What is DXing?
Since 1998, WFLI receives an average of one or two emails or letters per year from DXers. A DXer is one engaged in the hobby of listening to radio and television signals from far away. Upon receiving a distant signal, a DXer will attempt to identify the source of the signal and send an email or letter to that station for verification of that signal. In the past, a listener would send a letter or “reception report” to the station, hoping to receive confirmation of that signal through a response from that station, often a QSL card. Here is the QSL card from WFLI dated 1966 with the signature of Joe Poteet.
Nowadays, our engineer, Jeff Gregory, occasionally receives emails and letters from DXers. These emails may contain geographical information of longitude and latitude, time, and a description of the signal quality and the program. Some of the emails from DXers may have an audio file of the signal that was received by them. Jeff listens to the audio file and sends them a confirmation email along with general information on WFLI, several pics and our website address.
The listeners that receive the WFLI signal fall into the category of AM radio DXers (other categories are shortwave, VHF, and amateur radio two way contact DXers). The numbers of DXers are reported to have declined compared to past years. Many of our overseas listeners seem to be from the Europe, especially Scandinavia. Jeff attributes this concentration to the directional signal of WFLI. Many listeners will catch a signal before the power change around sunset when WFLI switches from 50,000 watts to 2,500 watts. Radio waves travel farther in darkness, so when it gets dark over the Atlantic and WFLI is still running at 50,000 watts, this is an opportune time for DXers to catch our signal. In contrast to the night time conditions, the sun creates what is called an absorption layer. It absorbs the radio waves of our frequency, so there is very little for the daytime AM radio DXers then. (Information provided by Jeff Gregory)
Below is a list of all 28 DX reports with date, time, location of receiver, and name of DXer.
You’ll notice that most of the overseas reports were during winter months. That’s when there are a minimum of static crashes caused by thunderstorms. Time of day was usually near local Chattanooga sunset (times vary from month to month) when WFLI drops from 50,000 watts down to 2500 watts.
1998-03-15 TIME? TERRE HAUTE, IND MARK BU__
2001-02-06 05:10 PM GREENWOOD, IND ROBERT PO__
2001-03-17 06:37 PM ASHTABULA, OHIO ALAN GI__
2002-01-26 08:08 AM ROMULUS, MICH ERIC BE__
2002-02-11 06:15 PM MT VERNON, OHIO ALLEN MY__
2002-10-18 07:08 PM BEDFORD, OHIO MICHAEL PR__
2002-11-08 07:18 AM ERIE, PA HARLEY ST___
2003-10-14 07:14 PM COURTICE ON LIE, CANADA DON TR____
2004-01-24 07:07 PM JACKSONVILLE, FL ALLEN OG____
2004-03-16 09:49 PM BENSON, NC DAVID WE___
(BETWEEN FAYETTEVILLE & RALEIGH)
2005-04-04 12:56 PM ROSWELL, GA RECEIVED BY NAOYA OH___
FROM SAGAMIHARA CITY, KANAGAWA, JAPAN
WHILE STAYING IN ROSWELL
2006-10-14 06:34 PM MINOO, OSAKA, JAPAN SATOSHI WA___
(RECEIVED WFLI IN ATLANTA WHILE HE WAS
STAYING THERE TO ATTEND A SCIENTIFIC MEETING)
2008-10-25 05:48 PM LISTA, NORWAY TORGEIR N___
2009-06-20 10:12 PM CHUVASHIA, RUSSIA VALERY KA___
2009-12-15 05:12 PM TRONDHEIM, NORWAY O J SA____
2010-01-15 05:45 PM CARLO BE___
2010-02-04 05:49 PM TJELTA, NORWAY JAN AL___
2012-10-30 05:00 PM AIHKINIEMI, LAPLAND JIM SO____
(AT THE DX CABIN IN NORTHERN FINLAND)
2013-01-04 05:29 PM NORWAY ARNSTEIN B___
2013-01-10 07:00 PM VAASA, FINLAND JARI SI___
2013-01-10 07:00 PM ESPOO, FINLAND JIM SO___
2013-01-24 07:00 PM VANTAA, FINLAND MIKA MA____
2013-03-28 06:58 PM BOLOGNA, ITALY GIOVANNI BE____
2013-04-13 04:00 PM HELSINKI, FINLAND ROLAND SA____
2013-10-26 07:00 PM HELSINKI, FINLAND HANNU NI____
2014-01-12 04:00 PM HELSINKI FINLAND ROLAND SA_____
2014-01-12 05:10 PM KAGE, SWEDEN BO OL____
2014-02-05 04:00 PM SALA, SWEDEN BERNT-IVAN HO____
As stated before, WFLI has received 28 signal reports since the first of 1998. However, 10 of them were received since the first of 2013. That’s probably when the famous “DX Cabin” in Lapland came on line. DXers network with each other, so when one of them receives a station and gets a response, it encourages others to try to receive that station also.
Shortwave radio was once the only way to find out what was going on in the world and to get an alternative world view. DXing was very popular then, but when the internet made almost every station in the world a click away, the hobby declined. Some still enjoy the challenge of receiving the broadcasts directly. They call it “Radiosport.” If shortwave listening is radiosport, then AM radio DXing is certainly the extreme sport, since exotic antennas, special equipment, and special skills are needed to receive AM broadcast frequencies from half way around the world. (Information provided by Jeff Gregory)
If you’re interest is peaked and you are considering the hobby of DXing, we suggest you contact a DX club in your area.