What is DXer.ca?
This website is dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of long distance radio listening - also known as DXing.
DX is ham radio shorthand for "distance" - and although ham radio is an entirely different hobby, we share a lot of the common attributes (especially the positive ones!).
Photo right - one layout of my "shack" (the newer version is way more cluttered!)
A little history: There has been a DX hobby since Marconi received a radio signal from England on Signal Hill, St. Johns Newfoundland - considered quite the feat at the time.
In the 21st century, there are still opportunities for long distance radio reception - plenty of them in fact. Any AM radio, large or small is a good place to start. Most people have "DXed" radio stations and not even realized that they are engaged in our hobby. A quirk of AM radio is - at night-time, AM signals can carry for hundreds and thousands of miles - and not all of them use that much power. So. We at DXer.ca enjoy long distant AM radio reception as well as chasing exotic locales on the Shortwave dial - and I know what you are thinking: What is Shortwave? Well. I will be answering that question in a whole article coming up...
Send us an e-mail -
Nick Hall-Patch - Victoria B.C. Canada
Nick (photo at right) and I met in 1975. He was 26 and I was 15. We collaborated on some fine DX seasons - particularly in 1976 when some of the best TA conditions existed in years.
Some years later, we have not aged one day! Electronics technologist and radio enthusiast since the late sixties, Nick uses a Drake R8 for trans-oceanic MW DXing, as well as a Dymek DR333 and an RFSpace SDR-14 for propagation studies.
He is technical editor for the IRCA, has edited several editions of A DXer's Technical Guide and been known to write the occasional article himself. He resides in Victoria, B.C. Canada near the colorful Oak Bay border (less than 4 KM from where I live.)
Gary DeBock - Puyallup, Washington
Gary DeBock has always enjoyed the challenge of chasing exotic DX with minimal equipment, especially with portable radios on overseas ocean beaches, or on plunging ocean side cliffs on the Oregon coast.
After receiving Navy electronics training in the previous century he became fascinated with modern improvements in pocket radios, which offered DXers a fighting chance to chase exotic stations as the ultimate live DXing thrill.
Working together with the late John Bryant (a master organizer) and Colin Newell (an IT wizard) he was a co-founder of the Ultralight Radio enthusiast group in 2008, which has enjoyed worldwide growth in popularity.
Recent fascination with ocean cliff transoceanic signal enhancement and ferrite sleeve loop antennas has kept Gary busy pushing his hobby luck in all kinds of wacky DXing activities, including the discovery of an "Asian Cliff," as well as shrinking FSL antennas down to an airport friendly size.
Other interests include foreign language (Japanese and Cantonese) and using experience as a real estate broker to search for dream acreage near the ocean.
Mike Cherry - Salt Spring Island
Mike is our most enthusiastic Island based member of the DXer.ca crew. His radio career includes employment of over 45 years;12 years in commercial radio; 17 years in campus/community FM as both volunteer & paid management staff: on-air DJ, IT, Program Director, Music Director,
Production Mgr, Operations Mgr, engineering & technical.
Photo at right - Colin (Goofy guy at left with Hawaiian shirt...) and Mike (Cool guy with stylish Tropical shirt at right...) fawn over a rare Panasonic portable radio.
As a self-employed contractor Mike constructed & installed a number of new FM stations from scratch to turn-key operations, performed maintenance on
both AM & FM facilities. He was also a Pioneer Internet webcaster operating station
for 12 years.
Mike Cherry started DXing in 1962 - AM & SW, and also accidentally discovered Es on TV channels 2-6.
Mike started FM DXing in 1972 after acquiring first stereo receiver & outdoor yagi antenna. Licensed ham since early 70's, began amateur HF DXing throughout the 70's.
When he was not DXing MW or SW, he switched to exclusively VHF DXing in early 1980's specializing in 6 meters DX propagation modes and seriously pursued TP MW DX from Tofino starting in early 70's.
Gradually discontinued VHF DX starting in 2011 with switch-off of analog TV, oversaturation of FM band particularly within this region, abandoned VHF ham DX in 2016 & sold off his amateur gear.
Currently (like all of us DXer.ca crew members) has reverted to his youth concentrating on MW DX & a bit of SWL.
Dr. Walter Salmaniw MD (RET) - Victoria B.C.
Walt has been a radio enthusiast since the sixties while growing up in southern Ontario. He became a doctor while in the Canadian Army and has lived overseas.
Until recently, his greatest ambition was to own at least one boat-anchor receiver (old, big, tube-type) but has since fallen in love with modern technology (Perseus, AOR7030+, Ten-Tec, etc) - Yup, they all come around eventually. Walt lives near Dallas Road (in Victoria) with his fabulous radio collection, a new Wellbrook ALA100 active-loop antenna as well as his understanding wife Wanda.
Walter enjoys all aspects of the radio hobby - especially travel... and his top secret seasonal get-away (at Haida Gawii).
Lately he has gotten into software defined radios like the Perseus - which makes his actual tonnage of radio gear somewhat lighter. We like his enthusiasm and dedication to the hobby. He is also handy to know if you have a headache or dislocated shoulder from falling out of the Cyprus tree!
Walt, Nick and yours truly are collaborating on installing an active Kiwi WebSDR on the Haida Gwaii for the ultimate in DX reception and condition predicting.
Colin Newell - Victoria B.C. Canada
Creator of the DXer.CA web page and radio enthusiast since 1971, Colin became an electronics technician/technologist in the late seventies and early eighties. Growing up on the farm meant plenty of room for antennas. Modern living in the urban jungle has forced Colin to become more creative with antenna solutions.
His primary receiver is the Drake R8 and he uses a Wellbrook ALA100 active loop for wide band reception. He also depends on the Kenwood R2000, a variety of portables like the Sony 7600G, the Grundig Yacht-Boy 400PE, the Eton E1 and a small pile of ultra-light portables.
He just added a Kiwi WebSDR to his quiver of nifty radio tools - currently in test mode.
He is the creator and editor of Canada's beloved Cafe Culture website and blog - CoffeeCrew.Com. TV writing credits include a very brief one episode stint on CSI Las Vegas, an appearance on WTN's "The Shopping Bags", and one too many radio interviews. He is the primary media contact for DXer.ca... I mean, as if!
The DXer.ca Coffee Social - From time to time (usually once every few months) we invade a local cafe, drink coffee and talk story about all things radio. If you are a Vancouver Island resident or are visiting Vancouver Island and the immediate area, let us know and we will coordinate a social DX-centric event. You will not regret it.
Colin Newell has been writing since the early 1970's - into a notepad... pretty much unseen to the World. His credits include a stint with the CIDX Club in the late 70's and early 80's, an active membership in SPEEDX in its heyday in the 70's and 80's - His radio website, espresso.ts.uvic.ca first appeared in 1995 containing some very basic radio reviews and circuits. Times have changed. The goal of the DXer.ca is to educate and entertain and to bring reviews of the latest receivers and antennas to our readership.
Colin also builds the Misek-Lankford Phaser and offers them to select active DXers around the globe. His series of remote VACTROL units for Flag/Pennant/KAZ antennas have also been hot ticket items. E-mail Colin for details.
Any questions about the Amateur radio hobby or SWLing / DXing or looking for an expert to talk on the subject of radio, technology and international media? Send us an e-mail! We have been featured on CBC Radio in Canada as well as other media outlets.