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5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY
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TOPIC: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY

5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 3 weeks ago #1522

  • ZS6QL
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Member that attended the RTA in Pretoria earlier this year will remember the 5MHz beacon and propagation study presentation by Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV.
Hans suggested to KARTS to set up a 5MHz beacon & monitoring station in support of the SARL 5MHz beacon / propagation research initiative.
KARTS accepted the challenge and we are pleased to announce that a team of club members were selected and to date have progressed well with putting the necessary hardware and software building blocks together in order to meet our target date of 16 November 2013 to complete the first phase of the project.
Progress to date includes the installation of a dedicated 5MHz Inverted V antenna at the clubhouse including some preliminary testing of the PC ALE software that will be utilized to manage the beacon.
Next weekend we will host a workshop in order to integrate all the components together and start actual on air testing.
Please check out this space for more updates soon……..

The Team
Project Manager
Paul De Kock - ZS6EAG
Hardware
Ian Leonard - ZS6TUB
Vivian Dold - ZS6VD
Anton Lombard - ZS6WG
Software
Stewart Moss - ZS6SGM
Jeremy Coppin - RAE Candidate
Antenna
Johan Nortjé - ZS6NJJ
Stephen Stuttard - ZS6SKY
Project Sponsor
Nico van Rensburg - ZS6QL
Admin
Corrie de Beer - ZS6CDB

Stewart & Johan testing the software
Softwaretesting.jpg


Stephen & Johan installing the dedicated antenna
InvertedV.jpg


Snapshot of the PC ALE software being used
SoftwarePCALE.jpg
Last Edit: 5 months, 3 weeks ago by ZS6QL.

Re: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 3 weeks ago #1523

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Some more info.....
From the SARL news bulletin Sunday 27 October 2013:

60 METRE ACTIVITY WEEKEND
The SARL is holding a 60 Metre activity weekend starting at 00:01 on Saturday 9 November and ending at midnight on Sunday evening 10 November.
The activities will be on 5 260 kHz.
The objective is to study propagation conditions between as many stations in as many areas of South Africa and elsewhere as possible.
Make at least one contact in as many time slots as possible.
The time slots are as follows: Saturday and Sunday: 00:01 - 06:00, 06:00 - 10:00, 10:00 - 15:00; 15:00 - 18:00 and 18:00 - Midnight.
Please keep an accurate log, recording both your and the locator of the station you worked and an accurate signal report.
Please at the top of your log give details of your station and the antenna and power used.
Please mail the log to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Thursday 14 November.
All logs received will go into a lucky draw with lots of prizes to be won.
Only stations registered for 5 MHz operation may participate.
Do your bit for propagation research.
The information is required to prepare a report for ICASA to extend the 5 MHz license beyond the end of December 2013.

For more info and to register on the SARL website www.amateurradio.org.za/propresearch.htm

Radio ZS article

File Attachment:

File Name: Amodernapproachtocharacterisethepossiblenew60m5MHzband.pdf
File Size: 349 KB
Last Edit: 5 months, 3 weeks ago by ZS6QL.

Re: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 3 weeks ago #1526

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My radio does not seem to want to transmit anywhere on the 60 meter band.

Comes back with Error!!!

Any suggestions?


73

Clive
ZS6BT

Re: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 2 weeks ago #1538

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Hi Clive,
Martin ZS6BZM visited Verstay and although they have the knowhow to open the FT857 & 897’s their reluctance is due to their argument that 60m is not a legal amateur band and therefore they could loose their ICASA radio dealer’s license.....
In the mean time make use of radios such as the Kenwood TK70 /80 /90 commercial sets which is open on the entire 10m to 80m band.
Some amateur radios are also open such as the Kenwood TS440, etc but they are in the minority.
73
Nico

Re: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 2 weeks ago #1539

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Saturday afternoon saw some serious activity at the clubhouse when the Team arrived to do the necessary in getting the beacon up and running!
t1.JPG


Ian ZS6TUB completed the interface and with the two test setups the final testing started.
Paul ZS6EHG ran the one test setup from his field station setup on the one end of the table while Stewart ZS6SGM & Jeremy configured the software.
The interface gave Ian ZS6TUB and Vivian ZS6VD quite a challenge and the whole story of isolation transformers was questioned.
Stephen ZS6SKY did some adjustments to ensure that the TK70 transmitted only 20 watts.
Once the isolation transformers were removed things when smooth and the entire setup was moved to the storeroom next to the repeater for commissioning.
Nico ZS6QL cleaned out the solder from a PL259 connector and in the process dropped the access solder onto Stephens’s foot!!!!!!......
My humble apologies Stephen, please wear safety footwear next time….
With all systems go and with PSK31 the preferred mode; at exactly 16H50 the beacon went live on air transmitting the message below……..
Please listen out for the ZS6KTS beacon signal on 5.250 MHz transmitting the following at 5min intervals:
ZS6KTS ZS6KTS Beacon QTH KG43cw If you hear this beacon please send a signal report to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The beacon project is proof that we do have the technical expertise in the club, it is a matter of teaming the guys up and the end result is great!
A special thanks to the Team!
Without your dedicated support and active participation this milestone would not have been achieved!
73
Nico

Some photos to tell the story.....and remeber to email your signal reports to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ian ZS6TUB changing some wiring on the interface board
IanZS6TUBcompltingtheinterface.jpg


Some testing to sort things out....
Ianwithsomeassistance.jpg


Test setup on one side of the table
Onetestsetup.jpg


Paul's magic....
Paulsmagic.jpg


The Team with some final testing....
Theteamcheckingthecomms.jpg


Thank goodness the laptop works!
Thankgoodnessthelaptopworks.jpg


The beacon setup!
theBeacon.jpg


Screenshot!
Screenshot.jpg
Last Edit: 5 months, 2 weeks ago by zs6sky.

Re: 5MHz BEACON and PROPAGATION STUDY 5 months, 2 weeks ago #1542

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Our Beacon is up and running, so get active, and get on board
We are looking for reception reports.
Did you know, you can receive the Beacon on a receiver on 5.250 Mhz and then by running an application on you iphone or Android operating system "Samsung Galaxy phones" decode that message, and reply to it without needing any other fancy or expensive equipment

iphone.JPG

Stewart, ZS6SGM decoding the beacon using Paul ZS6EHG's iphone

Stay tuned to KARTS for more updates
Last Edit: 5 months, 2 weeks ago by zs6sky.
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