Martin Francis - Extremely Detailed NDB DX Website (including NDB Log Database by region and NDB identification database by region)
William Hepburn's NDB Listing
By Mark (AF6IM) - Great article about maritime Navigating in the 60's and 70s with surplus avation nav. gear
November 2010 MW DXpedition to Oahu, Hawaii - also has my Longwave Recordings Winter 2010/11
Robert Connelley's Northern Ireland NDB DX website (GI7IVX)
G4UCJ's Excellent Beacon Website (with logs)
Great article about NDB navigation techniques
Map of US DGPS data-stations by frequency in kHz and location (generally uninteresting FSK at 100 or 200 baud unless you're into decoding these things, but they are/were useful for signal-propagation observations). Many/most are off-air late 2017 now (all but the BLUE-marked USCG DGPS beacons are off-air in 2018, now freeing up many NDBs into audibility again! Example - the lovely 305 RO-NM/ONO-OR Mixture is in the clear now - Bakersfield's 305 kHz DGPS for the (Caltrans)(CA-DOT) is off-air now, as is Essex 298 photo way-below.)
Auroral Chorus Home Page
368 SX Cranbrook (Skookumchuck), British Columbia. Tall vertical mast antenna. Beautiful Autumn foilage next to the beacon, with the a bit of the Canadian Rocky Mountains visible in the background. Gail and I spent many hours trying to find this beacon! High-power and located well away from the main Highway 93. A strong signal in California but often battling it out with stronger ZP Sandspit, B.C. - (both were 1020 Hz USB pitch modulation when I wrote this in 1999, now SX and ZP are 400 Hz pitch modulation as of 12/05 - monitor 368.4 kHz). S. McGreevy, photo taken September 1993. 368_sx.jpg, 62,466 bytes.
368 VX, Dafoe, Saskatchewan. Medium-height, guyed antenna mast (mimicking a small mediumwave BCB station operating around 1600 kHz). Photographed near sunset as we drove right by it, I didn't immediately recognize it as an NDB, and we kept on driving for a few km before I thought to check the longwave portable to see if was an NDB - sure enough, it was (!), so we drove back to take pictures. VX is located far from any airport, etc., in a field with nothing else around. While we visited this beacon, the skies were full of migrating flocks of Canada Geese! I've heard this one in here California (400 Hz pitch USB modulation - monitor 368.4 kHz narrowband CW/SSB mode). McGreevy, September 1993. 368_vx.jpg 32,727 bytes.
353 - 5E (later "5F"), Fox Creek, Alberta. Just another example of a typical low-power (usually 25-watt) Canadian number/letter ident beacon usually found at small airports (see 328 5J photo just below). I photographed this one from afar, through binoculars, from the entry road to the airport, being on my way south on Hwy 37 with the goal of Waterton Park in southen Alberta at the end of the day (and it was threatening to rain). S. McGreevy, June 1996. 5E_353.jpg 28,855 bytes. (SINCE THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN 5E CHANGED IDENTS TO "5F")
328 - 5J, Coronation, Alberta. A good close-up of another small, privately-owned number/letter beacon. Metal lattice mast and self-supporting 6-spoke umbrella top-hat with wire skirt and two red marker lights. Occasionally heard in California, weakly, when conditions are good (monitor 328.4 kHz in narrowband CW/SSB mode). S. McGreevy, September 1993. 5J_328.jpg 36,049 bytes.
- 286 8G Stettler, Alberta - September 1993 - Another letter/number beacon we stopped by to visit on the Sept. 1993 trip.
224 DN - Dauphin, Manitoba. This beacon is a fine example of a Canadian NDB employing a medium-height lattice antenna mast and drooping wire-capacitance tophat/umbrella (a mini-version of former Omega-D North Dakota and many Loran-C installations!). This (400 Hz USB ident modulation pitch) beacon was spied right along the Highway south of Dauphin - we were not DFing it. I've heard this one in California regularly when conditions to Canada are good (monitor 224.4 kHz in narrowband CW/SSB mode). S. McGreevy, September 1993. DN_224.jpg 32,757 bytes.
307 M5 - Manning, Alberta. Very similar installation to 5E and 5J above. I saw this one at the airport right next to the Mackenzie Highway as I was traveling southward, and turned off the highway into the airport to take this photo in the rain. I didn't know what this beacon was until I checked my Sony portable. Seemed a weak signal even close. S. McGreevy, June 1996, driving southward during my Solar-Minimum Natural VLF Radio recording expedition (featured recordings are on my 2000 album: 'Auroral Chorus II'). (Initially, I thought this beacon was 306 kHz via my ICF-7600D as I had no beacon listing of it with me on the trip.). Heard since in Calif. by myself and others.
N5 224, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Gail and I drove right to the RMH airport looking for 411 RM (which was apparantly off the air) and saw this little beacon similar to all the other small, number-letter beacon installations. I had to check the radio to ID it. S. McGreevy, September 1993.
