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Monitoring military aviation from Bainbridge island Washington?! HELP! :)

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Stavro35

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For those of you that don’t know. I used to live in Saint simons island Georgia. Roughly half way between Jacksonville Florida and Savannah Georgia. As a result of being about half way between two mid size cities. I was able to hear a lot of aviation communications. I was a short walk to the Atlantic ocean. Where of course there was a lot of military activity going on almost all the time. Thanks to people in that region, I was able to log a lot of new and interesting activity. Now that I live in the Seattle area. I’ve wanted to do more military aviation monitoring. I’ve set up my base station Pro163 with an extensive list of military aviation frequencies. And logged some activity. Last night, I programmed my new Radioshack Pro106 with a lot of military common frequencies. As well as frequencies for area bases. Almost immediately I started getting hits on some of the “new” frequencies.

So here are a few of my concerns and questions. I cannot have an outdoor antenna of any kind . I no longer live in a home. I live in a small mixed use condominium . As a result of my location, I’m in a good spot to hear a lot of activity in the region. I’ve even been lucky enough to catch communications from Canada. So I’m thinking of programming aviation frequencies for the B.C area into my pro106.. Now, as a reference please consider the following

Seattle to Vancouver B.C =140 miles
Saint simons island Georgia to Jacksonville Florida =77 miles
Savannah to Saint simons island =84 miles
Saints island Georgia to Charleston South Carolina = 184

In monitoring military aviation communications down in Saint simons island . I could hear as far as Charleston S.C . off the coast of course, with the MOA’s and carrier activity etc. Using Seattle as a reference to the distance to Vancouver B.C . Would it be worth programming in aviation frequencies for that area? Or would I be wasting my time?

Steve
 

prcguy

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In my opinion you might get aircraft at altitude from the BC area but not ground control, etc without being on a tall hill with an outside antenna.

I used to communicate with an aircraft using a 5w manpack type radio and could do so out to about 200mi with the aircraft at 30-37k ft from indoors 2nd floor of a wood structure and 1/4 wave antenna on the radio.

I also tried an outside Discone from the same location and it helped the signal quality but the ultimate distance was about the same, at 200mi it hit a brick wall, probably due to a high mountain range about 50mi in the direction I was trying to communicate.

I currently live on a hill about 350ft above sea level and can hear several airport ATIS on VHF and UHF out to about 100mi with an outside antenna but not with an indoor antenna.
prcguy
 

ka3jjz

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No one can tell you whether it would be 'worth' programming in aviation frequencies, but improving the antenna situation certainly would be. Do you have access to an attic? Now I'm never going to say that it's better than something outdoors, but the extra height would almost certainly be beneficial

Also keep in mind you can't necessarily use 'Seattle as a reference to the distance to Vancouver'. VHF prop simply doesn't work that way. Any local obstructions like mountains (which you likely didn't have much of in Georgia) are going to block signals coming from that direction to a certain extent, as prcguy has himself mentioned. You're in a completely different geographic zone, and it will influence what you can / can't hear. That's putting aside the likely different amount of activity in the Pac NW vs. the Georgia corridor. They simply don't correlate.

Now for a better antenna, that's a whole 'nother story - one that can be tackled if you have an attic....

Mike
 

lotsofradios

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I was looking at sectional charts for your area and see you live well within reception range of the Chinook & Olympic MOA's and the W-237 areas. Here is a link to a good source to get started: Military Comms Monitoring Military VHF/UHF Frequencies and scroll down to the bottom, for "Pacific Northwest Training Range Complex"

I believe that Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) San Diego, Ca is the Regional Airspace Coordinator for that area. Their info and frequencies can be found here: Military Comms Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) San Diego, Ca
 

Stavro35

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Many thanks

I was looking at sectional charts for your area and see you live well within reception range of the Chinook & Olympic MOA's and the W-237 areas. Here is a link to a good source to get started: Military Comms Monitoring Military VHF/UHF Frequencies and scroll down to the bottom, for "Pacific Northwest Training Range Complex"

I believe that Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) San Diego, Ca is the Regional Airspace Coordinator for that area. Their info and frequencies can be found here: Military Comms Fleet Area Control & Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) San Diego, Ca

I'll report my findings from the above information listed.
 

ka3jjz

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Certainly some of that info is still good, but likely not all - the Pac NW one is 3 years old. Much has changed in that time, no doubt.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

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If it were me, I'd be paying attention to this Yahoo group run by former MT editor Chris Parris. It specializes in the Pacific NW area and is much more likely to have up to date logs and frequencies

PDX Milcom Yahoo Group

Mike
 
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