This gigantic antenna system called Duga-3 is located near Prypiat in the Chernobyl area.
It was built in the 70's as an early missile detection system (over-the-horizon radar system). It was also called the Steel Yard hence its distinctive appearance. The antenna was deactivated in 1989.

The Russian Woodpecker was a notorious Soviet signal that could be heard on the shortwave radio bands worldwide between July 1976 and December 1989. It sounded like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise, at 10 Hz, giving rise to the "Woodpecker" name. The random frequency disrupted legitimate broadcast, amateur radio, and utility transmissions and resulted in thousands of complaints by many countries worldwide.

Starting in 1976 a new and powerful radio signal was detected worldwide, and quickly dubbed the Woodpecker by amateur radio operators. Transmission power on some woodpecker transmitters was estimated to be as high as 10 MW EIRP. As well as disrupting shortwave amateur radio and broadcasting it could sometimes be heard over telephone circuits due to the strength of the signals. This led to a thriving industry of "Woodpecker filters" and noise blankers.

coordinates : 51°18'19.31"N 30°03'57.66"E
google map

pictures sources : 1 2 3
text source : 1
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  1. Unknown // Monday, December 22, 2008 12:06:00 AM  

    DE N7AZN

  2. Anonymous // Monday, December 22, 2008 11:44:00 AM  

    Thanks for the info. The QRM used to drive me crazy! Now I know what it was all about!

  3. Anonymous // Monday, December 22, 2008 3:30:00 PM  

    About time I saw the most obnoxious device the Russians thrust on Amateur Radio! Amazing - hope it worked for them as it just about killed radio around the world.

  4. Anonymous // Sunday, January 11, 2009 10:40:00 AM  

    Would really like to see the transmitter equipment. Must have been monstrous! Also: guess they used a separate site for receiving. Any idea where that was?

    I remember I scoped the IF from the signal, and every pulse had a unique amplitude envelope. In this way the receiver knew when the signal was sent and so could tell how far it had travelled.

    Anyway - glad it is silent. 73 de xx6CJ.

  5. The Artificial Owl // Tuesday, January 13, 2009 7:22:00 AM  

    @73 de xx6CJ.

    Just next to the site of the Antenna, there is another circle with more antennas, could that be the receiving site?

  6. Anonymous // Friday, January 30, 2009 4:30:00 AM  

    Hello ,,Nice pix and very good info! Thanx and 73's DE wa1rwn, John in Belmont,Mass.USA

  7. Anonymous // Saturday, February 14, 2009 7:55:00 AM  

    I temember many days on 40 when we would follow the pecker trying to key at the same rate. I rather enjoyed it when they would come on. Like a car chase up and down the band,
    Steve N0SR ex WA4QXH
    Thanks for the pictures. Hope some day there will be more.

  8. Unknown // Wednesday, February 18, 2009 6:04:00 AM  

    I wonder if it could be used for Amateur transmissions, I bet it has plenty of gain on 20M
    73 G8UBJ
    Also glad to see its demise.

  9. Anonymous // Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:08:00 AM  

    Ratatatski was the name I heard for this mysterious noise back in the 1970's-so that's where it came from...

  10. Anonymous // Friday, February 20, 2009 2:06:00 PM  

    Hi, is it to sell?? Will be good for basis licences or for fieldays :-) 73's Xav ON4XA

  11. Anonymous // Saturday, February 21, 2009 3:01:00 PM  

    Why would anyone think that the receiver had to be at a different site?

  12. Anonymous // Saturday, March 07, 2009 11:09:00 AM  

    It is, the receiver is about 60km to the East:,30.361404&spn=0.388758,1.057434&z=11&msid=114533807116004132555.0004648c0c7e39609f5d8

  13. Anonymous // Wednesday, March 18, 2009 9:24:00 PM  

    If the fallout didn't make it hard on folks, I have a feeling this one did. It made me go out and check 2 miles of electric fence and never found the woodpecker when I was a short wave listener.

  14. Anonymous // Tuesday, March 24, 2009 6:00:00 AM  

    There is some speculation that woodpecker is related to HAARP and an attempt at global weather modification. Interesting that WOODPECKER and CHERNOBYL are maybe five miles apart and that one blew up two years before the other was decommissioned (when did woodpecker actually cease transmitting, and were its transmissions continuous?). So woodpecker was important enough to continue operating, but not important enough to properly repair... See the HAARP info at Look into Nick Begich's works at and his book Angels Don't Play This Haarp. See also

    Has woodpecker's stated purpose for "over the horizon RADAR" actually ever been confirmed, by science, common sense, or otherwise?

    Could there be more to this colossus than most know or imagine?

  15. Anonymous // Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:42:00 AM  

    I wonder how accessible that is? I'll be in Kiev/Chernobyl in a few weeks and I wouldn't mind climbing that. Perhaps the guards can be bribed.

  16. Anonymous // Saturday, May 23, 2009 4:16:00 PM  

    This is also known as "The Brain Scorcher" Known to make people hallucinate,and create telepathic entity's...

  17. Carlos A. Sourdis Pinedo // Monday, June 22, 2009 4:44:00 PM  

    It was a pain in the ass, listened from HK zone.