VK5 VHF,UHF & SHF Beacons

Prepared by VK5AVQ, edited by VK5KK 21 April 1998

This short report is to update Members on the South Australian Propagation type beacons.

The WIA SA Div. and affiliated Clubs operate a number of beacons around South Australia. The purpose is to provide known and consistent signals within the various amateur bands. They are used for a variety of purposes, the commonest being for indicating propagation conditions. Typical output powers are 10W to horizontal straight omni aerials for the VHF/UHF units. Frequencies are maintained to within 1KHz of the assigned frequency. The microwave units run lower power levels to omni or directional aerials. All beacons transmit carrier with CW (A1), FSK (F1), and AFSK (F2) identification.

From time to time beacons do fail or perhaps don't work as well in the direction required. If a problem is detected do your best to determine that it is in fact a beacon fault. Contact the beacon sponsor or the WIA in all cases. Remember that all the beacons have been funded by and constructed by private individuals. The amount "donated" by individuals runs into several thousand dollars. Help us maintain this service at a correct technical level. Any suggestions or help please Email the beacon group.

VK5VF Mt Lofty- Adelaide

VHF/UHF/SHF Propagation Beacons

The primary WIA site, operating as VK5VF is near Mt. Lofty. Height ASL 680Metres. A total of 9 beacons are licensed at this site on 6m and above. This site, established in 1963, is one of the longest continuous serving beacon sites as well as perhaps one of only a handful worldwide with a continuous beacon coverage from 50 - 10,368 MHz. A proposal is now afoot to locate the 28 MHz beacon to the VK5VF site in the next six months.

Contacts are Mark VK5AVQ for VHF beacons , David VK5KK for UHF & Microwave beacons and NorthEast Radio Group (Charlie VK5KDK or Ric VK5GV) for the Morse beacon.

Status and work performed for the previous 18 months: -

6m 52.450MHz Operational 15 Watts to Horizontal Omni (Turnstile)

2m 144.450MHz Operational 15 Watts to Horizontal Omni (2 Stacked Cloverleafs)

Frequency adjustment, 1.5KHz low

2m 145.650MHz Operational - 10W Vertical Omni.Morse practice maintained by NorthEast Radio Club.

Off air early 98 due to spurious emissions across 2m band during hot Wx. Crystal oscillator modified. Returned to service 17 Apr 98.

70cm 432.450MHz Operational 4 Watts to Horizontal Omni (2 Stacked Cloverleafs)

Output power is user controllable from 63mW to 4W. The beacon listens on its own frequency for 1.5 seconds per 30 seconds. Software was upgraded due to latching up in low power mode.

23cm 1296.450MHz Operational 10 Watts to Horizontal Lobe 170 - 320 Deg true 6dbd

The directional stacked waveguide aerial points West. To be replaced with omni waveguide slot (10dbd) in mid 98.

13cm 2403.450MHz Operational 5 Watts to Horizontal lobe 170 - 320 Deg true 13dbd

The directional slot points West, no changes

9cm 3456.450MHz Testing stage 5 Watts to Horizontal lobe 170 - 320 Deg true 13dbd

Commissioning due later in 98

6cm 5760.750MHz Testing stage 2 Watts to Horizontal lobe 170 - 320 Deg true 13dbd

Commissioning due later in 98. Uses same exciter as 3456 MHz.

3cm 10,368.450MHz Operational 1 Watt to Horizontal Omni, 12 dbd

Power supply was replaced following lightning strike. RF Power was raised to 1W along with 16 slot waveguide antenna late 96.

VK5WI 28-MHz Central Adelaide


10m beacon continues operation from the Burley Griffin Building at Thebarton. Contacts Merv VK5MX or VK5AVQ


10m 28.259 MHz. Operational - 10 Watts to a Groundplane

VK5RSE S-East South Australia


SERG (SouthEast Radio Group) operates VK5RSE in that area of the State.


2m 144.550MHz Operational - Was moved from Mt. Burr to the Bluff around Sept 97 10W Omni Horizontal.

70cm 432.550MHz Operational - Commissioned Feb 98 from the Bluff 10W H pol beaming West.

VK5RLZ North Adelaide


The SA VHF Group (formerly Elizabeth Radio Club) operates two low power microwave beacons from the Elizabeth Water Tower. Callsign VK5RLZ.For more pictures visit the South Australian VHF Group Web site Contact VK5KK or VK5WA


23cm 1296.550MHz Operational - 50mW to a dipole

13cm 2403.550MHz Operational - 10mW to a loop

1998-04-25 VK5AVQ & VK5KK