Reverse Beacon Network

From Chris VK3QB

Early in 2020 the FISTS Down Under (CW Preservation Society, VK Chapter) established a Grants programme to encourage clubs to expand the Reverse Beacon Network in VK.  There was only one dedicated Reverse Beacon in VK, VK4CT located in Queensland.

FISTS Down Under is pleased to report that two successful applications have now been deployed and are up and running. The Northern Corridor Amateur Radio Group were first cab off the rank with VK6ANC.  And just in the last few weeks, the Radio Amateur Society of Australia have launched VK3RASA.

The following taken directly from the reversebeacon web site…

“So why should you care? Well, to begin with, you can see band openings in near-real time on an animated map. You can call a quick CQ, and see which reverse beacons hear you, and how strong you are.  Click here to try it.  

But the real breakthrough is in the database of past “spots”. You can instantly find out what stations, from a given country or zone, have been heard, at what times and on what frequencies. You can see when you’ve been spotted, who spotted you, and how loud you were. Click here to try it. 

“But wait,” as they say on the TV ads, “there’s more!” Now, for the first time, you can compare your signal with those of your friends and competitors, in near real time or historically. If you wonder how your signal stacked up during last weekend’s contests, the Signal Comparison Tool will give you real, quantitative data. Tell it what stations you want to compare, based on signals heard by a given reverse beacon on a certain band at a certain time, and there you’ll have it. Of course, whether you like what you see is up to you.  Click here to try it.” 


FISTS Down Under is a small club with about 150 members and a small operating budget.  We are proud to have been able to contribute $1,000 towards these projects and committee feels it reflects our commitment to supporting the code whilst leveraging the latest technology.  It’s also core to supporting projects and clubs that help to grow our hobby and foster active participation.

Many different interest groups will benefit from these Reverse Beacons.  

These two new Reverse Beacons represent a significant expansion in the VK RBN footprint, with three beacons now online – one in southern VK6, one in VK4 and one in southern VK3 – providing fairly good coverage across our continent.

The Radio Amateur Society of Australia’s e-magazine QTC (Nov/Dec edition) will have a detailed article about their solution and the RBN technology in general…  so, stand by for their next edition.

A couple of examples on how you can use RBN are presented below….  If you have any comments or questions, please email Chris VK3QB.

The screen shot below illustrates how you can see which stations are being heard by our “local” RBN, VK3RASA, located about 100km East of Melbourne.

This screen shot illustrates which Reverse Beacons are hearing VK3QB calling CQ… frequency and SNR – very handy.

73, Chris VK3QB

President, FISTS Down Under Inc.


Thanks Chris. Regards Ed.