Still Do AM Radio DXing?
Sat Dec 5 15:31:01 EST 2009
Thanks so much. Wow, the things you learn if you just ask. This is great
info. I may get back into the hobby.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: Still Do AM Radio DXing?
There are still many active AM DXers around the world. The largest
club in the US is the National Radio Club. There is also the
International Radio Club of America, which is more oriented to the
western states and western Canadian provinces. Internationally there
are many more clubs, both of the paper-bulletin and Internet user group
/ blog variety.
Two developments over the past few years have actually invigorated the
hobby. They are on quite opposite ends of the receiver capability
scale (though digital signal processing - DSP - technology gets
involved with both).
On the high end of things are the computer-operated Software Defined
Receivers (SDR's) such as the Microtelecom Perseus and the RFSpace
SDR-IQ. These allow recording a large bandwidth (in the case of
Perseus, the entire AM broadcast band) for later replay that is
indistinguishable from listening live. This has been a great advantage
to those of us who occasionally drive out to prime seashore sites
around local sunset to "scoop up" as much exotic foreign DX as can be
A local group, Boston Area DXers, go out to Granite Pier in Rockport
every so often. One of these outings, including logs made on SDR-IQ
and Perseus receivers, is online at
On the other side of the receiver spectrum are the "ultralights".
These are simple radios like the pocket transistor sets of yesteryear,
though in some cases nowaday, possessing digital readouts and even
DSP-enhanced filtering. Nostalgia may have been the original motivator
for ultralight interest, but DXers on the West Coast were soon finding
that they could sometimes log Trans-Pacific stations on radios that fit
in the pocket (there is an "ultralight standards committee" that has
set a maximum size limit for these). Then people got the idea to hack
into the radios with an assortment of antenna and circuit enhancements
to improve reception. This has taken on a cult like status and
worldwide following, similar to "boatanchor" (tube equipment) or "QRP"
(low power) aficionados in the ham radio community.
So yes, DXing is very much alive. Scandinavia has always been totally
nutty for it and there aren't any signs of that changing soon.
If you Google topics such as ultralight radio, Perseus SDR, SDR-IQ, AM
DX, loop antenna, Beverage antenna, Flag antenna, National Radio Club,
Medium Wave Circle, IRCA, Newfoundland DXpedition, Grayland DXpedition,
etc. (or the names of heavyweight contributors such as Dallas Lankford,
Bruce Conti, Guy Atkins, John Bryant, Bjarne Mjelde, Mauno Ritola,
etc.) you will have days worth of things to read, schematics and photos
to check, audio clips to enjoy, and maybe even a few clubs you'll want
to investigate joining.
Regarding the stations that started this discussion:
1030 music under WBZ: probably the West Virginia station that has been
noted previously in this area before their sunset power-down
1010 music mixed with WINS: likely the NH station. There's also
Portsmouth, VA. CFRB Toronto, an all-talker, is the usual 1010
nuisance later at night
Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA
From: Dan.Strassberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Ted Larsen <email@example.com>;
Subject: Re: Still Do AM Radio DXing?
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 11:00:48 -0500
Believe it or not, Medium-Wave (and Long-Wave) DXing still exist as
hobbies. There are still organizations of DXers, and Internet e-mail
lists for reporting the latest catches and doping out the call signs
of un-IDed stations. These organizations continue to send vans stuffed
with avid DXers, receivers, and the makings of antennas to "hot spots"
in places such as Newfoundland and coastal Oregon every year to catch,
record, and ID the signals from other continents. DXers are almost
100% male and their average age seems to increase every year. But a
few younger rare birds seem to join the ranks from time to time.
Dan Strassberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
----- Original Message ----- From: "Ted Larsen" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 10:35 AM
Subject: Still Do AM Radio DXing?
I remember as a kid in the 50's doing it almost every night with my
"Hi-Tech" GE transistor radio tucked under my pillow. I had a ton of
QSL cards from all over the Nation. Is this a lost hobby? I imagine
with all the changes in FCC allocation and power rules it's tough. I
hadn't thought of this question in years.
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