Long Distance Listening !
you've ever wondered what those strange, far away stations were
that you've heard on the AM band, you are NOT alone! I've been
listening to them for years and have decided to document my
"finds". There are many secrets to the art of listening
to long distance stations and below is the result of my decision
to lay it all out for the entire world to "see"!
art of reception for stations outside of your 'local' area.
Receiving far away stations on the AM (or Medium Wave) band
from 530 to 1710 kHz.
the Wonderful World of AM DXing without spending a dime, dedicating
hours and hours to education and studying or putting some
part of your life on hold -- and yes, it's FREE!
take the time to read this entire letter.
You WILL learn something new!
Radio Fan (and those about to be)!
I have been a life long listener of AM, FM, Shortwave and VHF/UHF
communications. I am also an FCC licensed Extra Class Amateur
Radio operator and hold a General Class (formally First Class)
Radiotelephone License. I've talked with stations around the
world and have heard many, many more. With all of the changes
in technology and communications that have taken place in the
past 10 years (digital radio, satellite radio, MP3 players,
the "retiring" of Morse code, the Internet, WiFi,
etc, etc), some would consider the art of listening to the AM
band a very much "lost" art and not worth the time.
Of course they would be right, except for the one thing that
technology will NEVER be able to take away and that's the ability
of a radio signal to travel wherever it wants to go. Just like
a gas fills its container and water always seeks its level,
a radio wave will travel EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE it wants and
YOU TOO can listen to these seasoned travelers of the sky!
Simply put, you can use your inexpensive AM radio, the one
you got many years ago for a few dollars, to pick up signals
from many hundreds and thousands of miles away and hear stations
you never thought existed! There is a wealth of information
out there. Yes, there is the Internet and the ability to get
the answers to just about anything at the click of a mouse or
the push of a button. BUT.... keep in mind that the SPOKEN word,
to this day and dare I say for many, many days ahead, still
carries tremendous weight and power to convey information in
a way that the Internet cannot and may not be able to for many
years to come. Witness the explosive growth of the iPod and
the podcast. Who even heard of the word "podcast"
a few years ago? The iPod is a great entertainment device for
music and video, but it also holds the key to information and
education that wasn't available a few years ago via the podcast
and the spoken word.
Yes, I know. Amazing! But it's true and VERY FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS!
Here is a virtually unlimited resource that can provide you
with information, commentary, opinion, emotion, music, health
and safety advice, news, current events and the list goes on
and on. What we have here is the ORIGINAL Information Superhighway
rolled into one little inexpensive piece of electronics that
most likely can run on one 9 volt or AA battery! INCREDIBLE!
Keep reading for more on that.
But before I go on, there's just so much bad information out
there that I think it's time to put some of these myths to rest
Myth #1 - Nobody really listens to AM radio
anymore, right? Wrong! Some people don't listen to AM radio
(or any radio for that matter), but it's been that way since
the beginning of broadcasting. The fact is that more and more
people turn to AM radio for those pieces of information that
are either very difficult or impossible to get anywhere else.
Looking for a Wi-Fi hot spot so you could get on the Internet
and check the weather and local traffic and can't find one?
Turn on the radio, tune to the local news station on AM and
there it is!
Myth #2 - AM, FM. Same thing! Uh... NO! Not
only are the letters different (D'uh!), but the frequencies
they use are MUCH different. "AM" stands for Amplitude
Modulation and "FM" for Frequency Modulation. The
type of modulation (impressing sounds on a signal so that
its information can be transmitted to a radio listener) is
not important except to note that FM usually requires a lot
more "bandwidth" (similar to the "bandwidth"
used on the Internet) and the FM band has a lot more room
in it than the AM band. What IS important is that Mother Nature
handles the AM band frequencies (530 kHz to 1710 kHz) very
differently than the FM band frequencies (87.7 MHz to 107.9
MHz). While there are plenty of opportunities to do FM DXing
if you know where and when to "look" for them, AM
DXing takes full advantage of Mother Nature's ability to bounce
radio signals broadcasting in the AM band to far off places!
Myth #3 - Nothing good is on the radio anymore.
It's the same old garbage! No way! "New and different"
happens on radio every single day if you'd just take a listen
and especially if you listen for those stations "out
there", beyond your local area. That's where the real
education in what's going on in America happens!
Myth #4 - The Internet has EVERYTHING I could ever
want and need. Ahem. I don't think so! I love to listen
to a particular Canadian station that I can get in my area
after the local station on that frequency signs off for the
evening (they are only a "daytime" broadcaster -
just another example of what you can find out there) and it
would drive my wife crazy that I do this all the time while
we're in the car together. Not so anymore. One night, we heard
an advertisement for an odor elimination product that she
had never heard about before. Curious, we both did a little
research and discovered that it is EXACTLY what she's been
looking for to eliminate a certain odor in our home. She found
out where to purchase it in our area and now... PROBLEM SOLVED!
Myth #5 - I can't do this! ANYONE can do this!
If you are ANYONE, then you can. There is NO EXCUSE! All you
need to do is turn on the power to your AM radio, adjust the
volume and tune away. You can do this even if you're in a
car, so NO EXCUSES!
How Exactly Do I Do This "DXing" Thing?
As an experienced radio enthusiast for over 40 years, I've
got a good "feel" for DXing and can hear things among
the noise and static that most people can't. What you will find,
with a little practice, is that you can also find those stations
that are far away or, as we call it in radio slang, "deep
in the mud". At first, you'll hear just the noise and static
that you would have normally heard without the knowledge that
you are gaining by reading this letter. However, after a few
tries, you will begin to hear music, voices and actual people
Now that we've got you on the golden path to discovery, allow
me to unveil AM DXing's "8 Step Program" that will
get you on track and keep you there as you explore this brave,
new world of long distance listening.
