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Messages - Desert Whooper

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HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.65
« on: May 27, 2022, 0137 UTC »
Thank you for all of the reports! They have been veryhelpful!

The DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« on: May 27, 2022, 0135 UTC »
About two weeks ago, a hike was made to the beacon to investigate what happened. As expected, it was an antenna problem - probably caused by high winds over the ridge in the storm also took DW out on the same day back in April.

The Slider's 70' antenna wire is supported by small two pine trees, and lacked a way to accommodate movement of those trees in the wind. The strain caused the antenna wire to part at a solder joint near the EFHW transformer, leaving only 1' of wire connected. The beacon was found to still be transmitting though. Fortunately,  the PA transistor was still OK (not surprising since the beacon only 1/3 watt).

The antenna was shortened a bit and the solder joint repaired with added strain relief. The height of the antenna was raised by an additional 10 feet. This had the happy side effect of bringing the SWR down to <1.5:1, whereas It was ~3:1 when first installed. A bungee cord placed on end to hopefully accommodate strain when the support trees move in the wind.

Great work Beaconpop!!

We can appreciate all of your efforts to restore your beacon. We love The "whoop".

The DW Team

The DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: Mojave Beaconeer's Rants, Opinions and Demands
« on: May 27, 2022, 0132 UTC »
"Gendarme" is the other "whooper" of a simpler kind that simply relies upon a voltage drop during "key-down" to create its characteristic whoop rather than some complicated micro-pro like DW.= has (i.e. likely more reliable esp. lacking a battery).

Wow. Such bitterness posted across so many threads. We are wondering what drives you to waste your time in this manner?

First two threads we've read in many months and you are complaining about DW in both of them. Almost hate to look at anymore beacon threads...... it used to be fun to come here and learn about pirate beacons.

The DW Team

The DW Beacon Team

HF Beacons / Re: 4095.6 - the Desert Whooper Returns
« on: May 27, 2022, 0119 UTC »
I found a logo for this thread  ;D

We love it!!!

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: May 27, 2022, 0118 UTC »
The DW beacon is being thoroughly baked again!

Battery was 13.1 volts
Outside temp was 101 degrees
Inside temp was 117 degrees
Solar panel current was 113 milliamps

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: May 27, 2022, 0115 UTC »
I'm on an extended campervan trip, to wherever my fancy takes me. I've been doing very little SW listening, but did catch Gendarme (which I will report elsewhere) and DW, on my little Belka-DX portable receiver, with the set top whip.

I'm in Coconino National Forest, a few miles north of Flagstaff, AZ, from where I logged DW, at 0010z on 4/21/2022. Weak sigs, but no QSB and perfectly copyable.

Thank you Dave! We appreciate your wonderful reports!

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: May 27, 2022, 0113 UTC »

Copied DW at 1300Z this morning on my home RX in Northern Ca and signal was S6-7:
Bat = 12.8
OTMP = 55
ITMP = 62
PV = 1

Great work by the DW beaconeers getting it back on the air (and having a spare solar controller on hand!).

Thank you for your reports and your kind words. The whole DW team appreciates them!

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: May 27, 2022, 0111 UTC »
Next time you're there could you put it on the former Windy freq. (4102.7 or so)  to get the whooping away from the sun only ditter/dasher cluster (makes for more esthetic listening). - I and a friend in MN ask this... please?

Old Chap: if your beacons were fixed in frequency rather than wondering up and down there would be no issue. DW is fixed and varies maybe 50 hertz over many months so there is no way it is being moved onto Windy's reserved spot.

HF Beacons / Re: Long Dasher On 4069.4
« on: April 15, 2022, 0146 UTC »
DW sustained some damage from possibly a close but not direct lightning strike. The micro controller, battery charge controller and solar current sensor were all damaged.
A "zap trapper" is now installed in the coax path.

DW is now back on the air.  ;D

We are hoping to see the Coast Slider back ASAP!

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: April 15, 2022, 0141 UTC »
DW is operational again!

We found that when first activating DW this morning the BAT and PV numbers seemed incorrect. It turned out that the solar charge controller was also damaged. It was a quick module swap out and all is good again. Signal strength seems good so we'll be watching DWs telemetry and keep our fingers crossed.

HF Beacons / Re: 4095.6 - the Desert Whooper Returns
« on: April 12, 2022, 0028 UTC »
thanks for the report Stendec!

It was probably failure induced by a nearby lightning strike. Dead uP and current sensor

Everything is packaged watertight. No target practice occurred. Antenna looks good.
No chewing has occurred yet. External cables are protected decently.

DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: April 12, 2022, 0022 UTC »
DW was retrieved and is undergoing testing and repairs. There seems to have been some lightning strikes nearby, possibly from that big storm.. The processor was dead and possibly the PV current sensor is dead too.  Nothing is burned so maybe a quick overvoltage event? The antenna seems fine but a low voltage gas tube arrester was installed on the coax even though it's not certain that was the surge entry point.

We hope to have DW back in the desert soon. We're losing temperature data!

DW team

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: February 22, 2022, 0125 UTC »
Today is DW's first birthday! We installed a new solar shield for the outside temp sensor and retensioned the antenna guy lines.

Thanks to all for the signal reports and qsl requests!

The DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: February 22, 2022, 0120 UTC »
Hey Desert Whooper

Can I drop in at the "Ranch" for DW's 1 year of operation party?

Just Kidding! Spotted this off ramp sign on one of my road trips.

Good one! Might use it on
 QSL cards


HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: October 27, 2021, 1852 UTC »

Wow! That's pretty good for a watt.  I would LOVE to see the perfect antenna/matching/ground system he's got on it :D

A lot of time was spent trying to determine how much transmit power was appropriate. After extensive research about QRP rigs one watt seemed appropriate.  Next antenna efficiency and pattern were focused upon.

The desert soil is very rocky and dry so the antenna is hung relatively low to achieve a 50 ohm match close to 1:1 vswr. From the ideal free space length the antenna was shortened 92" to achieve the match. There are no additional ground rods or counterpoise elements strung out beneath the antenna.

Balun efficiency was also  looked into and a simple 1:1 "transformer" of coax wound on a large core had the lowest loss.

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