FM broadcast band dxing is one side of the radio scanner hobby that passes most of us by because it uses a section of the VHF band we normally have no interest in. The stronger signals from commercial radio stations can block out the more distant transmissions but this can be minimized with some careful receiver and antenna selection.
Advantages of Broadcast Dxing
Fixed antenna location and power means its very easy to pinpoint the exact distance to the transmission source.
By utilizing RDS technology the identification of stations is quick, unlike most PMR or utility signals where you sometimes have to listen for a while hoping to pick up a clue to where the transmission is originating from..
With enough logging of signals its obvious straight away which stations are able to be heard all the time from those your receiving due to a lift in propagation.
Different countries have adopted their own way of dealing with channel spacing in the band with some having a level of organization that makes things much easier for the listener.
Ranging for the United States regular 200 KHz spacing to the slightly random channel allocations across Europe, each presents its own challenges when shooting for the longest distance signals
Minimum Of Radio Kit Needed
A directional antenna that comfortably covers the broadcast band. This doesn’t have to be a big affair but going the beam route will give a lot more selectivity when trying for a radio station from a certain location.
A selective digital receiver with a RDS display function.
Depending on the extent of your normal radio scanner setup you may already have the antenna side of things sorted and there are a fair amount of suitable radios that have RDS built in as standard.
A digital radio is a must not only for RDS but accurate tuning within the FM band.
Making Logging Easy
Some radio monitoring lends itself very well to the few logging programs available but as the stations in the broadcast band are fixed I like to use a simple excel spreadsheet to record results.
If you don’t have the Microsoft product on your computer there’s an excellent free “clone” produced by Kingsoft that’ll do the job just fine.
Same Rules Apply
As with all signals at VHF the majority will be coming to you via line of sight and if your stuck in a hole without clear views in at least a few directions its going to cut back on the amount of stations heard.
On the other hand, the power these stations use and the relatively low frequencies they operated on does give a greater chance for changes in propagation to bring in some unexpected transmissions.