Hi! I would like to say some thinks about myself here. I’ve been a great aviation passionate since I was about 7 or 8 years old, when I first flew, in an Airbus A320 belonging to Iberia, in between the airports of Barcelona (LEBL) and Seville (LEZL).
My interest in radio is quite new, as it began about a year and a half or two years ago when I acquired my trusty Icom IC-R5 with the intention of listening to the air band communications maintained by pilots and the ATC (Air Traffic Control), specially abundant here in Barcelona (Spain) as LEBL is only 8 km away from home, so communications on most frequencies are well received using just the default rubber duck antenna supplied with the IC-R5.
As time passed, I obviously had to discover other bands in frequencies the IC-R5 could also receive, other than the air band. My first incursion out of the air band was when I tuned to a frequency in what I would later discover that was the 2m ham band and heard a conversation between what I thought were taxi drivers, or truck drivers, near home. With time I discovered they were hams, and I discovered the ham world itself, and the fun of experimenting with antennas and radio equipment. This led to the rediscovery of my Sony ICF-SW11 multiband broadcast receiver, which I had bought before the IC-R5, when my first interest on radio arose.
Nowadays, I can say that my interest in radio scanning is consolidating as, having to find information on the Internet and other sources, I’ve learned, and I’m still learning, a lot about this hobby (learning stuff on electronics with the AMT, or “Aviation Maintenance Technician” studies I’ve carried out has also helped a lot). My future plans include getting a ham license and callsign so as to be able to make a great dream of mine reality, this is, completing a QSO with an astronaut in the ISS, the International Space Station, and so as to expand my experimenting activity to the transmitting side of radio… Despite this, I think I’ll be just a listener for some time as I still have a lot to learn and to experience and experiment just receiving… As I like to say, I’m an only-receiving ham 🙂
My great preference (and although as an SWL I also enjoy listening to the shortwaves a lot) are satellites, as it amazes me so much to be able to hear a radio signal from space with nothing more than the tiny IC-R5 receiver and a proper antenna. If it is an astronaut speaking from space, from the ISS, the excitement is then full (such as in that day in which I decided to tune 145.800 FM -ham radio downlink frequency of the ISS-, expecting to hear just noise, but picked up instead an ISS pass and a running ARISS school contact between an Italian astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, and an Italian school; just by chance!). Before I discovered that I could listen to the ISS with the scanner, the most direct way in which I could learn about it was thru the websites of NASA, ESA and other space agencies involved in the program. After that, I’ve been able to be so “close” to the station that I can hear an astronaut speaking live into my little IC-R5 while the station is just above me, and this is why satellites amaze me so much. I also have intensely followed ARISSat-1 (a great sat!!!) during the period between it was released from the ISS in a spacewalk, and the moment when it reentered and disappeared in the high atmosphere. I’m a proud holder of the three ARISSat-1 reception PDF certificates!!! Right now I’m in the process of building better simple portable homemade antennas so as to be able to receive stronger signals from all the sat fleet turning up there, specially with ham satellites such as SO-50, the only FM satellite that remains active and one of the most difficult LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites to receive.
So now my radio listening activities center in HF (ham radio, aviation, broadcast stations), VHF (air band, ham radio) and also the 70cm ham radio band in UHF. In SHF, and with a newly acquired LNB (Low Noise Block) horn, to use with a “recycled” parabolic offset dish, my intention is to try to pick signals in the 10 GHz/3 cm ham band, which is starting to get active here in Spain.
Nothing more, that’s all and I hope you enjoy this blog!