Reverse digibeacons for microwaves


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands - even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.

I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360 degrees would take hours.

A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.

The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence - can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.

Neil G4DBN


Andy G4JNT
 

I remember discussing this idea in a Microwave Committee meeting back in the 1990s when teh iNet had barely started.   Mobile phones were GSM then, and there was a suggestion that a remote microwave receiver could be set up using a single SSB channel with audio replayed  via a GSM module.
Users would transmit at the reverse beacon,  phone up the module, enter a DTMF code and get a few minutes of replay of their signals.  It would be financed by making the reverse beacon a (low cost) premium rate number.
 It never went anywhere, of course, and I doubt it would even have been very effective, as GSM coding is not amenable to single tones and noisy signals - it works well with clean voice but not much else.  But was an idea floated at the time.

It took several years and the development of the internet before the first Web SDRs appeared.



On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 10:08, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:
Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on
microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit
licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No
licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode
receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands
- even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the
amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have
hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced
power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.

I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an
antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a
couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral
arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a
bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360
degrees would take hours.

A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it
for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes
would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair
number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less
than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.

The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver
maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into
one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the
higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an
amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are
hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence
- can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and
pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave
experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.

Neil G4DBN







Ed G3VPF
 

Great idea, I have access to a number of sites that would host a receiver but where a transmit system would not be allowed.

 

Can the Microwave Committee fund the development of suitable software to run on low cost hardware such Raspberry Pi or Arduino? Or is there something suitable already available?

 

Ed G3VPF

 

Sent from Mail for Windows

 

From: Andy G4JNT
Sent: 09 September 2021 11:17
To: UK Microwaves groups.io
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Reverse digibeacons for microwaves

 

I remember discussing this idea in a Microwave Committee meeting back in the 1990s when teh iNet had barely started.   Mobile phones were GSM then, and there was a suggestion that a remote microwave receiver could be set up using a single SSB channel with audio replayed  via a GSM module.

Users would transmit at the reverse beacon,  phone up the module, enter a DTMF code and get a few minutes of replay of their signals.  It would be financed by making the reverse beacon a (low cost) premium rate number.

 It never went anywhere, of course, and I doubt it would even have been very effective, as GSM coding is not amenable to single tones and noisy signals - it works well with clean voice but not much else.  But was an idea floated at the time.

 

It took several years and the development of the internet before the first Web SDRs appeared.

 

Andy

 

 

 

On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 10:08, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:

Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on
microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit
licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No
licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode
receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands
- even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the
amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have
hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced
power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.

I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an
antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a
couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral
arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a
bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360
degrees would take hours.

A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it
for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes
would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair
number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less
than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.

The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver
maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into
one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the
higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an
amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are
hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence
- can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and
pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave
experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.

Neil G4DBN





 


Alan Beard
 

Hi all,

My two, one on 3398 and 2301 and the other on DC bands have been running for months now.

A HackRF One with a horn with broadband feed for 2.3 and 3.4 GHz and the software is OpenWebRX.

http://www.unixservice.com.au:8073

Also are filters inline for 2.3 and 3.4GHz, email me if you need me to change the band.

Here in Western Sydney, NSW Australia, I have four hams around me "playing".

On a Men's Shed building is the DC bands WebSDR, a SDRplay RSP1.
www.nepeanshed.org:8073

Alan VK2ZIW



On Thu, 9 Sep 2021 11:10:39 +0000, Ed G3VPF wrote
> Great idea, I have access to a number of sites that would host a receiver but where a transmit system would not be allowed.
>  
> Can the Microwave Committee fund the development of suitable software to run on low cost hardware such Raspberry Pi or Arduino? Or is there something suitable already available?
>  
> Ed G3VPF
>  
> Sent from Mail for Windows
>  
>
> From: Andy G4JNT
> Sent: 09 September 2021 11:17
> To: UK Microwaves groups.io
> Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Reverse digibeacons for microwaves
>  
>
> I remember discussing this idea in a Microwave Committee meeting back in the 1990s when teh iNet had barely started.   Mobile phones were GSM then, and there was a suggestion that a remote microwave receiver could be set up using a single SSB channel with audio replayed  via a GSM module.
>
> Users would transmit at the reverse beacon,  phone up the module, enter a DTMF code and get a few minutes of replay of their signals.  It would be financed by making the reverse beacon a (low cost) premium rate number.
>
>  It never went anywhere, of course, and I doubt it would even have been very effective, as GSM coding is not amenable to single tones and noisy signals - it works well with clean voice but not much else.  But was an idea floated at the time.
>
>  
>
> It took several years and the development of the internet before the first Web SDRs appeared.
>
>  
>
> Andy
>
> www.g4jnt.com
>
>  
>  
>  
>
> On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 10:08, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:

> Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on
> microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit
> licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No
> licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode
> receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands
> - even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the
> amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have
> hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced
> power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.
>
> I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an
> antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a
> couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral
> arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a
> bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360
> degrees would take hours.
>
> A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it
> for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes
> would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair
> number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less
> than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.
>
> The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver
> maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into
> one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the
> higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an
> amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are
> hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence
> - can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and
> pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave
> experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.
>
> Neil G4DBN
>
>

>
>
>  

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


Lou Blasco
 

Neither are alive as of a few minutes ago.


Regards

Lou
VK3ALB


On 10/09/2021 7:14 am, Alan Beard wrote:
Hi all,

My two, one on 3398 and 2301 and the other on DC bands have been running for months now.

A HackRF One with a horn with broadband feed for 2.3 and 3.4 GHz and the software is OpenWebRX.


Also are filters inline for 2.3 and 3.4GHz, email me if you need me to change the band.

Here in Western Sydney, NSW Australia, I have four hams around me "playing".

On a Men's Shed building is the DC bands WebSDR, a SDRplay RSP1.

Alan VK2ZIW



On Thu, 9 Sep 2021 11:10:39 +0000, Ed G3VPF wrote
> Great idea, I have access to a number of sites that would host a receiver but where a transmit system would not be allowed.
>  
> Can the Microwave Committee fund the development of suitable software to run on low cost hardware such Raspberry Pi or Arduino? Or is there something suitable already available?
>  
> Ed G3VPF
>  
> Sent from Mail for Windows
>  
>
> From: Andy G4JNT
> Sent: 09 September 2021 11:17
> To: UK Microwaves groups.io
> Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Reverse digibeacons for microwaves
>  
>
> I remember discussing this idea in a Microwave Committee meeting back in the 1990s when teh iNet had barely started.   Mobile phones were GSM then, and there was a suggestion that a remote microwave receiver could be set up using a single SSB channel with audio replayed  via a GSM module.
>
> Users would transmit at the reverse beacon,  phone up the module, enter a DTMF code and get a few minutes of replay of their signals.  It would be financed by making the reverse beacon a (low cost) premium rate number.
>
>  It never went anywhere, of course, and I doubt it would even have been very effective, as GSM coding is not amenable to single tones and noisy signals - it works well with clean voice but not much else.  But was an idea floated at the time.
>
>  
>
> It took several years and the development of the internet before the first Web SDRs appeared.
>
>  
>
> Andy
>
> www.g4jnt.com
>
>  
>  
>  
>
> On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 10:08, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:

> Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on
> microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit
> licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No
> licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode
> receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands
> - even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the
> amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have
> hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced
> power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.
>
> I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an
> antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a
> couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral
> arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a
> bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360
> degrees would take hours.
>
> A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it
> for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes
> would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair
> number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less
> than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.
>
> The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver
> maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into
> one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the
> higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an
> amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are
> hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence
> - can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and
> pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave
> experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.
>
> Neil G4DBN
>
>

>
>
>  

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


Alan Beard
 

Hi Lou,

You are right. Though my home one ran for weeks without a hitch until yesterday
when I logged in and saw, the USB device was not "seen". So I swapped out the HackRF One
and saw it was working. Now, though the USB was "seen" it wasn't running so I've added
a "cron" job to restart it every hour.

