Arthur de Maine

From the February 2012 DX Times:

Kakanui man Arthur De Maine is one of a dying breed of DXers. Last year he was awarded a lifetime membership in the DX League at the club’s 2011 annual general meeting.

DXing is the hobby of tuning in and identifying distant radio or television signals, or making two way radio contact with distant stations in amateur radio, citizens’ band radio (CB) or other two way radio communications.

Mr De Maine, now aged 65, got into the hobby back in 1977. He was working on the railways and several of his colleagues got him interested in CB and DXing. He joined the DX League in 1978 and became a publisher for the DX Times magazine after he moved to Wellington. In 1987 he became chief editor of the publication and retained the position for more than 11 years.

Mr De Maine moved to Kakanui in 2003 and got involved in the North Otago branch of  the DX League. “It (the lifetime membership) came out of the blue,” he said. “I’m certainly quite honoured to be recognised by other people for the work I’ve done.”

Mr De Maine said DXing has become much more difficult over the years due to increased atmospheric noise levels generated by electronic devices such as washing machines and television screens. The invention of the internet has also hurt the hobbies membership. “The younger people aren’t interested, they have the internet and computers,” he said. The club had between 400 and 500 members in the late 80s but now it is down to 200  members.

Mr De Maine said the club sometimes organises trips to remote locations like Tiwai, where there is less noise interference and the DXers can hone in on far-off radio signals more accurately.He recalls one such expedition in 1983 where the group was able to pick up the signal of Radio Fax, a pirate radio station in the United Kingdom. Mr De Maine said this was especially surprising since Radio Fax was broadcast at a very low signal strength, compared to other stations.

He wanted to thank his fellow members for their support and hope to keep on doing DX for as long as possible.

There are now three life members of the league living in North Otago including Mr De Maine, Peter Grenfell and Paul Ormandy