DX Question

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC3MXI, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. KC3MXI

    KC3MXI Subscriber QRZ Page

    As a new guy I am doing a ton of reading trying to understand this amazing new hobby. I have noticed a lot of people complaining that DX is dead, then I see some that seem to make it happen. Is integrating something like an SDR2 box with my Kenwood TS440sat likely to increase my chances of success or is it not worth it?

    I discovered those devices when reading about my shack of envy here....
  2. K2XT

    K2XT Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is worth it. An SDRPlay costs about $100 and software to run it is free. You will end up with a spectrum display and waterfall (assuming you have a pc in the shack with a decent monitor) that puts the display on the FTDX3000 in the link you provided to shame.
  3. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Using an SDR to provide a band-scope to older rigs is all the rage -- I did it myself with my Kenwood TS590s.

    It will provide you with a visible presentation of activity on the band, making it easier to see which of the DX stations that are posted on the spotting network you can actually hear, and see stations that have not (yet) been spotted.

    It also can facilitate determining the frequency of the stations in a big pile-up that a DXpedition is answering when operating split, so that you can use their "pattern" to choose a frequency that will improve your chances of being called.

    It can be helpful, but it's not a "magic bullet" for working DX.

    Setting one up with your TS440 will require an SDR like the SDRplay RSP1a (about $100) along with an antenna switch like the MFJ-1708B-SDR (about $100), a couple of coax jump cables and a sharing program like Omni-Rig (free on-line) ... and a computer with a large enough display to show the band-scoe/waterfall. (Mine is OK on my 15" laptop, but MUCH better on my external 21" monitor.)

    All that said, the real key to success in working DX is having the best ANTENNA SYSTEM you can manage. ;)
    KJ3N likes this.
  4. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    First of all, DX isn't dead. Anyone who says that, usually has a marginal, or sub par antenna to begin with.

    I've averaged about 165 dxcc worked each year for the past 5 years. I'm already at 105 worked this year, and I'm not terribly active. Last year, I worked 187 dxcc. The year before that, 180.

    A spectrum display will help in spotting signals on the band that you otherwise may miss. It can also give indications of band openings. It certainly couldn't hurt.
    K8PG likes this.
  5. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    DX is not dead. DX above 20m is not good right now, though there are frequent spotty openings. DX at night on 20m is not good right now. DX below 20m is rockin'. 40m DX during grayline and after dark is pretty dang good.
  6. KC3MXI

    KC3MXI Subscriber QRZ Page

    Man, THIS is a great forum - THANK YOU!
  7. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    geesh, as others have said, DX is NOT dead and the bands are NOT dead (well, some are.. like 15 & 10 but i think a lot has to do with no one using them). An important piece of the solution is the antenna switch as mentioned by KS2G.

    The SDR / bandscope certainly helps but you can do ti without it by using DX spotting networks like DXSummit - makes finding the DX easier.
  8. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn't look at your QRZ page earlier -- but I see now that you have just a Technician license.

    You're not likely to work much --probably not ANY-- DX with your limited privileges on HF.

    The BEST thing you can do for DXing is to UPGRADE to General -- even better, to Extra. ;)
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can learn a lot about propagation by running WSJT and watching the FT8 watering holes. You will get a personal database of propagation data for your station with call signs and objective signal reports.
    K8PG likes this.
  10. KN1M

    KN1M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the day.....when I was a novice, I became interested in DXing. I asked the Chief Op in my club how I could get them all. He said get your Extra and become proficient in CW and Phone both. He was right.
    K7MH and K1LKP like this.

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