What's a beacon?
An Amateur Radio Beacon (Beacon) is a radio station that broadcasts a directional characteristic signal. The beacon works on its own on a fixed frequency at a fixed location.
It is controlled by a small logic circuit (microcontroller) which does the actual keying of the radio. The signal tells listeners e.g. the beacon's identification, power output, antenna type and location. The beacon broadcasts the same message in morse code continuously, in fixed intervals or scheduled.
All (german) beacons have - based on a special permit issued by the german Bundesnetzagentur - their own, exclusive call signs. The broadcast frequency has to be in ranges reserved for beacon operation.
Beacons broadcast on all amateur bands. The purpose of the beacon primarily is to alert amateurs to a "band opening".
Besides that the output is used for measurement purposes, for calibration of the own radio station, for adjustment of the own antenna and as a frequency reference.
Amateur radio beacons operate around the world (Information about beacons worldwide).
The AKAFUNK's 10-GHz-Beacon DBØGG
AKAFUNK's beacon transmits on 10.368,850 MHz in the 3cm-band with an output power of 2 W EIRP.
- Locator: JN48NR (9° 7' 30'' East / 48° 43' 45'' North)
- QTH:Universität Stuttgart's Elektrotechnische Institute II, Pfaffenwaldring 74, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, 470 m above sea level.
- 10-GHz-Beacon-TX (OCXO Design by DB6NT)
- Oscillator 108,00885 MHz, multiplied by 96, FSK with shift 800 Hz
- RF Output power: 200 mW
- Slotted waveguide with 16 slots
- Polarization: horizontal
- Antenna gain: about 10 dBi
- Characteristics: omni-directional
- Vertical beamwidth: 3°
- Microcontroller PIC 16F84 (Home made by DL3SFB and DF5SL)
- The controller contains a message generator for the beacon message. The beacon message includes the call sign of the beacon, its locator and additional information (rf output power, antenna type). The controller additionally allows the transmission of answer tones to remote control the beacon via a DTMF tone controller. The built-in A/D-converter (ADC) let the operator measure the output power of the beacon using a directional coupler (for remote maintenance).
If you have copied our beacon's signal and wish to send us a reception report please send us an E-Mail.