Tracking Beacon?

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kd5ywa

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Last night (I am sorry I forgot when it was...very tired at that point) I was going to set my radio up to monitor SSTV throughout the night. But in the static I heard a faint "beep".... "beep".... "beep"... and I fired up my HRD program and watched the "beep" on the waterfall. What was cool, was it moved. I chased it up the dial from 14.230 Mhz to 14.232 Mhz.... it did not move very fast. Yet it was a very small signal with a solid side transmission, both of which look to only be a few hz wide.

Satellite perhaps? Anyone ever seen anything like that before?
 

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kd5ywa

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I turned on the radio this morning and it is still there at on 14.231.10 Digital Mode ... It is obviously some kind of digital transmission. I will try and get a audio file of it, too. I has stopped moving and is stable on this frequency.
 

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SCPD

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It can be amazing what signals pop up from time to time on HF frequencies... especially in the that 10 to 17Mhz range where the propagation of a weak transmitter can be from half the world away. Since your signal varies in frequency, I'd think it too unstable to be any beacon- I will go with ND5Y's assessment that this is likely of a local source... if you are so inclined, KD5YWA, this could be turned into an interesting Direction Finding exercise.
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I am going to try and restrain myself from launching into a myriad of tales of my own with 'phantom signals'- Oh, these signals were real alright, but their origins were so varied as to fill story books.
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Here's a sample---
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Years ago we were using a transmitter on a 17Mhz frequency, using it as a non-radiating pulsed driver into basically a dummy load. It was quite high power'd, but its radiation was (thought to be) well contained within it's unit, and certainly within our facility. We are quite careful with stuff like that, and our RF density measurements about its enclosure assured me it was well within allowable tolerances.... or so we thought. Within days of starting the project, I got a call from, of all agencies- the US State Department informing us that we were interfering with another country's (which will remain nameless, but one not to be messed with) military channels,-- on the other side of the world.
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So who knows from where that 14.231 signal may be coming from.
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Another little anecdote and I'll close.. I lived for awhile in Annapolis Maryland- back when Naval Radio Station NSS was active on 20Khz. One Million watts into the largest Goliath antenna I've ever seen- or likely to again. There was no questioning where the 'phantom signals' were coming from with those 600 foot towers flashing on the Severn River !*.. It came over telephone lines, it could light a small bulb if you connected it into a large tuned loop, it heterodyn'd against every and anything RF... if ever there was a transmitter one could receive on a Toaster, it was NSS. There was another transmitter out there at Greenbury Point on 137khz. That transmitter would beat against it in the front end of any receiver within miles... the CW signal ....." V V V de NSS NSS NSS....V V V de NSS NSS NSS....." is forever in my head .....
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KD5YWA, let us know what you turn up :)
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..............................CF
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* The central tower was 1200 feet high!
To keep this correct, the 20khz signal was phased shift slow digital encrypted... the NSS CW came from other transmitters out there on that Point, that got their signals into the mix.
 
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