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HF/MW/LW General Discussion - General discussion on monitoring the HF (High Frequency), MW (Medium Wave), and LW (Long Wave) spectrum (0.5 - 30 MHz)

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Old 11-03-2018, 6:59 PM
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Default LW beacon SSC?

I wonder if any "old timers" out there would remember a beacon back in the late 50's? I had a car with an AM radio that would tune down to 512 kc on the low end of the AM broadcast band. I used to copy a beacon at the low end with letters "SSC" and a long dash about 5 or 10 seconds in between. I think it was a maritime beacon because of the long dash and was probably somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico area. I never found a location. Any ideas? TNX, Dave K4PBN Birmingham, AL.
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Old 11-05-2018, 6:58 AM
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Originally Posted by GRETSCH43 View Post
I wonder if any "old timers" out there would remember a beacon back in the late 50's? I had a car with an AM radio that would tune down to 512 kc on the low end of the AM broadcast band. I used to copy a beacon at the low end with letters "SSC" and a long dash about 5 or 10 seconds in between. I think it was a maritime beacon because of the long dash and was probably somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico area. I never found a location. Any ideas? TNX, Dave K4PBN Birmingham, AL.
Interesting, I looked this up and found a Wikipedia entry regarding the 500 kHz distress frequency:

"International refinements for the use of 500 kHz were specified in later agreements, including the 1932 Madrid Radio Conference. In later years, except for distress traffic, stations shifted to nearby "working frequencies" to exchange messages once contact was established. 425, 454, 468, 480, and 512 kHz were used by ships while the coast stations had their own individual working frequencies. Twice each hour, all stations operating on 500 kHz were required to maintain a strictly enforced three-minute silent period, starting at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour."
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Old 11-05-2018, 2:57 PM
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512kHz wasn't used too much as a working frequency but often used as an inter-ship chat frequency. Nearly all ships in those days weren't solid state and had random length antennas of a type determined by the build of the ship - if there was a midships structure then you had a "T" flat-top or if the ship was all-aft, then a longwire - no coax cable, the feed was often copper tubing right to the back of the transmitter - the transmitter had to be tuned to the antenna and also the receiver was connected in between the PA stages and the tuner - best received signal resulted. Therefore it was usually the best option to pick your nearest working frequency to the coast station frequency. I don't recall any coast stations that had their working frequency above 500kHz
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Old 11-05-2018, 5:54 PM
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I think it was a maritime beacon because of the long dash
Interesting, because longwave aeronautical NDBs in Canada also send a long dash after their IDs, while those in the U.S. omit the dash. I don't know if that's done simply to distinguish the NDBs of one country from those of the other, or for some other reason.
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Old 11-05-2018, 7:35 PM
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A wild guess but could this airport (operational from 1942) have had a NDB back when?

https://skyvector.com/airport/SSC/Shaw-AFB-Airport

Unfortunately I have no idea where my LW logbook is...
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Old 11-06-2018, 2:21 PM
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Thanks...could possibly been a Canadian beacon
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Old 11-06-2018, 2:28 PM
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Thanks to all. What I was hearing on 512 kc was GDL Guadalajara Mexico...I managed to get the location and address from local FAA and received a nice QSL letter from GDL...wish I'd saved it. SSC still a mystery. Dave K4PBN Birmingham, AL.
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