Sunday, January 29, 2012

Working DX- Tips

Working DX- Tips

Is it possible to work DX with just 5 watts or less output and simple wire antennas? The answer is a resounding YES. Of course it's not as easy as working DX with 1 kilowatt and stacked 4 over 4 beams, but it's not as hard as many hams think. Let me tell you how to go about it.

I was one of those who never thought that QRP and DX could mix. However, I've proved myself wrong by making over 13,500 DX QSO's from 206 countries since 1993. I believe that anyone, without a great deal of effort, can get the basic DXCC award using nothing more than QRP and a wire antenna. I worked 100 countries in just the first 78 days of the year 2000.

The most important thing to remember about DXing, no matter what power or antennas you are using, is to LISTEN before you do anything. Of course, before you can work the DX, you have to be able to hear it.

Once you can hear the DX station, you then listen some more to see where the DX is listening for replies. If you hear him work a station right on his frequency, then you know he's listening there. Zero beat him and get ready to call, but again don't jump in too quickly.

Listen to find out the pattern of the DX station's exchange. Sometimes after the exchange of info, the DX station will just say TU, and then start listening for replies. Other times he will send QRZ?, or QRZ? de X2XXX, or just X2XXX. Some stations send dit dit. Whatever it is, learn when the DX station is done with a QSO and ready for the next call before you jump in.

Now you are ready to try the station. When that telltale signal comes from the DX station, send your call once, nothing else. If you are fortunate, the station will answer you by sending something like (in my case) K3WWP 599. You respond with TU 599. He will acknowledge you and move on to the next QSO. Lightning quick, but you now have a new DX country in your log.

Of course that is the ideal situation, and it is not going to work that way every time, even for the most powerful station in the world, and certainly not for the QRPer with his wire antenna. Not to say it doesn't happen, though. A few times I have beaten out a fair sized pileup to work a DX station. Why? Often it is simply favorable propagation, but there are also things you can do to help.

Be sure your signal is as clean and crisp as possible and your keying is as close to perfect as possible. DX stations often mention that it is not always the strongest signal that is easiest to copy in a pileup, but often a weaker clean signal with perfect keying is easier to copy. If you have a memory keyer, use that to send your call. It is possible to get nervous when trying for some rare DX, and be sloppy sending even our own call.

Another thing that helps at times is to delay for a second sending your call so that the last letter or two extends past the main buzz of the pileup. In my case, the DX station would then hear the WP and send WP? Then I send my call again, and make the QSO. That is assuming there is no other WP in the pileup, and everyone acts properly and does not transmit again if their call doesn't contain a WP. And we know the odds of that. Generally anyone who has a W in their call transmits, everyone with a P transmits, and others will transmit even though their call has nothing close to a WP in it. The best of the DX stations in this case will send WP? KN KN and keep doing this until everyone else shuts up except the WP station. If a DX station does this often enough, he can really take control of a pileup and make it manageable.

If you keep calling him without an answer, try to figure out why. It could be that propagation is currently favoring another area. If he is working one W6 after another, and you are a W1, that could be the case or he may have his beam pointed to California at the moment. This is a good time to just note his frequency or store it in a memory in your receiver, and look for someone else. Come back later and see if the DX station is working stations in your area. If so, jump in and try again.

Some QRP stations like to sign /QRP at the end of their call in a pile-up. I don't think it's necessary, and I don't do it for the following reasons:
1. I don't feel my QRP should be pointed out as a special situation. I'm just another station in the pile, not someone special because I'm only using 5 watts or less.
2. I am sure some QRO stations cheat and sign /QRP, and I certainly don't want to be accused of that by those who don't know that I am a 100% QRPer.
3. It does take an appreciable amount of time to send /QRP when you are dealing with running hundreds of stations per hour, especially if it has to be repeated. If I make a contact, there's a chance I'll have to repeat my info since my sigs are weak, and repeating /QRP along with the other info may annoy not only the DX station, but others waiting in the pile. I hate slowing down DXpeditions or contesters like that.
4. To back up what I say in item 3 above, famous DXpeditioner G3SXW in his book "Up Two" urges operators calling him not to use /QRP. Then there is this quote from the 3B9C DXpedition web site to further denounce using /QRP: "We have received a few e-mails demanding that we amend logs to show /QRP. We are aware that some operators at 3B9C have been logging /QRP but it is DXpedition policy that we do not do so. /QRP does not form part of the legal callsign in any country and, as far as we are aware, no QRP awards require the callsign to be suffixed with /QRP. Therefore the /QRP suffix has no place in the 3B9C DXpedition log. You know whether you worked us on QRP or not and that should be all that is needed."

If a pileup gets too huge and the pile obliterates the DX station, then the DX operator will switch to split frequency operation. This is when the DX station transmits on one frequency, and listens on another, usually higher, frequency.

If you hear a DX station say UP (or UP1, UP2, etc.), that means he is listening to a frequency higher than his. The number is the number of kHz higher than his transmitting frequency. Leave your receive frequency on the DX station, and set your transmit frequency UP to where the DX is listening. If he just says UP with no number, generally that means UP 1, but not always. Then you have to find the pileup yourself. Once you determine where the DX station is listening, follow the same procedures listed for simplex or same frequency operation. Just be sure you are transmitting and listening on the right frequencies. Every rig seems to have a slightly different way of accomplishing this.

If the pileup is huge, you might be better off transmitting slightly higher than the main pile. The DX station will often explore the upper (usually) edge of a pileup if he can't pick out calls from the main section of the pile. This is where the clever QRPer can often steal a QSO from the QRO stations. It's really a chess game, and whole sections of DXing books have been devoted to breaking a pileup.

