Drift buoy beacons on 11 meters

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SCPD

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Lately, I've been listening around 27500 Khz for the digital activity on the band to copy psk31 and cw.

The past couple days I've been hearing a couple drift buoy beacons on 27500 Khz at roughly 2100 UTC. The beacons transmit cw with a dashed ID. The two I'm hearing are MBL and MRM. Since these are battery powered, I believe the batts are running down because the cw note is rather "chirpy". The signals are quite faint, but copyable. Sometimes I have to kick the 270hz cw filter in to make copy.

I'm using a Yaesu FRG-100 general coverage receiver with a vertical dipole up about 15 feet.

I felt they were good catches because I'm sure they're very low powered and they're probably a pretty good distance from my midwest QTH.
 
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mmckenna

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I listened for a while here on the West coast and didn't hear anything. Might be something in the gulf or east coast.
Good catch, I think those things only run a few watts, and while they have an awesome salt water ground plane, the antennas are pretty low. I've seen one or two on e-bay, seems like it would be a fun little beacon to play with.
 

SCPD

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The beacons never were solid copy over any length of time. Yep, low antennas and low power make for a challenge. I had to listen carefully for peaks in propagation to finally get their calls correct. They "drifted" (pun not intended) in and out of reception. You may have to just "park" on the frequency for awhile to hear them, (propagation willing of course). You are also at the mercy of ssb traffic as you try to hear them. It wasn't easy by any means.

Yes, I've seen them on ebay and was curious about them also.

Check out this link:

26 MHz fishnet buoys / drift net beacons
 

SCPD

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MRM and MBL showing up again around 2100UTC here in the midwest slightly above 27500 Khz. Starts with a dashed ID drifting upward in freq. Pretty good copy but QSB dependent.

Definitely beacons, and not casual cw activity.
 
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SCPD

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No, I didn't make any audio recordings. I'm really interested in monitoring the digital "traffic" in this part of the spectrum (approx. 27498-27505) ... psk31, cw, and other (unidentified to me) digital modes.

It was interesting finding the drift beacons, but since I've done that, my interest goes back to the "live" activity, not the repeating beacons.

I'll let others see if they can copy them and maybe figure out their approximate location.

Yesterday was a good time for others to copy them. When the "waves" of propagation brought them in, the sigs were quite good. One would need patience to wait for those peaks, but I was already there monitoring the digital activity when I saw them on the "waterfall" and also heard them well.

Any one with a good SDR could simply set it to capture that part of the spectrum every day and should have a good recording within a few days or so.
 
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SCPD

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Sorry for the error/brainfade. This post concerns the 11 meter band at 27500 Khz and not 27khz.

I wish I can make the corrections but editing has "timed out".
 
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ka3jjz

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Make it easy on yourself - drop the decimal, report in Khz, as that's the standard on many mailing lists including the UDXF and here.

Back to the regularly scheduled program...er...thread....Mike
 

SCPD

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Got an excellent copy today on drift beacon MBL at 21:55 UTC 3-3-2104. Propagation peaked at this time with clear cw copy. Beacon cw note is very "chirpy", with the long dash before cw keying drifting upwards in frequency. This can be clearly seen on this screen shot using digipan software to view.

update: beacon PGU also heard with dashed id cw on 27500khz at 22:24UTC 3-3-2014
 

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G0NMY

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I found this website has lots of info on the driftnet beacons on 26MHz -27.500MHz and apparently some are also on 28MHz

Today 22/11/2014 on
26:500 PAM
26:520 LZO, VAJ VR1
26:610 FIV
27:500 MRM < I have been hearing this one quite regularly but i am not sure where it is located.
I am using a 5/8 vertical antenna for 28MHz

26 MHz fishnet buoys / drift net beacons
 
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