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Non Directional Beacons 180-550 KHz de

Tim, K7XC, sends a notice about Coordinated Listening Events (CLE) and Non Directional Beacons (NDB):

Its Time For Another LF Coordinated Listening Event IE: “CLE” on the “NDB” frequencies below the AM Band. (Non Directional Beacons), “CLE174”

As introduced to the group last month, this is the same kind of event… BUT… WITH VASTLY BETTER CONDITIONS! Should be alot more fun!!

This past week using my trusty Drake SPR-4 & only a meager 40′ long Inv L (with an apex of only 20′ & No Rcv Preamp), I managed to hear several NDB beacons well past 1000 miles. Just for grins at midday Sunday I tuned the band from 180 to 550 KHz and logged over 20 stations, with several at 200+ miles!! So the propagation has dramatically improved since the heat filled days of August.

For those of you who didn’t try this last month here is a brief intro as to whats going on…

I have been a long time DXer of NDB’s, Non Directional Beacons. Used by Aircraft to find airports, ships, oil platforms, etc… They are typically Low Power VLF beacons operating below the AM broadcast Band From 180 to 550 KHz.

They Typically send a dead carrier and identify continuously in slow CW on either side of the carrier by 400 HZ to as much as 1200 Hz. Repeating typically a 3 letter ID they are for aircraft a fixed reference for Azimuth to a know point on the earth and used as Navigation aids to plot a course from point to point. Yes this is the old way and is still used by most of the pilots today.

While these beacons are not intended for long range reception, with favorable conditions they can be heard for hundreds and even thousands of miles. If your into weak signal CW typical of 160M or long range VHF CW work, This is very similar. The reason for this brief introduction is this weekend is the 174th Coordinated Listening Event for the group of us that routinely DX this spectrum. Any and all reports would be appreciated, no log is too small.

If you have a few minutes in the evening (Darkness is best for long haul possibilities on these frequencies) tune your radio below 500 KHz and listen for some slow CW and jot down what you hear, when, freq, call sign, etc. There is a email address with the info below where to send your reports.

Details are below if your intersted in seeing what NDB DXing is like during good conditions.

Visit the website for info on the stations you should expect to find down there. Is the NDB DXing clearinghouse of info on all aspects of the NDB DXing hobby.

CLE174 was September 25 so it’s a bit late for that one. That means you’ve got time to set up a listening station and get up to speed on signals before the next one! Finding a radio that will receive down to 180 KHz might be a first challenge.

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