History of the very first DX
In fact, at 04.30 GMT of that day, Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first transatlantic wireless communication.
Succeeding in this contact, Marconi demonstrate that radio waves transmissions could be transmitted even across the Atlantic ocean.
With this success Marconi, in addition, disproved detractors who told him, that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or less.
The Italian inventor received in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, the letter S in morse code (three dots) transmitted from Poldhu, Cornwall, in England.
Marconi set up a specially designed wireless receiver in Newfoundland, Canada, using a coherer (a glass tube filled with iron filings) to conduct radio waves, and balloons and kites to lift the antenna as high as possible.
The station in Cornwall, England instead was composed by a twenty-four ships’ masts each 200 feet high, and the transmitter was powered by a 32 brake horsepower engine driving a 25 kilowatt alternator.
In fact today we know that radio waves had been headed into space from England when they were reflected off the ionosphere and finally bounced back down toward Canada.
Science demonstrated and explained this contact, made thanks to Radio wave propagation, just a few years later.
Therefore thinking in terms of amateur radio logic, we should consider this experiment as the first DX contact ever.
If you are interested in Marconi’s experiments and history, probably you can find interesting arguments and further details about this story here:
- First Atlantic Ocean crossing by a wireless signal
- Reception of Transatlantic Radio signals, 1901
- Marconi Receives First Trans-Atlantic Radio Signal
- Fessenden and Marconi: Their Differing Technologies and Transatlantic Experiments During the First Decade of this Century
- Radio crosses the Atlantic
What is a DX?
If you are not an amateur radio operator, DX could be considered a funny term.
In the amateur radio lingo:
DX is the telegraphic shorthand for distance or distant
DXing is the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio signals.