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Author Topic: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons  (Read 2164 times)

Offline Exo

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4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« on: August 23, 2018, 0150 UTC »
A thread looking at some of the western USA beacons on 4 MHz.
If you find these detailed reports useful or interesting, please feel free to reply with any comments.


Report:
These beacons logged below were simultaneously audible in a wide IQ DSB passband, about an hour before sunset local time.
Received on the coast of northern California.

0030 UTC 23AUG2018
4095.72 kHz Beacon ~5 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Viking?)
4095.81 kHz Beacon ~4 sec duration dashes (sometimes a little chirpy) - weaker than others but audibly readable (Viking? or Coxie?)
4096.37 kHz Beacon ~3 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Haystack 200mW)
4102.83 kHz Beacon Morse W, wind velocity dits, TMP#, B#. - readable (Windy)
(Windy telemetry before sunset 0030 UTC Temp 100 Battery 13.0 )
(Windy telemetry after sunset 0245 UTC Temp 94 Battery 12.8 )

Below: Here's a waterfall image 0030 UTC 23AUG2018 of the ~4096 kHz dashers and the Windy morse beacon.
(note: the horizontal lines are lightning crash static bursts)



Below: Here's a waterfall zoom image 4 minutes later at 0034 UTC 23AUG2018 of the ~4096 kHz dasher beacons.
(note: the horizontal lines are lightning crash static bursts)



Below: Waterfall image at 2007 UTC 23AUG2018 of the ~4096 kHz dashers and the Windy morse beacon at mid-day.
(Windy morse telemetry: TMP106 = Temp 106F; B134 = Battery 13.4V)




« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 0531 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 2328 UTC »
Another look at some of the 4 MHz Western USA Beacons.
24 August 2018 report.

A symphonic trio of 3 dasher beacons was heard in the afternoon (western USA) .
Listening closely, it's possible to hear one of beacons drifting or chirping frequency slightly during a dash.

2231UTC 24AUG2018 afternoon local
4095.91 kHz Beacon 3.1 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Viking? )
4096.08 kHz Beacon 4.5 sec duration dashes - very weak (Coxie? )
4096.37 kHz Beacon 2.3 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Haystack 200mW)

2345UTC 24AUG2018 before local sunset
4095.86 kHz Beacon 4.0 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Viking? )
4095.95 kHz Beacon 5.6 sec duration dashes - weak readable (Coxie? )
4096.37 kHz Beacon 2.3 sec duration dashes - readable (Haystack 200mW)

0011UTC 25AUG2018 near local sunset
4095.72 kHz Beacon 6.0 sec duration dashes - CHIRP downward starting at 4096.10 kHz - readable (Coxie? )
4095.73 kHz Beacon 4.7 sec duration dashes - readable (Viking? )
4096.38 kHz Beacon 2.3 sec duration dashes - readable (Haystack 200mW)

Note: The beacon with the longest dash (and chirp) drifted down as sunset approached: from 4096.08 to 4095.95 to 4095.72 kHz.  This drift could be due to temperature and/or battery voltage. Also during this time, the duration of dash increased for both of the two lower frequency beacons.

Audio recordings in Upper Sideband.

The three distinctive beacons are heard as a low tone, a medium tone, and a high tone in this recording:

PLAY AUDIO: "Beacon Trio Symphony In 4096 Kilohertz"
PLAY AUDIO Beacon Trio Symphony In 4096 Kilohertz

Below:
~4096 kHz Dasher Beacons during afternoon in western USA - some slightly drifted frequencies for these beacons than yesterday.
The dash duration of each beacon was measured somewhat more carefully, as shown in this image.



PLAY AUDIO: "Beacon Duo with Chirpy Dasher 4096 Kilohertz"
PLAY AUDIO Beacon Duo with Chirpy Dasher 4096 Kilohertz

Below:
~4096 kHz Dasher Beacons before sunset in western USA - notice the chirpy long dasher has drifted down to about the same frequency as the medium dasher.


« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 0605 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 0536 UTC »
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated on what the proper nicknames are for the dasher beacons in the above log reports.

Guessing:

The 2.3 sec stable dasher beacon on 4096.37 kHz was Haystack?

The dasher beacon at mid-day 4096.08 kHz (4.5 sec dash) drifting to 4095.72 kHz (6.0 sec chirpy dash) and eventually cuts off after sunset: was Coxie?

