50MHz Bandplan / Beacons
on the WWW at g8bcg.org.uk + 50MHz.today

 

follow G8BCG and EA8/G8BCG on

follow G8BCG on YouTube  
Home G8BCG 2017 DX 50MHz DX Maps G8BCG firsts 50MHz EME 50/144MHz 50MHz DXCC 50MHz QSL Gallery DX Log / Audio Clips 50MHz Harris Amp 70MHz 144MHz 432Mhz Contest Set-up Overseas Operations GJ8BCG/P EA8/G8BCG IL39 G8BCGs Guestbook Useful Stuff Marconi FDCs 50MHz Bandplan / Beacons

The 50MHz Band Plan, Beacons and the Synchronous Beacon Project - IARU Region 1

2017: The RSGB seems to be moving rapidly (and with little consultation) towards first implementation of a 50MHz Sychronised Beacon Multiplex on 50.005MHz. This seems to be driven by the desire to impress at the upcoming IARU Region 1 General Conference.  See RSGB IARU Consultation forum paper here: http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?threads/draft-paper-50-mhz-beacons.255/

Right now (early April 2017) it looks as if GB3MCB on 50.032.2MHz (running PI-4 + CW since July 2016) will be changed to a 20% duty cycle 1min on / 4 off on 50.005MHz (with possibly the other 4 minutes on 50.443MHz). IMHO this is for no other reason than to impress IARU Delegates:-(

As I've repeatedly said, I am only the "technician" who got involved in GB3MCB/50MHz to construct the PI-4 beacon which replaced the old one on 50.043MHz.
I strongly opposed the RSGB / IARU plan to move all beacons up to 50.4xx some years ago (as it reduced their value for DX).
As 10 "multiplex" frequencies were allocated for DX beacons at the bottom of the band (each suggested for up to 5 beacons) I had assumed that it would be many years before multiplexing would become necessary and that multiplexing would then be planned with some geographical logic. It would seem that this could not have been further to the truth!
These are simply my own views based on 39 years of working 50Mhz from 5 Continents - but I suspect they would be shared by the majority of DXers in EU and worldwide - if only anyone asked!
The focus seems to have been on the technical aspects of developing a multiplex rather than on the use / benefits of the existing beacons (vs any replacement scheme) to those who actually use them as propagation indicators on 50MHz.

Having let my views be known I have been trying to keep out of the politics and specifically absented myself from the RSGB / UKSMG discussions suggesting that they (both) should speak to the beacon sponsors / keepers for their views. It would seem that this has not happened - at least with GB3MCB.
But most importantly it is the USERS of the beacons who should be CONSULTED and LISTENED TO.

I guess this will not be high on the agenda for the RSGB but it should be TOP of the agenda for UKSMG!

2016:
As it is my nearest 50Mhz Beacon and a well respected propagation indicator I volunteered to configure and test the The new GB3MCB “Next Generation” Beacon. The beacon went live on 27th July 2016 and has been running faultlessly 24/7 since then.
The GB3MCB 50Mhz NextGen Beacon

2014:
RSGB 50 MHz Synchronised Beacons Papers IARU R1 2014 General Conference – Varna-Albena, Bulgaria:

VA14_C5-14_50MHz-synchronised-beacons.pdf

VA14_C5-15_50MHz-Beacons-per-slot.pdf

VA14-C5-6m-Working-Group.pdf

This is all ancient history now: Welcome to my personal rant page where I continue to build evidence of why the "new" 50MHz IARU Region 1 Band Plan is a bad piece of legislation which if fully implemented is destined to reduce the value and usefulness of the international 50MHz beacon network, cause general operating confusion, and result in reduced propagation research data and of course lost QSOs.

