K8TND VHF Regenerative Receiver for AM Aircraft Band – $20
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Ever wonder what those airplanes in the sky are really saying to the control tower and to each other? Well now you can find out with the compact K8TND VHF Receiver for the 108-136MHz AM VHF band. Listen to the sample .mp3 file below. To keep it as simple and inexpensive as possible, a sensitive regenerative circuit is used, which will pick up the radio transmissions of aircraft up to 100 miles away. All you need in addition is a pair of headphones or earbuds, and a simple antenna. Board size is 3.50″ x 2.50″, and the current drain on a 9 volt battery is less than 10mA, so you will have many hours of listening fun on a single battery.
It is powered by a snap-in 9V battery on the board, a female BNC connector for the antenna, and 3.5mm jack for the earbuds or headphones. The kit uses all through hole components. Tools required are a soldering iron with a small tip, rosin core solder, small side cutters, and can be easily built in a couple of hours, depending on your experience. On a difficulty scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most difficult, this is rated at 2. The 9v battery is not included.