A few weeks ago Karen gave me a tour of the communications bench in the electronics workshop, so I got to see some of the HF radio equipment that I will be working with in the tower at Rothera. This week I have been reading the operation manuals for some of HF radios used at Rothera. I will receive further specific training on using the tower radios with the programmed channels when I arrive at the base. This week I am just learning the basic generic operations of the radios.
I am expecting the HF radios in the tower at Rothera to be busy this summer. They are used for flight-following operations, contacting SkyBlu (SBR) and Fossil Bluff (KG) for meteorology reports, contacting field parties, tractor traverse teams and providing a SAR watch.
Meet the HF Skanti TRP 8250-S
The main HF radios in the tower are Skanti TRP 8250-S radios. I really like the look of these radios. The control panel layout is uncluttered, spacious and generous and both the TX and RX frequencies are always displayed. Modern radio interface designers could look and learn.
These radios will be used for flight following. The approach sheet for pilots using Rothera airfield provides the HF contact frequencies which are 5080KHz USB, 7775KHz USB and 9106KHz USB. No doubt these frequencies will have been assigned fast recall numbers.
Meet the ICOM IC-78
This radio is used by SkyBlu and Fossil Bluff stations. It is probably too high powered for field party use. The ICOM IC-78 Instruction Manual, is an easy read, the manual is delightfully well written and concise.
This radio has 99 channels to which commonly used frequencies can be assigned. So the first thing I will want to do when I meet this radio is look through the channels to see what frequencies have been assigned to the channels on my new friend.
There a three ways to scroll through the channels, rotating that large dial, pressing the up or down arrow keys or typing channel numbers into the keypad. But this won’t show me the assigned frequency as I scroll through I will only see the descriptive name assigned when the channel was programmed. To see the frequency is assigned to each channel as I scroll through I can press the FC button to see the frequency and if it is duplex number pressing TXF will display the transmission frequency.
To get even better acquainted with the IC-78 in Rothera I will then probably want to look through the setup options that have been configured on my friend. To enter setup mode I will need to press setup, then use the arrow keys to scroll through options, then within an option the large dial could be used to change a setting. So if I only touch the set button and arrow keys and be sure not to touch the dial then I can look through the setup configuration.
Meet the CODAN 2110
This radio is used by science field parties. It is a 25 watt field radio that can be carried in a manpack.