We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissible in your locale.

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Desert Whooper

Pages: [1] 2 3
HF Beacons / Re: Is the Desert Whooper OK?
« on: April 22, 2024, 1719 UTC »
Thanks for the signal reports! Here is what we found:

The broken coax anchor allowed the antenna to sway with the wind. Due to a flaw of our balun mounting arrangement the balun could be rotated a few degrees as the antenna swayed. This caused one of the two antenna connecting wires to break.

DW may have kept running for a while but eventually the transmitter's output Mosfet failed. Possibly high VSWR damaged it

We replaced the Mosfet, added a coax cable anchor and reconnected the antenna wire to the balun. If we visit again we will bring out a balun with better mounting/suspension points. 

Relocating DW would be a hard decision to make. It is along a path where the bighorn sheep migrate and why we are collecting temperature data

HF Beacons / Re: Is the Desert Whooper OK?
« on: April 09, 2024, 0307 UTC »
Thanks for noticing the drop in signal strength!

We visited DW in late February and even though it was operating well we noticed deliberate damage to the stake that guided the coax up to the antenna. The stake was snapped off at ground level. This caused us to recognize that a number of other things that had happened over the years were neither random or caused by animals or even absentmindedness. It's now recognized that someone has repeatedly attacked our temperature beacon. Motivation is unknown.

Roughly in order:

The shielded cable that connects the temperature sensor was torn off and pulled away as far as it could go. We thought some crazed animal was The Culprit.

The plastic shield covering the temperature sensor was smashed into a million pieces that were scattered all over the ground. Maybe some local raptor ran into it in high speed pursuit of a rabbit?

Although the pelican case has padlocks the latches were loose and the cover was open about a quarter of an inch. The case is anchored in place by a buried cable. I thought we had somehow locked it up without snapping the latches first?

The lightweight steel post that held up the temperature sensor assembly was bent over flat against the ground. The winds there can be fierce but the post and sensor have little surface area for that kind of wind loading. Deliberate attack?

As mentioned, the antenna cable guy stake was broken off at ground level. Maybe some enraged beacon hater kicked it?

As you observed, DW's strength dropped off precipitously. Our worry now is that the longwire antenna has been vandalized. Hopefully it was simply a failure of the wire breaking apart so a Dacron guy line will be added to support the center  balun feed and allow lower tension on the active elements.

We will schedule a trip to the site with materials to rebuild the antenna, or coax or possibly replace the transmitter's output transistor in case the antenna is okay.

We'll report again after repairs are effected.

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: November 16, 2023, 0340 UTC »
greetings from the DW team

All of your reports here have been read with great interest! We received a eQSL request from Italy! Quite the surprise.

A few months back we added a device to bleed off static charge from the antenna.

On October 27th we replaced the battery. Electrically it seemed healthy but it appears to have spit out some small amounts of acid from around the battery's terminals. With the shorter days the battery receives less charge so we want it to be in tip top shape.

Lately we've been kicking around ideas for wind measurement and it may be a new box but similar to DW

The DW Team

Our email address is at the beginning of this thread

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: November 07, 2022, 0704 UTC »
DW had been suffering severely low output. We finally made the long drive & hike and brought repair parts to cover the most likely failure types. It turned out the antenna balun was bad. DW has been enduring very high VSWR all these weeks! 

Will pry open the old balun soon

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: October 05, 2022, 2102 UTC »
Thank you Syfr!! We appreciate the compliments and are quite proud of our little temperature sensing beacon's success.

The DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: September 01, 2022, 1548 UTC »
Sharing old photos

Transmitter development, crystal oscillator and 200 mW stage

Controller development, basic analog meshed with a microcontroller

The DW Team

HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.65
« on: August 31, 2022, 2315 UTC »
The battery is about 22 months old but has done very well so far. It is oversized in terms of the Amp Hours needed and so is the solar panel. In this manner it can easily survive a few heavily clouded days before the low voltage disconnect would shut down DW. The LVD will shut things down around 12.1 volts, approximately 55% battery capacity.

Thank you for all of your reports!

The DW Team

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.

Pages: [1] 2 3