Phil Bytheway <phil_tekno@...>
G’day. I thought it was time to send something in. I am a 65 year old retired Electrical Engineer. Most of my designs went in to sonar… and all of them are now obsolete (by the time electronics get to manufacturing, they are obsolete!) My design legacy is the “W” on the University of Washington Husky football helmet. While I was in college, I “worked” as a football manager (with the equipment) and when Don James became head coach, he wanted a new helmet design. I did the “W” which apparently caught on big time (too bad I didn’t get royalties, hi). For those watching the Rose Bowl today!
I started DXing in 1968 when I entered a contest in Jr High to see who could hear the most stations over a week’s time. I used an old console radio my parents had retired and heard a few stations, but I was hooked! The fellow running the contest told me about writing stations for verifications, so I started doing that. My verification request to KOB was “canvassed” by Don Erickson and I received a sample “DX Monitor”. Naturally, I joined and discovered other DXers, some of whom lived near me! As of now, I have heard 2157 stations (I count call changes – most of my new stations these days).
I have used many different radios and antennas and have a modest collection of them. My first DX radio was the “original” Radio Shack TRF along with a Worcester Space Magnet ferrite loop antenna. I have used many communication receivers; my favorite being a Drake R-7 and R-392 as well as several loop antennas (built a few too).
Recently, I have started DXing again (I listen on our car radio while my wife is thrift shopping – some parking lots are better than others, hi). I have noticed a few things that have changed since I was active. Almost all stations have network programs during most of the hour, and there even more sports stations than before. Station IDs are very hard to get… not everyone IDs at the top of the hour (especially ESPN!) and most do not ID during the hour (bottom of the hour IDs are almost non-existent). Several stations use an FM frequency and slogan in their pseudo IDs (the NRC log lists FM parallels now). A lot of spots are not local, which makes me wonder if they are logged by the station?
One positive thing that has happened… the internet. Most stations have webcasts, which sometimes makes it possible to decide whether to stay on a frequency to wait for an ID, or move on. I can note parts of spots and then look up the business on-line to verify spelling and those few words that I missed. Recently, I managed to get an Email verification (1 day turn around). Graveyard frequencies are a mess (well they became that way when most stations went to 1000 watts and are even worse now).
I’ve helped out IRCA in several ways over the years. Currently, I am Editor-in-Chief of “DX Monitor” and run the Goodie Factory (have you purchased your Mexican Log yet?) Please send me any ideas for improving the bulletin.
In addition to AM DXing, I collect radio stickers. I have over 45000 US and Canadian in my collection (and even more to trade). I am actively seeking stickers and will purchase collections, or extras, from other collectors. I trade with a few folks as well.
Best of DX to y’all from pb