Article by OM Marcin MARCINIAK – SP5XMI
As many of us know, coast stations were spread all over the world, including very remote areas. One of them was Uyedinenya Island/UCV. The station was built during the Cold War period especially for polar weather observation and signal intelligence. It was built with standard Russian setup then upgraded to main maritime shortwave transmitter KORVET („КОРВЕТ” – a corvette) with medium wave transmitter Musson-2 („МУССОН-2” – a monsoon) and two Shtorm (Шторм – a storm) receivers.
There was also older Yorsh-R (Ёрш-Р – a ruffe) CW transmitter with famous R-250M receiver, probably used for signal intelligence rather than for general receiving. The station used also a Tembr ( Тембр – timbre) tape deck. The receivers and transmitter remote control panels were built into standard 4U console, quite popular on the other side of the pond as well. And the maritime radio clock of course was there.
UCV wasn’t a busy station but it used to send some important messages regarding weather observations and could relay messages from vessels. As far as I was told, the station had its own traffic list during the busiest days.
In November 1996 the supply of fuel for the station’s diesels almost ran out and the operators sent a lot of telegrams asking for resupply. On 26th of November 1996 all the people were evacuated by a helicopter with only small personal luggage. Nobody lives there, the station is abandoned. All the equipment remained on site. It is probably damaged but some amateurs think it’s possible to repair it. The island is closed as a natural reserve, only automated weather station powered from nuclear thermal generator sends digital information via a satellite. The callsign UCV is used at Okhotsk station UCV-2 that broadcasts Navtex info on 518kcs in NAVAREA XIII.
The Russian radio amateurs organized great expedition to remote and abandoned arctic islands in 2001. The movie can be seen here:
– the UCV part starts from 29:27. I think the whole movie is worth watching. Have a free hour to watch it. Movie is in English with subtitles when Russian language is spoken.
And as a bonus – there is one QSO with aircraft mobile station and one with one very famous ham from VK. Watch the movie to hear it.
The pictures are taken from the movie.