Often times the DX station will be operating split frequency but not saying so. This is where listening comes in. If you hear the DX working one station after another, but don't hear any of the stations he is working, it's time to tune UP and see if he is indeed working split frequency. Or you can go ahead and transmit on the DX frequency, and the self appointed DX policemen will very impolitely and illegally tell you the DX is listening UP. It's always better to know what's going on before you do any transmitting.

That's enough about the pile-up type of DXing. If you want to know more, just get on the air and practice, or read one of the many excellent books that have been written about DXing.

Let's touch on a few other DX topics. What about the QRPer calling CQ DX using his wire antenna. It's probably useless most of the time, but I have had DX stations answer my regular CQ's many times. This usually happens on 10M when conditions are really good, but it also happens on other bands. I currently have about 3 dozen countries worked via answers to my CQ's. Strangely, my most distant QSO ever came when VK6HQ answered my regular CQ on 30M one evening. I was so shocked and excited I could hardly send. Even after the QSO, I was wondering if it was really true that I worked a VK6. It was, because I received his QSL card in a couple of weeks. However something like that is the exception rather than the rule for QRP CQ's. Once in a while lightning strikes twice and a couple years later John, VK6HQ again answered my CQ on 30M. This time it led to a long distance phone call from John, and follow up Emails between us. This is one of the rewards of DXing - having one of your contacts become a friend.

The easiest time to work DX is in contests, because the best operators in the world often go to exotic locations for contests to make themselves more desirable or just to activate some rare country. Plus you have the super contest stations in various countries operating with their huge antennas and state of the art receiving equipment. They are the ones who can dig out the weakest of signals, and are glad to do so for those few extra points they will get in the contest. Those points may just help them beat out another top notch contester. You may have a tough time beating the pileups at the beginning of a contest, but often these super contest stations almost go begging for QSO's near the end of a contest period. Then is the time you may easily work them.

Also for the week or so just before the big DX contests, many of the stations setting up for the contest will check out their equipment by working as many folks as possible. At these times they may also operate on the WARC bands (30, 17, 12) which are not available for operation in the contest itself. They often stay at their locations for a few days after contests also.

Always let the DX station dictate the type of QSO. If you answer a DX station outside a pileup, and he still sends just a report, you do the same. If he sends RST, QTH, and Name (OP), then you may be fortunate enough to find yourself with a DX rag chew. Send your QTH (maybe just the state), and name, and maybe mention you are running QRP. It doesn't happen too often, but I have had some very nice rag chews with DX stations. I recall a few I especially enjoyed. I chatted for a half hour with a German who was on vacation in the Canary Islands. A PJ2 wanted to know all about my QTH. I had a nice chat with an Italian talking about my Italian heritage (my mother was Italian). A German asked me all about my QRP rig. A station in Haiti was new to operating CW and asked me several questions about it. There were others as well. These are the DX QSO's I find really rewarding, although I appreciate the RST only ones also. You CAN rag chew with DX using QRP when conditions are good.

I hope you'll be as successful as I have been working DX. I KNOW you can be if you just apply yourself. 73 and gud DX.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The 2012 CQ World-Wide 160 Meter Contest

The 2012 CQ World-Wide 160 Meter Contest

CW: 2200Z January 27 to 2200Z January 29
SSB: 2200Z February 24 to 2200Z February 26

The  past rules reflected several signifi- cant changes,  and we are repeating them here as a reminder. Following is a summa- ry of the those changes:
1. The start and end times of the contests has   been  shifted  two   hours  earlier  in response to requests from the 160 contest- ing community.
2. The exchange for DX stations has been changed from  RS(T) & country to RS(T) and CQ zone.
3. A    new single-operator/assisted class has been added to permit  the use of clus- ters, skimmers, etc.
4. A   40-hour maximum operating period has been added for multi-op entries.
5. Provisions have been added regarding remote operation.

For amateurs around the world to contact other amateurs in as many U.S.  states, Canadian  provinces, and countries as possible utilizing the 160 meter band.

II. BAND  USE:  1800–2000  kHz. 
All entrants are encouraged to spread out as much    as  possible,  obeying  frequency restrictions and power limits for their  own country.

