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Catching the chatter

Catching the chatter

The radio bands had multiple Chinese stations broadcasting state news and documentaries with superior command over the English language

Growing up in Mangalore in the ’80s, our entertainment was limited to a visit to movie theatres on weekends, short drives to the beach or watching national television. My father had subscribed for me a magazine called Target aimed at middle and high schoolers. An issue had two articles on radio communications as a hobby; one on HAM radio and the other on Dxing- D for distance and X for the unknown.

Dxing involved listening to overseas radio stations and writing reception reports using the postal service. HAM radio sets were expensive, had to be imported and required a government license. Dxing required a simple radio receiver. I wrote a letter to the author based in Chennai, requesting more details. He promptly replied by sending cyclostyle copies of addresses of international stations, their frequencies and information on setting up a basic antenna.

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