STEP #1 - The better the AM radio, the better
your chances of finding a good "DX" catch! In order
of importance, the best situation would be a portable radio
outside, next is a portable radio inside near a window, next
is a portable radio anywhere, followed by a fixed radio near
a window and finally a fixed radio anywhere you can find it.
The ultimate would be a great radio in a vehicle where you
can move it to the best location!
STEP #2 - Make note of the more powerful and
local stations in your area. Also note where there seems to
be the biggest "gaps" between these strong stations.
This is where you can find radio "GOLD"
on the AM dial! One piece of paper and a pencil to "lay
out" your local radio dial will rival the most powerful
and sophisticated computers on the Internet for this type
STEP #3 - Tune your radio into those "gaps"
and start listening. For example, if you have a strong station
on 770 and another one on 820, you should start listening
for stations at 790 and 800. Why those two only? Because in
most radio designs (except the most expensive radio sets),
you need to leave a cushion of 10 kHz on either side of a
strong station because the chances of hearing anything there
is very, very remote. So, for 770, 760 and 780 would be off
the list to give it that 10 kHz "cushion" on both
sides. However, depending on how strong that station is on
770, you may still be able to pick up stations next to it,
so don't discount those frequencies right away. Check first!
STEP #4 - Don't forget the most important frequencies
for night time listening - the GRAVEYARD frequencies.
Sounds downright GHOULISH, doesn't it? Let me explain. There
are 6 frequencies on the upper part of the AM band dedicated
to low power stations. Many stations go to a lower power setting
after sunset to prevent their stronger radio signals from
interfering with other stations on the same frequency. The
"graveyard" frequencies are LOCAL channel frequencies
used by these stations. On the AM dial, they are 1230, 1240,
1340, 1400, 1450 and 1490 kHz. These are the "officially"
listed frequencies, but my research shows that there are many
more in that range and above. One way to detect this: If you
have NO local stations on a given frequency and can hear what
sounds like a zillion people talking at once and maybe sounding
like a low rumble, you are most likely on a "graveyard"
STEP #5 - Record what you find! This is probably
the MOST IMPORTANT STEP! Don't think your memory will last
that long that you'll remember all of the stations you found.
Use a pad and pencil, laptop, digital recorder, tape recorder
(why not?) or any other recording device you find useful.
If you can, actually record what you are hearing as well.
I try to do that whenever I can using a portable digital recorder.
It doesn't give you high fidelity by any means, but you will
have a recording that you can replay and possibly extract
more of what you missed the first time you heard it. This
is especially important when the station is identifying itself.
Hard to remember where you heard it if you don't know what
station it was!
STEP #6 - DO NOT subject family and
friends to this new "hobby" of yours UNTIL you get
good at it. Most people, until they are trained, will only
hear noise and static and, trust me, YOU WILL GET GRIEF FOR
IT! You must wean them into this S L O W L Y.......
STEP #7 - DO tell all your family and
friends to go to AMDXING.COM! All you need to do is
fill in their email address after you click on this LONG
DISTANCE RECEPTION LINK. Then click SEND and away
STEP #8 - Email me by clicking the link below.
Questions, comments and feedback are most welcome!
ORIGINAL Information Superhighway!
As I mentioned earlier in this letter, that little, portable
transistor radio that so many of us carried around listening
to music and talk, was actually the very FIRST Wi-Fi device
ever invented! Today, we take very much for granted the fact
that computers now can be wireLESS. But, over one hundred years
ago, wireless was very common, not only in this country, but
all over the world. This is a textbook, classic example of the
phrase, "What's old is new again". Radio, from the
very beginning, paved the Information Superhighway and set the
foundation for the concept of "wireless", both then
and now. Remember, that fancy wireless router you bought to
hook up your laptops and other wireless devices to the Internet,
is nothing more than a RADIO TRANSMITTER and RECEIVER. By any
standard, you're looking at 19th Century technology being used
to access a late 20th Century creation. AMAZING!
This is why, as I said at the beginning, that this is a virtually
unlimited resource without precedent. Nowhere else can you get
access to SO MUCH with something as easily available as a portable
radio that, in many cases, runs on ONE battery and a long time
on that battery to boot (no computer pun intended)!
This is truly "The ORIGINAL Information Superhighway",
the one that was created over a century ago for the masses and
is still in use today. Fads may come and go, technology and
new gadgets spring into being and then fade away, but RADIO
will be here for the next 100 years and beyond.
And on that note, I wish
you GOOD LISTENING and GOOD DXING!
DXING - Long Distance Listening !
you have just read is an opportunity, a golden
opportunity, to use this unique information
to better your life, make you more attractive
to others, train your brain to "hear"
what others say isn't there, grow larger plants,
keep your house clean and have a better relationship
with your family and friends. What more can
you ask when you're presented with a unique
learning experience such as this one? I ask
you, what more can you ask? Ah, yes. I hear
you out there thinking and trying to understand
it all. Allow me to suggest a starting point,
my friend. Turn on the radio and LISTEN......
Copyright © 2007-2017
All rights reserved
The statements and examples on this website
are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone
will achieve the same results. Each individual's success
will be determined by his or her desire, dedication, equipment
used, time spent, geographic location, what kind of stations
you are looking for and a bit of luck thrown in for good
measure. There is no guarantee that you will be able to
duplicate the results stated here, but there is a very good
chance you just might enjoy yourself, learn something new
and annoy certain individuals in the process.
THAT worth it?