III. CATEGORIES: For all categories:
The main  site  is  defined  as all  trans- mitters,  receivers, and antennas must be located on the same  contiguous proper- ty. If the property is not contiguous,  then all  equipment   must fall  within  a 1500 meter radius.  All antennas must be con- nected by wires to the main station. This rule applies to all entrants.
The use of any so-called “Chat Rooms” via the internet or similar means for com- munication between  stations or operators during  the contest period is  strictly pro- hibited. Do not arrange or confirm  QSOs by any other means  than the use of the
160 Meter band and the same mode as used in the contest. Any such  use may result in disqualification at the discretion of the committee. The use of self spotting is not allowed in any category.
Remote operation is  permitted under the following conditions:
• The use of any receiver located  away from the main site is strictly prohibited.
• The use of a separate receiver at the remote control location is prohibited.
• Any receiver linked via the Internet or RF not physically located at the main site is strictly prohibited.
• If the  remote station  is  located  in another DXCC entity, it is required to com- ply with all local country regulations.
Operating time:   Each contest is 48
hours long and starts at 2200Z. Single operator stations may only operate 30 out of the 48 hours. Multi-Operator stations may operate 40 hours. Off times must be a minimum of 30 minutes in length for all  categories.
(A) Single Operator: One person per- forms all  of the  operating, logging,  and spotting  functions.  Maximum  operating time is 30 hours. Passive spotting is NOT allowed.  (See definition of passive spot-  ting functions below.) Only  one transmit- ted signal is allowed at any moment in time. Maximum power is 1500 watts total output or the output power allowed by your coun- try, whichever is less.
(B)  Single  Operator/Low Power: Same as (A) with the  exception that the output power shall not exceed 150 watts. Stations in this category  compete with other Low Power stations only.
(C) QRP: Same as (A) with the excep- tion that the output power shall not exceed
5 watts. Stations in this category compete with other  QRP stations only.
(D) Single Operator Assisted:  HIGH POWER ONLY. Same as (A) with the fol- lowing exception:  The use  of  passive spotting IS allowed.  (See definition  of passive spotting functions below.)
(E) Multi-Operator:  HIGH POWER ONLY. All rules apply as in Single Op Assisted; however, more than one oper- ator (person) is involved in the operation. Maximum  operating  time is  40 hours. Only one transmitted signal is allowed at any moment in time. Maximum power is 1500 watts total  output  or the  output power allowed by your country, whichev- er  is  less. The use  of passive spotting is allowed.
Passive Spotting is defined  as (but not limited to):
DX spotting nets or QSO alerting assis- tance of any kind. Over-the-air nets or sta-  tions that provide frequency and station information.
Any device or person that provides fre- quency and callsign information of  any station during the contest  period. This in-  cludes band  skimmers or similar devices. Passive spotting does NOT include band scopes, SDR receivers, or the like, which provide no information about  the  signal other than its presence, which  is allowed in all categories.

IV. Exchange:  
RS(T)  and state  for U.S., province for Canada, and CQ Zone for  DX. Note: Zones are location indica- tors only and do not count for multipliers.

V. Multiplier:
U.S. States: (48 contiguous  states); U.S.  District of Columbia (DC) (1)
Canadian Provinces: (14) VO1, VO2,  NB, NS, PEI (VY2), VE2, VE3, VE4, VE5, VE6,  VE7, VE8 (NWT), VY1 (YUK), VYØ. DXCC plus WAE countries: WAE: IT, GM  (Shetland Islands), JW (Bear island), TA1  (European Turkey), 4U1VIC,  YU8 Kosova.

VI. Points:
Contacts with stations  in own country:
2 points.
Contacts with other countries on same continent: 5 points.
Contacts with other continents: 10 points Maritime   mobile  contacts count    5 points. There is no multiplier  value for  a maritime mobile contact.

All stations—the  final score is the result  of the total QSO points multiplied by the  sum of all  multipliers (states, VE provinces, DX countries).

VIII. Awards: 
Certificates   will   be awarded to the top scorers in each class (see provisions under classes)  by state, Canadian area, and DX  country. Run- ners-up with  high  scores  over 100,000 points   may   also  receive certificates. The trophies and donors for all categories can be found on the official contest web- site, . If you are interest- ed in sponsoring a plaque for  this con-est, please  contact  us at: .

IX. Club  Competition: 
Any club  that submits at least three logs may enter the Club Competition.  The name  of the  club must be clearly identified under  club com- petition on the summary sheet, or summa- ry portion of the Cabrillo log. Please make sure all entrants from your club use the same club  name (spelled  the same) in the Cabrillo entry. Non-compliance with this request may result in your score not being credited to your club’s entry.

The  submission of Cabrillo  Logs is highly encouraged. Please submit   CQ WW 160 Meter Contest logs via e-mail to
<> for  CW     and
<> for SSB. Logs are requested to be in the Cabrillo file format. You  can  view  the  current  list of  logs received at .
Cabrillo format logs are received by a log processing robot. If your log has been submitted correctly,  the robot will  reply with an e-mail containing a tracking (con-  firmation) number. If there is a problem with your log, the robot will send you an error message containing suggestions for how to fix your log. Read this e-mail care- fully. Most log submission problems are minor and can be corrected in one pass. Submit your log as many times as need- ed. The last submitted log will be the ver- sion that  counts  for  your  official entry. Once you receive a tracking number, your log has been accepted. Inquiries may be sent to .
Special request for   competitive entries: Wherever possible, the entrant is asked to record and save an audio file of the contest  for  review by the committee when requested. Any type of audio format is acceptable. This is only a request and is not required for awards.
Be sure to send in paper and diskette- based logs early to ensure receipt by the deadlines. Unreadable paper logs will be classified  as check logs

XI. Penalties  and  Disqualification: 
Logs will be cross-checked and penalties will be applied at the committee’s discre- tion for contacts determined  to be bad or busted. The bad QSO is removed and a penalty of three more equivalent QSOs is applied  to  the  points  only. No  penalty should be applied for unique QSOs unless they are deemed excessive. A  log may be disqualified for violation of amateur radio regulations, unsportsmanlike conduct, or claiming excessive unverified contacts.
Report file outputs showing final score calculations will be available  for  all  en- trants after the results are published. The decisions of the   CQ   WW 160 Contest Committee are final.
XII. Deadline: Mailing deadline for CW entries is February 28, 2012; for SSB en- tries March 31, 2012. Mail all paper/disk logs to: Paper Logs, P.O. Box 481, New Carlisle, OH 45344. Indicate CW or SSB on the envelope.


