SARL 2m Beacon Programme Taking Shape

The SARL 2 metre beacon plan, which will see two new beacons, is taking shape.

This week the project was completed, two beacons will be erected, one in the Bethlehem area and the other one in the Karoo.

Multiple Yagi antenna are being considered to get the widest possible coverage. The project will be discussed at the next joint SARL AMSAT SA VHF workshop on Saturday 25 May 2019 at the National Amateur Radio Centre.

Another major discussion is the debate "Horizontal versus Vertical antenna polarisation for long distance VHF communication." The subject has for several years been surrounded by arguments that Vertical polarisation surpasses Horizontal Polarisation in achieving long distance communication on VHF with equal opposite arguments. Dick Coates ZS6BUN has carried out extensive technical paper research and reviewed experiential data from world-wide resources and will present his findings and share his own experiences at the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the SARL National Amateur Radio Centre from 08:30 and ends at 13:00. Midmorning light refreshments will be served. The registration fee is R50 for SARL and AMSAT SA Members and R100 for non-members.


Two Additional VHF beacons

Two Additional VHF beacons

The SARL Beacon Workgroup has been engaged in putting together a proposal for two additional beacons to be used for propagation studies.

One beacon is to be deployed near Bethlehem in the Free State and a second beacon somewhere in the centre of the country equidistant from the Western Cape and Gauteng where the two centres of activity are on the VHF and above bands.

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New 2200-Meter Beacon on the Air from Australia

The Caboolture Radio Club (VK4QD) in Queensland, Australia, is now operating a beacon on 2200 meters on 137.444 kHz using the call sign VK4RBC. Australia’s telecommunications authority ACMA has granted permission for the continuous operation of the beacon, using WSPR2 (6H00F1D), plus a CW identifier. The power is 1 W EIRP into a 500-meter (1,640-foot) wire at a maximum of 40 meters (131 feet).

With WH2XND also reliable, we will now see exactly how good the path from USA to VK really is on 2200 meters.
— Caboolture Radio Club President Roger Crofts, VK4YB

Located in grid square QG62lw, the VK4RBC beacon also receives, which is unusual for a beacon, and it has copied signals from WH2XND (operated by Ron Douglass, NI7J) in Arizona. In the gaps between transmissions, it will report all WSPR decodes to WSPRnet.

Equipment is an Icom IC-718 transceiver and Monitor Sensors TVTR2 2200-meter transverter running 50 W TPO. This is the first Australian beacon that has been granted permission to operate below 28 MHz.