Beating Carriers

You’ve probably heard the low frequency beat that occurs when two closely spaced carriers are present, like in this recording.

Here’s what it looks like in a waterfall, taken with a netSDR:
beating carriers

The two bright greenish lines are the carriers, one at about 1620.0076 kHz and the other around 1620.0095 kHz (and wandering around). The result of the two carriers mixing is the difference frequency, 1620.0095-1620.0076=0.0019 kHz or 1.9 Hz. The higher and wandering carrier is the local college station (it’s actually about 12 miles away), the other station is probably WDND from South Bend, IN.

In case you’re wondering, the netSDR settings were a 200 kHz bandwidth (250 kHz output rate), and a 2,097,152 FFT with a resolution of 0.12 Hz.

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