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.

Author Topic: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer  (Read 6510 times)

Offline R4002

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3005
    • View Profile
    • R4002 - YouTube Videos
Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« on: September 13, 2017, 1806 UTC »
So I found myself thinking about the 11 meter band beacon project again, only this time I'm looking at it at a different angle.  Instead of building a transmitter around a set of crystals or using an old pager transmitter, I'm going to use an export radio.  The radio does have a regular 4-pin microphone connector and a CW key jack on the back.  

I have the following equipment:

*Superstar 3900 transceiver (made in Taiwan, EPT360011Z or EPT3600-11Z main board, built by Ranger/RCI)
frequency coverage 25615-28305 kHz 25.615-28.305 MHz continuously (channelized into 6 bands of 40 channels but has +10 kHz switch and +/- 5 kHz and +/- 1 kHz transmit/receive clairifers
*Antron-99 CB vertical CB antenna (currently in storage but in good condition)
*11 meter dipole antenna kit
*Possible transmit location located on top of an industrial fabrication shop in the downtown area of a medium sized city on the East Coast of the USA, with access to mains (120 Volt AC, 60Hz) power.

My plan is to drop the transmit power of the Superstar 3900 down to 3-4 watts or so to reduce strain on the transmitter.  

The missing piece is the CW generator.  I'm looking for something that doesn't draw a lot of power but will key the radio continuously, without the need for operator intervention.    Does anybody have an experience building a beacon of this type?  I plan on putting the radio on a frequency like 27500 kHz or 27510 kHz (as 27.500 MHz is the commonly accepted frequency for CW activity on 11 meters).  

Anybody have any recommendations or experience putting together a project like this?  I admire the Common and Precious III beacon operating in Europe and want to have a similar beacon operating in my part of the world.  
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 2154 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/transceivers/scanners/receivers - land mobile system operator - focus on VHF/UHF and 11m

Offline CoolAM Radio

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 981
  • Netherlands
  • CoolAM Radio... So Cool... that it's Hot!
    • View Profile
    • CoolAM Radio - ShortWave 6735
    • Email
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 1939 UTC by CoolAM Radio »
Make your dream a reality...
                Then go to sleep...
                        Have another dream and do it again!

                 Sweet dreams!!!

http://jingleproductions.coolam.nl
   Transmitters Do It On Air!!!
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Offline R4002

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3005
    • View Profile
    • R4002 - YouTube Videos
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 1948 UTC »
Thanks for the links CoolAM.  What I'm looking for is a beacon board that would allow me to program a CW message onto an IC or something similar, ideally something I could install inside the radio chassis and run off the power from whichever power supply I end up using (probably a 10 amp or something similar for DC power from the main 120VAC power available at the transmitter site).

U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/transceivers/scanners/receivers - land mobile system operator - focus on VHF/UHF and 11m

Offline Rob.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
    • N1NTE KiwiSDR online
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 2253 UTC »
http://www.hamcrafters2.com/KID2.html

Simple, easy, inexpensive. :)

- Rob

CT/MA border
Email: n1nte.rob@gmail.com
KiwiSDR (x4) online - http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/
ΣSDR Blog - https://n1nte.blogspot.com/

Offline R4002

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3005
    • View Profile
    • R4002 - YouTube Videos
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 0037 UTC »
Awesome.  Thanks for the link :D
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/transceivers/scanners/receivers - land mobile system operator - focus on VHF/UHF and 11m

Offline Teotwaki

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3122
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2020, 1751 UTC »
Since this thread receives lots of views and has been brought alive again in 2020,  I thought I'd add in that a user programmable CW ID Kit can be purchased from Black Cat Systems

https://www.blackcatsystems.com/rf-products/ham_amateur_radio_beacon_cw_keyer_kit.html

This allows the user to keep the CW ID list to himself as opposed to mailing it to someone to program into a chip, thus creating a paper trail of the CW ID and the user's address.   8)
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline JimIO

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • QTH I.O. MA
    • View Profile
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2020, 1948 UTC »

If you really want user programmable do a search for: arduino cw beacon

~

Offline Teotwaki

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3122
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 1709 UTC »
I am a fan of Arduinos  BUT...  they are way too complicated for just sending a CW ID.

If the OP wanted to send battery voltage, temperature and wind speed (like Windy) the Arduino would be perfect.
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half


Offline Teotwaki

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3122
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2020, 0216 UTC »
https://www.ebay.com/itm/UNO-R3-Atmega328P-CH340G-Development-Board-with-USB-Cable-Pin-Header-for-Arduino/113797459156?epid=4026019589&hash=item1a7edb6cd4%3Ag%3AJawAAOSw2fRdEMH4&LH_BIN=1

Super cheap! I've progressed to reading a temp probe and a voltage then displaying both on a serial LCD. Mostly by hacking what is already available for code but lots of fun.

Edit: I found that this cheaper board has a different USB interface chip and needs to have the right drivers.

Also found this note:

"You need the 16u2 if you ever want to change what sort of usb device your arduino is, eg make it into a keyboard, mouse or joystick device, or a soundcard, or anything like that. If you're happy for it to remain a plain serial device, the CH340G variant should be fine"
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 0223 UTC by Teotwaki »
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline JimIO

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • QTH I.O. MA
    • View Profile
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 0402 UTC »
With all of the tutorials and libraries and sample code out there 90% of what
you want to do is already done. Who would have thought microcontrollers
would end up being cheep fun.

~

« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 0404 UTC by JimIO »

Offline Stretchyman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 1925 UTC »
Funny thread...

I thought the idea of a beacon to be a simple affair and using a whole CB radio seems a tad OTT?

Keyer wise bought something from a UK ham a while ago and is an 8 bit pic, whole circuit is about 1cm sqr.

http://www.g4jnt.com/BcnKeyer.htm

Tx wise just use the Cardinal osc and class C/E RF, probably 20 components max.

I'd like to produce such a thing if I have time.

Str.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 1746 UTC by Stretchyman »
'It's better to give than receive' so why Rx when you can Tx!

                                              ;)

Offline Teotwaki

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3122
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2020, 2359 UTC »
With all of the tutorials and libraries and sample code out there 90% of what you want to do is already done. Who would have thought microcontrollers would end up being cheep fun.

I agree that the available code is really great to have. Using the code can end up being a learning experience as it may not select the pins you want to use, may have bugs, etc. but so what?  ;D  It can be quite fun (and harmless) to hack the code and see what happens.
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline Teotwaki

  • DXing Phenomena
  • *******
  • Posts: 3122
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 0012 UTC »
I thought the idea of a beacon to be a simple affair and using a whole CB radio seems a tad OTT?

1980's CB radios are cheap and the OP already had one so it is supremely simple to just use it for the 11M transmitter rather than have to purchase anything.
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Matt285

  • Guest
Re: Beacon Project - 26-27 MHz 11 Meter Band Export Radio + Keyer
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2020, 2340 UTC »
I didn't know CW beacons were a thing on 11 meters? Sounds like a great idea though. I've used beacons for propagation for years on all other HF bands.