(former - possibly off-air early 2018?) 239 OJ, High level, Alberta. This photo was taken while (90 km/h) in-motion southbound on the Mackenzie Highway returning from the Northwest Teritories. I had previously spied this beacon while driving northward to the NWT, so I was prepared to take this quick (tilted) shot as I passed by it again. The beacon antenna is the taller mast on the right (telephone tower is the left one). I wish I had taken the time to visit this site. Weak to occasionally fair 2-hop signal in the S.F. Bay Area and eastern California, it is a quite-strong 1-hop signal (400 Hz USB ident modulation) in southern (Lakeview) Oregon where I also resided and monitored it (on 239.4 kHz narrowband CW/SSB mode) for good northward conditions. S. McGreevy, June 1996. OJ_239.jpg, 31,810 bytes.
(former) 320 YQF, Red Deer, Alberta. This strong, high-power NDB uses a tall self-supporting mast similar to many U.S. NDB's (namely, the powerful LOM/ formerly-TWEB beacons). Similar antenna mast to 239 OJ - Alberta and 320 HTN Montana (see HTN below). Gail and I drove many miles out of our way to find this beacon, but could not get closeer than this somewhat distant shot. Strong signal throughout western North America with 400 Hz USB ident modulation pitch (monitor 320.4 kHz in narrowband in CW/SSB mode) S. McGreevy, September 1993. 320YQF.jpg 25,049.
311 kHz 9Y Pincher Creek airport, Alberta. Taken on 04 July 2001, this pretty beacon is located at the Pincher Creek airport. I drove right by 9Y on my way into Pincher Creek in order to get my van's oil-seal fixed there. This beacon employs the uppermost of three or four guy wires as its capacitance umbrella, as do many Canadian NDB's. It can be heard on its 400 Hz USB ident at 311.4 kHz between the US DGPS beacon data streams. Sometimes HY Hay River NWT accompanies it in good conditions. Last logged in the desert of Calif. Christmas morning 2005. S.P. McGreevy
(former) 278 GOS, Lakeview (Goose Lake), Oregon. GOS is located right at the Lakeview Airport. This picture shows the snow-capped Warner Mountains in the background. Fine example of an older, 2-wire flat-top wire antenna with wooden poles supporting both ends. 1020 Hz DSB ident modulation pitch. This was a local pest (with malfunctions during windstorms) during the time I lived in Lakeview, Oregon, Oct. 1996 to July 1997, but GOS has since left the air. S. McGreevy, March 1988.
(former) 396 BNO Burns, Oregon - June 1984 - SPMcGreevy.
390k: Very-detailed scans of 4 original prints I took of the (former) 382 MOG installation in June 1985 with inverted coathangar antenna! Image is 390k. Far better than first low-res. photo scan done 11 yrs. ago. S. McGreevy April 2007.
(former) 254 SPK, Sparks (Reno), Nevada. (scans from SLIDES - that's why they look a bit funky) Another ex-TWEB beacon, now off the air, that had a powerful 400 watt signal. I used to love to tune in this beacon as my antenna test beacon when I lived in the SF Bay Area, and for the weather. This was a LOM to Reno-Cannon Intnl. Airport - now only 351 NO remains as their LIM. Large lattice mast - views of transmitter hut and base of the antenna too.
Another image of 254 SPK.
Scan of print-photo of (former) 254 SKP Sparks/Reno, Nevada (LOM) - view of entire vertical-lattice-antenna, July 1985.
- 344 BKU, Baker, Montana. Another example of an older installation with the red/white painted antenna support poles, 344 BKU has a two-wire flat-top antenna supported by wooden poles - these particular ones painted red and white. Fairly easily heard in California but on a crowded frequency. We had to drive a bit through and around the town to find this one! S. McGreevy, September 1993.
374 BOD - Bowman, North Dakota. BOD has guyed steel-lattice masts supporting a wire flat-top antenna. This beacon is harder to catch in California (on a busy frequency and does not radiate skywave too well for the antenna size). S. McGreevy, September 1993. BOD374.jpg, 37,867 bytes.
(Former) 367 RD - Redding, California. Standard FAA 25-watt installation, CI has a 6-spoke top-cap. umbrella and self-supporting tubular mast with center loading coil. Sheldon Remington, John Seamons, and myself spent a couple of hours and many miles DFing down this beacon which is hard to spot from afar and located well away from the airport. We had to hike in a bit to the installation, and also the temperature was about 100 deg.-F. S. McGreevy, June 1985. A 75 MHz marker beacon antenna is just to the right of the NDB antenna. Also June 1985 just before the 327 CI visit.
(Former) 274 CQI - Council, Idaho. This beacon was notorious in the early to mid 1980's when it had severe 'negative keying' on its carrier signal (its carrier dropped substantially when the ident tone was keying) leading to many reports of an unID "IAEIK" beacon, and CQI also radiated a well-heard negatively-keyed 7th-harmonic in the 160-meter amateur-radio band on ~1918 kHz! In March 1988, I deviated 160 miles from my planned route in order to see this notorious beacon, which by then was behaving almost normally. CQI then had an older flat-top wire antenna supported by wooden poles. During 1997 - 1999, it's ident and carrier had not been detected in California, and I think it went off the air back then, as so many NDBs are today. Photo taken March 1988 by S. McGreevy. CQI274.jpg, 18,250 bytes.
