Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Hunting For NDBs In CLE 219

YMW-366 Maniwaki, QC courtesy: VE3GOP

This coming weekend will see another CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be:  350.0 - 369.9 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 Maniwaki  NDB, 'YMW', on 366 kHz. It's a 500-watter and is well heard, having been logged from Europe to Hawaii and is a good propagation indicator for listeners in western North America. Look for 'YMW' on 344.401 kHz.

I see a forecast of a possible CME impact sometime Friday, right on schedule for the CLE event! Sometimes these help but usually not. At this time of the year it's usually not the propagation causing problems but rather, the lightning activity and its associated QRN. A good place to check lightning activity in realtime is at the Blitzortung website.

When tuning for NDBs, put your receiver in the CW mode and listen for the NDB's CW identifier, repeated every few seconds. With your receiver in the CW mode, listen for U.S. NDB identifiers approximately 1 kHz higher or lower than the published transmitted frequency since these beacons are tone-modulated with a 1020 Hz tone approximately.

For example, 'AA' in Fargo, MN, 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':

Our 219th Co-ordinated Listening Event is almost here.
Can new 'listening eventers' join in too? YES, PLEASE! I'm always
pleased to help first-time CLE logs through the harvester program.

Days: Friday 26 May - Monday 29 May
Times: Start and End at midday, your LOCAL time
Range: 350.0 - 369.9 kHz

Please log all the NDBs you can identify that are listed in this range (it
includes 350 kHz but not 370) plus any UNIDs that you come across there.
You can find full information to help you, including seeklists made from
RNA/REU/RWW, at the CLE page

Please send your 'Final' CLE log to the List, if possible as a plain text
email and not in an attachment, with 'CLE219' at the start of its title.
Please show the following main items FIRST on EVERY line of your log: The full Date (e.g. 2017-05-26) or just the day number (e.g. 26)
and UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
# kHz - the beacon's nominal published frequency, if you know it.
# The Call Ident.

Optional details such as Location and Distance go LATER in the same line.
If you measure LSB/USB offsets and cycle times they are useful too.

Please always include details of your own location and brief details of the
receiver, aerial(s) and any recording equipment you were using, etc.

I will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 17:00 UTC on Tuesday
so you can check that your log has been found OK.
Do make sure that your log has arrived at the very latest by 08:00 UTC on
Wednesday 31 May. I hope to make all the combined results on that day.

Good listening
From: Brian Keyte G3SIA ndbcle'at'
Location: Surrey, SE England (CLE co-ordinator)

(Reminder: If you wish you can use a remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner - with their permission if required.
Sometimes a listener has local problems and can only take part that way.
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

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. It's also a good place to submit your CLE log! 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.

Good hunting!



Anonymous said...

There is no Fargo, MN. Fargo is in North Dakota.

Steve McDonald said...

You're right! Confusion caused by Fargo being right on the ND/MN border and the 'AA' NDB being located in MN, even though it's called the 'Fargo NDB'.