The wonderful world of listening to the radio

Category: NDB (Page 1 of 3)

QSL NDB DNC-425 Mostar

Today I received another email from BHANSA, the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency. This one confirmed all three radio beacons I sent a report for to . So this adds a QSL for NDB DNC-425 Mostar to my collection. A big thank you to Mr. Vlado Juric for this confirmation.

Apparently Mostar Airport is struggling a bit compared to Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Tuzla Airports. In 2012 it was still the 2nd airport after Sarajevo, mainly because of pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Over a million people per year visited this town where Our Lady of Medjugorje appeared to six teens in 1981. I really recommend reading this Wiki about the complexity of religion in an already complex political environment.

During COVID Mostar Ariport lost the two companies carrying out scheduled flights from Mostar Airport, so it is used by seasonal charters only these days. You can find the other QSLs and stories about Bosnia by clicking on these links: BLK-340 and TU-445 .

QSL NDB PT-295 Skopje. My 190th radio country!

Yes it is in! An email to QSL NDB PT-295 Skopje. My 190th radio country: North Macedonia! I sent my report to M-NAV, the company responsible for management and control of civilian air navigation in North Macedonia: .

Email to QSL NDB PT-295 Skopje

The republic of North Macedonia declared independence from the Yugoslav Federation in 1991. But it took until 1993 before the country was recognized by the United Nations under the name “Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)”. Which turned it into a new “radio country”. I tried to get a QSL from Radio Skopje, a station operating a 1000 (!)kW transmitter on 810 kHz in those days. But where I was never successful prior to independence, I wasn’t succesful after. Once again “NDB DX-ing saved my day”!

The name “Macedonia” was disputed by Greece. They feared that the new republic would lay a claim on the Greek region of Macedonia. The fact that the Vergina Sun featured on the flag of the new republic did not help. Nationalists proposing to depict the “White Tower of Thessaloniki” on the new banknotes aggravated the issue. Fortunately, in 2019 the two countries settled their arguments by signing the Prespa Agreement. The formal name is now Republic of North Macedonia.

A bit awkward maybe is the fact that the EDXC still uses Macedonia to refer to the country with ITU code MKD.

QSL NDB MIQ-426 Ingolstadt

QSL NDB Mike for Ingolstadt
A postcard QSL confirming reception of NDB MIQ-426 Mike for Ingolstadt

It took 36 weeks, but worth waiting for: a real postcard QSL confirming my reception of NDB MIQ-426 “Mike for Ingolstadt”. I sent my report to DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung) in Langen, Germany. The beacon is located south of Ingolstadt, and you can actually see it driving on highway A9 between München and Ingolstadt (east of the highway).

Not sure where the “for Ingolstadt” comes from. The beacon is close to Ingolstadt airport. But it is not aligned with the runways and serves as a high and low level enroute navigation beacon according to .

QSL NDB FIL-380 Horta/Faial Island

I was really surprised to pick up a NDB signal from the Azores with considerable signal strength. Below you can see the Pskov recording (I added the morse code for clarity):

Pretty strong signal from FIL-380 Horta/Faial Island

The email to QSL NDB FIL-380 near Horta on Faial Island indicates a power of 700W which, in combination with propagation over water, might explain why the signal came through so well.
I sent my report to which is the general email address for NAV Portugal, responsible for flight safety in Portugal and the Portugese Islands.

QSL NDB FIL 380 kHz on Faial Island, Azores
email QSL for NDB FIL 380 kHz, near Horta on Faial Island, Azores

QSL NDB MN-344 Menorca

Another NDB on the Baleares, Spain. A QSL for NDB MN-344 Menorca, via Enaire. This radio beacon is located in Sant Lluis on the island of Menorca. It supports arrival and approach procedures at Menorca Airport. Like NDB IZA-394 the transmitter is a 200W Marconi SS2000A, connected to a T-antenna.