Saturday, January 14, 2012



 I. DATE AND TIME:                                                                                                                      

          Starting time at 12:00 UTC on Saturday 14.01.2012
          Ending time at  12:00 UTC on Sunday 15.01.2012

 II. OBJECTIVE:                                                                                                                            

          The European PSK Club and the Scottish-Russian ARS have the honour to invite the radio amateurs all over the world to participate in the UK DX RTTY Contest.
          The  objective  of  the  contest  is  to  establish  as  many  contacts  as  possible between radio amateurs around the world and radio amateurs in  the United Kingdom by using the RTTY mode.
          Everybody can work everybody for QSO and multiplier credit.

 III. BANDS:                                                                                                                                  

          80 meters (3.5 MHz)
          40 meters (7 MHz)
          20 meters (14 MHz)
          15 meters (21 MHz)
          10 meters (28 MHz)

 IV. TYPE OF COMPETITION:                                                                                                      

          There is no output power limit on any band.
          Transmitters and receivers must be located within a 500 meter diameter circle or
within the property limits of the station licensee’s address, whichever is greater.
          All antennas used by the entrant must be physically connected by wires to the transmitters and receivers used by the entrant.
          Only  the  entrant’s  callsign  can be used to aid  the  entrant’s  score.  A different
callsign must be used for each UK DX RTTY Contest entry.
          There are two separate groups of entrants - UK Stations and DX Stations. All categories of entrants are allowed to use packet and web clusters.

 V. CATEGORIES:                                                                                                                        

          SOAB-HP – Single operator, all bands, high power. Those stations at which one performs all of the operating, logging, and spotting functions. Only one signal is allowed at any one time. The operator may change bands at any time. There is no output power limit on any band.
          SOAB-LP – Single operator, all bands, low power. Those stations at which one performs all of the operating, logging, and spotting functions. Only one signal is
allowed at any one time. The operator may change bands at any time. The
output power shall not exceed 100 watts.
          MOST-HP – Multi operator, all bands, single transmitter, high power. Only one transmitter and one band permitted during any 10-minute period, defined as
starting with the first logged QSO on a band.  There is no output power limit on any band.

 VI. NUMBER EXCHANGE:                                                                                                          

          UK stations should send signal report plus UK Area Code (example for Glasgow
City – 599 GL) – Not Postal Code!!!
          DX stations should send signal report plus QSO number, starting 001.

 VII. POINTS FOR UK STATIONS:                                                                                              

          Contacts between stations in the same DXCC Country are worth 1 point.
          Contacts between stations on the same continent but different DXCC Countries are worth 2 points.
          Contacts between stations on different continents are worth 3 points.

 VIII. POINTS FOR DX STATIONS:                                                                                              

          Contacts between stations in the same DXCC Country are worth 1 point.
          Contacts between stations on the same continent but different DXCC Countries are worth 2 points.
          Contacts between stations on different continents are worth 3 points.
          Contacts with UK stations are worth 5 points.

 IX. MULTIPLIER:                                                                                                                          

          A multiplier of one for each different DXCC Country contacted on each band.
          A multiplier of one for each different UK Area contacted on each band.

 X. NOTE:                                                                                                                                      

          The UK Areas List, DXCC Countries List and WAC boundaries are standards.
          Maritime  mobile  stations  are  not  the  multipliers,  but  worth  3  points  for  any participant.

 XI. SCORING:                                                                                                                              

          Scoring is the same for all stations.

          The final score is the result of the total QSO points multiplied by the sum of your
UK Area and DXCC Country multipliers.

 XII. AWARDS:       

          First place certificates will be awarded in each category listed under Section V in every participating UK DXCC Country (UK stations only).
          First place certificates will be awarded in each category listed under Section V on every WAC continent (DX stations only).
          UK first place plaque will be awarded in each category listed under Section V (UK stations only).
          DX first place plaque will be awarded in each category listed under Section V (DX stations only).
          All scores will be published on the official UK DX RTTY Contest website.
          To be eligible for an award, a Single Operator station must show a minimum of
12 hours of operation. Multi Operator stations must operate all 24 hours.
          In DXCC Countries where the returns justify, second and third place awards will be made.
          All certificates and plaques will be issued to the licensee of the station used.
          Any radio amateur or radio club can act by the official sponsor of the UK DX RTTY  Contest.  If  you  are  interested  in  sponsoring  a  special  trophy  for  the
contest, please contact the UK DX RTTY Contest Committee.


          All times must be in UTC. All sent and received exchanges are to be logged.
          The Contest Committee accepts logs in the Cabrillo format ONLY. Name your
Cabrillo file as your callsign (for example – gm4agg.cbr or gm4agg.log).
          You may send your log via e-mail to Be sure to put the station  callsign  and your  category  in  the  «Subject»  line  of the  message  (for example – GM4AGG MOST). Your software may automatically encode your log as an attachment.
          Electronic submission implies a signed declaration that all contest rules and regulations for amateur radio in the country of operation have been observed.
          All entries must be postmarked no later than 30 days after the contest.
          Use this sample file as a standard entry log file for the UK DX RTTY Contest. Remember that the log file must be in CBR
or LOG format.

XIV. DISQUALIFICATION:                                                                                                             

          Violation of amateur radio regulations in the country of the contestant, or the rules of the contest; unsportsmanlike conduct; taking credit for excessive unverifiable contacts or unverifiable multipliers will be deemed sufficient cause for disqualification.
          Incorrectly logged calls or numbers will be counted as unverifiable contacts for culprit only.
          The  use  by  an  entrant  of  any  non-amateur  means  such  as  telephones, telegrams, internet, or the use of packet to solicit contacts during the contest is unsportsmanlike and the entry is subject to disqualification.
          Actions and decisions of the UK DX RTTY Contest Committee are official and final.


