The DX-midAMerica story

"It's about taking the time to listen-

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Cars, trucks ... a company"

"We changed everything...even a car company"

Excellent quotes from recent commercials for the Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Division.

   Originally published: Nov'99    This is the story of what you are looking at today, and how it got to where it is. In 1981, I had earlier in the month of September, been involved in an auto accident. A gentleman ran a red light while I was on my way to work. I would be out of work for six weeks eventually. I remember the officer saying "If he hit you one second later, you wouldn't be here!" While dx'ing, not going to work for six weeks, and having a demolished car that took forever to fix, I was bored! I was under doctors orders not to do much. While sitting one thinks a lot. It was then that I thought up the idea of a tipsheet. After all, Chicago had CADX, there was a GWDXA bulletin, and I remember the Int'l DX Club of San Diego bulletins put out by the late Larry Brookwell.
   It was out of this that "HOT TIPS" was thought up. It was a double sided 8 1/2"" by 11" sheet, double sided, sent out to seven people in the Milwaukee area. After an excellent reception, I sent copies to other people in the area. In issue #1, dated November 15th, 1981, I had written:"I don't know what you think about this. To me, it was just something I thought of doing that might help my fellow dx'ers. I'm not trying to form a group of dx'ers or have get-togethers, etc., or try to form a money making venture. I'd just like to have some type of fresh, up to date info."
   In 1982, The bulletin, now 12-24 pages, colored paper, reduced print, folded over, looking like an IRCA or NRC bulletin, was now going to people outside the Milwaukee area.
   In 1984, #41 the bulletin was called DX mid-AMerica and by #48 it was called "DX mid-AMerica's Hot Tips & Targets!" Though the years the 15-18 times per year bulletin had gone out to a "whopping" 24 members in IA, IL, KY, MN, MB and WI.
   In 1988, I was totally burned out. I still liked the hobby, but there was no growth. The membership only went so high and was stagnant. I had gone through several hobby cycles myself, from the infamous "dx bug" to "who cares!" Publication stopped at #106. The hobby I had since 1967 had become an obsession. It wasn't fun anymore. What was once a pleasure of dx'ing, now was a task of putting out a bulletin and it was a lot of work. All of this looks easy, but it isn't, and it takes time! I have the utmost respect for anyone in this hobby who has published, edited, requested dx tests, submitted articles, contributed tips or put up their own web-sites. It looks easy, but it must be a labor of love!
   This is a solitary hobby, and I didn't do this all by myself! Along the way there was help, assistance and there were the good ears! I must thank Jim Albrecht, Shawn Axelrod, Tom Steele, Craig Cook, Rick Dau, Karl Forth, Earl Higgins, John Lentz, Paul Kowalski, Mike Knitter, Robert Kramer, Bob Mielcarek, Mike Piering, Tim Noonan and JD Stephens. I hope I didn't leave anyone out! You people will never know how much you have helped. Whether it was typing columns, having gtgs, or just suggesting something! The 8 million heard is nice and the qsls are too, but the people in this hobby are the best! Take a bow!
 Years later, Rick Dau would hold DX-midAMerica GTGs. Here's a listing of such: 1.Dubuque,IA October 30-31, 1993, #2.Appleton,WI May 12-14,1995, #3.Lafyette,IN October 12-13,1996 and #4 Shawnee Mission,KS November 21-22, 1998. Between these GTGs held by Rick and Jim Albrecht in Milwaukee saying "you ought to do DX-midAMerica again" to me, the spark was ignited. I was after all, dx'ing again in 1992. Why not? A lot of times it's the right person saying the right thing at the right time. You never, never know who or when you can touch someone either with goodness or a kind word. These two people are whether they know it or not, a kinda glue, that held this thing or the idea of it together. Thanx to both!
   Fast forward to 1996. I bought a Web-TV unit. I am computer illiterate. I guess I could learn, but this does what I want and for a lot less. Those who have seen the unit are impressed with the speed. I don't have to buy upgrades. Everything is sent downline. It's neat, simple and inexpensive!
   In September of this year (1997), there was an offer by Web-TV for free web pages. After 10 years of people telling me, "you ought to get Hot Tips going again!", I thought ok...
   On September 3, 1997, HT&T (Hot Tips & Targets) went on the internet! I never would have dreamed of this years ago. Never! Response has been good and I have a printer so I can download info (IE: Target Lists), and keep it in front of me while trying to get the latest dx!
