The first thing a new DXer should own...

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by N8XE, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. N8XE

    N8XE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Complete DX'er by Bob Locher, W9KNI

    I would consider it required reading before jumping into pileups. I love this book. Whenever I get into some DXing doldrums, I pick up this book to re-energize my desire to work DX.

    Jason N8XE
  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the 2nd thing!

    NQ1B likes this.
  3. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Both are highly useful.

    Of the two, I'll bet the former would be of more value to the beginner than the latter.

  4. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    W9KNI's book was of great benefit to me, along with UN's Low Band DXing, decades ago when I began chasing DX. Got me more countries IN THE RIGHT WAY than an amp ever has.
  5. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before that... a decent antenna. The amp does no good if you can't hear em'.
  6. N8XE

    N8XE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is a beauty of an amp Pat! Hope you scored that on the cheap ;)

    Having an amp in the shack was a recent thing (about 3 years ago). I worked lots of DX without one. My antenna was upgraded well before I got my first amp (a hexbeam at 40 feet) and I was able to work China on SSB using that beam.

    I combined an amp with that antenna and it works very well.

    I bought the book before I received my first amp.

    Jason N8XE
  7. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't hava SB-220. I hava Drake L7. Not quite as much punch, but still two 3-500Zs
  8. W5DQ

    W5DQ Guest

    From the many dorks who are in the pileups and need to tune up so every milliwatt comes out of whatever they are tuning, I'd have voted for a DUMMY LOAD and the knowledge how to use it.

    But the book is good. I have the older version and have been thinking of getting the latest one to see if it has any more info.

    Gene W5DQ
  9. KC7YRA

    KC7YRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    As somebody who hits the DX as often as possible, here are my thoughts on beginning DX.

    Day 1: Pick a house with no covenants or HOAs. Before we bought this place, I spent hours researching for any hidden covenants/ I then drove around the property with a mobile HF setup while listening to every band I could muster.

    Once settled, first thing to do: Clear the house of RF generating electronics. If you cant hear the DX, you cant work them.

    Next step, diversity: You MUST be able to operate different modes. You will find a LOT of DX who only operate CW or only operate RTTY. Learn and study and become proficient in as many operating techniques as possible.

    Station build: Word here is diversity as well. While you can DX with anything, you will have better luck with as big a piece of aluminum as you can plop on the highest tower you can manage. Antenna gives you FAR greater capability than radio or amp. Antennas antennas antennas ANTENNAS. Beams, phased verticals, high dipoles. All serve a purpose. The more the better.

    Radios: Personally, while I have spent thousands of hours DXing with a bottom of the barrel rig, I prefer a higher end one. Dual receive is a Godsend. You can track the operator's split almost effortlessly. If you want to have the best luck, this is crucial.

    NOW, read: Read Lochner's book cover to cover and ponder what you read. What you will take away from it is to listen. Listen listen listen. Absolutely at least as important as a good antenna. You must have the abilty to listen to the subtle nuances and timing of DX ops.

    Lastly, AMP: Amps are great if you are ready to use one. If you have the best antenna you can muster and your noise level as low as possible, then an amp can give you that extra oomph needed to get in the log. There are contacts I have made where I am certain I would not have had I not been running some juice. I must warn though, amps do not make up for a poor antenna. You get so much more from a better antenna than a buggest amp can give.

    There it is, my theory. If you diversify yourself, your station, strive for bigger and better, and LISTEN, I guarantee that the DX will roll in. I understand that some folks cannot go to the extremes that many of us have. It is a big financial and emotional commitment to go full bore into DX. I would guess my point is, plan ahead and put some thought into station design. It will pay immensely. If all you can do is throw an attic dipole into your celing and run 10 watts, make sure you have the best possible setup you can. Maybe stretch another dipole the opposite direction in the attic. Diversify

  10. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd consider an amp to be just about the last item. #1 is antenna, IMHO.
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