Air show monitoring
Has anyone ever successfully monitored an air show? W0IIN & I were at the Rocky Mountain one this past Sunday trying to listen in, and all we could get were the occasional announcement from the tower, despite a lot of web searching for the right frequencies...
I am wondering if they are all using a DCS tone? maybe that's why we couldn't hear them... BTW the Baofengs don't go down that low (118.600mhz) but the Yaesu radios do, though they (appropriately) don't allow transmitting.
This is the third year I've tried to listen into this, and haven't been successful yet. I'm hoping for real time, in the action, plane to plane coms.
"Red 6 checking in.. Red 4 checking in... Red 5 checking in... Wow look at the size of that thing!! Cut the chatter Red 5... "
speaking of air shows, Fishy which one are you on mostly? http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=2562
Aviation VHF is AM, which may be why your HTs couldn't or weren't demodulating it correctly. The exception is traffic in UHF would be narrowband FM. The VX-7R does AM on RX but I don't know if the Beowulfs do. The use of tones wouldn't prevent you from hearing the transmissions.
I've never had trouble listening to air traffic, although you should know the military demonstration teams like the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds use frequencies around 250 to 300MHz, so not all radios will tune it. It is AM and not encoded, they don't mind letting you listen, it's really, really common for people to have scanners and aviation radios at air shows.
I'm sure everyone already knows....., but please remember how dangerous and illegal it would be to ever key up on one of these frequencies. Most radios will give you a "lock out" or "error" if you tried to key up, I don't think the Chinese HTs do that.
I am a TRACON controller. On any day I'll work the traffic in and out of Denver, Centennial, Metro (Jeffco), Fort Collins, Front Range.....etc. all those facilities except for Fort Collins have towers that control traffic on the ground and within 5 miles of their respective airports. Everything else is handled by us at the TRACON. Here's the frequencies I'm on everyday and the ones we really use.
126.1 all West Departures and Jeffco traffic
128.45 all South Departures and some APA arrivals/depts
132.75 all Centennial arr/deps (APA)
127.05 all North Departures and Ft Collins
128.25 all East Departures and Front Range
Some of these will be combined up during slower times and I may work 2 or 3 of them together.
120.35 from the southwest
119.3 from the northwest
124.95 from the northeast
126.55 from the southeast
These can be combined up as well. Typically these aircraft are worked from 23,000ft down to 11,000ft then handed off to the final controller
123.85 Final 1
120.8 Final 2
125.75 Final 3
133.62 Final 4
Final 1 and 2 are not direction specific but almost always staffed. We'll work this traffic from 13,000 down to about 7,000 or a 5 mile final before giving them to the tower who will just say "cleared to land" obviously, TRACON works much harder than tower ;)
Final 3 and 4 are usually used for converging runway operations. For example....Final 1 and 2 could be working arrivals to runways 16 Left and 16 Right and Final 3 would work arrivals to Runway 26
There are some other frequencies we use, but these are the main ones and you'll almost always hear something.
East Arrivals from the SE and NE gates
North and East Departures
Very busy arrivals from all arrival gates especially the NW and SW
Very busy East Departures (very very busy)
1-5pm small arrival/departure pushes that are over quickly on sunny days and last forever on crappy weather days
5-7pm busy departures especially North
7:30-9pm heavy cargo arrivals all gates
9:30-11pm busy West Departures and Moderate North and East Departures
11pm-1am depending on the days weather, could be busy at all areas or combined up to one area.
1am-6am sporadic arrivals/departures with a few busy times of cargo traffic
My voice is pretty distinct, you should be able to pick me out while I'm working. I have a trainee that I'm instructing right now, so I'm not talking as much as normal unless he does something stupid and I have to take over the frequency. ;)
Now the Yausu HT's (and mobile rigs) would allow monitoring, but they also give a TX Error should you attempt to key up. Yes there's a way around this, but it's not something I have done nor do I have any plans to do so.
Thanks for the channels Stan, I'm going to type a few of these in and listen in a bit. :cool:
For where you live, you can probably hear plenty on 128.65 too. That's Denver Center ARTCC up in Longmont. They control high altitude west bound traffic and over flights into ski country airports.
^^^^^And get in touch with me next year prior to the air show. I can get you hooked up with a great location and all the tactical frequencies for the flights.
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