VE8AT is sponsored and run by the Northern Alberta Radio Club. The maintenance of the VE8AT beacon falls under the auspices of the Operations Director’s portfolio on the NARC executive.
The VE8AT beacon is part of the NCDXF/IARU Worldwide Beacon Network. It beacons as part of a tightly scheduled group of transmitters used by radio amateurs to check worldwide propagation characteristics on 5 bands.
The NCDXF/IARU beacons are scheduled to operate on a 3 minute cycle. Each beacon transmits every three minutes, day and night. A transmission consists of the callsign of the beacon sent at 22 words per minute followed by four one-second dashes. The callsign and the first dash are sent at 100 watts. The remaining dashes are sent at 10 watts, 1 watt and 100 milliwatts.
VE8AT is scheduled to send on 14.100 at 10 seconds, 18.110 at 20 seconds, 21.150 at 30 seconds, 24.930 at 40 seconds, and 28.200 at 50 seconds into the 3 minute cycle.
VE8AT uses a Kenwood TS-50 HF radio and a special beacon controller created by the NCDXF/IARU, and a modified Cushcraft R5 multiband vertical antenna. The beacon was destined to be installed at CFS Alert, at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, but security concerns on the military installation made a relocation to Eureka close to 500 km to the southwest necessary.
The equipment for the beacon was provide by both NARC and the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF). NCDXF provided the radio and antenna and NARC provided the power supply along with other small parts. Both Environment Canada and the Department of National Defence were instrumental in locating and maintaining the beacon in Eureka.
- GPS: 79.983333, -85.95
- Latitude: 79º 59’ N
- Longitude: 85º 57’ W
- Grid Square: EQ79ax