New beacons - buy, don't build


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

The sensible solution if there is a site available but a lack of engineering expertise or cash resources is to put a proposal to UKuG for funding, then buy parts and antennas instead of building things. Use standard parts where possible, and going for a GPS locked PI4 model is probably best unless you have the technical resources to look at remotely-programmable solutions where you can upload new firmware to experiment with different modes.

Where there is a site and power and internet connection, but a licence can't be issued, folks might consider installing a WebSDR. I find those just as useful as transmit beacons.

Neil G4DBN


Adrian G4UVZ
 

I for one support the concept of a WEBSDR ...It will be a great loss when the Farnham system is taken down.
On the higher mwave bands it is extremely useful to be able to see your signal 'coming back' if there is now one around on the band to give you a report. Effectively operating as an inverse beacon ....and as Neil has pointed out 
no need for a licence!


Alan Beard
 

Hi all,

Leaving it running 24x7 makes my antenna usable by others at any time night or day.

Alan VK2ZIW

On Thu, 09 Sep 2021 08:57:40 -0700, Adrian G4UVZ via groups.io wrote
> I for one support the concept of a WEBSDR ...It will be a great loss when the Farnham system is taken down.
> On the higher mwave bands it is extremely useful to be able to see your signal 'coming back' if there is now one around on the band to give you a report. Effectively operating as an inverse beacon ....and as Neil has pointed out 
> no need for a licence!

---------------------------------------------------
Alan VK2ZIW
Before the Big Bang, God, Sela.
OpenWebMail 2.53, nothing in the cloud.


Clive Elliott GW4MBS
 

Adrian G4UVZ has obtained two Russian TCXO boards with 10GHz output, I now have one of these & am proceeding to set up my own beacon. It will feed a 1W PA to DGU feed to a Sky dish beaming South East. This will serve two functions.

As we have no beacons over here it will alert Adrian as to when conditions are good in my direction. This will allow us to work at times other than our daily sked. For instance last night I had no particular confirmation that conditions were going to be good enough to work on DV at 59+ as I could not hear SCX or KBQ. To hear either of these beacons from down in my valley conditions have to be exceptionally good.

The beacon will be on a rotator so that I can aim it to where I go portable then use it to get a fix & calibrate my portable mast. From several sites around here I can usually hear something of both beacons. They are both on different geographical bearings, but I often receive them on the same heading! So it is difficult to know which is "correct". Hopefully my home beacon will ensure the correct calibration.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


John Fell
 

Good scheme Clive - look forward to seeing it from home one day .
What callsign will it use when you are out/P ?

73
John
G0API
Exemouth 

On Mon, 13 Sept 2021 at 10:54, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io <humber1ton=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Adrian G4UVZ has obtained two Russian TCXO boards with 10GHz output, I now have one of these & am proceeding to set up my own beacon. It will feed a 1W PA to DGU feed to a Sky dish beaming South East. This will serve two functions.

As we have no beacons over here it will alert Adrian as to when conditions are good in my direction. This will allow us to work at times other than our daily sked. For instance last night I had no particular confirmation that conditions were going to be good enough to work on DV at 59+ as I could not hear SCX or KBQ. To hear either of these beacons from down in my valley conditions have to be exceptionally good.

The beacon will be on a rotator so that I can aim it to where I go portable then use it to get a fix & calibrate my portable mast. From several sites around here I can usually hear something of both beacons. They are both on different geographical bearings, but I often receive them on the same heading! So it is difficult to know which is "correct". Hopefully my home beacon will ensure the correct calibration.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


Clive Elliott GW4MBS
 

Umh not yet worked that one out yet.


On 13/09/2021 11:20, John Fell wrote:
Good scheme Clive - look forward to seeing it from home one day .
What callsign will it use when you are out/P ?

73
John
G0API
Exemouth 

On Mon, 13 Sept 2021 at 10:54, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io <humber1ton=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Adrian G4UVZ has obtained two Russian TCXO boards with 10GHz output, I now have one of these & am proceeding to set up my own beacon. It will feed a 1W PA to DGU feed to a Sky dish beaming South East. This will serve two functions.

As we have no beacons over here it will alert Adrian as to when conditions are good in my direction. This will allow us to work at times other than our daily sked. For instance last night I had no particular confirmation that conditions were going to be good enough to work on DV at 59+ as I could not hear SCX or KBQ. To hear either of these beacons from down in my valley conditions have to be exceptionally good.

