Members will recall the committee established a Grants program in 2020 to encourage clubs to expand the Reverse Beacon Network in VK. At the time, there was only one dedicated Reverse Beacon in VK, VK4CT located in Queensland. We still have one AUD$500 financial grant available for Australia and (in very good news) one NZ$800 grant for New Zealand. For more information get your club to send us an email. secretary (AT) fdu.org.au
We’re pleased to report that two successful applications have now been deployed and are up and running. The Northern Corridor Amateur Radio Group were first cab off the rank with VK6ANC. And in November 2020, the Radio Amateur Society of Australia launched VK3RASA.
FISTS Down Under is proud to have been able to contribute $500 towards each of these projects and committee feels it reflects our commitment to supporting the code whilst leveraging modern technology.
Many different interest groups will benefit from these Reverse Beacons. Contesters, DXers, Award hunters, portable ops, hams testing antennas and even scientists involved in propagation studies.
These two new Reverse Beacons represent a significant expansion in the VK RBN footprint, with three beacons now online – one in southern VK6, one in VK4 and one in southern VK3 – providing fairly good coverage across our continent.
The Radio Amateur Society of Australia’s e-magazine QTC (Nov/Dec 2020 edition) has a detailed article about their solution and the RBN technology in general… so, check out their free e-Magazine.
We’ve already received positive feedback on the new RBs in VK6 and VK3.
“Happily finding that the RASA reverse beacon frequently reports my
signals. Well done. Another successful contribution to the amateur radio.
Thanks, 73, Patrick VK2PN”
Some NA stations have also written to us noting the value of the additional RBNs in VK3 and VK6. FISTS Down Under is proud to have contributed financial grants to support this network.
In the meantime, here’s a quick guide how to access RBN online and monitor your preferred RB.
- Head to www.reversebeacon.net
- By scrolling down the list of online beacons on the right hand side of the screen, you’ll be able to find the VK RBs.
- Click on the “Main” menu item at the top of the screen and then click on “search spot by callsign” – highlighted in yellow below.
- Enter the preferred callsign/identifier – in this example we’ve chosen VK3RASA, and select the “de” filter.
- Click on search and the screen will refresh with the latest spots being heard by VK3RASA. For more information float your mouse pointer over an entry
You’re away! The RBN resource is a very useful tool for analysing propagation paths and assessing your station’s performance. Even if you’re just wondering where you are being heard… check out RBN.