DX Dharma

Mike Brooker's DX Page

Mike Brooker's DX Dharma Welcome to my DX Dharma page.  Following a couple paragraphs of self-promotion, you will find some links to general DX-related sites, DX clubs, other DXers' web pages, some of my favourite AM and FM stations, and major international shortwave broadcasters. I've been involved in DXing for some 25 years.  I'm also into collecting radio promotional items: bumper stickers, window stickers, key chains, survey charts, etc.- anything with a radio station logo or call letters printed on it is fair game for my collection.  Back in the 1970s and 80s I also used to be an avid QSL chaser.  QSL's are verification cards or letters that broadcasters send to confirm reception reports of their signals.  But increasing postage rates and poor return rates have curbed my QSL appetite.  My main DX interest is the 530-1700 kHz medium wave broadcast band (i.e. "AM").  I also listen to some of the major international shortwave broadcasters, although my SW DXing is mostly limited to the unlicensed pirate broadcasters on frequencies such as 6955 kHz.  I haven't kept detailed shortwave DX totals, but have heard at least 120 countries on SW.  On medium wave, from my Toronto location I have heard almost 1200 stations in all 10 provinces, 40 states, and 23 countries, and received QSL's from over 600 of these.  I've also been keeping a MW DX log from the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, and even attempted some DXing during my visit to India in 1995.

View my Indian DX logbook here.  I've also got a "Bharat Yatra" page of photos of my India visit, Indian travel links, etc.

My receiving equipment consists of two Panasonic portables: an RFB-45, which I am tuning in the above photo, and a 1978 vintage RF-2200 (still an excellent MW DX machine).  Both were purchased in New York, at discount electronic/photo shops in midtown Manhattan, owned by Hassidic Jews.

For the newbie, "DXing" is tuning in distant or hard-to-hear radio and television stations, whether on the broadcast bands (AM, FM, shortwave, longwave) or on the utility bands (aircraft, military, police, and other broadcasts not intended for the general public).  It's not the same thing as amateur or ham radio, as it doesn't require a licence or involve on-air transmission, although some DXers (though not me) are licensed amateur radio operators or DX the amateur radio bands.  Dharma is right conduct, righteousness, or devotion according to the practice of Yoga and the Hindu or Buddhist scriptures.  It's not a word you are likely to hear on any shortwave broadcaster, except perhaps All India Radio.  Anyone who has spent some time listening to shortwave soon finds that the loudest, most obnoxious voices on the SW spectrum are the high-powered Christian broadcasters such as HCJB, TransWorld Radio, World Harvest Radio, etc.  Christianity -- particularly the born-again, fundamentalist, right-wing brand of Protestantism and the "family values", homophobia and racism that often go hand in hand with it -- seems to have a virtual stranglehold on the SW bands.  I would like to nuke all the shortwave Bible-blasters, Gandhi's teachings of ahimsa (non-violence) notwithstanding.  My dream is to be able to listen to a shortwave broadcaster that advances my spiritual growth.  But I'm not going to hold my breath doing pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) waiting for "The Voice of Dharma" to broadcast yoga classes, Sanskrit chanting, etc. on shortwave.  However, for devotees of Tibetan Buddhism there's the Voice of Tibet, the voice of the 40-year struggle to free Tibet from Chinese rule and establish a Buddhist theocracy under the Dalai Lama.

Learn the basics of my adopted spiritual path, courtesy of the BBC World Service.

Radio has been a part of me for almost as long as I can remember.  As a single-digit age child I used to collect CHUM charts and listen to Bob McAdorey, Jungle Jay Nelson and Brian Skinner on 1050.  I discovered DXing around grade 8, when I received a portable AM/FM/SW radio as a Bar Mitzvah gift and started listening to out-of-town hockey and baseball games on the 50 kw blowtorches such as KMOX, WBZ, WABC, WJR, etc.  My musical interests range from Oldies to New Age to Sanskrit bhajans (Hindu devotional songs) and mantra chants.  I stopped listening to CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio, i.e. Top 40 rock) years ago.  So while I give my parents the gears for being out of touch with contemporary music and still being stuck in the Tommy Dorsey/Benny Goodman era, I wouldn't be able to recognize a lot of songs written after 1989!

