Reverse Beacon Network Node

With the help of a grant of Fists Down Under we are setting up a receiver node for the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN).

The SDR receiver is a StemLab Red Pitaya 125-14, a HP Probook i5 laptop is doing the processing and data forwarding to the RBN server. The bottom 96 kHz of all 8 bands from 80 to 10 mtrs (80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10) is scanned for CW traffic, and anyone heard calling CQ will be shown on the RBN website.
Decoded data shows the receive frequency, the signal to noise ration and the cw speed.

Because the reception at our Remote HF Site at Brayshaw Park in Blenheim was not very good at all, the system is now up and running from the home QTH of ZL2GVA, using a 1:9 transfomer and about 22 mtrs of wire + 5 mtrs of counterpoise.

Please have a look:,hours&spotter_call=zl2ks




Update 12 June 22: For some reason the laptop developed problems with the CW Skimmer software (it would not load the Hermes.dll library), this has been fixed by upgrading the OS to Windows 10 (it was running Window 8).

The power supply has been sorted (a 12-5V down converter for the RP, and a 12-19V up converter for the laptop) , input protection has been made (reverse diodes) and a receive antenna (25 m wire) has been strung up at the site at Brayshaw Park in Blenheim.

Update 16 June 2022: the system has now been relocated to the final site at Brayshaw Park. Receive is down from what it was at my QTH, my 80 mtr horizontal loop was probably a bit better than the wire. We’re looking at improving this with adding a 1:9 un-un transformer and perhaps a static by-pass to ground will help too.

October 2022: Due to poor performance (even with the new 1:9 transformer) the node is now back at my QTH, for 2 weeks used my 80 mtr loop (to check performance against what we got before moving), after this put up the 1:9 + about 22 mtr of wire to free up the loop for my use, and also to be able to compare against Brayshaw Park performance with the same antenna. Receive certainly improved from Brayshaw Park, but not quite up with the loop. 1:9 transformer about 6 meters up, with the end of the wire on a gentle slope down to about 3 mtr. Direction about NE to SW.

Gerard, ZL2GVA