(former) 375 EMC, Winnemucca, Nevada. EMC, located about 8 miles northwest of Winnemucca on the dirt road to Sulphur and Jungo, Nevada, has a standard FAA tubular, center-loaded mast with an 8-spoke umbrella with wire skirt - a variant of the hard-to-spot standard 25-watt FAA installation (a la 327 CI and 263 UAD, etc.). Winnemucca Mtn. is in the background, and this photo is one of my favorites. Sometimes, EMC has an ident malfunction, sending "EAC.". S. McGreevy, June 1987. EMC375.jpg, 31,300 bytes.
- 356 MEF Medford, Oregon: (formerly) 356 FR, Medford Oregon airport. Now "MEF" in 2015 onwards - a location-outer-marker (LOM) beacon installation not far from the northern end of the MFR runway, FR (MEF) uses a single-wire flat-top antenna. S. McGreevy, June 1985. (See 373 MF Medford (LIM) below.)
(Former) 373 MF, Medford Oregon area. MF, a location-inner-marker (LIM) beacon installation, is similar to FR above. Note the back-up fiberglass mast antenna! Two photos in this image, and John Seamons - KF6VO; Steve McGreevy - N6NKS; and Shel Remington - formerly NI6E / now KH6SR, are in the top photo in front of the beacon with two Sony ICF-7600Ds (gray-market model equiv. to the ICF-2002). We used the Sony's to DF this beacon. S.P. McGreevy June 1985.
(former) 219 GNA, Grants Pass (Merlin) Oregon We had to DF this one in order to find it. GNA uses a 2-wire flat-top antenna and wooden support poles, well hidden in a pine woodland. S. McGreevy, June 1985. GNA219.jpg, 25,293 bytes.
- (Former) 211 HDG, Gooding, Idaho HDG has a large flat-top wire antenna and fairly tall guyed lattice masts suporting the flat-top antenna - large so it can radiate on this relatively low NDB frequency and formerly located next to the Gooding airport. Photographed late May 1984 by Stephen McGreevy. (Sheldon Remington is the small figure in the larger photo).
211 HDG, Gooding, Idaho. Another view of HDG. HDG211B.jpg, 23,234 bytes
(former) 392 HEI, Hettinger, North Dakota. HEI used to radiate very well and was heard well throughout California and within 1-hop range (within 1300 miles). Also heard well in Hawaii by myself and others. HEI used a fairly standard, old-style 2-wire flat-top supported by wooden poles. S. McGreevy, 9/93. HEI392.jpg, 30,838 bytes
(former) 320 HTN, Miles City, Montana: Like most former medium and high-powered TWEB (Transcribed WEather Broadcasts) outlets, HTN has a lattice antenna mast. HTN also has an elevated ground-counterpoise to aid in signal radiation (this photo), and owing to frequent high winds in this part of the High Plains/badlands country, HTN has its mast guyed (see the next HTN photo)! Gail and I had to do quite a bit of searching and DFing to get to this beacon - the large mast was easy to spot miles away, however, it took time to find the right road through strange terrain to get to it. S. McGreevy, 9/93. HTN320.jpg, 68,983 bytes
(former) 320 HTN, Miles City, Montana. View of entire installation, including the antenna mast, guy wires and surrounding fields. S. McGreevy, 9/93. HTN320B.jpg, 35,078 bytes
332 IA, Portland (Troutdale), Oregon. IA (later "PD") has a single-wire flat-top antenna and is visible just to the north side of I-84. When I visited, there was moss hanging from the antenna wire! S. McGreevy, 3/88. IA332.jpg, 20,819 bytes
(former) 296 LGD, La Grande, Oregon. This is a view of the transmitter hut and feedline to the two-wire flat-top antenna. As you can see in the photo, it was snowing in spots all around me when I took this photo March 1988 the same day after visiting 274 CQI Council, Idaho and 303 ONO Ontario, Oregon. LGD is an aeronautical beacon within the marine DGPS marine-sub-band of 285 - 325 kHz, ansd so it now suffers considerable DGPS interference, thus requiring narrowband receiving techniques to clear up its ident. LGD296A.jpg, 39,810 bytes
(former) 296 LGD, La Grande, Oregon. A more distant view of the transmitter hut and one of the two wooden poles supporting LGD's wire flat-top antenna. S. McGreevy, 3/88. LGD296B.jpg, 32,559 bytes
(former) Middletown, California LORAN-C (100 kHz) Slave-station: Gail and I were cruising around the area in August 1993 and decided to pay the U.S. Coast Guard run LORAN-C radionavigation station a visit. We were told to leave at once by a very impolite USCG man, surprisingly so very unlike our Omega visit in North Dakota in Sept. 1993 which was way-more friendly. Before we asked to visit and were turned away, I took this photo of the base of the huge (700 foot-tall) antenna mast, with three of its top-capacitance-hat (umbrella) guywires visible behing the mast. S. McGreevy, 8/93. loranc.jpg, 47,388 bytes
