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Author Topic: Pilot inquiry about coupling frequencies  (Read 8497 times)
Jonathan_tcu
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« on: October 10, 2005, 07:59:14 PM »

This is a first.  Access 5 out of Moosonnee is radar identified and asks ATC: "We can hear you talk to the other aircraft on 128.3, but we can't hear them. Is it um... not linked up today? "  ATC replies: It was not, but I just did it...the previous controller did not have it linked up.  But, it is now."  

This is Thanksgiving here in Canada, which is off peak for northern Ontario, where 128.3, 133.72, 135.5 and 127.25 are all coupled up.  This is the first time that I've had a pilot ask this question.  

Anyone ever hear this over their monitored air space?
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tyketto
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2005, 12:58:57 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan_tcu
This is a first.  Access 5 out of Moosonnee is radar identified and asks ATC: "We can hear you talk to the other aircraft on 128.3, but we can't hear them. Is it um... not linked up today? "  ATC replies: It was not, but I just did it...the previous controller did not have it linked up.  But, it is now."  

This is Thanksgiving here in Canada, which is off peak for northern Ontario, where 128.3, 133.72, 135.5 and 127.25 are all coupled up.  This is the first time that I've had a pilot ask this question.  

Anyone ever hear this over their monitored air space?


All the time.

At night at LAS, all of the departure/approach frequencies get combined. From the top of my head, there are the following:

125.6: arrivals from the southwest/LA Basin
125.02: Arrivals from the northeast
120.45/119.4: VFR arrivals into LAS/VGT
135.0: final to LAS
125.9: departures SFC-8000
133.95: departures 8000 - FL190
118.4: VFR departures out of LAS

there is one more, and it's bugging me that I don't remember it! huh

Anyway, at 11pm, they all combine on 125.02 or 133.95 (controller's preference), in which he/she handles everything. Funnily enough, in VGT's AWOS after the field closes, they tell pilots departing to contact departure on 133.95. when they do and I've heard it, the controller always tells them to "change to my frequency, xxx.xx". They do, and that's that.

BL.
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2005, 07:31:32 PM »

The AWOS is great to have as a replacement  for manned observations.  I find it funny, imaginning the controllers hitting the right switches to either combine or split the frequencies.  Where I live, the time sort of varies.  Once in a blue moon, the controllers will not combine the freq's at the regular time, or split them a few hours earlier than usual.  In fact, I've noticed when the controllers also work the freq's, be it split or couple up, that sometimes sets off a bad switch with the transmitter, rendering it u/s.  (unserviceable)

--Jon
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JetScan1
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2005, 12:07:08 AM »

The other day flying westbound coming off the NAT tracks we were working a Gander high altitude sector when I heard the controller hand off traffic to a low sector descending into Goose Bay. I heard the traffic acknowledge the handoff on our frequency then heard them via relay checking in on the low sector and at first I thought maybe the pilot had forgetten to change the frequency. Then I heard other flights working the low sector but could not hear the low controller. The low sector traffic was stepping on the high sector controller and for some reason I could hear the low traffic and the high controller couldn't. I told him about it and he said hold on just a sec. then came back shortly and said okay it should be fixed now. Didn't hear any low sector stuff on the freq after that.

This was in the morning and we were leading the pack across the Atlantic so I suspect they were just in the process of splitting the high/low sectors, strange I could hear the low traffic and the controller couldn't.

The relay system used in Canada and Europe is nice, were you can hear traffic on the other frequencies that a controller is working. I wish they would get this system in the USA.

DJ
- B767 pilot
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2005, 07:47:44 AM »

That was interesting too.  I've heard some scenarios, where here in northern Ontario at around 7:30, the 7 a.m. controller keeps 4 freq's coupled or linked up.  Then the adjacent sector splits away, probably with another controller, and the same 7 am controllers stays on the northern freq's.  The one occasion I heard  is when the controller who split the southern sectors away, accidentally hit the wrong switch and asked an aircraft on the Sudbury freq 135.5 to call the tower on 125.5, but didn't realize he was transmitting on 128.3  Then there were beeps, blips and little bells and whistles for a few seconds while the pilots on 128.3 were trying to make their mandatory calls with ATC.  

Sometimes during the weekends, I'll hear aircraft handing off to the Ranger Lake/ Elliot Lake or Sault sectors to call either on 134.42 or 135.4 and the contoller here will ask the pilot to tell the next sector the frequency the pilot is calling on.  Doesn't ATC have lamps or lights to indicate the frequency that is tx/rx'ing on?

"Jazz 7823, contact Toronto Center on 135.4 and let them know that's the frequency you're on. "
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2005, 03:48:48 PM »

It's sad living on the quiet side of quiet peak period of a non-radar environment.  I say that, because when I used to be in North Bay ONtario, there was something happening once every 5 minutes.  Up here, you have a one hour of traffic, then silence for about 2 hours.  

As of 3 pm local or 1900z, the Timmins/Moose night shift guy hit a wrong switch on the radio, and carried over the other controller working the adjacent sector, giving radar vectors to Air Canada Jazz 7772 into North Bay.  I thought the freq's were linked earlier than 7 pm, but it was just a 5 minute 'wrong button' mistake.  Personaly, it would be nice if the Timmins sector was dead for a LONG period of time, and have the guys 'hit the switch'... earlier than 8pm.  But now I know the adjacent sector's controller will work strictly THAT sector and not the Timmins sector until the weekend shows up.
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2005, 03:54:43 PM »

I finally got my 3rd scanner in place here and I've had some fun trying to match the multitude of freq's out of Montreal ctr for high leve altitude. This new scanner seems to receive a lot better, even for aircraft flying over YMO heading west into Winnipeg's or Edmonton's airspace.  

