Wednesday, 3 February 2016

OZ7IGY – The World's Oldest Beacon.

OZ7IGY dates back to the International Geophysical Year in 1957. From its start on 144 MHz it has been on air on more and more bands. Today OZ7IGY transmits on 28 MHz, 40 MHz, 50 MHz, 70 MHz, 144 MHz, 432 MHz, 1,3 GHz, 2,3 GHz, 3,4 GHz, 5,7 GHz, 10 GHz and 24 GHz. In the past most of the equipment was modified land mobile equipment. For the microwave bands most of the technology was dedicated radio amateur beacon designs and power amplifiers surplus. Today most of the OZ7IGY beacons use the Next Generation Beacons platform.

GPS + PI4 beacons use a 60 s mixed mode sequence (PI4, CW and carrier). Otherwise a ~40 s sequence is used (CW and carrier). Over time the remainder of the OZ7IGY beacons will be GPS locked and use the Next Generation Beacons platform too. The PI4 signal on 24 GHz is PI4-96 otherwise PI4 is used.

On 30 October 2012 the first two Next Generation Beacons were put on air. The Next Generation Beacons platform is open to others and the software can easily be adapted to other modulations and sequences. Furthermore, is the new platform frequency and time locked to GPS. Thus the frequency accuracy is better than 5 Mhz. Emanuele, IW9GDC and beacon manager of IW9GDC/B that also uses the Next Generation Beacons platform says: “… I can really say that this hardware is actually the best ever made … 4 km straight line and cannot detect any issue with the signal.”

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