The beacon will be on a rotator so that I can aim it to where I go portable then use it to get a fix & calibrate my portable mast. From several sites around here I can usually hear something of both beacons. They are both on different geographical bearings, but I often receive them on the same heading! So it is difficult to know which is "correct". Hopefully my home beacon will ensure the correct calibration.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!

--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


Andy G4JNT
 

Tis for purposes like this I maintained G8IMR. Just sign call sign /B. 

On Mon, 13 Sep 2021 at 11:22, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io <humber1ton=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

Umh not yet worked that one out yet.


On 13/09/2021 11:20, John Fell wrote:
Good scheme Clive - look forward to seeing it from home one day .
What callsign will it use when you are out/P ?

73
John
G0API
Exemouth 

On Mon, 13 Sept 2021 at 10:54, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io <humber1ton=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Adrian G4UVZ has obtained two Russian TCXO boards with 10GHz output, I now have one of these & am proceeding to set up my own beacon. It will feed a 1W PA to DGU feed to a Sky dish beaming South East. This will serve two functions.

As we have no beacons over here it will alert Adrian as to when conditions are good in my direction. This will allow us to work at times other than our daily sked. For instance last night I had no particular confirmation that conditions were going to be good enough to work on DV at 59+ as I could not hear SCX or KBQ. To hear either of these beacons from down in my valley conditions have to be exceptionally good.

The beacon will be on a rotator so that I can aim it to where I go portable then use it to get a fix & calibrate my portable mast. From several sites around here I can usually hear something of both beacons. They are both on different geographical bearings, but I often receive them on the same heading! So it is difficult to know which is "correct". Hopefully my home beacon will ensure the correct calibration.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!

--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!

--
Andy (out keeping fit)


Clive Elliott GW4MBS
 

Some years ago I tried to reinstate G8ADP but was told I couldn't have two callsigns. But I wonder if an approach was made specifying it's purpose would carry any weight or maybe that is whole can of worms?

I suppose an option might be to remote operate the beacon so when I arrive at my portable I could listen as a SWL get a bearing then shut down the beacon then start my operations as GW4MBS/P. But then people who might rely on hearing the beacon would be misled by it being off air?

--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


Andy G4JNT
 

Nothing to stop you using your same call sign from two locations. ESP if one was /B 

On Mon, 13 Sep 2021 at 11:42, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io <humber1ton=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Some years ago I tried to reinstate G8ADP but was told I couldn't have two callsigns. But I wonder if an approach was made specifying it's purpose would carry any weight or maybe that is whole can of worms?

I suppose an option might be to remote operate the beacon so when I arrive at my portable I could listen as a SWL get a bearing then shut down the beacon then start my operations as GW4MBS/P. But then people who might rely on hearing the beacon would be misled by it being off air?

--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!

--
Andy (out keeping fit)


Clive Elliott GW4MBS
 

Ok I'll have to read up on that, so panic over then.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

I thought personal beacons in the 10.368 GHz bit of the band were not allowed?  In Schedule 2 of the licence, that segment is not listed.  The low and high ends of the 3cm band are, but nothing between 10.125 and 10.400.

The notes say:

Notes to schedule 2

(a) The Unattended Operation of Beacons is only permitted within the frequency bands:

  I. Which are listed in the first column of Schedule 2;

  or II. which are above 75500 MHz and are listed in the first column of Schedule 1 providing that such operation is not within 50 km of NGR SK 985640 and NGR SE202577.

(b) Beacons may operate with a maximum power level of 25 W e.r.p. pep.

My reading of the regs suggest that *unattended* personal beacons in the 10.368 slot are not permitted at any power. If that's the case, is it safe to say that remote control operation in that band is perfectly OK at any licenced power level? If so, perhaps that is the way to go so you can crank up the gas to a watt into a 60cm dish, which would give you at least a kilowatt ERP.

Neil G4DBN


On 13/09/2021 12:01, Andy G4JNT wrote:
Nothing to stop you using your same call sign from two locations. ESP if one was /B 


Gedas
 

Good day Clive. Are these beacon boards the ones from the Ukraine? If so and are the ones from the VHF-Design I could share some measurements I have made here on one as I have plans to activate a 10 GHz beacon in my part of the USA (EN70).

Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 5:54 AM, Clive Elliott GW4MBS via groups.io wrote:

Adrian G4UVZ has obtained two Russian TCXO boards with 10GHz output, I now have one of these & am proceeding to set up my own beacon. It will feed a 1W PA to DGU feed to a Sky dish beaming South East. This will serve two functions.

As we have no beacons over here it will alert Adrian as to when conditions are good in my direction. This will allow us to work at times other than our daily sked. For instance last night I had no particular confirmation that conditions were going to be good enough to work on DV at 59+ as I could not hear SCX or KBQ. To hear either of these beacons from down in my valley conditions have to be exceptionally good.

The beacon will be on a rotator so that I can aim it to where I go portable then use it to get a fix & calibrate my portable mast. From several sites around here I can usually hear something of both beacons. They are both on different geographical bearings, but I often receive them on the same heading! So it is difficult to know which is "correct". Hopefully my home beacon will ensure the correct calibration.
--
Clive GW4MBS (ex-G8ADP)
Pottering on 6m - 3cm in a valley in IO71XW where any QSO is a triumph of optimism over geography!


Murray Niman
 

Hi Neil

Sec-10 unfortunately covers too many different topics and thus isnt very clear. At some point is due for a major overhaul. As it stands....

The key thing about all Personal beacons must be that they are genuinely for personal use - NEVER general reception, and thus comply with 11(4) of the Ofcom licence (the same condition which is the basis for needing NoVs for repeaters etc, whilst permitting personal hotspots, RAYNET talkthru etc )

The Section-10(1) referral to Schedule-2 merely is whether that can be unattended (as opposed to attended) personal use - and if so then indeed 25W erp is the limit along with a list of  spectral and geographic limitations. For 10GHz , 10368 is not listed in schedule-2 so no unattended - but if you were attending that is another matter 

Sec 10(4)-10(7) are focussed on Remote Control which is an entirely distinct and more narrowly defined topic for failsafe, adequately-secure  remote control. For Full licensees only, 10(7) permits higher power control links for such (as opposed to 500mW for lower licensees  - or more usefully nowadays by other non-amateur means )

BTW Any rf link for  remote control must be for that explicit purpose and cannot be twisted for general use - so no cheating am afraid

regards

 Murray G6JYB

PS On current trends I would expect 10GHz to tighten further as we have already experienced with rejections for some X-band beacon apps. Schedule-2 is quite old and still implies that some of 10.0-10.1 is usable,  but in recent years the RSGB bandplans have had a Primary User caution zone over all of it  (Note-4 in the band plan), and we suspect the PU is increasingly higher in the band


Oguzhan Kayhan
 

Hello all,
Actually I am planning to buy ( actually preordered) one of that vhf design boards for first 3cm beacon of TA area. Probably it will serve only for a few hams that has an lnb and a sat dish.. 

I am planning to drive a slot antenna for this purpose. But the power is an issue.

I just wonder the details of  "mentioned " 1w PA or any advices for a cheap solution that I can use in km69 area.

Thanks a lot

De TA2NC






13 Eyl 2021 Pzt 20:16 tarihinde Murray Niman <g6jyb@...> şunu yazdı:

Hi Neil

Sec-10 unfortunately covers too many different topics and thus isnt very clear. At some point is due for a major overhaul. As it stands....

The key thing about all Personal beacons must be that they are genuinely for personal use - NEVER general reception, and thus comply with 11(4) of the Ofcom licence (the same condition which is the basis for needing NoVs for repeaters etc, whilst permitting personal hotspots, RAYNET talkthru etc )

The Section-10(1) referral to Schedule-2 merely is whether that can be unattended (as opposed to attended) personal use - and if so then indeed 25W erp is the limit along with a list of  spectral and geographic limitations. For 10GHz , 10368 is not listed in schedule-2 so no unattended - but if you were attending that is another matter 

Sec 10(4)-10(7) are focussed on Remote Control which is an entirely distinct and more narrowly defined topic for failsafe, adequately-secure  remote control. For Full licensees only, 10(7) permits higher power control links for such (as opposed to 500mW for lower licensees  - or more usefully nowadays by other non-amateur means )

BTW Any rf link for  remote control must be for that explicit purpose and cannot be twisted for general use - so no cheating am afraid

regards

 Murray G6JYB

PS On current trends I would expect 10GHz to tighten further as we have already experienced with rejections for some X-band beacon apps. Schedule-2 is quite old and still implies that some of 10.0-10.1 is usable,  but in recent years the RSGB bandplans have had a Primary User caution zone over all of it  (Note-4 in the band plan), and we suspect the PU is increasingly higher in the band


--
73
de TA2NC


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

Hi Murray, I was thinking that for one of Clive's specific use-cases, he could operate his home station remotely, perhaps using something like Teamviewer, so still be able to operate a 10 Ghz attended station at full power, just like if he was at home, including steering the dish to point at others with whom he was testing.

