NDB 531 kHz

Yesterday my car had a flat battery. My girlfriend’s dad helped to get it running again. Later, on the way to work, I found out the cooler fan and radio didn’t work anymore. Oh I love this Ford Fiesta…. after work the radio came back to life (who needs a cooler fan, anyway?) and for some reason it was playing MW 531. This radio station went out of service years ago. What the heck?!

MW 531 used to play traditional Swiss music. The few times I listened to it was either in grandma’s car, or in my dad’s aeroplane. His Cessna is equipped with an ADF, Automatic Direction Finder. An ADF points towards the radio station you dial. We still use it from time to time. To identify an NDB, Non-Directional Beacon (or simply the radio station) you can listen to the signal which is normally a morse-code. In case of MW 531 it was playing traditional Swiss music and we poor children on the back seats couldn’t do anything about it… haha.


Now guess what, yesterday MW 531 was playing Nirvana. Late at night, on my way home from work, I was thinking I could track the signal with my dad’s Cessna. Would be fun to fly towards a station, not knowing where I would end up, accompanied by good music and a steadily improving signal. I tried hard to understand the language between the songs. The signal was disturbed by my Fiesta’s hard working alternator and I was actually happy to hear this noise. The signal was good enough to hear English and French. After a bit of internet research it must’ve been a station from Algeria. Sadly, this would be a little far to “just fly towards”.

All this talking about music and aeroplanes made me think of visiting a music festival by plane. I’m eager to fly out of country again! A two hours hop to the north of France for a few days of music. That sounds like fun. Maybe… this one…?


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