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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Where can I get extra DF training beacons?
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,075
Unit: SI

« on: June 29, 2017, 11:20:05 PM »

I'm working on a mad hatter project that requires DF beacons. I'd prefer not to use the CAP beacons as they are usually out for training and I'd prefer not to tie them up as long as training stays a big deal. Anyone have ideas on this? I'd also be interested if someone can post the brands of beacons as ours are currently on loan to another squadron for training.
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Anthony@CAP
Recruit

Posts: 40

« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 11:47:02 PM »

Not as easy to find as the used to be, and certainly not cheap.

I see that there are a few available for sale right now:
http://www.skygeek.com/trainer-6000.html
http://www.northamericanavionics.com/northamericanproducts/model-6000-trainer-elt121775

And you can always reach out directly to the manufactuer:
http://www.pointerinc.com/trainer.html

You may also want to reference this thread regarding proper authorization to use the frequency if you plan on modifications or non-CAP uses: http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=17351.0
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sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,142

« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »

I'm guessing by "DF training beacon" you mean a practice beacon. The old 121.775 analog beacons are Pointer Cadet Model 6000. An online search shows SkyGeek supposedly has one in stock for $242.86. The new 406 practice beacons issued to the wings are ACR Model PLB-375 TCAP, part number 2880.TCAP. They're special order, so you'll have to call ACR to get the price but I believe it will be around $400 (more than the equivalent real distress version). The wings were issued one 406 practice beacon per plane so there should be plenty around. These are PLBs, so they transmit the Morse code letter "P" on 121.775.

The 406 practice beacons transmit on one of the actual 406 distress frequencies, but the hex ID is coded as a test beacon so that the system doesn't alert on them. The system still processes the signal, though, which means they will bump a distress signal out of the queue. This is why AFRCC has to be notified at least 48 hours in advance of activating a 406 practice beacon. AFRCC then sends the request to NOAA, which has to generate an "exception" message for the Sarsat system. More about testing and 406 practice beacons here: http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/Beacon%20Testing%20Policy.html

Mike
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,075
Unit: SI

« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 01:05:38 AM »

Thank you for all that, those links led me to the spec sheet for the signal which is what I was planning on reverse engineering and now I don't have to.

http://www.cospas-sarsat.int/images/stories/SystemDocs/Current/cs_t.001_oct_2013.pdf
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sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,142

« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 10:41:36 PM »

If that's what you wanted, you should have just asked. ::)

Here was another mad hatter project involving 406 beacons. http://www.captalk.net/index.php?topic=7308.msg134656

Mike
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Where can I get extra DF training beacons?
 


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