A tribute to my Father and his RAF Squadron
Gday, the genesis of my interest in radio and radar was hearing 7HT, an AM broadcast station many miles away in Tasmania, on my Father's bedside clock radio one night in Sydney. I was also amazed by black and white TV skip during Summer.I then started listening to SSB on an AM only shortwave receiver whilst holding down the transmit button on a 27MHz walkie talkie.Then Dad took me to see a ham with a Kenwood TS-520, and the rest as they say is history. Little did I know that Dad had just introduced me to the world's first electronic social network. It used to be rare to have a two way radio on your person or in your vehicle. Now everyone has a radio (cell phone) in their pocket ! If we could see radio waves, we wouldn't be able to see anything else.
I have always been fascinated by the sky and our ability to conjure morse code, voice and music out of thin air. I find myself looking up for antennae and contrails wondering what the view might be like from up there.
Aircraft are built on some of man's greatest discoveries, such as physics, metallurgy, plastics, physiology, internal combustion engines, computers, radar and radio, etc. Aviation has become my life work and I am a Boeing 747 Captain.
The 747 has been flying for 43 years, since before the first moon landing, about 1500 have been delivered, and to my knowledge there have only been 2 fatal accidents attributable to the design. It has 6 million parts, 274 kilometres of wiring and the original model had 971 lights, guages and switches.
My Father retired on the 747 35 years ago and with any luck I will retire on it as well.
Flying started here, career in photos follow:
A typical 747 has 32 radios: 2 x 400 watt voice HF's, 3 x 25 watt voice/data VHF's, 2 x 100 watt 9GHz radars, 2 x GPS, 1.5GHz 60 watt voice/data satcom, 2 x 75MHz marker beacons, 3 x VHF LOC localiser, 3 x UHF glide slope, 2 x LF ADF automatic direction finder, 2 x VOR VHF omni directional range, 2 x 1GHz 600 watt transponders, 2 x 1GHz 700 watt DME distance measuring equipment, 3 x 500mW 4.3GHz radar altimeters, 3 x 406MHz EPIRB's.
Inside nose radome: From the top, Localiser, Weather radar, Localiser and Glide Slope x 2
Forward roof: TCAS in front of red beacon, transponder/low gain Sat/VHF and GPS behind
Aft roof: ADF (black), Sat high gain, EPIRB
Vertical stabiliser: 9' shunt fed slot type HF in lower leading edge (silver), VOR/LOC in top
Belly aft: VHF
Belly mid: Marker
Belly forward: Radar altimeter x 6, DME and VHF, and TCAS
My non work radio gear includes:
CW touch paddles
Member, Waverley Amateur Radio Society, the oldest continually licensed amateur radio club in Australia.
I enjoy plotting propagation paths and positions of aircraft, ships and me:
Personal distance records:
Ship at 1313 nautical miles from Dampier in162MHz marine band across the Indian Ocean near Cocos Islands:
Ship at 1129 nautical miles from Port Macquarie, NSW in 162MHz marine band across the Tasman Sea to the East of New Zealand:
Ship at 936 nautical miles from Dampier in162MHz marine band across the Indian Ocean, North of Java, Indonesia:
24 hour AIS ship plot in 162MHz marine band from Dampier across the Indian Ocean to Timor and North of Bali, Indonesia:
ADS-B heard up to772 nautical miles, across the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand:
HF data link:
Sites that I use:
Maritime mobile on Bertram 28, note PAR end fed 10/20/40
Home made and commercial beams:
Slim Jim AIS antenna made from 300 ohm TV ribbon inside 25mm conduit:
7km 2.4GHz wireless link to a less RF hostile site in Sydney, using Bullet2's that connect directly (no coax) to 18dB panels, and UHF beam:
Sydney harbour Terma radar
Note IP switch in grey box for remotely interrupting DC to an unresponsive Windows laptop, then restart with wake-on-LAN
WSPR antenna, a PAR end fed 10/20/40
and a 24 hour trace of the results using 500mW
Inside my ride from top left: Logitech C910 webcam, 10GHz radar detector detector, 24GHz radar, GPS antenna, Icom 7000 remote head, laptop based in car video http://www.curioustech.net/
Nagoya UT-108 magnabase
Lighthouse weekend 2011, inverted V on day 1
7m squid pole vertical due wind on day 2, 'slinky' antenna and SGC237 auto tuner:
Lighthouse day 2012 Hornby light, Sydney harbour
Photos from work trips:
Heathrow ATC radar
Metropolitan Police vehicle and HQ
I enjoy contrail spotting. Predictions here
Standing on either side of prime meridian (zero degrees longitude) at Greenwich
Mount Cook, New Zealand
Unmarked Prius, note GPS antenna and Motorola quarter wave on roof
Scaffolding Hong Kong style
Close to Antarctica
Johannesburg: ATC, never seen so many stacked dipoles
On the way to somewhere, note landing lights on at low power to keep them warm
Me walking around Perth:
Some scenes that took my eye, most photos are mine, all credit to their owners:
On the engine cowling is Virgin Galactic's time line on the history of flight. Note the 747 before the moon lander, and then X prize
Sydney airport coffee shop
Boeing 787 Dreamliner visiting Sydney
Sydney Mode S Terminal Radar renewal
Sydney airport X band surface radar (photo courtesy Kurt Ams – Sydney Airport Message Board – yssyforum.net)
Gold Coast ATC radar
Willis Island (off Cairns) weather radar
Northern New South Wales repeater
Remote ATC and ADS-B
Asian influence in Broome Western Australia
Lightning protection arc gap between balls on VLF tower (photo courtesy VK6HV)
Too much wind
A good earth
Police radar etc.
