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New S-band beacon in SE Texas- W5EME/B




Hi, Gang.  About two weeks ago, we installed a tune-up
beacon on 2400.040 MHz.  The beacon runs 10 dBm to an
Alfred Slot horizontally-polarized omnidirectional
antenna.  The antenna and beacon are mounted at about
150 feet high on an office building in downtown
Beaumont, TX.  I think the beacon will serve the Houston
and Lake Charles, LA areas, allowing easy tweaking and
tuneup of receiving setups at a known azimuth, without
constant retuning for doppler.

The carrier is shifted about 200 Hz in a 'beep-boop-beep-boop'
fashion for a distinctive sound (put radio in USB mode) which
will not interrupt your tweaking.  Tune the two tones to be
within your filter passband and the S-meter will not shift
during keying or the CW ID period.

I delayed this announcement for a couple of weeks to be sure
the beacon was reliable.  It is.  I also ran it for a few
weeks in the garage before installing it, without a hitch.

Thanks to Earl-KA5UJC, Laurence-WA5ZZB, and Mike-N5KBW for
the help installing it.

A beacon for the weak-signal part of the band is under
construction at 2304+ MHz.  It will use a "dead Drake" LO
for the carrier, again about 10 dBm output.  I have programmed
some PIC Flash chips to do the CW ID and the 'beep-boop' FSK.
A PIN diode hooked to the crystal oscillator circuit via a
.5 pf chip cap allows the PIC to shift the frequency a bit.
It will eventually be installed at the same site as the 2400.040
beacon.  

I would appreciate any signal reports, especially from the
Houston area.  Tune around a bit around 2400.040 until you find
it.  Local temperature variations cause some long-term drift,
although the short-term stability is very good.

Best regards,  John  W5EME
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