AB9IL.net: About Philip Collier: Airman, Radioman, Webmaster

Written and curated by Philip Collier / AB9IL. Hey Trolls: Trump is going to jail; so is Putin. Say goodbye.
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Live Internet SDR List Radio Caroline BBC Radio 4 LW

AB9IL dxing the digital modes.
Routing cables for digimode dx. (circa 2005)
Captain Philip and skeleton.
Captain Philip and skeleton (circa 2011).
Montgomery Ward Airline GEN-1461A 5 Band radio
The first question started it all. (1976)
Trump is a symptom; fascism is the disease.
Dictator for a day? See you in hell first.
The time is FAFO o'clock!

So you've come here to learn what I have to say about myself? Alright, friends, read on. There is certainly a bunch of data about me in various databases. Some of it is right; some wrong, and a lot of it old and out of date. Good luck and have fun.

Recent comments on my videos and web postings indicate that I'm on some kind of far-right watch list for "angry liberal snowflakes." Perhaps such characterizations amuse you and make you feel comfortable. Be happy that I am not collecting hacked databases and publishing targeting maps for attacking fascists. Be happy that I am not publishing IED projects instead of wifi antennas. Be happy, but not too happy, as every group of twenty so-called angry liberal snowflakes has one person who has the cold blood and is willing to decimate the ranks of MAGA christofascists. Trumpist far right people are on track to fuck around and find out. That said, let us return to my bio.

Around the year 1976, I was a young man growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, and unaware of the world of radio. Then, one evening, I happened to tune around on an older brother's multiband radio. It was a much underused device, a Montgomery Ward Airline GEN-1461A 5 Band radio. It covered the so-called "marine band." There were time signals, VOLMETs, amateur radio stations, and all sorts of other interesting signals fading in each evening. Before long, I had developed quite an interest but not much skill or knowledge in mediumwave band DX listening. My knowledge of electronics and radio theory were quite limited as no one in my circle of family and friends knew much about these things. Over the coming months, I spent time in the library and visited bookstores, digging into my new favorite subject.

In early 1978, a neighborhood friend and newly licensed ham, Marc (KA3ARF), suggested I get involved in the amateur radio service. Back in those days, to get an FCC Novice class license, one had to send and receive 5 wpm morse code as well as taking a test on regulations and basic radio theory. Licensed originally as KA3BVX (later as KG2DH and AB9IL), my main interests were working distant CW stations and listeningto various utility stations in the aviation, military, and maritime services. AM operation was popular then, and operators Timtron (WA1HLR) and Jeff (WA3UAN) regularly held court on 3.880 MHz in my region of the USA.

Radio was cool. I quickly discovered that most radio equipment was a mix of mathematics and physical craftsmanship. Designs were a balance of mathematical engineering tradeoffs. Stability vs tuning range, fidelity vs readability, features vs cost. Soon I was learning to modify my receiver in order to make it more sensitive, install better filters for better selectivity, filter the power for a better CW note, etc. In my opinion, the best learning in radio is accomplished "hands on" experimenting, tweaking, testing, and refining. I learned that along with experience, studying the underlying theory and mathematics is essential for radio's advancement.

Working around the demands of career and family, I have just dabbled in radio through the last thirty years or so. Working as a jetliner pilot, I actually do quite a bit of HF and VHF operating, but it is mundane work: position reports, clearances, and other similar air band comms. I used to monitor these as a young utility DXer! My amateur experience consists of HF and VHF activity, with plenty of QRP operation. Enhanced single sideband and digimodes have been a favorite interest of mine since the late 1990s. My education and career have focused on global travel and global communications. I'm all about the movement of people and information.

After earning the Amateur Extra class license, I became interested in commercial radio licensing. I studied, tested for, and earned the GROL + Radar, GMDSS Operator / Maintainer, and 2nd Class Radiotelegrapher certificates. Why? Because there is always another mountain to climb in radio! There is always another adventure and another aspect to master. Okay, there is another reason: airline careers are always subject to disruption, and it is good to have other skills for use during furloughs and between flying jobs. I've been tossed to the street multiple times in corporate bankruptcies.

More recently, my activities have focused on software defined radio and digital signal processing. Signals can be both generated and demodulated in a computer with the proper software. Digital signal processing can perform amazingly for bringing radio signals up and out of the noise. In addition, radio networking technology makes it possible to send staggering amounts of data - enough to transfer in seconds what would take hours on voice or CW. That is pretty slick indeed! I regularly listen, from my apartment in China, to all sorts of HF broadcasts picked up in Europe, North America and elsewhere, transferred past the censors and state media via the internet. These signals are inaudible at my residence, as they are jammed fully to hell by the Firedrake Jammer transmitting from Hainan.

This site's aviation pages stem from my experiences as a pilot. I have the ATPL from three regions and gotten type rated in the Beech 1900, Saab-340, Boeing 727, 737NG, 757, and 767 over a time span of about thirty years. There is much worth writing about, and I have often photographed interesting things in the course of flying all over the world. Enjoy the aviation photo galleries and articles here at ab9il.net.

It was living as an expatriate pilot in Asia which led me to become an expert user of censorship circumvention tools. I now write plenty of content teaching how to unblock the internet and enhance privacy. These are techniques and technology helping countless people to exercise freedoms of speech, protect privacy, and defeat attempts to suppress such freedoms. Remember what I said about the movement of people and information.

Censorship is dead. The new tool is information warfare.

We are all created as equals. We are made of the same multi billion year old carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. These freedoms I advocate come to each person from our Creator, not as a favor or privilege from any person or government. There are no "chosen" or "favorite" carbons or oxygens.

In my spare time, I develop Linux distributions which help people access worldwide over the air radio media (Skywave Linux), evade any level of censorship or surveillance (MOFO Linux), and use programming as a tool to create media, gather data and analyze data about our world (Catbird Linux). Be sure to visit my other websites if you have a spare moment! Look for me on YouTube on the Mach 7 Radio Intercepts channel. I post a lot of SDR recordings, explore useful Linux code and applications, and share video I have taken while flying the jets.

It is a wild world, friends, and I have taken my side on the issues.

With a smile, visitors, I wish you all well. Take good care of that ancient carbon you are made of.

  - Philip G. Collier, callsign  AB9IL.
    Comments Edited a few times between 12/2005 and 05/2024.

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