The more stable dasher beacon that varies from 4095.91 to 4095.73 kHz was Viking?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 0624 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 0106 UTC »
Closer look and audio of the chirping long dasher around 4096 kHz.

Received on the coast of northern California.

Log report
0039UTC 26AUG2018
4095.79 kHz - dash, 6 second duration, readable, with initial chirp starting at about 4096.15 ( Coxie ? )
Several other beacons heard around 4096 kHz.

0120UTC 26AUG2018 (about 1.5 hours prior to local sunset)
4095.66 kHz- dash, same beacon has drifted down, now intermittently heard at about 3 to 5 minute intervals, dash 6 second duration for several dashes, then fades out. Very weak, with initial chirp ( Coxie ? )

PLAY AUDIO 4095.79kHz beacon 6 second dash with easily heard chirp at 0039UTC 26AUG2018

Below: Waterfall image 4095.79kHz 6 sec dash with chirp at 0039UTC 26AUG2018.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 0608 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 0337 UTC »
A look at the Morse beacon "ZN" which is usually reported around 4103 kHz.
This report catches it just after sunset, as it drifts down a few kHz, then disappears.
Received on the northern coast of California.
About 20 minutes after sunset, local time.

Note: Thanks to all HFUndergrounders who previously provided good background info on this wild beacon: ChrisSmolinski, tesla, mark-n-nut, cwguy, Teotwaki, Token, and others.

Log Report
0301UTC 2018AUG2603
4099.1 kHz - Morse beacon "ZN", frequency drifting down rapidly at 0301UTC from above 4102 kHz
4098.79 kHz - Morse beacon "ZN", somewhat stabilized at this frequency, before disappearing entirely

PLAY AUDIO ZN beacon can be heard drifting down rapidly to about 4098.79 kHz after sunset at 0303UTC 2018AUG26

Below: Waterfall image of the ZN beacon is seen drifting down to 4099.1 at around 0301UTC 2018AUG26.
Note, the ZN beacon is normally reporated at around 4102+ kHz during day time hours.



Below: Waterfall image of the ZN beacon is seen drifting down and stabilizing around 4098.79 kHz at 0303UTC 2018AUG26.
Note, a few minutes later, it disappeared entirely.

 


« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 0346 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 2254 UTC »
Close look and clear audio of the chirping long dasher around 4096 kHz.

Received on the coast of northern California, in the afternoon local time.

Log report
2221UTC 27AUG2018
4096.07 kHz - dash, 5.155 second duration, 5.155 second interval, good readable, with initial chirp signature.
Tentatively identified as Coxie ?

PLAY AUDIO 4096.07 kHz beacon 5.1 second dash with chirp signature at 2221UTC 27AUG2018

Below: Waterfall image 4096.07 kHz at 2221UTC 27AUG2018

Exo
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 0323 UTC »
Closer look and some audio of the chirpy Morse beacon ZN while it was somewhat stable at 4103.7 kHz.

Received on the coast of northern California, sunset local time.
Log report 0247UTC 2018 SEP 01
4103.70 Morse Beacon, KN, readable, slowly drifting down, chirp, among lightning static crashes
4102.81 Morse Beacon, Windy, readable, among lightning static crashes

PLAY AUDIO 4103.7kHz Morse Beacon ZN at 0247UTC 2018 SEP 01

Below: Waterfall image of 4103.7kHz Morse Beacon ZN at 0247UTC 2018 SEP 01, and 4102.81 Morse Beacon Windy




Exo
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Offline Strange Beacons

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 1644 UTC »





Close look and clear audio of the chirping long dasher around 4096 kHz.

Received on the coast of northern California, in the afternoon local time.

Log report
2221UTC 27AUG2018
4096.07 kHz - dash, 5.155 second duration, 5.155 second interval, good readable, with initial chirp signature.
Tentatively identified as Coxie ?


I was scanning HF this morning in the 4 Mhz range and discovered a strange signal at 4096 kHz. I made a recording of it and then immediately came to this forum to see if there was any information about it, where I then saw your post. (Excellent information on this signal and thanks for posting it).