QSL Album

Here is a sampling of my MW and SW QSL card collection, from the 70s and early 80s.  Click on the thumbnails to view the full-size card.  After viewing the full-size image, click the "back" button on your browser to return to this page.

1.    2.    3.   4.   5.    6. 

7.     8.     9.     10.     11.     12. 

1. KFI (640 kHz) Los Angeles, CA        2. KSL (1160 kHz) Salt Lake City, UT
3. WHAS (840 kHz) Louisville, KY - special QSL promoting 1976 National Radio Club convention.
4. Westdeutscher Rundfunk (1586 kHz) Langenberg, Germany - my first trans-Atlantic DX catch.
5. CBNM (740 kHz) St. John's, NF       6. WPTR (1540 kHz) Albany, NY
7. XEMO (860 kHz) Tijuana, Mexico     8. CJGX (940 kHz) Yorkton, SK
9. WDOV (1410 kHz) Dover, DE          10. WCFL (1000 kHz) Chicago, IL
11. KWMT (540 kHz) Fort Dodge, IA  12. WHBC (1480 kHz) Canton, OH

1.     2.     3.     4.     5. 

1. France-Région 3, Tahiti (15170 kHz)    2. La Voix de la Révolution, Benin (4870 kHz)
3. Radiodiffusion nationale du Mali (7110 kHz)    4. CKFX, Vancouver, BC (6080 kHz)
5. Polskie Radio (15120 kHz)

1.     2.     3.

1. "KPRC", Pirate Radio Central (1616 kHz)    2. Zeppelin Radio Worldwide (7425 kHz)
3. "WREC", Radio Free East Coast (6955 kHz)

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General DX-related resources, basic information, where to buy shortwave receivers, radio formats, etc.

DXing.com: The Web resource for radio hobbyists  Lots of basic information and good links.  Recommended for newbies.

The Shortwave City  Shortwave DX news and links.

The DX Zone  Over 2000 DX-related links.

TDP - Transmitter Documentation Project  A Belgian-based site with many good SW links.

Shortwave receiver shopping list from Radio Netherlands

Radio HF Internet Newsletter  A monthly newsletter compiled by CIDX president (and Howard Stern fan) Sheldon Harvey.  Contains links to DX-related sites and promos for Radio HF, the radio equipment and accessories shop that Sheldon runs from his home in the Montreal suburb of Greenfield Park.  Archived editions are available online, or you can receive this newsletter delivered free to your e-mailbox by e-mailing ve2shw@yahoo.com

Shortwave Listeners QSL Card Museum  View QSL cards from SW broadcasters worldwide.  Welcomes input from QSL collectors, if you have a rare verification that's not illustrated on their site.  Don't throw out your collection of old QSLs.  Donate them to the Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications and your veries can live on after you pass on!

QSL Information Pages  MW and SW QSL information for broadcasters in over 100 countries.

Radioworld Inc. in Toronto is "Canada's first radio super store", with the largest selection of amateur radio, shortwave, scanner, marine and CB stuff in the Great White North.

Universal Radio Inc.  Shortwave radio supplier based in Reynoldsburg, OH.  They even have a page for cat lovers.

Grove Enterprises  Sells radios, scanners, etc. from Brasstown, NC.  Also publishes Monitoring Times magazine.

English-language shortwave broadcasts to North America

Glenn Hauser's World of Radio

DXing with Cumbre A weekly DX program, broadcast on World Harvest Radio (another shortwave Bible-thumper).

Communications World The Voice of America's DX/communications show.

Free Radio Network  News and information on unlicensed ("Pirate" or "Bootleg") broadcasters.

Bry's Pirate Radio Station contains many links to European and North American bootleg broadcasters.

