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RAF Volmet on 5450Khz

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RAF Volmet on 5450Khz

Old 18th Mar 2015, 21:50
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,785
Weather updates. Reminds me of the Tanker sport during far-flung Trails with SAR protection. In addition to oceanic navigation, leading the formation, adjusting RAPS/NAPS, running the quiz, etc, it was always good to be able to provide the latest weather to the formation and the SAR team!
Honestly though, the SAR NIMROD was a great loss after they were deleted from virtually all Trails IMO.


Last edited by Onceapilot; 18th Mar 2015 at 22:05.
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Old 1st Feb 2016, 15:35
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oxford, England
Posts: 297
Bit late getting to this one, but used to listen to Volmet on 5450KHz
regularly years ago to get local pressure readings (Benson) for a rough
check of instrument calibration. A rather formal male rp voice originally.
Later replaced by a female voice and remember quite clearly the pronunciation
of “Larnaca”, which must have been most uplifting to crews on cold
stormy nights thousands of miles away from home :-).

Anyway, reason for the post is that RAF Volmet used to be a model of clarity
years ago,with words at a clear, measured pace. Now, totally expressionless
computerised voice, at fast pace, often with words and phrases jumbled into
each other, stops midflow, poor modulation quality etc, making it nearly
unintelligable much of the time. Compare that with Shannon Volmet on 5505KHz,
which is completely understandable, even when the s/n is poor. 5450 was just
as sloppy a couple of years ago when I checked and it seems nothing has changed

Doesn’t anyone at management level ever monitor this, or doesn’t anyone care
any more ?...
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Old 2nd Feb 2016, 15:14
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: home for good
Posts: 484
sadly syseng, probably both!
Unless something was specified in the contract re the voice, we will have got the cheapest option.
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Old 2nd Feb 2016, 18:36
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Cambridge, UK.
Posts: 50
Thank you Syseng!

"Compare that with Shannon Volmet on 5505KHz, which is completely understandable, even when the s/n is poor."

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Old 6th Feb 2016, 18:44
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Oxford, England
Posts: 297
Thanks :-)...

I guess those who are paid to verify that the system works as intended
never have to listen at the end of a radio link. Radio receivers have to deal
with a very wide range of signal levels and have automatic gain control
(agc) built in. This prevents overload on large signal levels, while
still providing enough sensitivity to hear signals not much greater
than the noise floor. In practice, this means that the first syllable or
word can sometimes clip / distort while the agc catches up, making that
first syllable unintelligable.

Shanon volmet get round that by repeating the first word twice eg:
"Heathrow, met report, Heathrow", with pauses, so it's always clear
what location the report refers to. Contrast that with RAF Volmet, where
we often get an unintelligable mumbled / rattled off first word and no
idea of what the following report refers to.

Outward facing services often reflect the internal culture. If it looks
sloppy, then it probably is. The people who use this service deserve
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Old 8th Feb 2016, 17:53
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: ice station kilo
Posts: 200
Last went to one about 9 years ago, but the POC at Wycombe used to hold HF Service Working Groups 6 monthly covering both 'Tascom' and RAF Volmet.
II guess the usual,gapped post, posts joined together current person in post no longer understanding what he/she is signing for re the contract has happened.
My guess (and it is a guess) is that current POC is an 'ABM' and if the TADs are fine, then 'we're golden'.
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Old 8th Feb 2016, 19:56
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,210
Some years ago I sold a radio to a man who told me he had removed all the equipment from Defford where a HIRTA was still shown on the charts. Having reported this to NATS it appeared there was no process for noitifying the removal of such a hazard. In the end, they were looking at pictures of Google Earth to see what was there. West Mercia Police had taken over the site and didn't understand any of the questions relating to high power transmitters. Eventually the HIRTA disappeared.
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Old 10th Feb 2016, 12:11
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Sussex UK
Age: 63
Posts: 6,995
Just had a listen to RAF VOLMET on 11253 Khz USB, via a Wide Band WebSDR based in the Netherlands. It would seem the Station/Airfield ID's, announced via the Female Synthetic Voice, are the main problem (not all are readily intelligible) ... actual MET Data is otherwise good.

For those interested, here is the WebSDR URL.

WebSDR QTH Netherlands

Just punch in the desired frequency where indicated ...

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 10th Feb 2016 at 20:35.
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Old 10th Feb 2016, 22:22
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: ice station kilo
Posts: 200
Oh dear,

The only way to work out the airfield is to work out its place in the sequence in the BINA

That voice is strangely familiar:

The Flight Ops Officer

Do VT Merlin / VT BABCOCKS / Radio Op R us,employ out of work Ops Officers or just a cheep program?
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Old 12th Oct 2016, 13:07
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SWINDON
Posts: 1

I cannot read the timeslot 4, 3rd station, coming after Catania/Sigonella. It should be in the back of the No 1 AIDU EN-ROUTE SUPPLEMENT for British Isles & NORTH ATLANTIC. My copy is too old. Anyone care to look-up this?
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Old 12th Oct 2016, 21:02
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: ice station kilo
Posts: 200
Souda Bay

Let me guess; she says "...ay at 1150"

I do hope the (realitively) new software was cheep; but, I bet the geeks saw the MOD's "expert" coming.
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Old 13th Oct 2016, 00:09
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: DAVER
Posts: 79
Well, TASCOMM (previously ARCHITECT) HF station is still manned; we still use it for HF phone patches and weathers.

Last edited by Ascoteer; 18th Aug 2017 at 14:29.
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Old 13th Oct 2016, 11:32
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: M4 Corridor
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Nobody had a voice like Geneva Volmet. A few minutes listening to her on a night recovery to the U.K. used to lift the spirits and expectations on the way home.
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Old 23rd Oct 2016, 19:03
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: It's Fairyland!
Posts: 8
Didn't click re the OP's first line, the service isn't even using "RAF Volmet" as its callsign:-


It all started to go downhill when the old automated voice, (the MD of the software company legend had it), used to announce proudly; " This is Royal Air Force Volmet.......Royal Air Force Volmet"; was replaced.
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 15:01
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Broughton, UK
Posts: 102
A Colleague has just sent an email to the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, about the clipped 5450 KHz St Ival transmission.
So we might see some progress made to improve this abysmal signal now.
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 23:44
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
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I guess I will be using it for a while until the new 737max aircraft have the satellite ACARS and WIFI fitted.
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Old 9th Oct 2017, 15:59
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Broughton, UK
Posts: 102
We have just had the reply from MoD ISS-Secretariat, following the email to Sir Michael Fallon. They got the Contracted Service, Babcock International, to test the transmission, and they report everything is Ok... 'The transmission is fully audible without interruption'.

So there we are... Its all Ok...

Tuned it in again on 5450 kHz, and you guessed it... First word still clipped... '*****ster at time 1200.. etc'. Well we tried !

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Old 9th Oct 2017, 20:01
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: UK
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Remember this when you vote. Fallon is a politician. Judge him by his actions. I have previously had an official reply from his office about Officer's LSGC that discounted the service of all Officers before 2014.

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Old 10th Oct 2017, 08:54
  #39 (permalink)  
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Post GW1, a certain long-haul outfit whose owner had a beard decided that to save money, ACARS was not to be used for weather that could be obtained from the volmet. It was free!!
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 18:21
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Erewhon
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NOBODY held a candle to Geneva Volmet in the 70s . . . she sounded absolutely gorgeous (may have looked like a dog, but what a voice).
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