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Beacons

The purpose of beacons is to facilitate receiver and antenna system testing, propagation observations, and to discern band openings as they occur. The WE7X beacons are not owned by IARC but are documented here as a helpful web page for our club members. The WE7X beacons are operated in accordance with FCC Regulations Sec. 97.203.

Location

WE7X/B is located on the southwest-facing slope of Mirrormont on Tiger Mtn near Issaquah, WA
Latitude: 47.481076  Longitude: -121.954514
Locator: CN97AL (map, sat, terrain) Elevation: 850 feet ASL

Frequencies

WE7X beacons operate on three amateur radio bands:
 Band  Frequency  Power  Antenna  Hours
2 meters 144.299 MHz 2 watts Stacked KB6KQ loops
1.25 meters 222.050 MHz 2 watts Stacked KB6KQ loops On request
70 cm 432.301 MHz 2 watts Stacked KB6KQ loops

Transmitters

The WE7X beacons make extensive use of the excellent Hamtronics transmitter boards. These boards have operated for several years with only one in-use failure, which was likely caused by an antenna issue. The boards are quite capable of running the near continuous duty message sequences typical of beacon modes. Below is an early picture showing 50, 144, 222 and 432 boards with supporting control circuitry.
Beacon top with covers Beacon top without covers

Antennas

The 432 MHz, 222 MHz and 144 MHz beacons each use two KB6KQ type loops. This type of antenna provides an omni directional signal pattern and are phased for increased gain. They are mounted 20 feet above the ground (about 850 feet ASL).

Beacon Messages

The beacon's CW message, duration, cycle is primarily a function of the beacon purpose. If the beacon purpose is to provide a signal source for locals to align antennas, receivers, etc., a short identification including grid square followed by a steady carrier would be most useful. This is the purpose intended for the 432 MHz, 222 MHz, 144 MHz beacons. The sequence is:

 WE7X/B CN97al, 16 seconds of carrier, 5 second pause, repeat message

This sequence provides the required identification and location information, but allocates maximum time to the steady carrier. Message speed is also an important consideration as Morse code skills vary widely among listeners. The beacon messages are typically 13 WPM.
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