We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: what are the 'WLO' beacons?  (Read 1391 times)

Offline [tRMZ]

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • MI's Copper Country
    • View Profile
what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« on: April 30, 2018, 1243 UTC »
Hey guys I'm new this is my 2nd post; this site is so big I'm sure I could dig around and find the answer to this question but...what's up w the 'WLO' beacons? Idk Morse code. I'm learning. But these beacons are SO slow...I think they say 'WLO'? Am I correct? Why? And what for? Hmm :-)

12582 LSB
16810 LSB
6420 LSB

there are probly more idk
--------------------------------------
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)

Offline Σ

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
    • ΣSDR KiwiSDR online
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 1336 UTC »
WLO isn't a beacon, it is a ship-to-shore radio service: http://www.shipcom.com/

The beaconing you are referring to is a channel idle marker that allows ships to tune their receiver to their specific frequency. This isn't necessary with modern radios but in the old days you had to tune them in with a (usually) inaccurate dial on your radio.  Now, with digitally tunes radios, you can go directly to the correct frequency without any problems. I believe the beacon is now used to tell ships that the channel is available. (??)

Σ
CT/MA border
Afredri SDR-Net with multiband dipole at 65 ft.
KiwiSDR online - http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/
ΣSDR Blog - https://sigmasdr.blogspot.com/

Offline [tRMZ]

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • MI's Copper Country
    • View Profile
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 1410 UTC »
well cool buddy thnx cuz they've been driving me crazy! ..."channel idle marker", eh? Well, they are certainly idle as hell! :-D

Thnx for the help I like you guys a lot
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 1430 UTC by [tRMZ] »
--------------------------------------
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)

Offline Token

  • Global Moderator
  • DX Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 1791
    • View Profile
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 1547 UTC »
Yes, in the past, as Sigma indicated, one of the purposes was to confirmed you were on the right frequency, however, channel markers still serve a purpose with modern radios. 

Think of it this way, I want to listen to 12580 kHz (12581.5 kHz c/f) for possible traffic from WLO in a world without channel markers.  So I tune to 12580 kHz in USB mode, and I hear nothing.  Does that mean WLO has no traffic to send?  Or does it mean there are poor / no propagation conditions between WLO and my location?

With channel markers I can tune to the various WLO frequencies, select the one with the strongest marker, and be sure I will get any traffic WLO sends.

T!
T!
Mojave Desert, California USA

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3130
    • View Profile
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 1805 UTC »
Here's a list of their ship/shore channels;
http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

You can also pick up their 50Bd and SITOR B fsk NOTAM xmissions on 8473. You'll need a decoder app for that.
http://www.kd0cq.com/2013/07/sorcerer-decoder-download/

Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline Looking-Glass

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
  • Hermitage Flat, NSW, Australia
    • View Profile
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 2216 UTC »
There are also maritime markers/beacons over this way in the Pacific in addition to WLO in Mobile, Alabama USA.

Korea Telecom in Seoul, South Korea have a number of beacons HLF, HLG, HLO, HLW and HLW2 etc on 8, 12, 16 and 22MHz.

China has a series of them too, XSG, XSQ etc on 4, 8MHz etc.

Out of Europe you have TAH in Turkey and SVO in Greece on 4 and 8MHz.

Israel also has some on 4 and 6MHz call sign 4XZ.

All of the above are in CW mode and some are preceded with four "buzz tones" prior to transmission of call sign. Some, like 4XZ and XSG transmit code/marine traffic too from time to time.

In addition to all of the above you have the Russian beacons or channel markers transmitting a single letter on a number of HF frequencies... ;)
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline [tRMZ]

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • MI's Copper Country
    • View Profile
Re: what are the 'WLO' beacons?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2018, 0005 UTC »
Wow, thnx Looking-Glass! Yea I've heard the single letter CW beacons here and there...helps me learn Morse code.

About 10 min ago I just stumbled upon  a 'WLO' msg 13111 USB

"ShipComm! "This is WLO...ShipCom...we are listening for radiotelephone calls at such-and-such a time...this is WLO...ShipCom...we are listening for radiotelephone calls now on channels blah...blah...blah...blah...blah. This is WLO."

:-) finally caught the buggers
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 0120 UTC by [tRMZ] »
--------------------------------------
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)