Monthly Archives: May 2014

5MHz Beacon Monitor Program

I’ve just discovered that the GB3RAL.EXE program, written by Peter G3PLX, is no longer available from . This is the software used to monitor the UK 5MHz beacons – GB3RAL, GB3WES and GB3ORK

After digging back through my emails, I found the most recent version that Peter sent me which supports¬† both conventional (mono) input and I-Q inputs for a SDR. This is the version I last had running with my Softrock receivers. As the documentation is in the now depreciated Windows .HLP format,¬† I’ve added the notes that Peter originally provided to the zip file in text format.

It should still run on any version of Windows from Windows 98 up to WIndows 8.1 (I must test this!). Just unzip the file into it’s own folder e.g. C:\beacons and run the program GB3RAL.EXE. If you’re installing on Windows Vista or later then don’t install under the program files folders as Windows will complain noisily! It can also be run on systems such as Linux and OSX using the Wine emulator.

It’s now available for download from here –



I’ve just started experimenting with WSPR – a weak signals digital mode, using the Icom IC703 and 5W to a 15m end-fed wire. I’d been transmitting on and off for around an hour, checking in the WSPRnet spots database to see how far away I was being copied.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this one.

2014-05-20 19:32 G4IRX 10.140155 -26 0 IO92jv 5 VK5MR PF96lh 16221 72

I double-checked VK5MR’s reported spots – he was hearing lots of EU and some Japanese traffic so I guess he must be operating from home! Now if only I could get that far on 10MHz APRS…

Site Move

Well no, not quite. I’ve now added a WordPress to the site which will allow me to post material more reguarly.

How web publishing has changed sice I started this site, Many hours were spent writing and debugging the php scripts that served up the old pages, particularly the 5MHz comparison charts. Those scripts are still there generating the graphs with help from the excellent jpgraph plugin.

WordPress also has apps to publish from mobile devices. I can even post from my Blackberry!