Category Archives: DX

Dan asks: “What is your longest DX?”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Greenall, who writes:

What is your longest DX (from transmitter to receiver)?

Assuming we are limiting the discussion to planet Earth, Perth, Australia would be represent one of the farthest land based locations to hear at 18145 km or 11275 miles as the crow flies from my receiving post in southern Ontario, Canada.

That would mean the ABC outlet that I received on 9610 kHz in the early 1970’s is the winner for me. Not far behind, however, would be tiny Amsterdam Island (part of the TAAF, Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises) in the Indian Ocean at 18031 km or 11204 miles. I was able to log marine radio FJY4 on 8690 kHz CW on a number of occasions and even managed to extract a PFC QSL direct from the station in 1973.

There are a number of distance calculators for this on the internet, such as Free Map Tools at

Of course, the longest DX may not necessarily be the best. CKZN running 300 watts on 6160 kHz from St. John’s, Newfoundland from right here in Canada was harder to hear than the ABC in Perth, Australia!

Who can top this distance? What is your longest DX? Please comment!

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Checking out the CCRadio SolarBT

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

The syllables coming through the headphones were unknown to me. Clearly it was a language, but not one that I knew. So I logged it: 2/18/24, 1101Z, 1660 kHz, unknown language, orchestral music. (I later found out it was a Korean language station from New Jersey.) Then I moved on down the band.

Next stop: 1650 kHz, male voice French. Then: 1630 kHz, pop music, followed by “Arabic sounding music” on 1610 kHz, and so on down the medium wave band. It was a pre-dawn morning, and I have had a great deal of fun, creeping along in 1 kHz increments using the 2.5 kHz bandwidth, turning the radio from side to side in my hand, trying to tease out distant stations, and hoping to hear my first transatlantic DX.

In my lap was a radio that very much resembles a brick, but a very elegant designer brick. In the words of the instruction manual: “The CCRadio Solar is likely the first emergency radio that doesn’t look like one.” The folks at CCrane sent me one for review without charge.

The CCRadio SolarBT measures 6 inches wide by 3 inches high by 2.5 inches deep and weighs just a bit over a pound with batteries installed. Most of the SolarBT’s case is white polymer, but the bottom, top, and sides are covered with a gray rubberized “skin.” The end effect is a solidly built unit that is pleasant to view, easy to handle, and won’t readily slide off a slippery surface.

The CCradio SolarBT can receive AM (MW) band from 520 to 1710 kHz, FM from 87.5 to 108 MHz (76-108 MHz in expanded mode), and 7 NOAA Weather Radio channels from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz. In addition, the SolarBT has a wealth of other interesting capabilities, and we will get to those in just a bit.

Clearly, the CCrane folks are serious about this radio’s emergency capabilities. There are five different ways of powering the SolarBT: (1) an 18650 Li-ion 3.7 volt rechargeable battery which provides around 50 hours of playing time (the manual advises fully charging the internal battery before use), (2) 3 AA batteries (not included, but good for about 40 hours of playing time. The manual warns: don’t use Lithium batteries), (3) a 110 mA solar panel (park the radio in a sunny window to keep it trickle charged), (4) a wind-up dynamo generator (300-500 mA at about two rotations per second. 90 seconds of winding will power the radio for 8-13 minutes or will charge your cell phone enough to make a few quick calls), or (5) a 5-volt DC, 1000 mA micro USB cable or optional AC adapter.

On the left of the front panel, you’ll find a 2-inch, 3-watt speaker. To the right of that is an LCD panel which serves as information central for the SolarBT. The display’s backlight will stay illuminated for about 10 seconds after each button press; you can set the light to stay on continuously if the SolarBT is plugged into continuous power. To the right of the display are a couple of up and down tuning buttons. Press quickly to advance to the next tuning increment. Press and hold to automatically tune to the next strong station. Hold continuously to cycle through the entire band.

Below the display are 5 memory station buttons that have some additional functions we’ll get to in a while. To the right of the memory buttons is the volume knob.

