DIW - 198kHz - Dixon, NC

DIW - the NDB antenna is the skinny one. The other is the DME tower.

There must be some deep meaningful reason why there are two power-house near-coastal NDBs within about 40 miles of each other in North Carolina. The first is CLB (Carolina Beach), then there's this one in the general vicinity of the Camp LeJeune Marine Corps base; nominally it is near tiny Dixon, NC, just a few miles down Rte.210 therefrom on the east side.

DIW's NDB tower is very substantial at some 200 feet tall (not quite as tall as CLB's) although it seems less area around it has been cleared so probably the ground radial set is less extensive. In common with CLB, marshland and salt water are reasonably close at hand so ground conductivity should be quite high. All that said, with 2kW power it does radiate very well, often being one of the first few 'DX'ey NDBs hunters hear. This is partly because it is on the same frequency (198kHz) as BBC Droitwich, a favourite target of LF broadcast DXers.

The shorter, heavier, tower is carrying a DME antenna (Distance Measuring Equipment), which allows an aviator to establish distance from the site, as well as bearing from the NDB.

The NDB tower, tower base and feedpoint arrangement might just as well belong to a broadcast station - identical techniques in all respects. A couple of the photos below detail the Austin Transformer (the odd-looking inter-coupled but non-touching loops) that allows AC power for the blinky-lights to be fed up the tower isolated from the RF; two sets of flashover balls; a Very Healthy base insulator on which the entire tower's weight (plus the guy tensioning) rests; big thick straps running down to the ground field. A very 'pro' installation, and very well maintained.

Some other pictures:

  • NDB tower base.
  • Reverse vertigo, looking up tower.
  • Matching unit and feedpoint.
  • Tower base close up.

    © Steve Dove, W3EEE, 2003,4