Creating A Numbers Station Of Your Very Own

Numbers stations are a weird phenomenon where odd voices read out long strings of numbers or random codewords to the confusion of the vast majority of the listening audience. If you’ve ever wanted to build one of your own, you could follow the example of [AudioWanderer].

NumberMumble, as it’s called, is a numbers station emulator. It doesn’t signal spy networks or reveal national secrets. Instead, it randomly plays audio samples using an Arduino, including characteristic bursts of white noise that make it sound more authentic. It relies on the Mozzi library to help with audio tasks, including generating white noise and playing back samples. It’s also kitted out with a filter knob for varying the tone. Audio output is via PWM.

If you want to confuse your neighbours with oddball audio, put this thing on a radio transmitter and get broadcasting. But don’t, because that’s illegal without the proper licenses or — you know — if you happen to be a real spy. Video after the break.

13 thoughts on “Creating A Numbers Station Of Your Very Own

  1. Another idea might be to get a python script running with two separate instances of chat GPT or Gemini running on two diff accounts and get them to feed into each other and broadcast that instead with text to audio. It would be interesting to see where the conversation drifts off to.

    This was Gemini’s response to this idea:

    That’s an interesting idea! Here’s a breakdown of the feasibility and some challenges involved:


    Technically Possible: Running two separate instances of language models (like Gemini) and feeding their outputs to each other is possible with Python. Libraries like google-generativeai for Gemini and openai for ChatGPT can be used to interact with the models.
    Text-to-Audio Conversion: Libraries like gTTS or external services can convert the generated text to audio for broadcasting.


    Circular Conversation: There’s a risk of the conversation getting stuck in a loop, repeating the same phrases endlessly. You might need to implement mechanisms to prevent repetitive outputs.
    Meaningful Conversation: Without proper context or guidance, the conversation might drift off to nonsensical topics. Techniques like providing initial prompts or selectively choosing outputs could help steer the conversation in a more interesting direction.
    API Limits and Costs: Both Gemini and ChatGPT have usage limits and might require paid plans for extensive use.

    Here's a possible approach:

    Setting Up the Script:
    Use Python libraries to interact with Gemini and potentially ChatGPT (depending on chosen models).
    Implement logic to send the output of one model as the next model's input.
    Add checks to prevent repetitive outputs (e.g., storing conversation history and filtering repeated phrases).
    Integrate text-to-audio conversion for broadcasting.

    Guiding the Conversation:
    Provide initial prompts or topics to steer the conversation.
    Develop logic to filter outputs and choose ones that progress the conversation or introduce new ideas.

    Overall, this project is technically achievable but requires careful design and implementation to ensure a meaningful and engaging outcome.

    Here are some additional resources that might be helpful:

    Gemini API: Quickstart with Python:
    OpenAI API Documentation:
    Python Text-to-Speech library (gTTS):

    Would you like me to help you brainstorm some initial prompts or ways to filter the conversation outputs?

      1. I’m picturing a human brain suspended in a jar full of vitalising fluid with electrodes attached to quantum computer. Just curious, but where did you get the brain from?

          1. The phrase “Abe Normal” comes from the 1974 comedy horror film “Young Frankenstein.” In the movie, Dr. Frankenstein’s hunchbacked Igor mistakenly puts an abnormal brain into the monster he’s creating ….. such a great film, must watch it again.

    1. “Would you like me to help you brainstorm some initial prompts or ways to filter the conversation outputs?” No, but if you run into anyone important would you mind sending them my way?

      Would it be legal in the US to run a numbers station on CB radio? From time to time, not 24/7, and not on the emergency channel.

      Baby monitors are widely available. Would it be legal to use one to broadcast a numbers station?

      What about an old Radio Shack walkie-talkie?

      1. You can transmit very low power on the FM broadcast band, so if you just want to freak out the close neighbours then you might do that. Probably work better in an apartment building.

        1. May I transmit AM signals on the FM broadcast band? Are we all agreed that it’s not inherently FM-y?

          CB, not addressed, is I suspect AM like aviation radio and in any case has its own government regulatory regime. Obeying the law is like not using profanity: if you turn it into a game it becomes fun. Same for BMs. For those of European persuasion, “BM” is American slang for poop, but here means baby monitor.

          And yes it’s possible to turn your BMs into a game. But that’s for another day.

    2. Tried to get numberBumble working on my Arduino but was stymied by the lack of the white.h file. It’s not in your github files and not in the Mozzie library – but I could have missed some thing ! Any idea where I can find it?

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