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Signals Received in N & C America + Hawaii



Quick Links [ Quick Start Guide | About NDBs | About this system | Signal Listings | Signal Profile
Listener Listings | Getting your data included | ]

  • Quick Start Guide

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    The following systems are available:

    • RNA shows stations known to have been received in North America
    • REU shows stations known to have been received in Europe
    • RWW shows stations received Worldwide

  • View of system and page menu if RNA is currently selected.

    Those of you who like longer answers are invited to read on...

  • About NDBs

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    NDBs (or 'Non Directional Beacons') are like radio lighthouses, guiding aircraft to airport runways and keeping ships away from dangerous waters.
    Example of an aeronavigation map - note NDBs shown in purple boxes
    Example of an aeronavigation map. Note NDBs shown in purple boxes

    Most NDBs transmit their Morse coded callsign continuously in the LF band from 200-500KHz with low powers (usually 25 watts or less). Many enthusiasts enjoy trying to log as many NDBs as they can. The beaconworld website is a great place to learn more about this fascinating hobby.

  • About this system

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    This system was based on a concept by Andy Robins and uses much of his initially compiled data.
    The version you are now using was designed and programmed by and was originally created exclusively to show loggings of NDBs, however several contributors provide details of other utility signals received and so it has now been expanded to include other forms of transmission.
    It provides powerful new features such as searches, log histories for signals and for contributors, together with highly automated data import facilities. Some features (such as adding, editing or deleting signals and listeners, or the adding of log data for a listener) require the user to be 'logged on' as an administrator. Administrator Help is provided only to logged-on administrators.

  • Signal Listings

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    To access information on all types of signal, press the 'Signals' option from the main menu. Here is an example of what you might see, but note this picture is for illustrative purposes only:

    Example of Signal listing

    The table presented shows the frequency and Callsign / IDs of all stations heard.
    Click on any column heading to sort by that column. Clicking a second time reverses the sort order.
    In this listing, several types of signal are shown, and these are colour-coded:
    •  White  for NDBs;
    •  Blue  for DGPS stations, always given by their reference station ID, prefixed with a # - you will need decoder software to discover these, then use the lookup tool on the tools menu to find that station reference ID;
    •  Green  for Amateur Radio beacons;
    •  Orange  for Time Signal stations;
    •  Pink  for NAVTEX stations, always given in this format: $NNA where NN is the Nav Area (as a number - use 17 for Polar) and A is the station identifier letter;
    •  Cyan  for other Utility stations;
    •  Grey  is used to indicate Stations reported as 'Off the air' (OTA). These are always shown at the very bottom of any listing, normally on the last few pages of results if you are not listing all results at once.

    • Displayed Columns:
      Note that LSB, USB, Sec and Fmt are only shown if NDBs are included in the listing.
      KHzCarrier frequency of the signal. In North America all but a very few NDBs transmit on channels spaced 1KHz apart.
      Exceptions include RPB-414.5 and SJX-381.5. NDBs outside North America often use 0.5KHz channel spacing. Amateur radio beacons often use much smaller channel spacing.
      IDMorse callsign or DGPS Ident (where prefixed with #).
      Click on the ID for any signal to open a window showing details for that station.
      LSBWhere NDBs transmit a modulated Morse coded tone, this is the upper sideband offset, relative to the carrier frequency.
      Usually around 400Hz in Canada and 1020Hz in USA. In France most NDBs transmit no tones at all but use straight CW on/off keying.
      USBIn Canada, federally-run NDBs use only USB though some private NDBs (with numbers in their callsigns) also transmit an LSB. Most US stations transmit both sidebands, and some only transmit the lower sideband.
      SecThe time in seconds for the ident cycle to be transmitted. Where two values are shown, the first is for the ident part of the cycle, the second is for the entire cycle to repeat.
      FmtThe format used when transmitting the signal. Some of these include:
    • DAID - Dash after ID.
    • DA3ID - Dash after third ID.
    • DBID - Dash before ID.
    • TWEB - an aero beacon that also transmits voice weather broadcasts.
    • QTHQTH is an Amateur Radio abbreviation meaning 'Location'.
      S/PState or Province code for the state or province in which the station is located.
      ITUNDB List approved three-letter country code - use this handy Lookup tool to find these values.
      PWRWhere known, this is the transmitter power in Watts.
      GSQMaidenhead Grid Locator Square signifying the station's geographical location. Click here to use the ARRL grid square conversion system.
      NotesExtra notes about the signal.
      Heard InList of US states, Canadian provinces and in the case of other countries, country codes indicating where the station is known to have been received.
      LogsShows the number of Loggings held in the system for each station. Click to see all loggings listed, with distances.
      Last LoggedDate last reported to this system (in YYYY-MM-DD format).