His other use-case, leaving a very low power beacon at home for dish alignment, looks like a non-starter at 10368, unless he has remote control as above.

Thanks, Neil G4DBN

On 13/09/2021 18:16, Murray Niman wrote:
Hi Neil

Sec-10 unfortunately covers too many different topics and thus isnt very clear. At some point is due for a major overhaul. As it stands....

The key thing about all Personal beacons must be that they are genuinely for personal use - NEVER general reception, and thus comply with 11(4) of the Ofcom licence (the same condition which is the basis for needing NoVs for repeaters etc, whilst permitting personal hotspots, RAYNET talkthru etc )

The Section-10(1) referral to Schedule-2 merely is whether that can be unattended (as opposed to attended) personal use - and if so then indeed 25W erp is the limit along with a list of  spectral and geographic limitations. For 10GHz , 10368 is not listed in schedule-2 so no unattended - but if you were attending that is another matter

Sec 10(4)-10(7) are focussed on Remote Control which is an entirely distinct and more narrowly defined topic for failsafe, adequately-secure  remote control. For Full licensees only, 10(7) permits higher power control links for such (as opposed to 500mW for lower licensees  - or more usefully nowadays by other non-amateur means )

BTW Any rf link for  remote control must be for that explicit purpose and cannot be twisted for general use - so no cheating am afraid

regards

 Murray G6JYB

PS On current trends I would expect 10GHz to tighten further as we have already experienced with rejections for some X-band beacon apps. Schedule-2 is quite old and still implies that some of 10.0-10.1 is usable,  but in recent years the RSGB bandplans have had a Primary User caution zone over all of it  (Note-4 in the band plan), and we suspect the PU is increasingly higher in the band


Gedas
 

I am hoping this may be of value to others. I am in process of building a 10 GHz beacon for here at my QTH. It will be based on the VHF Design uW module.

My very first concern was it's spectral purity since I live about 5 miles from an AIR National Guard base. I am greeted by very low flying F-16's and A-10 warthogs (to my delight). In any event I wanted to ensure no spurs or harmonics from my beacon were non-compliant with FCC spectral regulations.

This plot was obtained by feeding the 10,368.3 MHz signal (in beacon mode) directly into my Agilent SA. Needless to say it is not the cleanest signal I have ever seen. They generate a signal which feeds a doubler then small amplifier so signals begin to appear at 5 GHz leaking through. Many of the harmonics and spurs will be handled via the beacon slot ant and low power DEMI SSPA I plan to use. We just wanted to ensure that we did not get the attention of the USAF as they buzz overhead several hundred feet above the antenna. I had two units, both tested identical.

s
Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 2:00 PM, Oguzhan Kayhan wrote:

Hello all,
Actually I am planning to buy ( actually preordered) one of that vhf design boards for first 3cm beacon of TA area. Probably it will serve only for a few hams that has an lnb and a sat dish.. 

I am planning to drive a slot antenna for this purpose. But the power is an issue.

I just wonder the details of  "mentioned " 1w PA or any advices for a cheap solution that I can use in km69 area.

Thanks a lot

De TA2NC






13 Eyl 2021 Pzt 20:16 tarihinde Murray Niman <g6jyb@...> şunu yazdı:
Hi Neil

Sec-10 unfortunately covers too many different topics and thus isnt very clear. At some point is due for a major overhaul. As it stands....

