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Reviews Categories | Books/Manuals/Videos/Pod-WebCasts on ham radio | The Complete DXer by W9KNI, 3rd Edition Help

Reviews Summary for The Complete DXer by W9KNI, 3rd Edition
The Complete DXer by W9KNI, 3rd Edition Reviews: 42 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$19.95
Description: One of the most popular DX book ever written, "The Complete DX'er" is both the highly entertaining diary of a serious DX chaser, and at the same time full of lessons for DX'ing success. Written in a warm, personal style, this is a work you will read again and again. It very much respects and honors the traditions of DX'ing, yet brings a sense of excitement to the chase. The new 3rd edition has been revised to take into account the realities of DX'ing in the 21st century.
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K9CIV Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2004 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Good intelligent read  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I should have read this book sooner. It reminded me of my sojourn on the DX circuit. The author presents a very readable account of his experience in chasing DX. He is very ready to admit his connections to Bencher and the book's publisher as he shares with the reader his methods for success in reaching the DXCC honor roll more than once. He presents ideas to keep amateur radio from being boring when you get so close and must wait for the rare ones to come on the air. Evermore the gentleman he challenges the reader to good operating procedures and manners in a pile up. He does not pretend to have all the answers as he tells stories gleaned from his experiences to ferret out the ever challenging problems presented by pile ups, rare DX, and courtesy needed to capture the QSL. It is not only a book for amateur radio but it presents some philosophy of life as well. Amateur radio is not the whole world and lessons learned in one area translate to the other. For instance, listening, very valuable in discovering the operating patterns of that illusive DX station. But, also, in life as well. Listening is a skill that brings rewards where ever we use it. The author's theme then is that listening and understanding is the key to success. Brain power over raw power brings more desired results. Thank you W9KNI for such a good understandable presentation. de K9CIV
WB7FCQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2004 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bob's first edition of this book got me interested in CW dxing. This third edition has helped rekindle my interest! Bob not only says it all but in a unique style. You feel you are in the chair with him, seeing him tweak the knob, scratch his head and shriek when he catches a new one. In fact, I find it hard to sit down and read too many pages without wondering what the band is like and running to the shack. He captures the fever and it is contagious.

Been away from the bands in recent years. Just bought the book, dusted off my Bencher paddle and inspected the antenna. The latter needs work! Saw my Bencher XZ-2 audio filter yesterday--it was a great little filter in it's day and simple to use.

tnx Bob for another great chapter in the DX adventure.
VK5GX Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2004 19:12 Send this review to a friend
A Must Have  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For the budding DX'er, or the seasoned professional, this book is a must have. I found this book to be straight to the point, with a good sense of humour thrown in.

The book covers the basics of equipment, antenna, station location (preferences) and also technique. In adition the two main modes CW and SSB are covered in equal detail to provide tips and ideas to every ham on the bands today and tomorrow.

This book is timeless in presentation and information contained between the covers.

I thoroughly recommend this book to every ham who in interested in DX hunting or contesting.

Well done Bob W9KNI, and Idiom Press.

(See also my other comments regarding the SCAF-1 Filter and LogiKeyer elsewhere on this site.)


Paul VK5GX
WI2T Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2004 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Read  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having either lost or misplaced my copy of the 1st Edition of Bob's book and finally becoming active in ham radio again after finally completing my degree, I decided to order this book from Idiom Press.

To my amazement, the book had been updated to reflect some of the technologies available today such as packet spotting and computerized logging. In fact, it was some of these items that kind of soured my outlook on DXing in general. The challenge had gone. This time I decided to bring the challenge back by running QRP. And this has brought the enjoyment of ham radio back. Bob's book most definately assisted in re-learning some of the techniques that I had used in the past; tail-ending, delayed call, etc.

The book is extremely well written and the stories are told in first person. It is almost as if I were a part of the book.

I would recommend this to any ham that is chasing DX. And the best part is that it can be read over and over and, at least for me, I have picked up on something that I have missed in previous readings.

BTW, much to my surprise, Bob signed the book before shipping.


- Jeff -
AD5MU Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2004 17:18 Send this review to a friend
More than "The Hunt"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
W9KNI's "Complete DX'er" is complete in the most absolute way. I'd been an HF Ham for all of 18 Months when I set out as an inexperienced Op as ZC4GL back in 2000-01. If I only knew then what I just learned after reading Bob's incredible book, I'd have been DXCC with that call (as it was I got 93 confired countries direct and another several hundred Italian and Russian stations). Now I want to be a DX again!

The information in this book can be used in both directions and is guaranteed to make any HAM a better operator. The art, science and very complete techniques that are articulately captured in this very well laid out book will motivate any operator to get on the air and have fun.

I used to love DXing and now I love it even more because the information in this thoroughly compiled reference will intrique all of your senses, skill, and imagination in the quest for snagging the illusive ones.

