Category Archives: Beacons

F1ZBK in JN38BP back on air on 1296.854 MHz

June 7th, 2019
Doppler shifted traces (1000 Hz = 1296.854 MHz)

When looking for EA2TZ/B during a beacon check a couple of days ago, I mentioned a signal with strong doppler shift about a khz below. As I like the challenge to identify new beacons, I started monitoring it. It became a kind of a nightmare, trying to to catch the beacons callsign. It seems to be very chatty, transmitting a whole bunch of unuseful text. despite the fact I got a lot of good quality fragments via aircraft scatter, it took me hours to identify it as F1ZBK. At least I am pretty sure it is, as there is a second callsign in the end of the text: F1DND, maybe it´s the keepers call.

The text decoded so far is:
—— beacon f1zbk jn38bp nancy … 854 khz … 5 watt … f1dnd … orange KA … ——-
Where the “…” represent gaps and KA is the prosign for “Attention” or “New Message” (not to be used at the end of a message, like AR).

There are many beacons running in bad modes like reversed F2A or keying the subcarrier of F2A, but transmitting such a lot of stuff is worse.

It would be a great advantage, if all beacon keepers will respect the beacon requirements as published in the VHF Handbook of IARU R1.

OK0ER via Aircraft Scatter on 13 cm

October 22nd, 2018

As OK0EA was audible this morning on 23 and 13 cm I had a look for other, more distant beacons in OK. After noticing a very short and weak signal on 2320.9085 MHz, I monitored the frequency over a couple of hours and saw many doppler shifted traces, typical for aircraft scatter. Very soon I copied “…9DP…”, when a B777 crossed the path and was sure to see OK0ER in JN99DP in the waterfall diagram. At least 4 Airbuses A380 crossed the path one after the other, giving nice reflections.

OK0ER transmits 1.5 W into a slot antenna in 675 m asl. The distance is 722 km.

 

Longjiang-2 S-Band Beacon received over 400000 km

January 10th, 2019

As I digged a little deeper, I learned, the source of the signal on 2275,225 is not Queqiao, but it is it´s companion Longjiang-2 or DSLWP-B in an orbit around the moon.

August 23rd, 2018

Designed as a relay for the planned chinese Chang’e 4 misson to explore the far side of the Moon with a lander and a rover, the Queqiao probe has reached it´s final destination 60000 km behind the Moon. There it is in a halo orbit with a radius of 15000 km around  the Langrangian L2 point of the Earth-Moon-system. So it won´t be covered by the Moon, seen from Earth.

Queqiao also carries a radio astronomy experiment for low frequency exploration in collaboration with dutch ASTRON. After the lainch in May 2018 two microsatellites Longjiang-1 (DSLWP-A) and Longjiang-2 (DSLWP-B) were released, to enter orbits around the moon. These satellites carry a radio astronomy experiment as well as amateur radio payloads. While Longjiang-1 went lost, Longjiang-2 is operating and can be monitored in the 70 cm band as well as in the S-Band.

The signal of the S-band beacon is audible at about 2275.225 MHz. The used equipment is HDSDR software with a RTL-SDR-Stick connected to a 13 cm ATV Converter (LO=916 MHz) and a 13 cm LNA (Kuhne) at a 23/13cm dualband ringfeed in my 3 m dish.

New Beacon SR1KOL in JO74SE

July 30th, 2018

After I noticed some spots for SR1KOL in JO74SE on 1296.960 MHz, I monitored the frequency using WSJT-X Wide Graph. About 400 Hz below the nominal frequency traces of a F1 signal can be seen, when airplanes cross the path to the beacon. The signal is not audible, but I am pretty sure, it is SR1KOL.

Traces of SR1KOL in JO74SE, “1000” = 1296.960 MHz. The strong signal at the very left is a birdie.

Some information can be found on the website of Polski Klub UKF: It is located on a high rise building in Kołobrzeg, 40 m above ground. The power is 3 W into a slot antenna. Beacon keeper is Andrzej, SQ1GU.

The video shows an A380 crossing the path between DJ5AR and SR1KOL. At minute 2:00 the plane crosses the first time and at minute 4:00 after a turn it crosses a second time. Mind the traces at 580 Hz in the waterfall diagram. The 1000 Hz mark corresponds to 1296.960 MHz.

Irek, SP5MX, who was involved in building the beacon and who repaired it recently, told me, the beacons reference is an OCXO withtout any GPS-lock. So possibly the beacon may transmit 400 Hz lower than defined.

At least in the morning of July 31st audible reflections could be heard via an Airbus A330. This time the 1000 Hz mark correspondents to 1296.9596 MHz.

After 10 seconds the noise becomes a kind of ‘musical’. Another 10 seconds later experienced ears can hear the tone.

 

New Beacon DB0MFI on 23 and 13 cm

June 18th, 2018

This morning I had a look for DB0MFI, a new beacon on 1296.940 MHz in JN58HW. It is audible with 529 constantly via tropo and peaking 579 via aircraft scatter. The power is 5 W into a 4 times stacked big wheel antenna.

 

In the afternoon I went for it on 2320.940 MHz. Faint reflections on some airplanes were audible and traces could be seen in the waterfall of WSJT-X Wide Graph:

New Beacon DB0WML on 13 cm

May 7th, 2018

The other day I noticed some cluster spots about a new beacon DB0WML in JO31MU on 2320.910 MHz. So I had a look for it today. Nothing via tropo, but nice reflections on airplanes.

At least I was bearing to an A380 in a distance of about 30 km at a height of 12 km with 33° elevation, to record this clip.

Also I was lucky to get a snapshot of this particular bird!

The beacon is runnung 1.5 W into a 10 dB slot antenna according the information in beaconspot.eu
The beacon is operated by DARC local chapter N40, keeper is Rudolf, DK8QU.

The screenshot shows DB0UX on 2320.900 MHz, DB0MJ on .904 and DB0WML on .910 in good Neighbourhood.

F5ZBM on Air again!

April 20th, 2018

The french beacon F5ZBM is on air again. I found it accidentally, when looking for other french beacons. It is at a new location in JN18MN near Paris transmitting on 1,296.8475 MHz. Nice to monitor it in Mainz via aircraft scatter over a distance of 406 km!


The keying is in F1 with a very narrow spacing. Power is 10 W ERP into a slot antenna, as can be seeen at BEACONSPOT.eu

Another view on F5ZBM in WSJT-X Wide Graph

 

DB0TUD as Beacon #60 on 23 cm

March, 23rd, 2018

With the dish bearing eastwards tonight I mentioned the trace of a signal appearing and disappearing close to the local beacon of DF5AY. A quick look at beaconspot.eu told me, DB0TUD should be around there.

I copied DB0TUD in summer 2017 via rain scatter on 13 cm, but never on 23 cm so far.

Curious about the source of the signal after catching a “…UA…”  I turned the dish to Dresden and monitored the frequency for about an hour. The mostly short appearences of the signal correlated with planes crossing the path to DB0TUD in JO61UA. After an hour or more I got a reflection containing some CW : ” …0TUD JO61…”.