DXing On The Edge - The Thrill of 160m by Jeff Briggs - VY2ZM
A fascinating chronicle of what it takes to navigate the 160 meter band. Includes useful operating tips and descriptions for many practical antennas needed to be successful on 160 meters. Many photos and historical information are also included from the early 1930s through present day.
Any 160-meter enthusiast will tell you that operating on Topband, as it is called, is challenging, exciting and intriguing. Author Jeff Briggs, K1ZM, well known as a Topband expert, has compiled a book that will appeal to diehard 160-meter operators as well as those who have always wondered what goes on down there on the frequency spectrum. Indeed, the 160-meter aficionado is a special breed of operator. How do you know when you’re a True-Blue 160-meter fan? One clue might be that you’re finding yourself actually enjoying listening to static crashes... And you suspect you’re on the edge when you wake up just before dawn for three months, just trying to make that seemingly impossible Topband DX QSO with Hong Kong or maybe Bangladesh! K1ZM has written this book as a fond dedication to one of the true pioneers on 160 meters, Stew Perry, W1BB, who is lovingly remembered by many people still on the air. DXing on the Edge chronicles W1BB’s many accomplishments on Topband, plus those of numerous other early operators. Aside from detailed historical information, the author describes many practical antennas and operating techniques that can lead to success on 160. Like most of the ham bands, hearing the DX is the most challenging part of operating–and hearing well on Topband requires superior receiving antennas. Successful DXing can be accomplished even from a city lot, however, and the book includes lots of neat tricks and hints that will help you work the rare ones.
About the author
Jeff Briggs, K1ZM, is a well-known 160-meter DXer and contester who developed a fascination with 160 meters in the late 1950s. Having read about the 160-meter accomplishments of W1BB in the pages of QST's "How's DX?" column, written by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD, Jeff dreamed of the day when he too could join in on the fun on Topband. As a teenager with only a receiver and no transmitter, this would not become possible until nearly 20 years later. While performing his military service from 1968 to 1972, Jeff used to listen to W1BB's enormous signal at sunrise in Bremerhaven, Germany. The receiving antenna there was a three-wire rhombic at 100 feet for 1.750 MHz. With such an antenna, signals from even the western USA were quite copiable in northern Germany. Still lacking a transmitter at that time, Jeff corresponded often with W1BB, who was kind enough to send him periodic copies of his famous 160-Meter Newsletter. This piqued Jeff's interest even more and at the 1973 New England ARRL Convention, he finally met Stew Perry in person. Stew was delivering a forum on the challenges of 160-meter DXing. A lengthy discussion ensued, some of which forms the basis for the early history of W1BB's career reported in this book. At the time, Stew Perry was 69 years old but still very active on Topband. K1ZM's personal affection for Stew Perry and a genuine respect for his achievements on 160 meters formed the impetus for the creation of this work. It is altogether fitting and appropriate that the story of W1BB and of his peers in the early years of 160-meter DXing be preserved for others to read about and enjoy. The author resides today on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and on Prince Edward Island, Canada. He is married with two children and can be found regularly on 160 meters pursuing his passion–chasing DX on Topband!