The top of the radio is dominated by a solar panel that, if exposed to direct sunlight for 8 hours will provide 10 to 14 hours of playing time at medium volume. Surrounding the solar panel are 4 buttons: one for power, one for the flashlight, one for changing radio bands, and one for BlueTooth functions. At the extreme back edge of the top is a fold-out telescoping antenna for FM and weather band reception. Inside the case is 10-centimeter a ferrite bar antenna for AM reception (by comparison the ferrite bar inside a CCrane Skywave is 7 centimeters).

CCrane’s attention to detail is evident: the button for the flashlight glows in the dark (very handy if you awake to find the power is out), and the instruction manual is very informative and well-written. In fact, it’s been my experience that CCrane consistently delivers the best-written user manuals in the radio business. Well done!

On the left side of the case is the LED flashlight. On the right side is a soft rubber hatch that provides access to a jack for auxiliary input, a radio power/charging jack, a switch for selecting between the 3 AA batteries or the 18650 rechargeable battery, an earphone jack, and a standard USB port that can be used to charge your cell phone.

On the back of the SolarBT is the fold-out crank for the dynamo generator and a hatch for accessing the 3 AA batteries and the 18650 rechargeable battery. That’s it.

Judicious pressing of the memory buttons provides access to the clock and alarm functions, to selecting 9 or 10 kHz AM band tuning steps, to designate clock or frequency while listening to the radio, to select 1 kHz running steps on the AM band, and to choose among 3 different bandwidths for the AM band: 6 kHz, 4 kHz, or 2.5 kHz. The manual will tell you how.

Yes, you say, but how does it perform? Bottom line: just great.

The SolarBT may be small, but, in my opinion, it punches above its weight and provides excellent sensitivity for its size on the AM, FM, and weather bands. You might buy it as an emergency radio, but my guess is that you will soon discover the joy of DXing with it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add the following. Normally, I “play radio” using headphones to help compensate for a hearing deficit. Lately, however, I have been listening to the NOAA Weather Radio on the CCRadio SolarBT through the speaker, and I have found that the sound coming through the speaker is very pleasing indeed.

A final note: I did not test any of the Bluetooth connectivity because at present I do not own any gadgets that would connect through Bluetooth.

Bottom line: I liked the CCRadio SolarBT a great deal and can happily recommend it. You might buy it as your emergency radio, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself using it for general listening or for DXing distant stations.

Click here to check out the CC Radio Solar BT at C.Crane.

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How to DX the 2024 Solar Eclipse!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nick Hall-Patch, who shares the following article originally published in the IRCA’s DX Monitor:

2024 Solar Eclipse DXing

by William Scott, WE7W

DXing the mediumwaves promises to be an exciting event on April 8 during the 2024 total solar eclipse.    I’ve been mulling over the DX possibilities a lot lately and have come to some conclusions. I think it boils down to three promising DX scenarios:

  • Scenario 1. For those who live within or very near the path of totality (see Figure 1), I believe best chances of DX would be first to listen to your southwest, along the path where totality is approaching. Darkness will already have happened in that direction, and a certain amount of residual de-ionization of the ionosphere will still remain. After the point of totality passes your location, I would swing my attention to the northeast.
  • Scenario 2. For those living within about 800 km (or about 500 miles) of the path of totality I believe best chance would be a perpendicular path across the totality path to a point roughly equidistant on the other side. This puts the signal reflection point right at the center of the totality path, or the deepest point of darkness.
  • Scenario 3. For those living more than about 800 km from the path of totality I believe best chance would be along a line from your receiving site to a perpendicular intersection to the totality path. This should define the greatest shaded path.

I think that scenarios #1 and #2 have the best possibility for DX.

Figure 1 (Click to enlarge)

Across the U.S. and Canada, from its entry at Texas to its exit through NE Canada and into the Atlantic Ocean, the totality path width varies from a maximum of 199 km at U.S. entry to about 160 km at Atlantic exit, or 123 to 99 miles.

Important to keep in mind – skywave signal strength analysis is based almost entirely on the condition of the ionosphere at the reflection point, not at the receiving site. For single hop propagation, normally the reflection point is at the halfway point to the station along the great circle route.    That 800 km distance from the totality center I wouldn’t hold as gospel. I’m throwing that figure out as a point where scenario #2 may start to transition to scenario #3.

