Monitoring SATCOM what do I need to know?

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Stavro35

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I am located in Bainbridge island Washington,near Seattle. I have two radios I can dedicate, at least in part, to SATCOM monitoring. What do I need to know? Can I program in specific frequencies and monitor them once in awhile for activity? Can I program in known frequencies and scan them like I do normal A.M military aviation frequencies?
 

mancow

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Google uhf satcom frequencies. You will find a list for most. A simply yagi pointed toward one will work fairly well. Just be aware you will probably never hear anything interesting. There are very rare radio checks and activity from arctic expeditions but they are very far and few between. Legit users will be white noise hash from encryption. What you will likely hear are pirates blabbering. Scan it in FM not NFM.
 

Stavro35

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Thanks a bunch. I am pretty sure I stumbled upon SATCOM activity years ago, by accident. The callsigns heard were Oregon base and Dragon thunder dome.
 

brandon

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Yes as mancow said there is really not much left to monitor. We are like 20-30 years too late :( Now it's just radio checks for the most part. If your in Washington you may be able to pick up the Deep Freeze stuff on 261.725, but I have not heard much of this year either. I think they are mainly using HF and Iridium text now.

Here are logging of most active freqs that can be heard from the west coast
UHF Satcom Frequencies | TacSat.com

Also this full listing by Matt Blaze is an excellent resource for LANT, CONUS and PAC region.
UHF SATCOM Downlinks Receivable in North America
 
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