Jointly Owned and Operated by the
Broadcast Packet and Repeater Group and Piedmont Amateur Radio Group
Click here for the 10 Meter Synchronized Propagation Beacon Project web page
Call Sign: WB4WOR (ex WB4WOR and KE4YVL)
10 Meter Frequency: 28.2905 MHz
6 Meter Frequency: 50.0625 MHz
10 Meter Transmitter Power Output: 3 watts
6 Meter Transmitter Power Output: 2 watts
Emission type: A1A
10 Meter Antenna: Vertical - 3 db gain
6 Meter Antenna: Vertical - 6 db gain
6 and 10 Meter Antenna Height: 4.5 meters (15 feet)
Location: Randleman, North Carolina, USA; Lat 35 48 47N/ Lon 79 50 36W; Grid - FM05bt
Keyer: MFJ 424; MFJ Grand Master
Trustee: Charles Layno, W4CL
QSL: 3025 Sourwood Rd, Greensboro, NC 27408, USA
I have always been fascinated with radio propagation and how radio waves travel since I was first licensed as an amateur. In those days in the middle to late 1970's, Solar Cycle 21 was moving through its peak. I have seen many times when ten meters was open to the world and no one was operating. All it would take would be one station calling CQ to ignite the band. Beacons at that time were few and far between.
In the late 1980's Stanley Outlaw, KC4DPC, began to publish a beacon information letter and he posted it on packet radio. At this same time, I began to read K7VVV Tad Cook's weekly propagation reports off of packet radio. With both of these available, my fire to put up a beacon of my own was lit. In a short time I was planning a ten meter beacon.
In 1993, I saw Stanley (he lives in Wilmington, NC) and told him I had been planning a ten meter beacon, and could he give me some pointers. He very patiently answered all my questions, then offered to send me a beacon transmitter. I had all the other parts but had not had time to build or modify a radio. A few weeks later a package from Stanley showed up. Not knowing what to expect I quickly opened the box to find an old, dirty CB radio. Well I couldn't believe it. This piece of junk couldn't be it. I found a piece of paper in the bottom of the box with the frequencies and a note from Stanley telling me that 28.2905 was my beacon frequency. I found the correct channel and keyed the radio. On the HF rig was a carrier on 28.2905! My heart raced. This old, dirty radio was pure GOLD!
I quickly programmed the MFJ Grand Master I had procured for the beacon project and connected my ten meter dipole to the beacon and turned it on! I got in my car and listened on my HF mobile rig all around town. It was joyous! 25 mile ground wave 24 hours a day became common off of 3 watts and a vertical at 1 and half meters (5 feet)!
But the joy was short lived. In a few weeks it became obvious that if I ever intended to operate ten meters again, the beacon would have to be shut down or moved. I had purchased a vertical for the beacon, but the near field RF was killing my 10 meter dipole.
In late 1993, I moved the beacon to my work location. Being the transmitter supervisor for a local television station, I kind of have my own domain out in the sticks. So the new MFJ 424 keyer, CB radio and vertical moved to the transmitter where a ten meter beacon would not bother too many people, or the television transmitter (I hoped). I placed the antenna on top of the building at 4.5 meters (15 feet) and cranked up the beacon. And there it remains today.
In early 1995 several of us local broadcast types formed an informal group to operate VHF/UHF repeaters and packet stations. We all owned either repeaters or packet stations or both and even though we still retain ownership of our own property, we operate under a common name and goal. Since I owned, at that time, not only the beacon but a 222 MHz repeater and several packet stations, I threw them all in. In April 1995, the Broadcast Packet and Repeater Group applied for and received a club call to be placed on all common assets. It was at this time the beacon call sign changed from WB4WOR (my old call sign, I had applied and received W4CL as my new call) to KE4YVL. Two years later in November 1998, the Broadcast Packet and Repeater Group applied for and received the vanity call sign WB4WOR as the club call sign and on December 1st 1998, the beacon changed back to its original call sign of WB4WOR.
In early 1996 the Piedmont Amateur Radio Group was formed to operate packet digipeaters. Shortly after the formation a club call was obtained to be placed on the digipeaters. The call sign obtained was WR4BEG, an old repeater call from the 1970's. In late 1996 the Piedmont Amateur Radio Group merged with Broadcast Packet and Repeater Group with BP&RG being the dominate. The merged BP&RG/PARG owns and operates several APRS nodes and voice repeaters and operates one weather station along with owning and operating the beacon stations on ten and six meters. The WR4BEG call sign is still listed as PARG with myself being the trustee. The call sign WB4WOR is now placed on assets that are non repeater stations and the WR4BEG call sign is used on all digital and analog repeater stations owned by BP&RG. The goal is to eventually absorb the PARG name and have just the BP&RG.
Since the beacons are at least 10 miles from any large population center, I have received local reports that a large number of local people use the signal strength of the beacons to determine if the band is open, since they hear it all the time, and several non local stations out in the Midwest use it to talk to their friends locally. I have also received reports that the Six and Ten Reporting Club in the United Kingdom uses the beacon as a regular reference of conditions across the Atlantic Ocean.
On October 7 1999, the six meter beacon was introduced. The 2 watt beacon was set to 50.0625 MHz using the same keyer to key both beacons at the 10 meter site and another dream had become reality.
I am glad to see that my fascination is helping my fellow amateurs enjoy their hobby more.
I have plans to add a 222 MHz beacon sometime in the future, hopefully at the current site.
Pictures of the beacon equipment and site
These are somewhat large and may take a few minutes to load. The six meter beacon is located on top of the ten meter beacon in the rack and the antenna is located 6 meters (20 feet) horizontally east of the ten meter antenna in the same horizontal plane.
|Organizations||Ten Meters||Six Meters||Two Meters|
|6 and 10 Reporting Club||N2JNT Beacon||JA6YBR Beacon||W1RJA Beacon|
|50 Mhz New Zealand||W8MI Beacon (ex W8UR)||SR5SIX Beacon|
|G0AEV's Beacon Pages||WB4WOR Beacon||SR6SIX Beacon|
|N CA DX Foundation, Inc||WC9C Beacon||SR8SIX Beacon|
|UK Six Metre Group||VE8AT Beacon||ZL3SIX Beacon|
|4S7B Beacon||WB4WOR Beacon|