I am an avid DXer. Outside of DXing, I am obsessed with traveling and music. I have lived in Woodbridge, Virginia (USA) all of my life, and have enjoyed DXing in this location for 18 years.
Prior to becoming a DXer, I was always interested in broadcasting. It was always fascinating to watch local TV news on unfamiliar distant channels while away from home, even as a kid. Although I wasn’t initially concerned with distant FM stations in my travels, I was highly interested in the local Washington, DC radio band.
Becoming a DXer
I came across DXing by accident at the age of 14. I was trying to find something to listen to on a table radio early one morning in May 1999. I landed on a very strong stereo signal, liked the music playing, and went back to whatever I was doing. I was surprised when I heard that the radio station identified itself as 104.5 WNVZ in Norfolk, VA. An internet search revealed the station was 124 miles away from my location in Woodbridge, VA.
I soon realized later that morning that the same warm weather that brought in WNVZ also brought in distant TV signals throughout Virginia, including Norfolk, Richmond, and Charlottesville, as well as Baltimore, MD. It fascinated me to watch the early morning news from these unfamiliar stations. I also discovered the AM band around the same time and listened to distant signals, such as WBZ-Boston and WSB-Atlanta.
The DX bug bit me, and it has never been the same. Given I lived in a condominum complex, I was unable to utilize a roof antenna and only DXed with whip and wire antennas. This was not a problem, since the condo’s location on the top of a tall hill allowed signals up to 300 miles away to come in with ease on most summer nights.
In 2000, I didn’t know of many DXing resources easily available online, except for DXFM and Radio-Locator. I read about tropo before, but knew nothing of E-skip when I successfully logged my first Es signal, 96.9 KNID Enid, OK at 1135 miles on 6/16/00, FM log number 62 on my boombox radio.
The transition from casual to serious DXer
Since I was a busy teenager, I casually DXed between 2000 and 2004. I didn’t work many Es openings and typically focused on tropo. I took a break from DXing from 2003-2004 due to moving to a home which had poor indoor reception. In May 2004, I installed a Radio Shack VU-90XR roof antenna and resumed daily DXing. On 7/6/04, I witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime E-skip opening that had a MUF of 198 MHz, or TV 10. This was a pivotal moment in my ‘DXing career’ because, for the first time, every single FM and TV frequency/channel was overridden by distant FMs. DXing the 7/6/04 Es opening exponentially increased my interest in the hobby and encouraged me to monitor the bands daily for Es.
This was a period of great improvement in my DX shack. I started to use real, dedicated FM tuners, starting with a borrowed Mitsubishi DA-F76, and (by 2006), the RDS-capable Denon TU-1500RD. I added an HD radio to my shack, via the Sony XDR-F1HD, in 2008. The Denon and Sony radios continue to be my primary DXing radios. Upon purchasing a new car in 2012, I added mobile RDS radio capabilities and I also added a portable HD radio, the Insignia NS-HD01, to use on trips in 2013.
After reading DXFM.com and KW4RZ’s great DX websites, I was inspired to create my own DX website in 2006. I moved my website to the WordPress blog format in 2010.
Being a DXer in my early 30s, I am in a prime position to witness many technological changes, radio format switches, signal swaps/move-ins and other changes to the radio dial and DXing environment that makes the hobby fun in the coming years and decades. I expect to stay put in the immediate Washington, DC area at the moment, but I would continue to DX and update this site in the future regardless of where I am physically located.