          Care must be taken in the interpretation of UK Areas from small-scale maps.
          The addresses of British Stations given in RSGB and International Callbooks can be misleading.
          The postal address system tends to use old county names that no longer exist, and  old  boundaries  of  existing  counties  from  before  all,  or  some,  of  the
reorganizations of the administrative systems.
          The UK Postal Codes are not acceptable for the UK DX RTTY Contest.
          Administrative geography concerns itself with the hierarchy of areas relating to national and local government in the UK. This hierarchy is complicated for not
only are there several layers but the structure is different in each constituent
Country of the UK. In addition the boundaries of many of the layers in the hierarchy are subject to periodic or occasional change.
          Use this link to find out more about the Administrative Geography of the UK in general, or a specific UK
Country of your choice.
          Use this PDF file to view a map of all UK
local authorities.
          The two letter abbreviations are given to UK Areas by the UK DX RTTY Contest Committe. These are used along with the full name in the list. Use this PDF file as a standard UK Areas List for the UK DX RTTY Contest. There are 170 current entities in the list.

 XVI. SOFTWARES:                                                                                                                        

          GenLog by Dave Mascaro W3KM -
          Super-Duper by Paul O’Kane EI5DI -
          RCKRtty by Walter Dallmeier DL4RCK -
          AALog by Alexander Anipkin RZ4AG -
          Wincontest by Enzo Aglio I8VKB -
          N1MMLogger by Tom Wagner N1MM -
          MixW by Nick Fedoseev UT2UZ -
          WriteLog by Wayne Wright W5XD -

 XVII. CONTACT INFORMATION:                                                                                                  

          Postal Address: UK DX RTTY Contest Committee, P.O. Box 7469, Glasgow, G42 0YD, Scotland, U.K.
          E-Mail:
          UK DX RTTY Contest Official Website:

The United Kingdom DX RTTY Contest Rules
Copyright © SRARS 2012


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


DX Code Of Conduct

I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.
I will not trust the DX cluster and will be sure of the DX station's call sign before calling.
I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.
I will always send my full call sign.
I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.
I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.
I will not transmit when the DX station requests geographic areas other than mine.
When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.
I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect.

#1   I will listen, and listen and then listen again before calling.
  This seems so obvious but it is the most vital thing to do. Careful listening rather than rushing to transmit will get the DX into your log. You must listen to find out whether the DX is working split and if so, where is he listening? Then you need to listen to the calling stations in order to determine what the DX station is doing. For example, he may be working gradually up or down the pile-up frequency range – and you need to find the best spot to call. And it may be time to ask yourself: “Do I really need to work this bit of DX, right now? Can I wait a while for the pile-up to subside?”

#2   I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly. 
   You also need to listen carefully to determine how well you can hear the DX station to be sure you will hear his reply to your call and to avoid causing interference by transmitting at the wrong time. It is extremely frustrating for a DX station to return a call to a station that is unable to hear him, thereby causing incessant QRM.

#3   I will not trust the Cluster and will be sure of the DX station’s callsign before calling. 
   Cluster spots often show the wrong call sign. Before you log a station, you should hear the station’s callsign on the air – don’t trust spotting networks. The DX operator should send his call sign at regular intervals. Unfortunately, not all operators do this!

#4   I will not interfere with the DX station or anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
   Sadly, this covers a multitude of operators, employing poor operating practices. We are frequently afflicted with “Policemen,” people who repeatedly jump in to tell callers that “the DX is listening up” – often adding a gratuitous insult. The rule is quite simple: never, ever transmit on the DX frequency for any purpose whatsoever.

#5   I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before calling.
   If you transmit before a QSO is over, you are likely to interfere with the exchange of information, lengthening the QSO and slowing the process. It may seem clever to “nip in” as the previous contact is ending but many DX stations don’t like it, as such operating may break the pattern of the operator, which is what helps everyone to know when to transmit.

#6   I will always send my full call sign. 
   This is essential for CW and SSB, because incomplete calls lead to an extra transmission, slowing the operator’s progress with the pileup. If the operator is responding to partial call signs, it may appear that you should call with only several letters. Generally, this is not the case. Always use your full call sign.

#7  I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
   Continuous calling is selfish and arrogant. With a computer or memory keyer, it is easy to send continuously. Unfortunately, it prevents you from listening and knowing what is taking place. In addition, it raises the QRM floor greatly, making life difficult for the DX station and everyone else.

#8   I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another callsign, not mine.
  Perhaps this is intuitively obvious, but it is a common occurrence. If it is clear that the station is not calling you, do not transmit.

#9   I will not transmit when the DX Operator queries a call sign, not like mine.
   In life outside amateur radio it would simply be considered rude to answer when someone else is asked a question! How do you know if the station is calling you? Perhaps the DX operator has a partial version of your call. Is it me? “The timing is right!” Yes, the timing may seem right, but it may also be “right” for many other stations. If the DX is actually calling you and hears nothing, he will call you again. Then you can call. Only one letter from your call sign is NOT enough, however. Calling when not being addressed raises the floor level of QRM and slows progress dramatically.

#10   I will not transmit when the DX operator requests geographic areas other than mine. 
   You must recognise and accept that when an operator is calling for a specific geographic area (e.g. NA for North America, AS for Asia ), you must not call until the operator’s instructions change. Even if his choice appears incorrect, you must follow his instructions. The DX operator is in control. Here’s an important point: If a DX operator is working, some area, perhaps North America , and he fails to say so between QSOs, do not begin calling immediately. Call only when it is clear that the operator’s instructions have changed. To do otherwise is impolite and simply slows the process.

