ZS1J/B

28.2025 MHz. 5 Watts output to a half wave, end fed, vertical antenna.

First installed in 1977 as ZS5VHF. QTH then was near Durban.

The transmitter is a modified 23-channel c.b. radio. The identification keyer is a diode matrix unit with a bucketful of TTL i.cís, also circa 1977.

In 1993, when I retired to Plettenberg Bay in the Cape Province, I moved the beacon down to the farm where it has been in continuous service since.

In 1994, I installed a single transistor, 80 metre Ĺ watt, qrp transmitter, with a half wave dipole, on the water tower at the farm along side the 10 metre beacon. This transmits on a frequency of 3586 KHz..

Later that same year, I installed a single transistor qrp transmitter on 1817 kHz., also running half a watt and this was installed with its own half wave dipole on the water tower.

In 1996 I installed a 30 metre half watt transmitter at the beacon site. This unit was operating initially on 10.105 MHz. but was moved on request to 10.124 MHz.

In October 2002, I was experimenting with extremely low power (qrpp) and this lead me to install a beacon transmitter on 40 metres, initially on 7076 kHz. and finally on 7029 kHz. The output power of the transmitter, which is a crystal activity checker, is 200 mV. to a half wave dipole antenna. This voltage correlates to an output power of 0.0001 watts or 100 microwatts. After many encouraging reports from Port Alfred (350 km), Cape Town (480 km), Aliwal North (600 km) and Botswana (950 km), I eventually received a qsl card from ZS6UT in Pretoria, a distance of 1100 kilometres.

The best dx reports on the half watt 80 and 160 metre beacons has been from 9J2BO. Reports on the 10 metre beacon are received from all continents, but it is unfortunate that the South African Radio League, who operate the qsl bureau, do not forward cards for any of the beacons but return them to the sender. This is due to me not being a member of the South African Radio League. Reports may be emailed to info@forestwagontrails.co.za or to zs1j@qsl.net