Military Review

Mystic low pass. How to contact a submarine?

Mystic low pass. How to contact a submarine?

What a ridiculous question? "How to contact the submarine"

Get a satellite phone and call. Commercial satellite communications systems, such as INMARSAT or Iridium, allow you to reach Antarctica without leaving your Moscow office. The only minus is the high cost of the call, however, the Ministry of Defense and Roskosmos, for sure, have internal “corporate programs” with substantial discounts ...

Indeed, in the age of the Internet, “Glonass” and wireless data transmission systems, the problem of communication with submarines may seem like a senseless and not very ingenious joke - what problems could there be after 120 years after the invention of the radio?

And the problem is the same - the boat, unlike airplanes and surface ships, moves in the depths of the ocean and does not respond at all to the call signs of conventional HF, VHF, DV radio stations - salty sea water, being an excellent electrolyte, reliably muffles any signals.

Well ... if necessary, the boat can ascend to the periscope depth, push the radio antenna and conduct a communication session with the coast. Problem solved?
Alas, not everything is so simple - modern nuclear-powered ships are capable of being submerged for months, only occasionally rising to the surface for a planned communication session. The main importance of the issue is to reliably transfer information from the coast to the submarine: do you really have to wait a day or more to broadcast an important order - until the next communication session?

In other words, at the time of the outbreak of nuclear war, submarine missile carriers risk being useless - at a time when battles will rattle on the surface, the boats will continue to quietly write out the "eight" in the depths of the World Ocean, unaware of the tragic events occurring "above." But what about our nuclear retaliatory strike? Why are naval nuclear forces needed if they cannot be used on time?
How do you get in touch with a submarine lurking on the seabed?

The first method is quite logical and simple, at the same time it is very difficult to put into practice, and the range of such a system leaves much to be desired. This is a sound underwater connection - acoustic waves, unlike electromagnetic, propagate in the marine environment much better than through the air - the speed of sound at a depth of 100 meters is 1468 m / s!

It remains only to install powerful hydrophones or explosive charges at the bottom - a series of explosions with a certain interval will definitely show the submarines the need to surface and receive an important cipher over radio. The method is suitable for operations in the coastal zone, but the Pacific Ocean will not work out, otherwise the required power of explosions will exceed all reasonable limits, and the resulting tsunami wave will wash everything from Moscow to New York.

Of course, you can lay hundreds and thousands of kilometers of cables along the bottom - to hydrophones installed in the areas most likely to find strategic missile carriers and multi-purpose nuclear submarines ... But is there any other, more reliable and effective solution?

Der Goliath. Fear of heights

It is impossible to circumvent the laws of nature, but each of the rules has its exceptions. The sea surface is not transparent for long, medium, short and ultrashort waves. At the same time, superlong waves, reflected from the ionosphere, easily spread beyond the horizon for thousands of kilometers and are able to penetrate into the depths of the oceans.

An exit is found - a communication system on superlong waves. And the nontrivial problem of communication with submarines is solved!

But why are all radio amateurs and experts in the field of radio engineering sitting with such dull facial expressions?

The dependence of the penetration depth of radio waves on their frequency
VLF (very low frequency) - very low frequencies
ELF (extremely low frequency) - extremely low frequencies

Ultra Long Waves - Radio waves with a wavelength in excess of 10 kilometers. In this case, we are interested in the range of very low frequencies (VLF) ranging from 3 to 30 kHz, the so-called. "Miriametrovye waves." Do not even try to search for this range on your radios - to work with superlong waves you need antennas of amazing size, many kilometers long - none of the civilian radio stations work in the range of “miriametrovyh waves”.

The monstrous dimensions of the antennas - this is the main snag in the way of creating VLF radio stations.

And yet, research in this area was conducted in the first half of the 20th century - the result was the incredible Der Goliath (“Goliath”). Another representative of the German "vundervaffe" - the world's first super-long-wave radio station, created in the interests of the Kriegsmarine. The Goliath signals were confidently received by submarines in the area of ​​the Cape of Good Hope, while the radio waves emitted by the super-transmitter could penetrate the water to a depth of 30 meters.

