Topband: Beacons

Tom Rauch w8ji at
Sun Mar 12 23:12:49 EST 2006

Before anyone attempts to activate a beacon, he should know
the rules, bandplans, and think this through.

My suggestion is to synchronize any beacons to a WWVL time
base with well defined transmitting periods that allow
multiple transmitters on one frequency.

Any really good beacon would probably have to be on 1999 kHz
for a few reasons.

First, power levels in the USA are limited to 100W. Signals
would propagate better on 1999kHz.

Second, the beacon can ONLY run when the operator has direct
control of it. That means we can only run our beacons when
we are able to operate, so we probably would not want them
on the 1800 end.

Third, there is very little space set aside for beacons. So
they will all have to be on the same spot. They will all
probably have to run very good verticals to be useful, and
we should follow the bandplan.

Personally I think unless we are doing a propagation study
the best idea is an established calling frequency and a CQ.
When someone answers, move off!

I've been thinking about this for several years now. I can
easily build a time base synchronized to WWVL. I can easily
install and antenna that won't bother my receivers if I use
a wide split and only 100 watts (legal power). The question
is how useful is a 100W beacon that is ONLY legally able to
transmit when someone is sitting right in the room with it?

If I am sitting in the room, why not CQ??? If I am NOT
sitting in the room, it is an illegal beacon. If you hear a
beacon that runs long periods of time on 160 or 80 in the
USA, you can bet it is illegally operating. Very few people
I know would sit next to a beacon all night.

Knowing the rules, what do people suggest?

73 Tom

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