Q: What frequencies are the beacons on and when should I listen?
A: The beacons transmit on a repeating 3 minute cycle at staggered times. The Beacon Transmission Schedule Page shows the times and frequencies and also which beacons are currently off the air for repairs.
Q: How can I hear the beacons live without a receiver?
A: There are hundreds of internet connected radios capable of hearing the beacons. The KiwiSDR radios have a special IBP extension that will tune the receiver automatically. Go to KiwiSDRs online now and enter the callsign of one of the beacons to get a list of receivers you can use right now.
Q: How can I support the beacon project?
A: The ongoing operation of the NCDXF/IARU Beacon Project is funded mainly through donations from individuals. Tax deductible donations can be made online with a credit card using the NCDXF secure server. Please specify that the donation is to be used for the Beacon Fund. We would like to thank the many individuals and corporations who have supported this project over the past thirty-five years.
Q: Reception of beacons in our area is bothered by interference from other amateur stations, or from non-amateur stations operating illegally in the amateur bands. How do I report this interference?
A: The IARU HF Band Plan reserves the beacon frequencies for the International Beacon Project. Almost all member societies of the IARU have incorporated this recommendation in the band plans in their countries. In some countries it is mandatory by law, and in other countries it is recommended operating practice. Interference from amateurs should be reported to the appropriate member society of the country where the interference originates.
The IARU maintains monitoring stations in each of the three regions responsible for reporting non-amateur operation in the amateur bands to the appropriate authorities.
IARU Monitoring Service Contact Information:
Note that if you are using a receiver designed for voice reception, the wide bandwidth of the receiver will inevitably pick up adjacent signals which are not considered to be interference. For more information, please read the page dedicated to Interference to the Beacons.
Q: We would like to install a new beacon as part of the NCDXF/IARU International Beacon Project network. How do we go about it?
A: At the present time we are not soliciting new beacons for the network. Adding additional beacons would require reprogramming of all the existing beacons and would affect all of the software and hardware tools that have been created to track the beacons.
We encourage you to create an automated beacon monitoring station using FAROS or the RBN to post reception reports on the web as a real time indicator of propagation.
Q: I would like to install a personal beacon that is on a different frequency. Is there anyone who can help? Who coordinates the frequencies?
A: The IARU coordinates all the HF Beacons. There are 3 coordinators operating in each of the 3 IARU regions. Please contact your local coordinator for more information. Regulations prohibit unattended beacons on some bands in many countries. Check your local laws before starting your beacon. Martin Harrison, G3USF, the Region 1 Coordinator also maintains a Master List of HF Beacons that you can consult.
IARU Beacon Coordinator Region 1: Martin Harrison G3USF g3usf @ yahoo.co.uk
IARU Beacon Coordinator Region 2: Bill Hays WJ5O wj5o @ troycable.net
IARU Beacon Coordinator Region 3: Joz Sefriano YD1JZ yd1jz.joz @ gmail.com
Q: I am writing an app. Can I scrape your site for current status information?
A: You can, but we also provide a single access point simple csv file with the current status information. The status numbers match to the footnotes on the Transmission Schedule page.
Retrieve the status from IBPStatus.csv. Please restrict your queries to a reasonable rate. If possible, please cache the information on your own site daily rather than have each user app access the data directly.
Q: Are members of the beacon project team available to speak to our club?
A: From time to time we have given presentations on the beacons so it is worth asking if one of us might be available. There is also a 50 slide PowerPoint presentation including speaker notes which can be shown at your club by anyone with a little knowledge of the project and a shorter slide show suitable for display on a laptop or monitor at hamfests and other meetings. Please contact the webmaster for more information and the latest download URL.