NCDXF/IARU HF beacons - a background:
The Northern California DX Foundation and International Amateur Radio Union have designed and installed 18 automatic beacons in the amateur HF bands. They are distributed worldwide and form a valuable propagation resource.
The signal is the callsign in CW at 22wpm, followed by 4 dashes. The dashes start at 100W and progressively reduce in power to 100mW. Each beacon is allocated a time slot and transmits at 10 second intervals, starting on 14MHz and working up to 28MHz. In this way complete coverage is built up. The slot timings are very accurate and enable monitoring by prediction of these slots on a computer. A more detailed description and explanation can be found at the NCDXF/IARU website
PC Downloads - BeSpeak 5
BeSpeak is a real time HF beacon announcer. You select a band and the screen shows location, callsign and status of the beacon transmitting at that time. The distance and bearing from your own location is also displayed, together with selectable voice announcements of the current beacon. Home location and beacon data are fully editable within the application.
Version 5 adds substantial additional features - automatic beacon recognition and logging, data analysis, charting together with rig control . The user interface has been amended and now includes an option to track a single beacon across all bands.
Primary screen and control centre
This is where the entire application is controlled. There is a complete help system included.
Normally displayed full screen. Various graphics in both 2D and 3D available.
Automatic logging & recognition controls
BeSpeak uses fast Fourier Transforms to split the received signal into discrete frequency bands. It then listens for the morse identification transmissions in those bands.
It includes a simple wizard to assist in setting up the recognition algorithms to suit prevailing band noise conditions.
The recognition controls should not need to be adjusted frequently.
IMPORTANT If you already have an earlier version of BeSpeak installed you MUST uninstall it before installing this version. See the ReadMe in the zip distribution file.
This version requires a Registration File which must be downloaded separately. The registration file is free, and lasts for a year from date of generation (January each year). BeSpeak dates from 2001 so for 2009 I would like to know how many people are still using the program so I can decide if an update is worthwhile. Therefore please email me for a new Registration File.
On first installation Setup will install a Registration file (BeSpeakReg.txt) into the program folder chosen. With version 517 this expired in June 2003. You need to install the new Registration File.
To install it unzip the downloaded file. It goes into the same folder as your BeSpeak executable file (BeSpeak***.exe). The default location is C:\Program Files\BeSpeak. Next simply copy and paste the new file over the old one.
Make sure that you agree to overwrite the existing file of the same name at the Windows® warning message.
DO NOT TAMPER WITH OR CHANGE THE REGISTRATION FILE IN ANY WAY OR BESPEAK WILL NOT START.
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Copyright © Alan Messenger G0TLK, January 2009. All trademarks acknowledged.