Palos Verdes 10 GHz Beacon

N6CA/b 10 GHz beacons History

Towards the end of 1990, the first 10 GHz beacon was built and installed on Palos Verdes. The first location however proved to not be a good location because of trees and buildings so it was moved to Radar Site over looking the LA Harbor. There were only 12 GHz FETs available at the time with no data at 10GHz so some experimenting was necessary. A 100 foot existing piece of elliptical WG90 was used for the feedline on a commercial tower. It was later discovered this waveguide had at least an extra 8 to 10 db of insertion loss. Coverage from this site was very good for most of Southern California. When this site was sold, the beacon was moved to a site overlooking Crenshaw Blvd and owned by K6ENS (SK) and proved to also be an excellent site. Gary Belda, K6ENS was instrumental in providing these locations for many years and did all the tower climbing. The beacon was moved to a location atop Palos Verdes in 2004 with the tower work done by Glen, KE6HPZ and has been a good location up and down the coast but not as good to the East because of trees. Currently this beacon provides great ducting info up and down the coast and deep into Baja, Mexico. The Frazier beacon was installed in 1997 at 8100 feet and has been there since. Location is provided by the Cactus Radio organization. This beacon has been easily heard all over the SouthWest US, far North of Sacramento, around 820 miles down the coast into Mexico and into Nevada and Arizona. Even through winter Ice storms, this beacon has always been heard up to 200 miles away. The Radome is rough surfaced, PVC with 0.5 db of loss and painted with high temp flat BBQ paint to absorb as much heat as possible. It's easy to copy even while mobile in motion throughout Southen California using the same omni antenna. These beacons maintain frequency accuracy of +/- 100 Hertz over all these many years and there has been only one partial failure ever, a cold temperature sensitivity on the Frazier beacon. The antenna height on Frazier was increased by 200 wavelengths (20 feet) in early 2000 and signals from Frazier came up greatly as it was now clearing more surrounding foliage.

The new location of the PV beacon higher up on the hill now running about 60 feet of EW90 waveguide:


These are from the old location provided by Gary K6ENS (SK)

to panoramic pictures of LA basin taken from tower by K6ENS

The new enclosure also has over 1150 holes in it for shielding, component mounting and ventilation, whew........

Here is an audio recording of the PV beacon after the mods and upgrades were finished. The new iders give everyone lots of time to get antennas aligned. Note the multipath phase noise. It's quite common on paths where there are many reflections such as we have in Southern California.

the specs:

call: N6CA/b

Frequency: 10368.300MHz

location provided by K6ENS (SK)

S: Palos Verdes, DM03TS elevation: 1300'

1.6 Watts output

<1.6 db feedline (waveguide) loss, 60 feet at new location (June 2003)

Antenna: slotted waveguide14 dBi gain, omni-directional, horizontal polarization

IDer: 85 seconds of carrier and a short fast CW ID

Coverage: a clean shot to Mexico, up the central valley, out East to the desertand all of Southern California. It has a great knife-edge shot to Kettleman City at about 180 miles.

This beacon has been heard on Mt. Potosi, Nevada (215miles), San Benito Peak, central valley (240 miles) and 494 miles down into Mexico to DL27 and by W1LP/mm at over 710 miles.

This beacon has been in operation for over nine years.

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