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Sunday, 10 December, 2006

I was invited to join the heavily moderated “DX Listening Digest” mail group. This one is for international radio fans, and although it has changed hosts a few times, has been active since about 1990. That’s pre-web, you know. I’m on the read-only list, but I’ll take it.

My invite came Monday-ish and I was formally approved Wednesday. I heard for years just how busy this group was, but nothing was coming in. Nothing. I’m not going to bother the esteemed retirees with my petty desires so if I’m not in for some reason I’ll live. Then Saturday night comes around. A DX test from Pittsburgh, home of KDKA the first officially licensed station. Radio Belarus is back on the air …

Guys used to go out to the radio shack with one hand on the tuning knobs and one on the logbook. Now, as I have long suspected, they have one hand on the tuning knob and the other on the keyboard. Another kind of one-handed typing. Sixty-four notices of info and interesting catches. We seem to be jamming Cuba again, up to 2000 it wasn’t considered worthwhile, and more on this list than I imagined is not in English.

Sitting in my truck in a parking lot in extreme East Austin with a wide open view to the sky, I decided to touch on 990 to see if Pitts would come in. Nothing. A few afterimages from some stations in Spanish. I mean, the car radio isn’t set up for that but …

I can punch a button and get TV from all over the world. I can just hit a bookmark and pull in “radio” from every continent. I have WRN at my disposal on the Sirius, and plenty more besides. There is still something about those mysterious signals coming through the night. Did you know that the voice on WWVH is the telephone announcement lady?

I think I knew that, but forgot. Why did Hawai’i come to me in Kentucky, but here it is gone?


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