#11   When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my callsign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
   If you repeat your call sign, the DX station may think that he has your call sign wrong. He might then listen very carefully – again – thus slowing the process. A DX operator will generally log what he has if you say nothing further.

#12   I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact. 
   There should certainly be a pride of accomplishment when you get a QSO with a guy in a far-away entity. But before you start basking in the glow of accomplishment, think about the help you received from your partners, perhaps Mr. Icom, Mr. Alpha, and Mr. Force 12. If your ego still feels a need to take ALL the credit, try again. But this time turn off your amplifier and connect your rig barefoot to a dipole. If you get through the pile up this time, then YOU, as the operator, can take more of the credit.
   You should also acknowledge that you would not have had the contact without the skill of the operator at the other end who undoubtedly made sacrifices to be there for you. So be thankful for all this help you received. 

#13   I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect.
   Respect is about behaving well toward others. DXing is very competitive. If you operate otherwise, you may acquire a bad reputation. DXing will be the most fun for everyone if we all behave with politeness, mutual respect and even a bit of humility! 

DXpeditioners' Code of Conduct

This DXpeditioners’ Code is to help maximize the fun for all participants. As the DX operator, you play a critical role in pileups: you are "in charge”. Dealing with an unruly pileup of discourteous operators who have forgotten about ethical behavior is NOT fun. So it makes sense to plan and train ahead of time on how best to deal with the situation.

   Good operators at the DX end and courteous behavior at the other end of the QSO can greatly increase the total number of QSOs logged. It has been demonstrated that pileups can be kept reasonably under control if the DX operator follows certain ‘rules’. Luckily, some top operators have given us the benefit of their experience. Please peruse these suggestions.

   It is also important that you tell the thousands of hams who want a QSO that you expect them to operate ethically in accordance with the DX Code of Conduct.  If your DXpedition has a website or just a page at, please consider posting a notice on your website. 

   As a starter, consider posting our mascot with a link to this site. You may be as creative as you like. You might consider posting the Code itself on your website, just copy and paste . Whatever suits you. For further assistance, click here.     For an example of how this might look, click here.  

   We also hope that you will tell us that you have linked to us so and we can publish your DXpedition and website at this site.  More important, we hope that this initiative will play a positive role in making sure that  you enjoy your trip.

NOTE: This page is organized as a Table of Contents. Click on each topic to go to a section of the document that explains it further. Some sections have links to a third page with even more details and links to various resources we think may help. Enjoy!

Do your Homework
Keep the DX community informed
Check TX frequency AND the RX range before starting up
You are the Boss and You are in Charge
Announce Your Callsign Frequently
Use Split Operation
Establish and Maintain a Rhythm
Work and log dupes, it’s quicker
Give QSY/QRT information before leaving the pile-up
Establish a “Friendship” with the Pileup
Avoid working by numbers, continents are OK
Repeat corrected callsigns so everyone is sure of being safely logged
Be a role model

#1 Do your homework
  Edison famously said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. In DXpeditioning, success is ninety percent preparation.

   Before traveling, read "DXpeditioning Basics ” by N7NG.This freely available publication is a must read for every DXpeditioner. Another good resource is "DX-peditioning Behind the Scenes" by Neville Cheadle, G3NUG & Steve Telenius-Lowe, G4JVG. You can order directly from the author by clicking on the title.

   Study the propagation before you travel. There are three important population centers in the world: Europe, North America and Asia . From wherever you are, two are likely to be easy. The third one is the most difficult to work from your destination location so it becomes your “target area.” Make sure that you work the target area any time any band is open to that area.

   Practice your QSO technique. Pick out the weaker stations. Provide training to your less-experienced operators in the finer points of both SSB and CW operating.

#2 Keep the DX community informed
   The DX community appreciates a well organized website, some of which are works of art. If your operation is smaller and you do not plan to have a "full service" website, at least set up a page that states your location, dates of operation, and QSL information. Even with a complete website, a page with a link to your main website makes you easier to find.

#3 Check TX frequency AND the RX range before starting up
   Always check for a clear TX frequency and find a clear RX range before starting up on a band. As a DXpeditioner, you have powerful tools to control the frequencies you use. If you have previously announced your frequencies, try to stick with them. However, conditions might demand a change. You may have to select your pileup RX place in a spot other than the busiest part of the band.

#4 You are the Boss and You are in Charge
   In order to maintain control of the pileup you must operate in such a manner as to make control possible. It is easy to lose control of a pileup, and if you do, it may be your fault. Maintain good QSO mechanics. Use the same general pattern for every QSO. Select a callsign from the pile and stay with it until a satisfactory QSO results. If it is not possible to finish a QSO, solicit QSOs again. NEVER select another callsign without soliciting QSOs – QRZ, CQ, etc.

Issue clear instructions to the pileup and stick to them – always. For example, if you catch only part of someone’s call and give the partial out, do not work anyone else until you have completed with that station. If you call “NO EU,” DO NOT work any European callers. Ignore rude callers. Breaking your own rules just creates chaos. Stay in charge, but never shout to nor lecture the crowd.  

#5 Announce Your Callsign Frequently, like (almost) every QSO
   You should give you callsign often enough so that no one has to ask. If you don't give your call often enough, some callers will just log whatever callsign was last spotted on a DXcluster (right or wrong) and some will ask for your call. That wastes time, interrupts your flow, and energizes the ever present frequency cops.  Once per QSO is not too often.

