(By “Electra.”)

From the Christchurch Press, Volume LXI, Issue 18419, 27 June 1925, Page 6

How many times have you been informed by owners of radio sets that on a certain night they picked up some American broadcasting station such as KPO, KDKA, or some other station situated in the eastern portion of U.S.A., and that the reception was “real good?” It is becoming quite a common thing now to hear numerous radio set owners claiming DX records, but from what I can see of it, it is not such a common thing to be able to actually hear these distant stations when one pays a visit to the receiving set in question. Time upon time I have been invited to come out and hear how the DX calls come in on certain sets and when I have been told that I will be able to hear certain American broadcasting stations on the loud speaker, I have certainly accepted the invitation. But never yet have I heard any American station on a loud talker, and so far as I am concerned, it is usually an evening wasted. I do not wish to imply that it is impossible to hear an American broadcasting station distinctly through a loud speaker, but that more than half the DX records claimed are never confirmed by the transmitting station and, what is more, they never will be.

Only the other week, a radio-owner informed me that he had heard well known U.S.A. broadcasting stations quite well, using only two valves. Being particularly interested in this station, I requested him to give me the names of some of the items heard, and it then came out that no distinguishable speech had been heard. The question was then naturally put, as to how he knew it to be the station he claimed to have heard, when the announcer’s speech was not audible. I was coolly informed that one did not have to hear the announcements to know the location of the station. The time of transmission and wave-length tallied “exactly” with the above station.

Imaginary DX Work.

I think this is absolutely “bunk,” and yet I know for a fact that this sort of thing is going on every day. Australian papers and magazines are full of imaginary DX work. In the case cited above, the claimant had no means whatever of checking up the wavelength of the carrier-wave received. No one should claim to have received such and such a station unless he has received from the said station confirmation of his reception report, or, better still, have one or two witnesses of the reception.

These exaggerations make a number of owners become discontented with their own sets, and they commence to pull them to pieces to try to improve matters. My advice to anyone who is thinking of doing this, because someone has told him that on a set using the same number of valves he logs three or four American stations every evening, is to go to that person’s place and hear for oneself. If all his claims are true, then by all means get busy and improve your set.

Few Exceptions.

Some persons, I will admit, get exceptionally good results from one and two-valve sets using head phones only, but as for DX reception on broadcasting stations through, a loud talker, I have yet to see this done. When I say satisfactory reception, I mean that every word spoken by announcer and artists can be heard quite distinctly at least four feet from the loud talker, and I make no allowance for static. If space would permit I could cite numerous cases where these wild claims have been disproved, and in the majority of instances it has been shown that it was carrier-wave reception only, with a bit of unintelligible speech or music thrown in here and there, which was received.