Hunting For NDBs In CLE254

Once again it's a CLE weekend.

During these stressful times, the CLE might hopefully provide some peaceful relief for you.

'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 the 20 slice from 400.0 - 419.9 kHz. kHz

A good target for this one is MOG (404kHz) in Montague, California, up near the border with Oregon. It gets out very well and has been logged from Finland to Hawaii. Its been on-and-off of late so maybe you can catch it while it's on again!

Listen for MOG's upper sideband on 405.027kHz with your receiver in the CW mode.

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

Hello all,

Our 254th Coordinated Listening Event starts on Friday.
This frequency range is not packed with signals for any of us, but if conditions are OK there should be some nice surprises.

Do join in, whether you have days to spare, or only an hour or so over the weekend.  Staying at home seems to be essential advice for most of us at present - this could be a great way of spending time there!

    Days:    Friday 27 March - Monday 30 March 2020
    Times:   Start and end at midday your LOCAL time
             (Many of us will be changing our home clocks this weekend -
               however UTC time continues unaffected)
    Range:   400 - 419.9 kHz

Please log all the NDBs that you can identify with nominal (listed) frequencies in the range - it includes 400 kHz, but not 420 kHz - plus any UNIDs that you come across there.

Send your final log to the List (no attachments please and ideally in a plain text email) with ‘FINAL CLE254’ in its title.

Show on each line:
    #   The Date (e.g.  '2020-03-27', etc.,  or just '27' )
    #   The Time in UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
    #   kHz  - the nominal published frequency, if known.
    #   The Call Ident.

Please show those main items FIRST.  Other optional details such as Location and Distance go LATER in the same line.
As always, of course, tell us your own location and brief details of the equipment that you were using during the Event.

We will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 19:00 UTC on Tuesday so that you can check that your log has been found OK.
Do make sure that your log has arrived on the List by 08:00 UTC on Wednesday 1 April at the very latest.
We hope to complete making the combined results within a day or two.

You can find full details about current and past CLEs from the CLE page   It includes access to CLE254 seeklists for your part of the World, prepared from the previous loggings in Rxx.  (Thanks, Martin and Alan, for your help with that)

Good listening
 - enjoy the CLE and do take care of yourself and your family.
      Brian and Joachim
From:      Brian Keyte G3SIA      ndbcle'at'
Location:  Surrey,  SE England     (CLE coordinator)

  (If you would like to listen remotely  you could use any one remote
  receiver for your loggings, stating its location and owner and with their
  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 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 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 and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #334: GNURadio Deep Dive

Welcome to Episode #334 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this deep dive episode, we have a special guest, Derek Kozel, MW0LNA, who takes the hosts and everyone else on a wild ride into the internals of GNURadio. Somehow by the end it all starts to make sense. Learn about SDR, hardware design, DSP, audio path simulation and much more in this informative episode and look for the companion YouTube video to follow. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy. Stay safe out there.

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Weekly Propagation Summary – 2020 Mar 23 16:10 UTC

Weekly Propagation Summary (2020 Mar 23 16:10 UTC)

Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2020 Mar 23 0128 UTC.

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 16 – 22 March 2020

Solar activity was very low. The visible disk was spotless. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the reporting period.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels each day of the period with a peak flux of 547 pfu observed at 22/1535 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity reached active levels on 19 Mar with unsettled levels on 16, 18-22 Mar in response to CH HSS influence. Quiet conditions were observed on 17 Mar.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 23 March – 18 April 2020

Solar activity is expected to continue at very low levels.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach moderate levels throughout the period in response to recurrent CH HSS influence.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach active levels on 27 Mar and 15 Apr, with unsettled conditions anticipated for 23, 27-29 Mar and 15-18 Apr due to CH HSS effects. Quiet conditions are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Don’t forget to visit our live space weather and radio propagation web site, at:

Live Aurora mapping is at

If you are on Twitter, please follow these two users: 1. 2.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Be sure to subscribe to our space weather and propagation email group, on

Spread the word!

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Links of interest:

+ Amazon space weather books:

Space Weather and Ham Radio YouTube Channel News:

I am working on launching a YouTube channel overhaul, that includes series of videos about space weather, radio signal propagation, and more.

Additionally, I am working on improving the educational efforts via the email, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and other activities.

You can help!

