Hunting For NDBs In CLE 222


HM - 221 kHz Hamilton, Ontario

This coming weekend will see another CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be all inclusive: 190-1740 kHz. As well, there are two options, HOME and DX as explained below.



For those unfamiliar with this monthly activity, a 'CLE' is a 'Co-ordinated Listening Event', as NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time (usually) on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

Summertime CLEs can often be challenging, not because of poor propagation but more likely, summer lightning storms ... hopefully it will be quiet for your location.

When tuning for NDBs, put your receiver in the CW mode and listen for the NDB's CW identifier, repeated every few seconds. Listen for U.S. NDB identifiers approximately 1 kHz higher or lower than the published transmitted frequency since these beacons are modulated with a 1020 Hz tone approximately.

For example, 'AA'  (Fargo - ND) transmits on 365 kHz and its upper sideband CW identifier is tuned at 366.025 kHz while its lower sideband CW ident can be tuned at 363.946 kHz. Its USB tone is actually 1025 Hz while its LSB tone is 1054 Hz.

Often, one sideband will be much stronger than the other so if you don't hear the first one, try listening on the other sideband.

Canadian NDBs normally have an USB tone only, usually very close to 400 Hz. They also have a long dash (keydown) following the CW identifier.

All NDBs heard in North America will be listed in the RNA database (updated daily) while those heard in Europe may be found in the REU database. Beacons heard outside of these regions will be found in the RWW database.

From CLE organizer Brian Keyte, G3SIA, comes the usual 'heads-up':


Hi all

Our 222nd Co-ordinated Listening Event, 'DX and HOME', starts on Friday
and runs for an extra day. First-time CLE logs will also be very welcome
of course.

Days: Friday 25th August - TUESDAY 29th August
Times: Midday on Friday to Midday on Tuesday, your LOCAL time
QRG: Normal LF/MF frequencies (190 - 1740 kHz)
NDBs: Normal DX and 'HOME' ones (not DGPS, Navtex or Amateur)

There are two parts (you can listen for either or both of them):

DX:
Please try to log NDBs that are over 2,000 km / 1,250 miles from you.
(If you don't have details of the distances of NDBs from you, please see
the end of this email)

HOME:
If you have any, please log the NDBs in YOUR OWN radio country.
For listeners in AUS, CAN and USA, that means your State or Province.
Our full list of radio countries can be found at:
http://www.ndblist.info/ndbinfo/countrylist.pdf
(If you also mention any of your home regulars NOT heard, it will help
others to know about NDBs, maybe DX to them, that may not be active)

Please post your CLE log to the List in a plain text email if possible,
with 'CLE222' at the start of its title and showing on each log line:

The full Date ( e.g. 2017-08-25 or just the day number 25 )
UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
kHz - the nominal published frequency
The Call Ident.

Please put those four main log items FIRST, with any other optional
details such as location and distance LATER in the same line.

Your log will be more interesting if you keep the two parts, DX and HOME,
separate in it. Any UNIDs that you come across will also be of interest -
in a separate, third, part of your log please.
If you send interim logs, please make sure that you also send a 'Final' log
showing ALL your loggings for the CLE.

I will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 17:00 UTC on
WEDNESDAY so you can check that your log has been found OK.
Do make sure that your Final log has arrived on the list by 08:00 UTC
on Friday 1st September at the very latest.
Joachim hopes to complete the combined results on the Saturday.

Good listening
Brian
----------------------------------------------------------
From: Brian Keyte G3SIA ndbcle'at'gmail.com
Location: Surrey, SE England (CLE coordinator)
----------------------------------------------------------

(If you wish you could use a remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner - with permission if required.
A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, whether
local or remote, to obtain further loggings for the same CLE.
The HOME radio country and the distances would be based on
where the receiving equipment is located)

DISTANCES TO NDBs FROM YOUR LOCATION

The Great Circle program GcmWin by SM3GSJ can produce a nice great circle
map centred on your location - see http://www.qsl.net/sm3gsj/

Users of Michael's NDB Handbooks will already have their distances and
bearings to the NDBs.

Alex's WWSU program has a facility to create a map showing the areas
inside the 2000 km circle.
To create this,
click on 'Tools'
click on 'Station Radar'
select Range from “2000” to “10000” km
select “show NDB stations”
click on “Generate Image”
click on “Save To File”
That will create a text-file containing information on the selected NDBs.

The REU/RNA/RWW Database provides a powerful way of finding which
NDBs to search for:

1) Go to the signals screen using -
http://www.classaxe.com/dx/ndb/reu?mode=signals
If you are in North America, replace the reu above with rna
If you are not in Europe or North America, replace the reu with rww

2) On the Range line, put your *Locator in the 'From GSQ' box (e.g. mine
is IO91tg) The DX fields become enabled when a GSQ is entered.

3) Enter 2000 in the first DX field, leave the second blank and leave the
units as 'km' (or use 1250 and 'miles', if you prefer)

4) Select 'Only Active' and press 'Go'.
Now you only see NDBs that are over 2000 km from you.

Change 'Show' in the top line to 'All Results'.
The other fields are also active - e.g. you could enter specific States or
Countries in the Location line to limit the search to the NDBs there.
And/or you could click on 'Map', then on 'Go' and uncheck 'Clustering'

*If you do not know your Locator you can quickly find it from your
Latitude/Longitude (and vice versa) by using:
wingrid.exe V4.1 - freeware from W4SM 

These listening events serve several purposes. They:
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are actually in service and on-the-air so the online database can be kept up-to-date
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are out-of-service or have gone silent since the last CLE covering this range
  • will indicate the state of propagation conditions at the various participant locations
  • will give you an indication of how well your LF/MF receiving system is working
  • give participants a fun yet challenging activity to keep their listening skills honed

Final details can be found at the NDB List website, and worldwide results, for every participant, will be posted there a few days after the event. If you are a member of the ndblist Group, results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

The very active Yahoo ndblist Group is a great place to learn more about the 'Art of NDB DXing' or to meet other listeners in your region. There is a lot of good information available there and new members are always very welcome. As well, you can follow the results of other CLE participants from night to night as propagation is always an active topic of discussion.

If you are contemplating getting started on 630m, listening for NDBs  is an excellent way to test out your receive capabilities as there are several NDBs located near this part of the spectrum.

You need not be an ndblist member to participate in the CLEs and all reports, no matter how small, are of much value to the organizers. 

'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the ndblist or e-mailed to either myself or CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above.

Please ... give the CLE a try ... then let us know what NDB's can be heard from your location! Your report can then be added to the worldwide database to help keep it up-to-date.

Good hunting!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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