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Author Topic: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?  (Read 2182 times)

Offline Bernhard

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Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« on: October 31, 2021, 1114 UTC »

here in Berlin/Germany I recently noticed that our local NDBs like 299 "SL" and 309 "MW" are gone and also the whole band is very quiet. I managed to hear only very few signals the last few nights:

307 DIK from Luxembourg
346 WLU from Luxembourg
347 CVT from France
370 GAC from Bosnia-Herzegovina
372 ODR from Norway

I read about a "Phase 6" decommissioning in Canada, what about other parts of the world, will they all be shut down in the near future?
Bernhard in Berlin
AR5000, Perseus, mostly indoor antennas

Offline skeezix

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Re: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2021, 1517 UTC »

Here in the U.S., the NDBs are also going away. The FAA 2018 Navigation Programs Strategy (5.3, p19) has some information for the NDBs.

5.3 Non-Directional Beacon (NDB)
NDBs, as shown in Figure 11, are transmitters that pilots can use with avionic direction-finding equipment (typically a receiver with a steerable loop antenna) to determine the azimuth of the aircraft to the NDB ground station. NDBs serve as non-precision approach aids at some airports; as compass locators, generally collocated with the outer marker of an ILS, to assist pilots in determining the step down fix to begin the descent to the Decision Altitude (DA) on the ILS course in a non-radar environment; and as en-route navigation aids. By determining the azimuth to at least two NDBs, a pilot can determine the aircraft position. Historically, NDBs were collocated with the Outer Marker (OM) and Middle Marker (MM), which changed their designation to a Locator Outer Marker (LOM) and Locator Middle Marker (LMM). LOM and LMM services have mostly been discontinued with the introduction of radar capabilities in terminal areas, but they are still used in non-radar areas in the NAS. The FAA still operates and maintains approximately 200 NDBs in Alaska.

All the current NDBs are beyond their 20-year service life.

5.3.1 NDB Sustainment
There is no FAA procurement activity for NDBs at this time. NDBs are being gradually phased out of the NAS. No additional NDB approaches will be published, and NDB approaches used for training by the DoD or private entities will not be included in the NAS. By 2030, all NDB approaches are expected to be removed from the NAS.

Here in the upper Midwest of the U.S. (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa), many NDBs have disappeared with only a few remaining.

Canada is well under way in their NAVAID Modernization Program. As you correctly state, they're currently in Phase 6 of 12. Phase 7 is coming up in January.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 1538 UTC by skeezix »
Minneapolis, MN

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2021, 0041 UTC »
Can think of 20 or so U.S. and Canadian beacons formerly regularly heard here that have gone dark over the past few years.
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline liduck

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Re: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2021, 0847 UTC »
Facebook has a group called Non Directional Beacon chat, and on it a gent regularly posts the NOTAMS about decommissioned US beacons, there's a least one a day.  We did have a bunch in my neck of the woods (Long Island) but are now down to 2.  There's also a group of NDB listeners who have a running list of what's heard and can be found here: http://www.ndblist.info/

Offline Nick B.

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Re: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2021, 1535 UTC »
Here in the UK, a lot of the en-route NDBs have disappeared although there are still a number at regional airports, as well as at RAF (military) airfields. In other parts of the world they are still in common use on the helicopter platforms of oil rigs.

In the UK the tone used for the Morse ID is 400Hz. The odd one is CWL on 423kHz which I have logged using 1020Hz.
15m wire, various loops, Datong AD-370.
QTH:: Nottingham/UK

Offline MojaveBeaconeer

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Re: Only few NDBs in Europe, are they mostly shut down?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2022, 1502 UTC »
Yes indeed it is very sad to hear only about 10% of the NDBs OTA compared to the 80s - the beginning of the end was when the wonderful MARINE SUB-BAND (285-325 kHz) containing cool sequenced lighthouse (and other locales) beacons were ongoing, as well as single marine NDBs were OTA.

DGPS took over for a while there but now is largely gone, temporarily re-opening up former NDB frequencies and DX formerly covered by the various DGPS transmissions. JUst for a spell...

Yep, by 2030 LW is going to be strangely empty (if the ICBMS have not flown and blown yet) - I suggest counteraction: - A TAKEOVER by hoibbyists (like the HF beacons) abd personal NDBs should happen! Perhaps a minority view and a bit controversial, but this IS HFU and many here ARE into un-sanctioned (by the govt AHs) beaconeering, so WHY NOT, when the FAA and other avation-related NDBS largely vacate the band, just TAKE OVER the emptied RF spaces with experimental beacons of our own... 

***QUITE FRANKLY THE USA REALLY REALLY REALLY NEEDS TO GET RID RID RID OF 90% of it's AMBCB overload/logjam of crap and crud-race-to-the-bottom  transmitters/transmissions (commercial/advert-overload 75 percent crap adverts) on the declining and assinine AM band, thusly opening-up long-haul DX like the rest of the planet can now enjoy on the AMBCB (except in China which has become also just as log-jammed an AM dial like the USA go figure...) >>> make the stupid AM band more like the emptying-out LF NDB/BCB band, folks... maybe by 2050 or after the ICBMs fly... good luck...

« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 1517 UTC by MojaveBeaconeer »


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