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Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Jet86 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:37 am

Hi,
apologies if this doesn't belong in Real Aviation (I think it does, but I could be wrong).

I recently purchased a radio scanner that is able to pickup airband frequencies, and am now looking to put together a list of frequencies used in my area (Sydney and the Illawarra, Australia) as I drive around a fair bit for work and want to program them into my scanner. My main question is, is there a good/reliable source for what frequencies are used by aircraft/ATC in different areas? I found http://airportdatabase.net/ and http://airportnavfinder.com/ but they don't seem to match in terms of what frequencies are listed for each airport (so I'm not sure if they're accurate and up to date). Is there something "better" I should be using than these two sites?

Also, what does "Activate lights only multi" mean at for example http://airportnavfinder.com/airport/YWOL/ (yes I am a complete novice).
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Wecsje » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:53 am

Check the airport charts and aerodrome info for the frequencies.

Activate lights means what it says, to activate the lights at the airfield.

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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Jet86 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:23 am

Wecsje wrote in Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:53 am:Check the airport charts and aerodrome info for the frequencies.


In that case, is there a good/reliable source for where I can get the airport charts and aerodrome info for different aerodromes? Do you have a link to a reliable source for these online?

Wecsje wrote in Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:53 am:Activate lights means what it says, to activate the lights at the airfield.


How does that relate to the listed radio frequency?
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Wecsje » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:53 am

About the lights: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2017/march/flight-training-magazine/how-it-works-lighting

About the charts: Usually the government has an eAIP with all the charts, in most European countries this can be freely accessed on the web, but other countries charge money for it.

eAIP for Australia: https://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp (not sure where exactly the charts are located).

FYI: With a VHF radio on ground, you will only pickup planes that are close by to you, or directly above you.

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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Parnikkapore » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:57 am

I actually once did radio scanning, and the first thing I did was tune the ATIS for VTBD (which is around 10-12 miles away). And I actually can discern it from the background noise! It is hardly readable, however.
There are free alternatives to every program you encounter. You just have to find them.
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Clive2670 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Also as a point of reference be careful about the legalities of listening in on ATC/Pilot transmissions. CHECK what the law states in your Country. I live in the UK and have a scanner, BUT, you can sell scanners, OWN scanners, have a scanner in full view in public, BUT it becomes an offence to connect a power source or put batteries into it and switch it on. In the UK you are only legally allowed to listen to: licensed broadcasting stations "A license is not required to use a radio receiver or scanner as long as it is not capable of transmission. It is not illegal to sell, buy or own a scanner or any other receiver but it should
only be used to listen to transmissions meant for general reception".: amateur and citizens' band radio transmissions and weather and navigation transmissions. Any other transmissions are illegal to listen to. I have had a man from OFCOM knock on my front door and ask to see my scanner, to which I obliged, He then said he could seize it under the Wireless Telegraghy Act 1949 (2006) I told him that he can't seize it unless it was switched on, he then proceeded to ask me to turn it on, to which I happily did.....Needless to say it didn't work....I took the battery pack out!!!! So he went away very unhappy! To sum up CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS IN YOUR COUNTRY VERY CAREFULLY IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE IT OUTSIDE!!!
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Jet86 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:58 pm

Thanks, Wecsje - both those links have been greatly helpful for me :)

Regarding the legalities, yes I checked before buying it (and double checked again just now) - thankfully in Australia, it isn't illegal to own or use a scanner (devices with transmit capabilities are of course a different matter).
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby sim » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:54 pm

Here are 50 Air Traffic frequencies online in USA you can listen to now :wink:

https://www.liveatc.net/topfeeds.php

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Last edited by sim on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:36 am

not just the US... i see Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Ireland, Australia and more listed ;)
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Jet86 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:04 am

Yeah, sadly not YWOL though, which is my local :(
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:04 am

that list is just the top 50 frequencies with current listeners... nothing more... you can search and see if there's a feed for YWOL... if there's a HAM radio operator or scanner enthusiast with the necessary equipment and internet connection, there may be a feed... if there's no one in that area to catch the radio traffic and retransmit it to liveatc, then no one will be able to listen to that airport control... remember, this isn't a live feed direct from the controllers... it is folks with radios capturing the transmissions and sending the audio stream to liveatc for others to listen to if they want...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Jet86 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:42 am

I'm familiar with LiveATC - there's no feed for YWOL.
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:41 am

good deal... i was also explaining for others reading along ;)

i have a scanner radio site that i listen to, too... it is amazing the number of folks that hear it when i have it on and they think i have a direct line to all the various police, fire and rescue controllers...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby Clive2670 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:22 pm

wkitty42, sadly here in the UK all Emergency services are now "trunked" radio so with most handheld scanners it is not possible to listen in!!! You can do with certain "desktop" scanners as these have the ability to de-scramble the digital trunked transmissions. Buit on the other side of the coin (as I said in a earlier post) it is completely illegal in the UK to listen to ANYTHING other than Broadcast ( Public radio ) transmissions under the Radio Telegraphy Act 1949 (2006) It is rare to be punished though, As there are Youtubers that broadcast live streams with FULL ATC broadcasts. Here is one example: https://youtu.be/YCqLAiAi-Pk Big Jet TV
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Re: Finding (and understanding) ATC Frequencies

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:03 pm

i would guess that ATC comms are "Broadcast" (they are, right?) "Public radio" (they are a public entity, right? and certainly it is radio, right?) and so should be quite ok... or are they using "Public radio" as a brand like our American PBS stations (Public Broadcast System)...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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