Wednesday 24 July 2019

Hunting For NDBs In CLE246

ZSJ - 258 kHz Sandy Lake, ON : source

This coming weekend will see another monthly CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be split:    240.0 - 259.9 kHz and 420.0 - 439.9 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.

If you've been meaning to participate in  CLE, then maybe this weekend is a fine time to try! Lately, we've had a lot of first time submissions so you won't be alone!

As well, if you're trying to learn CW, copying NDBs is perfect practice as the identifier speed is generally slow and the letters are repeated again every few seconds!

A nice challenge in this one is to hear ZSJ - 258 kHz. 'ZSJ' is located at Sandy Lake, in northwest Ontario.

'ZSJ' runs 500W into a 150' vertical and is well-heard throughout North America. It has been reported in Hawaii and in Europe. Listen for its upper-sideband CW identifier (with your receiver in the CW mode) on 258.404 kHz.

At this time of the season, summer lightning storms may provide additional listening challenges but maybe we will get lucky. Propagation can often be as good as mid-winter if the lightning cooperates.

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.

From CLE organizer Brian Keyte, G3SIA, comes the details:

Hello all,

These are the final details for our 246th co-ordinated listening event
this weekend.  We'll be listening in two contrasting frequency ranges.
First timer logs too?  Yes, please!

    Days:      Friday 26 July  to  Monday 29 July
    Times:    Start and end at midday, your LOCAL TIME
    Range:    240.0 - 259.9 kHz  plus  420.0 - 439.9 kHz
                     (BOTH ranges are for ALL listeners)

Please log NDBs that you can positively identify in the ranges, plus
any UNIDs that you come across there.
The lower frequency range will be really hard for most listeners in
Europe, the higher range not at all easy for most others.

Send your final CLE log to  if possible as a plain text
email and not in an attachment.
Show  CLE246  and  FINAL at the start of its title to help us find your log.
Show on EVERY LINE of your log:

   # The Date (e.g. 2019-07-26, etc.)  or  day (e.g. 26)
   # UTC  (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
   # kHz  - the beacon's nominal published frequency (if you know it).
   # The Call Ident.

Please show those main items first on each line, BEFORE any optional
details (Location, Offsets, Cycle time, Distance, etc.)
If you send interim logs, do make sure that you also send a 'FINAL' log
containing all your loggings.  As always, do make your log useful and
interesting to everyone by including your own location and brief details
of the receiver, aerial(s) and any recording equipment that you used.

We will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 19:00 UTC on
Tuesday so that you can check that your Final log has been found OK.
Do make sure that your log has arrived on the List at the very latest
by 08:00 UTC on Wednesday 31 July.  Joachim and I hope to complete
making the combined results within a day or two.

To help you with your search you can find lists and maps showing the
target NDBs for your part of the World at
Select the  CLE SEEKLIST  link there.

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

(Reminder:  You could use any one remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner - with their permission if required.
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

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!

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