Fw: [PropNET-Online] Re: 10m Propnet beacon without PC?

Terry Fox wb4jfi at knology.net
Wed Aug 23 20:28:14 CDT 2006

FYI...  another possible project.  I will forward another thread, but I think a transmit PIC is easy... at least a stand-alone one.  Adding internet complicates it some, although I am investigating some PIC devices with ethernet connectivity - such as at hobby engineering or sparkfun web sites...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: David A Aitcheson - KB3EFS 
To: PropNET-Online at yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: [PropNET-Online] Re: 10m Propnet beacon without PC?


Thank you for clarifying some misconceptions that I had. Up until now I had
only FM & AX25 based experience in ham radio. Being cautious has always
kept me out of trouble in the past so that is the way I approach anything.

Dave Donnelly KF6XA wrote:
> Friends,
> I'd like to suggest that in most rigs like an HTX-10 used as a 
> transmit-only probe, it is OK to leave the control circuit constantly in 
> transmit.
> Ev explained it differently, but the point is that a sideband transmitter 
> with no audio input generates no output signal. Hence there is no problem 
> with heat or duty cycle. If the rig is not also used as a receiver, there 
> is no need to exit from transmit mode.

Ok - "the no signal = no RF output" had not registered with me until now.

> As regards listening and good amateur practice, remember that we are 
> emitting a signal less than a hundred hertz wide. PSK is intended to have 
> many signals spaced closely together ... that is the way it is designed. I 
> believe our current software, even with DCD selected, will usually transmit 
> when other signals are in the receiver's bandpass, even if they are 
> relatively loud.

Again - My FM & AX25 background was causing personal confusion.

> We are only required to avoid willful, malicious, or "harmful 
> interference," and I would submit that operating a very narrow-band signal 
> on a frequency identified by dozens of other stations as a beaconing 
> frequency would not fall into any of those categories.

I can accept and agree with this.

> The number of stations needed to achieve our purpose -- real-time 
> propagation reporting -- is not too large on ten meters. Don't you think 
> that about eighteen transmitters, evenly spaced through the continental US, 
> would be enough? The higher the frequency, the more we'd need, of 
> course. We actually have almost all the needed sites on ten, although we 
> could use a few more across the northern tier (maybe near Yellowstone, 
> Minneapolis, and Montreal). Who has friends in those locations who might 
> host a site?

I am actively recruiting in the west end of the NNY section and the
southeastern end of Ontario Canada but it may have to wait for me to
upgrade my license to General class.

> While we are thinking about PIC controllers for these things, let's think 
> broadly:
> What if the controller had a permanent Internet connection? It could get 
> instructions from a central hub. Its operating parameters could be set or 
> reset depending on conditions or needs. It could be told to shorten or 
> lengthen its next cycle by 20 seconds to avoid simultaneous transmission 
> with another. Its audio frequency could be changed a few hertz.
> Wait a minute though .... a sound board is pretty cheap. Would it be 
> possible to build a receive interface too? Maybe we could actually receive 
> one channel ...
> I sure would like these things a lot if as many as possible were internet 
> connected. How about this idea: a central controller talks to all of them 
> at once, directing each one to transmit individually (just a carrier, not 
> PSK). Then the others all report the signal strength they received. This 
> could easily be achieved today with the NCDXF beacons. But of course it's 
> most interesting at VHF and up.
> No internet connection? How about a built-in WWV receiver to keep its 
> transmission cycle synced? Or I'll bet there are "atomic" WWVB clocks that 
> have digital outputs... maybe it could talk to one of those. Or it could 
> listen to a GPS receiver's clock. That adds another $100 into the system 
> cost, but I know I have a GPS receiver that I use about three times a year 
> ... the rest of the time I could leave it hooked up to such a system.
> As you can tell, I am easily enthused. But I've been with the Propnet 
> project over five years now and feel I have an investment. Let's keep 
> talking ideas, and try to come up with a phase-one project that can be 
> implemented. One thing is sure ... we need some volunteers in 
> geographically dispersed areas. Think about who you know in Hawaii, 
> Alaska, and the northern US. I have a friend who has a six-meter beacon in 
> Manitoba. I'm going to ask if he could host a ten-meter station. Did you 
> see the article announcing what may be the first sunspot of Cycle 
> 24? Now's the time.
> 73
> Dave
> Dave Donnelly KF6XA Murrieta CA DM13
> +1-951-677-2940 

WOW! If we ever had a need for the very creative minds at AMRAD now is it!

Terry Fox, and other lurking AMRAD'ers; your thoughts?

Dave Aitcheson - KB3EFS(/2) [FN24bi]
Web Master http://www.propnet.org

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