   If you are blessed with a real long callsign such as SV9/ON4ZZZZ/P, that's a lot to mention after every QSO so just be alert. If you hear someone asking “QRZ” or “What’s the DX?” on your TX frequency, you have waited too long.

#6 Use Split Operation
   Assuming that you have gone to some relatively rare entity, you can start out by assuming that you will be dealing with a pileup. Don't wait until you have a large number of callers. Start out by operating split immediately. As soon as you are spotted on a DXcluster, the whole world will descend on you and you might as well be ready.

#7 Establish and Maintain a Rhythm
   Standardize your transmitted messages as much as possible. For instance send a QSL or TU message at the end of every QSO and maintain a consistent pattern to help callers synchronize with you. That reduces the amount of out-of-turn calling. This is a well established technique for controlling a pileup. It gives the callers solid guidance in determining when and when not to call.

#8 Work and log dupes, it’s quicker
   Work and log dupes: it is quicker than telling the duplicate callers that they are dupes, and it may be that they were unsure of a previous QSO. Use your website to announce your policy on duplicates, for example “Please work us only once on each band/mode slot to give others a chance for a new one.”

#9 Give QSY/QRT information before leaving the pileup
           When you are about to leave the pileup, say what you are doing. Announce if you will QSY to another band/mode, perhaps giving out your new TX frequency. If you are going QRT for a while, give out your QSL information and website address. Don’t say, “QRX 5” unless you definitely are going to come back within 5 minutes as this just extends the band pollution unnecessarily.

        if you don’t know how long you will be, it is better to say, “QRT,” but then come back on later when you are ready. When you get tired, slow down and take extra care over accuracy. If you start making too many mistakes, take a break and maybe a short sleep, whatever suits your body’s natural rhythm.

#10 Establish a “Friendship” with the Pileup 
   This is called the conversational style of pileup operating. This is perhaps one step beyond being friendly and not lecturing. It helps control the nature of the situation. Rather than have a group of antagonistic hounds, you put the callers at ease, and in the end give them confidence that you are fully interested in making a QSO with each of them. This style of operating is NOT a substitute for poor operating procedure, however.

   Also remember the many operators who are not regular CW operators.  They want a QSO too but may be able to copy code at, say, 20 wpm. DXpedition operators are sometimes whizzing along at 40 wpm. So keep an ear out for the guy who is calling at 20 wpm and respond to him at a speed he can copy easily. You will make another grateful friend.

   Also remember that many operators have 100 watts and wire antennas. After the big guns all have their QSOs, work these guys because they are the backbone of the amateur radio community.

#11 Avoid working by numbers, continents are OK
   When possible, try to avoid subdividing a pileup by numbers. Depending on propagation, try working a whole continent or several continents, or NOT working a particular continent. At times only working by numbers will work, however. Whatever method you choose, be sure to inform the pileup after every QSO.

   Don't break your own rule by working your pals in NA if you are asking for "Eu."

#12 Repeat corrected callsigns so everyone is sure of being correctly logged
   A valid QSO is when both stations have copied content and have logged it correctly. It is unrealistic to think that you will copy 100% of all callsigns the first time. On CW do not send a “question mark,” as in “ABC?” when returning to a partial callsign. For some obscure reason many (undisciplined) pileup callers take a 'question mark' as the sign to start transmitting again, although the partial callsign does not resemble their callsign.

   So when you respond to a call with a partial as “ABC 5nn” and W5ABC responds, “W5ABC W5ABC 5nn TU,” it is proper that you respond “W5ABC QSL TU” That way W5ABC knows he is in the log and does not have to call again later to make sure.

   If you made a mistake with someone’s call, he may keep calling you. Repeat his call or work them again, using “TU”, “QSL”, “CFM” or “You’re in the log” to let them know for sure that they are safely logged. This is even more important if you do not have an online log with daily updates. 

#13 Be a role model 
   Standardize your transmitted messages as much as possible. For instance send a QSL or TU message at the end of every QSO and maintain a consistent pattern to help callers synchronize with you. That reduces the amount of out-of-turn calling. This is a well established technique for controlling a pileup. It gives the callers solid guidance in determining when and when not to call.

    A number of people contributed to this document. It is thus a compendium of the work of others, here presented in a format that hopefully has included the best of what experienced DXpeditioners have had to say about this topic.

   In the end, if DXpeditioners are better prepared, insist on good operating behavior from those calling them, and if those at the other end adhere to the DX Code of Conduct, everyone will have more fun. And that’s what it’s about.

Contesters' Code of Conduct

• The primary aim of a contest QSO is to exchange only the essential QSO information (normally callsigns, reports and contest-specific information such as zones number, state or serial number) as efficiently (meaning quickly and yet accurately) as possible. In most contests, anything further (greetings, QTH or station details etc.) is superfluous, slows down the QSO rate and reduces the achievable score

• If you hear a contest in progress and want to join in, look up the contest rules to find out what information to
send and whether you are eligible to participate. Check out the contest calendar and links to contest websites at

• Listen carefully before calling a contest station, ensuring that you have their callsign correct and haven’t already worked them. There are good logging programs that will help eliminate duplicate QSOs that waste valuable time.

• Consciously avoid causing interference, for example by transmitting an over modulated signal or CQing on a
frequency that is already in use Remember, listen first and listen hard and try calling "QRL?" before operating.
Don’t operate ‘split’ unless it is absolutely necessary.

