was previously replaced by a continuous, uninterrupted alternating tone, which continued for just one minute until the short repeating buzzer carried on, this no longer happens .
Sometimes, distant conversations and background noises can be heard behind the buzzer, this may suggest that the buzz tones come from a device placed behind a live and constantly open microphone, rather than a recording or automated sound being fed through playback equipment, or that a microphone may have been turned on by accident. On November 3, 2001, a conversation in Russian was heard, which translated to “I am 143. Not receiving the generator (oscillator).” “That stuff comes from hardware room.”.
Voice messages from UVB-76 were quite rare until a sudden spate of activity in the second half of 2010. On August 23rd 2010, for the first time in over four years, the tone was interrupted and was replaced with a Russian voice that said:
UVB-76, UVB-76 – 93 882 naimina 74 14 35 74 – 9 3 8 8 2 nikolai, anna, ivan, michail, ivan, nikolai, anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4 – (repeated twice)
The names used in the message are used in some Russian spelling alphabets, and spell out the first word – “naimina”, It has been suggested that they translate to “russian names”, “Nikolai, Anna, Ivan, Mikail, Ivan, Nikolai, Anna” – Another idea suggests that “74 14 35 74? could be interpreted as longitude and latitude coordinates: 74.14N 35.74E.
Why would the UVB-76 be broadcasting a geographical location in the middle of the Barents sea? Maybe it was to do with the launch of a Russian anti-aircraft missile which happened on the same day?
The Russian Air Force is together with Air Defence units preparing a shooting exercise with the S-300 anti-Aircraft missile system from the island of Kildin in the Barents Sea.
Recently more voice transmissions have come from UVB-76, including the odd grumble, knocks, shuffles, beeps, and a even a completely new buzzing noise that nearly drowned out the original buzzer sound completely.
On the 11th at exactly 1400 UTC, a series of conversations were broadcast between different people on the UVB-76 frequency. It is not known where this transmission originated from, although the buzzer can still be heard faintly in the background. Either someone made a mistake, or it’s an unrelated or pirate transmission over the same frequency.