airtraffic

Author Topic: Realistic Distance to Transmission Tower  (Read 4255 times)

Offline noraatorium

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Realistic Distance to Transmission Tower
« on: September 18, 2023, 07:30:52 AM »
Hello aviation enthusiasts,

How realistic is it to pick up ATC voice from a ground transmission tower that is 45mi away? My current setup allows me to listen to planes at cruising altitude 200mi away still relatively clear but no tower talkback. My current antenna location does not have line of sight with the tower so that is expected behavior. I can get the antenna higher but I'm just wondering if it is worth investing into a whole bunch of different gear just to be disappointed. I am interested in helping with the CZQM FIR feeds, but can also pick up some oceanic relays in the region. I check all the boxes except "reliable listening range". My ADS-B feed has a max range of 400mi and is #5 in Canada.

Thanks for your advice.



Offline RonR

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Re: Realistic Distance to Transmission Tower
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 03:00:28 PM »
Trying to receive a ground station 45 mi away, thats a tall order. My experience has been that ATC transmitter sites typically have to be fairly close to you in order to hear the ground side of any transmissions clearly.  I live about 20 miles from KJFK and I cannot hear any transmissions from KJFK tower or any of the approach/departure ground transmissions.  I imagine that if I were to raise my antenna to a height of 100 feet above the ground then I would have better luck but it would be totally unrealistic to do that.  KISP is an airport even closer to me than KJFK and even those ground transmissions are hard to receive.  If you lived at some kind of elevation (on top of a mountain lol), then you'd increase your chances of receiving ground stations that are further away.  How high could you get the antenna if you wanted to?

Ron

Offline noraatorium

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Re: Realistic Distance to Transmission Tower
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2023, 07:03:20 AM »
Thanks for that, very helpful. Unfortunately my receive location is quite low but in some cases that is helpful because the transmission tower appears to be on a mountain from my view. I'll try some other gear and see how it goes but it does sound like a helpless case unless I put in a 100ft tower which might be an option later in life lol.