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Author Topic: Strange "beacon"  (Read 819 times)
KD0BKH
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Posts: 59




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« on: March 05, 2009, 09:25:29 AM »

This morning I noticed a strange (at least to me) CW  beacon, able to be heard throughout Kansas City, on 530kHz AM.  The letters "OJ" are being sent repeatedly at a very slow (<5 WPM) speed.  Anyone have any idea what or who it might be?

TIA & 73,

Ed, KD0BKH
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KA2UUP
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 09:30:28 AM »

Maybe he got out of jail!!!

Seriously, although not a beacon, I have heard some CW on Am lately.  Seems like harmonics to me!

Bert
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W1WV
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 09:31:27 AM »

Ed,

Sounds to me it's an NDB (Non Directional Beacon) beacon used by a local airport. I have one next to me in upstate NY that transmits JJH near 530KHz.

Denis
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WB0GOA
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 09:52:23 AM »

You might be copying LYQ beacon near Nashville, TN that is on 529KHz. It is easy to hear in Missouri on 530 while driving at nite. Do a search on LYQ or WWRB shortwave for more info.

Mike
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KD0BKH
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2009, 01:03:22 PM »

Thanks everybody.  I'm willing to accept that it's an NDB, but can't find any information online of a beacon with the OJ call operating on (or near) 530 kHz.  In fact, the only OJ beacon is in Gabon at 281 kHz.  While I'm willing to believe that the 2nd harmonic is pretty close to 530, I heard this on my car radio, slightly above the noise floor, so I'm guessing that it's not that far away.  Thanks again for the responses & 73 to all,

Ed, KD0BKH
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W8JI
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 05:56:56 PM »

Ed,

NDB's are notorious for dirty signals. Since you are copying on a car radio I suspect it can't be too far. I find the normal range on a car radio is only 10-25 miles in daylight. On large antennas with low noise, I can hear some harmonics from thousands of miles away !!! But that is a far cry from a car radio.

Sometimes the modulation of harmonics is inverted CW.
What you casually copy as OJ could translate to something else. Pay close attention to the CW to be sure it sounds normal. It should be a clear tone modulation with good spacing and normal sound and no long extended dashes.



In Kansas City, the only NDB's listed are:

NDB name    Hdg/Dist    Freq    Var    ID
 
NORGE  033/4.7  517  05E  GKB  --. -.- -...
 
NORGE  033/4.7  517  05E  GQ  --. --.-
 
DOTTE  124/9.4  359  05E  DO  -.. ---
 
LESUMIT  309/14.2  263  04E  LXT  .-.. -..- -
 
MOSBY  222/18.8  284  03E  GPH  --. .--. ....
 
CAMERON  199/39.3  394  03E  EZZ  . --.. --..


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K0ZN
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 06:59:32 PM »

Hi.

That is the Outter Marker NDB (non directional beacon) for the runway 18 instrument approach to Johnson County Executive Airport. The actual freqency is 526 Khz, but almost all car radios have a wide enough front end to pick it up on 530. If you live in the Kansas City area, you can see the antenna and transmitter shack. It is located about 1/4 mile East of I-35 on the north side of the West bound lane of I-435. It is right next to the highway. It looks a little like a ham radio vertical antenna but has a much larger top hat for loading. At times, if atmospheric noise is low you can hear it 50 to 80 miles away at times.

73,  K0ZN
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W8JI
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 02:42:14 AM »

Just curious. Why is beacon sending OJ? Is it not listed in airnav aids for that airport?
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KD0BKH
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 05:43:44 AM »

K0ZN -

Thanks, Jon.  Looks like we have a winner.  I did notice that the signal was much stronger in south Overland Park than in western Kansas City, KS, so your answer makes sense.

Thanks again & 73,

Ed, KD0BKH
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W8JI
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 06:15:14 AM »

I'm still puzzled by this, just out of the chance there is something new to learn.

As far as I knew LF NDB's are not instrument approach runway markers. The instrument approach stuff is at VHF up above the FM band. As far as I knew LF NDB's are just a general area transmitter to get you close, or a source of local weather or airport information if they have voice. Many of them are not even at the exact airport location.

Also OJ is not listed in that area as a LF NDB beacon.

I've got a lot of interest in NDB transmitters since so many of them crap up the 160 meter band with weak harmonics. The more I know about them the easier it is to identify the problems. :-)


73 Tom


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N9DG
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 07:01:04 AM »

Been away from it for awhile now but I always thought that the ILS marker beacons were all on 75Mhz?? I just don't recall installing any LF equipment that was coupled to the ILS.
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N6NKN
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 07:20:59 AM »

According to Google the Johnson County VOR/DME at the airport is OJC.

Rick N6NKN
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N9DG
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2009, 08:18:30 AM »

OK, K0ZN is correct. Had to do some research to relearn the subtleties of the various airport navaids. That beacon is listed here:

http://www.airport-data.com/ils/OJC-18.html
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WW5AA
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2009, 08:23:37 AM »

Type: VOR/DME
                         Class: T-VORW/DME
                     Frequency: 113.00
                 TACAN channel: 077X
                 Altitude code: T (terminal)
            Hours of operation: 24
                         Voice: yes
                      Morse ID: --- .--- -.-.
                NOTAM facility: OJC
                           FSS:
        FSS hours of operation: 24

73 de Lindy
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W5FYI
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2009, 09:44:42 AM »

I found this: http://www.navinfo.org/plate.pdf?ident=KOJC&num=20&lat=38.847611111111&lng=-94.737583333333. It is the localizer approach to runway 18 at Johnson County Airport near Olathe, KS. It shows the OJ low-frequency outer marker, 526 kHz, is 4.9 nautical miles north of the approach end of the runway and about 20 miles or so south of the MCI Tacan. The ID clearly is OJ.
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