Ham Radio

Ham Radio WB6RQN Air Mobile

About Ham Radio on the Spirit

Brian Lloyd has a powerful radio system aboard the Spirit. The radio communicates on High Frequency (HF) shortwave using Single Sideband (SSB), and anyone can tune in to these transmissions who has the proper type of radio receiver. Listen for WB6RQN, that’s Brian’s Ham radio callsign. Ham radio operators around the world are invited to communicate with Brian while he is on the air in international airspace using the Ham bands. HF radio is dependent on ionospheric conditions to be heard over long distances, and it may change rapidly with the space weather or other factors.

WB6RQN Air Mobile

Ham Radio Technical Information

Ham Radio Callsign: WB6RQN
Operator Name: Brian
QSL Via: eqsl.cc Electronic QSL system
HF Radio: Mobat model Micom 3, commercial HF transceiver
HF Power: Maximum power 125 Watts, 2-30 MHz
HF Antenna: Tapered Towel Rack type Belly Wire, with Automatic Tuning Unit (ATU)
HF Modes of Operation: SSB Voice or ALE
Ham Callsign Phonetics: Whisky Bravo Six Romeo Quebec November , Listen:

Schedule of Upcoming HF Radio Operation in 2017

23 May: New York to Texas flight for repairs (ALE and SSB Voice)
24-28 May: Texas test flights (ALE and SSB Voice)
29-31 May: Texas to Miami (ALE and SSB Voice)
01 June: Depart Miami. Embark on Round-the-World flight (ALE and SSB Voice)
02 June-24 July: Round-the-World Flight (ALE and SSB Voice)
24 July: Arrive Oshkosh Wisconsin for AirVenture (ALE and SSB Voice)
29 July: Oshkosh to Texas (ALE and SSB Voice)

Note: All dates and flight locations are approximate and tentative. Please see the Live Tracking Map for actual locations and flight movements.

 

Ham Radio Frequencies of Operation for Spirit Flights

HF Frequencies for Ham Radio SSB Voice QSOs and DX: 

  • Ham QSO activity may occur at any time while the airplane is in International airspace or within USA airspace
  • Ham operation may happen while Brian is not busy with flight operations
  • There may be unexpected interruptions during a QSO
  • Please be especially courteous and patient, because his first priority is to pilot the plane.
kHz SSB Description Area
14210.0
USB
Voice QSO
Worldwide
18117.5
USB
Voice QSO
Worldwide
7130.0
LSB
Voice QSO
Worldwide

Simplex or Split? Most of the time, WB6RQN will use simplex, listening and transmitting on the same HF frequency. But, sometimes Brian may ask calling stations to transmit “UP 5” split. When using UP 5 split, your transmit frequency must be exactly 5 kHz above WB6RQN. The plane’s HF radio is channelized, and it does not have an S-meter.

WB6RQN DX SPOTSClick here for WB6RQN DX cluster spots

Brian said, “During the actual flight I can talk on ham radio when I’m not using the HF radio to make position and status reports to Air Traffic Control. I will probably get 10 to 15 minute windows when I will be able to work ham stations on the HF bands occasionally. I have never been a contester, so my QSO rate will probably be lower than most ham operators would like.”


HF Channel Frequencies for Ham Radio ALE Activity: 

  • Activity using common Amateur Radio standard 2G-ALE Automatic Link Establishment may occur on the following scanned channels when Brian is not busy with flight operations.
  • ALE activity may occur at any time while the airplane is in International airspace or within USA airspace
  • Whenever the ALE soundings of WB6RQN are heard, operators are invited to call on any one of these channels using an ALE Individual Call and link with WB6RQN.
  • When linked on an ALE Voice channel, the preferred QSO method is Upper Sideband Voice.
  • If a text is to be sent, use AMD and include the AMD text within the initial Individual Call.
  • Do not expect a wordy text reply, because there is usually no QWERTY keyboard connected to the ALE radio in the cockpit.
  • Anyone copying soundings, calling, or other types of reports is encouraged to post ALE reception logs on the HFLINK.NET website.
kHz SSB ALE Area
14346.0
USB
Voice
Primary Worldwide
18117.5
USB
Voice Secondary Worldwide
21432.5
USB
Voice
Worldwide
14109.0
USB
Texting
Worldwide
10145.5
USB
Texting
Worldwide
7296.0
USB
Voice
North America
7185.5
USB
Voice
Worldwide
7102.0
USB
Texting
Worldwide
5371.5
USB
Voice
North America
5357.0
USB
Voice Worldwide

SWL and UTE Monitoring of HF Aero Frequencies

For SWLs (Shortwave Listeners) or UTEs (Utility Monitors), it is possible to listen to Spirit on the Air Traffic Control (ATC) HF Aeronautical frequencies with an SSB (Single Sideband) receiver. More information about listening to Spirit on HF Aero, click here.

Tour of the HF Radio System in Spirit  

 

Drawing of Brian Lloyd's Airplane "Spirit" showing design of HF radio and antenna system

Drawing of Brian Lloyd’s Airplane “Spirit” showing design of HF radio and antenna system

 

HF Antenna System Computer Model:

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design Image of 3D RF Model

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design Image of 3D RF Model

 

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design Radiation Pattern 14 MHz

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design RF Radiation Pattern at 14 MHz

 

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design Model Smith Chart

Spirit Aircraft HF Antenna Computer Design Model RF Smith Chart

 

 

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