Thursday, 26 August 2021

Hunting For NDBs In CLE 271




 It's CLE time! '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 one is a little different, requiring that you log beacons in two directions only, by choosing a favorable compass bearing and sticking with it. Beacons, only in countries, states or provinces through which that bearing passes, can be logged. See below for further details from the organizers.

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, now decommissioned, 'AA' near Fargo, ND, transmitted on 365 kHz and its upper sideband CW identifier was tuned at 366.025 kHz while its lower sideband CW ident could be tuned at 363.946 kHz. Its USB tone was actually 1025 Hz while its LSB tone was 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. These databases have recently been re-vamped and are slicker than ever before!

From CLE organizers comes the following CLE info:

Hello all

 Back in June 2007 and at Christmas - New Year 2017/18 we very much enjoyed our first ‘Bearings CLEs’.  So it is now high time for a third one:


     Days:     Friday 27 August - Monday 30 August 2021 

     Times:   Start and end at midday your LOCAL time

     Range:   190 – 1740 kHz

     Target:   Up to 10 NDBs in each Radio Country on your chosen bearing


You choose a bearing in any one direction from you and try to log UP TO 10 normal NDBs (not DGPS, Navtex or Amateur) in each of the Radio Countries
crossed by your line.   A country is OK even if your line slices only a little bit of it.  Countries in the opposite direction (‘back bearings’) ALSO COUNT this time.

Any ONE bearing that you choose will be good, 0 to 180 degrees (clockwise from North) - it must be a whole number of degrees (not 34.5, etc.).


Remember that each USA and Australian State and each Canadian Province is a Radio Country.   For the full list of our countries please see

(If your line crosses the sea, any platforms roughly in that direction would also qualify as a radio country for the CLE - e.g. XOE).


TO CHOOSE YOUR BEARING you can use a GREAT CIRCLE MAP centred on your location.  Radio signals use these shortest routes round the Earth like planes try to do.

(For non-dx loggings an ordinary map (Mercator projection) would be OK, especially if your location is near the centre of it)

We recommend the program - it is very easy to download and use.

Just put in your location (ideally your 6-character Locator), choose a distance and click on ‘Create Map’.

It misses out some country boundaries, and a few countries, but looking also at a ‘normal’ map would help with that.


Also good would be GOOGLE EARTH, a powerful program for lots of purposes. Click on its ‘stubby’ Ruler icon, zoom in to your own location and draw a line from there with the mouse. It tells you the distance and Bearing ('Heading') as you extend it further away from home. When satisfied, ‘Save’ it with a description.


For this CLE you will enjoy planning your own tactics.  You could try out a directional aerial, include favourite countries, concentrate on DX or on more local reception, exclude signals from the direction of your worst QRN - any or all of those things, and more.   The aim is not to try and include as many countries or as many NDBs as possible, though you could of course do that if you want to!


Please send your CLE log to the List, if possible as a plain text email and not in an attachment, showing 'CLE271' and ‘FINAL’ in its title.

Please include on EVERY line of your log:

               # The date  e.g ‘2021-08-27’

               # The time logged in UTC (days change at 00:00 UTC).

               # kHz - the beacon's nominal frequency.

               # The Call Ident.


It is important to show those main items FIRST – any other details that you want to add such as the Country, Location, Distance, etc., go LATER in the same line.

As usual, you can show your loggings in any sequence, though you may prefer to choose radio country order.

Don't forget to give your OWN location (e.g. Locator), your chosen BEARING and details of your receiver and aerial(s), etc.   Any interesting details about your planning or listening would also brighten our reading!


Do make sure that your FINAL log has arrived on the List by 08:00 UTC on Wednesday 1st September at the very latest.   We'll send a CLE271 'Any More Logs?' email at about 19:00 UTC on Tuesday 31st so you can check that your log has been found OK.


Good listening


(CLE Coordinator)


(If you wish you could use any one remote receiver for your bearings log,

stating the 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 newly-re-vamped Rxx 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 DXers 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!


Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Loop On Ground (LOG) Tests At VA7ST

Single LOG / Dual LOG - courtesy:

As man-made noise levels become ever more problematic for radio amateurs, particularly those that are serious about weak-signal DX on the lower bands (160 / 80m), the ‘Loop On Ground’ or ‘LOG’ is proving to be a worthwhile improvement for some.

Bud, VA7ST, near Kelowna, has done some recent experimenting with a LOG as an alternative to listening with his 160 / 80m transmitting antennas and has written a great blog on his findings.

Bud has included some ‘A-B’ tests comparing the LOG to his normally-used vertical or inverted-L and the results are quite interesting.

If you’ve ever considered building a separate quieter low-band antenna, you can find everything you might need to get motivated as well as a nice listing of LOG-related links in Bud’s very helpful blog: