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Author Topic: Early NDBs heard in northern CA  (Read 431 times)

Offline ThElectriCat

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Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« on: September 12, 2018, 0542 UTC »
logs for 9/11/18 0230 to 0330 UTC
received on a 70's analog receiver, inverted L, Shasta Lake, CA
YYF 390Kc Penticton BC CAN
DC   326Kc Princeton BC CAN
RYN 338Kc Tuscon     AZ USA
XX    344Kc Abbotsford BC CAN
MEF 356Kc Medford   OR USA
YK    371Kc Yakima     WA USA
MF   372Kc  Mansfield OH USA  (longest distance yet with from my location)
OT   378Kc  North Bend OR USA
PI     383Kc  Pocatillo    ID USA
QQ  400Kc  Comox    BC CAN
MOG 404Kc Montague CA USA (this is my test signal, audible day and night, stable, and clean, i can pretty much always hear it)
MW 408Kc   Moses Lake WA USA

A little surprised to hear ohio nearly 2400 miles from me. but I certainly got a positive ID.
My inverted L feeds the 50 ohm input of my receiver through a 20,000 ohm to 50 ohm isolation transformer. it really brings a lot more signal in than the loop in my shack
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 1129 UTC »


A little surprised to hear ohio nearly 2400 miles from me. but I certainly got a positive ID.
My inverted L feeds the 50 ohm input of my receiver through a 20,000 ohm to 50 ohm isolation transformer. it really brings a lot more signal in than the loop in my shack

Could be the Ohio beacon, don't hear it very often here at my Michigan QTH but it reportedly is still on the air.
However, there is also an NDB MF at Medford, Oregon on 373kc, maybe that is what you heard.

Anyway, what are the details on that transformer ?  Where did you get it or was it something you built ?
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline jFarley

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 1202 UTC »
MF 372 in OH was logged here in Chicago about a week ago, so it is certainly on the air.  I am in agreement with pv that this more likely is the beacon in Medford.  To clear this up, you might want to try listening around local noon.  From your location, Medford 373 should show up as a daytimer.

MOG 404 and MW 408 are excellent propagational beacons for those of us farther to the east.  When these are strong, it is worth the effort to check for others from the Pac NW.
Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
Active 60" Whip / PA0RDT
QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 2115 UTC »
ElectriCat,

Got curious about the 2 NDBs associated with Medford, Oregon. 
The airport is known as Rogue Valley International Medford. 
As per its name, it is located in a valley.  Looks like lots of high rapidly rising terrain all around the airport.
Could be a bit of a challenge in crummy WX.  The NDB 356 MEF looks like it is on or just north of the field.
NDB 373 MF is a LOM for ILS/LOC RWY 14.  It is located about 4 nm from RWY 14 threshold.  There is also
a VORTAC located a short distance north of MF.  Lots of navaids for this airport, perhaps because of its
location.  This information was the result of a quick internet search and may not be current.
Lots of navaids are being taken out of service.

btw,  any info on that transformer would be appreciated 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 2119 UTC by pinto vortando »
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 0445 UTC »
I originally thought the MF was 373 in Medford, but I am confident in my receivers frequency accuracy. I have not however heard MF again, from either location. and certainly not in the daytime.  Even MEF in Medford is usually weak here.  I would love to have heard MF in Ohio, and maybe I did, but I wont assume until I log it again. 

The transformer I use is a small 1.25 inch moly toroid, with 100 turns of 24 ga. magnet wire and 5 turns of 18 ga. insulated wire. The 5 turn winding is secondary and feeds my 50 ohm input directly. the 100 turn winding is fed by a 25 foot tall, 35 foot long inverted L, against ground. The isolation between the primary and secondary is over 600 volts.   Some of these were heard with an indoor tuned loop about 0.75 meters in diameter, mostly when close in qrm was too bad with the wire.

my receiver has a switchable attenuator up to 50 db in the front end, and if I had to use it, I switched to the loop.

anyway, some new beacons from today. all after local dark, of course.

YKA     223     Kamloops    BC   CAN
XC       242      Cranbrook  BC   CAN
VR       226      Vancouver  BC   CAN
YK       269      Castlegar    BC   CAN
along with all of the usual ones,
MOG   404     Montague   CA    USA
QQ      400     Comox         BC    CAN
OT      378      North Bend OR   USA

MOG is audible day and night. nearly full quieting, usually needs an attenuator at night.
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 0459 UTC »
Just tuned to 372/373. I cannot hear either of the MF beacons, There might be a carrier on 373, but its not really strong enough to be sure.
I would guess I heard the carrier of 372 in Ohio, but the identifier of the other, 373 in Medford.
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 1225 UTC »
I originally thought the MF was 373 in Medford, but I am confident in my receivers frequency accuracy. I have not however heard MF again, from either location. and certainly not in the daytime.  Even MEF in Medford is usually weak here.  I would love to have heard MF in Ohio, and maybe I did, but I wont assume until I log it again. 

The transformer I use is a small 1.25 inch moly toroid, with 100 turns of 24 ga. magnet wire and 5 turns of 18 ga. insulated wire. The 5 turn winding is secondary and feeds my 50 ohm input directly. the 100 turn winding is fed by a 25 foot tall, 35 foot long inverted L, against ground.