Will the dx clubs die as some have suggested? Will the internet kill radio? NO! I am one person. If I die tomorrow or lose interest this is dead. The clubs will always be here. They might be in a different form, but they are needed! I could never even get close to what the IRCA and NRC have done! This is much more regionalized. A lot of times we never appreciate what is around us. I appreciate a lot. I should apprecite more! This is a labor of love! The clubs are no different! There are here and should be supported.
   Fast forward to the future! I've read the internet will kill radio! I don't believe so. For all the hype, only 10% of the population has internet access and only 30% has a computer! Wasn't TV going to kill radio? Wasn't FM going to kill AM? Quad didn't kill stereo! God gave us TWO ears, not four. Stereo didn't save am. Pssa's didn't. Talk did! Cable hasn't killed free tv, and DSS hasn't killed cable! ALL are still here, in smaller percentages, I guess.
   As an example, in the living room, there's a recliner, couch, sectional, TV, VCRs (VHS and Beta!), FM/AM receiver, record player, tape player, and CD player. The couch is there if I need it, tapes if I want to listen, get the idea. I don't use everything everyday!
   We will have more information at our hands in the future! Everything is still here and will be, but in smaller portions! Why would anyone want to go back? Right now I'm having a few salisbury steaks, having a Blatz beer, have the SW8 blaring on 1450, and the SW2 taping 1490. I have call-waiting, and with Web-TV if you call, you get through. (The WebTV temporarily disconnects, to let calls in.) I have a fax machine and a cell phone (with "free" weekends.) and I'm typing "THE FUTURE IS GOING TO BE FANTASTIC!"
   In March 2010, the layout of the homepage was changed to the 5 column page you see today. Column 1)DX tips, news, targets, GY targets, 2)Weekly updates, Hot Lists(US), 3)Monthly updates, Hot Lists (Canada), 4)Monthly updates con't, other, 5)other pages on site not updated that much, but there. I belive the discipline, formatting and strictness in putting this out daily have garnered the many hits we get daily, a good list of contributors and the strive to continue past the current 32+ years. Something didn't get slapped up only to lose interest 4 months later.
   November 15th, 2013 update: Obviously I'm on a computer now. The website has been welcomed into 60+ countries, Rick Dau hosted another GTG in Urbana this past fall, DX-midAMerica has arranged dx tests, 200+ people have sent in their dx tips, QSL tips, format flips through the past 32+ years. I'd match this effort against many others. You've done well and I thank you all. In AMDX season, 200-300 people check this website daily!
   I've learned from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. To rip a contributor/reporter for this or that, to tell a reporter they reported too much or tell someone "you never heard that" is something you'll never hear from me. The stupid comments, wise remarks or stupidity I see that passes in some venues is uncalled for. It's sopohmoric. I'm not an adolescent anymore and I never liked "cliques." A congrats on a new state or province is fine. Congrats on #1000. Don't rip the contributor and then complain that nobody reports. It gets old. Hello! Infight amongst yourselves and pull others down. One thing: an editor is an editor. A few I've encountered think they are God Almighty. We are all expendable and in 50 years how much of this will matter? Another thing the editor might want to learn: how to say "thank you". A please and a thank you can take you pretty far in life! When was the last time you've gotten one of those? I know: they're "too busy!"
   Common courtesy has seemingly been replaced with impatience. We, as human beings, are sadly disrespected and inconvenienced on a daily basis and it doesn't seem to matter. Ignored is the new "we care" model, seemingly. The "golden rule?" Well, that's I guess a nice "old" suggestion. Well, I have valued each and every person who has sent in a dx tip, format flip, QSL tip or just a nice comment/concern here and there. If you're here, it probably because something struck you about this effort: it's being updated daily, latest dx tips, updated, accurate information, lists and lists of dx, wish lists (targets) and the fact that other people (dx'ers, radio geeks, disc jockeys, station owners, engineers, hobbyists), people just like you, are here! You are not alone. Believe me, you're not alone.
   The best is ahead of us. May we have a long time together! You have touched me more than you will ever know. I am grateful, humbled and as long as you're here, heck, send in a DX TIP! It's easy and fun! We're AMong other radio geeks! C'mon!! --John

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