Beaconnect FAQ’s

It’s an event to celebrate the Coronation using the ancient signalling sites in the UK by connecting them with radio or other modern technology rather than light from fires, but also to encourage people out operating portable for a different kind of activity, in hopefully fine summer weather!
Starting May in May 2023 once the licence is issued by Ofcom, ending on 30 June 2023, so there’s plenty of time.
The short answer is maybe. Only those sites with a permanent beacon structure or a reasonably inferred history of use for ancient signalling are appropriate please; any temporary Platinum Jubilee beacon locations are not, given the King’s decision not to light them.
Yes, but the intent of the event is beacon site to beacon site communications, or a net of beacon sites, so please make sure you contact as many other Beaconnect stations as possible, particularly during the activity periods 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm each day.
Not for Beaconnect, the intent is beacon site to beacon site communications, or a net of beacon sites.
DMR could be useful for co-ordination of a net, but is otherwise unsuited for Beaconnect
No, the intent is beacon site to beacon site communications, or a net of beacon sites
Yes, provided you are reasonably close to the beacon site
If you are a Full licensee then yes, so that these stations can be easily recognised, but they are not available to Foundation and Intermediate licensees
To use the SSES callsigns this is an Ofcom requirement, but is also so that other activators know who might be on air, and to form a record of the event
The Ofcom requirement is that the SSES callsigns are available to Full licensees only. If you wish to use one of these you will need to be supervised by a Full licensee. To operate unsupervised, you may use your own callsign followed by a suffix /Bnnn where nnn is a number that will be allocated to you on registration
Electronically only please, at the request of the QSL Bureau due to the potential number of cards, although direct QSL's between Beaconnect stations are fine if they exchange contact details and do not use the Bureau. Foundation and Intermediate licensees should also use electronic QSL's for this event please.
Yes, provided each one is registered so it has a unique callsign
This is a UK event so we anticipate the main load will be carried by 40m on HF, 6m, 2m and maybe 70cm in places but there are no restrictions. Nets will be self-organising and may choose other bands to better suit radio conditions and participants.
This is intended to be a low impact portable operation event, both to protect the ancient sites (some of which might be legally protected) and to enable as many people as possible to take part. High power, big antennas, tall masts, and generators are inappropriate and must not be used please. You can expand the range of a VHF/UHF handheld by a simple home-made Slim Jim or similar antenna held high on a 6m fishing rod or similar. The author has achieved a range of some 90 miles on 2m while doing this. Use 300 Ohm slotted feeder and wind half a dozen turns of the coax feeder into a coil about 3cm diameter next to the Slim Jim feed point. Don’t forget your EMF assessment though!
You can use any mode that gives point to point communication. Modes using repeaters or the internet as intermediaries are not suitable for Beaconnect.
You can subscribe to the forum to arrange skeds, or rely on the activity periods of 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm each day for random beacon site contacts. DMR may also be useful as an in-field co-ordination medium
For a loop or net potentially extending the length and breadth of the UK, to include as many participants as possible, it may be necessary (and/or interesting) to have a mixture of modes/bands. Choices of band and mode are the decision of those liaising or and organising a particular net/loop.
Yes, please see The Awards are for activating these sites in nets.