Mystery beacon

For the last three hours or so I’ve been driven mad by an APRS beacon on 2m that I can’t decode and which is not being gated to the internet by Richard MM1BHO’s gateway. The amount of activity on VHF APRS round here is so low that I normally leave the receiver audio on so that I can hear whether anyone is about. The signal I’m hearing is quite solid, obviously from a fixed station or a stationary mobile, and though it isn’t massively strong – just about making 1 bar on the Kenwood’s signal strength meter – it sounds fully quieting and as good as other signals I hear which are decoded.

I tried both wide and narrow FM modes and when that didn’t help I switched the antenna over to the FT-817 so I could try the AGWPE sound card decoder. I even tried plugging the antenna into the VX-8GR to see if that could decode it, but no joy. Listening to the sound of the beacon compared to the sound of my VX-8GR’s beacon, the one I can’t decode is quite a bit louder. I think it might be over-deviated.

So on the off-chance that someone trying APRS round here might read my blog, I thought I’d publish this posting. If it’s you, try turning the audio into the transmitter down and you might get gated.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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