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IK0WRB Beacon

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Description

Since some people built VHF/UHF beacons based on my keyer, this page describes how to use IK0WRB Keyer this way.
First of all please note that no modifications are really necessary to all keyer versions, because the beacon function is already built in.
You simply store your beacon message in memory, then enter beacon mode (rotatory switch either on "6" or "B" position).
However, if you want to use this keyer as a beacon only, you can spare some components, simplify the circuit and have more features.
You can also store the message to be broadcast directly in the chip programming phase, without using a cw key. You can also save the rotatory switch, the button and the two-colors LED (speaker is totally optional, unless you want to keep awake someone you hate). In fact you need only a battery, or power input, and the output plug. Perhaps you can restore a single color red LED, just to monitor everything is working well.
Another possibility is to drive with pin 2 directly a crystal oscillator, which would be the driver of the beacon transmitter. In this case the keyer could be part of the beacon circuit itself.

The simplified circuit (for a beacon)


As you can see I added a voltage regulation, because a beacon is supposed to work 24 hours a day with some form of steady power, not batteries.

The components list

The program

The program used for the beacon totally different from the keyer one. Please use only the beacon program on the beacon circuit and keyer program on the keyer circuit, or damages could result to the chip!
The parameters of the beacon are the following:

All these parameters are established before the chip programming phase, but, how to compute all these parameters? You need only to use my bcnprom.exe program, which is included in the ZIP distribution file. You specify the crystal you are using and all other parameters as well as the beacon message and the program will show you the content of the 64 bytes of the EEPROM and will also store these bytes directly in the HEX file (currently beacon11.hex).
And of course, here is the package: beacon14.zip.
Version 1.4 of bcnprom expands the character set usable in the beacon message, adding the following signs, some of which were introduced in 2004 in the international Morse code: @ ! & ñ " $ æ.
Moreover now the characters and use two different Morse codes.
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