Hunting For NDBs In CLE244



This coming weekend will see another monthly CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be split:    260.0 - 269.9 kHz and 440-1740kHz.

 

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.

If you've been meaning to participate in  CLE, then maybe this weekend is a fine time to try! Lately, we've had a lot of first time submissions so you won't be alone!

As well, if you're trying to learn CW, copying NDBs is perfect practice as the identifier speed is generally slow and the letters are repeated again every few seconds!

A nice challenge in this one is to hear VR - 266 kHz. 'VR' is the outer marker for the '26s' at Vancouver International (CYVR) and is located in Richmond, BC.

'VR' runs 50W into a closed triangular loop but is well-heard throughout North America having been reported as far as North Carolina to the east and Hawaii to the west.. Listen for its upper-sideband CW identifier (with your receiver in the CW mode) on 266.404 kHz.

At this time of the season, summer lightning storms may provide additional listening challenges but maybe we will get lucky. Propagation can often be as good as mid-winter if the lightning cooperates.

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, comes the details:


Hello all,

Our end-of-May Coordinated Listening Event will soon be here.
It will be a hunt for normal NDBs in two contrasting frequency ranges.
As always, first-time CLE logs will be extra welcome.

    Days:    Friday 24 May - Monday 27 May
    Times:   Start and end at midday, your local time
    Targets: Normal NDBs  (not NAVTEX or *amateur beacons)
    QRG:     260.0 -   269.9 kHz
     plus:     440.0 -  1740.0 kHz

These are interesting frequencies for most of us, with some quiet
wide-open spaces.  We last used them for CLE228 in January 2018.

Most of us should be able to hear some NDBs in both ranges, though
Europe only has a handful in the '260s'.  From 440 kHz onwards, North
America has a few, mostly around 510-530 kHz, but listeners in Eastern
Europe have a BONANZA – probably over 400 active NDBs in Russia
(RUS + RSE) alone, though for most of us in Western Europe many of
them are hiding among Europe's Medium Wave Broadcast Stations.

*(There used to be amateur beacons using CW on frequencies mainly
around 474 - 478 kHz.  Over the years they have been moving to use
other frequencies and modes. Last time we only heard three and only
in Europe.  So we’ll no longer be listening for Amateur signals in this
CLE's frequency range)

Please send your CLE log to NDB List, if possible as a plain text email
and not in an attachment, with 'CLE244 FINAL' at the start of its title.

Show on EVERY line of your log:
  #   The Date  e.g. '2019-05-25', etc.  (or just '26')
  #   UTC  (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
  #   kHz  - the beacon's nominal published frequency if you know it.
  #   The Call Ident.

Those main items can be in any order within themselves, but BEFORE any
other optional details (Location, Distance, etc.) later in the same line.

As always, give details in your log of your own location and the receiver,
aerial(s), etc. that you were using.
If you send any interim logs, be sure to send a FINAL (complete) one.

You can find anything else to help you, including CLE seeklists for your
part of the World, from the CLE page, http://www.ndblist.info/cle.htm

Please look out for extra information in the Final Details in a few days
with advice about log-making, etc.

73
   Brian
---------------------------------------------------------------------
From:      Brian Keyte G3SIA           ndbcle’at’gmail.com
Location:  Surrey,  SE England          (CLE coordinator)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- 


(Reminder:  You could use any one remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner - with their permission if required.
A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, whether local
or remote, to obtain further loggings for the same CLE).

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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