What Am I Listening To?! Aircraft Weather Radio?!

I happen to own a Grundig shortwave radio. At about 3.4 mhz, there is a BARELY audible male voice, which repeats the following, which I will try to paraphrase:

Temperature, three-two. Altimeter-Zero-three-niner, visibility four zero...

It almost sounds like a form of weather radio designed for pilots. Can anyone here tell me what it is??

:shock: :? :shock:
 
I'm a pilot but it's been a long time since I was flying. However as I recall VOR's and Vortacs (which I assume are still in existance) would transmit some of this data. Individual airports do as well. I don't recall the frequency though.
 
Originally posted by Bill Tabor
I'm a pilot but it's been a long time since I was flying. However as I recall VOR's and Vortacs (which I assume are still in existance) would transmit some of this data. Individual airports do as well. I don't recall the frequency though.

I assume the "three-two" figure is Celsius, since it's in the upper 90s here (Newark, NJ got up to 102 F.)

It's similar to a weather radio broadcast in that it repeats the data: temperature, altimeter readings, visibility. It was VERY hard to make out, though. :?
 
Many airports broadcast the ASOS/AWOS observations, although they are broadcast around 125 MHz. What is broadcast is generally the same or similar to what you'd hear is when you call up the ASOS via telephone. To look up frequencies for airports, go to http://www.airnav.com. To call an ASOS, dial 1-877-ANY-AWOS.


Ben
 
Hmmm....

Bill, a Google search says Vortacs broadcast at 122.2 mhz. And from what I've just read about VORs, that doesn't seem like what I'm describing.

Interesting.
 
Originally posted by Ben Cotton
Many airports broadcast the ASOS/AWOS observations, although they are broadcast around 125 MHz. What is broadcast is generally the same or similar to what you'd hear is when you call up the ASOS via telephone. To look up frequencies for airports, go to http://www.airnav.com. To call an ASOS, dial 1-877-ANY-AWOS.


Ben

Okay: this link seems to be the right one.

Here, it says- Frequency: 347

If that's in megahertz, then perhaps that's right (3.47 mhz)-and that's what I'm hearing on shortwave.
 
Originally posted by Saul Trabal
Okay: this link seems to be the right one.

Here, it says- Frequency: 347

If that's in megahertz, then perhaps that's right (3.47 mhz)-and that's what I'm hearing on shortwave.

On that one it says no voice, but there is a list here, which may not contain the site you are listening to, but has some in the right megahertz range.

http://vmfs.com/ssbvoice.htm
 
Originally posted by GPhillips+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GPhillips)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Saul Trabal
Okay: this link seems to be the right one.

Here, it says- Frequency: 347

If that's in megahertz, then perhaps that's right (3.47 mhz)-and that's what I'm hearing on shortwave.

On that one it says no voice, but there is a list here, which may not contain the site you are listening to, but has some in the right megahertz range.

http://vmfs.com/ssbvoice.htm[/b]

We're getting closer to solving the mystery:

http://home.cogeco.ca/~dxinfo/volmet.htm

The following info is New York:

Frequency: 3.485
Type: VOLMET
BC H+: 00 , 30
Call Sign: WSY 70
State: USA
Station: New York
Latitude: 39 44 N
Longitude: 74 14 W
 
I was able to tune this in a little better last night. In addition to what I mentioned above, the transmission also mentioned weather at different airports on the east coast. It not only mentioned thunderstorm activity, it also mentioned cloud structures-I heard "cumulonimbus" mentioned a few times. It mentioned lightning and rain activity in said storms.

REALLY cool stuff. 8) I can't understand why the signal is SO poor, though. :( What would I need to get a stronger signal? I'm fascinated by this transmisson, and I'd like to be able to hear it better.

By the way-did I mention that short-wave is cool?? :D
 
they are basically a metar in voice form. Sometimes they contain extra info like "land and hold short operations in effect runway 27 left." or something non-weather related like that.
 
Originally posted by MClarkson
they are basically a metar in voice form. Sometimes they contain extra info like \"land and hold short operations in effect runway 27 left.\" or something non-weather related like that.

New terms-cool. 8)

METAR definitions off Google :

Acroymn for METeorological Aerodrome Report. It is the primary observation code used in the United States to satisfy requirements for reporting surface meteorological data. Minimum reporting requirments includes wind, visibility, runway visual range, present weather, sky condition, temperature, dew point, and altimeter setting.

Yup-and more info on this particular station, from this link:

3.485 mhz -> J.F.K -> New York -> U.S.A

So, this transmission is coming out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. Hmmm.

But I wonder why the transmission is so weak, though. :(
 
that is not a common frequency for airport weather info. those would be under "atis" frequencies. For example atis for KJFK is 128.72, that is the normal frequency a pilot approaching the airport would tune to for the latest metar and other airport info.

I really dont know for sure what purpose the station you are picking up has. my best guess is its a long range(old technology also) transmission for incoming oceanic flights...