Anyone who thinks hunting DX depends on owning a beam and linear needs to read this book and refer to it often. We can all thank W9KNI for putting in print what it means to be a real expert in the world of DXing.
VE9VIC Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2004 20:46 Send this review to a friend
fun to read  Time owned: more than 12 months
a nice book,fun to read and full of good things
for the dxer,s,a book you can read more than one time as many others good books,73 rino
NZ7C Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2004 00:56 Send this review to a friend
It's just the best!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Here's a copy of a note I sent to Bob about this book. For me the note says it all. This book is a pure joy.....beginners and pros alike will love this book.
Dear Bob,
I'm writing this
to tell you how much I have enjoyed and used The Complete DX'r. I've only
been a Ham for about 3 years and only operate cw. It has only been recently
that I've started reaching beyond the borders. Because of your book I now
understand and just recently broke my first "pile up". It was an absolute
thrill to both make the contact and have the little lightbulb go on.
I had heard 4V200YH and thought "Lord, I could never get a station like
that on my meager little loop!" Well I started to listen. The I set my ProII
to dual watch and split (since I finally understood how they were to be
used!).....I knew where the Haiti station was transmitting from but where
the heck was he listening? I moved up and heard these big canons crashing
down on the guy...but seldom did I hear him answer that same call.....after
fishing around for an hour and just thinking that he will never hear my puny
call, I decided to drop down UNDER these big guns much closer to where
4V200YH was transmitting from. Bingo....he answered my first call. YOU HAVE
NO IDEA HOW COOL THAT FELT!!!!!!!! It took me an hour, but it was worth
every second and next time it will take much less time......but you already
know that!!
Anyway, your book has been a Godsend to this hobby for people like me and
I just wanted to make sure you knew it!!!! What a great thing to do! Thank
K1MAE Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2004 17:45 Send this review to a friend
A Must to Have!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Anyone who is a DX'er are wants to become one; this is a must read! It will become a very useful tool today as well as in the future. Get the YL or XYL to give it as a gift, and enjoy.
K2TRU Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2004 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
DX – this is the Holy Grail of Amateur Radio (in my humble opinion). DXCC, DXCCx2, and on up to Honor Roll…How much fun can one guy be allowed to have?

This book was my motivator for blasting through the General exam, and it will be my motivator for an ace on the Extra. Bob captures the fun of DX, and he does it from an interesting perspective – a guy who worked plenty of countries the “easy” way (big antenna, big linear); looked around and asked himself “what next?”; and then worked ‘em all over again QRP. This book does not begin with “Step One: crank up amplifier and stomp on competition”…

You don’t need me to tell you that if you’re going to rack up big DX numbers running 5 or 7 watts, you must know what you’re doing. What I will tell you is that Bob passes all of the techniques and “tricks of the trade” along to the reader, and he does it in a fun, conversational manner. This is not a dry, technical reference book – you will not put it down once you start reading. But you will get just as information from this masterpiece as you would from some other book that acts as a sleep aid.

I’m not alone in my feelings about this book – read the other reviews. If you don’t own it – buy it. If you do own it, read it again. It’s really that good.

K2TRU (formerly KC2MBE)
N0SS Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2003 11:33 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful reading, for seasoned and newbie ops  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really don't like to read! It all dates back to my early childhood, which is not worth discussing... but I've never enjoyed just sitting down and 'reading'.

This having been said, I've gotta say that I thoroughly ENJOYED reading Bob Locher's (W9KNI) book "The Complete DXer" 3rd Edition"..!

Ever since the first edition of this book was released (1983), I'd managed to avoid reading it. I mean, by that time I'd been licensed for 25 years, I'd been DXing for 23 of those years, and I knew all the tricks. What could Bob know that I didn't already know?

Well... a friend sent a copy of "The Complete DXer" to me as a gift. I put it in "the Reading Room" (you guys KNOW where that is), so I could skim thru it when I was able to sit 'n think, figuring that I'd not spend much time going thru it... 'cause I knew it all.

What I noticed first about the book was Bob's very casual, "as it happened" manner of writing. Easy to read, as if it was just rolling out of his head, onto the page... kinda like we (well, most of us) think... and talk.

It didn't take me long to realize that I'd missed a LOT in the preceding 40+ years... Oh, I knew how to "listen up", and (generally) where to place MY transmitter so the DX would 'find' me as he tuned away from his last QSO. But Bob's narrative give me a bunch of really helpful hints on how to better track the DX, how to better find the guy's he's working, and little ideas on more strategically placing my signal so the DX falls into my trap. He also showed me how to more effectively LISTEN for the DX, something I thought I knew, but now that I think back on my methods, I'm sure I missed a BUNCH of countries I could have worked much earlier had I known how to better listen for them.

Bob pretty well covers the entire gamut of DXing, from hunting the rare DX QSO to getting his QSL as the end result. He has great instructions for all of us, especially the newbie DXer. But obviously, there's a LOT of very useful information for many of us more 'seasoned' operators as well. Certainly a LOT more than I'd have expected to have found.

I read a few pages each time, taking time to let the wisdom soak in a bit before I read on. As a result, I retained a lot more than if I'd blown thru the book, which is how I usually read non-technical documents.

Would I recommend "The Complete DXer" to my friends? YOU BET I WOULD! And I now do!

Whether you're a seasoned DXer of just thinking about getting into this fascinating part of our hobby, "The Complete DXer" is a MUST READ book. Informative AND entertaining at the same time.
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