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Author Topic: Hearing WWVB on a Amateur Transceiver  (Read 1477 times)

Posts: 26

« on: December 14, 2007, 06:05:53 PM »

Is it possible to hear WWVB on a Amateur Transceiver?  I have a FT857 in my truck with a Tarheel antenna..and tried 2.5Mhz AM, 5Mhz AM, 10Mhz AM and didn't hear anything the entire time.  I listened for approximately 20 minutes on each band with no joy. Tuned in other conversations just fine on USB/LSB...but never heard WWVB....I'm currently in Huntsville, AL....and I figured early morning I "should" be able to hear it...but no joy.

Any ideas on what I may have been doing wrong?  Wrong modulation type?

Posts: 4450

« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 06:21:10 PM »

WWVB is on 60 kHz and is the time sync signal used by 'atomic' clocks. I can copy it in Tulsa both day and night at approximately the same signal level, which is kinda' spooky for ground wave considering I'm ~500 miles out. I have several atomic clocks and they sync reliably in about two minutes unless there's a thunderboomer in the 'hood.

Tune 60 kHz straight up either FSK or CW and you should hear what sounds like very slooooooow CW. Visit this site for more:

...says a lot about our society that Martin Shkreli went to prison for defrauding investors but not for price gouging lifesaving medication   -   Ken Klippenstein

Posts: 3331

« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 06:23:03 PM »

Well, to start with, the station in Fort Collins, CO that broadcasts on the frequencies you mention is WWV, not WWVB.  Look here:

WWV comes in pretty strong, most places in the continental US, depending on the time of day and what band you're listening to, among other things.  You are correct, it's an AM broadcast.  If you can't pick up WWV, at all, ever, you probably need to look at your antenna.

WWVB transmits on 60 kHz.  Look here:

Picking that signal up is a different ballgame.  We can talk about it, if that's what you really want to know about.

Posts: 397

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2007, 06:27:31 PM »

Its going to be hard to hear WWVB on 2.5, 5, 10, or 15MHZ.  WWVB transmits on 60 KILOHERTZ. Yes thats right  KILOHERTZ not MEGAHERTZ

Now WWV transmit on 2.5, 5 10, 15 MHZ
What you hear will depend a lot on what frequency and the time lower frequencies at night higher during the daytime. But the bands have been so crappy as of late you might not hear a thing. Stay with 5 and 10 MHZ most of the time. 2.5 is good late night and 15 is almost impossible right now.

You can also try 7333 the the Canadian time station.

Posts: 3585

« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2007, 05:06:24 AM »

Well, the easy way to tune in WWVB would be to build a simple low frequency up-converter. You should be able to find a cheap WWII crystal that would put you in a ham band. Just look for one plus or minus 60 kHz from the desired output frequency.

For example, a 3.810 kHz, (marked mc for megacycle) crystal oscillator would beat with WWVB's 60 kHz to provide output at 3.750 mHz. (Yes, I would choose a crystal frequency outside a ham band - but this is an example!)

You will need at least one stage of RF amplification to knock the oscillators signal down enough to keep from QRM'ing 3.810, a mixer, and at least one stage of IF (intermediate frequency) amplification at 3.75. Three simple stages, RF amp, mixer, oscillator, one IF amp.

Should be a pleasant evening's worth of finding circuits and drawing schematics - another one or two building and testing. And you learn something or two somethings. Starting with "you can do that!"

73  Pete Allen  AC5E


Posts: 7

« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2007, 08:10:46 AM »

I suspect the problem may be your antenna not being resonant at WWV's frequency.  You might try setting your receiver to 10.000 mHz AM (usually the best freq) and run your Tarheel up and/or down to see if it comes in.  I'm not familiar with screwdriver mobile antennas so hopefully it doesn't create any hash while running that might mask the signal.  Of course, current propagation conditions will matter too.  I'm receiving WWV on 10 mHz now and it's varying from S3 to S9+ due to QSB.  Interestingly, WWV on 15 mHz is stronger and less QSB now though usually not the case.

On a different note, I was always curious about WWVB so, after reading the replies here, I tuned down to 60 kHz.  Sure enough, there it was weak but perfectly readable on my 75M inverted vee.  Thanks, guys.

John WA4BLM      

Posts: 9930

« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2007, 01:47:07 PM »

I am not saying the bands are in the toilet, but did you notice the sun has a flush handle attached to it these days.... <grin>

Posts: 642

« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2007, 06:38:17 PM »

Living here in the boonies, we've learned just about anything can be gotten from the internet and the big brown truck. We're still Googling tho' for somewhere we can buy a few sun spots hihi.
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