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Old 22-11-2017, 17:39   #1
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UHF for High Fliers?

I am wondering about the value of keeping a handheld UHF radio on board to contact high fliers while sailing from New York to Gibraltar (as I recall about 400 overflights per day). Although thinking strictly emergency calls on 243.0mHz, bored aircrew monitoring autopilots and position reporting might be an interesting lot to engage for weather info.

Thoughts?
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Old 22-11-2017, 18:46   #2
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UHF for High Fliers?

I have a few and thought about it, but havenít .
123.45 is the General BS freq. and I believe the International freq for requesting position reporting.
Officially it is I believe used in ďOceanographic regionsĒ
A few of us would fly little airplanes over Oceans on deliveries and sometimes would come up 123.45 and ask an airliner to pass on a position report for us

I believe though that regular civilian aircraft radio is VHF, and all freqs start with 1, UHF is Military only, and all freqs start with 2

Where did you get a UHF radio? Only Military uses those freqs I think.
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Old 22-11-2017, 19:50   #3
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

aircraft band is a different can of worms. I think it's vhf but with AM modulation so normal vhf radio will not work. which is FM mod. even with the right freq.
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Old 22-11-2017, 19:51   #4
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

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Where did you get a UHF radio? Only Military uses those freqs I think.
the cheap FRS / GMS radios you buy at cosco are UHF...
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Old 22-11-2017, 19:56   #5
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

I believe my TV will tune some UHF frequencies too, but not aircraft frequencies
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Old 22-11-2017, 22:47   #6
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divevac View Post
I am wondering about the value of keeping a handheld UHF radio on board to contact high fliers while sailing from New York to Gibraltar (as I recall about 400 overflights per day). Although thinking strictly emergency calls on 243.0mHz, bored aircrew monitoring autopilots and position reporting might be an interesting lot to engage for weather info.

Thoughts?
I am unaware of any civilian aircraft using UHF frequencies. The international civilian airband is 118 MHz to 136 MHz, AM with a channel spacing of 25 KHz except European airspace which has 8.33KHz spacing.

Military aircraft has both civilian VHF plus their own UHF frequencies (243 MHz is their guard frequency).

It is usual (or was?) for oceanic commercial airliners to monitor 121.5 MHz - international VHF emergency frequency (AM).
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Old 22-11-2017, 22:55   #7
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

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.........

Where did you get a UHF radio? Only Military uses those freqs I think.
Ah, no, there are many many users in the UHF band, the vast majority being commercial operators with privately leased frequencies as well as public domain channels
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Old 23-11-2017, 00:11   #8
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

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Ah, no, there are many many users in the UHF band, the vast majority being commercial operators with privately leased frequencies as well as public domain channels
Yep UHF is a very wide band (300MHz-3000MHz) with a huge range of uses from 2-way radios at the lower end to WiFi networking towards the upper end.
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Old 23-11-2017, 00:56   #9
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

Listen in or track them for a few dollars

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Old 23-11-2017, 05:28   #10
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UHF for High Fliers?

I donít know about airliners, but almost no civilian monitors 121.5, to do so would mean you have to dedicate a radio for that, and most aircraft only have one or two.
Our Military UHF radio actually had two receivers in it, one was Guard only 243.0 so it was possible to always monitor Guard.
Only time I have ever really tuned 121.5 was if I pranged a Landing and wanted to be sure the ELT hadnít gone off, or ATC had asked me to check 121.5 cause they were receiving an ELT signal and were trying to get a guess as to its location.
However almost everyone on an Ocean crossing will tune 123.45 as itís sort of the airplane ďnetĒ if you will, or channel 16 thought another way.
VHF radio is very limited in range, so your not using it for ATC on an Ocean crossing, so why not?
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Old 23-11-2017, 10:50   #11
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

Air carriers normally have two VHF radios. When on the oceanic tracks or over open waters, they will monitor 121.5 and 123.45 when not in VHF comms with ATC. For enroute communications, data link and HF are used. Satellite comms are also used. When in VHF contact with ATC, only 121.5 will be monitored.
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Old 23-11-2017, 12:09   #12
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

I once carried a portable transceiver and would attempt to speak to airliners as they'd fly over. Most of the time they wouldn't respond; I don't know if is against their companies policy or if they didn'/don't know it was them that I was calling. It's neat when they do respond, but a bit disconcerting th realize that you've got a couple of weeks of sailing before landfall, whereas the jet only a couple of hours.
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Old 23-11-2017, 13:01   #13
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

Airline crew monitor 121.5 on their second radio, particularly when flying over remote regions (oceans, deserts and large continents with little comms such as Africa and Australia). They do not have the ability to listen out or transmit on UHF frequencies.
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Old 23-11-2017, 15:23   #14
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Re: UHF for High Fliers?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I donít know about airliners, but almost no civilian monitors 121.5, ......
Hmm... I thought airliners were civilian ...


But yes, I understand what you mean and I concur.

It does appear that from other posts that airline traffic (i.e. RPT, wide bodied etc) do still monitor 121.5 & 123.45 on long haul flights when beyond VHF ATC range while general aviation and regional airline traffic have no call to or (in some instances), the ability to do so.

What this really means for the OP, the answer to his question is "No, don't bother to get a UHF to communicate with air traffic; cause it won't work"
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Old 23-11-2017, 18:20   #15
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UHF for High Fliers?

If you just want to talk, maybe ask about the weather etc.,, use 123.45
Do not use 121.5 for anything unless itís real important like a Mayday.
Bet the pilots would get a kick out of talking to a sailboat.
Longest leg flown regularly by aircraft is apparently California to Hawaii.
A friend of mine years ago was delivering a crop duster from the US to Australia, first real leg to Hawaii of course.
Right after leaving California he made a call on five fingers what 123.45 is called and asked to pass on a position report, the airliner did.
Long time later upon getting close to Hawaii, he called another airliner to pass on a position report, the Pilot wanted do know how many crop dusters were there over the Pacific, John responded just me I think, why?
Airliner responded cause we passed a position report for one of you guys yesterday on the way here, John answered yeah, that was me
The airliner guys had landed the day before, slept and were on the way back, John was still chugging along, with no Autopilot, sort of like Lindbergh but with a GPS.
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