What is Utility Radio ?
You may be asking yourself "What is a utility station?" That question is easy to answer. With the exception of Broacasting Stations, Pirate Radio Stations, and Amateur Radio Stations all radio stations are Utility Radio Stations. These stations usually are not intended for reception by the general public. Utility Stations transmit on LF, MW, HF, VHF and UHF. You can find them everywhere. The stations transmit in all sorts of modes: voice in LSB/USB, Morse, many different digital modes, etc. In most cases you need a decoder to decode the transmissions and although many transmissions are encrypted it is still fun to listen to them.
Unfortunately many stations have left the air since the 1990's. When I started this hobby many news agencies transmitted their news in rtty and fax modes. Interpol was still on the air, as were many telephone services. Most of the coastal stations are now defunct but in my early radio years you could hear them from all parts of the world. But althought lots of ute stations left the airwaves, there is still enough to search for. Here is a summery:
Aeronautical stations, both ground stations and aircraft (voice, HFDL, Selcalls, Volmet, ACARS, VDL2, etc.)
Beacons (NDB, Driftnet beacons, Propagation beacons, Pirate beacons, Hi Frequency beacons, etc.)
Governmental stations (MOI, MFA, embassies, etc.)
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR)
Maritime stations, both coastal stations and ships
Space communications (ISS, satellites, space craft)
Standard frequency and time stations
Travelers information stations (TIS)
and many more.
|Modes & decoders|
|Fax and other images|
|QSLs and Pennants|