The OARC's 10 m beacon VE3TEN is located a few miles south of Ottawa, near the intersection of Century Road and Hwy. 416. Current equipment consists of a rack mount box containing the transmitter, power supply and the identifier unit. The antenna, a Ringo Ranger, is mounted approximately 50 feet above ground level. The output of the transmitter has been turned back to 11-12 watts and a ducted cooling system has been made to increase the life span of the radio. The beacon operates on 28.175 Mhz and the mode is frequency shift keying. This means that the radio is on at full output at all times but that the transmit frequency is varied by about 700 hz to provide an audio tone shift at the receiver. FSK can be received by a receiver in any mode.

Tuning in the beacon so that it makes sense requires you tune to 28.175 on CW and read the tone that is there. The spaces between the elements are the higher tone. If that doesn't work, tune to 28.175.28 on lower sideband for better results.

The antenna at VE3TEN was a casualty of the January 1998 ice storms in eastern Ontario, broken in half and leaning over. Two visits up the tower were made, the first to inspect the antenna and mounting hardware, the second to remove the old unit and install a new antenna and mounting mast.

Click on any image to see it full size.

start climb
Starting up the tower. It's about 30 feet to the top.
halfway up
Most of the way up.
close to the top
Almost to the top. That's 3/8 " guy wire, 18" face width tower and a safety rail fall arrest system. Full body harness as well.
at the top
Inspection reveals that the mount is so rusted that it should be replaced.
The old wooden ladders to get to the roof.
ten rack
The VE3TEN beacon radio rack box sitting on top of the rack unit.
look in the boxes
A view down into the rack boxes.
Tuning the match box so the transmitter won't over heat. This was a stop gap measure so we could remain on the air using the old broken antenna.
dummy load
500 watts and up to 1 Ghz .... that's a dummy load!!!
VE3TEN's backup power source, also runs the landlords .580 kHz , 50 kW , AM rig.
tape measure
The Ringo Ranger being measured out before final tuning
Richard, VE3UNW assembles the new antenna.
Ringo Ranger

OARC Website