FTG phone home

My attempt at building a working copy of the ET beacon

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The idea is to recreate the beacon ET uses in the Steven Spielberg E.T. the extra-terrestrial (1982). Usefully the original beacon was designed by Henry Feinberg, K2SSQ so while there is movie magic it is still possible to build a functional replica.

Edit: This did not get done in time thanks to school & other commitments.

Modified 27MHz walkietalkie for IF/modulator and a modified TV or satellite tuner for upconverter/multiplier.

The classic sawblade keyer from the movie for message and an umbrella as the dish antenna.

  • 1 × 27MHz FM handheld a cheap 27MHz band toy handheld with frequency determined with crystals, easy to modify.
  • 1 × Satellite TV tuner A typical 950-2100MHz satellite TV tuner

  • It's dead

    2FTG05/26/2014 at 01:11 0 comments

    Yeah I didn't have the time to work on this, I did some multiplier tests and took a look at LO and upconverter setup. But it still is dead.

  • Creation of the project

    2FTG03/21/2014 at 12:00 0 comments

    Hello Universe!

    After thinking about what project to enter, I remembered the ET beacon, I have been thinking about building it. Now I have a good reason to do so! 

    The original movie beacon is discussed in an article in the april 1983 issue of 73 Magazine. all issues of 73 are now on the internet archive so everyone can read the article. But here's a picture of the original plan:

    The whole magazine is downloadable here

     Page 52 has the article.

    The system itself looks easy enough to build, but I'll likely replace the speak&spell with something different, as it is expensive and quite unavailable here. If nothing suitable turns up simple CW or FSK will be used. 

    The ET beacon is said to be on microwaves and the lowest microwave band available here is the 1296MHz band, this can be achieved with a satellite tv tuner module. But the original uses a UHF tuner feeding a multiplier, so it is going to be also explored. Thankfully I have a well stocked junkbox. :) 

    More info to follow as I recruit members to the team.

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