Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by KE9RJM, Apr 30, 2018.
Try SKYPE. It is even better. Why people call "ham radio" modes, they can't decode by they ears?
let's not get started on this old, tired argument, ok? We both used modulated RF to exchange signal reports - only difference is that the PC is decoding instead of my brain...
It's not that. This thread was created by the beginner. He is waiting for useful advice. But advise him use digital messenger is like to offer beginner motorcyclist take a taxi.
We have already too much gadget users who only can push the buttons. They already have internet for this.
i didnt suggest that at all. I used it as an example.
To get back to one of the OPs original questions: The Complete DXer by W9KNI isn't a bad book, not sure if it's still in print. I see one copy on Amazon for $68 (!), but it's allegedly available from the league for $20. I won my copy as a door prize, but it's probably worth $20.
$68, not so much.
They all talk to each other, so pick whichever one has the features you like. I use DXWatch, DX Summit is very popular.
So I guess that RTTY is not a valid mode either?
Welcome, Bob! You're in for a lot of fun!
Your station is more than sufficient to get started in DXing. At this point in the solar cycle, one of 40m or 20m will be open to somewhere interesting; as the cycle progresses, adding an antenna for 15m would be beneficial.
The exhortation "listen, listen, listen" is frequently given to new DXers, but lacks critical information: on what frequencies should you listen, and when should you listen there? If you're in "I'm happy to work whoever I hear" mode, then non-selective listening will be fine. But if you're trying to make QSOs with DX stations in particular countries, then without an understanding of how HF propagation actually works, you can waste a lot of time listening on the wrong frequencies at the wrong times. Thus I strongly recommend learning HF propagation.
Bob W9KNI's "The Complete DXer" provides an excellent introduction to DXing, and will further whet your propagation appetite. The "New Shortwave Propagation Handbook", available from CQ, provides a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the subject. After you've gained an understanding of how HF propagation works, you'll have three primary tools at your disposal:
applications that predict where and when propagation will support a QSO between your QTH and a country or region you'd like to work, like VOACAP
HF beacon stations that continuously transmit from specific locations on a range of frequencies, enabling you to assess current propagation between your QTH and those locations
DX spots, which enable to you determine when and where DX stations you'd like to work are QRV (by studying their operating habits), and when and where you'll likely to be able to work them (by determining when and where you can hear them, or stations near them)
Chasing spotted DX with a modest station works well if the DX you're spotting is from a country or region that is frequently QRV. Working rare DX, however, is a different story. When a rare DX station is spotted, a pileup of stations seeking a QSO quickly ensues, often using split frequency operation. Without a directional antenna and QRO, you'll be at a significant disadvantage. The better strategy for working rare DX is to use your knowledge of HF propagation to choose openings in which you have the advantage over "the competition" in other regions, like Europe or Asia, and to use your knowledge of the target DX station's operating habits to find and work him or her before they are spotted and the cluster hordes arrive on frequency.
So in summary, my advice is to read "The Complete DXer" and "The "New Shortwave Propagation Handbook" (or equivalent), and then learn to use the available tools to exploit HF propagation to your advantage. Yes, there's a significant learning curve, but if your reaction to working that station in Italy is any indication, you'll love it.
"The Compete DXer" is available from the ARRL for $20.
"The NEW Shortwave Propagation Handbook" is available from CQ for $20.