The size of the car in comparison with the support "Goliath"

The view of the Goliath shakes the imagination: the transmitting VLF antenna consists of three umbrella parts mounted around three central pillars with a height of 210 meters, the angles of the antenna are fixed at fifteen lattice masts with a height of 170 meters. Each antenna canvas, in turn, consists of six regular triangles with a side of 400 m and is a system of steel cables in a movable aluminum sheath. The antenna web tension is produced by 7-tonnes of counterweights.

Maximum transmitter power is 1,8 Megawatts. The operating range of 15 is 60 kHz, the wavelength of 5000 is 20 000 m. The data transfer rate is up to 300 bits / s.

The installation of a grandiose radio station in the suburb of Kalbe completed in the spring of 1943. For two years, “Goliath” served in the interests of the Kriegsmarine, coordinating the actions of the “wolf packs” in the vast Atlantic, until in April 1945 the “object” was not captured by American troops. After some time, the area was under the control of the Soviet administration - the station was immediately dismantled and taken to the USSR.

For sixty years the Germans wondered where the Russians hid the "Goliath". Did these barbarians put a masterpiece of German design thought on the nails?
The mystery opened at the beginning of the XXI century - German newspapers came out with loud headlines: “Sensation! "Goliath" found! The station is still in working condition! ”

The tall masts of the Goliath shot up high in the Kstovsky district of the Nizhny Novgorod region, near the village of Druzhny - the trophy super-transmitter is broadcasting from here. The decision to restore "Goliath" was made back in the year 1949, the first broadcast took place on December 27 1952 year. And now, for more than 60 years, the legendary “Goliath” stands guard over our Fatherland, providing communication with the naval submarines going underwater, while also being the transmitter of the Beta time service.

Impressed by the possibilities of Goliath, Soviet specialists did not stop there and developed German ideas. In 1964, in 7 kilometers from the city of Vileyka (Republic of Belarus), a new, more ambitious radio station, better known as the 43 navy communications center, was built.

Today, VLF radio stations near Vileyka, along with the Baikonur cosmodrome, the naval base in Sevastopol, the bases in the Caucasus and Central Asia, are among the existing foreign military facilities of the Russian Federation. At the Vileyka communications center, 300 officers and midshipmen of the Russian Navy serve, not counting civilian citizens of Belarus. Legally, the object does not have the status of a military base, and the territory of the radio station was transferred to Russia for free use until 2020.

The main attraction of the 43 communications hub of the Russian Navy, of course, is the Antey VLF radio transmitter (RJH69), created in the image and likeness of the German Goliath. The new station is much larger and more perfect than the captured German equipment: the height of the central supports increased to 305 m, the height of the side lattice masts reached 270 meters. In addition to transmitting antennas, a number of technical buildings are located on an area of ​​650 ha, including a highly secure underground bunker.

The 43 th communications hub of the Russian Navy provides communication with nuclear submarines carrying combat duty in the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and North Pacific. In addition to its main functions, the giant antenna complex can be used in the interests of the Air Force, the Strategic Missile Forces, the Space Forces of the Russian Federation, Antey is also used for conducting electronic reconnaissance and electronic warfare and is among the transmitters of the Beta service.

Powerful radio transmitters "Goliath" and "Antey" provide reliable communication on superlong waves in the Northern Hemisphere and on a larger area of ​​the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. But what if the patrol areas of the submarines shift into the South Atlantic or into the equatorial latitudes of the Pacific Ocean?

For special occasions as part of aviation Naval Fleet there is a special technique: Tu-142MR Orel repeater aircraft (NATO-classified Bear-J) - an integral part of the reserve system for naval nuclear forces control.

Created at the end of the 1970-ies on the basis of the anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142 (which, in turn, is a modification of the strategic bomber T-95), the “Eagle” differs from its ancestor in the absence of search equipment - instead of a reel with a towed 8600-meter antenna VLF radio transmitter "Fregat". In addition to the super-long-wave station, on board the Tu-142MR there is a set of communications equipment for working in the usual radio wave bands (while the aircraft is capable of performing the functions of a powerful HF repeater even without lifting into the air).
It is known that as of the beginning of 2000-s, several machines of this type were still listed as part of the 3-X squadron of the 568-gv. mixed aviation regiment aviation Pacific Fleet.