(former) 374 LV, Livermore, California. A good spring 1985 picture of LV's small, three-wire flat-top antenna fed by one vertical wire attached only to the middle flat-top wire. Two wooden poles support the antenna. Being an old photo, this antenna may have been replaced by a newer free-standing tubular mast antenna with the umbrella top-cap. hat, like 375 EMC, Nevada, 263 UAD, Calif., etc. S. McGreevy, 4/85. LV374.jpg, 27,436 bytes
(former) 374 LV, Livermore, California. A view of LV's transmitter/tuning-unit enclosure and antenna feed-line. S. McGreevy, 4/85. LV374B.jpg, 32,733 bytes
414 LYI, Libby, Montana. Such a wide antenna - I had to tape the two prints together get just the left-half of LYI's (2-wire) flat-top "T-wire" antenna in view. LYI no doubt uses locally cut timber from the nearby National Forest for its three antenna support poles (the right-side of the antenna is not visible in this two-photo panorama. LYI gets out the best amongst the 414 kHz western US beacons, no doubt due to its relatively large antenna. This one took some time DFing and walking-to through the woods! S. McGreevy, 9/93 LYI414.jpg, 42,546 bytes
389 EN - Kenosha, Wisconsin. June 2014 - photo by Joe Overhuls (still on-air as of mid_june 2014. Note the 75 MHz dual yagi-antenna VHF inner marker beacon.
(former) 310 MB, Morrow Bay, California. MB is a former marine marker NDB and used a vertical whip antenna. A former installation farther out on the jetty is seen in the distant background - probably too difficult to maintain in the wave spray! MB is off the air- replaced by the USCG DGPS beacon system in the marine 285 - 325 kHz sub-band. Photo by S. McGreevy, 1/88. MB310.jpg, 26,888 bytes
(former) 307 N, Noyo Harbor (Ft. Bragg), California (former marine marker beacon). N is another example of a small marker beacon situated in harbors and jettys. It also employed the standard USCG fiberglass-whip vertical antenna. The transmitter hut is also fiberglass. This 10-watt beacon was taken off the air in the early 90's, replaced by the DGPS system in the marine sub-band. S. McGreevy 4/87. N307.jpg, 21,932 bytes.
351 NO, Reno, Nevada. (FORMER)(LIM beacon on approach corridor to Reno-Cannon International Airport) 'NO' employed a single-wire flattop antenna supported by short wooden poles. It was located just north of the approach lights to the airport runway across Rock Blvd. This beacon used to radiate remarkably well in western North America for its listed 25 watts. Off-air in 2013. S. McGreevy, 10/87. NO351.jpg, 22,627 bytes.
(former) Another view of the former 351 NO, Reno, Nevada. S. McGreevy, 10/87. NO351B.jpg, 22,272 bytes
Scan of print-photo of 780 KROW Reno, Nevada (now KKOH) July 1985 of their three-tower array north of Reno near SPK NDB
Scan of print-photo of (former) 1510 KTIM San Rafael's lower tower section near some settling ponds with waterfowl
Scan of print-photo of a (former) 1610 TIS (Traveler's Information Station) at North Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore about 1991. This one got out very well owing to its high-and-clear location atop a bluff above the beach.
BELOW: Frank Cathell (K3YAZ) next to the 1610 kHz TIS at Cuyamaca State Park, San Diego County, CA - May 1991.
(former) Omega-D, La Moure, North Dakota. A distant view of the 1200-foot tall antenna taken from near the entrance road to the installation, on 23 Sept. 1993. Omega-Station-D, one of eight Omega transmitters worldwide transmitting in the 10.2 - 13.8 kHz range, left the air at 0300 UT on 30 September 1997 (this link is to an article on this).The USCG personnel at Omega-D were VERY hospitable, and took us on a nice tour of the facility and even partook in a group photo, holding two of my WR-3 receivers. At the time we were visiting, the transmiter was down for routine-maintenance that very day, and we listened to the beeping sounds of Omega-C Hawaii. - a truly fine group of people there in September 1993!
Since this visit, Omega was shut-down Sept. 1997.
Also See OMEGA-D TOUR, September, 23, 1993.
305 ONO, Ontario, Oregon, March 1988. This is a photo of ONO's former antenna, a single-wire flat-top, when I made my first visit to ONO on my way from 274 CQI Council, Idaho earlier that day in March 1988. ONO is next to a golf course. The FAA has slowly been replacing aging wire and post antennas with newer free-standing tubular masts with the umbrella top capacitance hat. See the next photo for a look at ONO in late September 1993. S. McGreeevy, 3/88. ONO305A.jpg, 27,062 bytes.
