Events / Technical Articles

DXpeditions 101: How Important is My Receiver?

While there will be thousands of experienced Hams worldwide who will be attempting to make contact with Bouvet Island 3Y0Z, they will undoubtedly be joined in the pileups by scores of first-time DXers. As a service to those who are new to this exciting part of Amateur Radio, DX Engineering is posting a series of articles you can use to get started on the right foot.

How important is my receiver?

The noise of the pileup and interference from the many signals will be far stronger than usual. You’ll need to know how to use your receiver effectively to hear the DXpedition station as clearly as possible.

Filters: Know how to select and adjust your receiver’s filters, including notch filters. Learn to adjust the passband shifting function and use your receiver incremental tuning (RIT).

Noise Reduction: Most transceivers have both noise blankers and noise reduction functions. Find out what controls activate and control these functions and how they respond to noise at your station.  Experiment until you find the combination of settings that gives you the clearest reception. Be ready to alter the settings as conditions change.

Gain: Your receiver can be too sensitive and overloaded by the strong signals, creating noise and false signals internally that you hear as interference. Turn off preamps and noise blankers unless absolutely necessary. Try turning on your transceiver’s attenuator to further reduce noise. Receivers are plenty sensitive, so only use the amount of gain you need to hear the station.

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