The big ‘secret’ to successful DXing

jim-w6lgJim Heath, W6LG, has launched a new video series about the art of DXing. He should know about the subject — he’s been working DX on 20-meters with great success for over 50 years.

“It doesn’t take a huge station to work DX, and it doesn’t take a lot of money,” Heath says. “You can have a lot of fun with a very modest station.”

He says that one key to success is not getting caught up following the crowd. “The skill is not getting onto a DX net and putting your call sign in and waiting for your turn to work a guy in Japan. That’s not working DX — that’s being spoon-fed DX,” he says. “If you’re new to DXing, go for the easy countries: the guys who are calling CQ.”

Most people who have real success working DX do a lot more listening than talking. “A DXer listens, listens, and listens some more and learns about propagation and knows when the band is going to open to certain parts of the world,” he says.


Hans, SM5BUS

“A good example of a guy who has a tremendous signal out of Scandinavia day after day is SM5BUS,” Heath says. “If you’ve tuned 20-meters, you’ve more than likely heard him. He knows propagation really well. He’s learned over the years when the band is open and he listens a lot.”
chimney-two-element-yagi“While you might think because this guy is the only thing you can hear out of Scandinavia, that he has an antenna at 100 feet and 1,500 watts behind it. It’s not true,” Heath says. “He’s got a two-element Yagi attached to his chimney 10 meters above ground, but he knows when propagation is good. He’s there to work the propagation, to work the band opening. He does it over and over again and that’s been true for decades.”

If you want to learn more secrets of DXing, watch Jim’s first video below and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Matt Thomas, W1MST, is the managing editor of Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “The big ‘secret’ to successful DXing”

  • Russ kg5kic:

    New to ham radio and really enjoyed your video. I try to work when propagation is right. I do try to keep written information but it ends up as sheets or paper with callsigns and frequencies and not too organized. I farm so sometimes I do not have the time to get on at the right time. I really enjoy just running the band and listening. Still developing a station so I guess getting dx will come with time.


  • Tim WA4ZZ:

    Good video…No towers at my QTH, all wires in the trees and still have fun. Now if I can just get my CW up to standards …

  • Chris HA7WX:

    How true. Best fun I have had is listening around, wait for a DX to finish their contact and call (for ex. > Canada at 20W, vertical antenna, 17m), or while turning my VFO just stumbled across that DX just starting his calls and had that QSO (another ex. > Panama at 100W, inverted V, 20m). Chris

  • DEBARGE FE2107:

    73 cher OM ,
    Je suis SWL depuis 50 ans et pour moi la meilleure façon de détecter le dx
    est de me servir d’une très bonne antenne verticale et après avoir relevé le pays CQ DX , je passe sur la dipôle horizontale directionnelle et je relève des QRK de 9+10 ou +20 dans la plupart des écoutes . Si j’étais émetteur je procéderais de la même manière car la plus simple à mettre en pratique .
    Merci de m’avoir lu et bons DX pour vous tous.

  • Chris DU3/F4EBK:


    FE2107 à raison, c’est pour celà qu’il m’à entendu quand j’étais en OC 042. Merci René pour votre QSL. J’espère que vous avez reçu la mienne en retour. 73


Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: