by Gil Lappay, 4F2KWT
What got you into HAM Radio? What was it about HAM Radio that piqued your interest? Was it about making contact with stations from faraway lands? It was for me. As a Boy Scout in first year high school, being shown the hows of this hobby was like getting my eyes on a Software Defined Radio today and listening to the out worldly sounds the radio was spewing. It was wonderful and exciting in a way that was way beyond anything I have ever experienced!
We were on Corregidor Island as delegates of a World Camporee and among the many activities was a demonstration of HAM Radio. I could hardly believe my ears when the lead operator doing the demo called somebody in Manila and said this was all done via “wireless”. If we had chairs I imagine we would have been knocked off them or at least on their edges but we were seated on the forest floor and it was all we could do to contain our then awoken attention. This was followed by more contacts with Laguna, Cebu and then Davao. And, as if that was not enough, he said that if we would come back in the evening then we could listen to contacts with HAM Radio stations in Japan! I knew then that this was going to be my hobby.
Making two way contact with other stations is at the core of DXing, the more distant that station is the more valuable that contacts is; DX means distance in the first place. Many other factors can make these contacts special though; pile ups, rarity of the station, new country/entity, propagation effects and also special event stations. That you worked the DX station on a new band, new mode or with your newly installed antenna that you made yourself can also really make your day.
Any HAM operator can go DXing. Tune your radio around the bands at anytime and you will hear stations calling. The stronger the signal is arriving at your station, the higher the chances are of your making the contact. It is true that the antenna you are using dictates the kind of action you will get but any well constructed dipole is usually sufficient. Also, if you do not hear anyone calling then by all means do the calling yourself. There is always somebody somewhere listening. You will be amazed at what that radio of yours can deliver. Try it today and enjoy the world of interaction as only HAM Radio can offer; the original social media.