I wanted to actually use “The Daily DX” for a year prior to reviewing it, that way, I could actually speak from a position of knowing what I was talking about, and not just mouthing a review of it. I tried the free two week trial. The Daily DX provides. When I signed up it was on the order of 49 bucks a year or around fourteen cents per day. The daily DX is a DX newsletter that comes out pretty much every morning at 4 AM PLT. It comes out as email, and is very topical. The first question to answer is “Was it worth it”? The answer is yes, if you like DX. If you are not interested in DX, then skip “The Daily DX”, it is not for you. If on the other hand you want to know what is happening in the world of DX by all means subscribe. If you have the slightest interest in DX, you should subscribe. I initially subscribed to do the review, I have however now renewed my subscription as The Daily DX has actually helped me get more DX! For instance, today, it noted that the Vatican would be active for a 10 hour period… I have not seen this information anywhere else, just in The Daily DX.
It’s laid out in the following format:
DX News is just what it says, news about current DX activities. Bernie McClenny, (owner of The Daily DX, and W3UR), combs the internet looking for DX news. He then aggregates that news into this section. I suspect he has contacts into the DX world mortal men do not, as I sometimes see info there I see no where else… Bernie does edit the ARRL’s How’s DX column for QST, so he is in the know about DX. Here is a short cut from the News Section of The Daily DX:
"5A1AL, Abubaker Alzway, has extended his stay in Libya. If you have already sent a QSL to his Germany address..."
I have left off the actual information as The Daily DX copyrights it’s material… But this is the sort of thing one finds in The Daily DX News section. He covers a number of items, each day, and in great detail. If you want to stay informed about DX happenings, this is the section to read.
Pretty much everything DX in the news is here… New operations, changes to planned operations, etc… It runs a page or so every day.
Just that, a list of Silent DX notables…
On The Web:
This section contains links and further information to DX related web sites, and/or stories which relate to DX.. An example is:
"AC6WI, Andrew Williamson, notes that "solar scientists are befuddled." He says this is an interesting article showing the current models for solar predictions..."
Again, because of the copyright, I have left off the actual links etc. This section is normally short, as it is a list of articles, some information, and a few links. All in all very interesting, but I would like to see more there…
This section contains activity information and who has heard what recently… Here is an interesting tidbit of information about Bernie’s ability to ferret out information– I started a group on Yahoo, called “NWDX Alert”. It was for NW stations to report DX as it happens… The group died of course, it was not well thought out on my part, however, within a day of it starting, Bernie’s name showed up on the members list! I have no idea how he found it, as I only mentioned it on a Willamette Valley DX Club mail list, once… He must have been signed to that list… In any case, within a day of list creation, The Daily DX was on the list… This is the sort of coverage he gives… If it is about DX, he seems to locate it and quickly.
A list of current and planned IOTA operations and activation’s. This section is not as dry as it seems, he adds loits of details and this section covers about a page of text.
Just what is says, a calendar of proposed DX activities… Some of the items on the calendar don’t show up anyplace else either… He is not just aggregating data here, he is doing some research as well…
Today’s Propagation Forecast:
A short section with links pointing at NOAA etc…
This is an interesting section for those that collect cards, it contains a current list of stations and managers, updated daily. It also contains a link to Bernie’s QSL info site, as well as subsections covering QSL cards received by managers, Buro, and via LoTW. I particularly like this section as I do a lot of LoTW QSLing, and it lets me know if for some reason I have missed a card. For instance, if I worked AC3PT, and I then see he has uploaded to LoTW, but I don’t see it in my list, I go back to the original log entry and look for an error… I have gotten several additional cards by discovering I had the wrong mode selected… Very handy!
Just a list of people that sent Bernie something to do with DX. I sent a few items and got listed there, so he is reading his email about DX as well…
Again just what is says, it is his copyright information. He asks that people not list things from the Daily DX on email lists etc… His material is copyrighted, so to list or copy his material would be a bad thing… All quotes on this review were used with permission from The Daily DX.
Is it useful, in short yes, I use the DX News sections daily, and the QSL info as well. The Daily DX is delivered via Email, and in English, so getting it is easy for me. This allows Bernie to put out information in almost real-time. It comes in around 4 or 5 AM West Coast time every morning, but for a few days a year… The publisher lets everyone know if he is going to miss an issue in advance, and not many are missed. Overall the coverage of DX is detailed, timely, and topical to say the least… Here is an example cut from a actual Daily DX, DX News section for October 8th, 2013:
"Looks like we won't be able to depart today due to the weather
and the condition of the sand landing area" reports CY0P
DXpedition team member WA4DAN, Murray. The Sable Island team
has worked 24,414 QSOs as of 0100Z today, including 1,300 JAs.
Plans are to keep operating as long as possible and they are now
looking at possibly departing the island on Wednesday. Keep an
eye on the latest updates at www.cy0dxpedition.com.
HA7JTR, Laci, is planning to be QRV from Masecha (1240 meters above
sea level), Liechtenstein as HB0/HA7JTR from October 24 to 29,
including participation in the CQ World Wide DX SSB Contest. Outside
the contest he'll be operating "holiday style". Laci will be running
100 watts into a four band DunaX ground plane for 7-28 MHz and an
inverted vee on 80 meters. QSL via HA7JRT QRZ.com address.
Listen for 9A/HA4DX, Tomi, and 9A/HA0HW, Laci from Croatia from
October 18-21. They may also be operating from a yacht as
homecall/MM. QSL via the HA QSL bureau.
