NDB DXing & The CLE183 Results

WC - 332KHz White Rock, B.C.
The recent three-night NDB listening event (covering 320-335KHz) was dominated with very high noise levels from the numerous thunderstorms across North America. Although propagation was good, all participants struggled with the lightning noise, as is usually the case when listening on LF during the summer monhts.


One of the beacons in my log this weekend is pictured above - 'WC' in White Rock, B.C. The beacon is located in a residential neighborhood, with homes on both sides...not a typical NDB location.

Here is my short log, all captured using Perseus:

                                                  06 21 0600 323 W4 Jenpeg, MB
                                                  06 21 0600 325 YJQ Bella Bella, BC
                                                  06 21 0500 326 DC Princeton, BC
                                                  06 21 0600 326 XJ Fort St. John, BC
                                                  06 21 0500 328 5J Coronation,  AB
                                                  06 21 0600 328 LAC Fort Lewis, WA
                                                  06 21 0701 328 YTL Big Trout Lake, ON
                                                  06 22 0846 329 PJ Whitehorse, YT
                                                  06 21 0600 329 TAD Trinidad, CO
                                                  06 21 0600 329 X2 Athabasca, AB
                                                  06 21 0600 329 YEK Arviat, NU
                                                  06 21 0500 329 YHN Hornepayne, ON
                                                  06 21 0600 330 3G Peggo, BC
                                                  06 21 0600 332 LBH Portland, OR
                                                  06 23 1130 332 POA Pahoa, HI
                                                  06 21 0600 332 VT Buffalo Narrows, SK
                                                  06 21 0500 332 WC White Rock, BC
                                                  06 21 0500 332 XH Medicine Hat, AB
                                                  06 21 0700 332 XT Terrace, BC
                                                  06 21 0600 333 STI Mountain Home, ID
                                                  06 21 0600 334 P2 Wetaskiwin, AB
                                                  06 21 0700 334 YER Fort Severn, ON
Some might wonder why listening for NDB's would be of any interest. For me, there are a number of reasons:
  • the challenge of hearing distant low-powered transmitters below the broadcast band, particularly from one region...for me it is Alaskan NDBs
  • the necessity to develop an efficient receiving antenna has led to numerous antenna trials using loops and wires in various configurations
  • learning about LF propagation and how it compares with HF
  • the ability to compare what is being heard at my location with what is heard just a few hundred miles away can often be surprising (and humbling)

If you are planning a 630m station, listening for NDB's is a good way to test your system's receive capability as there are hundreds of signals to be heard, many of them very close to our new 472KHz band.

An informative Introduction To Beacon DXing by Alan Gale may be found here. To find the location of any NDB's that have been heard in North America, check the always accurate RNA database by Martin Francis.

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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