Of course, the use of repeaters is nothing more than a forced (reserve) half-measure — in the event of a real conflict, the Tu-142MR can be easily intercepted by enemy aircraft, in addition, the aircraft circling in a certain square will unmask the submarine bomber and clearly indicate to the enemy the position of the submarine.

Seafarers needed an exceptionally reliable means for the timely delivery of orders by the military-political leadership of the country to the commanders of nuclear submarines on combat patrols in every corner of the world's oceans. Unlike the superlong waves, which penetrate only a couple of tens of meters into the water column, the new communication system must ensure reliable reception of emergency messages at depths of 100 and more than meters.

Yes ... before the signalmen there was a very, very nontrivial technical problem.


... At the start of 1990, scientists at Stanford University (California) published a series of intriguing statements about radio engineering research and radio broadcasting. Americans witnessed an unusual phenomenon - scientific radio equipment located on all continents of the Earth regularly, at the same time, captures strange repetitive signals at the 82 Hz frequency (or, in a more familiar format for us 0,000082 MHz). This frequency belongs to the extremely low frequency range (ELF), in this case, the length of the monstrous wave is 3658,5 km (a quarter of the diameter of the Earth).

16-minute transmission of "ZEUSA", fixed by 08.12.2000 in 08: 40 UTC

The transfer rate for one session is three characters every 5-15 minutes. The signals come directly from the earth's crust - the researchers have a mystical feeling that the planet itself is talking to them.
Mysticism is the lot of medieval obscurantism, and the advanced Yankees immediately guessed that they were dealing with an incredible ULF transmitter located somewhere on the other side of the Earth. Where? Clear where - in Russia. It seems that these insane Russian "short-circuited" the entire planet, using it as a giant antenna for transmitting encrypted messages.

The secret object "ZEVS" is located in 18 kilometers south of the military airfield Severomorsk-3 (Kola Peninsula). Two glades (diagonally) stretching for twenty kilometers through the forest tundra are clearly visible on Google Maps (a number of Internet sources indicate the length of lines in 30 and even in 60 km), besides technical buildings, structures, access roads and additional 10 are noticeable -kilometer glade west of the two main lines.

The glades with “feeders” (the fishermen will immediately guess what they are talking about) are sometimes mistaken for antennas. In fact, these are two giant “electrodes” through which they drive an electrical discharge with a power of 30 MW. The antenna is the planet Earth itself.

The choice of this place for the installation of the system is explained by the low specific conductivity of the local soil - with the depth of the contact wells 2-3 km, electrical impulses penetrate deep into the bowels of the Earth, penetrating the planet through. The pulses of a giant ELF generator are clearly recorded even by scientific stations in Antarctica.

The presented scheme is not without its drawbacks - bulky size and extremely low efficiency. Despite the enormous power of the transmitter, the output signal power is a few watts. In addition, the reception of such long waves also entails considerable technical difficulties.

Receiving signals "Zeus" is carried out by submarines on the move at a depth of 200 meters to a towed antenna with a length of about one kilometer. Due to the extremely low data transfer rate (one byte per few minutes), the ZEUS system is obviously used to transmit the simplest encoded messages, for example: "Rise to the surface (release a beacon) and listen to the message via satellite."

For the sake of justice, it is worth noting that for the first time such a scheme was first conceived in the United States during the Cold War - in 1968 a project was proposed for a secret Navy object codenamed Sanguine (Optimistic) - the Yankees intended to turn 40% of Wisconsin's forest area into a giant transmitter consisting of 6000 miles of underground cables and 100 high-security bunkers to accommodate auxiliary equipment and power generators. As conceived by the creators, the system was able to withstand a nuclear explosion and provide a confident broadcast of the signal of a rocket attack on all nuclear submarines of the US Navy in any area of ​​the oceans.

American ELF Transmitter (Clam Lake, WI, 1982 Year)

In 1977-1984, the project was implemented in a less absurd form in the form of the Seafarer system (“Navigator”), whose antennas were located in the town of Clam Lake (Wisconsin) and based on the US Air Force Sawyer (Michigan). The operating frequency of the American ELF setup is 76 Hz (3947,4 km wavelength) Transmitter power Seafarer - 3 MW. The system was removed from combat duty in 2004 year.

