George M (N2XM)'S NDB IMAGES

~~ GALLERY NINETEEN ~~

There are pictures of three Pennsylvania NDBs in this gallery: 'UN' on 388 in Penn State PA, 'ER' on 349 'Esmer' in Erie PA, and 'CQD' on 372 'Cascade' also in Erie PA. The first NDB is located in the geographical center of Pennsylvania, the remaining two in far northwestern Pennsylvania along Lake Erie. Another northwestern PA NDB was visited during this trip, 'ORJ' on 258 in Corry PA. Located at the north end of main runway of the Corry-Lawrence (PA) Airport, a cooperative airport manager gave me full access to the airport taxiway but warned that the beacon could not be viewed from the airport grounds ... 300 yards of heavy undergrowth and trees obscured the view and access. A Medivac helicopter pilot advised me that access to the beacon might be made via nearby Chord Road through the Corry Water Utility site. Upon arrival at the Water Utility site, a padlocked gate blocked entrance and a berm with heavy undergrowth blocked view down the access road. Several telephone calls to the Utility Company went unanswered. On the day of my visit (21 Jul 2014), the beacon was OTA so it was not possible to even verify that I was close to the beacon. Frustrated, I left without any pictures of CQD.

NOTE# - All of the following pictures are copyright 'George M N2XM', and should not be re-produced with out first obtaining his permission - please ask us for his contact details if you should require them.


'UN' on 388.0 kHz located at Penn State, PA:
Located at the intersection of Airport Rd and the southbound lane of US Interstate 99 in Bellefonte, PA, the beacon is about 10 miles northeast of State College PA and about 6 miles northeast of the University Park Airport. The best view of the site is afforded from the southbound exit ramp for Zion Road from US 99. The University Park Airport services many daily flights for visitors and students to/from Penn State University, the State's flagship University and Research Center. By design, the University was located in the geographic center of the state in State College, PA.

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UN 388.0 kHzUN on 388 kHz at Penn State, PA:

It is unusual to be able to photograph an NDB closeup from above but such was the case with UN_388. A well-maintained site snugly positioned at the side of an interstate exit ramp, this beacon serves as the outer marker for the University Park Airport to its southwest and hence presumably there was little flexibility possible in choice of location. (160.0kb)
UN 388.0 kHzUN on 388 kHz at Penn State, PA:

View of the transmitter shack and 75 MHz Outer Marker Yagi Y-antenna. (285.0kb)
UN 388.0 kHzUN on 388 kHz at Penn State, PA:

The tapered vertical steel radiator, showing some signs of rust, is insulated from its mounting base by what appears to be a ceramic pad. (355.0kb)
UN 388.0 kHzUN on 388 kHz at Penn State, PA:

The tapered vertical radiator supports a 16-element spider-web top-hat. (150.0kb)
UN 388.0 kHzUN on 388 kHz at Penn State, PA:

Note the unusual counterclockwise spiral-wound inner connection between the top-hat elements which seemingly also serves as a convenient perch for birds. (73.7kb)



'ER' on 349.0 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

In aeronautical navigational maps of the Erie PA area, the longitude and latitude given for the beacon's location places it a few yards off Canal Road in a heavy residential area in Fairview, PA, about 10 miles southwest of Erie, PA. However for a ground approach to the beacon, e.g. for picture taking, it is best accessed from its south side via Orchard Drive in Fairview. The view from Canal Road is complete obscured and access blocked by trees and dense undergrowth.


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ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

View of the beacon site as approached via Orchard Drive. The rise in the foreground seen in this photo shields most of ER_349 from view - only the crossbar of the south pole supporting the capacity loading top wires can be seen. As I parked about 100 yards away, my Tecsun 380 Ultra-Lite receiver went awry... being at the same level and on a direct line with the top of the array about 100 yards away, it was severely overloaded. (222.0kb)
ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

ER 349 is located on the north side of a steep down slope. Canal Road, where my GPS unit had initially positioned me, can be partially seen through the trees in the background of this photo. (243.0kb)
ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

View of the transmitter shack. (261.0kb)
ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

Exit of transmitter line from the shack. (257.0kb)
ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

View of the post supporting the transmitter connection to the center of the of the symmetric-T antenna. This post is outside the security fence and is no more than seven feet in height. Only the sign warning of high voltage offers a cautionary notice to protect (?) from accidental or intentional contact. (386.0kb)
ER 349.0 kHzER on 349 kHz at 'Esmer' Erie, PA:

This NDB serves as the outer marker for the southwest approach to Erie International Airport, about 5 miles to the northeast on the shore of Lake Erie. (237.0kb)



'CQD' on 372.0 kHz located at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

This beacon is located in a heavily populated residential neighborhood off of Cascade St, between 8th and 9th Streets in Erie, PA. Upon parking my car, I was approached by members of the Neighborhood Crime Watch Association. After establishing the reason for my visit they became quite comfortable with my presence and accompanied me as I walked about seeking the best camera angle. I attempted to answer their questions about the NDB's purpose and operation including turning on my Tecsun 380 to let them hear the iden being transmitted. Had the feeling that they were unimpressed. Two of their comments: "... Is that all that it does? ..." and "... I don't care how it works or how it is used ... I only want it out of here. It is going to fall down and hurt someone."


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CQD 372.0 kHzCQD on 372 kHz at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

Wedged into a very small lot 30 feet wide and 80 feet deep, the symmetric-T supporting poles are unusually high, estimated as 60-70 feet, and separated by about 70 feet. The diameter of these poles is also quite unusual, being about 20 inches in diameter at the base and tapering upward to about 10 inches at the full height. (268.0kb)
CQD 372.0 kHzCQD on 372 kHz at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

View of the site showing the closeness of the neighboring residence on the right. Only partially in view through the trees and shrubs is another house closely bordering the security fence on the left. With the viewing limited to only along the front curb-edge of the site, a satisfactory camera angle for photographing was not available. (249.0kb)
CQD 372.0 kHzCQD on 372 kHz at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

View of the transmitter shack. (229.0kb)
CQD 372.0 kHzCQD on 372 kHz at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

View of the cross support on the west pole. (74.1kb)
CQD 372.0 kHzCQD on 372 kHz at 'Cascade' Erie, PA:

View of center connection to the three-wire capacity load. (48.3kb)



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