From the ARRL Letter Online Volume 18, Number 49 (December 17, 1999):
NEW AMRAD LF BEACON ACTIVATED:
A second experimental low-frequency beacon is on the air
from Northern Virginia. The WA2XTF/12 beacon on 136.745
kHz is a part of the Amateur Radio Research and Development
Corporation's experiments to gain LF experience in
anticipation that the FCC may allocate an amateur band at
In October 1998, the ARRL petitioned the FCC to create two
amateur LF allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz and 160-190
kHz. Its petition was designated RM-9404. The FCC has not
yet acted on the request.
The new beacon at the QTH of Ted Seely, AA4GM, near Front
Royal, Virginia--one of 12 WA2XTF sites--features a 175
W transmitter feeding a 1600-foot horizontal antenna. It
transmits a continuous CW message at 5 WPM. The AMRAD
project's first beacon WA2XTF/6, on 136.75 kHz, was shut
down temporarily to eliminate the potential for interference.
Project participant André Kesteloot, N4ICK, says the
WA2XTF/12 beacon setup employs an "Earth bipole" style antenna
that's grounded at both ends. The shorter leg consists of
100 feet of wire grounded to a 250-foot deep well casing. The
longer leg is some 1500 feet of wire stretched horizontally
about 20 feet above the ground, "strung from one tree to
another, like a telegraph wire," Kesteloot says. The far end
of the longer leg is connected to a rod inserted into a pond. He
said two large coils were inserted in series with the longer
wire--one at the transmitter end, the other near the pond
end--to bring the antenna into resonance at 136.750 kHz.
As AMRAD President (and ARRL Technical Relations Manager)
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, tells it, installation of the huge
antenna earlier this fall was one of the more challenging
aspects of the project. "When we got to the end of the run, we
were greeted by more than 20 cows," he said. "At first, we
were open to the thought that they were interested in Amateur
Radio antenna experimentation. But the more likely story was
that they thought it was feeding time."
Kesteloot reports the WA2XTF/12 transmitter was fired up on
November 14. AMRAD is seeking additional reports.
Reception reports may be sent via e-mail to André Kesteloot,
N4ICK, [email protected] Further information concerning
the LF experiments is available at http://www.amrad.org.
Geri, DK8KW (W1KW)