Catching the radio wave

I have been infatuated with radios recently. The more of them I get, the more I want. Right now I have an AM/FM/VHF radio, an AM/FM/SW/VHF1/VHF2/UHF radio, and an AM/FM/SW/SSB/LW/MW radio. Sure the AM/FM bands are redundant, It’s mostly the other stuff I’m interested in. The last one is a digital PLL synthesized circuit radio; the Realistic DX-440. From what I can tell, this is the Pentax K-1000 of DXing. What is DXing? In short, it’s distance surfing for radio waves. The act of seeking out the furthest signal you can pull in. This may sound like a pursuit that would bottom out fast, but thats only if you don’t account for the constant change in weather (solar and otherwise) that affects what you can hear. For instance at a certain time of year, and maybe only for a day, you can pull in Radio Free Mongolia (totally made up) due to the weather condistions being just so.

As you can see, I’ve been nerding out again.

Funny thing is, due to the fact that I don’t have a nicer antenna (the bigger the better as with just about everything) the Realistic (my nicest radio) doesn’t pull in quite as interesting content as my no name AM/FM/SW/VHF1/VHF2/UHF radio. Lately it’s really been the VHF bands that have been interesting. Now you any be thinking… VHF, that’s TV isn’t it? Well… yes, but it’s a lot of other things too, like CB and Walkie talkie systems. I’ve heard a lot of odd broacasts, consisting of little more than… KSSCHT… Charlie, Baker, Washinton… KSSCHT!!! What are they??? I have no idea! I guess that’s what makes them so intriguing.

Today I got a similar and interesting one that consisted of some of those words-as-letters calls, and numbers too. A whole mass of people, some coming through loud and clear, and others way back submerged in fuzz. I had no idea what I was hearing. After listening to it for about 2 hours though, It finally dawned on me… it’s control towers and pilots! I’m guessing from the local international airport. Ok, so it’s not as cool as the Lincolnshire Poacher (what is?) but it was interesting none-the-less. I thought I could use it for something, so I recorded it for about 39 minutes and edited it down (lots of dead air) to about 12 or so. Here it is:

– Air traffic

If anyone checks this out and know it to be something different than what I believe it to be… please let me know.

Look out for more shortwave audio, there are some AMAZING sound floating around out there. I’ll post more soon.

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4 Responses to “Catching the radio wave”

  1. al Says:

    Nice!!!!! this makes me wonder if anyone in the NY area was fiddling around and listening to air traffic control on 9/11.

  2. howsthatsound Says:

    oh man! yeah, i didn’t even think of that. i’m sure someone was listening, a lot of people do this sort of thing. i doubt anyone was recording, or i’d think it would be common knowledge by now the way people lap that stuff up.

    bah! must stop thinking about morbid stuff…

    thanks al, you big ball of sunshine! 😀

  3. inertia Says:

    Numbers stations are cool too.
    Jupiter, when it is active, is also cool.
    20,000 – 22,000, the frequency changes from time to time.
    Also, there are some really neat digital amateur modes. Listen around 14,025 – 14.100 with bfo on.
    Also, there is a freeware program out here, I can’t remember the name tho… voice activated and mp3 encoding to eliminate the dead space and save recording space.
    I tried a search but did not find any free ones, perhaps you will have better luck…. ah well.

  4. howsthatsound Says:

    thanks for the tips inertia. i will definitely check those out.
    i was scanning last night and found some guys from my area chatting on CB. it was fun to snoop a bit, and of course i recorded it, so i’ll post some of that later.
    i’ll have to look into one of those voice activated recording programs. might be better for certain transmissions. although i really do like the intermittent radio noise quite a bit.

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