305 ONO, Ontario, Oregon, September 1993. This photo shows the replacement antenna, a tall and hefty tubular antenna mast and 16-spoke top. capacitance-hat with a wire skirt - a hitherto unseen antenna type by me, but one that I am aware of that is replacing the wire antenna installations. 30-watt (listed) ONO gets out very well, often mixing with RO Roswell, New Mexico - once the two beacons are surrounded/buried by the slow-speed digital data sounds of the DGPS system, as both aeronautical beacons reside in the marine sub-band of 285-325 kHz. Happily, in early 2018 305 ONO and RO (Roswell, NM) mix together as always in the clear now that all but the USCG DGPS beacons have left-air. I am not sure if ONO's signal level changed when the antenna replacement was made in the early 90s - it was a good signal back in 1988 and earlier, too. (February 2019: Still on-air and now in the clear again now that the 305 kHz Bakersfield USDOT-DGPS station is off-air). (This antenna would make a fine LowFER beacon installation!). S. McGreevy, 9/93.
(former) 366 PLV, Wilsonville, Oregon. PLV was easily spotted on Interstate 5 about 30 miles south of Portland in 1988 and a pass-by in 1990. This beacon employed a guyed steel-lattice mast and 7-spoke top. capacitance hat without the skirt wire. I have not seen this particualr variation of an NDB antenna before. Please see next photo below, too. S. McGreevy 3/88. PLV366.jpg, 27,548 bytes.
(former) 366 PLV, Wilsonville, Oregon. This is a view of PLV's transmitter enclosure and heatsink, the feedline to the tuning system and antenna mast feedline. The antenna was shiny and new, but the transmitter box looked vaguely familiar - indeed, I had been told back in Burns, Oregon earlier that week that the old 396 BNO (off-air now, replaced by a VOR) beacon transmitter was now in use at PLV! (Sheldon Remington and I had visited BNO back in May 1984 when it was on the air still). S. McGreevy, 3/88. PLV366B.jpg, 31,385 bytes.
392 PNA, Pinedale, Wyoming. I like PNA - it is often atop the 392 mixture that was 392 kHz for along time. Back on sometime around 2020 after periods off-air, and now quite 'alone' on it's frequency (happily!) in the West. For years, 392 PNA was always one of those beacons I wanted to visit someday, and so Gail and I on our big road tour of September 1993 detoured a bit off the more direct highway to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone Nat. Park to visit PNA. PNA was right at the airport in an adjacent field. The beacon used a steel lattice mast, guyed, but with the top third of the three guy cables acting as a top capacitance hat/umbrella. PNA as seen on our September 1993 visit was a new variant of an NDB antenna configuration I'd never seen before in the U.S. The gorgeous Wind River Range is in the far distance. S. McGreevy, Sept. 1993. PNA392.jpg, 45,174 bytes.
- 332 POA, Pahoa, Hawaii. POA really belts out a big signal from the Big Island of Hawaii - nothing like 353 LLD, Lanai, but pretty good anyway - heard easily from coastal North America and even inland when conditions are good to the Pacific. 332 POA is situated just off of the Pahoa Highway, halfway between Keaau and Pahoa (Hawaiin Paradise Park), and uses a three-wire flat-top antenna, fed by one vertical wire to the center wire of the flat-top portion, supported by two wooden poles. This second photo of POA is of one of the pole supports and the end of the three-wire flat-top section. Both photos by S. McGreevy, 8/86). (POA may have a new umbrella antenna by now as I think I can see in GoogleEarth in 2018).
POA 332 Pahoa, Hawaii (lsb 331.0 kHz) recorded 20 April 2007 at 1130ut - A quick recording of one POA ident made while accidently moving the rcvr. dial - Kenwood R-1000, 600 ft. wire aimed southwest, recorded at my home near Lone Pine, Calif. an an Olympus digital voice recorder. (98 kb)
About 353 LLD - Lanai, Hawaii: Reception in Keeler, CA in Owens Valley (near Lone Pine, Calif.), using 600 foot. wire to southwest from my rural home has bagged me LLD every morning past 1000 ut (to near local sunrise) since 19 April to 22 April, 2007 very strongly - NOTE - LLD is now, for some reason, double-sideband 420 Hz modulation pitch - making them in the clear for DXers generally - check 353.42 kHz or 352.58 kHz - they are a powerful signal capable of penetrating well inland into North America, and all over Pacific Ocean (in the years past and up to 2016 LLD is very widely heard. Audio file of LLD is below - steve mcgreevy 24 april 07 and Feb. 2014. (Heard hemispherically in 2018 even).
(former) 263 RLL, Rolla, North Dakota. Friend (from University) Gail and I van-camped (the evening after visiting Omega-D North Dakota) in a field about 10 miles north of Rolla, and about 10 miles south of the Manitoba, Canada border. The next morning, (September 21, 1993) I remembered that Rolla had an NDB, and scanned the Sony, finding RLL, though it seemed really weak for being so close - almost as weak as some of the large Canadian NDB's 500 miles away! So we rolled southward toward the airport hoping to spot the beacon, and here it was. It is a rare catch in California (as it radiates poorly). One end of its two-wire flat-top antenna is supported by the airport light-beacon platform. S. McGreevy, 9/93. RLL263.jpg, 32,678 bytes
(former)222 MY Marysville, California. Sheldon Remington, John Seamons and myself DFed this beacon on our final day of a long, two state trip to photograph NDB's. McGreevy June 1985. We then went down to the Sacramento area and visited 356 SA Sacramento Photos from Slides June 1985.