22/10/2014 22nd 18:03 FY7THF/B 419 for 10 mins then gone. 18:10 - 19:00 PY3KN ssb - LU9DO ssb - CX5CR ssb - LU5FF cw also heard CE3SX All sigs had slow deep QSB. At 19:44 I found ED1YCE/B IN83 50.445MHz and ED3YCA/B IN73 50.4455MHz both Northern Spain and both 599+ on TROPO. I think this confirms that my TEP QSOs were Tropo assisted at this end. I guess these beacons had been there all night but on these stupid freqs they are next to useless:-(

15/6/2014 OY and JW7 beacons lost in space

Late in the evening we finally noticed that the OY and JW7 beacons were booming in on there new "might as well be closed down" frequencies! Didn't attract many spots - but did stir up some interesting chat on ON4KST and a reminder from Kerry: http://www.uksmg.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?1343

2014-06-15 21:49:12Z   G8VR Kerry (G0LCS)   http_link
2014-06-15 21:17:55Z   G8VR Kerry (G0LCS)   allegedly...
2014-06-15 21:17:20Z   G8VR Kerry (G0LCS)   (G8BCG) I just read back through the chat. I think it's ironic that people who decided the barmy band plan change are logged onto the chat!
 
2014-06-15 20:34:23Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   RR Peter 73 - not criticism of beacon keepers - but of rulemakers;-)
2014-06-15 20:31:52Z   LA7QIA Peter   OK, I'll QSY. But plese continue to lsn for - and spot - JW7SIX. I need these spots for my JW operations. TNX.
2014-06-15 20:29:40Z   IZ8DWF Frank   but they made it :-)
2014-06-15 20:29:08Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   RR Peter I'll just ask all my friends in R2 and R3 to comply
2014-06-15 20:29:08Z   IZ8DWF Frank   it was hard to do worse than that
2014-06-15 20:28:53Z   IZ8DWF Frank   yes it was at least more or less universal
2014-06-15 20:28:23Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   but it was a universal mess - now we have our own:-) anyway JW7SIX still 599
2014-06-15 20:28:19Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG But untill we get another new BP, it's better if everyone follows the one in use. Just my five cents.
2014-06-15 20:28:02Z   IZ8DWF Frank   again I don't want to defend the new bandplan, but the old was already as bad as it could be
2014-06-15 20:27:33Z   IZ8DWF Frank   the band plan was a mess even before anyway....
2014-06-15 20:26:42Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   Region 1 Amateurs BY CHOICE messed up the band plan and made it incompatible with propagation, equipment and operations practice
2014-06-15 20:26:34Z   IZ8DWF Frank   Ok Peter, I might as well agree with you, but that a decision taken for us
2014-06-15 20:25:55Z   IZ8DWF Frank   in facts we missed who knows how many VK opening in the past years :-)
2014-06-15 20:25:32Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   RR Frank - but not by CHOICE
2014-06-15 20:25:25Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG And thank you for doing it. I totally agree with you: These beacons need to be found (and spottet) to be useful
2014-06-15 20:25:10Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   another thing not known by the committee
2014-06-15 20:25:09Z   IZ8DWF Frank   VK beacons are already over 300 since ages
2014-06-15 20:24:26Z   GI0OTC Alan   My antenna don't do so well at those dizzy heights !
2014-06-15 20:23:28Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   RR Peter - but I had to go look for it;-)
2014-06-15 20:22:53Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   of course neil so do I - but it's the random finding of beacons that (used to ) bring QSOs
2014-06-15 20:22:40Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG But you found it up there today :-) Well done.
2014-06-15 20:22:01Z   G0JHC Neil (no data)   Just put the beacons in memory. no need to tune. that's what I do
2014-06-15 20:19:15Z   IZ8DWF Frank   blame the ones that were sent to that committee
2014-06-15 20:18:52Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   and I've got the hump:-)
2014-06-15 20:18:30Z   GW4MBN John   (G8BCG) Was decided by a committee - a camel is a horse designed by a committee :-)
2014-06-15 20:18:17Z   DL8YHR Frank   more than stupit peter to set /b up so high in the band
2014-06-15 20:17:06Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   http_link
2014-06-15 20:16:27Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   and in F2 season how long after 50.000 does muf hit 50.400?
2014-06-15 20:16:04Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   serious - how many DX stations do you think tune above 400
2014-06-15 20:15:12Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG Serious?
2014-06-15 20:14:41Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   exactly - might as well turn it off:-(
2014-06-15 20:14:16Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   it is the new BP that is stupid not the beacon keepers of course
2014-06-15 20:14:13Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG It's in the new beacon band!
2014-06-15 20:13:57Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   (LA7QIA) because nobody will ever find it by chance:-(
2014-06-15 20:12:43Z   LA7QIA Peter   G8BCG Why is that a stupid QRG?
2014-06-15 20:11:36Z   G8BCG Peter IO70   Duncan JW7six/B in loud 447

