K B 4 U P I
See our 28.255beacon info below.
I was an avid SWL for many years until I got my amateur radio license in 1986. I still enjoy listening to SW & utility stations. I operate HF, 6, and 2 meters with 10 meters being my favorite band. My 10-10 number is 74849. Listen for our 10 meter propagation beacon at 28.255 Mhz running 2 watts. The beacon transmitter is located at our lake house in Centre, AL. Beacon reports and QSL'S are welcome. If you want a card I QSL 100%, just provide your own SASE, or use QRZ, eQSL, or LOTW. See beacon info below. Other interests include GeoCaching (MickUpi), RC Airplanes, Computers, and Electronics. I have about 635 QSL cards on the wall. I you would like to see my BIO scroll to the bottom of the page.
KB4UPI 10 Meter Beacon 28.255 EM64
Our 10 meter beacon runs 2 watts into a inverted V dipole antenna and is located at Roll Tide Retreat in Centre, Alabama on the beautiful banks of Weiss Lake in EM64. This has been our family lake house for many years. The beacon was first placed on the air in October of 1987 on 28.224, and the first report came from Don, WB4YRJ, who is now a SK. The frequency was chosen because it was the only place I could make the converted CB transmit at due to the crystals I had on hand. Later I changed it to 28.267 for much the same reason. It was later changed to 28.255 at the request of the HF beacon coordinator Bill, WJ50. Contact Bill before you start any intended beacon operation. See the WJ5O Beacon List.
The beacon has received reports from all over the world over the years. The most distant report was in March of 1990 and came from SWL, Brian Webb, ZL2262 in New Zealand. That is 4998 (MPW) miles per watt. See his report below.
QSL reports in any form are welcome and especially useful as I am 96 air miles away and cannot hear it most of the time. I QSL 100 per cent worldwide to ham operators and SWL's if you include an SASE. Copy the short message if you wish. All I need for a QSL is the frequency, time, date, and signal report. If you would like to send me a simple report via email you may send it to MickUpi*Gmail.com. The at sign is replaced to prevent email harvesting.
The picture below is the present setup in the corner of the garage adjacent to the lake house. No one lives there full time so the beacon is completely unattended. I have had several transmitters over the years. The present transmitter is a Cobra 21 CB radio graciously converted and provided by Bill, WJ5O for a small fee. It was placed in operation in March of 2014. The MFJ-484 keyer has keyed the transmitter for many years. I had to replace the keying transistor several years ago after a lightning strike. Luckily and somewhat strangely, it did not harm the radio. The battery is kept up by a small 1 amp power supply.
The radio, keyer, SWR meter, and battery are tucked away on this triangular shelf in the corner of the garage.
Close up of the Cobra 21 converted CB radio. CB's are available at most junk stores and lots of yard sales. Never tell the seller you are going to use it for any "real purpose". Just say you want to experiment with it. I have bought them for as little as 3 dollars.
Close up of the MFJ-484 keyer. It is no longer made so if you find one for sale grab it. MFJ in their quest to make products better have only made the newer ones more difficult to use.
This is a view from the dock at the lake. The equipment is located in the front right corner of the garage. The dipole antenna is located near the top of the pole in front of the garage.
This view is from the front of the garage while standing under the dipole antenna.
Aerial view of the area. The beacon is located at the yellow marker in the bottom right of the image. Location is 2 miles east of the town of Centre. Coordinates are 34 10.135 -85 35.024
This picture is where a squirrel chewed the coax shield away. I have learned it is best to leave the coax hanging freely instead of attaching it to trees. I can only wonder why squirrels do this.
I was interested in radio from an early age. At the age of 12 I built a crystal set and threw a wire out my bedroom window. It received our local AM station and from that moment on I was hooked on radio for life. After all as simple as it was, I built something that received a radio signal. I was fairly happy as a SWL from the age of 12. I struggled with Morse code for several years, and I never had any kind of aid in my endeavor to learn it. Years later I was working on an electronics building project that had me stumped. I only knew one person in our community who was a ham operator, Jim Bonner, K4UMD. I figured he could help me. I went over to his house and knocked on the door. As I went in I noticed the ham station, but I didn't say anything about it. I was there for help with my project. He got me on the right track with it. Afterward the conversation turned to ham radio. Jim said, "You really ought to get your ham radio license". I answered by saying "why". "Just because you can", he said. Jim was the first person ever to tell me I could get my ham radio license. I told him I had a problem with the code. I came over to his ham shack several times for some CW tutor and practice. I later got to where I could practice on my own. Jim gave me my Novice exam in 1986 and suddenly I was a ham radio operator. If not for the help and patience of Jim K4UMD I may have never gotten my license. I upgraded to Advanced in the same year.
I work contests but I rarely send in the log results. I have worked all states on three bands and 105 or so countries. If certificates and awards are your thing that's fine and I understand the pursuit of such, but they don't do much for me. I know what I have done and that's good enough for me. I work most all bands and modes including SSB, CW, RTTY, SSTV, and a few other digital modes. I am good with CW at 10 to 14 wpm. Faster than that I tend to lose some of the copy.
I was a master plumber for 24 years and after that I worked as a Plumbing Inspector for our local county for 18 years and retired in 2012.
I hope to hear you on the air. 73 de Mick, KB4UPI