Pirate / Experimental / Unknown HF Shortwave Beacons

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cps@blackcatsystems.com

25 October 2008
There's a comprehensive list of HF beacons at the HFUnderground.com

4 October 2007
There's a new beacon! It's from VA, and transmits six dots and a dash on 4096 kHz. Coming in very well here in MD at 0020 UTC on about 4095.92 kHz

2 October 2007
A very productive morning!

4077.4 MO 1041z
4094.2 PA 1045z 
4111.2 dasher 1151z
4096.270 dasher 1102z (Hexie??)
4096.593 dasher 1105z (Kelsie??)
4095.993 dasher 1108z (really down there in the noise)
4102.32 W 1111z (came up out of the noise clearly a few times)

29 September 2007
At 0006 UTC I'm getting the dasher (T) on 4110.99 kHz

28 September 2007
Success! I'm picking up CO on about 14418.1 kHz, there's a bit of QRH. Weak but very clear copy at 1415 UTC here in Maryland.

I also have the dasher on 10236.8 kHz, at 1425 UTC.

There's a dasher on 7999.8 kHz as well, at 1505 UTC.

19 March 2007
Two more pirate beacons:

A Hifer beacon is operating day time only and is  solar powered.  
The freq is 13.690.4 MHz.    
ID is “CO”    
Power is just a hand full of milliwatts
2 March 2007
Two more pirate beacons:
CO   4078 kHz     operated 24/7 solar powered   100-200 millwatts into a short vertical
FL   4109.2 kHz   500-800 millwatts
15 September 2006
Don in Upland, CA reports:
This is what I am hearing:
4.0796     Temperature beacon TMPnnn 16" cycle
4.0889     Dash .5" on x.5" off cycle
4.096253 Dash 1" on x 1" off cycle
4.0966     Dash 2" on x 2" off cycle
4.1023     W with following dot pattern about 11" cycle
6.62633   Dots about 2 per second
8.00055   Dot echo beacon . Dot with two echoes then dot with one echo
17 February 2006
This is supposedly the transmitter used for one of the beacons:

23 March 2005
KUMD reports:
4078 - temp. beacon in the sw AZ desert: A1A CW "TMPnn" 24/7

4088.8 dasher - somewhere in death valley n.p. 24/7

4095-7 - a cluster of 7 CA/AZ beacons, all but one simple dits of
dashes, the "W" one is a windspeed indicator in the Colorado Desert of
CA - one dit/revolution of the anenometer.

6626 - a pair of sun-only (no battery) beacons "Rainy and Rocky" 120
miles apart in the Mojave desert.  One has chirpy deshes, one sounds
like a dripping faucet! (Rainy) Both get out well.

6700 southern Mojave desert dasher still QRT and we don't know if still
there as no one has gone there in 2 years.

7649.9: a ditter beacon located somewhere near the northern area of
Death vly. n.p. - daytime only - presently off-air until the wild Burro
smashed solar panel can be replaced. - by beg. of April.  This formerly
got out well too.

8001 "S" is QRT for unk. reason - failure or theft/vandalism.
25 October 2004
From Chris Smolinski:
Several new beacons to report:

VUDU is running one on 13512 khz- CW mode [1second on/1 second off tone] 1 watt. I have heard this one today at around 1840 UTC, very faint, on 13511.76 kHz.

VUDI is also running a beacon on 4092 kHz, same format. Not heard here.

Radio Anarchy is running one on 12128 kmHz also. One watt, one beat per second. Not heard here [yet!]

16 Aug 2004
From Chris Smolinski:
Some new unknown beacons have been reported around 13528 kHz. I am hearing the following at around 0030 UTC on August 17, 2004:
D 13527.71 Faint but audible
P 13527.81 Very good signal
S 13527.91 Faint but audible

Followup - these are not pirate beacons, but are a previously known Russian cluster beacon.

