Other Radio Hobbies
When Harry Helms first told me about his concept for DXing.com I had one of those "why didn't I think of that" experiences. Harry's idea was to produce a "magazine format" web site for radio hobbyists. The immediacy of the web versus printed media being perhaps being the greatest advantage. Real Audio also had obvious possibilities. And finally came the issue of cost. Publishing and distributing on the web is orders of magnitude cheaper than in the print media. Despite these differences there are some common challenges. Whether in print or on the web, you must decide what to offer your readers and figure a way to make it pay.
What to offer. I decide to start by keeping everything Harry had. I updated all the reference features. I was also pleased and relieved to retain Glenn Hauser's Shortwave/DX Report, Glenn Hauser's Continent of Media in Real Audio and Don Schimmel's Radio Intrigue. We will happily be continuing these features and archiving them for your future reference.
What to add. I have a vision of DXing.com being both a magazine and a reference. Initially the reference material will be geared towards the beginner. This will change as time goes on. Joe Carr's Tech Notes were added to address the most often asked questions we get here at Universal Radio.
Shortwave receivers is a subject very dear to my heart and I wanted to do something special for this topic. Two new reference features have been added to accomplish this. Modern Shortwave Receiver Survey is a new section that provides: photos, specifications, values and ratings for 100 commonly traded solid state shortwave radios. Both portables and table top models are included. If you are on the market for a solid state shortwave radio, please check for the information you need to be an informed buyer. This section includes most of the book Buying A Used Shortwave Receiver.
Real radios glow in the dark. I didn't come up with that phrase, but I share the sentiment. Favorite Tube-Type Shortwave Receivers is our second new radio section. It will show some of the classic tube radios we grew up with. You will see a decent photo of each model plus basic specifications, values and commentary. This section includes a tiny fraction of the book Shortwave Receivers Past & Present. While this feature on DXing.com will eventually include about 50 receivers, the book includes over 700. The book will also include more specifications, review references and much more detail. If you like this section I hope you consider buying the book. I know you will enjoy it.
Making it pay. For me radio is both a hobby and a profession. I would like DXing.com to pay for itself (at least). How to do that? I have been approached by the "banner people". Maybe someday we will need to do that, but I dislike banners. I find them distracting and annoying. I have tried something different. At the end of certain sections I have added a recommended book on that particular subject. Additionally I have added some hot links over to our commercial site, www.universal-radio.com. I hope these two ideas will generate interest (and sales!) but at the same time not "turn off" any visitors to this site.
Simplicity, clarity and content will be the themes of DXing.com. The latest in Java bells and whistle, icon animation and flashing lights will not be featured. Sorry no "eye candy" here! Hopefully just useful information presented in a logical format.
There is more to come. With your input, I hope, other features and references will be added as time goes on. It would be nice to take a month off or even a week off to work exclusively on this site. Such will not be the case as my responsibilities at Universal Radio (store) and Universal Radio Research (publishing) have me very busy already. So your patience will be appreciated as we improve the site. So far I have been able to add and improve things a little almost every day, so please do check in from time to time.
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