72 hours of HF-GCS

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kiltedtaco

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With some processing tricks to filter out copious dead air from the recordings, I was able to transcribe 72 continuous hours of HF-GCS traffic (surprisingly easily and quickly). The purpose of this is to characterize what "normal" traffic patters are, which are difficult to discern in scattered loggings. The main focus is on traffic broadcast by one of the ground stations, but I have included test counts, radio checks, and phone patches when possible.

The three days of logs are at:
https://gist.github.com/anonymous/10608080
https://gist.github.com/anonymous/10608144
https://gist.github.com/anonymous/10608177


A few notable findings, which may already be known but are easily discernible from this data:

1. Over this 72 hour period there were three different categories of messages transmitted (four if you include SKYKING): the WM series, the SJ series, and the ET series. These are presumably not permanent, but were constant over the sampled time period.

2. WM and SJ appeared to be the bulk of the "normal traffic". The ET series was only seen in a pair of messages transmitted within two hours of each other.

3. 36 SKYKING messages in 72 hours. 26 unique WM messages, 31 unique SJ messages.

4. All messages beginning with "FOR [Callsign]" were SJ. All of the callsigns in these messages were very odd (my transcriptions are likely to be very inaccurate) and sometimes were reused for messages over a few hours. The "FOR" messages mostly disappeared on the second and third days.

5. 30 character messages (6 character preamble + 24 characters) were the overwhelming majority. WM carried exclusively 30 character messages, while both ET messages were 42 characters, and SJ messages were both longer and shorter (19, 34, 110, 56 character messages).

6. Some SJ and WM messages were repeated on the half-hour as many as four times after initial broadcast.

7. Only one SKYKING message was repeated, separated by about 8 hours (PKU). On some occasions the authentication code was reused between messages. The reported time was always within one minute of the transmission time. Repeated authentications:
log_Apr07:1257 - SKYKING PKU time 58 auth CW
log_Apr07:1258 - SKYKING 4KC time 58 auth CW
log_Apr08:1024 - SKYKING PRD time 24 auth JM
log_Apr08:1025 - SKYKING 3RV time 25 auth JM
log_Apr08:1415 - SKYKING XJR time 15 AUTH JC
log_Apr08:2015 - SKYKING F34 time 15 auth JC

8. It is really hard to get anyone to respond to a radio check.
 

Haley

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Nice data, pretty interesting. And I totally agree with #8! Mike
 
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1. Over this 72 hour period there were three different categories of messages transmitted (four if you include SKYKING): the WM series, the SJ series, and the ET series. These are presumably not permanent, but were constant over the sampled time period.
That has pretty much been the format since things changed on 01 APR 2013.
 
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