SDR Based Flight Tracking

I recently had the need to track the arrival of a flight into the airport near my house.  Of course, I could use any of the online services available for this, but being a HAM radio operator, I wanted to track this data myself.  I discovered that with a $30 RTL-SDR dongle, this can easily be done.

First, I built a co-linear antenna for this.  This is a simple antenna made by connecting stub pieces of coax together.  I opted for a 4 element co-linear which is not the best configuration.  I will at some time build an 8 element and place it within a PVC pipe.  This is just a proof of concept.

Using the plans here https://www.balarad.net/ I made a 4 element antenna.

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Ultra Cheap 440 MHz HAM Radio Yagi

I’ve recently been playing with a pair of low-power 440MHz UHF data transmitters (side note these are very cool and ultra cheap 100mW UHF radios) and needed to build a pair of 440 MHz directional yagi antenna to extend the range.

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I stumbled upon this write up on Radio Reference about a guy who built a yagi antenna from old clothes hangers and a broom stick.

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First Tomato Harvest

Our first crop of tomatoes was ready!  Check out the pictures below.

The first feedback from the green shoulder tomatoes are that they taste “sweeter” and “less acidic”  We’ve only had a few of those so far, but some have gotten quite big.

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Most of the tomatoes that were ready are romas, and the mother in law has enough to start canning!

20150815_130312 Continue reading

Eastern Iowa Yeasu FT7900 Programming

Hello everyone, please find attached to this post my latest 2015 Programming File for the Yeasu FT7900 / FT8900 Radio.  This is in Chirp format.  This includes all repeaters I am aware of in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Covers Washington to Waterloo, Van Horne to Joliet.

Separate memory banks are used to keep each service and location separate for scanning.

Bank 1 = FRS / GMRS (RX Only)
Bank 2 = Air & Train (RX Only)
Bank 3 = Ham Simplex and Cedar Rapids/IC repeaters (incl Muscatine and SE Iowa)
Bank 4 = Ham Simplex and Quad Cities Repeaters
Bank 5 = Ham Simplex and Waterloo / NE Iowa
Bank 6 = Business and Hotels (RX Only)

Download 2015-08 FT7900 Programming KC0AKY

Updated Signal Check Database

Hello everyone, here’s an updated Signal Check Pro database dump covering Sprint towers.

Mostly Complete
Linn County, Johnson County

Partially Complete
Cedar County, Butler County, Muscatine County, Mercer County (IL)

Please feel free to email me with your own updates to the database, if you identify sites I’ve not yet captured, please do send me an email with the information and I will get it added to the next database update! Continue reading