Horizontal DXer Exploring the CC Skywave SSB and PL-880

Horizontal DXer Exploring the CC Skywave SSB and PL-880

Back in the day when I wrote for Passport To World Band Radio, one of my favorite things to do, while my better half drifted off to sleep, was to clamp on a pair of headphones, lean back against the pillows, and mess around with a Sony 6800W shortwave receiver. I’d call it bedside DXing.

Granted, this radio was not created for scanning the bands. You needed to rotate a dial to select the megahertz segment of the bands you desired. You had to tune a built-in preselector to the right area and then just dial in the frequency with a knob. You think the thing could memorize it all? Fat chance! You had to remember every frequency you used or, at the very least, memorize the portions of the bands you wanted to tune. The only viable memory card was the one on your shoulders.

Still, it was a decent receiver that generated little to no noise, so I was doing my best to program it from half the planet away. I was going to sleep with my headphones on, broadcasting a signal from far away. You will be surprised but it came with certain dangers as well. There was this time I feel asleep listening to an Australian Radio in English to Papua, New Guinea. I woke up to the very same broadcast that was now in Pidgin English. I dis recognize some English words but could not understand the rest. Of course, I panicked myself into believing that some sort of a neurologic even destroyed parts of my brain. Thankfully, the broadcaster announce that it was the news in Pidgin English, from Radio Australia. What a relief indeed! Yes, being a horizontal DXer was not that easy, mind you.

So not that long ago, I decided to take my Grundig Satellit 800 for a spin once again. Of course, most of the big-gun shortwave stations disappeared. Or maybe they weren’t broadcasting in the US any longer. Still, there was enough to listen to, so I found plenty of HF ham bands as well as different shortwave stations out there.

I was delighted by the performance, too. With the PL-880 whip antenna, I was able to hear different distant places, even air traffic controllers directing planes across the ocean!

If you’re like me, looking for some fun, the main forum will help you out with that.

Clare Louise

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