Homebrew 50 Mhz Beacon

A while back, Dave - N3DB, mentioned he had enough parts to make several low powered 6m transmitters for his global 6m beacon project. I told Dave that I was interested in trying to get one working. Being the nice guy that he is, he sent me a bag of components. I revised Dave’s component layout and etched out my own board. It didn’t turn out very well. Matter of fact, it’s hideous looking. I guess they don’t call it “ugly construction” for nothing. I got all the components soldered together and fired it up. Bingo! There was a nice carrier on 50.000.0, right where the crystal was supposed to be. I was happy there was a carrier but yet disappointed… it would not key. I soon realized the 2N3906 was soldered in backwards, duh! I switched it around and it keyed perfectly with only a minor amount of chirpiness. The beacon is presently QRV on 50.000.5 at 1 watt. Soon I will shave down the crystal and bring it up to 50.060.0 +/- It is keyed using the W9XT XT-4 bcn keyer. A less expensive beacon keyer kit can be found at http://www.norcalqrp.org/nckeyer.htm

An explanation by WB2AMU of how the beacon is constructed and a detailed schematic can be found at http://www.uksmg.org/lowpowerbeacon.htm.