Author Topic: Take Off to the Great White North  (Read 1591 times)

pinto vortando

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2018, 0027 UTC »
Thnx! Haha yea Thunder Bay...makes perfect sense.

I'm taking a liking to CW...I seem to catch on quick...my father was a HAM...electrical engineer and he was pretty much exclusively CW Dx. He was always taking the sweepstakes...

So I'm enjoying this...I like Morse code. I'm taking a liking to it.

And hell I'm not doing bad! So far I have not misidentified CW traffic. This is right up my alley. I swear--i'll be proficient soon enough!

 just wanted to thank ya for the advice and especially the CW practice frequencies!

 and btw I was hearing sum of these NDBs just now...

362 KHz 'SB'...Sudbury, ON   8)

I tell ya tho...I'd love to be in Europe with the LW. Is North American LW pretty much just beacons? Does anyone talk in this range?

Anyway I'm pickin up Morse fast. I'm a musician. I know my mother always said she couldn't tell the diff between a dot and a dash. Weird!

Thnx again for your help! I'll be monitoring the NDBs I'll check back with you guy! peace!

Being a musician, CW (Morse) will probably come naturally to you.  Worked with an engineer at a TV station once a while ago who could easily copy 30+ wpm.  He also had a night time gig at a neighborhood bar as the piano player.  This guy could play anything you cared to mention off the top of his head... amazing.

There is no LW broadcasting in the U.S.  Pretty much limited to Europe and Africa.

Summer is not the best time for LW DXing.  Too much T-storm static in the air.  However, beacons can still be heard.  Early morning a couple of hours before sunrise is usually best.
Try putting your 750 in SSB mode and tune very slowly and listen very carefully.  Headphones are also a big help as many of the signals are very faint.

Plug an external antenna into that jack on the ferrite bar.  You will be able to hear many more beacons.

Here are some commonly heard beacons that should be copyable from your location with a good antenna:
245  YZE    Gore Bay  ON
276  YEL    Elliot Lake  ON
328  YTL    Big Trout Lake  ON
329  YHN   Hornepayne  ON
346  YXL    Sioux Lookout  ON
379  DL     Duluth  MN
382  YPL    Pickle Lake  ON
400  CI      Sault Ste. Marie  MI
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

pinto vortando

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2018, 0052 UTC »
Hmm...if the NDBs  are transmitting 360°....not pointed anywhere in particular...why are they called "non-directional" beacons instead of "omni-directional" beacons? :o

Good question...  have wondered about this myself.  Apparently a matter of semantics.  Nondirectional and omnideirctional essentially mean the same thing in that the signal is transmitted equally in all directions.  In actual practice, a low band NDB transmits a signal in all directions but no directional information is contained on the signal.  The automatic direction finder (ADF) in the aircraft along with the associated loop and sense antennas figures out the direction to the station and drives a pointer needle on an instrument that points the direction to the station.  A VHF Omni station (VOR) also transmits a signal equally in all directions but directional information is placed on the signal.   The omni receiving equipment in the aircraft can tell which radial "to" or "from" the station that the aircraft is on.  Flying using a NDB requires considerably more skill than that required to use a VOR as it is much more difficult to correct for wind drift when using just a NDB.  When using a VOR the pilot just has to keep the aircraft on the VOR radial.  With the NDB, there is no radial.  Although both NDBs and VORs transmit equally in all directions, the subtle difference is that the NDB transmits no directional information whereas the VOR does. Both NDBs and VORs are gradually disappearing as GPS replaces them.

Anyway, hope this all isn't too confusing.  There are plenty of books and information on the internet that can explain this way better than me. 

 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 0054 UTC by pinto vortando »
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

[tRMZ]

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2018, 1424 UTC »
The beacons send the Morse slowly enough that you can write down the dots and dashes and decode it later.  In fact, most pilots don't know Morse.  The dots and dashes are printed out for them on various navigational charts next to the beacon location.  However, learning Morse (called CW by Hams) can be rewarding.  Go to the ARRL website and look up the W1AW code practice schedule.  They transmit code practice sessions every evening on various frequencies.  They put in a good signal here usually on 40 meters 7047.5 khz.  Put your 750 in SSB mode and fine tune in the code with the BFO knob.

