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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beacon Operations

On Saturday 24 May I connected my newly acquired K1EL keyer to a little homebrew 10 meter beacon transmitter that I'd built about 10 years ago. (The transmitter is based on the "Lil Slugger" design by Doug DeMaw -- about 1 watt out.) Ten meters seems pretty dead these days, so when I turned the thing on and put it on the air, I had the feeling that no one would hear me. It sort of felt like throwing a message-in-a-bottle into the ocean. I put my e-mail address in the beacon transmission. I've had the thing on the air very intermittently over the last few days.
Imagine my surprise when this morning my e-mail box contained a message from Andre in Germany. He'd heard the beacon in its first day on the air! Wow!

During daylight hours I can hear beacons from all over Europe on ten.

I have left space in my "beacon box" for a very QRPP 30 meter transmitter. The K1EL keyer will generate QRSS. Where is the best place to get a crystal for 10.140 Mhz?

See if you can hear my beacon on 28.240 MHz. I'll have it on during daylight hours (Italian daylight hours).

I'll post some pictures soon.


  1. There was a good opening on 10m over the weekend in Europe, presumably Sporadic-E. So, at last there was somebody to talk to on the higher HF bands.

    I'll listen for your beacon later today.

  2. The "Knights QRSS" reflector (google for references) is a good place to ask for a 10.140 MHz XTAL. That said, IARU r1 discourages beacons on bands below 14 MHz (10, 7, ...) and activity around 10.140 MHz is intermittent per-choice. An acronym has been found: M.E.P.T. (manned experimental propagation transmission).

    If you want to try some 10m QRSS, have a look/listen to the "Italian 28322 QRSS project" (http://28322.blogspot.com). Rome has already a good coverage though!

  3. Bill, for a 10140 kHz crystal try:



    Gerard PA3BCB, a regular SolderSmoke listener


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