Timing is of the essence for DXing. The shadow velocity exceeds 1000 mph, increasing from 1587 miles per hour at Eagle Pass, Texas to 3176 mph at Houlton, Maine. You may have only minutes to DX.     I’ll be in Rochester, NY at the time of totality, and we are right at dead center. I’ll be scenario #1. My plan is to listen to my southwest initially, where totality is approaching. I’ll be listening particularly for WLW-800 in Cincinnati, OH, WHAS-840 in Lexington, KY, and others along or near that path.

Scenario #2 possibly holds the most promise. Calculate your distance to the path center line and look for stations on a direct line across the totality path and at an equal distance on the opposite side of the path from you. One such scenario might be WSB-750, Atlanta to a reception point in northwestern Illinois, central Iowa, or southern Wisconsin or southern Minnesota. Many possibilities on cross-paths exist here. I feel best results would be with a signal path that crosses the path of totality closest to 90 degrees.

A question was raised about the possibility of DX from Spokane, Washington, an extreme distance from the path of totality. That particular scenario would be scenario #3, more than 800 km to the path of totality. Maximum obscurity should be when northeast Texas (let’s say the Dallas area) is experiencing full totality, as the great circle line to the totality path intersects at approximately 90 degrees to the line at that point. This would be at about 1848 UTC. I would listen for any signals along a great circle path between Spokane to anywhere from the Dallas area and northward.     Obviously, Spokane to Dallas is an extremely long one hop path, at about 2450 km. At that distance, the reflection point is near Denver, which will have a solar obscuration of 65.1% at maximum.

A Dallas area reception would be next to impossible I would think, but there are many more stations along that great circle path one could try for. Closer stations will obviously move the reflection point closer and start to reduce the solar obscurity. I did a scan along that path and there are some 340 stations within 200 km either side of the line of the great circle path between Spokane and Dallas.

A presumed Scenario #4.

Another scenario was suggested by Nick Hall-Patch, that of reception parallel to the path of totality and outside the 100% totality band. The 2017 solar eclipse across the northern part of the U.S. was DXed extensively and produced some interesting results, which are well documented in IRCA Reprints.  Check their document repository here:

Nick reports: “The receptions of KSL-1160 described in IRCA Reprint # G-096 showed the results of 3 DXers listening across the path of the eclipse (Scenario #2), but the fourth, Dave Aichelman, was monitoring KSL from a location parallel to the eclipse path ( sort of Scenario #1?) and got very good enhancement as well.”    We might name this “Scenario #4”.

I checked out # G-096, that documents the KSL reception from the solar eclipse of 2017. It looks like the Dave Aichelman (at Grants Pass, OR) reception of KSL had a mid-path reflection point of about 95% solar obscurity. The distance was 971 km (602 miles). Graphing KSL, I see it has a nice fat low angle takeoff and impressive skywave strength at 900 km, some 1.3 mV/m for that distance. (ed. note: A map of fractional solar obscuration is in Figure 2, easily converted to the percentage figures quoted in this article. )

Better yet, the article indicated Aichelman also received XEPE-1700 across the Mexican border from San Diego too. That was a mid-point reflection obscurity of only about 83% as far as I can deduct from the maps. The distance was 1238 km (769 miles). The mid-path reflection point there was in the neighborhood of 700 km from the central path of totality.

So, DX is indeed possible where both the station and the receiver are off center from the totality path. It’s looking like anything from at least 80% obscurity at mid-path reflection may have some real possibilities, particularly if you are at the end nearest the path of totality. Lower obscurities, perhaps down to 50% or so may even produce results.

Check out these links.

Using my pattern mapping program which has extensive area search capability, I’ve compiled a list of all US and Canadian stations that fall within the 2024 Solar Eclipse path of ~100% totality. There are 456 stations. Results are drawn from the March 20 FCC LMS database and Industry Canada database. Sorry I don’t have Mexico available.

If you would like this list, download from this link.