New South Wales highway patrol: Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras
Unmarked with Kustom Eagle radar
Queensland highway patrol
Decatur Genesis II radar
Mobile speed cameras
Front left white antenna is satphone, front right is infra red illuminator and security camera, 2 black verticals are GPS and mobile broadband, rear left is radar and rear right is security camera and work light. Enforcement camera and more security cameras inside.
Aircon pack on top, HDTV whip, radar antenna below number plate and flash on rear bumper:
Unmarked, note rectangular radar antenna inside canopy and flash head underneath to the right of number plate
VH-NLK B737 Melbourne - Norfolk Island
Singapore 281 B777 from Singapore to Auckland
VH-VNJ A320 Brisbane to Melbourne crossing contrails
a day at a similar office
24 hours of world air traffic
Canadian aurora cam http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/connect.asp
Around world in space station http://vimeo.com/michaelkoenig/earth-timelapse-iss
Square kilometre array
Over the horizon radar
Climbing a 1700' tower (not me!) http://file.qip.ru/embed/139653439/bb7b65c3
Another coming down http://fmtvdx.eu/zendmast/smilde/hoogersmilde06.html
Who said pilots can't sing http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=yA36wU4jgj4
There's nothing you can't doThese streets will make you feel brand newBig lights will inspire youhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qHagigQRKqU
Lightning hitting aircraft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVzOENacg6E&feature=player_embedded
Clipper Ocean Pearl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaStEgS59bw&feature=related
St. Maarten from inside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksmDuXO_k6E
from outside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAfQwDizpRo
If you like engines, turn up the volume http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWu72EQn0Lw
A great book about radar, from war to peace http://www.amazon.com/INVENTION-THAT-CHANGED-WORLD-PIONEERS/dp/0684835290/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345690885&sr=1-1&keywords=buderi+the+invention
The Bruneval raid
Australians invented the 'black box' flight recorder and aircraft DME distance measuring equipment
Some info on Australia, by Douglas Adams of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the
"Australia is a very confusing place, taking up a large amount of the bottom
The first of the confusing things about Australia is the status of the
But even the spiders won't go near the sea. Any visitors should be careful
At this point, we would like to mention the Platypus - estranged relative
The last confusing thing about Australia is the inhabitants. First, a short history:
Sometime around 40,000 years ago, some people arrived in boats from the
Then, around 200 years ago, Europeans arrived in boats from the north. More
About then the sheep arrived, and have been treasured ever since. It is
Eventually, the new lot of people stopped being Europeans on Extended
There is also the matter of the beaches. Australian beaches are simply the
However, watching a beach sunset is worth the risk. As a result of all this
Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile
There are some traps for the unsuspecting traveler, though. Do not, under
The only correct answer to "So, howdya' like our country, eh?" is "Best
Your hosts will usually make sure you get home, and waive off any legal
Most Australians are now urban dwellers, having discovered the primary use
Typical Australian sayings:-
* "It's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick!"
* "She'll be right mate."
Tips to Surviving Australia :
* Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason WHATSOEVER.
* The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you think
* Always carry a stick.
* Air-conditioning is imperative.
* Do not attempt to use Australian slang, unless you are a trained linguist
* Wear thick socks.
* Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are
* If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you at
* Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always
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