NDB stands for "Non-Directional Beacon" which actually means that the beacon transmits in a pattern equally in all directions.  They are used for aeronautical navigation.  The aircraft is equipped with a radio called an ADF (automatic direction finder) that when tuned to the beacon frequency drives an instrument with a pointer that points the direction to the station.  This technology has been around for a long time and has been largely superceded by newer technologies the most recent being GPS.  Therefore, many NDBs have been and are being phased out.  Enjoy them while you can.

That beacon QT that you are hearing is a Canadian across the Lake from you located in Thunder Bay Ontario.  It actually transmits on 332.  From your location you are well positioned to be able to hear lots of Canadian beacons.  Fortunately, the Canadians have not been phasing out their beacons as much as in the U.S.  Often, the NDB is the only navigational aid available at many very remote Canadian airstrips. 

However, you will need a good antenna to get the most out of your 750.  That rotatable ferrite will pull in only the strongest nearest signals.  The nice thing about the 750 though, as you have noticed, is the ability to connect an external antenna to the 3.5 mm jack on the ferrite bar.  Go to the Universal Radio website and get a mono-mini to SO-239 adapter (their part #1619) that will plug into the 3.5 mm port.  Get a pre-assembled RG-8X coax with PL-259 connectors on each end.  Universal sells them in various lengths from 25' to 100'.  The coax will run from the adapter to your antenna.  My suggestion would be the  EF-SWL antenna (Universal #2205).  Or you can homebrew your own antenna with whatever wire you may have around.  All kinds of antenna plans on the internet.  Just be sure to disconnect the antenna when not in use to protect from lightning damage.  (btw, you can also use that EF-SWL antenna for shortwave listening on your 750... get adapter Universal #2122 and connect to the BNC connector labelled SW on the right hand side of the 750 and make sure the INT/EXT antenna switch is in external EXT). 

Hope this helps get you started.  Any questions, just ask.

Hey buddy this is TOTALLY awesome advice, especially regarding EXT antenna to connect...honestly I've been trying to figure that out. The adapters and the coax and all this...but now u gave me superb advice and I thank you very much. Even including item # for some of the equipment? Thanx man!
--------------------------------------
Upper MI's Copper Country
•Grundig Satellit 750•
•Kaito 1103• w/wire-clip EXT ant
•Uniden BC125AT•
2 •GE 3-5980A handheld CB•

(only INT stock antennas atm)

[tRMZ]

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2018, 1453 UTC »
I'm just learning Morse...last night I copied 382 KHz. ..listed here as Iroquois Falls, ON...

on the list here I read that the CW says 7P...but I think I heard 'YPL'.

Do u know if that's correct?
--------------------------------------
Upper MI's Copper Country
•Grundig Satellit 750•
•Kaito 1103• w/wire-clip EXT ant
•Uniden BC125AT•
2 •GE 3-5980A handheld CB•

(only INT stock antennas atm)

jFarley

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2018, 1539 UTC »
Yes; YPL is correct, and is also on 382 kHz.  7B has an offset of ~1015 Hz, while YPL (the dominant Canadian on this freq) has offsets of approx +/- 400 Hz.

The best most up to date NDB listing can be found at: https://www.classaxe.com/dx/ndb/rna/signal_list

Here there are very good search capabilities to help you ID what you hear, and this is an invaluable resource for the NDB DXer.

If you are interested in being a part of the global NDB community, I suggest subscribing to the NDB list group, which can be found at: https://groups.io/g/ndblist

joe

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pinto vortando

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Re: Take Off to the Great White North
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2018, 0059 UTC »
Given your location you probably heard YPL.  It puts out a good signal.  In fact, at night it covers the more local to me XU London ON on the same freq.
Try www.dxinfocentre.com.  Lots of good stuff there including a list of NDBs. 
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan