CLB - 216kHz - Carolina Beach, NC

CLB - note the insulators some way down the top guys - capacitative top-loading.

CLB is probably one of the least typical NDBs, being that it is a power-house, running several hundred Watts and intended to be used by aircraft hundreds of miles out into the Atlantic. As a consequence it is easily audible in the dark anywhere on the east coast, and likewise readily detectable with a decent receiving system during the day. GLS, 206kHz, Galveston, TX is very similar in size, power and scope, with the Gulf as its target area.

As in the tradition of naming NDBs after where they aren't (quite) - CLB isn't in Carolina Beach - there's a small matter of Cape Fear River being in the way, and you 'can't get there from there'. It is to the west of the river (Carolina Beach is to the east) and south of Wilmington, tucked away down a long driveway in woodland off a minor road. Its tower is extraordinarily big for an NDB, at over 200 feet high, and is top-loaded by the top guy-lines also. This - big antenna/ big efficiency - and the power, explains why CLB gets out so well, and is indeed usually one of the first 'DX' captures by beacon hunters. It is one of the most 'pro' NDB installations - any expectation other beacons will be anything like this one is laughably misplaced!

Some other pictures:

  • Long and (un)winding road.
  • Matching unit, feedpoint, base insulator, Austin transformer.

    © Steve Dove, W3EEE, 2003,4