This page is dedicated to my hobby of "DXing" off-air TV signals. I began catching distant stations on Long Island in 1994, and by the time I joined the Worldwide TV-FM DX Association in 1999 I had logged about a hundred TV stations from neighboring cities and even from halfway across the country. Beside television there was also interest in AM BCB ("Broadcast Band", ordinary AM Radio) and numbers stations on shortwave, but these were always secondary and they ultimately fizzled out.
I moved to Florida and continued DXing in Fort Myers until 2008. I decided not to pursue DXing into the digital age, and was inactive for four years. I eventually returned to DXing, with a focus on the new digital TV stations, at the end of the 2012 season.
My current QTH is my second in Fort Myers, FL. New analog catches will be added to the 2008 total as if I never stopped DXing. No digitals were logged before 2012 so those totals started from zero.
There were four QTHs I monitored from before 2008. Cape Coral, FL was brief and credited to Fort Myers.
All records were set with analog TV stations (except where noted).
All-Time DX / Longest E-Skip: KLNE 3 Lexington, NE (1,386 mi. from Patchogue)
Shortest E-Skip: XHY 2 Mérida, Mexico (625 mi. from Fort Myers)
Longest Tropo (analog): WTAT 24 Charleston, SC (654 mi. from Patchogue)
Longest Tropo (digital): WCJB 16 Gainesville, FL (207 mi. from Fort Myers)
Longest Low-Power: W45BG 45 Virginia Beach, VA (324 mi. from Patchogue)
QTH and radius: Any catch made within Lee County, except Gasparilla Island, may be counted as if I saw it at home (this corresponds to a rough 35 km radius). Stations within this area or less than 15 km from it cannot count toward statistics regardless of normal reception at my QTH.
IDing a station: Decoding the PSIP of a digital station counts as an ID if call letters are included. If PSIP isn't helpful, the following may also be used to verify a station: visual ID, local newscasts or commercials, area codes in phone numbers, website promos, network name or station nickname that exists for only one station on given channel (such as PBS's "OETA," "AETN," or "CPTV"). If these clues make me confident that I have IDed the station, I'll log it as a premiere (p). Less certain IDs may be counted as tentative (t).
DX or local: Any station that provides a reliable, usable signal at my QTH is a local. A station that provides a detectable signal under typical reception conditions is a semi-local. Anything else is, by definition, DX. Targets that share a channel with a local or semi-local may be difficult to lock onto.
Log Classifications: "unID" = Station could not be identified with any certainty. Tentative (t) = Probably identified. These catches do not count toward totals or break records. Premiere (p) = IDed beyond reasonable doubt at least once.
Here is my story as it appeared in the January 2001 VHF-UHF Digest:
When my family moved back to Long Island from Florida in 1991, I was only 9 and didn't notice the major switch in TV market areas. Upon Subsequent visits to my family down south, I wanted to bring home the local Florida TV Guide. I don't know where my sudden interests in TV Guides came from, I just liked comparing their NBC affiliate to my own (WNBC). It wasn't long before I had memorized the channels in the New York Metro edition (now discontinued). Back then, we didn't have cable, just the antenna that came with the house. Late one afternoon (winter of 1993?) I was watching TV when I realized that there were local stations I had never watched; I decided to check out the IDs of WNYE-25 and WNYC-31 (now WPXN) at the next commercial break -- my life of channel-surfing rebellion had begun.
Now checking out all the channels, I discovered that WNJN-50 would sometimes come in, and other times not. I found this to happen on many channels listed in my TV Guide, but that didn't come in regularly. I had discovered tropo, my first out-of-market discoveries were Philadelphia and Scranton.
One day I was getting a PBS station on channel 15 that I couldn't ID, this is the first time I recall going crazy about an unID; another opening developed and I IDed it as WHRO - Hampton Roads; I didn't know I could get signals as far as Virginia, so I thought it was from the Long Island Hamptons. Once I discovered it was Virginia, other openings developed and I DXed many other stations from Maryland and Virginia; it was at this time my dad suggested that the stations were actually low-power stations from NYC, I didn't believe him. My first loggings were from the summer of 1995, when I was still discovering Virginia.
If I was shocked when I discovered 300+ mile tropo, imagine my surprise when I discovered E-skip! I was watching something on channel 2 one night, another station was ghosting in the background; I hoped it would show its logo or something; well, I didn't end up frantically running to get my station listings just for the exercise! I had IDed WESH, and after looking up all the usual suspects (the northeastern states) I finally looked up Orlando, FL. After the doctors revived me, I had my first all-time distance record. KMTV and WLBT soon became common E-skip catches. I called DXing, "improved reception" (or "IR") and was becoming more interested in it each summer.
For my 14th birthday, I asked for a new antenna that would be larger than the current one. I received the RS VU-110XR, and with my birthday money I bought a rotator. After my 15th birthday I was liberated from my parents TVs (which I weren't allowed to 'damage' by watching weak signals) and got my own; this was followed by my own VCR the following Christmas. After I recognized DXing as a hobby, I knew there had to be others out there who did this. It wasn't until early 1999 that I went online in search of other DXers (it was then that I learned it was called "DXing"), and quickly found the WTFDA. I joined as soon as I got my sample issue. Shortly after I began keeping continuous logs and totals. Now I stand (or sit) here a better DXer who has also gotten hooked on other radio hobbies all due to that TV Guide I so longed for. 73s