Project by N9SSA

This is my first attempt at a 10 meter QRP beacon. The devices has two sections: The Id'er and the transmitter. I've built this to support a local school and amateur Balloon Project. This device will fly with the balloon to the upper limits of the atmosphere!

This is based on a PIC microcontroller controlled ID'er, and N7KSB 10 meter QRP transmitter both found in the 2001 ARRL handbook.

I have received some excellent comments on this project, and it's ability to get out with 500mw QRP. Bill, WJ5O, says he will add me to his excellent 10 Meter beacon list, as "Intermittent". This beacon has been running almost continously through March. Who knows, maybe I'll string up a 10M antenna and leave it in continuous operation. This beacon has done over 7500 miles per watt!

While on vacation in the Carribbean, I got the chance to visit the ship's radio room. The Radio Officer allowed me to use the ship's HF receiver to listen for my beacon. Sure enough, I heard it! What a thrill!

Update: January, 2003

I have reactivated by beacon, in the same configuration as the 2001 test.

WA6CDOSan Francisco CA10.Jan.03 17:10z28.234108
JohnPalm Beach County, FL7.Jan.03599
WJ5OSouth Texas EL179.Jan.03 18:00z
DL8WXGermany6.Jan.03S3Slight Chirp
N4SO5.Jan.03 1zRare Short-skip conditions
G0AEVEngland IO812.Jan.03 17:25zS1

Beacon Test - Feb 2001:

I ran my beacon for the weekend of Feb 23, 2001, to see how well it held up to continous operation, and see what kind of reports I would receive. Saturday evening the weather kicked up and got my antenna wet, pulling my SWR off a bit, but it still got out!

Results for N9SSA/BCN test Feb 23 - Feb 25, 2001:

QTH: en62wt Holland, Michigan
Frequency: 28.234
Alternate Frequency: 28.229
Output: 500 Milliwatts (.5 Watt)
Antenna: 80M Center Fed Zepp Through MFJ VersaTuner

N8ROLHolland, MI23.Feb.01 EST599A little chirpy
W9ADS JavaRadioUrbana, IL24.Feb.01 ESTPartial Copy, local Tstorms
G0AEVUK25.Feb.01 14.45zS1Copy marginal (band noisy) 3769 miles!
HP1ACPanama City,Panama FJ0825.Feb.01 21:14z549 QSB2408 miles!
AA7EQBisbee, Az26.Feb.01 EST228 QSB
WA7TQK St. Maries, ID DN17RH26.Feb.01 18:53zS1Heard with N9RET/B

More Beacon Info:

Please send reception reports to n9ssa@arrl.net

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Updated January 12, 2003