Sunday, January 14, 2018

Perchance, a Time for a Break

From time to time the thought of hanging up the headphones, dismantling the antennas and shelving the radios  has come to mind. I've mused why invest further in the ultimate antenna, the newest state-of-the art receiver, the latest WRTH handbook. In this age of web-radio, social media, poor propagation, dwindling stations, non-responsive broadcasters and know-it-all BCLers, I've found it simply more and more difficult to sustain interest in a hobby I have known since the early 1960s. 

It is by no means the first time this hobby has lost its charm. Back in the 1980s and for nearly 30 years thereafter, radio was merely a flip of the switch and a twist of the dial, in the pursuit of nothing more than news, documentaries and music. There was no desire to DX, no need to QSL for this or that station. My focus by then had shifted entirely to career and family.

When I retired in 2009, I returned to the hobby with newfound interest, new radios, new antennas. Soon the old spark was rekindled. But much had changed. Stations heard in my youth like Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Budapest, Radio Sweden had disappeared. And more long time favorites would gradually fade into the sunset with their antenna masts gleaming their last red glow. Of course, new ones came along too, and kept the flame for DXing and QSLing alight.

Nowadays, I tire very easily. Interest in all things related to radio has begun to wane. Perhaps, it is time I fade away too. Take a hiatus. Tune in only for the ad hoc or special broadcast. Log and blog less frequently. Post the occasional QSL. It is time for a change.

Happy DXing to those who still possess the passion for this hobby. Thank you  and 73.


  1. I want to thank you for the time you've spent sharing your personal DX news through this blog. It was very nice and a valuable source for me since the first time I passed by in 2011.

    Also, congratulations for all the long time you've spent as dxer in both the US and Malaysia. I appreciate very much what old dxers have to tell us on the history of radio, tips, advices, etc.

    I'm dxer since 1995 and am 31 years old now, and as you too, I think it's turning more and more a bit difficult to dx these days, maybe because some technologies are taking advantage around the world when compared with radio. Notwithstanding, I still use a cassette recorder to register what I want from my shortwave receiver and shortwave still means a source of information for me, especially when I’m at home in the country’s countryside.

    In fact, it has been very hard for many Latino dxers such as in my case, living in countries where finding a receiver, a WRTH, Internet, or an IRC coupon has been always difficult. But, here we are, looking for what's new on the radio and there is always what to tune in.

    I do hope you may enjoy this break.

    Best regards,

    Leonardo Santiago

    PD. I heard your letter on WRMI’s “Viva Miami” program where Jeff White said that soon he is going to visit Malaysia for the HFCC conference in Kuala Lumpur. That’s great, I guess, for a Malaysian dxer.

  2. I hope your hiatus will be a short one. I've enjoyed your blog posts since 2014 - when I returned to swl/dxing after a long spell away.

    My story, in fact, is similar to yours in many ways. I was very active in the hobby starting in the mid-1970's. In the 80's that gave way to college, grad school and work. In the 90's I got interested in ham radio, and pursed that until it too gave way to the demands of family life and raising my daughter.

    For better or worse, the landscape of all things radio has changed dramatically over the years. But as long as broadcasters take to the air, swling/dxing will carry on in one form or another :D

  3. I agree with the guys above.

    I read you blog several times a week with great interest and I get quite a lot of inspiration from your it.

    I do hope your hiatus will be short.