(former) 379 SF, San Francisco International LIM (Foster City), California.
The former 379 SF was a (literally) bayside beacon right south of the western on-ramp to the San Mateo Bridge. SF, back in July 1987 when this photo was taken, and it employed a three-wire flat-top antenna. It was an location inner-marker for the approach runways to SFO. There was also a 75-MHz marker installation and dipole antenna along with the SF beacon. This photo was taken right before I dropped Sheldon Remington (ex. NI6E/ now KH6SR) off at the airport (SFO) the day he was moving to Hawaii. S. McGreevy, 8/86.
(former) 266 SL, Salem, Oregon. SL was another unusual installation, employing a wire-cage T-configuration antenna.
The actual location is just on the north edge of the small town of Turner. S. McGreevy, 3/88. SL266.jpg, 18,056 bytes. In September 2009, Don Montgomery, K6LTS sent a (lost) updated SL photo showing a new vertical with 16-spoke top-capacity hat similat to 306 ONO Ontario, Oregon's NDB.
- 333 STI Mountain Home, Idaho. Back in late May 1984 when this (Kodak 110-film!) picture was taken with a poor-quality 110-type camera, STI used a large two-wire flat-top wire supported by two wooden poles painted red and white (very similar to 374 BKU Baker Montana above and many older NDBs you see pictured herein). The antenna look a bit dilapidated when Sheldon and I visited STI, and one of the two vertical wire feeds to the flat-top section of the wire antenna was broken. STI still is on the air but with a somewhat reduced signal since the early-mid 1980's, and I presume the antenna has ben replaced/updated. S. McGreevy, 5/84. STI333.jpg, 21,190 bytes.
264 SZT Sandpoint, Idaho. SZT uses a large wire antenna supported by wooden poles - again similar to STI and BKU. S. McGreevy, 9/93. SZT264.jpg, 45,111 bytes.
(former)245 TLR, Tulare, California. This photo was taken by John Headlee, (formerly N6NRK) taken sometime July 1987. He didn't get closer to the NDB than this photo, but it looks like TLR uses steel-lattice masts supporting a one or two-wire flat-top antenna. TLR245.jpg, 23,814 bytes.
(former) 263 UAD, Chualar (Salinas), California. UAD uses a standard, 25-watt FAA tubular mast with center-loading coil and 6-spoke umbrella top cap. hat. S. McGreevy, 1/88. UAD263.jpg, 24,669 bytes.
(former) 324 U Umpqua River Mouth, Oregon (former marine NDB). "U" was a tiny beacon - listed as 10 watts and under trees which really dampened-down its signal(!) - formerlly located in the parking-lot next to the mouth of the Umpqua River in Oregon. Marine beacons like these tiny gems have all been removed from the former marine beacon sub-band 285 to 325 kHz, replaced by the DGPS beacon system, which is a whole-lot more unromantic than these old Marine-marker beacons (or the fascinating-sounding sequenced beacon chains like W 304 right below) were. Photographed March 1988 - S.P. McGreevy.
1980s USCG brochure about marine NDBs
(Former) 304 W, Yaquina Head Lighthouse (former marine NDB). "W" was one of three 304 kHz, 50/10-format-marine-sequenced beacons on the Oregon Coast. It had higher power than the other small harbor marker beacons shown in the pictures on this page and employed a taller whip antenna. Nice photo of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse (taken in damp weather). This beacon is off the air, as is the former 324 U Umpqua River Mouth station beacon, too. S. McGreevy, March 1988.
I really like your natural radio website a lot. You might want to include a link to my website (link at top of page) which has first hand information on using NDBs in California for commercial fishboat navigation:
There was an extra feature on the Pt. Bonita NDB (and perhaps others) (the former 296 "B" Point Bonita Lighthouse beacon in Marin County - SpM) that allowed you to compute range in fog. All you needed was a stopwatch and a DF. The beacon was synched with the foghorn. You'd use a stop watch to measure the delay between arrival of the beacon tone and the foghorn and a simple speed of sound calc gave you range. I think I was perhaps the only person who actually used this in the 60s, but it was quite accurate and gave me position info at a critical point, entrance to S.F. I learned about it in some obscure pub like the Coast Pilot. It wasnt very obvious from reading the nav charts.
I was sure sad to see the low power USCG local harbor NBBs disappear. I used them at Bodega Bay and Santa Cruz. Super useful for harbor entrance nav before GPS. They worked GREAT.
