Hunting For NDBs in CLE261

AP-378 Mayne Island, BC



It's CLE time again!'CLE's are 'Co-ordinated Listening Events, and NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

This time the hunting ground is from 190.0 - 1740.0 kHz!

The challenge this time is to log just one (1) beacon from as many 'radio countries' as you can. In North America and other regions, an individual state or province counts as a radio 'country', so there are plenty of opportunities to fill your logbook.



Propagation on MF has been excellent this past week and hopefully will continue to be good.

A challenge target for listeners in North America is AP - 378kHz on Mayne Island, BC which is about 1/2 mile from me just down the beach! But 'AP' is a challenging target since, from what I can tell, has virtually no ground system. Although it has been heard as far south as Texas, it has never been heard further east than Nebraska. Listen for AP's upper sideband on 378.411kHz with your receiver in the CW mode.

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. These databases have recently been re-vamped and are slicker than ever before!

From CLE coordinator Brian Keyte (G3SIA), comes the following CLE info:

Hello all

Our October Coordinated Listening Event is less than a week away.
Something very straightforward, but it is a first-time idea and it should be
good for everyone - including first time listeners.
It is a ‘One per Radio Country’ CLE!

    Days:    Friday 23 Oct. - Monday 26 Oct.
    Times:   Start and end at midday, local time at the receiver
    Target:  ONE NDB from each radio country
      QRG:    190.0  - 1740.0 kHz

Yes, please log JUST ONE NDB from each radio country (not DGPS, NAVTEX,
Amateur or UNID).
All our radio countries are listed in the NDB List Website
( There are 373 of them!
However most of the countries will be out of range for you and several are
without any active NDBs at all:

Region            Radio
--------------     -------
N. America       66
C. America        35
S. America        20
Europe              63
Africa                68
Asia                   60
Oceania            49
Antarctica          5
Int. Waters        7
(UNIDs               8)

Even listening from the best location possible you will do very well if you
log 50 countries.  Reaching 100 will be magnificent!
(If you would like one or more of our attractive listening awards, this
would be an ideal CLE -
   Please see

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

From:      Brian Keyte G3SIA          ndbcle’at’
Location:  Surrey,  SE England         (CLE coordinator)

If you are interested in some remote listening - maybe due to local difficulties - you could use any one remote receiver for your loggings,stating its location and with the owner’s permission if required.

A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, local or remote, to make 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 newly-re-vamped Rxx 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.

The NDB List Group is a great place to learn more about the 'Art of NDB DXing' or to meet other DXers 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 and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: