Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Hunting For NDBs In CLE 223

SN-408 courtesy: www.ve3gop.com

This coming weekend will see another CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be:  400.0 - 419.9 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.

A nice challenge in this one is to hear the Saint Catharines (Ontario) NDB, 'SN', on 408 kHz. 'SN' is a 15-watter and is well heard, having been logged from coast-to-coast. Look for 'SN's CW identifier, repeated every 10.5 seconds, on 408.398 kHz with your receiver in the CW mode.

Late summer CLEs can often be challenging, not because of poor propagation but more likely, lingering summer lightning storms ... hopefully it will be quiet for your location.

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' in Fargo 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 usual 'heads-up':

Hi all,

Here is your Early Advice of our next Co-ordinated Listening Event.
We are back to a normal event looking for the NDBs in a narrow
frequency range - and celebrating the equinox on 22nd Sept.
All beginners, occasionals and regulars are very welcome to join in.

Days: Friday 22 Sept - Monday 25 Sept 2017
Times: Start and end at midday your LOCAL time
Range: 400 - 419.9 kHz

Just log all NDBs you can identify that are listed in the range (it includes
400 kHz but not 420 kHz) plus any UNIDs that you come across there.

We last had a close look at this frequency range in CLE208 at the
start of July 2016.
From the Ministry of Useless Information comes the advice that in CLE208
Europe listeners and Rest of the World listeners each heard 107 different

Please look out for the Final Details on Wednesday.

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

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. If you are a member of the ndblist Group, results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

The very active Yahoo ndblist 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.

If you are contemplating getting started on 630m, listening for NDBs  is an excellent way to test out your receive capabilities as there are several NDBs located near this part of the spectrum.

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

'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the ndblist or e-mailed to either myself or CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above.

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!

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