Beacon: Everything You Need to Know

Beacons are specially constructed amateur radio stations whole sole purpose is to transmit a predefined signal at a specific time on a specific frequency. A special type of beacon called a time beacon broadcasts the time.

International Beacon Network

This network is a co-operative project, jointly owned and managed by the International Amateur radio Union(IARU) and the Northern Californian DX Foundation (NCDXF). Operating frequencies are 14.100MHz, 18.110MHz, 21.150MHz, 24.930MHz and 28.200MHz. The purpose of the beacons is two-fold; to provide reliable, frequency-stable reference points, and to assist commercial and amateur operators in assessing propagation conditions. The system was designed and built by volunteers and continues to be operated by a group of volunteers. Idents for these beacons are sent in CW at 22 WPM.

Beacon Locations

Eighteen beacons are in operation around the world in each continent.

Beacon Transmission Schedule

The beacons transmit every three minutes, continuously. This page has details of transmission schedules. ibp is a piece of software that allows you to track which beacon is active at what time.

Brief History

The first beacon was turned on in 1970. The complete 18 station system was started in 1995, with 12 of the 18 beacons being operational by the end of 1996. As of October 2010, 15 out of 18 were marked operational.

Local Beacons

Many amateur radio clubs operate beacons in the VHF and UHF bands. Amateurs can themselves, with the aid of built-in functionality, use modern rigs to operate beacons. The Yaesu FT-897 is an example of a rig with this functionality built-in.

National beacons

Australian Beacons

Most of the beacons in this list are owned or sponsored by Radio Clubs. The most up-to-date list of Australian beacons in PDF can be found here.

Correct on May 14th, 2008.

External links

 

10m BandCallLocationGrid
28.200VK6RBPPerthOF78
28.213VK3RSXWestern VicQF13
28.2535VK3RMVSW VictoriaQF12
28.2565VK3RMHMelbourneQF22
28.260VK5RLZAdelaidePF95
28.262VK2RSYSydneyQF56
28.264VK6RWAPerthOF78
28.268VK8VFDarwinPH57
28.270VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
6m BandCallLocationGrid
50.046VK8RASAlice SpringsPG66
50.057VK7RAEDevonport TasmaniaQE38
50.058VK4RGGGold CoastQG62
50.066VK6RPHPerthOF88
50.087VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
50.288VK2RHVHunter ValleyQF57
50.289VK2RSYSydneyQF56
50.293VK3RMVSW VictoriaQF12
50.295VK3RMHMelbourneQF22
50.297VK7RSTHobartQE37
50.304VK6RSXNorth west WAOG89
50.306VK6RBUSouth west WAOF76
50.310VK8VFDarwinPH57
50.315VK5RBVBarossa ValleyPF95
52.315VK3RSXWestern VicQF13
52.345VK4ABPWestern QldQG26
52.425VK2RBHWestern NSWQF08
52.445VK4RIKCairnsQH23
52.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
2m BandCallLocationGrid
144.410VK1R–ACTQF44
144.414VK2R–Snowy MtnsQF43
144.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
144.424VK2R–Blue Mountains
144.430VK3RTGMelbourneQF22
144.434VK3RGIGippslandQF31
144.438VK3RRUMildura areaQF15
144.440VK4RTTSE QueenslandQG62
144.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
144.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
144.460VK6RPHPerthOF88
144.474VK7RAEDevonport TasmaniaQE38
144.480VK8VFDarwinPH57
144.485VK8RASAlice SpringsPG66
144.510VK2RBDCooma – MonaroQF43
144.525VK2RBHWestern NSWQF08
144.530VK3RGLGeelongQF22
144.534VK3RTCNorth Central VicQF24
144.550VK5RSESouth eastQF02
144.560VK6RBUSouth west WAOF76
144.564VK6RSTSouthern WAOF85
144.568VK6REPSouth east WAPF06
144.576VK6RSXNorth west WAOG89
70cm BandCallLocationGrid
432.410VK1R–ACTQF44
432.414VK2R–Snowy MtnsQF43
432.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
432.424VK2R–Blue Mountains– P
432.434VK3RGIGippslandQF31
432.440VK4RBBBrisbaneQG62
432.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
432.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
432.460VK6RPHPerthOF88
432.474VK7RAENW TasmaniaQE38
432.480VK8VFDarwinPH57
432.510VK2RBDCooma – MonaroQF43
432.525VK2RBHWestern NSWQF08
432.530VK3RGLGeelongQF22
432.534VK3RTCNorth Central VicQF24
432.536VK3RMBBallaratQF12
432.550VK5RSESouth east SAQF02
432.564VK6RSTSouthern WAOF85
23cm BandCallLocationGrid
1,296.410VK1R–ACTQF44
1,296.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
1,296.424VK2R–Blue Mountains– P
1,296.434VK3RGIGippslandQF31
1,296.435VK3RRUMildura areaQF15
1,296.440VK4RBBBrisbaneQG62
1,296.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
1,296.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
1,296.460VK6RPHPerthOF88
1,296.474VK7RAEDevonport TasmaniaQE38
1,296.510VK2RBDCooma – MonaroQF43
1,296.530VK3RXXMelbourneQF22
1,296.532VK3RLPMornington Pen.QF21
1,296.534VK3RTCNorth Central Vic.QF24
1,296.550VK5RLZAdelaide NorthPF95
1,296.550VK5RSESouth east SAQF02
1,296.560VK6RBSW. Coast WAOF76
Other BandsCallLocationGrid
2,403.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
2,403.424VK2R–Blue Mountains
2,403.440VK4RBBBrisbaneQG62
2,403.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
2,403.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
2,403.460VK6RSPPerthOF77
2,403.530VK3RXXMelbourneQF22
2,403.532VK3RLPMornington Pen.QF21
2,403.534VK3RTCNorth Central VicQF24
2,403.550VK5RLZAdelaidePF95
3,400.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
3,400.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
3,400.550VK5RLZAdelaidePF95
5,670.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
5,760.420VK2RSYSydneyQF56
5,760.444VK4RTLTownsvilleQH30
5,760.450VK5VFAdelaidePF95
5,760.460VK6RSPPerthOF77
5,760.550VK5RLZAdelaidePF95

Leave a Comment