Strange Signals? Sigidwiki!

If you’ve gotten into software-defined radio (SDR) in the last five years, you’re not alone. A lot of hackers out there are listening in to the previously unheard. But what do you do when you find an interesting signal and you don’t know what it is? Head on over to the Signal Identification Wiki! You’ll find recordings and waterfall plots for a ton of radio signals categorized by frequency band as well as their use.

Or, conversely, maybe you’ve just got a new radio and you want to test it out. What would be a fun challenge to receive? Signals in the catalog range from the mundane, like this smart home energy meter from California, or a Chrysler tire-pressure monitoring system to (probably) secret military or intelligence transmissions.

If you’re looking at a waterfall plot and you’re not sure what to make of it, the sigidwiki is worth a look. And it’s a wiki, so if you’ve got a cool signal and you want to add it, create an account and get to it!

Thanks to [mkie] for the tip!

25 thoughts on “Strange Signals? Sigidwiki!

  1. And if you don’t have an SDR, trying playing with this very capable online one in Holland:

    It is reviewed here:

    You can even establish an account and mark frequencies for later listening. I’m listening to North Atlantic air traffic control on 8906 kHz USB right now.

    You know what we need? An inexpensive SDR that mates via USB with smartphones.

      1. If propagation is good, you can pick up any HF signal with a screwdriver. Although Twente is hearing a lot, if you are nearby like me, you can compare the signals with your own antenna setup and see/hear the differences.

        @Michael W. Perry
        I always thought the Germans were the ones being ignorant and referring to “The Netherlands” as “Holland”.

        1. This again.. IT IS THE SAME THING, everybody in the world including in the netherlands uses holland and the netherlands interchangeable in colloquial use.
          The biggest difference is that netherlands is used more by international minded dutch who speak english and listen to foreign (mostly US) music whereas holland is used by the more nationally minded who listen to dutch music and are more focused on local culture.

  2. It’s hard to search for specific waterfalls though, when you have a large connection you go mad looking at each one to see the one you are trying to figure out.
    But yes it’s a great thing to have available nonetheless.

    It would be nice if it had google-image-search type of stuff, but that falls well outside the realm of a normal site to run, you’d not only have to compare a complex waveform but you’d also need to turn the image entered into a usable form.
    But perhaps someone could make a web-based utility where you could submit an audio file and have ti tell you what it is by analyzing it. Although that would also not be easy it would be much easier than picture-based.

    1. I meant: large collection*

      And an addendum: the wiki at least divides it in various categories/frequency bands, I think there is also a site that just has them all non-categorized which is really troublesome to use.

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