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Author Topic: A "pop up" beacon  (Read 2938 times)

Offline beaconpop

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A "pop up" beacon
« on: June 24, 2021, 1736 UTC »
Good morning!

A new low power beacon, located in a western desert, will be tested 
- starting on Thursday 6/24 at ~7:30pm pacific time (0230 UTC 6/25), and
- ending  on  Sunday   6/27 at ~1:00pm pacific time (2000 UTC 6/27).

Look for the beacon between 4100 and 4110 KHz, with a 1/2 second dash. 

Please send reception reports to beaconpop@protonmail.com. Include the location of receiver and the beacon's period to get an e-QSL with more information about the beacon.

This is only a short 2.5 day test of the beacon TX, the site, and solar and antenna  performance. If all goes well the beacon will be permanently emplaced and run 24/7 later this summer.

Many Thanks,
BPOP
 
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2021, 1816 UTC »
As soon as it is running be sure to post a more exact frequency for us so we can positively ID it. I'm looking forward to hearing it!
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 beaconpop

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 1859 UTC »
Look for it at 4109.5

/BPOP
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2021, 0138 UTC »
I have a slow dasher on 4109.43 about S5-S6 on the KFS SE kiwi
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

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2021, 0253 UTC »
weak but readable on the Wrightwood, CA Kiwi  http://ak7v.hopto.org:8073/
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

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 1407 UTC »
Not hearing it today on any SDRs. I sent an email to the provided address.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 0005 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

Heathkit

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2021, 1640 UTC »
The only thing I heard was something on 4107.53 and it was... ummm.... rather ill for a beacon!  :o
(long dash, the letter "S" and then into a suicidal waver and disappeared)

Offline owen81

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2021, 2245 UTC »
Excuse my ignorance but what is meant by a half second dash? On 4109.05 I hear a really bad brief kinda chuff noise once a minute or so is this what I'm looking for?
Tecsun pl660/330, Yaesu ft991a, ICOM IC718, SDRPLAY RSP1A, OCFD, mla30+, CCW V4 loop, Malahit DSP2.

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2021, 2322 UTC »
Excuse my ignorance but what is meant by a half second dash? On 4109.05 I hear a really bad brief kinda chuff noise once a minute or so is this what I'm looking for?

4109.05 is too low in frequency for the pop up beacon.

Think of Morse codeís dots and dashes withe the dot being a quick blip and a dash being three to four times longer.

Lots of good pirate beacon examples on YouTube under the name First Token who also a member on this forum.
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 beaconpop

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2021, 0352 UTC »
It appears the pop-up beacon is no longer transmitting.

It started out nicely and was being heard in CA, UT, NV and even weakly in HI (!).  But this morning only a few strong dashes were heard 5- 10 minutes apart - as if the 555 timer keying circuit malfunctioned. Nothing being heard now. There was a big rain and windstorm last night and maybe the enclosure leaked. The beacon will be retrieved and a post mortem will be performed.

/BPOP
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2021, 0502 UTC »
Iím really sorry to hear of the short run but itís been pretty hot lately.

I had one circuit board where there was a solder whisker that cold temps would cause it to make a short circuit and shut down a transmitter. Hot temps were not a problem.

Keep us posted!
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 beaconpop

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2021, 0233 UTC »
The pop-up beacon was retrieved and debugged. Wish I had a better story, like a badger chewed the coax or the beacon was struck by ball lightning, or...? However, the reason the beacon stopped transmitting (after only 12 hours) was much more mundane: a bad solder joint in the 555 keying circuit. 

The beacon has been fixed and tested. It will be re-deployed later this summer. One enhancement will be to replace the 555 circuit with an ATTiny85 keyer to send something other than a simple periodic dash.

Many thanks the listerners who managed to catch the beacon while it worked and sent reception reports.

/BPOP
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2021, 0300 UTC »
When will you send out the e-QSLs?

I sent my request on the 25th.

Thanks!!
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 beaconpop

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2021, 0355 UTC »
Sorry for the delay.. sent it as you were typing, I think!

/BPOP
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: A "pop up" beacon
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2021, 1533 UTC »
I am hearing a very strong slow dasher on 4109.55 on the KFS omni Kiwi

Is it the Popup beacon back on the air?
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

 


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