Still Do AM Radio DXing?

Bob DeMattia
Fri Dec 4 11:42:51 EST 2009

I still have my 7-4870 GE clock radio, purchased at Lechmere Sales in Dedham
in 1977, next to my bed.
It has a very selective digital tuner (very unique back then) that could
pick out KDKA on 1020 with WBZ
right next door.  The HD hash from WBZ makes this impossible now, but it's
still a nice radio.

In my home office, I have a Ten-Tec Omni VII ham radio transceiver, which
includes a general coverage
receiver, connected to an external long-wire antenna.   It is slight
overkill for AM DXing, but it sure makes it fun

What is nice is I can adjust the bandwidth of the receiver continuously from
a 100 Hz to 10KHz.  If the
adjacents are clear, I can expand it for better fidelity.  When the
adjacents aren't clear, I just narrow the
bandwidth to where it sounds good.  Since it also has an SSB mode, I can
also pickup stations using
only one of the sidebands - good for when one adjacent is clear but the
other one isn't.

I also have a newer Superradio III for portable operation.  While it has a
sensitive receiver, and the sound
is nice, it's difficult to use for DXing, as it has a
not-very-well-calibrated analog dial and the tuning knob
isn't very precise - I guess the work "slushy" is how to describe it.

I agree the regulatory and programming changes have made DXing more
challenging and sometimes less
rewarding.  I find myself often trying to figure out where the signal is
coming from based on program
content (checked against internet information) or ferreting out the locally
inserted commercials on syndicated
shows (anything to avoid having to wait until the top of the hour - some of
the programming is excruciating to
listen to!) .  For me, DXing is now more about be able to receive new
stations than about finding them so I
can listen to them.


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