Technical Info: MDN MN-344 kHz Mahon, Menorca

QSL NDB IZA-394 Ibiza

Via Enaire, the air navigation and aeronautical information service provider in Spain, I got a QSL for NDB IZA-394 Ibiza. This radio beacon is located in Santa Eulalia del Rio on the island of Ibiza. It serves as approach beacon for the airport of Ibiza, and take off beacon for the airports of Menorca and Palma de Mallorca. The transmitter is a Marconi SS 2000A with 200W output power. The Antenna is a “T” as you can see on the picture they so kindly provided:

Technical Info NDB IZA-394 kHz Santa Eulalia, Ibiza

QSL NDB BJO-316 Bjørnøya

Forty years ago I received a QSL for the non-directional beacon LJS on Bjørnøya or Bear Island. Administratively Bjørnøya is part of Svalbard or Spitsbergen, a territory of Norway. Given its remote location Spitsbergen (including Bear Island) is a separate radio country according to the EDXC list. I somehow assumed that there was no NDB active anymore on the island. But last week I received a beacon BJO on 316 kHz and learned that its location is Bjørnøya.

The maritime radio station Bjørnøya Radio closed in 1996 when – like so many other stations – the station was converted to remote operation from the Kystradio Nord center. But the Bjørnøya Meteorological Station is still staffed, one of the reasons being that a couple of times per day weather balloons have to be launched.

Bjørnøya Meteorological Station (photo:

I decided to give it a try, and emailed the Meteo station to find out if they knew about the beacon and could confirm my reception report. Within hours I got a reply from Lisanne… in Dutch! Lisanne is one of two Dutch people in a team of 9 persons that run the Meteo station. They are on duty from June to December when they will be relieved by the next team. Lisanne is trained as meteorologist and it is her 2nd stint on the island.

The team of 9 people on Bjørnøya Meteorological Station. Lisanne in the center, wearing a light blue jacket.

Lisanne wrote that although Bjørnøya Radio is closed, they still transmit a weather bulletin twice a day (10:05 h UTC and 22:05 h UTC) on 1757 kHz. It is preceded by an announcement on 2182 kHz. Lisanne shared this nice Facebook movie about it. But she told me also that they did not send a signal with call sign BJO. There is an amateur radio at the station for visiting amateurs, but that one hadn’t been used either in the past year.

Bjørnøya Meteorological Station (blue H marks their Heliport) and the location of NDB BJO (green dot)

I thanked Lisanne for the nice picture and the reply. And explained to her that the transmitter/antenna I was looking for was probably close to the station and the nearby heliport. A day later another email came in. Over coffee she had raised my question again and with the help of the site learned that a few kilometers to the east, on the so-called Nordpunktet (North Point) there was an antenna and a little cabin which housed the NDB transmitter. I got a couple of nice photo’s as well.

The fuse cabinet of the Thales NDB transmitter is located in the Meteo Station itself
The little cabin housing NDB transmitter BJO and the antenna

There is a story connected with the little cabin. In 1971 an operator of the Meteo Station named Bjørn Tessem was attacked by a polar bear. He was found near the door of the cabin, with the bear over him. Most likely he attempted to enter the cabin to save himself but the door was locked. There is a small memorial plaque about this event on the wall of the cabin.

Memomarial Plaque for operator Bjørn Tessem who died following a polar bear attack

So you can see how the reception of just three letters BJO in morse code, received over 2500 kms, lead to a surprising conversation, a few nice pictures and a tragic story.

My sincere thanks to Lisanne and the team members at Bjørnøya Meteorological Station, who also gave me permission to publish their photo’s. They have their own website at .

QSL NDB BBA-401 Benbecula Airport

There is always something special about receiving a station from an island. I was a huge fan of Dutch writer Boudewijn Buch who had a TV program in which he visited islands, met the people living there, and told stories about these islands. You might compare him with the likes of Paul Theroux. Unfortunately Boudewijn died much too young.

As posted earlier I received a QSL for the Kirkwall NDB on the Orkney Islands. I learned that Kirkwall is one of 11 airports operated by HIAL, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. So I asked the kind lady at if she would also consider forwarding my reception report of BBA (Benbecula) and SBH (Sumburgh) to the responsible operators.

David from Benbecula Airport was the first to reply. Thank you David! Another island I can add to my list… but also an island that I want to visit now I have reached the happy age of retirement. It’s high on my bucket list. David also added an overview of the radio navigation aids at Benbecula Airport (see below). Benbecula Airport started in 1936. It was a Royal Airforce Airport during WWII. From here it was home to aircraft carrying out patrols to protect shipping convoys on the Atlantic from German U-boats. After the war it became a civilian airport again, and today their are scheduled flights to Inverness, Glasgow and Stornoway.

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