Bricks & Boquets

THE N.Z. RADIO TIMES – September 1, 1935




By “The Southlander”


ALL keen dxers value their copy of the “N.Z. Radio Times” and look forward to each month’s copy. Mine is just to hand—comes out on the first Tuesday of the month now; a welcome innovation as we like to have each month’s issue as early as possible.

I sit in front of the fire, a comfortable chair, my feet on the mantle- piece. I have perused my copy of the “Times”; the wind whistles outside, causing numerous electrical disturbances; too rough to DX, my mind wanders back over the past eight years; I recollect the beginnings of our club, the many exciting experiences, the happy times, its progress. As I muse I lazily gaze at the cover of the August “Radio Times.”“It’s progress ?“ I repeat the phrase questioningly. “Yes,” I answer, “we certainly have progressed and are progressing still—but are we?” I look at my “Times” with renewed interest to view it from this new angle.

“J. R. Bain tops the list with 798 stations!” What a wonderful total, Jim. You must be proud of it. Dave Adams, 785; another splendid effort. I thought Spence Ellis a national hero when he won it with 89. J. Hill-Scully enters 567 stations for about three years’ dxing. This certainly is progress. But—they are cutting out the old cup; it is won for keeps! Is that not a backward step? There is a lot of talk of pot-hunting, fakers, poor reports, too many competitions spoiling the sport. It may be right but that cup seems to have too many associations with the old club to be owned by one person. He’s a lucky chap.

Ah! page 30, “101 stations on a home-made one-valve set.” A phenomenal performance it reads; it certainly is, Mr. Sutherland! Reminds me of the lists that once appeared in the pages of the “Radio Log” or the “Record.” WDSU on one valve is real DX, and there are two stations I have never heard in my total of 400 on a multi-valve superhet. Hallo, KOYL instead of KDYL—there are too many such misprints.

The editorial says the club has secured the exclusive services of “Three-Six.” That’s good, he’s a cheery bird, whoever he may be, and he also supplies information—that’s what is wanted. What’s this? A Stamp Supply Bureau, conditions and all! A fine idea, Les. It is to be hoped dxers take advantage of it and that the manager keeps up to date with the business.

An article en WTIC by N. Jenkins; interesting but not informative; won’t help us to log stations. But—I take my hat off to Noel Jenkins—a real one of the old brigade. He doesn’t win many competitions, his name isn’t on the DX Cup; still throughout the years of the DX Club—and before—N. Jenkins has regularly written us columns of DX news. He has (along with “Digger,” whose notes I miss this month, except a few in the Waikato branch news) supplied us with more genuine information than any other member of the club. Thanks, Noel, O.M., long may it continue, and here’s hoping we hear from Jack “Digger” Sullivan next month.

At last! A real article on Easternsl Yes, it’s really up to date. The details of the stations, as far as I can judge—and I do a lot of early morning dxing—are in the main, correct. The Chinese are actually the ones that are loudest on the dial. I read an article by “Night Owl” on Easterns recently and it was at least two years out of date. Congratulations, Mr. Anderson. By the way, I noticed some European news on page 35. As it is the beginning of the European season, it will be useful.

News and notes. Yes, plenty of notes and social news (we have an energetic band of branch secretaries, including two or three old-timers) but we could do with more DX news and chat. Reports of many stations logged and verified are listed, but no particulars of how and when. Surely some of these must have been logged on regular late programmes, or some of the foreigners on a European programme, or the VK’s on a known frequency. If 4VL can be heard on Sunday night at 10.30 p.m. when 2WL closes down early, why not say so instead of merely reporting that 4VL was logged?

A word of congratulation to the Waikato branch, who have separated their broadcast news from the shortwave budget. It is most confusing to have b.c. and s.w. notes intermingled. Every other important DX club in the world separates its long and short wave notes. Can’t we?

“The president of the club is swotting again and so DX is out of the question for him” says the Southland notes. That’s bad for the club, Stan. To progress the club must have a real live Wire, right-up-to-the-minute dxer in the chief office—one who is able to put DX first. My heart misses a beat. Have we not an Advisory Board? I haven’t noticed any notes by them. Thank goodness, 2HQ has supplied the Wellington notes. Still, there is no president’s letter, no articles by the board members (unless under a nom-de-plume, and such responsible officials should write under their H.Q. number to give added weight to their dope), no recommendations of any improvements by the board. Perhaps when they digest this they will recommend that I be tossed out, but it is not meant in an antagonistic spirit. We need both constructive criticism and every fellow’s shoulder to the wheel.

“Nero” writes a useful article on what was what in August, 1935; “Three-Six” gives his usual interesting snapshots and a bit about Perce Anderson of 3PA. (Of course, I’m interested in VK’s and besides “Three-Six” may say something nasty about me next month if I tread on his corns.) But what’s this? He says DX comes from the word “Duple X,” meaning transmitting and receiving at the same time. In another place “Night Owl” defines the term as “D” representing distance and “X” representing the unknown quantity. And a well-known American DX magazine tells me that it is an abbreviation of the word distance. Well! Well!

“Three-Six” complains that there was a poor response in the presidential elections, for 2000 members. By Jove, he’s right; 1899 members and so few votes. But have we nearly 2000 members? 114 in Southland! August, 1932, “Times” supplies the list of the first 50 Southland dxers. I remember a lot of them well. However, of the 50 there are only four who can be classed as real members of the club to-day, and only two of those who have received 25 verifications back during the past 12 months. I can also think of many others who have come and gone after the first 50. I wonder what the real membership is? A club with three-quarters or over of its membership inactive and whose enthusiasm has waned, cannot be a real live body. It is time we “purged the rolls.” A well-known Canadian club (CDXR) has a membership of under 500, but they are all active dxers as they pay a yearly sub. Can’t we think of some scheme whereby members have to fill in a yearly application form and belong to a branch, or be subscribers to the “Record” or “Times” before they can continue as members? I think we could. I think it would be an improvement. Don’t you?

Footnote: Based on the comment in the opening paragraphs (I recollect the beginnings of our club, the many exciting experiences, the happy times, its progress.) it is apparent that the DX Club came into existence in 1927. It is not sure if this means the National body or the Southland Branch. – Bill Marsh .. June 2014.


3 responses to “Bricks & Boquets

  1. A DXing legend, Paul, and I do regret that we never met. He must have been a mine of information on radio stations and frequencies. His exotic broadcast band verifications will, surely, never be surpassed for quality.

  2. I never met Merv Branks, but he must have been a giant of a man. He says in this article that when he received his copy of the NZ Radio Times “I sit in front of the fire, a comfortable chair, my feet on the mantle- piece [sic].” I am imagining the discomfort involved in trying to read while one’s legs are about four feet in the air resting on a shelf above the fire. 🙂

    • I think the fire had a very low mantle! Sadly only met Merv a couple of times. He was an engaging personality and would have made a great no-nonsense politician. Paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *