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Author Topic: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons  (Read 1573 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2018, 0943 UTC »
I'm hoping improved conditions this winter (including less static) allow me to hear these beacons again. I used to get the 4096 beacons until a few years ago.  I am actually in the process of putting up a dipole cut for 4100 kHz oriented N/S so with some gain to the west, perhaps that will give e the extra dBs I need to hear them.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2018, 0944 UTC »
Report 1900 UTC 2018 NOV 01

4102.8 kHz CW "Windy", erratic frequency drift to 4102.9 kHz, strong readable

Windy CW telemetry wild beacon has been erratic lately during sunlight hours.

Windy normally has a fairly stable CW frequency, but it has been logged drifting up +100 Hz and back down.
When the voltage is that high, the frequency seems to vary quite a lot during the transmission.

During high noon and afternoon daylight hours, (if the telemetry is actually calibrated) a much higher than normal battery voltage has been transmitted by Windy.
Voltages as high as 16.0 VDC (B=160 decivolts) have been copied.
Maybe it is suffering from too much sun :)

PLAY AUDIO Drifty 4102 kHz Windy CW telemetry wild beacon 2018 NOV 01 - 1918UTC

Waterfall image of Windy drifting with Battery at 14.7 VDC

« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 0210 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.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2018, 1009 UTC »
I thought Windy was slightly higher in frequency when I was listening just a few minutes ago. A weak signal today, and lots of static from storms. Windy and A on 2097 are the only western beacons I am hearing, but they generally come in most mornings.

Until a few months ago I was hearing the Zebra beacons. I lost track of the time of the window of reception, if there still is one.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2018, 0202 UTC »
Exo,
BTW if you do hear a weak signal ditting on 4096.85 or so it is the faint 5 mW fundamental of "MarinDit" hrd only 3x in the Moj desrt...  MB

Hi MB,

Yes, MarinDit was there today on its 4 MHz fundamental, precisely where you said it would be, just above Viking, Coxie, and Haystack :)

It was received around local noon during good NVIS propagation conditions here in Northern California.

Report 2005 UTC 2018 NOV 02
4096.86 kHz CW, MarinDit, beacon, very weak, fading, 0.9 second repetition rate



PLAY AUDIO  4096.86 kHz CW MarinDit beacon 2005 UTC 2018 NOV 02 with Haystack dasher below it



Waterfall image of 4096 kHz CW beacons Viking, Coxie, Haystack, MarinDit at 2005 UTC 2018 NOV 02:



Nearby Pt. Arguello ionogram at the time of logging. (the FoF2=5.488 MHz at this time)




« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 0321 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.

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2018, 1637 UTC »
Report 1900 UTC 2018 NOV 01

4102.8 kHz CW "Windy", erratic frequency drift to 4102.9 kHz, strong readable

Windy CW telemetry wild beacon has been erratic lately during sunlight hours.

Windy normally has a fairly stable CW frequency, but it has been logged drifting up +100 Hz and back down.
When the voltage is that high, the frequency seems to vary quite a lot during the transmission.

During high noon and afternoon daylight hours, (if the telemetry is actually calibrated) a much higher than normal battery voltage has been transmitted by Windy.
Voltages as high as 16.0 VDC (B=160 decivolts) have been copied.
Maybe it is suffering from too much sun :)

I suspect a few things are in play.

The battery is losing capacity. Low voltages in the darker hours seem to indicate this.
The solar charge controller might have issues. The peak voltages should never go over 14.4 DC
The oscillator is not well isolated from voltage noise, spikes and small variations so as battery voltages become irregular the frequency follows.

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 Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2018, 2229 UTC »
Highlight of this report: Relative signal strength of 4096 kHz beacons.

Report
2150 UTC 2018 NOV 11

4095.93 kHz CW, "Viking", dasher beacon, -109 dBm good readable
4096.04 kHz CW, "Coxie", dasher beacon, -118 dBm weak readable
4096.38 kHz CW, "Haystack", dasher beacon, -114 dBm good readable
4096.87 kHz CW, "MarinDit", ditter beacon, -125 dBm, weak readable with fading below noise
4102.83 kHz CW, "Windy", Morse telemetry beacon, -100 dBm good readable

PLAY AUDIO Four 4096 kHz beacons 4095.5 kHz USB 2150UTC 2018NOV11 29 second MP3 audio clip

Waterfall image below shows a sample of signal strength and frequency of four 4096 kHz beacons:




Ionogram below shows Pt. Arguello ionosonde data for the logged time interval indicating NVIS propagation single hop F2 around the California and western Nevada area with foF2=5.375 MHz.




« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 2246 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.

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2018, 2137 UTC »
Highlight of this report: UNID Dasher at 4087 kHz CW

Report
2048UTC 2018NOV21

4087.10 kHz CW, UNID, Dasher, -114 dBm, weak readable, ~1.0 second repetition, 600 mSec dash duration

4090.93 kHz CW, UNID, carrier, -120 dBm, weak
4095.89 kHz CW, "Viking", dasher beacon, -112 dBm, weak readable
4096.04 kHz CW, "Coxie", dasher beacon, -120 dBm, weak readable
4096.39 kHz CW, "Haystack", dasher beacon, -108 dBm, good readable
4102.86 kHz CW, "Windy", Morse telemetry beacon, -100 dBm, good readable

PLAY AUDIO 4087.10 kHz CW UNID Dasher 2048UTC 2018NOV21 MP3 audio clip

Waterfall image below shows a sample of signal strength and frequency for this 4 MHz report:



Ionogram image below for this report time interval, courtesy of the nearby Pt. Arguello ionosonde:
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 2320 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.

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2018, 0643 UTC »
Highlight of this report: "ZN" Beacon 4102 kHz amidst 4100~4103 kHz S. Korean fishing fleet Voice/CW traffic

Report
2018NOV22 0600UTC

4100.00 kHz USB, VOICE S.KOREAN, FISHING VESSEL "HLVW", "SAJO ORYONG #306",  -110 DBM, good readable
4101.37 kHz CW, S.KOREAN, FISHING VESSEL "HLVW" -110 DBM, good readable
4101.95 kHz CW, "ZN", MORSE BEACON -110 DBM, good readable (Does ZN stand for "Zion"? as in the National Park in Utah?)
4102.85 kHz CW, "Windy", MORSE TELEMETRY BEACON -100 DBM, strong readable
Average noise level ~ -124 DBM, with lightning static crashes

For more information about these S.Korean fishing vessels in the mid-Pacific Ocean, see the HFU topic here:
Topic: Mystery S.Korean Peskies 4100.0 USB 4101.4 CW Pacific

PLAY AUDIO 4101.37 kHz CW maritime with 4102 kHz ZN and Windy beacons 2018NOV22 0600UTC


Waterfall and spectrum image below shows maritime traffic on 4100 kHz USB Voice and CW with ZN and Windy beacons:



Ionogram image below for this report time interval, courtesy of the nearby Pt. Arguello ionosonde:
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 1916 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.

Offline syfr

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2018, 1524 UTC »
Chris, what time have you heard these? I've been out in Calif and heard them clearly but never from the Right Coast.
NRD525/TenTec Paragon lotsa wires and some beams

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2018, 2210 UTC »
Chris, what time have you heard these? I've been out in Calif and heard them clearly but never from the Right Coast.

Generally just before sunrise, check my logs for exact time(s).
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Exo

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Re: 4 MHz Western USA Beacons
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2018, 0241 UTC »
Highlight of this report: ZN beacon with good signal

Report
2018DEC07 0155UTC

4102.03 kHz CW, Morse beacon, "ZN", good readable, -110 dBm.
4102.86 kHz CW, Morse telemetry beacon, "Windy", W=medium rate, TMP46, B121, good readable, -112 dBm.

Note: The ZN beacon could very well be called the NZ beacon, because the spacing between all the Morse characters, 0.788 sec, is essentially the same. But, since it appears to have some contextual history among other Z beacons, it is being called the ZN beacon.

PLAY AUDIO recording of both ZN and Windy beacons in same passband 4101.5 kHz USB 2018DEC07 0155UTC

PLAY AUDIO recording ZN beacon at 4102.03 kHz CW 2018DEC07 0155UTC

Waterfall image below shows ZN and Windy beacons 4102 kHz 2018DEC07 0155UTC




« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 1009 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.