Simple GPS-timed CW-beacon

For an Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) event, I needed a CW-beacon that could be connected to a rather unusual “high”-power transmitter. I wanted the transmitter to key almost exactly every minute without any drift from unsyncronized clocks. As I did not like the build-in beacon option of my Yaesu FT450D, I had to build it myself, but luckily not from scratch.

The design I used was based on a small Arduino Microcontroller and the Adafruit GPS Breakout Board. For the Arduino Sketch I used the KB3JCY “arduinomorse”-library as well as the “Adafruit-GPS”-library. Using a combination of snippets from the example code the beacon was up and running within a couple of minutes.

I found a small case and installed al the components and their respective connectors in it. I even used an external GPS-Antenna as the metal case would shield the “on-board”-antenna of the Adafruit GPS module. The beacon-signal was connected to the transceiver via the key-input using the transceivers internal keyer.