Currently, a promising direction for solving the problem of communication with submarines is the use of blue-green spectrum lasers (0,42-0,53 μm), whose radiation with the least loss overcomes the aquatic environment and penetrates to a depth of 300 meters. In addition to the obvious difficulties with accurate positioning of the beam, the "stumbling block" of this scheme is the high required power of the radiator. The first option involves the use of repeater satellites with large reflective reflectors. The version without a repeater provides for a powerful source of energy in orbit — powering a 10 W laser will require a power plant with a power higher than two orders of magnitude.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the domestic Navy is one of two fleets in the world, possessing a full complement of naval nuclear forces. In addition to a sufficient number of carriers, missiles and warheads, in our country, serious research was conducted in the field of creating communication systems with submarines, without which the naval strategic nuclear forces would lose their sinister significance.

"Goliath" during the Second World War

Boeing E-6 Mercury control and communications aircraft, element of a standby communications system with nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles (SSBN) of the US Navy
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  1. Rus86
    Rus86 13 August 2013 08: 20
    what ultra-high technology. just breaks his head from the scale and levels of achievement of thought and technology
  2. Nayhas
    Nayhas 13 August 2013 08: 39
    Interesting article, thanks Oleg. Especially about Goliath!
    1. 11 black
      11 black 13 August 2013 22: 47
      Quote: Nayhas
      interesting article, thanks Oleg. Especially about Goliath!

      I agree - thanks for the review. Still someone would have made an article about HARP and "Duga", also interesting directions, and the scale is appropriate. Once again, ATP for the review hi

      Radar "Duga" - Chernoble 2
      1. Bratkov Oleg
        Bratkov Oleg April 6 2021 11: 22
        I don’t know with whom the captured Goliath contacts, but definitely not with submarines. An underground VLF transmitter is located somewhere near St. Petersburg. At a depth of about a kilometer, there are two beams, one and a half kilometers long, which transmit underground radio waves. The fact is that when moving from one environment, air, to another environment, earth or water, a significant part of the power of radio waves is lost, and the engineers and scientists who made communication with submarines are smart people ... Therefore, the antenna was immediately made in depth Earth. The owner of the transmitter is the Navy, first of all it transmits signals to submarines, part of the time was rented by the Strategic Missile Forces, in the late 80s there were plans to build an underground transmitter for the Strategic Missile Forces, I don’t know how it ended.
        Signals from the underground VLF antenna are received by submarines at any depth ... In the Strategic Missile Forces, at every command post, regiment, division, army, there were receiving "underground" VLF antennas, "Bit-1", it seems ... These are two ferrite rods, 5 centimeters in diameter, and maybe half a meter long, located perpendicularly, with coils of litz wire in silk insulation ... Perpendicular - so that the radiation pattern is circular, there was also a preamplifier in the antenna on a 6Zh32P-DR lamp, with a gold mesh ... The antenna was placed in a concrete trench, a meter deep, covered with a thick fiberglass cover, very strong. There was also a HF loop antenna, a receiving one, the frame rotated remotely for better reception ...
  3. Tykta
    Tykta 13 August 2013 08: 53
    Thank you, thoughtful and detailed article, photo above praise.
    NOMADE 13 August 2013 10: 25
    Thanks to the author. A very informative article! As far as I understand, the main problem is the transmission of the submarine signal in a strategic plan. About the "mad Russians" and "they shorted out the whole planet", and 30 megawatts - pleased laughing And in the tactical (well, in comparative terms) transmission plan, it seems like from the Second World War there were acoustic transmitters on German submarines. They at distances up to 2x4 km (I could be wrong) could exchange command.
  5. olegff68
    olegff68 13 August 2013 10: 49
    Yeah, they knew how to think and create on a massive scale under the Union !!!
  6. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 13 August 2013 11: 45
    Informative! These are the curiosities of history: "Goliath" first served the Germans, and then for similar purposes, we used it for a long time!
  7. fedorru
    fedorru 13 August 2013 12: 07
    More photos in the topic.
  8. viruskvartirus
    viruskvartirus 13 August 2013 12: 25
    Great, very cool article. I’ll steal myself.
  9. washi
    washi 13 August 2013 13: 04
    Unfortunately, the problem of full-fledged Long-distance communication with submarines located on the database has not been resolved. Either NK repeaters are required, which at the same time protect their boat, or long (exhaust) antennas on submarines that interfere with maneuvering. There is also an HF range, but it requires the release of buoys, i.e. sub location detection
  10. miland
    miland 13 August 2013 14: 10
    Cool article! Now I understand the true purpose of these high antennas, which I periodically see when driving along the highway when I travel from Nizhny Novgorod. I am talking about Goliath. I didn’t even think that they have such a serious purpose.
    Once it was a secret object, but now Goliath’s photos can even be found on Google maps (((
    Thanks to the author!
  11. The Indian Joe
    The Indian Joe 13 August 2013 14: 24
    Yes, impressive. Thank you for the article!
  12. Login_Off
    Login_Off 13 August 2013 14: 57