The key thing about all Personal beacons must be that they are genuinely for personal use - NEVER general reception, and thus comply with 11(4) of the Ofcom licence (the same condition which is the basis for needing NoVs for repeaters etc, whilst permitting personal hotspots, RAYNET talkthru etc )

The Section-10(1) referral to Schedule-2 merely is whether that can be unattended (as opposed to attended) personal use - and if so then indeed 25W erp is the limit along with a list of  spectral and geographic limitations. For 10GHz , 10368 is not listed in schedule-2 so no unattended - but if you were attending that is another matter 

Sec 10(4)-10(7) are focussed on Remote Control which is an entirely distinct and more narrowly defined topic for failsafe, adequately-secure  remote control. For Full licensees only, 10(7) permits higher power control links for such (as opposed to 500mW for lower licensees  - or more usefully nowadays by other non-amateur means )

BTW Any rf link for  remote control must be for that explicit purpose and cannot be twisted for general use - so no cheating am afraid

regards

 Murray G6JYB

PS On current trends I would expect 10GHz to tighten further as we have already experienced with rejections for some X-band beacon apps. Schedule-2 is quite old and still implies that some of 10.0-10.1 is usable,  but in recent years the RSGB bandplans have had a Primary User caution zone over all of it  (Note-4 in the band plan), and we suspect the PU is increasingly higher in the band

--
73
de TA2NC


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

Hi Gedas, how good is the close-in phase/amplitude noise within 20 kHz and 200 kHz of the carrier? Are there any significant in-band spurs?

Neil G4DBN

On 13/09/2021 20:39, Gedas wrote:

I am hoping this may be of value to others. I am in process of building a 10 GHz beacon for here at my QTH. It will be based on the VHF Design uW module.



Gedas
 

Hi Neil. Yes there are inadvertent signals and noise close by. I ran some plots earlier but cannot seem to locate them.

Will be happy to rerun them and post later today. I seem to remember it made a significant difference whether the external 10 MHz reference was used and then the cleanliness of that reference.

I will test first w/o any external reference.

Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 3:44 PM, Neil Smith G4DBN wrote:

Hi Gedas, how good is the close-in phase/amplitude noise within 20 kHz and 200 kHz of the carrier? Are there any significant in-band spurs?

Neil G4DBN

On 13/09/2021 20:39, Gedas wrote:

I am hoping this may be of value to others. I am in process of building a 10 GHz beacon for here at my QTH. It will be based on the VHF Design uW module.



Gedas
 

Here are some additional plots of the Ukrainian beacon module focusing in closer to the primary signal. No ext 10 MHz ref was used so none of the close in spurs will be visible but the phase noise is......best grab your buckets. A small HP lab PS was used and a 2200uF Aluminum electrolytic cap placed across the modules power leads for good measure. The SA ref level was roughly adjusted to match the peak amplitude of the 10 Ghz signal. The only thing I will do to satisfy my own curiosity will be to power the module off battery to eliminate any PS induced noise.


Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 3:44 PM, Neil Smith G4DBN wrote:

Hi Gedas, how good is the close-in phase/amplitude noise within 20 kHz and 200 kHz of the carrier? Are there any significant in-band spurs?

Neil G4DBN

On 13/09/2021 20:39, Gedas wrote:

I am hoping this may be of value to others. I am in process of building a 10 GHz beacon for here at my QTH. It will be based on the VHF Design uW module.



Gedas
 

Hi Neil. Hope these are of value to all the members. If you or anyone else needs some additional testing done just hollar and let me know how I can help. Today I will be consuming countless kW's of power warming up and using a bunch of TE down in the dungeon running some RL tests for a new uW op here in the states. 73

Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 5:19 PM, Gedas wrote:

Here are some additional plots of the Ukrainian beacon module focusing in closer to the primary signal. No ext 10 MHz ref was used so none of the close in spurs will be visible but the phase noise is......best grab your buckets. A small HP lab PS was used and a 2200uF Aluminum electrolytic cap placed across the modules power leads for good measure. The SA ref level was roughly adjusted to match the peak amplitude of the 10 Ghz signal. The only thing I will do to satisfy my own curiosity will be to power the module off battery to eliminate any PS induced noise.


Gedas, W8BYA EN70JT

Gallery at http://w8bya.com (under repair)
Light travels faster than sound....
This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
On 9/13/2021 3:44 PM, Neil Smith G4DBN wrote:

Hi Gedas, how good is the close-in phase/amplitude noise within 20 kHz and 200 kHz of the carrier? Are there any significant in-band spurs?

Neil G4DBN

On 13/09/2021 20:39, Gedas wrote:

I am hoping this may be of value to others. I am in process of building a 10 GHz beacon for here at my QTH. It will be based on the VHF Design uW module.