2 May 2014

2m - GB3NGI Ballymena beacon

This beacon is about 530km from me yet it appears to be on the edge of copy at all times - wait a few minutes and out of the noise pops the callsign and QTH locator. This appears to be a high powered beacon at an excellent site. Its 4 el beam aims towards England so is just about optimum. This is another useful propagation indicator and at a good distance too.

I am still in the process of finding out which 2m beacons are always there, which are usually below the noise floor and which ones can be expected to be copied in reasonable lifts. At the moment it looks like this:

   GB3VHF (Kent) always there
   ON0VHF (Belgium) always there
   PI7CIS (Holland) always there

   GB3NGI (N.Ireland) just below noise (peaks copied)
   GB3ANG (Angus, Scotland) just below noise (peaks copied)

   GB3MCB (Cornwall) below noise - not yet copied

   Others - still TBA.

As a reminder, I am using a barefoot FT817ND with a 3 el 2m yagi (5m AGL) fed with 17m of low loss coax. My site is on top of our local"hill" (20m ASL) next to the windmill with a decent take-off in nearly every direction.

On 70cms SSB/CW  I have still yet to hear anything -  no beacons or stations yet, but I am still looking. The antenna is a 5 el with the same low-loss Westflex coax feeder.

I shall be active in the next 2m and 70cm UKAC contest sessions (next 2 Tuesday evenings) trying to find out how well the station works.


PA2RF said...

Roger, some info about beacon PI7CIS, abt 10 km from my QTH:


73 Ron pa2rf

Ken May said...

Hi Roger,
you seem to receive exceedingly well on 2m. Out of curiosity, what level does your noise floor sit at (S1/2 or below?). At my location I have always (35 years) been plagued by a S7-9 noise floor across all bands regardless of antenna type and location so I have only ever heard GB3VHF. It is only since I discovered WSPR that I have actually starting using my rig after all this time. It's partly the reason I got interested in narrow band earth mode comms.

Glad to see you active on the bands despite everything.
73 Ken G4APB.

Roger G3XBM said...

Ron - thanks for the PI7CIS link.

Ken - I am lucky that the noise floor here is very low, much lower than at the old QTH 300m west of here. I am still trying to find out which beacons are always copyable and which pop out of the noise. Being on a local "hill" (more of an East Anglian bump (!) helps too, even with a very small yagi.

Roger G3XBM said...

http://www.pa0c.nl/Pi7cis/pi7cis_vhf_beacon.htm is the PI7CIS beacon info in English.