16/4/2014: Posted on UKSMG forum
Hi All, Not sure if anyone will read this but... I have said elsewhere that I think the "new" 50MHz Region 1 Band Plan is 99% nonsense. In particular, moving all of the Region 1 Beacons up the band beyond the known universe is about as useful as closing them down! Moving the beacons up the band has rendered them almost useless as i) they will not be stumbled upon and ii) they will be the last thing to propagate as the F2 MUF creeps up. I recall that at the time of the rule-making a prominent RSGB Committee Member commented that 6m beacons were less important internationally these days as they were always pipped to the post by QRO stations anyway. How wrong can you be!
Last night 15/4/14 ZL1RS spotted ED7YAD/B and within minutes, alerted by this, he had worked EA9 (!) and EA7. Search for EA7YAD on http://www.dxsummit.fi/Search.aspx (or see a SPOTS list here) if you want to see how beacons in the bottom of the band perform. What is done is done - but it doesn't make it any less crazy:-( But a public discussion and support from interest groups such as UKSMG might save something of this valuable resource.
[also posted to band plans forum]

3/4/2014 Extract from my March 2014  Report to UKSMG what's on Six Columnist Chris W3CMP
In Region 1 National Societies incl the RSGB seem to be pushing hard for users of 50MHz to stick to the new Band Plan. It seems to me that development of this band plan was mainly driven by a desire to “tidy up” and make 50MHz like the higher VHF Bands in R1. I understand that another key driver was the need for more space for CW – this was pushed hard by DL as at the time they were QRP only and WERE NOT PERMITTED TO USE ANY DATA MODES / EME on 50MHz – so pushing these out of the way was not an issue!
Like many DXers and major users of 50MHz I have issues with the new Region 1 (local!) band plan:
1 When open, 50MHz is like a HF band – and as such a band plan is only workable if it is global.
2 Moving the beacons up the band has made them less useful as i) the will not be stumbled upon and ii) they will be the last thing to propagate as the F2 MUF creeps up
3 Moving EME way up the band (because it is not impacted by MUF) may seem reasonable. BUT, EME folks have high gain antenna systems (and a big investment in this hardware). These antennas will be optimised for the bottom of the band and can have a high SWR and lower performance at the proposed frequencies. ALSO Point 1 above is particularly pertinent to EME – which is why most 50MHz EME is and will continue to be around 50.190 UNTIL there is a globally agreed long term plan to move it!
I know that UKSMG worked hard to retain a small future beacon frequency down the bottom end but it’s about time someone spoke up and said that the R1 Band Plan is unworkable and worse still, has a negative impact on the potential for random and scheduled intercontinental communications on the band. Silence of individuals and User Groups such as UKSMG is seen as approval.

22/3/2014 Extract from my March 2014  Report to RSGB VHF Columnist Richard G4HGI: [Was NOT printed:-(]
Re your para on 50MHz band plans last month. Like many DXers and major users of 50MHz I have some issues with the new (local) band plan:
1 When open, 50MHz is like a HF band – and as such a band plan is only workable if it is global.
2 Moving the beacons up the band has made them less useful as i) the will not be stumbled upon and ii) they will be the last thing to propagate as the F2 MUF creeps up
3 Moving EME way up the band (because it is not impacted by MUF) may seem reasonable. BUT, EME folks have high gain antenna systems (and a big investment in this hardware). These antennas will be optimised for the bottom of the band and can have a high SWR and lower performance at the proposed frequencies. ALSO Point 1 above is particularly pertinent to EME – which is why most 50MHz EME is and will continue to be around 50.190 UNTIL there is a globally agreed long term plan to move it.
It seems to me that the 50MHz band plan was mainly driven by a desire to “tidy up” and make it like the higher VHF Bands. I understand that another key driver was the need for more space for CW – this was pushed hard by DL as at the time they were QRP only and WERE NOT PERMITTED TO USE ANY DATA MODES / EME on 50MHz – so pushing these out of the way was not an issue!