Excerpt from my website: Manual RDFs were really hard to use accurately on a boat that was often yawing pitching and rolling. I longed for an ADF (such as the Bendix 555 or Jeppeson units), and an abundance of cheap surplus ARN 7 gear allowed me to get one dirt cheap. I liked ADF navigation and used it to full advantage. There was an AM broadcast station in Ft Bragg CA (KDAC 1230 with 1 kW - SpM) with a tower sited right on the coast that gave a very sharp-null which enabled me to always find the Noyo River entrance buoy even in pea soup fog. I'd start in slightly deeper water to avoid trouble, find the correct DF bearing that you'd see from the buoy and then ride the bearing into the charted depth that the buoy was anchored in. Bingo every single time even in nearly zero visibility.
The loop compensator allowed you to zero out nearly all bearing distortion from the boats extensive metal commercial fishing rigging. It took some work to calibrate it properly but when set up right it worked like a charm. It was a brilliant design using a circular spring steel strip cam that you could vary the shape of with circumferentially spaced adjustment screws. The cam follower drove the loop selsyn and gave you corrected bearings on the I 82 indicator.
THANKS MARK! SpM
(former) 212 TST/OVE Oroville, (northern) California. Three fuzzy images from slides of a Dfing trip Sheldon Remington and myself undertook on a gorgeous and sunny spring day in mid-March 1985. We had heard an unID beacon on 212 kHz sending "TST" for months prior to the trip, and long-distance loop bearings (from North S.F. Bay Area) pointed toward Oroville, but also toward a few other small airports in the northern Sacramento valley (colusa, etc.), and so we took a trip to find TST. After a day of enjoying the beautiful scenery and spring greenery along the way, we located TST at the Oroville airport. Close-in DFing was accomplished using only the loopsticks of two Sony ICF-7600D portable receivers. Later that day, TST went off the air (we did meet airport personnel inquiring about this beacon so they must have not known it was going and switched it off!). It later returned to the air for a few years as ident OVE. Photos by S. McGreevy March 1985.
(former) 325 BO - Bodega Head, California - This is a former, moderately powerful 50/10 marine marker-beacon located high and clear atop Bodega Head near Bodega Bay-shown on charts as also an aeronautical beacon. Sheldon Remington is perched on its fence - S. McGreevy June 1985.
(former) 296 B - Brookings Harbor, Oregon - This is another former, small 50/10 marine marker-beacon located at the USCG station in Brookings Harbor employing a whip antenna. Photo from slide - S. McGreevy June 1985. The next beacon we visited is aero-beacon 396 GOL Gold Beach, Oregon (below).
(former) 396 GOL - Gold Beach, Oregon. GOL looks similar to a few Montana beacons presented in this page with red-and-white painted wooden pole supporting a T-type wire antenna. Photo from Slide, June 1985 S. McGreevy
Three former Montana NDB's visited during my June 2001 trip to Saskatchewan (ELF-VLF Expedition). 236 kHz FOR - Forsyth, MT, next to I-90; 359 kHz SDY - Sidney, MT; 410 kHz GDV - Glendive, MT. mid-June 2001 - S.P. McGreevy.
347 SBX Shelby, Montana. I deviated from my trip southbound on I-15, coming back from Saskatchewan to do VLF recording. July 2001. - S.P. McGreevy. 92k high-resolution photo of T-antenna and wooden-pole supports from afar.
(former) 209 AEC "AEC Basecamp" central Nevada. I spied this beacon while driving eastbound on US 6 on my way to Great Basin National Park June 2001. I turned back, flipped on my receiver and was very plesantly surprised to have 209 AEC blasting out the speaker - with AWOS voice weather saying "Basecamp" at each beginning of message. I have heard this for years since the late 1980's, usually mixing with HGT Hunter Ligget, Calif and a barrage of PLC's. Heard many times on DXpeditions throughout the intermountain west since 1984, and it has a fairly good daytime groundwave signal at my Owens Valley home, now w/o AWOS -- just ident only. - S.P. McGreevy June 2001, July 2007. 296 kB very high-resolution, gorgeous photos.
201 IP Mobile, Arizona Good friend Kirk W. DFed this beacon site on 26 September 2006. IP is located about 7 miles NW of Mobile, Arizona, and is solar-powered. 193K nice-resolution photo. Photo by Kirk W.
Kirk writes on 25 March 2008: I have some good news regarding IP on 201 kHz. Frank informed me that this beacon is now back on the ai (ongoing as of January 2018 monitoring - SpM.
It had been off the air for several weeks but I checked last week and it was back in service. Not only that, it now appears to be on the air 24 hours daily. Formerly, it had turned off at 1900 MST every evening and remained silent all night until 0600 MST the following day.
I wonder if this had been to conserve power, as IP receives its only power from a bank of large solar panels. (I know some other beacons that are that way, too!) I observed no above-ground power lines feeding the beacon in its desolate location in the Rainbow Valley, sandwiched between the Maricopa and Estrella Mountains in a sparse Sonoran Desert landscape. Now the beacon IP operates continuously.