EDIT:corrected spelling of jfk:p
 
Originally posted by MClarkson
that is not a common frequency for airport weather info. those would be under \"atis\" frequencies. For example atis for KFJK is 128.72, that is the normal frequency a pilot approaching the airport would tune to for the latest metar and other airport info.

I really dont know for sure what purpose the station you are picking up has. my best guess is its a long range(old technology also) transmission for incoming oceanic flights...

That could be, because it mentioned thunderstorms in Florida, and squalls in the Bahamas, I think. :?
 
BTW MClarkson...

This station certainly seems to fall under the definition of metar. Why 3.47 mhz? Dunno. :? But it did say "aviation weather", so who knows.

Fascinating stuff. 8)
 
Part of the reason that the signal is weak where you are in NJ is take off angle of the signal. At HF freqs, the maximum radiated signal can be on a lobe from 10-70 degrees azimuth, depending on the antenna. So, most of the signal may be going right over your head, so to speak.

Another reason may simply be the antenna connected to your reciever. The ideal antenna at 3.5MHz is about 135 feet long for a dipole, and 70 feet for a vertical. Most shortwave recievers make up for this with a nice beefy inductor in the RX circuit to bring the impedance closer to a useable value. This is kind of like tricking the radio into thinking it has a longer antenna. Antenna tuners work on the same principle.

Signals in that frequency range are usaully intended for long range transmission. For instance, a pilot flying out of Miami can get current info on the fly from JFK, so he knows what to expect on the way.
 
Part of the reason that the signal is weak where you are in NJ is take off angle of the signal. At HF freqs, the maximum radiated signal can be on a lobe from 10-70 degrees azimuth, depending on the antenna. So, most of the signal may be going right over your head, so to speak.

Another reason may simply be the antenna connected to your reciever. The ideal antenna at 3.5MHz is about 135 feet long for a dipole, and 70 feet for a vertical. Most shortwave recievers make up for this with a nice beefy inductor in the RX circuit to bring the impedance closer to a useable value. This is kind of like tricking the radio into thinking it has a longer antenna. Antenna tuners work on the same principle.

Signals in that frequency range are usaully intended for long range transmission. For instance, a pilot flying out of Miami can get current info on the fly from JFK, so he knows what to expect on the way.

While this Grundig radio is cool, I wouldn't mind getting a higher-end shortwave radio at some point. This kind of stuff fascinates the hell out of me. :D You find all sorts of cool stuff on shortwave and the high-FM bands.

8)
 
From a certified pilot:

With that layout that you described, it looks like an ATIS, HIWAS or AWOS/ASOS recording.

An ATIS, or Automated Terminal Information Service, is a recording by an air traffic controller that provides initial notices to airmen about an airfield,
i.e.
"New York JFK Airport information Bravo, 2056 Zulu, Winds 240 at 10, Visibility 10 miles, Broken 5000, Overcast 12000. Temerature 24. Dew Point 18. Altimeter 2984. Runway 14R and 14L centerline lights out of service. Runway 14R and 14L ILS out of service. VFR Departures advise ground controller of direction of flight. Landing runway 16, departing runway 16. Advise on initial contact you have Bravo."

Breakdown: First comes the station, then the information letter (phonetic alphabet) and time issued. They are usually issued every hour. Next, obvously, winds, and sky conditions. Next is temperature and dew point in Celsius. Then is the barometer in inches of mercury. After that comes various notices to airmen (notams) and directions to smooth operations.

An AWOS (Automated Weather Observing Station) is a computerized weather observation recording.
i.e.
"Sioux Falls, Joe Foss Field. Automated Weather Observation 2020 Zulu. Winds 210 at 10. Visiblity 5 miles. Haze Light Rain. Sky conditions broken 200, scattered 500, overcast 1000. Temperature 32 Celsius. Dewpoint 31 Celsius. Altimeter 2985. Remarks: Density Altitude, 3200 feet."

Breakdown: Same as before, the station that is observing, the time of the observation, winds, visibilty, weather conditions, sky conditions, temperature, dewpoint, altimeter inHg, Remarks is anything programmed into that specific station.

A HIWAS is a recording on a VOR (Very-high-frequency Omnidirectional Range), which is a navigation tool for pilots, that has weather along specified routes. For example, the route from the Sioux Falls FSD VOR to the Redwood Falls, MN RWF VOR is labeled "J14". A report could be expected to say "Moderate turbulence reported from 10000 to 12000 along J14. Also, a Convective SIGMET is in effect for South Dakota and Western Minnesota. Tune to Huron FSS on 122.20 for more information."

Just gives the expected weather along the routes including that VOR. By the way, a Convective SIGMET is the equivalent of a Meso Discussion for us.
 
Oh-another question: why 3.47 mhz? Is that a common frequency for this kind of broadcast? McClarkson, at the top of this page, doesn't seem to think so. :?
 
Nuts-I forgot to ask Kyle...

Is the voice you hear on this broadcast similar to the "Mr. Roboto" voice you hear on your standard NOAA weather radio?

:?
 
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