Well, after all the years I'm finally going to spend some time trying my best to monitor Red Flag comms with a couple of RTL sticks and SDR# here in the coming weeks. Red Flag 14-1 is from 01/27/2014 through 02/14/2014, and Red Flag 14-2 is from 03/03/2014 - 03/14/2014 so I'm going to do my best to keep up with all the potential action that I'm able to from my location in downtown Las Vegas - I'm hoping I'll get a chance to build an OCFD here in the next week before 14-1 starts which might help considering I'm in an apartment building on the 3rd floor (top floor, actually) but I can't get an antenna on the roof. At some point I may actually ask the building owners if they'd allow it since I've been here for many years and "a good resident" I think. Would just need to get it up outside my window with maybe 12-15 feet of feedline since I'm practically on the roof myself.
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone else in this area has spent time monitoring previous Red Flag events and perhaps offer some tips on how best to try and keep up with what's going on. I know it'll be something I'll be struggling with but hey, it's going to be an interesting exercise for me too.
At the moment I've only got one pigtail for one RTL stick, going to order another one here soon as well so I'll pretty much be using just one of them for this little shindig of mine as it progresses. I can use the second RTL stick since I've already basically re-purposed the original craptastic little antenna by removing the rather shoddy cable and attaching it to a makeshift dipole cut to the 300 MHz area - it ain't the greatest thing but for the moment it's functional and seems to do sorta-kinda ok. I use the Nellis AFB ATIS at 270.100 MHz as my "yardstick" for performance and I can get a fairly decent pull on the signal using that but I don't suspect it'll be of much use for any long range reception compared to the 1/4 wave ground plane I've got set up right now. I found a post from the past by hertzian where he created this crazy simple folded Stub Decoupled GA/Milair Homebrew
so I grabbed a coat hanger and bent it up in the same fashion and amazingly it does
actually perform quite well indeed.
If anyone has any tips, tricks, or general advice towards getting the most from monitoring Red Flag - given I'm using basically just one receiver and there's going to be a ton of stuff happening on a fairly large amount of frequencies (I've created some favorites lists with data from the Dreamland Resort website which seems to be pretty comprehensive for this kind of stuff) - I'd love to hear 'em from those that are considerably more experienced with this sort of thing than I am (MilAir monitoring).