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Stefan's Radio Blog

Beacons for Windows 8

The NCDXF, in cooperation with the IARU, constructed and operates a worldwide network of high-frequency radio beacons on 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930, and 28.200 MHz. These beacons help both amateur and commercial high-frequency radio users assess the current condition of the ionosphere.



The Beacons app for Windows 8 makes it easy to observe these beacons. No need anymore to be able to decode the beacon's identifier send in Morse-Code. Simply tune your receiver to the frequency displayed on the app and listen. The app will show you the name of the transmitting beacon, some detailed data and the beacon's location on a world map.

When the user enters the Maidenhead Locator describing his geographical location or allows the app to calculate it, it will also display the distance and bearing from the user towards the transmitting beacon.

The app requires an accurate time setting in order to show the correct data. Usually the Windows operating system takes care of synchronizing the time over the Internet with a time server.

For the determination of the user's position the app uses the device's location sensor. For best accuracy GPS is required, but also WLAN based location determination works

Winner of the Windows 8 App Sprint

In 2012 Microsoft Switzerland organized a nice competitions for Swiss software developers: The first 100 developers who published an app for Windows 8 would quality for  a free Samsung Windows 8 tablet. With the Beacon app I was one of the lucky winners.