CW beacons on 14.100?
I've heard there are propagation beacons on 14.100 from all over the world, spaced out so that you can tell which location is accessible. I've been listening for these when I can in the past year and haven't heard a peep, on the W4AX SDR, on my 20m QRP rig, and my portable SW reciever. Are these a thing of the past?
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Originally Posted by KF5CSW
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I hear the 20m 14.100 beacons all the time, every day. Propagation will dictate which one(s) you can hear.
If you never hear any of them, I suspect your antenna's not so great. I think only the callsign is sent at 100W, then each beacon runs lower and lower power, ending at 100mW or so. It's interesting to note the signal level change when each beacon changes power. It's big.
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Thank you. That leads me to think my antenna is the problem.
Last edited by KF5CSW; 04-11-2012 at 07:16 PM.
Reason: added "that leads me to think"
The 18 beacons around the world are on five different bands 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930 and 28.200 MHz. Each beacon IDs in sequence with the call at 100 Watts followed by four dashes at 100 W, 10 W, 1 W and .1 W. Three minutes to complete the string around the world.. A person hearing any of the signals down to 1 Watt could reasonably expect to make a contact in the direction of the beacon. Propagation beacons are the best indicators of "real time" band openings.
73 Bill WJ5O/BCN 28.289 MHz
it maybe stating the obvius but new opperators might get caught by it, make sure that you are not listening right at 14.100 when your reciever does not have a CW offset readout, some display 14.099.5 when transmitting or recieving a CW signal at 14.100.
73 de Andre PE1RDW
Proud holder of Winlink 2000 ban and DARES ban, both for questioning legality of actions
Originally Posted by WJ5O
The thing that confuses me, is that at the same time I was listening for these beacons, and couldn't hear anything, I was making qrp CW contacts in various locations, including New York, Washington State, and Canada.
That's the fun thing about the higher bands. Incidentally, the New York beacon is off the air.
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There is a very nice beacon monitoring program available called BeaconSee. Connect your rig's audio output to your soundcard and it will record a continuous graphical representation of the received signal strengths of the 18 beacon stations. It can also track them on multiple bands if you enable the rig control feature. It can even catch some beacon signals at inaudible levels. It's pretty interesting: you can see the stepwise decrease in output power for the stronger signals; they look like arrowheads. Also the very faint blips of some subaudible ones.
Originally Posted by WJ5O
I like VE3NEA's Faros for monitoring the NCDXA beacons.
I have left it on all day while at work then come home and there is a record of what my radio heard on which band, signal strength and time of day.
Makes a pretty easy "road map" to follow when figuring out when the bands might be open to any particular part of the world.
CW is a manually controlled, message asynchronous, simplex chat mode used without FEC.
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