30 Apr 2004
From KUMD:
The two part time desert beacons (as differing from the 24/7 or day-only solar units are on 6870 'R' ABOUT A WATT, and occ between 6925 to 6930 'TR' or 'C' with 200 mW - both will be on 4/29 to 5/1 for DX testing, BTW

30 Apr 2004
From Red October:
Hearing a beep every second on 6945 kHz.

19 Jan 2004
From KUMD:
I can say that 6700.4 (was 24 hrs, A1A, about 62 dashes/min. is QRT for some reason - this beacon from s.e. CA's Colorado/Mojave Desert boundary, went suddenly silent in mid-Nov '03 after 4 years on-air.

One of the "4096 cluster" bcns about 30 miles from 6700 seems to have suffered from lack of winter sunlight - it was strong until late Nov after a battery swap and a charge controller addition, then faded down again to very weak levels on 4096.09 kHz with a 4 sec. dash A1A. the 5 others are there as usual.

Best bet for DX east of MS River is "S" 8000.55 (day-only) and "W" 4095.5 (24 h with huge signal in southwest.)

18 Jan 2004
On a somewhat related note, I've managed to hear N2UHC's 30m beacon on 10146 kHz CW. He's running 2 watts, and is in Frontenac, KS. I'm in Westminster, MD. I caught him as soon as I tuned in, so 100 milliwatts is certainly enough to get halfway across the US under conditions which are not the best. Quite a bit of UTE QRM, which sounds like PACTOR.

13 Jan 2004
From Glenn in CO:
4096: I
4096.25 has long dashs no other ID

12 Jan 2004
From Jeff in NW Oregon:
I also heard a cw beacon last night on 4096 at 0108 UTC. Repeated 'w'. Reception was poor but readible at times in my location.

From Tom in Manchester/Tullahoma, TN:
Finally heard the "W" beacon on 4095.55 at around 0342Z 11 Jan Not a bad haul for a 150mW beacon. See recording of beacon http://www.fernblatt.net/Recordings/4095_01_11_04_0342Z.zip Nothing on 6700 but a carrier and nothing on 8000.55 during the day.

5 Jan 2004
Ben in Colorado:
These were heard after dark in Colorado - both the dit dit dit beacons and the one that sends W.

4 Jan 2004
From William in Berkeley, CA:
At 4095.7 KHz there is a beacon that is a series of long dashes.

From "scanner_dude" in Cochise County AZ:
4095.5 I can copy one becon for sure... a series of 2 "dit's", it's mixed in with another, weaker signal that appears to be sending just a series of dash's.... I have a good copy on the one thats doing the "dit dit"... 1756 local Az time, 0056 Zulu

3 Jan 2004
Though possibly out of date by now, this Master List of Part 15 Radio Stations of North America might be of interest

2 Jan 2004
This message was posted some time ago on one of the pirate radio mailing lists. I've listened for these beacons here in Maryland without luck, but perhaps some other folks closer to the SW USA can pick them up. I have seen reports of a mystery "C" beacon on 6925 before.

Greetings from the US. A group of us here in the US Southwest have been
operating pirate beacons for a few years now. They are located at remote
sites in the southwestern deserts in Arizona and California. They are all
solar powered with a 12V gellcell (lead-acid) battery with the exception of
one that operates with a solar panel only and transmits daytime only. The
typical power output is about 100 to 200mW using a CMOS crystal oscillator
and a 2N2222 or similar output transisitor. Here is a list of the beacons
and frequencies:

8000.55 kHz: Sends Morse code letter "S"; daytime only from about 1500 to
0000 UTC. Located in western Arizona. Dipole antenna, 250 mW at mid-day.

4095 to 4096 kHz: A "cluster" of 5 beacons mostly sending either "dits" or
long dashes. They operate 24 hours. One periodically sends Morse "W"
between series of dits. Located in Arizona and Southern California
deserts. About 150 mW each.

5484.5 kHz - repetative "H".

6700 kHz. Sends a series of "dits". Located in California. Operates 24
hours.

6851 kHz. Sends a series of "dits".
Updated October 25, 2008