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Author Topic: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5  (Read 9811 times)

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2023, 1806 UTC »
I think CS is having battery issues. Am listening on the KFS omni kiwi and the signal seems to drop out at times, restart with a few closer spaced whoops, drop out and then restart with a normal cadence of whoops.
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2023, 1248 UTC »
CS is MIA

I could not hear it at home so I checked a kiwi SDR and no signal there.

I hope it is repaired and back on the air soon!!
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2023, 1454 UTC »
I just checked some kiwis and could not hear a signal.
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2023, 1429 UTC »
It's transmitting right now
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2023, 1825 UTC »
Greetings to all beacon aficionados!

In the rugged coastal mountains of California, a daring mission was undertaken last week to ensure the continued operation of a certain clandestine HF beacon known as the 'Coast Slider'. Join us as we recount this thrilling adventure up a misty mountain.

The journey began under the cool embrace of morning fog, creating an eerily quiet atmosphere. As our intrepid team ascended towards the beacon site, the persistent chill in the air was a most welcome companion. The sun eventually broke through the mist, but fortunately the temps remained pleasantly cool, setting the stage for an afternoon of repair and maintenance work.

Over the winter months, it became apparent that the Coast Slider's battery was no longer up to the task, struggling to hold a charge. This left the beacon operational only during daylight hours when the solar panel received sunlight. To address this issue, a comprehensive plan was hatched: replace the aging battery AND upgrade the solar panel.

Upon summiting the ridge, we were relieved to find the CS's container and solar panel in great condition - unmolested by human hands, vexatious varmints or curious condors. With great care, the box was unsealed and its contents eaxmined. To our delight, the battery and electronics were dry and pristine, untouched by the relentless rain of an unusually wet winter. This underscored the meticulous sealing of the box's lid and cable penetrations - care taken when the CS was first emplaced nearly 18 months ago.

Our first task was to replace the battery, installing a new 3Ah SLA to rejuvenate the transmitter. NExt, we turned our attention to the solar panel, upgrading it from its original 5 watts to a more robust 11 watts. These enhancements should ensure the the Coast Slider's uninterrupted operation for an extended period.

Replacing the panel meant cutting into what had been a continuous 10' underground run of cable to the beacon's container. This task was executed with precision, and the splice was carefully sealed to prevent moisture ingress, an important step in wet coastal conditions. (Oh, for a dry desert location with mostly sunny days!)

With the upgrades complete, time was spent to assess the beacon's performance. Its output power remained steady at 1/3 watt, a reassuring sign for its continued operation. However, the SWR had increased slightly to 1.8:1 (from 1.5), most likely due to the development of 2-3' sag of the antenna wire. And the resonant frequency also shifted down from 4110 kHz to 4060 kHz. The bungee cord which served to accomodate movement of the scrawny 'pine' trees supporting the antenna was replaced with a fresh bungee cord, this time enclosed in black nylon mesh tubing to protect it from the sun. The sag was left in the wire, since the antenna had survived a number of winter storms perhaps due to the slack.

The hike and maintenance tasks had far taken longer than anticipated (they always do!), so the elevated SWR issue was left for another time.  The late afternoon sun cast long shadows as we started our descent.

Until the next adventure,
Beaconpop
/BPOP

Offline Teotwaki

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Re: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2023, 1953 UTC »
Thanks for taking the time to repair the beacon and to provide us with the story!!
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2023, 0225 UTC »
Weak but readable here at home
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2023, 0511 UTC »
Hearing it now, a bit weak but easy to recognize
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: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2023, 0433 UTC »
Very weak right now but recognizable here at home.
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

HQ180

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Re: Coastal Slider Back On 4109.5
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2023, 1711 UTC »
Nov. 12 Time 1250 Utc 4109.18 khz Q5 copy in Colorado.
This is the first time I have heard this beacon.

 

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