    • Customising the report:
      Above the results table is a form allowing you to tailor the report produced.
      Customise Report
      Show of 320 records.
      Heard In
      Heard By
      Any All
      Frequencies  - KHz   S/P:   ITU:   ID:
      DGPS Ham NAVTEX NDB Time Other

    • Show, Back, Next and Jump To Page:
      The results are 'paged' to make them load faster with slower connections, but you can choose to show all results, jump backwards or forwards, or go straight to a particular page.

    • Heard In:
      You can enter values in the 'Heard In' box to show only those signals heard in specific US States, Canadian Provinces or other countries.
      • To show signals heard in Ontario, Michigan and France, enter ON MI FRA in the 'Heard In' box and select 'All'.
      • To show signals heard in Ontario, Michigan or Illinois, enter ON MI IL in the 'Heard In' box and select 'Any'.
    • Heard By:
      You can also values in the 'Heard By' box to show only those signals heard by specific listeners at given locations
      • To show signals heard by Andy Robins, select his name in the drop down box. This disables the 'Heard In' box since you cannot use both functions at once.
      • When you choose a specific listener in the drop-down box, two new columns are shown in the results - DX in KM and in Miles.
    • Frequencies:
      You can limit the results to show only signals in a certain frequency range by entering values in either (or both) of the two frequency boxes.

    • State / Province:
      You can limit the results to show only signals located in a specific state or province by entering values in the S/P box.

    • ID:
      If you type a Y in this box, only signals containing a Y in their callsign will be displayed.
      If you type DIW, only signals whose callsigns are DIW are shown.
      The _ symbol is a 'wildcard' character, so if you wanted to show all signals with three letters whose callsigns start with Y and end with Y you would enter Y_Y.
      To show only DGPS stations (whose idents are always shown in this system prefixed with a #) you could simply type in a #.

    • Types:
      By default the system will only show NDBs, hoever you can select other forms of transmission to see these displayed.

    • Combining settings for powerful searches:
      Any of the settings can be used in combination for sophisticated searched.
      Here are two examples from the RNA system:
      • Example 1 displays all three-letter NDBs starting and ending with a Y between 198 and 500KHz located in Ontario Canada and heard in Ontario OR Michigan, sorted by ID.
      • Example 2 displays the third page of ten results listing DGPS stations above 300KHz heard in Ontario AND Michigan, sorted by date last logged in descending order.
      (Note that matched terms in each case are shown highlighted.)

    • Detailed information for Each Signal
      To see detailed information for any given station, click on the station's ID. This opens a popup window giving more details.

    • Loggings for Each Signal
      To see actual loggings for any given signal, click on the station's ID as before, then click on the Logs tab in the window that opens where available to see a comprehensive list of all loggings with time and date, listener and listener location, and automatically calculated distances in both Miles and KM.

  • Signal Profile

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    This screen shows more information on the signal and includes buttons to view all loggings of the station and the current weather at weather stations near to the transmitter location.
    Signal Profile for TRI in Trinidad

  • Listener Listings

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    To see a list of listeners whose logs are included in the reports, click the Listeners tab on the main menu.

    • Once again, all columns are sortable by clicking on the column heading.
    • You can limit displayed results to specific listeners, states or callsigns.
    • Click on a listener's name to see details on that listener.
    • Click on a listener's callsign to run a search for information in the QRZ database relating to that callsign.
    • Click on a listener's GSQ to see a map of the location they are based in.
    • The Logs column indicates the number of loggings by that listener held in the system.
    • To see actual loggings by a listener, click on the listeners name as described above, then in the window that appears, click the Logs tab (if available) to see a list of all loggings in the system by that person.

  • Getting YOUR log information included

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    The best way to do this is to subscribe to the NDB List at http://www.ndblist.info - it's free and open only to bonafide NDB DXers. You will have to search through information at the beaconworld site, but that's part of the test for joining! Once you are subscribed to the NDBList, post your logs to the list and the editor managing the system (see below) will import your posted logs into the system. This process automatically assigns GSQ, State / Province, Country and even DX in KM and Miles automatically.

    When publishing your logs it would be very helpful if you use a text format using spaces NOT Tabs to separate columns, and format it for a fixed point size font such as Courier. Please remember to prefix any offset values that are approximate with a ~ symbol to indicate that the values are approximate only.