IZ1MHY, Andrea, who will be operating as S79MHY from Praslin Island
(AF-024), Seychelles from October 9-17 now has a Website up and
running at http://www.mdxc.org/s79mhy/. Activity will be on all modes
on 1.8 through 28 MHz. QSL via IZ1MHY.
KG6DX, Joel, plans to operate as NH2DX from Guam Island in the CQ
World Wide DX Phone Contest on October 26 and 27. This will be a
Single-Op Single-Band 15 meter effort. QSL via NH2DX Callbook
As can be seen from this single day entry, there is a lot of very topical information being provided. This is the DX section alone. One thing that may not be obvious is that this information is coming out first in 80% of the cases in The Daily DX. You are seeing this review AFTER things have been announced, so it might not seem so new anymore…
One can tell if the data coming out of The Daily DX is is new by the number of people who are suddenly “in the know”, right after a Daily DX comes out. i.e. no one knows anything about DXpedition Y– The Daily DX makes an announcement about DXpedition Y, and suddenly, lots of folks all know about the item regarding DXpedition Y, and there is a lot of chatter on the mail lists about DXpedition Y. I have seen this many times over the past year. That tells me that the information that The Daily DX is new to a lot of people, and hence probably new data. The Daily DX is very timely.
Here is one of my favorite sections, QSL Information:
Call Manager Call Manager Call Manager
------ ------- ------ ------- ------ -------
A52YB DK4YB FW5JJ F5RXL T6JR ON4JM
EA6/DL3HQN DL3HQN R863LC R3LC TK6A F6AML
EG1RGC EA1SV R863LX RW3LX
Need a QSL route? Here are some great free sites for you and your
friends - http://www.dailydx.com/routes.html.
E21EIC, Champ, has set up an OQRS for the recent XW0YJY Laos
operations at https://secure.clublog.org/charts/?c=XW0YJY.
WA2MOE, Stu, was the QSL manager for the 1988 K9AJ/KH5K DXpedition to
Kingman Reef. Stu is a Silent Key and K9AJ, Mike, "retrieved a copy
of the paper log some years before" MOE's death. Mike has a supply of
QSLs, although he is "not 100% sure" he has "every page of the KH5K
QSL cards recently received direct and via managers: CU5AQ, D2QR, EM1U
(2003), HV0A, P29NO, VE2CSI and VP2ETE.
QSL cards recently received via the bureau: None reported today.
Confirmations recently received via LOTW: 3B8/G0TSM, 3G3G, 8Q7KP,
AB5K, AG4W, AJ7G, BG2AUE, CE3DNP, DF3QG, E44/HA1AG (1999), EI6JK
(2005), ES9C, FG1JD, HC8/G8OFQ, HK1NA, HP0INT/2, HP0INT/4,
HP0INT/9, ID9Y (EU-017), K0BX, K5DU, K5RZA, K6LL, K7TQ, K8PO,
KD0FW, KI1G, KV4FZ, LX7I, N1QD, N4ZZ, N5RZ, NK7U, NY6DX,
OA4/HA1AG, OH0Z, P29NO, PJ2/G3TXF, RI1FJ, TO7A (NA-107), TX5K,
VE2CSI, VE7ACN, VK6IR, W0LSD, W0RAA, W4PK, W4TTY, W7RN, WB4YDL,
WS7V, XU1A, ZL1G and ZZ2T.
This section gives me a a general overview of who is QSLing, and how… I assemble a hit list of stations from this list… If they are using LoTW, (see review of LoTW here), they go to the top of my hit list of stations I want to work. I also can look in my log to see if I have worked a station, and if so, and if he/she is QSLing via LoTW and I have not gotten a card, I know something is wrong with the QSO and can go look. I have found a few QSO’s where I had the mode wrong. I probably would not have discovered this unless I had this list from The Daily DX.
The Web Site:
This is where the Daily DX falls a bit short. I suspect the web site is more of an afterthought and was added after The Daily DX started publication. The web site is very old style, and the background is so busy, and bright that reading the text is difficult on the home page. It reminds me of the web sites done in the early 80′s, or 90′s. The information is good, and topical, just the presentation is not as slick as I think it should be. I use it, but each time I use it, it sort of like hitting a bump in the DX road, one gets past the bump, but you defiantly know you hit something… Does this lesson the value of The Daily DX, no, I note it just as informational data for a perspective subscriber to look at. Let me be clear here, the only issue I have with the web site is the “look and feel”, not the content. The content is topical, and valuable, I just dislike the presentation on the web site alone. The daily arrival of The Daily DX itself, contains a well formatted, good-looking , easy to use newsletter. This is a look and feel only issue, and only for the web site.
The web site has three sections, “Current Operations”, things in the future, and site stuff… Current operations consists of a set of links to the most current most wanted DX stations. They are kept topical, and current. Things in the future is a list of things that are happening in the future, things like upcoming DXpeditions, calendars, etc. Site stuff is just that, things that have to do with the web site, and The Daily DX.
So to answer the question I posed at the beginning of this review– should I have subscribed, and was it worth the fifty bucks this year? Yes it was! I look forward to The Daily DX every morning. Do I use The Daily DX? I use it every day. Overall my DX count has increased because of The Daily DX. It has alerted me to many DXpeditions, it has alerted me to errors in my log, and it has alerted me to so much in the DX world that I really would miss it if I unsubscribed from it. There is a free two-week trial of The Daily DX, try it out, you will most likely buy it after that… That is how I got hooked on it.
All items reprinted with permission of “The Daily DX”