    In the Khabarovsk area there is also a colossal antenna field
    1. abrikos_45
      abrikos_45 17 September 2014 10: 38
      In the Komsomolsk-on-Amur area, the village of Big Cartel
  13. kudma
    kudma 13 August 2013 17: 00
    Every day I drive past Druzhny. It seems that Goliath has not been working for a long time.
  14. Misantrop
    Misantrop 13 August 2013 17: 13
    Here is just one clarification. The length of the towed antenna is about 1,5 km. We had one, it was constantly used in the autonomy
  15. jandjella
    jandjella 13 August 2013 18: 38
    There is still a communication center in Kupavna in the Moscow Region
  16. xomaNN
    xomaNN 13 August 2013 18: 46
    I read it with interest. that the Germans during the war, not only with the submarines far away from the Allies, but also established an extra-long communication with them. Thanks to the author
  17. Santa Fe
    13 August 2013 19: 12
    Thanks for the feedback guys
    Communication on the bass - a really interesting topic, especially the enchanting appearance of the antennas

    Who knows, American HAARP in Alaska is from the same series?
    1. Misantrop
      Misantrop 13 August 2013 22: 40
      Quote: SWEET_SIXTEEN
      American HAARP in Alaska - from the same series
      No. They experimented with plasma there. Apparently, they finished, since the question arose about its closure. If it were an ADD communications system, it would continue to work (Americans have boats. And they go to the seas, so they need communications)
  18. Ivanovich47
    Ivanovich47 13 August 2013 20: 01
    Russia possesses the Alpha long-range radio-frequency navigation system (FRSDN), which underwent modernization in the 90s of the last century and is now operating in navigation mode in the interests of the Russian navy. The stations of the system are located in the area of ​​the cities of Novosibirsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Krasnodar, Revda, and the Murmansk region. The coverage area is shown with a green line. The frequency range at which the stations operate is 10-11 kHz. The same stations can be used to transmit commands to submarines. The range is unlimited. The antenna height is 350 meters. The figure shows the appearance of the station in Krasnodar
  19. Vikmay16
    Vikmay16 13 August 2013 22: 53
    Yes, an interesting article I would like to continue!
  20. Andrew
    Andrew 13 August 2013 23: 00
    In the Krasnodar Territory, these antennas are visible on the road from Krasnodar to Belorechensk
  21. Asan Ata
    Asan Ata 13 August 2013 23: 15
    Very interesting article. Thank!
  22. jjj
    jjj 13 August 2013 23: 46
    From Moscow to the outskirts, from the southern mountains to the northern seas numerous antenna fields are located. Those that are called here, as they say, those that are in sight. In Russia, there is a centralized real-time control system for defense, weapons and the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Emergencies in the whole world and beyond.
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 14 August 2013 15: 07
      And ... Tell us more. Since the topic of ELF (extremely low frequency) is ultra-low frequencies.
  23. Andrey77
    Andrey77 14 August 2013 15: 04
    Thanks to the author! But...

    "The maximum transmitter power is 1,8 Megawatts. The operating range is 15 - 60 kHz, the wavelength is 5000 - 20 m. The data transfer rate is up to 000 bit / s."

    300 bps is the bit rate for the 80s.
    1. Simonov
      Simonov 14 August 2013 22: 39
      Do you know about the existence of the Kotelnikov theorem? Read the literature - all doubts will disappear.
      1. Bratkov Oleg
        Bratkov Oleg April 6 2021 11: 37
        Quote: Simonov
        Do you know about the existence of the Kotelnikov theorem? Read the literature - all doubts will disappear.

