EUD - 254kHz - York, PA

EUD - minimalist NDB

EUD is a great example of a reasonably well implemented yet minimalist NDB installation. It belongs to a small airfield off Route 30, a few miles to the west of York, PA, sitting just by the edge of the airfield near a small lane that runs alongside it. A phone-pole supported classic 'T' antenna, some 150 feet long and 30 feet high, and, here's the difference, the transmitter nailed on the side of a short pole poking out of the ground! At 25 Watts, it radiates quite well; there is probably a better-than-average (for NDBs) ground installation. The transmission itself is of the two-carrier variety - one carrier on continuously ('carrier') whilst the second, about a kilohertz higher in frequency, is keyed with the ID. The synthesizers are a touch ropey, there being noticable phase-noise, which manifests itself as a raspiness to each of the carriers individually, but not to the 'modulation' note which is of course the difference of the two.

These pictures are a lesson in the myopia of the obsessional hobbyist. One Sunday after a hamfest, I was driving home through York and took it into my head to track down and photograph this NDB, which I'd been meaning to do for some while. So there I was, plodding slowly along with topographic map draped over the steering wheel; periodically stopping; winding down the window; sticking out a radio; rotating it for a null; moving off. You get the picture - geek in motion.

Figure out the beacon must be down a lane adjacent to the airfield; crawl down lane; repeated above performance once or twice; find it! Stop. Park. Noticed a hundred or so yards back is a Black Car. Ho-hum. Got out, camera in one hand, radio in the other, strode off towards the beacon. Whilst framing a first distance shot, a green station-wagon came hurtling across the airfield and screeched to a halt in front of me. Dude therein proceeded to give me the third degree - "Who? What? Why? You're a what? And you do this for fun? Have you touched anything?" - kind of deal. Out of the corner of my eye Black Car has moved right up behind mine. Mmm, stealthy antennas on it . . .

Mr. Station Wagon seemed to have calmed down and accepted that I'm just a harmless lunatic, rolled his eyes, agreed to me taking a few pictures then admonished: "You might just be a little more circumspect, given what happened in New York on Tuesday."

Black Car had left. Except when I trundled off home, a certain Black Car seemed to be tailing me all the way down Route 30 until I rejoined the Interstate . . .

Guess I was lucky I didn't choose that day to go and have a look at, say, XCB at Carlisle War College Barracks, or BZJ at the Air National Guard . . .

Some other pictures:

  • Transmitter On A Stick!
  • Loading coil, insulator, feedpoint.
  • An exciting 'phone pole.

    © Steve Dove, W3EEE, 2003,4