GB3FNY & GB3KEU Beacons

Propagation Beacons are a vital resource to us, we use them to study the propagation of radio signals, from HF through to microwaves. Beacons are also used as signal sources to test and calibrate antennas, and receivers. Beacons are often run by groups/clubs, or by individual Amateurs.

  • GB3FNY – 432.445MHz – Big Wheel – ERP 40W
  • GB3KEU – 5760.925MHz – Slot – ERP 25W
  • GB3FNY – 10368.752MHz – Slot – ERP 10W

If you hear any of the beacons, we would like to know, so please spot it on the DX cluster network.

For a list of beacons on VHF> take a look at the website.

GB3FNY – 432.445MHz

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A few technical notes from the beacon builder, Bernie G4HJW.

A 14.410 MHz crystal is multiplied by 30 to 432.445MHz at 20dBm. This is amplified to 33dBm (mis) using a BGD814 CATV module, and feeds the antenna via an isolator, and low pass filter assembly.

The antenna is a Big Wheel, with 3dBd of gain, 8M over ground, and 1M ASL. It ran QRP with just 2W until September 2017, when the beacon received a 25W PA.

Keying Mode/duration: F1A – key down for 45 seconds, then CW ‘GB3FNY’ x 3

ODX: 30-Dec-2019 @ 1132km, heard by F2CT in IN93GJ.

GB3KEU – 5760.925MHz

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The GB3KEU 5.7GHz beacon was brought us at FARS in 2015(ish), looking for a new home, we were happy to be able to take on the running of the beacon as Microwave band beacons are not very popular in our area.

The 5.7 Ghz beacon carries the callsign GB3KEU, in memory of Tim G3KEU, who was a keen ‘microwaver’ who sadly passed away in 2002.
External link kindly provided by Peter, G3PHO about the History behind GB3KEU.

GB3KEU Block Diagram

Keying Mode: FSK ~ 400Hz shift. GB3KEU (twice), and 25 seconds of key down carrier.

ODX From our QTH: 189KM G4FRE IO82UC

GB3FNY – 10,368.752 MHz

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The block diagram above shows the layout of the hardware. All of this feeds an outdoor PA unit via TV coax, with the loss controlling the final level to 10Watt ERP. The antenna is a slotted waveguide antenna made from WG16.

Keying Mode/duration: CW ‘GB3FNY’ x 3

ODX: 23-May-2018 @ 625KM, OZ1FF in JO45BO

Neil G4DBN’s twitter post about Wind Turbine Scatter/Doppler on GB3FNY 10GHz –

Denis G3UVR (SK) – the GB3FNY 10GHz beacon, via rain scatter.