DXing is a hobby. It is the art and science of listening to distant Radio Stations. ‘D’ is said to mean distance and ‘X’ refers to the unknown distance / distant reception. The hobby springs out of interest in Radio. It is an opportunity to listen to radio programs of different countries and gain knowledge and wisdom. It is for learning Radio wave propagation and about Radios and antennas. It is for the enjoyment on accomplishing contact with distant Radio Stations thousands of miles away. And it is to correspond with the Radio Stations giving them reports on the quality of their transmission and about their programs and to seek any further information regarding their country. The technical report on the quality of transmission is furnished in what is known as SINPO code. In SINPO, S stands for Signal strength, I for Interference with other stations, N for Noise ratio in the received signal, P for Propagation that is ups and downs in the reception and O for Overall merit. This grading is done on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means Very poor and 5 means Excellent. The technical report and correspondence from the hobbyist is confirmed by the Radio Station with a QSL Card. The QSL card will have a picture on one side and the reception data on the other side as you can see in the pictures of some of my QSL cards furnished above and below. QSL means “I confirm receipt of your transmission report”. QSL has its origins from the Q codes of the Morse code era. Any other information sought from the Radio Station is also supplied through appropriate replies, pamphlets, catalogs and books. Once on their mailing list, you are posted their schedules, newsletters, pennants and amulets.
I took to the hobby of DXing while studying Engineering. I pursued the hobby for 7 years though very intensely for 4 years. While at college I was using a powerful Communications receiver set for DXing and while at home I was using our 6-Band ‘Jhankar’ Valve Radio with a very powerful outdoor antenna erected by me. Much of the DXing is done in the nights so it was not affecting my regular day time activities. The pursuit of DXing was very rewarding from several view points. It helped me in understanding Radio communication and by constantly listening to various Radio Stations and their programs it improved my general knowledge and understanding international politics, problems and similarly about many important events and subjects.
With the advent of TV and now Internet Radio this hobby of DXing is almost extinct. Many International Radio Stations are shutting down their transmissions and choosing to operate on the Internet.