Curt / W9SPY

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 0149 UTC »
0146 UTC 07SEP2018
4096.36 kHz dasher Beacon (Haystack?), readable
4098.32 kHz Morse Beacon "ZN", weak, readable, drifty
4100.01 kHz Morse Beacon "H", weak, readable, 3 second repetition
4102.82 kHz Morse Beacon (Windy), readable, chirpy

PLAY AUDIO 4100.01 kHz Morse Beacon H 0158UTC 07SEP2018

Below: Waterfall image of 4100.01 kHz Morse Beacon H 0158UTC 07SEP2018



Below: Waterfall image of 4 Western USA 4MHz Beacons at about 0158UTC 07SEP2018


« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 0220 UTC by Exo »
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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 0258 UTC »



4100.01 kHz Morse Beacon "H", weak, readable, 3 second repetition

4100.01 kHz "H" Morse beacon

Searching HFU forum, no previous reports of the 4100.01 kHz "H" Morse Beacon were found.

Perhaps it is a new one?
Or perhaps it is just a one-off transmission?
 
Time will tell.

A quick and casual listening survey of some of the remote online SDRs at about an hour after local sunset here in California:
At the present moment, "H" can be heard with good readability on receivers west of the rocky mountains, but not at all in the east. 
Very weak on Washington state, Colorado, and West Texas remote SDRs.
Good readable in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona.

Estimated -6dB to -10dB weaker than Haystack and -10dB to -20dB weaker than Windy.

Wild guess: possible Southwestern USA geographic origin, so it's been included in this "4 MHz Western USA Beacons" thread.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 0408 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 1113 UTC »
Nice catch on H. I gave a listen this morning around 1030z and could not hear it locally (no surprise) nor on any of the west coast SDRs I tried.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 0023 UTC »
Nice catch on H. I gave a listen this morning around 1030z and could not hear it locally (no surprise) nor on any of the west coast SDRs I tried.

Hi Chris,

1030UTC may have been a bit too late for the 4 MHz propagation (or maybe the wild beacon's battery?)

The 4100 kHz "H" Morse Beacon seemed to fade out by around 0600 UTC last night, which was the last time I monitored it.

But "H" is back again today  :)

Report, copying it right now:
0014UTC 08SEP2018
4100.06 kHz "H" Morse Beacon, very weak, fading, barely readable.

You may be able to copy it through one of the following remotes.

Northern Utah SDR KiwiSDR #1 Corinne, Utah kiwiSDR remote

Maritime Radio Historical Society, Pt. Reyes, California kiwiSDR remote

At some point, it may be possible to get a screen capture of 6 wild beacons around 4100 simultaneously: Windy, Haystack, Coxie, Viking, ZN, and H  ;)

Note: this "H" beacon was previously reported by: mark-n-nut on June 27, 2018. see previous post.

 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 1701 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 0126 UTC »
Report 0102 UTC 08SEP2018

4095.59 kHz "Coxie" dasher, weak readable
4095.59 kHz "Viking" dasher, weak readable
4096.36 kHz "Haystack" dasher, good readable
4098.25 kHz "ZN" Morse Beacon, 4.4 second repetition, readable, fading, (ZN sometimes run together like a prosign with an extra dash: "dah-dah-di-di-dah-dah-dit" or  --..--. )
4100.06 kHz "H" Morse Beacon, 3 second repetition, very weak readable
4102.79 kHz "Windy" Morse Beacon with telemetry, good readable

Below, the 6 wild beacons around 4100 kHz show simultaneously on the waterfall at 0102UTC on 08SEP2018.
Note that at this charmed moment, Coxie has drifted down exactly onto Viking's frequency. Coxie has the chirp signature and different dash interval from Viking.









« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 0531 UTC by Exo »
Exo
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Various receivers, transceivers, and broadband antennas.
kiwiSDR receiver on private LAN for multi-freq HF monitoring.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 1438 UTC »
Some very nice catches. I used to be able to copy the 4096 beacons here, but rumor has it the power level was turned down, which explains why they disappeared.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
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Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 1809 UTC »
Report
1730UTC 08SEP2018
4093.2 kHz dasher beacon, 700 millisecond dash length, 1.9 second repetition, very weak, deep fading.
Intermittent, possibly on/off with 1 to 5 minute cycle timer.

PLAY AUDIO 4093kHz 700mSec 1900mSec dasher beacon 1720UTC 08SEP2018

Below: Waterfall image showing the 700mSec dash beacon 4093 kHz near the stronger dasher and morse beacons around 4096-4103 kHz at 1720UTC 08SEP2018




« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 1827 UTC by Exo »
Exo
HF aficionado. On the coast of northern California.
Various receivers, transceivers, and broadband antennas.
kiwiSDR receiver on private LAN for multi-freq HF monitoring.