Across the US and Canada, from its entry at Texas to its exit through NE Canada and into the Atlantic Ocean, the totality path width varies from a maximum of 199 km at US entry to about 160 km at the Atlantic exit off Newfoundland, or 123 to 99 miles.   456 stations are found in this eclipse path. I purposely set the path width to 210 km from start to finish. This gives a few km slop on both sides of the 100% totality path for good measure.

Unzip the downloaded .ZIP file, where you will find 3 files. The stations in each file are sorted by longitude, from west to east. This gives us the progression of the eclipse path, with the eclipse starting at the first station in the list and ending with the last station.

File #1 is a simple text file.

File #2 is in .CSV format. You can easily input it to an Excel file.

File #3 is in .HTML format. It includes links to each station’s Google Map latitude-longitude coordinates for the satellite view of the transmitter tower array.

Another link takes you to the FCC AM Query link for that station.  I hope these files are beneficial. There should be many propagation path possibilities outside of this list as well.

(reprinted from the author’s blog at )


Further sources of information concerning the eclipse include the following websites:

(Clicking anywhere on this map page will give all the information you need about obscuration, length of eclipse a given location).  Also:

Animations of the path of the eclipse versus time can be seen at:–Frissell-HamSCI.mp4

The latter is particularly interesting, as it shows the moon’s shadow at 100km height above the earth, an area of special interest to DXers, as it is the lower edge of the E-region of the ionosphere.  Note especially that as the eclipse ends over the North Atlantic Ocean, that there is a temporary darkness path between Europe and North America, because night will already have fallen in Europe.  So will there be blips of TA DX in eastern North America as the eclipse passes by?   Listen, and find out!

Finally, our DX could be of interest to ionospheric physicists also.   The rapidly changing listening conditions will be indicating a similarly turbulent ionosphere, and DXers’ documenting those listening conditions through SDR recordings could provide information that will be useful to scientists who want to gain a better understanding of the Earth’s ionospheric dynamics.

HamSCI is an organization of volunteer citizen-scientists and professional researchers who study upper atmospheric and space physics, and will be interested in examining MW DXers’ wideband SDR recordings made during the eclipse period, and indeed, in having DXers assist with HamSCI’s research. (see  Especially if you are an amateur radio operator, there are several other ways that you might also contribute to the project.)

(This first appeared in IRCA’s DX Monitor and is used with permission.   See for club details)

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How I Figure Out and Decide What To Log On Shortwave….

by Paul Walker, Program Director, KSKO 89.5 McGrath Alaska (not my radio, stock photo)

Some have asked, so I thought I’d share. Everyones DX’ing goals and rules are different and that’s what makes the hobby interesting……these are mine. If I logged everything, I’d have multi gigabytes of audio on a weekly basis that I’d never ever finish sorting through. Alaska seems to be a great place for direct long path, off the back or over the pole reception of alot of signals!

I have a schedule site ( that gives me the frequency, schedule, broadcaster, transmitter location,  language and target area of the signal. I then quickly work out in my mind where I am in relation to that.

Like something beaming from Oman or the UAE to the Middle East, I may be off center from the main lobe, but it’s a long path trip for that signal. Something from Botswana to Northern/Western African, I am in near the direct center main lobe of the long path of that, as I recall looking up at one point. Or I could be getting something off the back from Galbeni or Santa Maria de Galleria.

I quickly work that out in my head and ten figure out if that’s actual DX. Then i quickly evaluate the signal.. quality over quantity. I know what many signals are capable of here at some point or another.. and If I’m getting a noisy, fadey signal where I know anything from alot better is possible to common, I won’t log it or record audio.

I do regularly log some poor to fair signals because they are rare here and usually low power. (Tarma 4775khz, Brazil 15190khz, et al)

I also take into account what others have logged and how well. I go after the lesser heard or those not heard as well by others. I live in a very unique location for DX and I want to use my time wisely by learning about what I hear, what I hear and going after whatever my personal definition is of the most worthy signals to log.

I typically do not log anything of which I am in the target area or spill over area of. Like Radio Romania International, China Radio international.. because thats just easy pickin’s for me…. with a few exceptions

This is not to say anyone who logs only target area or easy stuff is doing it wrong. We just go after different things and do things differently.

