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Topics - AA7EE

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I built this little beacon back in May of last year, but only just got around to mounting it permanently outside. It is powered by a small solar panel, with no battery. As a result, it operates during daylight hours only, coming on 30 minutes to an hour after sunrise, and going off-air 30-45 mins before local sunset. It works on bright and moderately bright cloudy days, but does struggle a bit when the clouds are particularly thick and dark. I've thought about adding another panel or even a battery but, for the time being, am considering the slightly quirkiness of it's operating hours as part of it's charm.

It sends the letter "BRS" at 10wpm, in honor of my neighbor's cat Boris. Power is a stunning 1mW to a half-wave dipole in a slightly bent configuration on a second floor balcony. With such low power and a compromise antenna, I'll be amazed if anyone hears it. The plan is to run it at 10wpm for a few months then, if it has not been heard, to change to QRSS.

The frequency is a nominal 13556.9 KHz, which varies up and down by a few 10's of Hz, depending on the ambient outside temperature.

I hope it's OK to post this link. There's some more info, and pics, here -


Hello there, fellow HiFERs. I'm very happy to see a dedicated HiFER section on these forums.

I am scratch-building a little beacon that will put out about 2mW into a horizontal dipole on top of my property fence, at about 7 feet above ground. It will be a bit of a cloud-warmer, I think, but I'm interested to see how it will get out. It will be powered by a single small solar panel with no batteries, so will be operational during daylight hours only. I hope I won't be missing the valuable grey-line propagation time with this approach, but we'll see how it goes. It should be on the air sometime this week. As it sits on the bench, it is coming up on around 13556.91 or thereabouts.

My question to the group is what you think an ideal code speed is? I want it to be fast enough to be copyable to the ear, so no QRSS. I have a personal preference for something around 10 - 12wpm, as anything slower bores me somewhat. However, I want the decision to be driven by what is most likely to be copyable to listeners struggling with what will almost certainly be a very weak signal. The beacon's callsign will be BRS, in honor of my neighbor's cat Boris.

I'm thinking that a relatively high speed would maximize the chance of copying the entire callsign before any fading takes the signal out, so I'm veering towards around 10wpm. What do you guys think?

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