Aircraft Radio Communications Receiver


The communications between commercial aircraft and the ground can be
interesting, amusing and sometimes even disturbing. However radios that
receive the approximately 220MHz to 400MHz band commonly used for
aircraft (both military and commercial) are not easily found. And
scanners can be complicated, large and expensive. With an easy to build
circuit such as this one, everyone can enjoy listening in on these
conversations.

Schematic

Schematic of the aircraft receiver circuit

Parts

Part
Total Qty.
Description
Substitutions
R1, R3 2 47K 1/4W Resistor
R2 1 10K 1/4W Resistor
R4 1 4.7K 1/4W Resistor
R5 1 5K Linear Taper Pot
R6 1 2.2K 1/4W Resistor
C1, C2, C3, C6 4 0.001uF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C4 1 2.2pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C5 1 1pF Ceramic Disc Capacitor
C7 1 15uF 15V Electrolytic Capacitor
C8 1 18pF Variable Capacitor
D1 1 1N82 Diode
Q1 1 2N918 NPN Transistor
L1 1 See Notes
L2 1 1.8uH Inductor
ANT1 1 Approx. 18 Inch Wire Antenna
MISC 1 PC Board, Wire, Knob For C8

Notes

  1. The circuit originally appeared in the Think Tank column of the Sept. 1995 issue of Popular Electronics.
  2. L1 is made by winding 2 turns of 22 AWG magnet wire on a
    5/32 drill bit. This inductor can be modified to shift the frequency
    range of the circuit.
  3. The antenna can also be placed at the anode of D1 if overload is a problem with it connected to the emitter of Q1
  4. R5 adjusts regen and thus sensitivity.

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