Hunting For NDBs In CLE241

ZWW - 215 courtesy: VE3GOP
This coming weekend will see another monthly CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be 190.0 - 239.9 kHz as well as any NDBs with carriers on 'half-way' frequencies ‘nnn.5 kHz’, from 190.5 - 999.5 kHz)

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 on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

Never tried the CLE? If you've ever been wondering what can be heard 'below' the broadcast band, this weekend would be a great time to give a listen and enter your first CLE!

A nice challenge in this one is to hear 'ZWW' on 215 kHz located near Winnipeg, Manitoba. It's a 25-watter and is well-heard throughout North America. Listen for its CW identifier on 215.388 kHz (repeated every 10 seconds), with your receiver in the CW mode .

MF propagation this week has been good and signals in this frequency range should be propagating well if things stay undisturbed for the weekend.

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' near 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, come details via the The NDB List Group:

Hello all,

Our 241st Co-ordinated Listening Event is next weekend. 

Do join in if you can.   First-time CLE logs will also be very welcome.

   Days:   Fri. 22 Feb. - Mon. 25 Feb.,  Midday-Midday, your local time
   Frequencies:    NDBs from 190 - 239.9 kHz
   PLUS:   Normal NDBs with carriers on 'half-way' frequencies ‘nnn.5 kHz’
                                  (from 190.5 - 999.5 kHz)

Both halves are for everyone to try.

Away from Europe many of the frequencies below 240 kHz are busy with
NDBs.  In Europe there are very few, but some DX ones might be heard
from North America and maybe from a few other places.

The normal NDBs which have carriers on the 'half-way' frequencies
e.g. 267.5 OPW,  333.5 VOG,  370.5 LB, 390.5 ITR, 433.5 HEN (not DGPS)
are scattered across Europe but there are very few of them elsewhere.
'Hot spots' are ENG and ITA.

These half-frequencies usually give comfortable QRM-free listening
and probably some good catches as a result.

America has only one or two (e.g. 381.5 SJX in MI) but East and West
coasters might hear some DX ones.

We last used these 'rules' for CLE225 in November 2017.
Please look out for the Final Details about two days before the CLE.

  73
  Brian
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Brian Keyte G3SIA                     ndbcle'at'gmail.com
Location:  Surrey, SE England                      CLE Coordinator)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

The NDB List 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.

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

Remember - 'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the NDB List Group or e-mailed to CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above. If you are a member of the group, all final results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

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.

Have fun and 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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