Tuesday, January 01, 2013

NAVTEX reception

While not strictly broadcasting... I did a bit of playing around New Year's Eve with NAVTEX on 518KHz, just below the AM broadcast band. I downloaded the Frisnit NAVTEX decoder & camped out on the frequency long enough to prove it was working.

Then, I let it run overnight.

Woke up to find messages from eight different sites:

B     ZBR     Bermuda
C     NMC     San Francisco
E     NME     Charleston, S. Carolina
G     NMG     New Orleans
N     NMN     Chesapeake, Virginia
P     XLJ895  Thunder Bay, Ontario
R     NMR     San Juan, Puerto Rico
U     VAR9    Saint John, New Brunswick

NMC was a BIG (and pleasant) surprise. NAVTEX ID C on the East Coast is supposed to be Sept-Iles, Quebec -- but when I read the message text, it was warning of navigation hazards at the Golden Gate and Alcatraz Island!


Anonymous said...

This is the kind of stuff I like to come across. It makes me WANT to get back into the radio hobby.

BTW, what kind of SW did you use?

Doug Smith said...

I was using Frisnit 2.1.5. Seems to be reasonably sensitive -- and it saves the loggings to individual files with timestamps.

Just leave the radio on overnight with the software running & collect your DX in the morning. Almost too lazy to be true :) .

FWIW, radio is a Yaesu FT1000MP, antenna is 160m dipole (center-fed antenna 80m, about 250', long) about 20m/65' high.