Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RARA "Thrill before the Chill"

(from the July 2014 RARA Rag newsletter)

The Rochester Amateur Radio Association (RARA) has once again joined with the Damascus Shriners to produce their fourth annual Fall Fest and Tailgate Party. The Shriners will provide a first class location with ample parking, indoor bathroom facilities, a separate area for larger vehicles and RVs, a large covered picnic area to eat in, and a large deck to rest after all that shopping.

This event will be on Saturday, September 13, 2014 and will open at 7 AM for vendors and 8 AM for all others. It will go to around Noon. It is conveniently located off Rt.104 at 979 Bay Rd., Webster, N.Y. 14580.

Upon entering, the staff will ask for a $5 donation that will all go to help fund the Shriners Hospital for Children. Please spread the word and don‘t miss your last local flea market for buying and selling ham radio supplies in 2014.

Come have fun and Help the Kids!!!

Hope to see you all there! 73.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monitoring Aircraft frequencies

Monitoring air traffic can be pretty interesting. The Air bands are available on many radios today. You will find its not just scanners but many Amateur radio transceivers have these bands available as well. You can monitor commercial airliners, private aircraft, as well as military aircraft. The closer you are to major commercial airport, the better your chances are. You can also listen to private aircraft around CNY on their UNICOM frequency of 122.800 MHz (AM). You can also see live aircraft tracking info on-line at . It is pretty cool to listen and watch the movements from on-line radar tracking.

Some basic guidance for Aircraft Monitoring

One-Sided Conversations:  Because aircraft fly high above the ground, their transmissions have much more range than the ground stations with whom they're talking. This means that only the airborne side of most conversations will be heard. Is this a problem? You miss very little in these conversations because pilots are required to repeat back to controllers any instructions or frequencies that they are given. In fact, hearing only the aircraft has tremendous advantages. It helps the listener to avoid mix ups among simulcast ground stations, and is a terrific help in isolating military aircraft from other traffic.
Frequency Bands Used:  Although the air band is 108-137 MHz, almost all civilian voice communications are above 118 MHz. In addition, the military has 138-150 MHz and 225-400 MHz. (remember AM)
Sources of Information:  The best place for you to get information is the same place where the pilots go. Web sites like, and give you frequencies and all kinds of other airport information.Other resources that will get you up to speed quickly:

Link to - Syracuse Hancock listing:
Link to a great overview of Air Traffic frequencies on Radio
Link to Military Communications web page:

…and if you don’t have a radio that is capable of receiving these frequencies there is always the Internet! 
….…start here:

Syracuse Airport frequencies (from
ATIS Frequencies (repeating weather and airport notices):
Tower Frequencies:  
Ground Operations Frequencies:
Clearance Delivery Frequencies:
Emergency Frequencies:
SYRACUSE Primary Approach Frequencies:  

Thanks to the following sources of reference information: N4JRI's Scanner Pages, Radio, and the various flight planning web sites.