Please consider becoming a Patron of these space weather and radio communications services, beginning with the YouTube channel:

The YouTube channel:


Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to and writes from Nebraska, USA. Tomas is the Space Weather and Radio Propagation Contributing Editor to 'CQ Amateur Radio Magazine', and 'The Spectrum Monitor' magazine.

The weekend of radio

Russian CW contest was Rockin the band
Another weekend passes and another QSO party in the bag! This past weekend it was the Virginia QSO Party. In this QSO party, you had to pay a bit closer attention to the contact information as it was not the standard 599 and county that was sent. In this contest, you had to listen for a QSO number and the county. In other QSO parties where the exchange is 599 or 5NN (cut numbers) and their county if you miss the county just listen to his next contact and you are golden. When QSO numbers are involved if you miss it or part of it and ask for "NR?" and they are lost in the mud.........well then it's a matter of counting his next contacts and listen to the number you can hear and then subtract from that number to figure out what your number is. Believe me, I have been there done that and it can be a challenge!
So how was the Virginia QSO Party you ask.........well on 20m things were really hopping but not with the QSO Party but the Russin CW contest. The band was packed with DX and very tempting to just jump in BUT I wanted to keep up with my goal of working all the QSO parties this year, I jumped up to 40m and worked a few Virginia station ground wave from my location. I was able to get 4 in the logbook only on 40m as I did have some "to do" items that needed to be done around the house. I checked in again on Sunday and went back to 40m but the strange thing was on Sunday I could only hear the stations making contact with stations in Virginia?? Oh well, propagation can be a funny thing at times.
Other related radio adventures were I was able to work fellow blogger John AE5X from Texas. John was working POTA and activating location KFF-3054. I was not able to hear John at all on CW but it was great he grabbed his laptop for the trip as we made contact on FT8. On Sunday I checked out the POTA cluster to see what was up and I was able to contact KB3WAV and at the time I did not realize it until I went to the POTA website and found that Kerri is a top leader for POTA activations.
His stats are:
Activations       1266
Unique parks      446
Total contacts   4730 Now this is an old number I would believe after this past weekend activation.

I also noticed on Sunday 20m was dead again as the Russian Contest had ended but it goes to show propagation is alive and well.
If you are like me and trying to work all the QSO parties this year by taking part in ARRL's State QSO party challenge make sure your seatbelt on during the weekend of April 3-5. The QSO Parties for the weekend are Nebraska, Missouri, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana! 
Finally, on a lighter note, today is a milestone for me.........I'm 60 today! My car dealership sent me an email birthday wish bright and early this morning way before anyone would have been at work. Darn computers programs just don't sleep...:))

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Your First (and Second) Ham Transceiver

We recently completed a Technician License class that produced a herd of new ham radio licensees. This always leads to a discussion of what radio should I get? Often, this is centered on the idea of getting a handheld VHF/UHF radio to get started. That is a good first move. However, for many new hams it is worth looking ahead a bit to potential future purchases.

Handheld Transceiver (HT)

Let’s start with an HT. Even if your ham radio future is going to be on the high-frequency bands, an HT is a useful tool to have. After all, FM VHF is the Utility Mode for ham radio. Many new hams opt for an inexpensive Chinese radio such as the Baofeng UV-5R. Recently, I’ve been steering them toward the slightly more expensive Yaesu FT-4XR (around $70).

A basic handheld radio.

It is a significantly better radio than the UV-5R but still affordable. Some new hams decide to spend more on an HT, which is also a good option. There are many radios to choose from in the $150 to $350 range.

For hams just interested in local (perhaps emergency) communications, this might be the only radio they get. If it meets your needs, that’s just fine.

FM VHF/UHF Base Station

Another option to consider is to set up a more capable station at your home, focused on FM VHF/UHF operating. This is probably going to be a dual-band radio that covers 2 meters and 70 centimeters, FM only. One way to do this is to use a mobile transceiver powered by a DC power supply and connected to an external antenna on the roof.

A mobile transceiver deployed as a base station.

With higher power (50W typical) and a good antenna mounted in a high location, this type of station has better range than an HT. See A VHF FM Station at Home and Considering a VHF/UHF Antenna For Your Home.   This could be your first radio but why not have an HT in your toolkit?

The All-Band Base Station

Many new hams have their eyes on working distant stations via the high-frequency bands. For many people, this is what ham radio is all about. (Honestly, you’re going to need your General license to really participate on these bands.)

