Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SHORTWAVE SCHEDULES APP

Hello and welcome back... Ive had this on my Ipad / Ipod / Iphone for a while now and its pretty good. Highly recommend it.



From 'Black Cat Systems' website =
Are you a shortwave radio listener (SWL) in need of an up to date set of schedules for international broadcast stations?
Shortwave Broadcast Schedules is a handy app that displays broadcast schedules of over 10,000 longwave, mediumwave, and shortwave broadcast stations.

The stations are initially listed in order by frequency. You can tap a button to see which stations are on the air right now, as well as search for stations by name, frequency, time of day that they are on, or country.

Stations currently on the air are displayed in bold, making it quick and easy to see which stations are on right now.

Tap on a station to bring up more information about the station, such as the country of origin, target area, and programming language.

You can keep track of favorite broadcasts, as well as set reminders.

Updated schedules can be downloaded for free.

Get your copy of Shortwave Broadcast Schedules, and never miss another of your favorite stations again.

If you look at the photo below you can see who is on the air right now (in bold print)


LINKS

https://itunes.apple.com/app/shortwave-broadcast-schedules/id476090163?mt=8  (For Apple Users)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blackcatsystems.swbc (For Android Users)

http://www.blackcatsystems.com/iphone/SWBC_FAQ.html  (More Information)


#Shortwave App
#shortwave
#shortwave app

PLEASE, Don't forget to shout me a coffee (see link top right corner)... Keeps this site happening :)




Sunday, June 19, 2016

FLY INSIDE A SKYCRANE HELICOPTER

Hello and welcome back... Interesting video.

Flying inside a Skycrane helicopter using a go-pro camera... A once in a lifetime opportunity for some people. Sadly its got bloody music in the background, some people like this, i don't.. I think it ruins the atmosphere but that's just me..Enjoy the ride...

Make sure you set video to 720p :)


Thanks to Earl Watters for the video

Don't forget to shout me a coffee (see link top right corner)... Keeps this site happening :)

MONITORING SKYNET

Hello and welcome back... Listening to Military frequencies is an exciting hobby but its hard to know if its actually active.
The Military often changes equipment more often than you and i change our underwear. So it was interesting when i read in the media that a new antenna based in South Australia (Adelaide) for Airbus Defence and Space’s Skynet secure military satellite communications is up and running (and active).

This new beast of an antenna (pic above) will connect with other country's including France, Germany, Norway, the UK and the USA.

From Airbus website = Skynet supports military satcom operations across the globe, especially in remote areas with little or no communication infrastructure and in mid-ocean, distanced from land and shipping lanes – making it ideal for naval and airborne platforms, as well as land operations.

Airbus Defence and Space completed the move of the Skynet 5A military communications satellite to 95° East over the Asia Pacific region in September 2015. The relocation was initiated to extend the Skynet constellation’s coverage and services from 178 West to 163 East, including the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific region.

FREQUENCIES

245.800 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A
249.480 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A       
249.530 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A       
249.850 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A       
250.130 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A       
250.200 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A           
253.925 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A           
257.700 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A
261.200 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A       
261.275 MHz    NFM     Skynet 5A
 

BUILD A ANTENNA FOR SKYNET

HOW TO BUILD A OMNI SATCOM ANTENNA - CLICK HERE



ANOTHER INTERESTING SATCOM ANTENNA TO BUILD - CLICK HERE


SKYNET SPECS

Each Skynet 5 satellite is equipped with:
  • High power 160W TWTAs on all transponders, giving 56 dBW peak EIRP in each transmit spot beam and 41 dBW peak EIRP in each global beam per transponder.
  • 15 active transponders ranging in bandwidth from 20 MHz to 40 MHz
  • Up to 9 UHF channels
  • Multiple fully steerable downlink spot beams
  • On Board Active Receive Antenna (OBARA) capable of generating multiple shaped uplink beams
  • Flexible switching capability allowing connectivity between any uplink beam and at least two downlink beams
  • Nuclear hardening, anti-jamming countermeasures and laser protection

NOTICE = As with all military communications, if you do hear something, keep it to yourself.
With the ever changing world we live in, certain comms are not for public ears... so don't be stupid and enjoy military monitoring as a hobby before it becomes something we can no longer do.

Don't forget to shout me a coffee (see link top right corner)... Keeps this site happening :)

Friday, June 10, 2016

FAIRWELL BOB BELL

Hello and welcome back.... Sad news with the death of radio communications guru 'Robert (Bob) Bell'.

Bob and partner in crime 'Russell Bryant' was the face of Australian magazines 'CB Action' and 'Radio and Communications magazine' in the 80s & 90s.
He was also a regular writer for Australian Aviation Magazine.

Radio and Communications magazine was the reason why i started this website. I wanted to create a website that followed a similar format of all thing radio inc frequencies.

I have spoken to Bob (while briefly) a while ago but never got the chance to meet him in person.
His dedication and passion for all things Radio (inc Scanners) and Photography (mostly Trains and Ships) showed in his work including several books published by Bob on Aircraft Monitoring which i still own today and also the website http://airsearailroad.com/ which i visit daily.

Bob died of a heart attack yesterday.

RIP Bob (Robert) Bell
(The scanning scene just got a bit quieter...


#Bob Bell
#BobBell
#RobertBell

Friday, June 3, 2016

AIRCRAFT RADIO - AVIATION MONITORING (VHF BAND - Part 1)

Hello and welcome back....

Aircraft radio or Aviation Monitoring is one of my most favorite hobbies.

