We all know what Radio listening is, but very few us can say what Radio DXing is. In fact, Radio DXing is also an art of radio listening. But, there is something more in it. It is a scientific hobby and quite entertaining, too. An ordinary listener just listen to radio for news, views, special reports or his other favorite entertaining programs like music, drama, running commentary of various sports or so and so. He keeps his listening limited to the local or nearby stations which are audible loud and clear in his location. But a DX listener always search for those stations which are far away, rare and not available easily with his radio receiver. The word ‘DX’ is a technical term. Here ‘D’ stands for distant and ‘X’ for unknown. So, DXing means listening to distant and unknown signals and those who persue this fascinating hobby call themselves ‘DXer’. Now I hope the major difference between an ordinary radio listener and a ‘DXer’ is clear to you.
Next, the question is whether a radio DXer just keeps on trying to catch distant and unknown radio stations only? Has he anything else to do? Yes, a DXer just not listen. He is a bit technical minded. He monitors the reception quality of the stations he tunes in. After picking up signal from a distant station, he listens it for at least 20 – 30 minutes. He ensures the station identification and takes note of the program content that he listens. Now-a-days DXer makes short audio recordings of the program also. After that he prepares a formal ‘Reception report’ with all necessary particulars such as date and time of reception, frequency, program details, reception quality (using SINPO code) etc. He submits the report to the respective station authority. The station officers examine such report. If found correct, they confirm it with a letter or specially designed card, popularly known as QSL card. So long these correspondences were done by post. But due to high postage cost and frequent missing in transit, presently, both sides prefer email for such communications. So reception reports are submitted by email and stations verify with E-QSL. A DXer always try to collect more and more QSLs from many different stations around many different countries. In this way number of collected QSLs, verified stations and countries are considered parameters of the success of a Radio DXer.
DXing has some more attractions to offer, too. International Radio stations give away many gifts such as radio, T-shirts, Handicraft items, Books, Magazines, Viewcard, Pen, Keyrings etc. to their regular listeners. Sometimes quiz competitions are organized. Even they arrange all-expense-paid trip to their countries for the winners. Yours sincerely was also lucky to win such a trip to Indonesia in 2017 as a winner of Voice of Indonesia quiz.
So, if you want to start DXing, you must access a good shortwave radio first. These days many good quality receivers are available with different online sellers. With the radio receiver try to use a suitable antenna also. Because, an antenna is always considered as ‘ear of the receiver’. You should look for overseas stations in shortwave mostly in between 16 to 60 meter bands. Please remember sunset to sunrise is the ideal time for DXing. You can also look for Akashvani Medium wave stations from different states. Prasar Bharati Spectrum management office, New Delhi office issues QSLs for reception report on AIR stations. Details of all radio stations around the globe are printed every year in World Radio TV Handbook. You may also take the help of Apps like Skywave schedules, Shortwave schedules, Shortwave – info etc. for updated broadcasting schedule (Frequency/Time/Language) for all shortwave stations.
In India, INDIAN DX CLUB INTERNATIONAL from Kolkata is still the only active DX organization. They have a monthly online publication “Asian DX Review” which is available to anybody free of cost. It contains all up to date information about Radio world. Besides me, there are many active Dxers around the country, too. Babul Gupta (Barasat), Sudipta Ghose (Kolkata), Jose Jacob (Hyderabad), Alokesh Gupta (New Delhi), Sanil Deep ( Calicut ), S. Bhattacharya (Medinipur), A. K. Narsimhan ( Chennai), A. M. Bain (Chhattisgarh), P. Purkayastha (Jorhat) are a few prominent names. New comers may ask for help from any of them.
As a radio DXer, I wish more and more people, especially, our young generation to come to this exciting hobby. Thus, DX fraternity and friendship will be further strengthened and expanded all across the globe.
Pradip Chandra Kundu, VU3IOP
Contact +91 7005132195