You may be aware of this but FWIW, U.S. beacons are modulated at 1020 cycles.  Therefore a signal will be heard offset 1020 cycles either side of the carrier frequency.  In other words, a beacon transmitting on a frequency of 373 will be heard at 372 and 374.  Canadians mostly use 400 cycle modulation.  Some beacons, especially Canadians, may only transmit one sideband, usually upper.
In actual practice this can be interesting, for example, if your receiver has narrow enough bandwidth, you may be able to receive a U.S. beacon and a Canadian beacon both assigned and transmitting on the same frequency.  Tuning upwards you will first hear the U.S. lower sideband then the Canadian then the U.S. upper sideband.

This does not necessarily mean that you didn't hear the Ohio beacon.  You may have heard it because MF Mansfield has been reported heard in California.

Otherwise, thanks for the transformer info.   :)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 1230 UTC by pinto vortando »
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 1536 UTC »
I am aware of the sidetone conventions, but if I use my receiver in bfo mode, I could have heard either sideband, unable to differentiate. I have noticed that sometimes, when 2 beacons are 2 Khz apart, both US, i have had difficulty dertermining which is which unless I use single sideband, because the lower sideband of the upper beacon is only 40 hz away from the upper sideband of the lower beacon. My LSB and USB modes have a minimum bandwidth of 2.5 Khz, so in noisy conditions, I use the BFO and DSB. ofsetting the BFO up or down can only do so much.

In my station I have a printout of all the beacons listed copied in California. and so far all I have copied are on it. I will be quite excited if I copy one that is not.
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 2241 UTC »

In my station I have a printout of all the beacons listed copied in California. and so far all I have copied are on it. I will be quite excited if I copy one that is not.

If you have the space available, lengthening your antenna may help.
NDB DX is picking up as Autumn approaches.   
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 0130 UTC »
I most certainly will lengthen my antenna, and I may have a lead on a 35 foot rohn lattice tower, for free or very cheap, in which toploading will be the name of the game
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 2143 UTC »
If you hear the beacon MF again, the ID interval for MF Medford is reported to be 7 1/2 secs and almost 6 secs for MF Mansfield...
good method to distinguish between them.

Also, somewhat recently obtained a MFJ 722B CW/SSB filter for the shack here.  It really helps pull the weak signals out of the noise
as well as cut down the mixing and whistles of nearby signals. 
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 2340 UTC »
If you hear the beacon MF again, the ID interval for MF Medford is reported to be 7 1/2 secs and almost 6 secs for MF Mansfield...
good method to distinguish between them.

Thanks, That seems like a really good way to check

luckily for me, my receiver has an insanely high tolerance to intermodulation, so I can get by with no preselector. I can use a 30DB preamp hooked up to my inverted L and tune the am band with almost no birdies or intermod. When running with no preamp, its almost impossible to receive intermod
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 0651 UTC »
Loggings for 9/15/18 0300z to 0500z, same WJ DMS-105a-2 RX and inverted L antenna
New loggings for me in this location have an asterisk

*UAB    200     ANAHIM LAKE     BC     CAN
*CG     227     CASTLEGAR       BC     CAN
YZA     236     ASHCROFT        BC     CAN
YCD     251     NANAIMO         BC     CAN
LW      257     KELOWNA         BC     CAN
VR      266     VANCOUVER       BC     CAN
*SLE    266     SALEM           OR     USA
YK      269     CASTLEGAR       BC     CAN
YYF     290     PENTICTON       BC     CAN
ONO     305     ONTARIO         OR     USA
*UNT    312     PENTICTON       BC     CAN
DC      326     PRINCETON       BC     CAN
RYN     338     TUSCON          AZ     USA
XX      344     ABBOTSFORD      BC     CAN
*SBX    347     SHELBY          MT     USA
NY      350     ENDERBY         BC     CAN
*ON     356     PENTICTON       BC     CAN
YAZ     359     TOFINO          BC     CAN
*RPX    362     ROUND UP        MT     USA
*DPY    365     DEER PARK       WA     USA
*ZP     368     SANDSPIT        WA     USA
YK      371     YAKIMA          WA     USA
*EX     374     KELOWNA         BC     CAN
*KZ     376     OLDS-DIDSBURY   AB     CAN
OT      378     NORTH BEND      OR     USA
*YPL    382     PICKLE LAKE     ON     CAN
PI      383     POCATELLO       ID     USA
YWB     389     KELOWNA         BC     CAN
ULS     395     ULYSSES         KS     USA
*SB     397     SAN BERNARDINO  CA     USA
QQ      400     COMOX           BC     CAN
MOG     404     MONTAGUE        CA     USA
MW      408     MOSES LAKE      WA     USA
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 0843 UTC »
That YPL  Pickle Lake  ON is a real powerhouse.
Said to be running a KW and heard as far away as Europe.
Nice catch on the KS beacon, that one is elusive here.
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Early NDBs heard in northern CA
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 1759 UTC »
do you mean KZ?
if so I just barely got it, ten minutes of trying to copy with my 150 hz cw filter.
wj DMS-105a-2, and whatever wire, loop, or other antenna I can get my hands on