For friend - Trying to build a system around an AOR

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Sojourn

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Hey, everyone, newish ham here, trying to do something for a friend who's currently serving in Afghanistan. I've got an AOR 8200 mk III B, and I'm going to send it over to him along with some other equipment I plan on acquiring, the overall idea being to build a small radio search system he can carry in his humvee. I'm still unsure of what other components I need to build the system for him, though, and I'd love some recommendations or directin

He'd like to be able to identify and track certain frequencies being used around him while he's travelling in his humvee, though he doesn't necessarily know exactly what those frequencies are. Once he identifies them, he'd like to be able to monitor those quickly, without losing the ability to identify new frequencies if they begin being used. He'd also like the ability to record any transmissions he does manage to acquire. It would also be good if he could sync this system up with a computer.

Starting with that mkIII, I have discussed with another (much more experienced) ham about frequency sniffers. I understand that Optoelectronics makes a few, and that they can link up with the AOR and drop any acquired frequencies into the AOR to track as a channel. Anyone know much about this? Also, is a sniffer even worthwhile to use out there? He'd be tracking lower-power radios over at least some distance, so I don't know if he'd even pick anything up. But, on the other hand there's little vegetation and I suspect the overall noise floor is pretty low in the 100mHz region where I understand their radios are generally operating.

Then there's the matter of recording. AOR doesn't seem to have many good built in options. Any suggestions of something that can handle desert and a humvee?

Antenna considerations for the device(s)?

Also, his laptop does not have a DB-9 port, while the proprietary port on the AOR is serial. Can I just get a USB-to-serial converter and get by with that?

I firmly welcome any assistance whatsoever, whether answers to this question or things I might not have thought about. I'd also love more info or recommendations on using this AOR for this purpose. It's a complex device, so I'd like to give him a "cheat sheet" of sorts so that he doesn't have to spend too much time on the learning curve on this device before he can deploy it.

Thanks in advance. This could be a good help to my friend, not to mention a potential help to his safety.
 

aprswatcher

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Optoelectronics website

Here is Optoelectronics website
http://www.optoelectronics.com/
Check out some of their equipment for yourself, you might find something else that might work.

I own a AOR 8000 with a Scout and will sniff out freqs and then tunes the scanner (8000) over to the freq
so you can hear the conversation. It has no means of recording it though.

Hope this helps out somewhat.
73, Rex
 

Sojourn

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Aug 11, 2008
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Hey, thanks.

How's the Scout for ruggedness, and in performance compared to other items optoelectronics sells? The other two Scouts (digital, FCC bandplan) would be frivolous for his purposes, but I am looking at the spectrum sweeper. For a given contingent he's monitoring, I would imagine that there's only going to be one frequency in use at a given point, so I don't know if he needs the multiple displays. Then again, it might not be a bad thing.

Across how broad of a spectrum does one of these devices sniff? Alternately, how tightly can one limit that (if, say the dominant frequency was something not useful to him)

As far as recording goes, there are drop in modules for recording on the AOR, but they've nowhere near the capacity one would need. What would be best would be a standard digital voice recorder, but one with a vox-like feature, that would come on when it received a signal from the mic input jack (and preferably would tag the recording with a timestamp. Know anything like that?

What about serial ports? His laptop only has USB. Have you connected yours using USB before (presumably with an adaptor)?
 
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