reply to post by HaTaX
Airports have various types of avionics that can be heard with a radio. Groom Lake is just another airport. OK, OK, it is a special airport, forgive
me! ;-) However, it has the same stuff you find at other airports. NBD (non-directional beacon) is a really primitive navigation air. It transmits a
tone (1020 or 400Hz) that is keyed to produce Morse code. The code identifies the navigation aid.
For painful detail, check out
To get airnav's documentation on say MCY, go to
and enter MCY
Incidentally, I don't recall the USAF owning MCY. It should be owned by the DOE. Yet another mystery to investigate.
The NDBs can be heard at great distances since the frequency they use is low. Technically in the LF band, a band beneath the AM broadcast band.
Anyway, these beacons are easy to detect, but not all that easy to find from the ground if hidden behind mountains.
It's not too hard to catch the VHF beacons, which come from VORs. Groom Lake VOR is on 117.5, but to make things interesting, they ID it as MCY.
However, everybody knows the LF MCY is at DRA, while the VHF MCY is at Groom Lake (TNX or TKM in the FAA logs, KXTA Homey on the maps).
There are two more signals to find. One is the localizer, and the other is the glide slope. The Groom Lake localizer is located at
N37.286368 W115.820293 . It is very directional and can't be heard from Tikaboo. There is generally a localizer pointing in each direction of the
runway, but not in the case of Groom Lake. The Groom Lake VOR should be at
N37.242462 W115.792319 . The other navigation aid you can scan is the glide slope, which is UHF. That is even harder to find because it is both
directional and points up in the air. These two might be detectable from Mount Charleston.