        Doubts did not even arise. 300 bits per second, that's a maximum of 600 hertz, well, 1 kilohertz of the transmitter frequency, with decent anti-jamming coding.
        At 15 kilohertz, with the same noise-immune coding, the speed is already more than 7 kilobits ...
  24. Simonov
    Simonov 14 August 2013 22: 37
    Radio transmitter efficiency of 20% (at best), plus power losses in feeders, plus power losses in power supply systems. With a maximum broadcast power of 1,8 MW, the power of electricity consumed should be at least 10-15 MW. This is a third of the rated capacity of one power unit of the Kola NPP.
    The article is very interesting, thanks to the author.
  25. The comment was deleted.
  26. gshuvalo
    gshuvalo 21 July 2015 15: 47
    An extremely interesting and informative article. In general, I knew that radio communication with submarines was carried out using ultra-long waves, however, the technical aspects of implementing such a communication were not clear. Now everything is more or less cleared up. Many thanks to the author!
  27. semenoffdima
    semenoffdima 9 October 2016 17: 09
    Of interest is the use of salted sandstones as original antennas for ELF communications. Does anyone have any information on this topic?
  28. Valery Radionov
    Valery Radionov 27 August 2017 08: 42
    In the second half of the 60s, I often used another super-powerful ADD - the HERCULES transmitter in the Far East, working f = 16 kHz.
  29. nznz
    nznz April 3 2018 17: 34
    I read and smile ... childhood passed in military unit 36026 pos.Druzhny. from 1959-66godv (then to the father an apartment in the lower distance and we moved)
    There is a very detailed history of Goliath, which Boris Grigoryevich Churochkin has long and carefully created (his work is the Naval Goliath). BG is alive, healthy, and we are doing something together with him, mostly he is a very hardworking and temperamental local historian, he lives under 80 in Druzhny).
    My father also has a contribution - he was transferred from the Communication Center of the Northern Fleet to Kortik (Vaenga, later Severomorsk) and he created this communication center after Novozemel in 1946-58, in part for the commissioning of a betrayal center based on Goliath. He went from capra to the rear admiral, but Khrushch carried out a colossal reduction of the army and navy and his father landed in kaprazov’s post again :). But he did not regret it, for he didn’t have a military education, only the sailor from St. Petersburg was behind him. Yes, he became a communist under pressure in 1948 or later, the origin was unimportant — on the mother’s side, hereditary nobles and even worse (there is an opinion — I have not yet confirmed it, but family myths say this) that the family was princely from Ozurgeti of the Kutaisi region. Ancestors and great-grandfathers and grandfathers are military, by a strange coincidence, the Nizhny Novgorod cavalry regiment is the place where the great-grandfather served and fought, then the convoy EIV resigned .. well, there are a lot along this line, grandmothers Smolny, grandfathers Marine Corps and other schools ... lucky grandmother Of course, lucky, they died in World War I and there were no victims for the revolution .. and they themselves, from deprived to simple citizens, somehow gave rise to dignity. I don’t want to spread, the story of my kind that I unearthed will contain a lot of things, from the Georgian line to the material line -there father and Sedova saved with Papanin and much other. Part of Gnoliath and even the name of the village, according to the version, he gave. There was a meeting of the collective, residents, heard suggestions and approved. And the story is the name on Heysa in the observatory laboratory Druzhnaya (his father on air, Krenkel Ernst teodorovich worked there) ..well, since there is a lot to do with the Arctic in our family (I have 1 years on Novaya Zemlya, others 7 years on the training ground, and three generations), this could affect the name. After the demobilization (retirement in 19 at the age of 1972), my father met with I, D Papanin and A. Kacharava. with Krenkel did not have time - died a year earlier. this is my story chaotically .. sorry did not think there was a meeting here ..
  30. Al manah
    Al manah 30 September 2019 20: 13
    The territory of the radio station was transferred to Russia for free use until 2020.

    So ... 2020 is already on the way ... And what will Rygorovich say?
  31. The comment was deleted.
  32. Bratkov Oleg
    Bratkov Oleg April 6 2021 11: 33
    80 hertz is 8 bytes per second, well, half of it is given for noise-immune coding, it's still 3 ... 4 bytes per second, and not 5 ... 15 minutes.