The New York DX Association Shortwave & Scanner
Listeners Net is the latest incarnation of the NYDXA Radio Club that
was started in February 1984. At that time, the President was Charles
Hargrove and the Secretary was Gregory Baker (Greg came up with the
initial idea but insisted that somebody else be President).
The club met in Greg's apartment on Ft. Hamilton Pkwy near 41st Street
in Brooklyn, NY until Greg and his wife Sharon moved to Washington
DC due to Greg taking a position with the Internal Revenue Service
in 1986. The meetings then moved to the home of Sig Hoffman. Sig was
a radioman on a Merchant Marine vessel during World War II. Even though
his grasp of radio and CW was strong, Sig never became a ham radio
operator. Instead, he was satisfied to spend his retirement years
sitting in his easy chair, in Flushing, and listening to shortwave
broadcasts and utility stations on his Sony 2010 radio. Sadly, Sig
passed away about 8 years ago after a long illness. After Sig's passing,
the meetings moved to the Clove Lake Nursing Home on Staten Island,
but many did not want to trek so far from the Bronx and Long Island.
Since another site could not be found, the club dwindled to a handful
that met informally.
The name NYDXA continued to live on in the hopes that it would once
again be a vibrant organization. During the early years, the club
received numerous letters from SWLers from all over the world and
was publicized in other hobby publications and on the DXers phone
mail system sponsored by Andrew O'Brien of Beltsville, MD. Since the
basic theme of the club was to help those who lived in cities learn
to enjoy the hobby, the name of the newsletter was "The Urban
DXer". The newsletter was produced on an old portable Smith-Corona
manual typewriter by Charles Hargrove. The newsletter was typed on
8 1/2" x 11" paper in the landscape mode and folded in half
to look like a miniature magazine (I still have the original "boards"
somewhere). Articles covered equipment reviews, broadcast schedules,
tips, antenna articles (I'll post the plans for the "Perverted
Vee Antenna" sometime), photocopied advertisements for new rigs,
editorials (like Greg's "Beyond the Aether") and other related
articles of interest (like the NY Times article on UTC and WWV). Many
who wrote in asked for sample copies of the newsletter/magazine.
Unfortunately, many did not join the club and funds for publication
dwindled quickly. Within the first year of publication it ceased.
Now we jump to 1992. In the spring of 1991, the FCC announced the
opening of the No-Code Technician class of Ham Radio license. After
taking the exam and being issued the call of N2NOV, Charles hoped
to find a way to contact others who had a similar interest in discussing
the wide ranging parts of the radio hobby. It all came together on
the night of March 21, 1992. That night was cold and wet. With snow
starting to fall outside, a group of hams met on a local repeater
to chat. Suddenly, another ham jumped on frequency to let the others
know that USAir flight 550 had just fallen off of the runway at New
York's La Guardia airport. Questions were raised as to what frequencies
would be good to listen to. Lists were passed back and forth; much
was heard that night between NYPD, FDNY, EMS, Port Authority, airport
ground operations and tower, news crews and others. The following
Monday night, the same group of hams were on the air and the idea
came up to start a regular net that discussed various things that
would help others in listening to their scanners and shortwave radios.
Thus was born the NYDXA Net! After gathering quite a following, the
net flourished until that ominous Monday, January 17, 1994. It was
then that jamming and intentional shutting down of the repeater started
occurring. After trying to deal with it for two months, the Net moved
to another repeater on the Net's second anniversary. That night the
Net had over 60 people checking in to pass information and to listen
in. The Net lasted for almost two hours. This went along for a short
time until the jammers moved over there and started up again. Just
seven months after moving, the Net moved again in November of 1994.
After the same problems popped up once again, the Net made the move
to its present location in June of 1996.
Today, the Net can be heard on the 147.000 repeater (-600 / PL 136.5)
in NYC every Wednesday night at 8PM.
In the February of 1997, "The Urban DXer" once again was
in circulation, this time via Internet E-mail! Ironically, just as
the net was created "by chance", the newsletter was the
inspiration of Bob Kozlarek, WA2SQQ, created to try and keep the group
together during periods of heavy intentional jamming. The newsletter
now contains full color pictures for those who have the Adobe Acrobat
v3.0 Reader program. The idea for using Acrobat came from WA2SQQ,
a strong supporter of the Net who does a lot to help it along. Bob's
background dating back to 1963 includes his own radio career that
started in AM BCB DXing. There are many who have helped with the various
stages of evolution along the way. We are eternally grateful to them
and the many who participate on the weekly Net. These, our most valued
contributors, are those of you who check in each week to share the
rare DX and newly discovered scanner frequencies. This is the essence
of what makes the net the success it is. I am sure there are many
times more the number who just listen as there are who get on the
air each week.
The Net also sponsors a Packet Radio/land line computer BBS system.
The phone number is (718)876-7928 and the ham packet (N2NOV-6) frequency
is 145.770 MHZ. Users enter their ham call sign (non-hams use first
initial and last name - jsmith) and any password will do until one
is setup by the user. It has taken over a decade, but the New York
DX Association is once again alive and well. Thank you to all who
helped along the way.
73's and good DXing.
N2NOV - Charlie
WA2SQQ - Bob