General LW NDBs shut down?

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k9rzz

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Last night I discovered that all the Milwaukee area NDBs for General Mitchel Intn'l Airport have been shut down. Others in this part of the state from smaller airports still appear to be up and running, but I swear that the band sounds half as crowded as it usually is. Is it my imagination or ?

Anyone have any inside info? Google ain't coming up with anything.

All three of these were up last week, but last night were off the air:

Longwave NDB - "GM" 242khz - YouTube

Longwave NDB - "BL" 260khz - YouTube

Longwave NDB - "MK" 410khz - YouTube
 
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autovon

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Here are the NOTAMS. U/S is unserviceable and WIE is effective immediately. Also I looked at the approach plates for each of those runways, and the NDBs aren't even listed on them anymore.

NAV CAPPY NDB/ILS RWY 1L LO U/S. 26 JAN 16:30 2012 UNTIL UFN. CREATED: 26 JAN
16:31 2012

NAV RWY 7R TEELS NDB/ILS LO U/S. WIE UNTIL UFN. CREATED: 26 JAN 15:36 2012

NAV YANKS NDB/ILS RWY 19R LO U/S. WIE UNTIL UFN. CREATED: 23 JAN 18:33 2012
 

k9rzz

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Thanks. Link? What does "WIE" mean? "No longer serviceable is crazy, because it was running fine. All three were running fine. Why kill all 3? Are other airports shutting down theirs as well? Like I mentioned, the band sounded half empty last night. Will continue to investigate.

A friend and I drove by 242khz GM with a receiver this afternoon and confirmed it to be off the air, as well as the 75.0 Mhz outer beacon.

THIS IS AWFUL!
 

kilokat7

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but I swear that the band sounds half as crowded as it usually is. Is it my imagination or ?
Not sure, but there was some auroral conditions going on last night on MW. Stuff from the South was in well and a lot of the big guns were attenuated. I logged a couple new MW stations from Mexico. Maybe these conditions extended down to LW? I don't know, just a thought..
 

autovon

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Thanks. Link? What does "WIE" mean? "No longer serviceable is crazy, because it was running fine. All three were running fine. Why kill all 3? Are other airports shutting down theirs as well? Like I mentioned, the band sounded half empty last night. Will continue to investigate.

A friend and I drove by 242khz GM with a receiver this afternoon and confirmed it to be off the air, as well as the 75.0 Mhz outer beacon.

THIS IS AWFUL!
Here is the site for NOTAMS.
https://www.notams.faa.gov/dinsQueryWeb/
You just type the airport identifier in and search.

(I can't pull up the actual approach plate right now, the site is down. So going off of memory. Will edit once I can look at the plate again)

Here is my best guess. Looking at the approach for TEELS, the final approach fix is defined off of DME (distance measuring equipment). Since the NDB/LOM is not shown on the plate anymore, they are not being used for any type of navigation or instrument approach. So there is no point in keeping them running, since they are not being used by any pilot flying approaches into MKE. Same thing with the 75MHz markers. The various fixes such as the FAF (final approach fix, the little maltese cross) and MAP (missed approach point) are defined off of things like DME and not a marker. In the last few years of flying, I've only used the outer marker once or twice and that was because I was too lazy to tune up another way to define the fix, which was a radial DME off of a VORTAC. Lot of folks using GPS approaches these days rather than ground based navaids. Very precise and accurate.
 

foffrn

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Beacons gone too??

John, so sad to NOT hear more and more things in the area...gosh the LW beacons going to slowly fade away too...what's left to listen to? School buses and taxi cabs I guess....
 

k9rzz

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Thanks for the links.

Well, school buses. (period) becuz the taxis are all digital now too. :^(

It's the beginning of the end for the radio hobby and nobody notices becuz everybody is going ga-ga over their 'smart phone' which doesn't do crap anyway.
 
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scanchs

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They're not all gone... yet.

I just checked and found LW NDB "CH" on 329 kHz still going strong down here... but for how long, who knows? :confused:

ScanCHS
 
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DaveNF2G

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Some stations cannot be heard because they have been taken off the air. As pointed out above, such actions would be publicized by the operators so that critical users would know about them.

Other stations cannot be heard temporarily because of solar storms. There is no way to be certain which ones or for how long ahead of time.
 

autovon

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After looking at the approach, seems like TEELS doesn't even exist anymore for 7R.
http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1201/00262IL7R.PDF

Probably replaced with FIDNO, which is 5.8 miles from I-GMF. Or the 312 radial off of Horlick VOR. So there are 2 ways to define that fix, none of which are using an NDB or LOM which is the least precise out of anything listed.
 

zz0468

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Bit by bit, NDB's are going away in North America, but it's going to be a long process. In the meantime, some of that spectrum is being used by DGPS reference stations, which are every bit as interesting to listen to. It takes some software to decode, but they're fun to log.
 
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