Monday, August 26, 2013

Radio propagation beacons

In this article, I'll introduce to you the radio propagation beacons. Have you ever wondered why one day you have listened to a distant station from several thousand miles with good signal and the other day there has been almost no sign of it. In almost all cases, this depends on the HF propagation conditions. And the best way to check the propagation is the world wide beacon system. It is a system of amateur operated beacons that do transmit in CW (telegraphy). Each beacon transmits its callsign every three minutes, no matter if it's day or night. It is sent at 22 words per minute and is followed by four one second dashes. The callsign and the first dash are sent at 100 watts, followed by 3 dashes: 1 at 10 watts, 1 at 1 watt and 1 at 100 milliwats. If you are able to hear all the dashes then the band is really open and the conditions are excellent (and your antenna is working well too).


CallLocation14.10018.11021.15024.93028.200OperatorStatus
4U1UNUnited Nations00:0000:1000:2000:3000:40UNRCOFF3
VE8ATCanada00:1000:2000:3000:4000:50RAC/NARCOK1
W6WXUnited States00:2000:3000:4000:5001:00NCDXFOK
KH6WOHawaii00:3000:4000:5001:0001:10KH6BYUOK
ZL6BNew Zealand00:4000:5001:0001:1001:20NZARTOK
VK6RBPAustralia00:5001:0001:1001:2001:30WIAOK
JA2IGYJapan01:0001:1001:2001:3001:40JARLOK
RR9ORussia01:1001:2001:3001:4001:50SRROK
VR2BHong Kong01:2001:3001:4001:5002:00HARTSOK
4S7BSri Lanka01:3001:4001:5002:0002:10RSSLOK
ZS6DNSouth Africa01:4001:5002:0002:1002:20ZS6DNOK
5Z4BKenya01:5002:0002:1002:2002:30ARSKOK
4X6TUIsrael02:0002:1002:2002:3002:40IARCON8
OH2BFinland02:1002:2002:3002:4002:50SRALOK
CS3BMadeira02:2002:3002:4002:5000:00ARRMOK
LU4AAArgentina02:3002:4002:5000:0000:10RCAOFF?6
OA4BPeru02:4002:5000:0000:1000:20RCPOK
YV5BVenezuela02:5000:0000:1000:2000:30RCVOFF4

Thanks to NCDXF/IARU for the transmission schedule.

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