Clandestine Radio Watch  and ClandestineRadio.com provide news and information about clandestine broadcasters. Clandestines are unlicensed broadcasters advancing some kind of political cause, while pirates broadcast just for the hell of it.

Radio 4 All  Links to alternative, free, and pirate broadcasters.

SPEEDX (Society to Preserve the Engrossing Enjoyment of DXing) A now-defunct DX club, preserved on the Web.

Literature of Shortwave Radio  Books for DXers.

Collins R390A  Site devoted to this classic "boat anchor" shortwave receiver.

TIS Digest  News and information on TIS (travellers information stations) and HAR (highway advisory radio).

South Pacific DX Resource  Information and links for DXers in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

South Asia Radio Guide  Compiled by Alok Das Gupta in Calcutta.

Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC.  Regulating the U.S. broadcast industry since 1934.

Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Broadcasting page.  The CRTC's tentacles extend into virtually every facet of Canada's broadcast industry: regulation of formats (and outright prohibition of certain formats), Canadian content regulations requiring 30% or more of music to be by Canadian artists and/or recorded in Canada (extending the careers of many mediocre Canadian artists), and even a ham-fisted attempt to police the Internet, before coming to their senses in May 1999 and recognizing that Canada's existing kiddie porn and hate laws are adequate and government censorship of the Net is impossible.  What do I think of the CRTC?  What does a fire hydrant think of dogs?  What did General Custer think of Indians?

Canadian Broadcast Directory

The Toronto Radio Database

Archive of Rock Radio  Where legendary Top 40 rock radio has gone to live.  Another fun site for Top 40 buffs, where you can listen to airchecks of famous Top 40 jocks, is the Reel Top 40 Radio Repository

The Broadcast Archive  Radio history on the Web.  Learn about Canadian radio history at the Canadian Communications Foundation's History of Canadian Broadcasting site.

North East Radio Watch  News about AM and FM broadcasters in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

Former Canadian AM Stations  Information on Canadian AM stations that have left the air since 1980.

Patepluma Radio  Resources and information on Latin American radio. Patepluma means "feather feet" in Spanish.

Hard-Core DX  An e-mail listserv and other resources for hard-core DXers, based in Finland.

The Radio Directory  Over 6000 links.  Intended for professional broadcasters, but useful for radio hobbyists as well.

Duncan's American Radio  Information by and for the U.S. radio broadcast industry.

TVRadioWorld  Information directory of radio and television broadcasters worldwide.

TVandradiojobs.com  Visit this site if you're looking for a job in broadcasting, or if you're a broadcaster seeking to hire a DJ.  You can post a Real Audio aircheck along with your résumé.

Interval Signals Online  Listen to the interval signals and station ID announcements of shortwave broadcasters.  This site also includes MIDI versions of national anthems (frequently played at sign-on and sign-off).  For more interval signals and IDs, including an archive of now-defunct broadacsters, visit Intervalsignals.com

MIT List of Radio Stations on the Internet  Links to over 7500 stations, compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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DX Clubs:

Ontario DX Association  This was the first DX club that I joined, back in 1976.  I served for several years as ODXA's medium wave editor, but resigned from ODXA more than a decade ago after ODXA's founder and then-Chairman eliminated my column.  To make a long story short, I quit ODXA for philosophical reasons and have no desire to re-join.

Canadian International DX Club  Covers everything (AM, FM, SW, utilities, etc.).  I also used to edit a column for CIDX, but quit editing to devote more time to my yoga practice.  I'm still a CIDX member.  CIDX has a chat room and message board on Yahoo.

North American Shortwave Association (NASWA)  North America's oldest shortwave broadcast-only radio club.

Worldwide TV-FM DX Association (WTFDA) For FM, VHF and UHF DXers.

Longwave Club of America  Covers the world of radio below 500 kHz.

There are two clubs devoted entirely to DXing on the 530-1700 kHz AM broadcast band: International Radio Club of America and the National Radio Club.  NRC, founded in 1933, is the better of the two.  Mainly because I'm a member :-)

DX-MidAMerica For AM DXers, mainly in the U.S. Midwest.

