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Amateur Radio SWL Weather Satellite Aircraft ACARS Marine AIS Software Defined Radio .


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Posted (edited)

I thought I would start a topic in hobbies for Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) International Shortwave Broadcast Listening (SWL), including Utility and Ship to Shore stations, pirates, jammers, numbers stations, anything coming down off the the satellites including Weather Photos, L Band, ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System), Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Marine AIS and Space Weather.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_frequency

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_listening

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACARS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L_band

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software-defined_radio

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_identification_system

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_satellite

Please do not discuss any type of radio transmissions originating within Thailand except for Standard AM/FM broadcast bands and International Short Wave Stations.     

 

 

 

Edited by NCC1701A
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  • NCC1701A changed the title to Amateur Radio SWL Weather Satellite Aircraft ACARS Marine AIS Software Defined Radio .

You mention the numbers stations. I remember seeing a documentary about them back in the UK about thirty or more years ago.

I see from wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station  it mentions this one:  
"One well-known numbers station was the E03 "Lincolnshire Poacher", which is thought to have been run by the British Secret Intelligence Service. It was first broadcast from Bletchley Park in the mid-1970s but later was broadcast from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. It broadcast until 2008."

I also remember it being mentioned in the documentary. What interested me particularly is wiki saying It was first broadcast from Bletchley Park in the mid-1970s.
At that time I worked for Post Office Telecoms (before it became British Telecom). I attended a telecoms course at Bletchley Park in the mid 70s as the Post Office was given use of it as a training centre.
I'm certain the weren't any radio masts there at that time?

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6 minutes ago, Bluesofa said:


I'm certain the weren't any radio masts there at that time?

I don't know but the Lincolnshire Poacher is a very famous example. 

in the 80's in Los Angeles I would monitor Cuba numbers stations around 8Mhz. There are many people all over the world who have devoted a huge amount of time to monitoring number stations. 

here is one example:

https://www.numbers-stations.com/

 

 

 

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That was interesting to hear that example again.
According to the link you provided it says it transmitted from "Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre in Gawcott near Buckinghamshire" [sic]

Looking on google maps, that's about twenty miles west of Bletchley Park, which would explain the lack of transmission towers at Bletchley.

Also on google street view the name of the communications centre is blurred out, unsurprisingly.

 

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Fascinating stuff, the numbers stations site.

Must have been around '71/72, I bought a big Russian radio from, I think, Exchange & Mart.

I'd sit in my bedroom of an evening, fiddling with the tuning knob & hearing all sorts of strange noises, & occasionally, Morse Code.

When I read your link to numbers stations, it mentioned polytones, & I remembered that way back then, I did hear them...

Thinking about it again, the tuning cord snapped & later, my Ruski radio, went out with the rubbish. 

 

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Have you ever picked up something strange, unexplainable,  on your Radio?

Or...spy stuff....?

 

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4 minutes ago, Faraday said:

Have you ever picked up something strange, unexplainable,  on your Radio?

Or...spy stuff....?

i used to monitor US Secret Service and FBI frequencies in Los Angeles. 

I would keep a scanner on US Secret Service 24/7 and once in the middle of the night I heard "Is the hotel across the street on fire?" "yes look at that." and in fact a hotel a few blocks away did catch fire. I always wondered what surveillance they were doing. maybe VIP protection or counterfeiting. 

the HF bands or short wave bands 0-30 Mhz are full of signals some of which are military digital com links and some forms of exotic over the horizon radars. 

the numbers stations are spy stuff. here is an example:

    

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started short wave listening in the early 1970's when I was a teenager.  I often picked up numbers stations, especially the Lincolnshire Poacher.  Many such stations still exist - broadcast schedules are published.

 

When I lived in north Phuket, I hosted the receiving antennas for Flightradar 24 and for the marine AIS website.  Now in north Laos, I host the planefinder website antenna, (no marine AIS up here!).

As mentioned in previous threads on TV forum, I build a lot of different antennas.  I havean antenna to receive images from the ISS (International Space Station).  This is the latest image that I received on 7 August.

202108071251.jpg.0656888ed6f1b5eed5ff8167939b50cc.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Simon43 said:

As mentioned in previous threads on TV forum, I build a lot of different antennas. 

Hi Simon43.  Right now i am waiting for this L band Inmarsat antenna to arrive today. 

L-Band Inmarsat RHCP Receive Antenna A154R for 1540 MHz Band:

https://www.sdr-kits.net/Antennas_for_SDRplay_Rx

I have a clear view of Inmarsat-4 F2 IOR (Indian Ocean Region) out of my office window which faces due west. This antenna is very inexpensive and has a built in preamp which I will power off of the bias tee from my SDRDuo SDR. It also comes with a optional metal ground plate. No dish required which is good because I am not in the mood to climb up to my antenna mini farm on top of my house. I can use a very small tripod on my desk to aim the antenna and make adjustments while watching the SDR waterfall. 

 

 

L-Band LNB.jpg

Edited by NCC1701A
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here is the footprint map. My location overlaps the POR (Pacific Ocean Region) sat as well so I will be point the antenna east sometime in the future.  

 

Apollo_Inmarsat_Alphasat-and-I-4-coverage.jpg

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31 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

Hi Simon43.  Right now i am waiting for this L band Inmarsat antenna to arrive today. 

L-Band Inmarsat RHCP Receive Antenna A154R for 1540 MHz Band:

https://www.sdr-kits.net/Antennas_for_SDRplay_Rx

I have a clear view of Inmarsat-4 F2 IOR (Indian Ocean Region) out of my office window which faces due west. This antenna is very inexpensive and has a built in preamp which I will power off of the bias tee from my SDRDuo SDR. It also comes with a optional metal ground plate. No dish required which is good because I am not in the mood to climb up to my antenna mini farm on top of my house. I can use a very small tripod on my desk to aim the antenna and make adjustments while watching the SDR waterfall. 

L-Band LNB.jpg

How does that work then without a dish to focus the signal? Surely it would be needed to focus to the LNB? Or is the signal that strong?

I remember for fun back in the UK I made a dish using a dustbin lid as it had a curve on it. Worked well with a spare LNB, to pick up Sky TV transmissions.

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What's on that Inmarsat bird that you can decode?

 

I have an old 1.95 metre diameter mesh satellite dish that I use with a homemade ice-bucket feedhorn to receive the L-band geo weather sats.  I can get decent signals from 2 Chinese birds and 1 from South Korea.  This is one of the Chinese birds - the black line interference is (I think) from a nearby phone mast, but my Korea sat images are perfect.

FY_2G_251220.thumb.jpg.37efadaf70140edfffe6da6bd70ac505.jpg

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:47 PM, Simon43 said:

What's on that Inmarsat bird that you can decode?

this for one. i will post another soon.

 

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Oh yes, ACARS of course.  That data was I believe, used to try to track/predict the route of MH370 when it disappeared over the Indian Ocean.  My Flightradar24 antennas in north Phuket picked up MH370 as it flew just south of Phuket (they still had their ADS-B unit switched on...

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