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Author Topic: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW  (Read 2527 times)

Offline Looking-Glass

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Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« on: May 20, 2019, 1148 UTC »
For the last two nights I have came across the following beacon from around 1030z or so onwards.

Frequency (KHz):  1978.5

Text sent: FK224 FK224 FK22I

Interval:  Every two or so minutes.

Report: 519-559 with fades.

It's outside the VK/ZL 160m amateur band, and transmits FK22 "India" as last of three group sequence before keying off. Not a drift net fishing beacon as the last of the the three groups is different from first two of block.

Tried Google with little success.

Any ideas from our expert panel of HFers? 8)
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 1245 UTC »
Perhaps a miskeying fish net beacon?
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
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Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2019, 0407 UTC »
Had a long think about that Chris but it doesn't add up, two minute cycle, really good clear keying too. Transmits slightly quicker than a DNB.

Usually when a DNB goes haywire the whole sequence chain of transmission is kaput, it disappeared around 1100z too whilst the DNB's were increasing in strength.

Could be a military station in Asia was my thought?

Will monitor that frequency again tonight and see what eventuates.
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 1702 UTC »
Haven't heard it again since Chris, although the DNB's on 1MHz sector all coming in as usual, plus a couple of ATNO's as well tonight, so mystery as to 1978.5 CW... :D
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 0338 UTC »
Mystery beacon has been solved, thanks to a Japanese friend in Japan (Hiro Watanabe) who found the following on a fisheries and government telecoms site in Japanese.  Rough translation to English:

New more energy efficient Fishing Radio Buoy by "Ryokusiesha Electronics Industry" 1.920 to 1978.5MHz CW with 3 watts of power output maximum, introduced in 2016-2018.  Mode of emission is published as A1A for 1978.5MHz and F1B for 1922.5MHz.

Authorities have allocated a call sign block: FQ851-FQ862 and HG308-HG311 at the time. Authorities state "Movement range: Pacific region only".

There is no transmit cycle phase from what I can gather and looks like they are activated only by Selcal transmitted from Mother Ship. Hence no key on/off cycle noted this way, also these beacons have no preceding or ending carrier on the transmission.

Hiro also supplied the following: Maritime Security, Japan, also uses 1972.5MHz, mode unknown.

Tropical Ocean Tuna Longline Fishing 1.835 to 1.890MHz and 1.912 to 2.000MHz Fishing Radio Buoys, secondary service only.

Mention is also made of some 491 Japanese fishing vessels that are licensed to operate Fishing Radio Buoys in the 1-2MHz sector.

Heard last night (variant to call sign block published):

1.978.5MHz  CW  FQ???   1525z (missed end due to AM crud)

1978.5MHz  CW  FK36I  529 report 1532z

1978.5MHz  CW  FO85Z 559 report 1540z

Nothing else heard up to 1555z.

Chris, have updated DNB page intro to reflect this discovery... ;)

« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 0504 UTC by Looking-Glass »
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 0945 UTC »
Congrats on solving the mystery!  I wonder where in the Pacific these beacons are located?
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 1921 UTC »
Your guess would be as good as mine Chris, with erratic propagation (last night there was virtually nothing) they could be anywhere from off the coast of NSW and into the Pacific.

What amazes me, with todays technology available they are still using old fashioned CW beacons and equally old fashioned DFing from the mother ship, time consuming at the least.

Still, it's great fun logging all those different call signs and variants of such... :)
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 2147 UTC »
It is surprising they do not have a GPS receiver, and send their location. Radiosondes (weather balloons) do that. There would be two advantages, the crew could home on in it faster, and we would know the QTH!  ;D
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 1502 UTC »
Yes, where are they?  Judging by reception of the 25w NDB's from New Zealand here in Australia those little DNB's could be bobbing about anywhere in Oceania. 

Trouble is...where do I send my reception report for the QSL card when we find out where some are? 8)

May 2019 tally so far is 203 different calls logged between 1.711 and 1.784MHz. ;)
Trundle, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF37ub

Yaesu FT-1000D, Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, 27MHz 1/2 wave CB antenna converted to 21MHz & a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: Mystery LW band beacon 1978.5 CW
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 1344 UTC »
Excellent thread!

It lead me to information about a commercial Japanese RDF unit that I posted about here:  https://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,54634.0.html
Jim
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Orange County, SoCal, The better half