With Aircraft Radio you can hear pilots taking off, getting clearances for landing, dodging extreme weather conditions or sometimes preparing for an emergency landing or situation.
Then add the Control Tower, Air Traffic Control, Ground Services, Weather Services & Military Comms and that's where it gets exciting. 

You can literally put yourself next to the pilot with air band monitoring.

But how do you get started?


A scanner radio that covers the Airband (108-136mhz) frequencies is a good start. The 108-136mhz is whats called the VHF band and has 25khz spacing.

You can also receive Aircraft frequencies in the 225-400mhz band (known as the Military Band), 400mhz band covers Aircraft company chs and Shortwave Band also covers some Air band Communications.

In this post, i will cover the VHF band (108-136mhz) for the time being.
Later posts will cover Military band and Shortwave.

Some Scanners that cover Air band frequencies include =

UNIDEN - UBCD436PT - Handheld (latest model) ($849)
                  UBCD536PT - Mobile/Base (Latest model) ($799)
                  UBCD325P2 - Handheld (small brother of the 436PT model) ($749)
                    UBC126AT - Handheld ($249)
                 UBCD396XT - Handheld (own and recommend :)) ($469)
                 UBCD996XT - Base/Mobile ($na)
                 UBC355XLT - Base/Mobile (own and recommend) ($199)
                     EZ130XLT - Handheld (budget model) ($129)

ICOM - IC-R6 - Handheld ($299)
              IC-R8500 - Base ($2499)

GME - RX1300 - Handheld ($299)

ALINCO - DJ-X11E - Handheld ($599)
                  DX-R8 - Base ($799)
                  DJ-X7E - Handheld ($269)
                  DJ-X3E - Handheld (own and recommend) ($219)

TECSUN - S2000 - Base/Desktop ($425)
                   PL680 - Portable ($199)
                   PL660 - Portable ($179)
                   INTEK AR-109 - Handheld ($125)

AOR - AR-ALPHA - Base (Professional) ($10,999)
            AR-DV1 - Base/Mobile (the ducks nuts) ($1799)
            AR-ONE - Base (dreams are made of this) ($5,799)
            AR-5001D - Base (stop it, your turning me on) ($4,699)
            AR-6000 - Base (wet dream material) ($6,999)
            AR-8600MK.2 - Base/Mobile ($1199)
            AR-8200MK.3 - Handheld  ($699)
            AR-MINI - Handheld (budget) ($299)

                                                                                               The Ducks Nuts
** Please Note = Prices are a reference only

This list is current and is only some of whats available but a search on ebay etc, will reap rewards with older units (just check that the scanner covers the 108-136mhz band)
Most of these above scanners are available, band new from Andrews Communications Click Here (they also stock second hand as well, give them a call)
Or
Tecsun Click Here

** ANTENNAS **

The stock antenna sadly is not going to cut it when listening to Aircraft Comms. Saying that, if you live right next door to an airport then disregard what i just typed.
For the rest of us, a better antenna attached to your new toy will reap wonders.

For handheld scanners i use and recommend Mobile One antennas inc model - BNCSCAN or SMASCAN
                                                                                                                                     or
                                                                                                                 BNCAR124 or SMAAR124
for handhelds. The BNCSCAN (bnc type thread) and the SMASCAN (sma type thread) are made for scanners that cover wide frequency coverage, are longer than the normal antenna (310mm) and costs around $40/45 but will receive heaps better than the supplied antenna that came with your radio

The BNCAR124 / SMAAR124 Antenna are a dedicated antenna made for Aircraft band, are smaller than the BNCSCAN / SMASCAN (210mm) and costs around $35/45

For Base setups, the Mobile One whip antenna SCATXLOW or SCATX is excellent. On Airband the SCATXLOW has 2.14dbi gain and the SCATX has 2dbi gain. Costs about $50.

If you really want a better setup then the AIRKIT antenna (2dbi gain) or CDB124 (3dbi gain) is an excellent way to go. The AIRKIT antenna is 2 antennas in one and costs around $125 while the CDB124 base antenna costs around $165

For Mobile (car) setup the Mobile One antenna M124-3 (3dbi) is an excellent choice at $60

All Mobile One antennas are made on site in Australia (Camden Airport)...

Check out Mobile One Airband Antennas Here
                                    Scanner Antennas Here

Also a check on  Ebay or Aircraft suppliers (Icom, ect) for replacement antennas that will also do a better job than the antenna your radio was supplied with. The Icom antenna that comes with their Airband transceiver is an excellent choice (model - FA-B02AR). This antenna has a bnc fitting and costs around $50. Check it out Here


** FREQUENCIES **
  
Distress - 121.500 (listen for 'MAYDAY' or 'PAN' calls)
Air to Air ch - 123.450 (also known as the 'Chat Ch')
Air to Air - 126.350 (Pacific region - outside official airspace)
Air to Air - 128.950 (Pacific region - inside official airspace)
Gliders - 122.700
Flying Clubs - 119.100
ATIS - Sydney - 126.250 (Automatic Terminal Information Service)
         - Bankstown - 120.900
         - Coffs Harbour - 117.000, 130.300
         - Richmond - 126.300
         - Tamworth - 123.800, 114.100
         - Broken Hill - 118.400, 114.200
         - Camden - 125.100
         - Dubbo - 119.800, 114.400
         - Wagga Wagga - 115.000, 123.700
ACARS - 130.025 & 131.550 (Aeronautical Communications Addressing & Reporting System)



PLEASE, Don't forget to shout me a coffee (see link top right corner)... Any amount big or small is much appreciated and it keeps this site happening :)