Cherry Ripe (numbers station)
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|Broadcast area||Humpty Doo, Australia|
|Frequency||Several shortwave frequencies between 18.864 and 21.866 MHz|
|Affiliations||Royal Air Force (Speculated)|
|Sister stations||Lincolnshire Poacher|
Cherry Ripe is the nickname of a discontinued shortwave numbers station that used several bars from the English folk song "Cherry Ripe" as an interval signal. The station was believed to be operated by the British Secret Intelligence Service and to have emanated from Australia. It was thought to have previously broadcast from Guam. It consisted of an electronically synthesised English-accented female voice reading groups of five numbers, e.g. "3-5-7-6-1". The final number in each group was spoken at a higher pitch. It is likely that the station was used to communicate messages to undercover agents operating in other countries, to be decoded using a one-time pad.
Cherry Ripe had a more famous and much more active Middle-Eastern cousin, the Lincolnshire Poacher, which also used several bars from the English folk song of the same name as its interval signal. The Lincolnshire Poacher had long been suspected as being operated by Britain and had been detected as emanating from RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus. Apart from the interval signal, the format and voice of the two stations was identical, though as of July 2008 the Lincolnshire Poacher appears to no longer be active. In September 2009, Cherry Ripe moved their transmitter to Humpty Doo, Australia.  In December 2009 Cherry Ripe also went off the air.
- E03a/Ex E04 - Cherry Ripe
- Cherry Ripe on the Global Frequency Database
- Cherry Ripe station profile on SpyNumbers
- The Lincolnshire poacher with some details on Cherry Ripe
- Hugh Stegman (24 November 2009). "Cherry Ripe Frequency Change". Monitoring Times Utility World and Utility Logs.
- "The Conet Project – Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations ird059". includes recording
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