More stuff here that I seem to have lost track of;-)

23/3/2010: Posted on UKSMG forum

This seems like a remarkable piece of arrogance - regulation by our own national societies "for our own good" with little or no consultation! Please, if it ain't broke - DON'T fix it.
Those with any experience of solar peaks, F2, TEP and the like know that the global network of beacons generally below 50.080 are the single most useful aid to propagation study.
I'm in EA8 right now and over the last few days I've heard and reported many beacons BEFORE the band was know to be open.
Examples -
heard LU5EGY/B spotted, called cq worked PT7ZAP
heard PR8ZIX/B spotted, called cq worked PY2ZXU
heard ZD8CHF/B spotted daily
heard OA4/B for 35 mins spotted, called cq worked.... nothing ah well.
I can't imaging these and other beacons useful to us in EU and Region 1 will move any time soon regardless of the IARU Region 1 decision. However, OUR beacons serve as great indicators to others - if we move them above 50.400 closer or above the F2 muf, where antennas don't work so well and where there is nothing else to warrant random tuning then there use will be seriously reduced.
To contemplate moving them at or around cycle peak is sheer madness - not emotion - FACT!
Sadly, to me the RSGB has always been an Aligator organisation - big mouth small ears - let's hope I'm wrong on this one.
73 EA8/G8BCG

