The Skywaves groups cater for the hobby of long-distance radio and television reception. We also cover many other types of digital and analogue broadcasting.
“Skywaves” began in 1995 as the monthly bulletin of the British FM & TV Circle. We started with only a small handful of members, but membership quickly grew and today the membership has grown far beyond our expectations with almost 800 members spread across the groups! Skywaves members come from all corners of the world. We are proud that the names “Skywaves” and the “British FM & TV Circle” have come to be known and respected globally.
We have earned a reputation of being a friendly group with a membership who have a willingness to help others. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced radio operator or are just starting out in the hobby and want some advice, everybody is welcome!
You can join either (or both) of our Yahoo Groups. There’s one for FM and TV DX and one for medium wave DX. Click on either of these links or go to the Yahoo buttons at the top of the right margin.
We also cover a variety of other topics such as satellite TV and radio, digital broadcasting (DAB and DTT) reception, scanning, offsets, tropical bands, etc. As long as it’s relevant to DXing you can post anything you like. Member’s posts may include their latest reception news, details of their receivers and arials, propagation conditions and much more.
Membership used to be through a subscription to our Skywaves magazine, but over the years this was used less and less and so the Yahoo Groups and Skywaves Chat facilities have gradually taken over, reducing the need for the magazine.
So what is DXing?
“DX” means “distance” and in our case involves the reception of radio and TV stations over large distances. It involves the skills of operating sometimes complex receiving equipment and specialist aerial systems for the purpose of extracting distant broadcast signals. It is about hearing radio stations well beyond their usual coverage areas. But as our members know, the use of simple domestic equipment is often more than enough to enable you to hear exotic DX *if* you know when and where to listen.
What’s the point?
People often ask “what is the point of this unusual hobby?” It is a difficult question to answer. It is also a hobby some people may not be familiar with and therefore it will not immediately be easy to understand the buzz we get out of it. Most people probably have a hobby of one sort or another, but to actually describe the fun you get out of it is very difficult. Some have compared the radio hobby to fishing since you are trying to catch something.
It’s often a very sociable hobby too as DX trips are often organised between members, particularly in the warmer summer months when members find the trips can be very relaxing and rewarding, very much like fishing. Such trips enable members to erect huge antenna systems which would typically not be possible from home.
Our members would probably argue that we have one of the most fulfilling hobbies anybody could have. We believe many people may be interested without actually realising it too. Have you ever tuned up and down the radio to try and find a more interesting station to listen to? Or have you ever scanned through the TV channels only to discover new stations and maybe wonder what they were? To a large degree this is very much what our hobby is about – searching out distant stations and listening to them, or collecting loggings or recordings of the stations received and then moving on to the next, trying to break distance records or hear new countries.
Skywaves Chat Room
For exchanging up-to-the-minute DX news and reports you can join our chatroom which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week! All you have to do is download and isntall the Skype platform on your computer. Visit www.skype.com and grabe the latest version. Once installed search for user “skywavesdx” and send a join request. More information here.
John Faulkner, Skywaves Administrator