This shouldn't create a power shortage, as this is the sunniest time of the year in southern Arizona and there will now be more daylight than nighttime hours for the next six months. Of course, there may be unrelated technical reasons for the beacon having been QRT for a few weeks and changing its schedule. This is good news for you, as it gives you a better opportunity to hear IP during nighttime propagation conditions.
The best time for you (SpM) to listen for it would most likely be just before sunrise, when noise from thunderstorms in the east has faded down but nighttime conditions are still in existence farther west.
(K.W. - 25 Mar 2008)
Prior to seeing RYN for the first time, I was actually expecting a more substantial antenna for a high-power beacon in its special 400-watt class. More specifically, I thought I might find a red and white vertical tower of several hundred feet (such as 254 SPK; 320 HTN; 368 SX; etc. - SpM). Instead, I (Kirk W.) found a very typical aeronautical NDB installation consisting of a vertical wire suspended from a two-conductor top hat strung between two wooden poles (rather hard to see in Kirk's photo, though).
It was almost anticlimactic. Of course, it makes sense to keep any structures at an airport as low as possible.
The two poles are perhaps 50 feet in height and the top hat consists of two horizontal wires, one above the other. The two horizontal top hat wires are parallel in the vertical, not horizontal plane (similar to 201 IP-AZ). Very high voltage insulators are used to attach the top hat wires to the support poles. A small white cubical structure lies beneath the center of the top hat and the vertical wire appears to originate from it.
Another, larger white cubical fiberglass-like structure lies 100 feet away near a VHF antenna structure. I wonder if the smaller structure contains just the tuning network and the larger structure contains the beacon electronics and its power supply. The larger cubical, boxlike structure was very reminiscent of the structure that exists at IP, 6 miles northwest of Mobile, AZ. (IP has been off the air since approximately Wednesday, February 6th, 2008. - back on - see above - SpM) RYN's antenna and top hat are basically identical in size and form to that used by IP.
SpM writes: 338 RYN once battled it out at night throught the desert southwest with PBT Proberta/Red Bluff, California to the point both must have cause co-channel QRM if either beacon were employed at night for longer-distance DFing (audio file of PBT and RYN on 337.0 kHz a few nights ago around 19 March '08), which does employ a tall vertical mast antenna--I visited PBT in June 1985 - I can't find the slide however... and NOTE: PBT (formerly with TWEB) left the air around December 2012. SpM
(former) 100 kHz Loran-C Master Station, Searchlight, Nevada
(former) 100 kHz Loran-C Master Station, Searchlight, NevadaFour towers support a large capacity-hat and vertical cable antenna suspended between them. The towers are 721 feet tall and are located about 15 miles south of Searchlight, Nevada, 5 miles east of US Hwy 95. S.P. McGreevy 08 December 2008.
(former) 298 kHz DGPS Beacon, Essex, California in the eastern Mojave Desert employs a 299 ft. mast and twelve capacity-hat wires. Located closeby the historic Old Route 66 Highway. S.P. McGreevy 08 December 2008.
279russia_at_humbolt_ca_coast_may_93.mp3 My favorite, gorgeous recording of 279 Russia (Yuzhno_Sakhalinsk, FE_ ) (5.7 mb - 128 kbps MP3) recorded about 0500 Calif. time or so, sometime mid-May 1993, (bfl) Patricks Point St. Park, nor. California, Kenwood-R-1000, Yaesu FRT-7700 tuner w/homebrew Jfet preamp, 300 - to 400 foot end-fed wire trailed through shrubbery near campsite toward beach. My fave recording of lwbc dx from across Pacific Ocean - notice GOS 278 ident in background - snippits of 270 in there whilst I tuned around. lovely recording of 'Barcelona' and bfl Russian woman speaking - so soft voice! 1995 WRTH says 1 megawatt! - I can hear this regularly in Owens Vly, CA. on the active-antenna out in the field behind my house, as well as many other LWBC staions - see map below. S-McGreevy - 5.7 MB but high quality/hi-fi - a few minutes long in duration.
All Radio Rossii LWBC stations in Russia left the air on 09 January 2014. NONE of these are on-air anymore except Mongolia on 164 kHz... they were formerlly great DX targets and propagation indicators.
Three (about 183 to 185 kHz) CW/A1A lowfer beacons running on 06 August 2011 - as heard in Inyo Co., Calif. at Santa Rosa Flat, etc.
After loading-coil-system improvement.
A lovely dawn in Keeler with my 160m vert. and 75m inv. L tied together for the R-beacon Lowfer xmiting - 2013.
November 2010 Oahu, Hawaii DXpedition: Another glorious Hawaiian Sunrise 19 Nov. 2010 (on n.e. Oahu near Kahuku) after a wonderful night of DXing the MW/AM BCB! (click image to go to the Internet Archives page of this November 2010 Loop Antenna DXpedition)
Nearly all Photos and this webpage curated by Stephen P. McGreevy. Page first completed 20 March 1999 (updated 29 August 2019). I wish you all good VLF-HF transmitter visiting and DXing!