The Men's Shed one, is working but I forgot the ".au" in the URL.
www.nepeanshed.org.au:8073

Alan VK2ZIW

On Fri, 10 Sep 2021 08:48:42 +1000, Lou Blasco wrote
> Neither are alive as of a few minutes ago.
>
> Regards
>
> Lou
> VK3ALB
>
> On 10/09/2021 7:14 am, Alan Beard wrote:
>
Hi all,
>
>

> My two, one on 3398 and 2301 and the other on DC bands have been running for months now.
>
>

> A HackRF One with a horn with broadband feed for 2.3 and 3.4 GHz and the software is OpenWebRX.
>
>

> http://www.unixservice.com.au:8073
>
>

> Also are filters inline for 2.3 and 3.4GHz, email me if you need me to change the band.
>
>

> Here in Western Sydney, NSW Australia, I have four hams around me "playing".
>
>

> On a Men's Shed building is the DC bands WebSDR, a SDRplay RSP1.
> www.nepeanshed.org:8073
>
>

> Alan VK2ZIW
>
>

>
>

>
>

> On Thu, 9 Sep 2021 11:10:39 +0000, Ed G3VPF wrote
> > Great idea, I have access to a number of sites that would host a receiver but where a transmit system would not be allowed.
> >  
> > Can the Microwave Committee fund the development of suitable software to run on low cost hardware such Raspberry Pi or Arduino? Or is there something suitable already available?
> >  
> > Ed G3VPF
> >  
> > Sent from Mail for Windows
> >  
> >
> > From: Andy G4JNT
> > Sent: 09 September 2021 11:17
> > To: UK Microwaves groups.io
> > Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Reverse digibeacons for microwaves
> >  
> >
> > I remember discussing this idea in a Microwave Committee meeting back in the 1990s when teh iNet had barely started.   Mobile phones were GSM then, and there was a suggestion that a remote microwave receiver could be set up using a single SSB channel with audio replayed  via a GSM module.
> >
> > Users would transmit at the reverse beacon,  phone up the module, enter a DTMF code and get a few minutes of replay of their signals.  It would be financed by making the reverse beacon a (low cost) premium rate number.
> >
> >  It never went anywhere, of course, and I doubt it would even have been very effective, as GSM coding is not amenable to single tones and noisy signals - it works well with clean voice but not much else.  But was an idea floated at the time.
> >
> >  
> >
> > It took several years and the development of the internet before the first Web SDRs appeared.
> >
> >  
> >
> > Andy
> >
> > www.g4jnt.com
> >
> >  
> >  
> >  
> >
> > On Thu, 9 Sept 2021 at 10:08, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:

> > Just imagine a set of reverse beacons running digimode receivers on
> > microwave bands, located at a mix of good remote sites where transmit
> > licences can't be issued, plus a *lot* of domestic chimneys.  No
> > licencing issues, low running costs, and if they are just digimode
> > receivers without analogue outputs, very low internet bandwidth demands
> > - even with a waterfall display.  Think of something similar to the
> > amateur-run ADS-B nodes that are all over the place. You could have
> > hundreds of the things.  Folks using the network could use full licenced
> > power on attended transmit rather than being limited to beacon power.
> >
> > I could imagine running an attended transmit system which rotates an
> > antenna to point at each of the reverse beacon receivers and sends a
> > couple of minutes of digimode to each in turn, or a big omni or sectoral
> > arrangement with lots of power. Looking into skewed paths might need a
> > bit more creativity, as using a sharp dish to look at an entire 360
> > degrees would take hours.
> >
> > A waterfall would be useful, as would GPS locking, so you could use it
> > for quick checks using carrier. Longer-term experiments using digimodes
> > would perhaps be more useful for analysis.  Once you get to a fair
> > number of these reverse digibeacons, it might encourage folks with less
> > than optimal local conditions to try transmitting, even from home.
> >
> > The receive nodes could feed into a central node that could deliver
> > maps, graphs and charts showing current conditions, or just feed into
> > one of the existing services like PSKReporter if it would accept the
> > higher microwave bands.  Best thing perhaps is that you don't need an
> > amateur radio licence to run a reverse digibeacon, so folks who are
> > hackers interested in radio hackery - but not enough to go for a licence
> > - can have a dabble. It could generate email alerts or do reporting and
> > pretty charts via social media to raise the profile of amateur microwave
> > experimentation and maybe hook in a few of the electronics hackerfolk.
> >
> > Neil G4DBN
> >
> >

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


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


Bo, OZ2M
 

The SARL Next Generation Beacon Programme and Tom, ZR6TG, is working on this online tool: https://www.beacons-sa.co.za/index It is work in progress but looks promising.

Bo
www.rudius.net/oz2m :: www.rfzero.net