I also assumed if I can hear pilots contact Toronto Ctr. on the adjacent sector freq's, the speed and type of response from the pilot may indicate the controller at the other end.
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dave
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2005, 05:00:37 PM »

With all those scanners perhaps we'll see a feed from you one of these days.  smiley

Dave
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2005, 08:24:45 PM »

It happened yet again.  It's close to 0030 z (20h30) local when the Timmins and North Bay sectors should have linked together.  The controller who's been working our sector since noon today accidentally hit the switch and cleared another aircraft into North Bay w/ radar vectors, but then, our current controller came back with OUR sector and cleared an aircraft to our airport.  Point here is both sectors are STILL split away, but this only happened for about one minute.
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JetScan1
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2005, 06:44:26 PM »

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I finally got my 3rd scanner in place here and I've had some fun trying to match the multitude of freq's out of Montreal ctr for high leve altitude. This new scanner seems to receive a lot better, even for aircraft flying over YMO heading west into Winnipeg's or Edmonton's airspace.


If the NAT tracks aren't north and there isn't much traffic you'll find one controller working all the northern sectors at once, all the way up to Iqaluit on Baffin Island, working about 16 frequencies at once. You'll hear the west coast traffic inbound to Europe far over northern Quebec getting their oceanic clearances and handoff to Gander on HF.

The sector configuration changes quite regularly depending on the traffic flow. When it gets busy they operate 133.975 (Timmins), 118.975 (Moosonee), 120.725 (Rouyn) as one sector, I've never heard it get busy enough were they've split these 3 freqs into separate sectors.

DJ
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2005, 06:53:24 PM »

I'm listening to Montreal right now on 133.97.  I remember about 6 months ago, the controller mentioned he looks after 4 or 5 sectors and up to 9 different frequencies all at one time.  How can that be? Right now, being close to 2300z, the 120.72, 118.97 and 133.02 if I'm not mistaken are linked up together.  

One of these days, I'll have to visit an IFR facility to see how the operations works.  I've been only as far as the local FSS and seen how the FSS guys split between CYTS and CYMO, just by sitting one beside another.
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JetScan1
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2005, 12:18:38 AM »

Quote
I'm listening to Montreal right now on 133.97. I remember about 6 months ago, the controller mentioned he looks after 4 or 5 sectors and up to 9 different frequencies all at one time. How can that be? Right now, being close to 2300z, the 120.72, 118.97 and 133.02 if I'm not mistaken are linked up together.


I was listening to the same area (118.975 using the Moosonee DX Tuners radio) between 0200Z and 0400Z and the one controller was working all the northern sectors, confirmed on 118.975, 133.975, 120.725, 133.025, 119.400, 126.500, 132.800, 133.775, 133.200, 134.725, and unconfirmed 132.450 (or either 135.800/134.200, probably transmitting on all 3).

It gets quite busy around 0300Z when the west coast traffic starts checking on. As an example, BAW278 (Speeedbird 278) from LAX-LHR, initial contact on 134.725 at 0311Z reporting over DUGNO (on SCA track G) with next position over YFB (Iqaluit), told to change to 132.800 passing 74W, then reported over YFB at 0354Z eta MUSVA at 0410Z next position 64N60W, told to stay on 132.800 until MUSVA (64N63W) then report position to Gander Radio on HF 5649 primary 2872 secondary.

DJ
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m50
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2005, 05:49:17 AM »

HI guys ,I am a regular listener Moosonee and am constantly amazed at the enormous distance by coupling freqs, Does anyone know any other vhf atc that covers such a distance.??How many miles coverage is it Eastbound from DUGNO to hf handover to Gander Radio?
 Hey you Canadians have you no contacts that would do some streaming on vhf on your Eastern  seaboard to pick up the high leval stuff in the Gander /goose area?
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dave
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2005, 08:21:53 AM »

I had a contact not long ago from someone in the Gander area but he disappeared.  sad

-dave
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JetScan1
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2005, 10:29:34 AM »

Quote
Does anyone know any other vhf atc that covers such a distance.??

The northern/arctic sectors in the Edmonton FIR cover a large areas as well, but I'm not familair with exactly how they tie up their sectors/frequencies. Another large area with multiple VHF freqs tied together is Brisbane Center covering almost all of the western half of northern Australia at times. Using the Broome DX Tuners radio monitor Brisbane on 134.650 between 1500Z-1700Z and you'll hear 1 controller working around 6 or 7 frequencies with eastbound traffic heading from southeast Asia to eastern Australia/New Zealand.

Quote
How many miles coverage is it Eastbound from DUGNO to hf handover to Gander Radio?

DUGNO-YFB-MUSVA is 519nm. When all the northern sectors are tied together it covers a north-south distance from around 40nm south of Timmins (YTS) to 75nm north of Iqaluit (YFB) a distance of around 1120nm.

Quote
Hey you Canadians have you no contacts that would do some streaming on vhf on your Eastern seaboard to pick up the high leval stuff in the Gander /goose area?

I don't have any, but if there is anyone in Goose, Gander, St. Johns, Sydney, Moncton, Yarmouth, that's were some of the Moncton/Gander remote transmitters are located. When it's slow Gander and Moncton tie all their high frequencies together respectively as well. Another cool site would be Iceland as Iceland Radio covers a very large area on VHF too, from northern Scotland all the way to the west coast of Greenland.

More radios here dedicated to high level sectors would be interesting.

DJ
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