If I logged everything I heard, I’d have multi gigabytes of audio on a weekly basis that I’d never ever finish sorting through and as Thomas Witherspoon knows, I’m behind with processing my audio all the time as it is!

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Don Moore’s Photo Album: Costa Rica (Part Two)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Don Moore–noted author, traveler, and DXer–for the latest installment of his Photo Album guest post series:

Don Moore’s Photo Album: Costa Rica (Part Two)

by Don Moore

It’s been three months since the last time I put together one of these pieces because I was busy finishing my book, Tales of a Vagabond DXer [Note: SWLing Post Amazon affiliate link]. You may have seen the announcement about it here a few weeks ago. This series should appear more regularly in 2024 as I plan to concentrate on small writing projects for a while!

Back in August, we looked at five Costa Rican shortwave stations that I visited in 1990. This time I’m going to feature just one station, but a station with a very interesting story. My book has an updated and rewritten version of the article I wrote about it for Monitoring Times magazine in the early 1990s. But the book doesn’t have many photos as adding those significantly increases the price. So, here are the pictures and a little bit about the station.

This seven-and-a-half-watt transmitter was the first transmitter for TI4NRH, the first shortwave broadcast station in Latin America. It was built by Amando Céspedes Marín in Heredia, Costa Rica in 1928. Don Amando operated a small medium wave station and hoped that by using shortwave he could reach listeners in all of Costa Rica. Instead, he gained an audience all around the world. His little TI4NRH became one of the most popular radio stations for shortwave listeners throughout the 1930s until he shut it down at the beginning of World War Two. This portrait of Don Amando was made around that time.

I remembered reading about TI4NRH in an old-timer’s article, so while I was in Costa Rica I went to Heredia hoping to find someone who could tell me where the station had operated from. I wanted to get a picture of the building. Instead, I found that everything was still there in the dimly lit backroom of the family house. (The pictures are grainy as the room was very dark.) Don Amando had passed away in 1976 but his never-married daughter, Lydylia, still lived there and treated the room as a shrine to her departed father.

The Céspedes family house was on a side street a few blocks south of the main plaza in Heredia. The radio station was located in the middle section, behind the white door.

Plaque on the front door commemorating the building as the birthplace of radio in Costa Rica.

Financial support from listeners helped TI4NRH buy new transmitters and raise power. This 300-watt transmitter was the last one used.

Radio amateurs in the USA and Canada raised money to buy and ship this antenna tower to TI4NRH in the late 1930s.

Nothing was removed after the station closed down but the space became a storage room for the family. This is how it looked in June 1990.

The bottom of that original 7 ½ watt transmitter. Unfortunately, the photo came out very dark in the dimly lit room.

The walls were covered with yellowing 1930s amateur radio QSL cards.

This letter written by Arthur Kopf, an American working in the Panama Canal Zone, was the first report received by TI4NRH. That made it the first reception report ever written to a Latin American shortwave broadcast station.

Don Amando’s daughter Lydylia was the guardian of her father’s legacy.

A view showing the house and neighboring antenna tower.

TI4NRH was only a hobby for Don Amando. He made a living by operating a print shop and photography studio. With financial support from the Zenith Corporation, he published a monthly radio magazine (primarily in Spanish) for several years in the 1930s.

In 1928, Philadelphia DXer Charles Schroeder became the first North American DXer to log a Latin American SWBC station when he heard TI4NRH. He not only got a QSL for his reception, TI4NRH sent him a beautiful chair made out of Costa Rican tropical hard woods. The chair was sent in pieces with instructions for assembly and arrived in just twelve days. Mr. Schroeder passed away in 1956, but in 2005 I heard from Schroeder’s daughter, who still had the chair. She sent these photos.

