[TenTec] Orion record

John Sheeley wb4qda at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 11 10:53:24 EST 2005

I just found this POSTING  on QRZ.COM
Bill Tippett, W4ZV, of New London, NC correctly copied
code word OMAHA from the N2XE beacon transmitting with
a peak carrier power of .0000406 watts at 3.5455 MHz
on the 80 meter Amateur Radio band. Bill confirmed
reception of the beacon at 2328Z, January 2, 2005. The
precise distance between the two stations is 546.8
miles, establishing Bill's record reception distance
at 13,467,980 miles per watt. Tippett used a Ten Tec
Orion Transceiver with a 1000 foot Beverage antenna
(named after Dr. Harold Beverage who invented it in
the 1920s). 

The N2XE beacon transmits from an Elecraft K1 (heavily
attenuated) using an 80 meter off-center fed dipole,
45 feet AGL (above ground level). The beacon peak
carrier output was measured using an Agilent 8563EC
Spectrum Analyzer at 40.6 uW (40 millionths of a
watt). The beacon transmits a unique code word each
evening. Receiving stations are required to correctly
copy the code word in their report. The word is
published the following morning. 

The N2XE Beacon Project was started in December, 2004
by Paul Stroud, AA4XX, Raleigh, NC and John
Ceccherelli, N2XE, Wappingers Falls, NY with the goal
of having a little fun and to go where no diminutive
signal has gone before. Beacon times and frequencies
are posted daily on the QRP-L reflector
www.kkn.net/archives/html/QRP-L. Tests will continue
on 160, 80 and 40 meters through the end of February

Commenting on his remarkable success, Bill said "I've
spent 25 years on 80 & 160 listening to below noise
level signals. There are at least three factors to
this stuff: Antennas with good signal to noise like
Beverages, a good receiver and the knowledge to use it
and an operator with good ears and knowledge of
propagation--not to mention patience and persistence."

Beacon station operator John Ceccherelli, N2XE, seemed
more exited than Tippett about the achievement, even
though it requires almost no effort on his part. "Hey,
I have to flip the switch, grab a beer and go watch
TV—that’s effort" he's reported saying, adding “I’m
thrilled the record was set by an all-American team
using all-American equipment.” The Ten Tec receiver is
manufactured in Severville, TN and the Elecraft
transmitter is produced in California and offered as a

John wb4qda

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