Follow-up to The Great Medium Wave Daylight DX Challenge

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

If the folks who participated in The Great Medium Wave Daylight DX Challenge were on trial for “having fun,” they would be found guilty and sentenced to . . . more DXing challenges!


As nearly as I can tell, 13 people participated, and many had something positive to say about the experience, including they would like to do it again.

I say “as nearly as I can tell” with regard to the number of participants because some people posted the same thing multiple times . . . and there is a simple reason why. When someone posts a comment for the first time, or posts a comment for the first time with a new email address (which is one of the required fields when you post a comment), that comment is sent to moderation for approval before it is posted . . . which causes a delay. Thinking it didn’t work the first time, the commenter reposts again (and perhaps again and again) and after a while, all the posts appear, which confuses the counting process.

A variety of equipment was used: 4 GE Superadios, 2 Belka radios, a Yaesu FT950, an AirSpy SDR, a single-transistor regenerative radio, and a Sangean ATS 909-X2. Some ran barefoot (using internal antennas), some employed loops, dipoles, and even an AFA-200 from Icom.

In terms of station count, Tom Laskowski, in a neighborhood park in South Bend, Indiana, absolutely killed it with a GE Superadio, logging 69 stations with lots of colorful detail. Clearly he was enjoying himself. The total mileage of his top five stations was 1230 miles. He qualified for Chuck Rippel’s generous offer of a Superadio refurb.

13dka “informally reported” his results in miles, furlongs, and attoparsecs. From a dike at the German North Sea Coast (Riddle of the Sands?), his farthest station was 677 miles away and his top five total was 2748 miles . . . that’s 21,968.5 furlongs in case you were wondering. He used a Belka 2022 in combination with an AFA-200 active ferrite antenna (his ultra portable MW rig).

David Mappin in Filey, UK, managed to hear a station in Solt, Hungary, at a distance of 987 miles. His top five total mileage was 1965 miles. He used a Sangean ATS 909X2 with a Cross Country Wireless (CCW) Loop Antenna Amplifier with a one-meter loop made out of coax.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, even those to whom “life happened,” and could only get on for a few minutes.

So, therefore, you are all sentenced to more DX challenges in the future!

My operatives (the upstate irregulars) deep in the underground bunker at El Rancho Elliott tell me that some of the names of future challenges might include “The Midnight Ramble” and “The Grayline Sprint” . . . but these sources are unreliable.

In the meantime, thanks to all for participating, and I am glad you had fun.

PS – Some have suggested that taking station transmit power into account when figuring out scoring might be a thing to do. If you have practical ideas for doing this, post them, with examples in the comments section below. Bear in mind that any calculation of “difficulty factor” will fall on the folks recording their logs.

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16 thoughts on “Follow-up to The Great Medium Wave Daylight DX Challenge

  1. Alvin Morris

    I’ll have to check in more often to see when you are doing a dx challenge! I’m sitting here now trying to track down a station out there in the either ?

  2. Jim Trame

    I would definitely do it but have a part time job (welcome to retirement) on Saturdays. My suggestion is to do one on Sunday next time, or on a weekday. Or do 2 each time, one on Saturday and one on a weekday.

    Jim W4FJT, WDX4JT

    1. Jock Elliott


      You will have to keep watching here. I will try to offer roughly a week’s warning, possibly more.

      Cheers, Jock

    1. Jock Elliott


      My goal is to keep it as simple as possible: what can you hear? Can you identify it over the air? How far away is it?

      Seems to me that simple makes it more inviting and accessible to everyone.

      Somebody is going to have to do some powerful convincing if they want to make a case for making it more complicated than that.

      Cheers, Jock


    Bruce kc0dkd

    Yes, this sounds like fun. More events please!

    I will have to work in the time. Was not sure where to report any DX.

  4. Rob W4ZNG

    Quarterly would be pretty cool, to look at MW propagation across seasons. Midnight, gray line, those sound good too. This past Saturday I had something else (a mountain bike half-century ride) going on, so I couldn’t participate. Well, at least I was there in spirit.

    1. Jock Elliott


      Quarterly sounds about right, with weird little challenges perhaps occasionally interspersed.

      Cheers, Jock

  5. 13dka

    Hi Jock, the AFA-200 antenna I used is this one;

    So not from Icom, just a relatively inexpensive and relatively small (7.8″) active ferrite antenna. 🙂

    As for the power calculation, I agree that this adds a level of complication as you have to find out the power to begin with. However, this information is readily available on

    For the Caribbean, North and Central America:

    South America:

    Europe, Africa and Middle East:

    Asia and Pacific:

    Another problem is miles/kilometers difference in the distance measurement, which makes a simple “kilometers (or miles) divided by power in kilowatts” calculation more difficult: An example would be 671km/2.5kW = 268.4 points. In miles (417) that would be only 166.8 points, so you have to multiply that with 1.609 to get 268.38 “metric points”. Also, this would disproportionately reward reception of stations with less than 1kW (a 0.5kW station 100km away would give you 200 points.) while the 2000kW Hungarian station wouldn’t account for 1090km/677mi but give you only 0.545 points, which seems to be a harsh punishment for a little QRO. I always had an F in math, so any more complicated formula and I couldn’t join the fun anymore. 🙂

    1. 13dka

      I forgot to mention that this was a fun opportunity to go to “the dike” despite the chilly wind and play a little radio again! Thank you!

      1. Jock Elliott


        I’m glad you had fun. That was the point . . . and that is a seriously funky-looking antenna!

        Cheers, Jock

    2. Jock Elliott


      That’s starting to look suspiciously like work.

      The idea is to maximize the fun of simply tuning around and (to mix metaphors) seeing what you can hear.

      Cheers, Jock


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