Thursday, May 19, 2011

New US Trans-Atlantic 70 MHz beacon...

I saw this news item last week. A 70 MHz beacon near the East Coast of the USA will be operational this summer and beaming towards Europe. However, as you can see from the map it is operating from Virginia as opposed to the NE of the USA.

Here is part of the statement........As of  2 May, a 4-Meter Band Radio Science E-skip Trans-Atlantic (TA) propagation beacon is QRV from the East Coast of the US. QRG is 70.005 MHz, QTH is FM07fm, CW emissions. ERP is 3kW aimed at 60 degrees true towards Europe. This year’s parameters are identical to the previous 2010 operations but with a new call sign, WE9XUP, for 2011.

The beacon is scheduled to run 24 hours a day until 1 Sept, 2011 but must QRT sooner if there are technical or *any* QRM issues.

Any and all QSL/SWL reports are welcome via email to: WA1ZMS ( at ) ARRL.NET.

As you can see from the map above, the beacon in Virginia is at least one Sporadic-E away from the NE of the USA so it will require multiple hops to get across the Atlantic.

A similar beacon WE9XFT was operational in 2010 and looking at the DX-Cluster, several stations in the NE USA and Canada heard it. As this area is one Sp-E hop from Virginia, this is the most likely area where this beacon will be heard again.

In 2010, CT1HZE in Portugal heard it several times...

CT1HZE         70005.0 WE9XFT/B     539 3xEs  FB!!!      2026 04 Jul   United States
CT1HZE         70005.0 WE9XFT/B     599 3xEs             2306 02 Jul   United States
CT1HZE         70005.0 WE9XFT/B     539 Es wow! tnx Brian     1808 26 Jun   United States

I wonder if it was heard further North in 2010??? Considering that SWL stations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England have heard FM Radio stations from North America before on Band II (88-108 MHz) then it should certainly be possible.

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