Limbo Lower: Listening in the CW Basement (Part4)

signal-spreadingDXing the NDBs

If a listener along the East Coast is lucky enough, perhaps some of the long-wave AM broadcasts from Europe and Africa can be heard just after sunset. Similarly, perhaps listeners on the West Coast can pick up AM long-wave broadcasts from Asia.

These broadcasts are usually found between 0.1485 and 0.2835 MHz. For example, Germany has such a station at 0.153 MHz. France has one that broadcasts at 0.162 MHz, Morocco has a station at 0.171 MHz, and the BBC has one on 0.198 MHz, to name just a few.

Listening to Lowfers

There is anon-licensed ”allocation at the 1750-meter band that is in the 0.160 to 0.190 MHz frequency range, authorized by Part 15 of the FCC Regulations. A number of experimenters have set up beacons and stations in this frequency range. While no license is needed to operate in this long-wave region, there are tight restrictions that apply.

A person, for example, cannot have more than 1 watt of input to the transmitter final stage, and the length of the antenna and transmission line combined cannot exceed 15 meters, or 49.2126 feet. Since a half-wave dipole for 1750 meters is well in excess of 58 times the approximate dipole length, these restrictions certainly limit the efficiency of transmission.

Limbo Lower, Now

If your receiver can go even lower, you might want to check your watch by dialing in WWVB in Colorado. This 5,000-meter, long-wave station can be found at 0.060 MHz. Several other countries also have time stations in the same frequency range, such as DCF77 in Frankfurt, Germany at 0.0775 MHz.

A Final Thought From the Basement

So, don’t think CW ends at 1.800 MHz. There is a lot of interesting CW to listen to in the basement. How low does your dial go?


FISTS: Don’t forget the FISTS CW Sprint on October 13. Details and rules are on the FISTS website, .

Operate on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Note that all but one band can be worked by Technicians and Novices, and the maximum power allowed is 100 watts. Have some fun and give it a try.

10-10 International: October 21 is the 24-hour-long 10-10 CW International Contest. Since the only band is 10 meters all licensed operators are eligible. Details can be found at: .

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