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© UK Microwave Group FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Why do I need to register?
A. When you register, you provide your locator and email address.
This enables beaconspot to calculate beam headings and distances from your QTH, in order to tailor each page for each user.
You will also be able to send formatted beacon spots via the prefilled form from

Q. Do you store cookies on my computer?
A. We uses a single cookie as a session identifier, which is stored on your computer.
It contains a random string of characters issued by the server, which are used for the sole purpose of identifying a user for the duration of a session.
The cookie has an expiry date of 30 days from when it was placed there, or is deleted when the user uses LOG OFF from the menu.

Q. I am using Safari as my browser. When I try to play sound files, why do I get an error message?
A. Safari cannot find an internet plug-in for .mp3 files. Check in HELP section of Safari. Downloading latest QuickTime does not help.
Many Windows users have this problem. Report it to Apple. Does any Safari user have an answer?

Q. I am a beaconkeeper. How do I get access to amend beacon data?
A. Just ask! EITHER use the CONTACT form (see the CONTACT menu), OR send a request by email to

Q. I want to make a recording of a beacon for the site. What format should I save it in?
A. Save your recording in either .mp3 or .wav format, and include the entire keying cycle if possible. The recording may be edited prior to upload.

Q. I want to send a recording of a beacon. Where do I send it to?
A. Rename the recording to include the beacon callsign and band in the filename.
Then send it as an email attachment to - If possible include the date and time of the recording.

Q. I sometimes have trouble signing in.
A. Beaconspot uses a cookie to identify you as a user. If you have two callsigns, or if you use several browsers on a single computer, the cookie from beaconspot can be duplicated. This may cause a problem signing in.
The same problem may be experienced when using two different computers, or computers at two separate locations.
Deleting cookies from your browser should remove the problem.

Q. What do the abbreviations mean in the "Prop" column?
A. The propagation type is abbreviated to two characters.
TR=Tropo, RS=Rain scatter, AS=Aircraft scatter, SS=Snow scatter, MS=Meteor scatter (VHF), ES=Sporadic 'E' (VHF),
AU=Auroral (VHF/UHF), Au-E=Auroral 'E' (VHF),TEP=Transequatorial propagation (VHF), F2=via F2 layer (VHF).

Q. What do the abbreviations "KEY" and "MGM" mean on the beacon list headings?
A. KEY is the type of keying, either A1A (on/off CW) or F1A (Frequency shift keying).
"MGM" means "Machine Generated Modes" - currently recognised modes are JT65b, JT4G, PI4, Opera5 and DFCWi.