DX ( DX = Long Distance Communications)
DX is an international abbreviation for distance. DXing is the hobby of communicating with far off places. It can also refer to an individual listening to short wave commercial broadcast radio stations originating from other countries such as Radio Moscow.
Many hams prefer to talk to other hams in distant countries. This sub-group of hams are referred to as “DXers”. DX stations are those ham radio stations located in foreign countries. DXers collect special post cards called QSL cards as proof of their contacts and can earn special certificates and awards from amateur radio organizations. QSL is an international abreviation for the word “confirmation”.
Among ham operators, most traditional DX communication occurs on the high frequency (HF) bands, where the ionosphere is used to refract the transmitted radio signal around the earth far beyond direct line of site. May times hams can communicate to the far side of the planet. Ionospheric refraction is generally only feasible for frequencies below about 50 MHz, and is highly dependent upon atmospheric conditions, the time of day, and the eleven-year sunspot cycle. It is also affected by solar storms which can temporarily alter the Earth’s ionosphere. The defacto ban d for DX is the 20 meter ham band (14 Megahertz) because it is open to long distance communications for most parts of the day and most days of the year.
To assist hams in knowing what DX stations are on the air at any given moment, hams have devised internet websites called DX clusters. Any ham around the globe who hears a rare station for a remote location lists the call sign of the DX station and the frequency on which he was heard. By knowing who is active in a distant country and on what frequency, a local operator can move to that frequency and listen for the DX station.
The following link will take you to a DX cluster to see what stations are active in other countries at this very minute: https://www.dxwatch.com/