Yaesu FT-991A all band transceiver

The equipment manufacturers have developed the Do Everything Transceiver that covers 160m though 70 centimeters in one box. (Well, they do leave out the 1.25m band which is lightly used in North America.) The leader in this category is arguably the Yaesu FT-991A. This type of rig has the advantage of providing all modes on all bands, including SSB on 2 m and 70 cm. While most VHF/UHF activity is FM, SSB (and CW) can be a lot of fun.

Setting up operations on multiple bands will require some additional antennas. This can be a deep topic so take a look at this introductory article to understand it better: Antennas…How Many Do I Need?

Two-Radio Base Station

Another approach that many hams adopt is to build their home station around two radios: a 2m/70cm radio to cover local communications and a high frequency (HF) radio for the lower bands.

The 2m/70cm radio is the same idea as the FM VHF/UHF Base Station mentioned previously.  It is really handy to be able to leave this radio on your favorite 2m frequency while still having another radio available to operate HF. Compare this to the All Band Transceiver approach which can normally only receive one frequency at a time.

A very popular HF radio these days is the ICOM IC-7300. Like many HF rigs, it covers the HF bands of 160m through 10m AND tosses in the 6m band, too. Recall that 6 meters is actually a VHF band but the general trend is to include this band in HF rigs.

ICOM IC-7300 HF plus 6m transceiver

The Mobile Station

Another popular operating style is to have a transceiver in your vehicle. Because our society is so mobile, this approach can be very compelling. This might just be an HT that you take with you when mobile. The rubber duck antenna might be sufficient but an external (magnetic mount?) antenna can really improve your signal.

Many hams install a VHF/UHF FM transceiver in their car. This provides a more capable station (more power, better antenna) when mobile and it’s always there for use. Again, this will probably be a 2m / 70cm radio that operates only FM, the most common mobile ham station.

Some folks set up their mobile station to include HF operating. This is one way to sidestep HF antenna restrictions at home and it fits into our mobile society. There are Do Everything Transceivers that come in a mobile-type form factor. The Yaesu FT-857D is a popular mobile radio that covers HF, 6m, 2m and 70cm in one rig.

Yaesu FT-857D all band mobile transceiver

General Progression

You can see that there are some paths that hams tend to follow in terms of equipment. What you decide to do is going to depend on your interests and budget. Of course, when you are first starting out you may not know what part of ham radio is going to be your favorite and your approach may evolve as you gain experience.

A good first, affordable step is getting an HT. This puts you in touch on the air with the local amateur radio community. It is clearly a VHF/UHF FM play which aligns well with your Technician operating privileges. You can choose to expand on this general direction by adding in an FM VHF/UHF Base Station,  an All-Band Base Station, or a Mobile Station.

If you are interested in using the HF bands, then think about either the All-Band Base Station or the Two-Radio Base Station. Again, obtaining a General class (or Extra class) license is going to be important for HF.

I’ve tried to keep this discussion focused on newly licensed hams. As you gain experience, you’ll find all kinds of other operating activities that are available to you. Sometimes these can be supported by the equipment described above…sometimes you’ll need to purchase additional gear. I’ve mentioned specific radio models that I have experience with but there are many others to choose from. Take a look at the product reviews to see how well other people like a particular radio.

73 Bob K0NR

The post Your First (and Second) Ham Transceiver appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Social distancing…..things are getting interesting.

One site I have booked marked and is a link on my blog is Southgate Amateur News. I was browsing it this evening and came across but yet another change COVID 19 has brought about. This time it's contesting and to tell you the truth I was wondering when this was going to come about. The RSGG or the Radio Society of Great Britain to which I might mention I am a member of. It was released today by the Society that contest rules regarding Multi op entries will no longer be accepted with immediate effect. The post does say it is until June 2020 but I imagine this is a fluid date. Single op from a shared station will not be accepted unless certain criteria are met. This is all to practice social distancing to which I support. I have not yet heard if Canada (RAC)or the United States (ARRL) will follow and any of the Europian countries as well. Speaking of social distancing I was watching the news and it seems like Spring Break is underway, here in Canada a gaming company released 2 new games. The message was "you just have to come and get your hands on it" This had young people in very long lines go purchase the game. I just don't get it I'm not a fear monger but we have to stop COVID 19.
Here in New Brunswick a state of emergency has been instated all stores are closed excluding pharmacies, hardware stores, automotive gas stations and finally grocery stores. Things are getting interesting!
Keep well my fellow Hams.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #333: The Weekender XLIV

It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

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