Australian Radio DX Club

AMANDX  Association of Manitoba DXers.

Universal DX League  India's only active DX club.

BLANDX is a parody of DX bulletins, loosely based on NASWA's former publication "FRENDX".

Association of North American Radio Clubs (ANARC) serves as an umbrella organization for DX clubs in North America.  ANARC used to host an annual convention, which was an opportunity to schmooze with fellow DXers and broadcasters, and to dine on loaves and fishes at the convention banquet (prepared especially for the benefit of certain members of ODXA).  The European DX Council (EDXC) is ANARC's European counterpart.

The Winter SWL Festival (March 9-10, 2001) is an annual event in Kulpsville, PA - just north of Philadelphia and only a few minutes from the Sumneytown Yoga Center (the site of Yogi Amrit Desai's original Kripalu Ashram).

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Other DXers' Web sites:
These sites were created by other DXers and radio fans like me:

Mizar's Radio Page William ("Mizar") Demmery, Ottawa, ON

Dave Whatmough Hamilton, ON

Werner Funkenhauser Guelph, ON

Bill Dulmage Cobourg, ON

Lee Freshwater  Ocala, FL

Tim Noonan  Madison, WI

Robert Kramer  Chicago, IL

David Sharp  Tampa, FL

Robert Wien  San Jose, CA

Mark Connelly  Billerica, MA

Jeff Miller New Port Richey, FL

Tim Hall Chula Vista, CA

Michael Shaw  Beverley, MA

Chris Mackerell  Wellington, New Zealand

Kaj Larsson  Stockholm, Sweden

Herman Boel  Aalst, Belgium

Liz Cameron  Detroit, MI (yes, there are female DXers!!)

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Some of my favourite AM and FM broadcasters:

KMOX (1120 kHz), the voice of the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals, was one of the first stations I discovered when I began DXing.  I still have fond memories of the late Dan Kelly broadcasting Blues hockey games and listening to Lou Brock break Ty Cobb's career stolen base record in 1977.  Unfortunately, KMOX is no longer the Blues' flagship in 2000-01.  But it's no great loss, as most of my hockey listening is now done via Real Audio on NHL.com.

WCBS (880 kHz)  All news, all the time, from New York City.

Mix97 (97.1 MHz) Belleville, ON.  My cool cousin, Lorne Brooker, works in Mix97's Promotions Department.

CHUM (1050 kHz), once Toronto's Top40 blowtorch, now all-oldies and the Blue Jays radio flagship.  In what can only be considered a desperation move, in January 2001 CHUM announced that they would go all-sports as "The Team 1050".

Fan590 (590 kHz), Toronto's all-sports radio (about to have some competition from CHUM), is a direct descendant of Foster Hewitt's CKFH, formerly on 1430 kHz.  For many years they were the flagship station of the Blue Jays and Leafs.  Now they are the  Toronto Raptors and Argonauts flagship, and broadcast various other sports, from ESPN Sunday night baseball to Triple Crown horse races.

Talk 640 (640 kHz), the flagship of the Maple Leafs, is a direct descendant of CFGM, formerly a C&W format on 1310 and 1320 kHz.  Call letters, which they actually use once in a while, are CFYI.  They used to be CHOG - a remnant of their short-lived "The Hog" ("Maximum Grunt") shock-radio format.  In a bad case of "format karma", they are rumoured to be considering a return to C&W.

CKLN broadcasts from Toronto's Ryerson Polytechnic University "at the far left of the dial", not only because of the frequency (88.1 MHz) but because of its radical left-wing slant on just about everything.  Listen to unrepentantly pro-Marxist dogma and apologists for Stalinist thugs without having to move to Havana or Pyongyang.  The University of Toronto campus station CIUT (89.5 MHz) is also heavy on the "progressive" (i.e. left-wing) rhetoric.  Despite CIUT's frequent ranting against globalization, note the .fm in their URL -- they've got a site h