Aircraft, Amateur radio, Computers, News, Utility Radio

Or Maybe I Just Love Radios?!

12/17/2016

I seem to be a man of contradictions. As I look at my “shack” (amateur radio speak for where I keep my radios!) I must be conflicted. I have radios from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and the 10s. I like radios of every era as each radio is a marvel of technology from the simplest to the most complex. Even radio designs we take for granted today are scientific wonders, and radio is itself, of course, magic!

On the same table I use for day-to-day radio fun, I have two modern marvels of technology, and four “relics” from the “golden oldies” side. I greatly value them all (trying to avoid the word “love” – I love my dog and cat, I am “deeply attached” to my rigs!). Right now I am listening to the beeps and screeches and buzzes of HFDL reception. Yes, I could turn the volume down and just watch the computer screen, but I like listening to radio of all kinds.

A brief note on today’s setup: I am using my ICOM-7000 in USB mode attached to a 20m dipole monitoring 8.912 and 11.387 MHz with audio fed through a SignaLink USB sound card interface to Multipsk software on my computer (click here for a review of the software). I have an additional program running which links into Multipsk to take the data and organize it into a database display (HFDL Display).

Here are two screen shots of the respective software programs in action:

Multipsk (click on image for larger version)

hfdl_multi

HFDL Display (click on image for larger version)

hfdl_display

In addition to the usual Fed-Ex and Delta flights, there are some interesting ones such as Air China, Arik Air (Nigeria), Alaska Airlines, and Asiana Airlines (Seoul, South Korea). By clicking on the Flight Registration number (highlighted in image) if you are connected to the Internet when the software is running it will pull up flight information from FlightRadar24.com and give you the current status and flight history of the plane (click on image for larger view):

flightradar24

Another option is to take the ICAO Hex number from the HFDL Display log and look it up at FlightAware.com, where you will get something like this (click on image for larger view):

air-china-international2

And Flight Data for the plane (click on image for larger view):

flightaware-hfdl

This happens to be a rather cold and rainy Saturday in December, and this is one of my favorite things to do while I sip some coffee and play radio. Next time might involve shortwave listening, an amateur radio contest, or working on an old rig. Maybe I am a man of contradictions, or maybe I am conflicted.

Or, maybe I just love radios! 73, Robert


 

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