Swiss 5MHz beacon goes on the air

| June 6, 2014

Although the 60m band has not been released for amateur radio in Switzerland, the Sursee Amateur Radio Club has obtained the necessary authorisations for a 5MHz experimental beacon project. HB9AW became operational on 5291kHz at 0000hrs on 1 June. The transmission commences with the callsign HB9AW in CW, followed by five 2-second dashes. The dashes are each accurately attenuated in the EIRP power sequence 10 watts, 5 watts, 1 watt, 100 milliwatts and then 10 milliwatts. It currently repeats every 5 minutes, commencing on the hour. Transmissions come from JN43BA on a half-wave dipole, configured for high-angle radiation as an NVIS ‘fountain’ type antenna. It is at a height above ground of 0.12 of a wavelength and a reflector is placed beneath the antenna. The aim of the system is to explore the propagation conditions on 5MHz in the hills and valleys of Switzerland in relation to its possible suitability as an emergency communications band. An online form on the Sursee Amateur Radio Club’s website accepts reception reports.

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