Finding TI4NRH was like finding an unknown time capsule. It was one of the biggest highlights of both my DX career and my travels. And I always hoped to return. In the late 1990s I learned that Lydylia had passed away and that one of her nephews had moved into the house. Sometime around 2010 the antenna tower had become unsafe so the family had it torn down and sold for scrap. However, other than donating a few items to the city museum (something Lydylia had refused to do), the family continued to hold on to Don Amando’s legacy. In 2017, a group of Costa Rican radio amateurs visited the house and published their photos, which were much better than my old ones.

I would like to say that everything is still there for the next visiting DXers to see. But in looking for links to include in this piece I came across some very sad news. The house was demolished in July 2021. Apparently the next generation of the family (Don Amando’s great-grandchildren) had no interest in maintaining the old house and Costa Rica doesn’t have a good program to preserve historical sites. So the city of Heredia had the house torn down. The news article I found (which was very critical of the destruction) didn’t even know what had happened to the station memorabilia that had been in the house. So, unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending.


To see the exact location of where TI4NRH was, open Google Maps and search for the following coordinates: 9.995550958984419, -84.11618361000325 then switch from map view to satellite view.

The main house was where the shiny tin roof is today (2024). Just to the right is another building with a red roof. That is where the wing with the station and the antenna tower were.

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Mediumwave DXer logs KFIZ from Arctic Finland

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ulis Fleming, who shares the following article from KFIZ via Twitter. I love these articles where a mediumwave DXer blows the minds of a small AM radio station’s staff!

Finnish man hears KFIZ radio transmission on radio in Artic Circle

A man from Finland contacted KFIZ recently to let us know he was listening to our station IN Finland earlier this month. And while it doesn’t sound like such a big deal since we do announce you can listen around the world on the “Tune In” app, this person actually heard us on the AM spectrum of frequencies.

Jari is a self described AM radio enthusiast in Finland that says he is passionate about listening to and identifying AM stations from around the world.

In early December, Jari travelled about 750 miles from his home in southern Finland, by train and car, to an isolated area in Northern Finland, well into the Artic Circle, where he has a base station set up designed to pull in AM radio signals from around the world. Jari says conditions are ideal there because there is ample space for long antennas and little to no man-made electrical noise or interference.

On December 4th at 6:00 Universal time, which would have been midnight local Fond du Lac time, Jari recorded a transmission on his receiver. Its very faint but it’s our station’s radio ID that we play often throughout the day that says “News Talk 1450, KFIZ Fond Du Lac – a Mountain Dog Media Station.”

Given how hard it is to hear, you can respect the fact that Jari now has transmissions confirmed from over 800 stations from North America.

While generally AM radio waves only travel at most 100 miles from the transmitting antennas, with the right conditions, usually during the nighttime hours, AM radio waves can reflect off the ionosphere and propagate past the curvature of the earth, a phenomenon called “skywave” propagation.

So from all of us here at KFIZ, if you are listening locally, on the tune in App, or isolated deep within the Artic Circle, we want to say thanks for listening.

Click here to read at KFIZ. 

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Announcing Don Moore’s latest book: Tales of a Vagabond DXer

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and friend Don Moore–noted author, traveler, and DXer–for sharing the following announcement about his latest book! Don is a brilliant author–you’ll enjoy accompanying him on his travels and radio journey in this latest book. I highly recommend all of his work!


Tales of a Vagabond DXer

Tales of a Vagabond DXer by Don Moore is a new book focusing on Latin American radio and DXing. In this 300-page volume, Don blends together stories from his radio station visits, his travels, and his experiences as a DXer. Don has been an active member of the DX listening hobby for over five decades. His interest in Latin American radio inspired him to serve in the Peace Corps in Honduras in the early 1980s.

Since then, he has traveled extensively in Latin America and visited more than 150 radio stations in the region. He has written dozens of articles on Latin American DXing for radio hobby publications including Monitoring Times, the NASWA Journal, Review of International Broadcasting, and Passport to World Band Radio. Today, Don is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post Blog.

Tales of a Vagabond DXer is available from in trade-sized paperback for $12.99 or Kindle eBook for $4.99, or for equivalent prices in local currencies on non-US Amazon stores.



Note: the Amazon Affiliate links above not only support author Don Moore, but Amazon shares a small percentage of the final sale with the SWLing Post as well. 

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