    Here are some valid examples, starting with the absolute ideal (as far as I'm concerned) - this format includes all data interpretted by the system

    • Date (full date including year means less work for the person importing the log and also less chance of errors)
    • Time (always UTC!)
    • KHz
    • Call / ID
    • Offsets (use ~ to indicate approximate values) and format
    • Time of cycle in seconds
    It also includes additional fields (SP, ITU, QTH) to make the posted message more meaningful to other readers, and also to help the editor deal with possible ambiguities (e.g. two stations called CO on 407KHz):
    DD/MM/YYYY UTC   kHz   Call  Offsets      Sec  SP ITU Location
    03/07/2004 15:42 326   VV    370  DAID    5.6  ON CAN Wiarton
    03/07/2004 15:47 329   AMN   1037         6.9  MI USA Alma
    03/07/2004 15:44 329   IA    1028 -1033   5.7  NY USA Niagara Falls
    03/07/2004 16:20 329   YHN   403          10.5 ON CAN Hornepayne
    03/07/2004 15:50 332   PH    1013         7.2  MI USA Port Huron
    03/07/2004 17:56 334   BNR   1037         6.8  OH USA Benton Ridge
    03/07/2004 17:50 334   YSH   401          9.9  ON CAN Smith Falls

    Here's a much simpler example that also works but leaves one or two fields blank when importing logs:
    Log for July 2004
    DD UTC   kHz   Call  LSB  USB  
    03 15:42 326   VV         ~370  
    03 15:47 329   AMN        1037 
    03 15:44 329   IA    1033 1028 
    05 16:20 329   YHN        403  
    03 15:50 332   PH         1013 
    03 17:56 334   BNR        1037 
    03 17:50 334   YSH        401

    ...or like this:
    MMDDYYYY UTC   kHz   Call  LSB  USB  
    07032004 15:42 326   VV         ~370  
    07032004 15:47 329   AMN        1037 
    07032004 15:44 329   IA    1033 1028 
    07032004 16:20 329   YHN        403  
    07032004 15:50 332   PH         1013 
    07032004 17:56 334   BNR        1037 
    07032004 17:50 334   YSH        401

    ... or perhaps even like this:
    Log for July 2004
    DD UTC  kHz   Call  LSB  USB  Pwr. KM    GSQ    Location
    03 1542 326   VV         ~370 400  164   EN94jq Wiarton, ON, CAN
    03 1547 329   AMN        1037 25   433   EN73oh Alma, MI, USA
    03 1544 329   IA    1033 1028 150  100   FN03nc Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    05 1620 329   YHN        403  500  713   EN79qf Hornepayne, ON, CAN
    03 1550 332   PH         1013      279   EN82qu Port Huron, MI, USA
    03 1756 334   BNR        1037      470   EN81ea Benton Ridge, OH, USA
    03 1750 334   YSH        401  25   296   FN14xv Smith Falls, ON, CAN

    ...absolute values also work if that's your choice:
    July 3rd 2004
    hh:mm KHZ   ID    ABS             Location
    15:42 326   VV    ~326.370         Wiarton, ON, CAN
    15:47 329   AMN   330.037          Alma, MI, USA
    15:44 329   IA    327.967 330.028  Niagara Falls, NY, USA
    16:20 329   YHN   329.403          Hornepayne, ON, CAN
    15:50 332   PH    333.013          Port Huron, MI, USA
    17:56 334   BNR   335.037          Benton Ridge, OH, USA
    17:50 334   YSH   334.401          Smith Falls, ON, CAN

    ...even this extremely simple log works well, but obviously time and offset information is not captured, so be aware of possible ambiguities:
    My log for July 22nd 2004

    Dealing with Ambiguities:
    Provided there is no ambiguity in the details (i.e. two stations exist with the same callsign), a log as simple as the last one shown is acceptable. Be aware however where you fail to give a frequency and the callsign is used on more than one station, as in the case of CB to at least specify what state the transmitter is in. In some rare cases there may be more than one station with the same callsign AND frequency - e.g. 407-CO (there's one in CO and one in MO) - in these rare cases a nore saying which one you believe you heard would be useful.

    Relevant Fields:
    The only details interpretted by RNA / REU's import system are Date (UTC and may be shown in vitually any format imaginable), time (UTC hhmm or hh:mm), KHZ, callsign (for DGPS stations use the Station ID prefixed with a # - see the Tools menu for a lookup tool), LSB and USB.

    Please try and avoid using tabs and use a fixed spacing type font such as Courier to format your results wherever possible as this makes it MUCH easier for the system editor to import results into the system. Any other fields you include (such as GSQ, 'New', Location, State etc) are best shown at the end of the table.

    If in doubt...
    Please post a short log to the list or email it to the system editor (see bottom of page) and see if it validates correctly. This will save a LOT of time in the long run and some logs are MUCH easier to read than other requiring extensive modification by the editor prior to processing.