Hi, I'm the proprietor of Etherkit and I wanted to chime in to answer a few questions. First off, I understand that having the name "Beacon" in the name could bring on some concern, but I'm using it in the broad sense of "beacon-like" operation, and as stated below I clearly state on the product page that it's a MEPT. I had originally called it OpenQRSS, but it seemed to outgrow the name with the addition of the other modes.
Originally Posted by AG6AM
I do plan on releasing a 10 meter version soon. I have 28 MHz xtals on order, but they probably won't be here for about 2-3 weeks. So a rough estimate of availability is in about one month.
Thanks for the interest!
Jason Milldrum NT7S
This is a kit I'm looking forward to purchasing and building soon. Just need to get the new ham shack finished where I have a nice comfortable place to work. Thank you Jason for your efforts towards the amateur radio community.
I purchased and built the OpenBeacon, and posted some close-up photos that should give you an idea of the quality of this neat kit. You can find my blogpost at:
One of the things I like about it is that it comes with on-board connectors. The minute you finish building it, you can connect a USB cable to program in your callsign and the mode you wish to operate, plug an antenna in and you're off!
Last edited by AA7EE; 06-20-2012 at 10:39 PM.
Actually you can do two way communicatons via WSPR, although it is not often used in this manner. It requires running WSJT in WSPR mode. More common is WSPR using the stand-alone program as a MEPT.
Originally Posted by KT1F
That's interesting. I remember Bill, N2CQR, who's into QRSS and WSPR, mentioned on his Solder Smoke podcast once about how the FCC regulations don't apply below a certain power level. At the time, I searched around the FCC documents to try to verify if that's true and if so, what that power level is. I couldn't find anything.
Originally Posted by K9FV
I don't remember the context in which Bill was talking about this and he didn't say what I'm about to say but...
If it's really 50mw then that implies that QRSS or WSPR is available to any geek who finds it interesting. If they don't have a license then they could just make up a callsign. They wouldn't be restricted by frequency either. It's kind of a scary and controversial suggestion but if it's legal then why not? I have a feeling that the power limit might be a lot lower than 50mw. I vaguely remember that Bill might have said 10mw which becomes more of challenge and I guess a temptation to crank the power up a bit.
Does anyone here know for sure what the rules are for very low power?
I've "worked" Europe and VK / ZL on 50mw and less using QRSS.
I built it...it works...will have it on the outside antennas soon. Look for a writeup in the August and Sept. CQ Magazine!
73 de K0NEB
Why are all these beacons appearing? What is wrong with calling CQ and having a real 2 way QSO? If you must run a beacon, at least set up a network where they all operate on the same frequency and are separated by time.
The NCDXF/IARU beacon network on 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930 and 28.200 provide a useful service and only take up one narrow portion of the band. Why can't there be a co-ordinated beacon network set up on 10 MHz and leave it at that?
Back to calling CQ on 10.116...
There is nothing wrong with calling CQ and having a real 2 way QSO Dave, so feel free to continue doing it.
QRSS MEPT's like OpenBeacon are a little different from the NCDX/IARU beacon network you mention. Those beacons transmit different power outputs from a maximum of 100W down to 100mW in a series of steps. OpenBeacon puts out a maximum of 300mW. Few, if any, QRSS'ers use more power than that. Most use less, with powers in the 50 - 250mW range being very common. Some hardy souls who are particularly interested in pushing the limits will use less than 50mW - sometimes a lot less. These transmissions are usually received by computer software designed to see transmissions below the noise level. Often, if you tune your receiver to the QRSS portion of the band you'll hear little or nothing, but a receiver connected to a computer running software such as Argo will see a number of signals. On top of that, the segment of band that QRSS signals occupy is pretty narrow - 100-150Hz can accommodate many signals, as a typical QRSS signal takes up around 5Hz bandwidth. With their low power and narrow bandwidth, they are hardly hogging up the band!
So carry on calling CQ on 10.116 and the QRSS'ers will continue with their narrow bandwidth QRPp transmissions. There's room for everyone.