Scanning Pirates on MilSatCom / Skynet / FltSatCom / NATO on UHF 257MHz

I was tuning around on my USB DVB-T RTL2832U dongle over the weekend hoping to catch the Comms from the Aircraft taking part in the Cosford Air Show (about 20 Miles East of my location) when I came across some interesting transmissions around 257.000MHz which I discover is something called MilSatCom.


MilSatCom Pirates on UHF 254MHz
MilSatCom Pirates on UHF Using SDRSharp and RLT2832U


Investigating the Pirate Signal on MilSatCom

Having done some research since hearing these transmissions I have learned that these are Pirate broadcasters using old Military Satellites to communicate with each other. Some scanner users have reported that these illegal communications can contain anything from Civilians using these satellites like local CB Radio to Drug Cartels using them to issue warnings to each other of imminent raids. One report I read suggested that the Drug groups use the phrase “Santa is Coming” to warn of trouble.


MilSatCom Recording of Pirates

I have recored a sample of what I’ve heard and have embedded it here for the benefit of my readers to listen to. The recording below was made using SDRSharp and reception was provided via my 2M and 70CM Co-Linear which is mounted on top a 10ft pole on my Chimney.



I’m hoping in the not too distant future to have a dedicated Satellite Rotator and Elevator which will hopefully improve signal and reception quality when combined with homemade Arrow style antennas. This should give me directional gain providing a far superior signal & quality.


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