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Utility Listening - Discussions regarding monitoring government, military, aircraft, ship, and other misc communications in the HF/MW/LF bands.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2018, 7:49 PM
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Doesn't ring a bell Pastain. I was there from 1998-2004 but spent the last few seasons mostly at the Black Island Telecom facility and didn't get to know many of the "townies".

Bruce
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Old 12-05-2018, 8:39 PM
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Quote:
I may have to build a crossed yagi from all the band ll TV antenna bits I have lying around here
Check out the antenna here - article links in post #11.

https://forums.radioreference.com/sa...a-project.html

Given there isn't much in clear voice these days, it might be worth just making something like this to see if anything piques your interest. And this antenna works extremely well, even at our southern Latitudes.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VK3RX View Post
Check out the antenna here - article links in post #11.

https://forums.radioreference.com/sa...a-project.html

Given there isn't much in clear voice these days, it might be worth just making something like this to see if anything piques your interest. And this antenna works extremely well, even at our southern Latitudes.
+1 For that antenna, nice easy and fast build with top results. Pity there isn't much traffic for us.
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Old 12-06-2018, 1:03 AM
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As the satellite is more or less geostationary I don't need an omnidirectional antenna - I can just point a yagi due true north and tweak the elevation for max smoke. A long time ago I made one of those 'egg-beaters' out of RG8 coax just using the outer braid and that worked well for the NOAA's but like a discone it doesn't have much gain - a 5 element yagi should do just fine - after all, what do they have on the aircraft? Nothing large, I would imagine, probably just a PC board yagi inside a fibreglass housing.
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Old 12-06-2018, 3:45 AM
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We're roughly on the same latitude, and I've tested just the configuration in this pix below i.e. no directors, roughly the equivalent of the design in the MT article, and reception was great.

Typical battlefield configuration; you don't need much.
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Old 12-06-2018, 8:18 AM
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OK this is a HF only forum. Take your satellite stuff elsewhere, please

Onward...Mike
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Old 12-07-2018, 1:38 PM
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Default Antarctica Dreaming

Summer in Antarctica ! Now 'tis the prime season.
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I know some people going there with their Cherenkov radiation-radio projects; Hmmm, a good junket to see it in action, maybe while enroute ask some of these radio comm questions ?
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FWIW- On previous projects we used short range HF (8Mhz - 8.123, 8.115 if memory serves me) to co-ordinate activities, but usually found it unsatisfactory becuz of the auroras. Point-to-point UHF and satellites - there are any number of them available, but since this is about HF I'll steer clear there-- they, however, were much better 'channels.'
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Last edited by Lauri-Coyote; 12-07-2018 at 2:27 PM..
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Old 12-07-2018, 5:02 PM
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I was doing radio in Antarctica before there was any viable satcom available. (I guess some stations even get TV now!)

During the summer season most A/G comms were on 8 & 13 MHz. 'Mac Center' was on the same MWARA channels as Auckland but of course almost everyone except flights into the Antarctic talked to someone else than McMurdo. Flights to/from McMurdo would use HF until about 100 miles out, just about the time they'd be starting a descent or reaching cruise altitude, northbound.

There were a few, rare A/G calls during the winter season but we monitored 2 or 3 of the HF freqs anyway. With HF, it's possible that we'd hear something important others wouldn't. 3 and 6 MHz during the winter were what we kept receivers on. I was the weather station / radio watch one day when NASA flew their airborne observatory down from NZ and back, mid-winter. They didn't land, but were making observations that led later to the announcement of rings at Uranus. I just took their position reports, nothing more. I swear that everyone at McMurdo was standing outside listening to the sound of the C-141 flying over on the way back to Christchurch... keeping their thoughts to themselves for the most part.

Back then, there was also an 'Antarctic Common' HF channel, 5400.0 KHz, if I remember. There might actually be chatter on that frequency during the summer and I heard that frequency in use a few times in the early to mid 80's when I lived in the Silicon Valley. Usually the traffic was more interesting than position reports from aircraft bound for 'the Ice'. There is likely still an 'Antarctic Common' frequency or two, but I haven't thought to look that up until reading this thread.
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Old 12-07-2018, 8:17 PM
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A live look at the towers at "T-Site" (the transmitter facility) from below is available at https://www.usap.gov/videoclipsandmaps/mcmwebcam.cfm
and click on the
ITC-Prime Construction
tab. The top of the picture shows several of the towers supporting the rhombics and just to the left of the wind-gen is one of the conical-monopoles.
The towers to the right of the small white building we can't talk about here because they have the UHF/VHF antennas on them.

