Aircraft Monitoring Forum

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JASII

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I am planning on a Caribbean cruise at the end of March. I will probably bring along a radio to monitor marine radio and shipboard DMR traffic. Would it be worthwhile to try and listen to VHF-AM aviation traffic while at sea or will I not hear much being so far away from the mainland?

I don't typically monitor the aviation frequencies, so I am just assuming that I might hear some aircraft to tower communications for aircraft taking off and landing at island airports. With regards to aircraft in flight over the Caribbean sea, would that be a minimum of traffic?

Also, would it be worthwhile to scan the UHF-AM band from 225-400 MHz from time to time? I assume that there might be a bit of military aircraft communications traffic, but I have never tried listening there on previous cruises, so I really don't know what to expect.
 

ecps92

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Keep in-mind you are within a Big Connex Box, so your reception will be limited to the direction of the BIG Open Window of your Room (if a Balcony)

That in mind, I've maintained a QSO of 600+ miles on UHF from a Handheld on the Balcony on GMRS

I am planning on a Caribbean cruise at the end of March. I will probably bring along a radio to monitor marine radio and shipboard DMR traffic. Would it be worthwhile to try and listen to VHF-AM aviation traffic while at sea or will I not hear much being so far away from the mainland?

I don't typically monitor the aviation frequencies, so I am just assuming that I might hear some aircraft to tower communications for aircraft taking off and landing at island airports. With regards to aircraft in flight over the Caribbean sea, would that be a minimum of traffic?

Also, would it be worthwhile to scan the UHF-AM band from 225-400 MHz from time to time? I assume that there might be a bit of military aircraft communications traffic, but I have never tried listening there on previous cruises, so I really don't know what to expect.
 

AirScan

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With regards to aircraft in flight over the Caribbean sea, would that be a minimum of traffic?
As far as VHF goes there can be a lot of high altitude enroute traffic. And some of the bigger ports can be very busy with local traffic.

What route is your ship taking, I can give you the frequencies to try if you like ?

AS
 

Eugene

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You better check with he cruise lines first, as some of them do not allow scanners or transmitters onboard. I believe that Carnival still will allow them if they are inspected. Have fin on your cruise and good luck.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

ko6jw_2

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You should consider that aircraft will not use VHF frequencies on long haul flights. The will use HF upper sideband. Check the RR wiki. There is excellent information of frequency usage and maps. The Caribbean has two zones with ATC in New York. Here in California, I can monitor San Francisco/Honolulu traffic easily. More than 100 or so miles from land they will switch to HF. On approach the ATC will instruct them to switch to VHF again.
 

sflmonitor

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A year ago I went on a cruise from Miami to Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Bahamas. Lots of VHF aviation traffic was monitorable at all times. We had a balcony at mid ship on the 10th deck and a simple whip antenna was more than enough. I caught traffic going to South America and the Caribbean and even transiting Cuba, all on VHF. Ground stations were only heard when we were close to land, and that was rare. One thing I will say is that monitoring anything from inside the cabin was almost nonexistent except for onboard ship traffic. I had to sit out on the balcony. Additionally, I was able to hear government and business traffic from the various islands as we cruised nearby. Sometimes as far out as 50+ miles offshore.
 

JASII

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When I search for AM aviation traffic in that area, is it still 25 kHz steps? I seem to recall some other countries looking at 8.33 kHz steps.
 
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