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Author Topic: Driftnet Beacons etc...  (Read 3285 times)


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Driftnet Beacons etc...
« on: February 02, 2014, 20:20:42 UTC »

Ten meters is open again  today, and while monitoring as usual, sometimes when the receiver is park on some frequencies, I can hear from time to time some strange signals coming from ? I don't know, where does it comme from, I have no beam to pinpoint those signals, only a ten meter vertical.

Each time I listen on ten meter, I can hear those  "STRANGE SMALL BEACONS"

It always begin by suddently a small carrier, and then 2 or 3 CW letters and then nothing. If you stay on the frequency you are receiving that signal, the repetition of this identification is at about  2, sometimes 3 minutes interval.

If you ever experienced such strange signals, here is the answer.

A driftnet beacon is a battery-powered radio transmitter installed inside a marine buoy. This "radio buoy" / "fishing buoy" / "fishery buoy"  is tied to the end of an ocean drift net, or occasionally, a longline . The signal allows fishermen to perform RDF (radio direction finding) techniques to determine the exact location of the net after it's been deployed a while.

 The high popularity of these driftnet beacons is undoubtedly due to their low cost--they are a "poor man's alternative" to the remote control radio buoys, GPS-enabled buoys, and satellite buoys. Driftnets longer than 1.5 miles were outlawed worldwide in the early 1990s.

It is still used widely in 2014 as reported by the IARU Intruder Watch.


For more informations check this PDF document by DJ7KG Georg from the IARU monitoring system, REGION 1.

You shall find in this document the last up dated list/frequencies, photos of what a fishnet beacon look like etc.


Good reading,

72 Michel/In Watch at the lighthouse  ;D