How to Make Your Own DIY Aviation Radio Receiver!
Hello, this is Ultimate Aviation HD, and I
am standing here in front of an airport, where normally you will need an expensive VHF band
receiver to overhear aviation communications coming from that air traffic control tower.
Well, not anymore! In this video, I will teach you how to assemble
and properly configure a DIY aviation band receiver, all done for just 15 dollars! For this project, you will need the following
tools: a soldering iron; a Flat-head screwdriver; small pliers; a wire cutter; 9V battery; a
piece of wire for the antenna; First things first, you have to purchase the
DIY ATC receiver kit from Ebay. The link for that is in the description below the video. Once you have finally got the kit, take all
of the parts out of the package. Be careful not to lose anything, because the circuit
will not work if one little part is not there. Now it is time to assemble the receiver. Use
your solder iron to place the electronic parts onto the circuit board. Now, If you have zero
experience with electronics and soldering, I provided a couple of links to highly effective
soldering tutorials down in the video description. Those should help you a lot.
The kit package includes a very clear diagram that shows exactly where each component should
go on the circuit board. Pay special attention that polarity sensitive components are installed
properly. If any capacitor, diode, or transmitter is installed the wrong way and current is
given, the circuit may permanently burn out. Notice this big white part – this is a radio
antenna connector. If you do not have a dedicated radio antenna, the receiver will work just
fine with a simple wire antenna, 1 to 2 feet in length. Attach the wire into one of the
smaller holes like I did here. If you want to, you can enclose the circuit
into an aluminum shell from Ebay (The link for that is in the description). Alright, once you think that you have a complete
circuit, run a quick test. Plug in a battery and see if a hissing sound comes out. If you
cannot hear anything, then refer to the troubleshooting instructions at the end of this video. Alright, now that you�ve got a working circuit,
go to your nearest airport to test the receiver. I recommend going to a large airport with
commercial flights because it is a lot easier to pick up Air Traffic Control conversations
there as opposed to a small airfield. Once you are on the spot, turn on your radio
and start listening. Slowly, turn the tuning knob through its� full range. If you only
hear the hissing noise or you are picking up public FM broadcast stations, the receiver
must be in the wrong frequency range. To correct this, you should adjust the L6 tuning coil.
This is the little green box that surrounds a copper coil. Use a nonmetallic tool to adjust
the coil. If you turn counterclockwise, you will raise the frequency range, making it
possible to pick up aviation transmissions. Rotate the frequency knob again and search
for a sound. This is just a search process, and whether
or not you will pick up an aviation transmission depends on your patience. When you finally catch a transmission, stay
on this frequency and continue listening. Now, notice the Intermediate Frequency transformer
– this is the little silver box in the left half of the circuit. The IF transformer enhances
the human transmission voice. To do this, adjust the transformer with a flat-head screwdriver.
Usually, the best result is achieved by making 2 to 3 turns from the top of the shield box.
The sound should become much clearer and human voice should become a lot easier to understand. Alright, so now you�ve got a complete radio
receiver that is able to pick up real-time aviation transmissions. Watch part two of
this series to find out how to properly align the radio and tune it to specific air traffic
control stations. This is �Ultimate Aviation HD� – one of
the FASTEST-GROWING aviation channels on Youtube. Be sure to hit the subscribe button and drop
a comment with what you think of this video! Now it�s time to move into the troubleshooting
instructions. Alright, so first things first: if you have
any kind of questions, concerns, or problems, comment down in the video description – and
I will gladly help you! This is the fastest and most practical way to solve any problem.
But now, let�s look at some known issues. The circuit doesn�t work at all If the the radio remains totally silent, your
best bet is to recheck all of your work. Look over the circuit board and check for any mistakes
in soldering, such as a unintentional �solder splash�. Now, check the polarities of the
batteries, speaker, and all diodes and capacitors. If still nothing works, get out the assembly
diagram and check the correct value of all of your resistors. These tiny numbers are
hard to read, so this is a very common mistake. If still nothing works, then your only option
is to ask me for help. I will try to help you as much as I can. I can hear nothing but noise Another very common problem is that you can
pick up nothing except the hissing noise. There are two main reasons why this could
happen: Number one:
There are no aviation transmissions at the time or you are too far away from an airport.
The best way to solve this is to test your radio at a major airport with commercial flights.
This will guarantee a great amount of ATC transmissions, significantly decreasing the
time before you pick up your first transmission. Reason number two: your IF transformer may
be peaking the noise, making it impossible to hear any transmissions. By default, the
transformer should be adjusted 2-3 turns from the top. Set it to that position and now try
searching for a signal. Now, the discovery a signal depends on your personal patience. Alright, so that wraps up this video – I wish
you good luck on doing this project. And be sure to not miss part two of this series!