ED7YAD SPOTS @ 15/4/2014

ZL1RS          50074.6 ED7YAD       bcn 539                            2022 15 Apr   Spain
IS0GQX         50074.6 ED7YAD       bcn 559bs QTF:200                  1651 15 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559                                1610 15 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                1931 14 Apr   Spain
TZ6BB-@        50074.5 ED7YAD/B     569                                1902 14 Apr   Spain
EA6SA          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539 im76qo jm19lo                  1739 14 Apr   Spain
3B8MM-@        50074.0 ED7YAD       bcn hrd 579                        1418 14 Apr   Spain
FR5DN          50074.5 ED7YAD       s6 building. CS5 also              1405 14 Apr   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 599                            1636 13 Apr   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 529                            2209 11 Apr   Spain
F5BZB          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559 in jn03                        1947 10 Apr   Spain
LW3EX          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     IM76>GF05                          1802 10 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539                                2019 09 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539                                1819 09 Apr   Spain
ZB2EO          50075.0 ED7YAD       beacon                             1418 09 Apr   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.5 ED7YAD                                          1902 08 Apr   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 559                            1857 08 Apr   Spain
G8BCG          50074.5 ED7YAD       pinging BS 220                     1801 07 Apr   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       bcn s4                             1710 07 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559                                1617 05 Apr   Spain
3B8MM-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       599+                               1247 05 Apr   Spain
EA8DBM         50074.5 ED7YAD       IL18PB<UNKNOWN>IM76QO 599          2249 04 Apr   Spain
LU1WI-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       BCB 539   en FE77                  2027 03 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                1820 03 Apr   Spain
LW3EX          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     IM76>GF05                          1739 03 Apr   Spain
EA8/G8BCG-     50074.5 ED7YAD       539 BS qtf 240                     1516 02 Apr   Spain
ZP5SNA-@       50074.5 ED7YAD/B     579                                1943 01 Apr   Spain
LU5FF          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539                                1941 01 Apr   Spain
IZ8DWF         50074.7 ED7YAD       bcn 529 BS 150                     1644 01 Apr   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                1458 01 Apr   Spain
FR5DN          50074.5 ED7YAD       599                                1204 01 Apr   Spain
CE3SX          50074.0 ED7YAD/B     529                                1834 31 Mar   Spain
PY4AQA         50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539                                2300 30 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 529                            1821 28 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                1627 28 Mar   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       BCN 539 KG46<>IM76                 1447 27 Mar   Spain
FR5CU          50073.0 ED7YAD       555 \"DE ED7YAD - QTH IM76QO -     1444 27 Mar   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.5 ED7YAD       539                                1933 26 Mar   Spain
CE3SX          50074.0 ED7YAD/B     still here                         2019 25 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                1700 24 Mar   Spain
FR5DN          50074.5 ED7YAD       599                                1454 24 Mar   Spain
FR4NT          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559                                1428 24 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559                                1709 23 Mar   Spain
FR5DN-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       599 AND OTHER CS                   1126 22 Mar   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.6 ED7YAD       579                                2352 21 Mar   Spain
ZS6NK          50074.0 ED7YAD       579                                1454 21 Mar   Spain
FR5DN-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       599+                               1219 21 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                1715 20 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                2039 19 Mar   Spain
FR5DN-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       599                                1307 17 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 559                            0049 17 Mar   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.6 ED7YAD       529                                1949 16 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 539                            2334 14 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                2029 13 Mar   Spain
CE3SX          50074.0 ED7YAD/B                                        2039 12 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                2009 12 Mar   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       529                                1748 12 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     519                                1903 11 Mar   Spain
FR5DN-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       599 also cs bcn                    1141 11 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                2055 10 Mar   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.5 ED7YAD       539                                2046 10 Mar   Spain
TJ3SN          50075.6 ED7YAD       539                                0030 08 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 559                            1937 07 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     529                                1722 07 Mar   Spain
FR5DN-@        50074.5 ED7YAD       569                                1409 07 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     bcn 569                            2025 05 Mar   Spain
CE3SX          50075.0 ED7YAD/B     FF46PR<TEP>IM76QO                  2008 04 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B                                        2318 03 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 539                            2051 03 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 529                            2131 01 Mar   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 539                            0159 01 Mar   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     539                                1801 27 Feb   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       519                                1754 27 Feb   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.6 ED7YAD       bcn 529                            1340 27 Feb   Spain
CE6RC          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     FF30KE<>IM76QO correct call        1358 26 Feb   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       competing with JY6ZZ               1930 25 Feb   Spain
LW3EX          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     IM76>GF05  QRV .105 CW             1727 25 Feb   Spain
EA7HG          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     559                                2103 24 Feb   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.5 ED7YAD       529 stable signal                  1725 23 Feb   Spain
ZS6WN          50074.6 ED7YAD       beacon 529                         1227 23 Feb   Spain
CE3SX          50075.0 ED7YAD/B     529                                2255 21 Feb   Spain
PY2OC          50074.8 ED7YAD/B     539 into GG66                      2255 21 Feb   Spain
PY1VOY         50074.5 ED7YAD/B     still 579 in gg87ic                2005 21 Feb   Spain
PY2REK         50074.0 ED7YAD/B     559                                1844 21 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 559                            1740 21 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 579                            1847 20 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     bcn 549                            2300 07 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 539                            2300 05 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 559                            2222 04 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.2 ED7YAD/B     bcn 539                            2231 03 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.4 ED7YAD/B     bcn 529                            2245 02 Feb   Spain
LU5FF          50074.5 ED7YAD/B     bcn 529                            2314 27 Jan   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.6 ED7YAD       559                                2017 23 Jan   Spain
TJ3SN          50074.6 ED7YAD       519                                2024 22 Jan   Spain

 

page created: Mar 2010 last updated: 11 Apr 2017

since 2/10/2014:
Flag Counter
G8BCG / H44PT SMIRK Member # 4780
Make More Miles on VHF
G8BCG UKSMG Member # 1570

Home ] G8BCG ] 2017 DX ] 50MHz DX Maps ] G8BCG firsts 50MHz ] EME 50/144MHz ] 50MHz DXCC ] 50MHz QSL Gallery ] DX Log / Audio Clips ] 50MHz Harris Amp ] 70MHz ] 144MHz ] 432Mhz ] Contest Set-up ] Overseas Operations ] GJ8BCG/P ] EA8/G8BCG IL39 ] G8BCGs Guestbook ] Useful Stuff ] Marconi FDCs ] [ 50MHz Bandplan / Beacons ]
All content © G8BCG 1993-2016