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 a few years
later after a long illness. After Sig's passing, the meetings
moved to the Clove Lakes 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
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 of 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
Today, it can be heard on the 147.360 mhz (PL 107.2) repeater in NYC every Wednesday night at 9:00 pm.
In 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 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 has an E-Mail address (email@example.com) and
an E-Mail list for sending out the newsletter or any other
late breaking radio news. 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
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