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Old 12-07-2018, 8:20 PM
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Please keep the conversation going. This crosses HF and SatCom. This is very interesting. Keep it coming.


Russell
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:48 PM
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.
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Years ago I had an extensive list of Antarctic frequencies. What became of it I have no idea, since we seldom used HF voice channels.
Here is one from several years ago- tho it is not mine.**
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http://www.ominous-valve.com/antarctica.txt
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Funny thing- looking it over I can't remember our guys ever using any of those frequencies. We did talk to the Russians on HF sideband a lot. They were always inviting us to come over and visit their station- only a "few hundred" miles across the ice fields. We never took them up on it, Vodka inducements and all....
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Lauri
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._________________________________________
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**Thank's B ----
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Last edited by Lauri-Coyote; 12-07-2018 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 12-08-2018, 1:29 AM
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That list, Ms. Lauri, might be a lot older than the 2001 on its' header. Good reference material, tho, thanks for digging it up.

I was on the Ice about a generation before then and I DO remember quite a few of those freqs... I'd guess most of those are long gone.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:49 AM
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Smiles K7NG
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Yes, that list is probably best for historical reference only. I have similar ones for the Central Pacific and the Arctic - but like anything to do with HF, these frequencies can turn on a dime. Unless its from real time reports, I've never placed much faith in a print'd list's accuracy.
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That said, my friend with a project going on down there, on texting her, sent me these aircraft frequencies---- She swears they are good ...... Swears it
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__________________________________________________ ____
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McMurdo Base and Auckland Centre, NZ
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11255 KHz
5726 KHz
9032 KHz - the primary operational frequency
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__________________________________________________ ___
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She sent a list of the V/UHF frequencies, and satellites too, but I omit'd those.
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I never took much interest in those long distance aircraft HF circuits. I always figured the guys flying the planes knew exactly what they were doing and for us dilettantes to stay well away from their frequencies...
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Lauri
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Last edited by Lauri-Coyote; 12-08-2018 at 12:17 PM..
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Old 12-08-2018, 1:52 PM
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Thanks for all those frequencies, Lauri, I'll cherry-pick a few and scan them. I've had an HF receiver on 9032kHz 24/7 for days now and nary a peep recorded and yes, the method does work for other frequencies.

I used to live only a couple of miles from Christchurch airport and I heard the aircraft depart around dawn - the busy time was October-ish for restocking as soon as the 24-hour daylight started. Saw the NASA flying observatory a few times too in their 747SP - still didn't like the idea of flying around with that big hole down the back....
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Old 12-08-2018, 6:59 PM
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Smiles Martin
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Unfortunately she did not say, or know, how often these frequencies are/were used.
Her text** continued with this interesting insight, however-
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"..... the pilots must deal with the limitations of current HF communications using procedural guidelines. Aircraft flying from New Zealand are required to establish radio communications with McMurdo by the time they reach the "point of safe return," -- halfway ( ~1000 miles)"
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The old Point of No Return"-- a place where just beyond its as good to keep going as to turn around in an emergency
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That last, the "Point of No Return" always sends a shiver up my back. I wonder how many (less flight crew members) have ever experienced a "No Return" scenario, or know what it means ? (Why there's that description)
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A hand went up here !!
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It was over the middle of the Far North, a hour from our last airfield; a Dornier turboprop- when the co-pilot said
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"Sorry people, but we are about to reach the Point of No Return, and we've an engine about to fail"
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Okay, that's not what I wanted to hear, staring down at a tundra and stunt'd spruce barren horizon.
The plane shortly did a dramatic bank, and turn'd about 180 degrees. About 15 minutes later the right engine was 'feather'd" (the correct term for it?) and we began to loose altitude. The lower air was very choppy and things began to bounce a lot- adds to any flight's ambience, No ?
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"We'll be okay" said the co-pilot, "but everyone review the ditching protocols"
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And after what seemed an eternity, we limped back to were we had set out from hours earlier.
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What I started out to do was add to that list of frequencies -- the one we talked to the Russians on-- 5408 KHz.
Right outside of the ham 60 metre band.
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Lauri
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_____________________________________________
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**There is Internet down there- not much, like 15Mbs shared by everybody-
I'll only say this limited amount here - its relayed by microwave to a northern island that can see a geo-stat satellite.
She sent her texts via an LEO, however.
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