F1ZUY: Hrd Beacon #71 on 23 cm

November 8th, 2021

A post by F6HTJ on Facebook informed about the new french beacon F1ZUY on 1296.980 in JN19BQ.

Despite the dish is in the lower parking position at present, I turned it towards France and gave it a little elevation of 4 degrees. Very soon the first refections on airplanes could be seen 300 Hz below the given frequency. The distance to the beacon is 440 km.

The crossing of RYR70SX was strong enought to copy first fragments of the callsign. The beacon is transmitting in A1A with 5 W into a big wheel. Nearly every passenger or freight aircraft, crossing the path, causes reflections.

I am usually happy about every beacon, going on air. As there are many beacons in Europe, the selection of the frequency and its coordination is essential. As many national regualtors grant licenses for a fixed frequency only, a frequency coordination has to be done, before the beacon can go on air. F1ZUY is an example for a beacon that can be heard in a distance of several hundreds of km under normal propagation conditions. Tropospheric ducting can extend the distance to more than 1000 km, probably interfering with other beacons on the same frequency “far” away. So F1ZUY is also a bad example for the lack of coordination by the IARU R1 Beacon Coordinator. It doesn´t matter, whether the keeper didn´t know about the need of beacon coordination or just ignored it. As soon, as LA9SHF will go on air on it´s coordinated frequency of 1296.980 MHz, interference will occur in cases of tropospheric ducting over the North Sea, which happens quite often. Bad luck for beacon observers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark.

So I appeal to all beacon keepers: Please contact the IARU R1 Beacon Coordinator before setting up a beacon or applying for a license!