• Call a contest station that is CQing at just the right instant, giving your full callsign once. That is usually enough. Most stations leave only a few brief seconds between their CQ calls so it is important to synchronize your call with their listening periods. Good stations get a rhythm going and it will help if you get in tune with that rhythm.

• Stand by for a moment if they go back to someone else. You shouldn’t have to wait very long. If they are really busy, make a note of their frequency and spend a few minutes hunting for other stations to work, then come back for another call.

• If they send your correct callsign plus a report and contest information, respond with just a report and contest information. However, if they send your callsign incorrectly, hesitate briefly just in case they are working someone else, but if you are certain they are working you, respond by sending just your full callsign again, once or twice but with no report until they get your callsign correctly.

• Do your level best to log their callsign and exchange information accurately, and to ensure they have all your
information correct (e.g. - repeating the essential information if conditions are marginal). Sometimes several
repeats are needed to complete the QSO but this is necessary to claim the points and avoid penalties.

• Having met the primary aim, you will both be grateful for the efficient QSO and points. It is polite for the CQ station to send “Thank you“ or “TU” to confirm the QSO has been logged. This reduces unnecessary duplicate QSOs due to not knowing whether the QSO was complete, and is the cue to move on to the next QSO.

• Remain courteous at all times, even when you are stressed or tired. If another station encroaches onto the
frequency you are using, use your filters, turn your antenna, ask them politely to move a little HF or LF as
appropriate and/or shift your frequency a little to reduce mutual interference, or take this as an opportunity to go searching for new QSOs on the same or another band.

• Respect other amateurs who are not in the contest, for instance by obeying ‘contest-preferred' frequencies and avoiding frequencies used by beacons, nets, DXpeditions and other modes. Keep the WARC bands a contest-free safe haven for those who do not enjoy contests.

• If you are using a club or another amateur’s station for the contest, be a good guest, for example by being
careful with the equipment, tidying up afterwards and not annoying other people in the house.

• Play fair. For example, if you are using DX Cluster to find new multipliers, spot multipliers for other contestants too.

• Comply fully with the rules of the contest both in letter and in spirit. Don’t even bend them.

• Take as much pride in your station and operating techniques as in the contest certificates and plaques hanging on  your shack wall. Learn to take advantage of the propagation and make the effort to listen for weak callers.

Most of all, be polite, efficient and friendly and stick to the rules to earn the respect of your fellow amateurs.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

DARC 10m-Contest - Official Rules

DARC 10m-Contest - Official Rules

The Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club (DARC) has the honor to invite radio amateurs all over the world to participate in the annual DARC 10m contest.

Contest period
2nd Sunday of January, 0900-1059 UTC, 8th January 2012

Band and modes
CW : 28.000 to 28.190 kHz
SSB: 28.300 to 28.700 kHz

Stations to be worked
All - only once

Stations within Germany
Single operator, mixed, low power
Single operator, mixed, high power
Single operator, CW, low power
Single operator, CW, high power
Stations outside Germany
Single operator, mixed
Single operator, CW
Output power: low power = up to 100 watts, high power = more than 100 watts.


DX cluster support is allowed for all categories
Transmitters, receivers and antennas used in the contest must be located within a 2 km diameter circle
Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time

DL stations send: RS(T) + serial number + DOK or "NM" (no member) if they are not DARC members. NM does not count as a multiplier.
Stations from foreign countries (outside DL) send: RS(T) + serial number.
QSO points
Each valid QSO counts 1 point.

Each WAE-country/DXCC-entity and each different DOK.

Final score
Number of valid QSOs x Number of multipliers (countries/entities + DOKs).

Contest awards
Certificates will be awarded to every participant as a PDF file for self-printing.

Violation of the rules of the contest or unsportsmanlike conduct will be deemed sufficient cause for disqualification.

The log-file has to be submitted in the Cabrillo or DARC-STF format by email to the following address:
Be sure to put the station callsign in the subject line of each message. The logs will be part of the DCL (DARC Contest Logbook). By submitting the log, the participant claims to fully accept the rules of the contest.

3rd Monday after the contest. Deadline 2012: January 23

Email address for log submissions: 10m |at|
Email address for questions: 10m-info |at|




ON5ME-EUCW 160m CW party

To promote an increase in activity throughout Europe and even the World, the Union Francaise des Telegraphistes has proposed a joint Top-Band contest.

The date is normally the first weekend of January each year except when the 1st January falls on the Saturday or Sunday . In such a case, the second weekend will be chosen.

Saturday from 20h00 to 23h00 GMT
Sunday from 04h00 to 07h00 GMT

Frequencies : 1810 to 1840 kHz

Mode : CW

The contest is open to participants worldwide, including SWLs.


Licenced members of a club affiliated to EUCW using 150 W HF or more.
Licenced members of a club affiliated to EUCW using 5 to 150 W HF.
The same, but using 5 W HF or less.
Other stations, no power limitations.

Reports exchanged.

Classes A,B,& C : RST/name/Club/ membership number.
Class D : RST/name/NM (non-member).
Class E : Full report on each station in QSO.


Classes A,B,C & D : 1 point per QSO with a station in the same DXCC entity.
2 points per QSO with a station in another DXCC entity but in samecontinent.
5 points per QSO with a station in another continent.
Class E : 2 points for each complete report.

All Classes: 10 points for each official EUCW club station, e.g. DA0HSC, DF0ACW, DF0AGC, DK0AG, DK0HSC, DK0RTC, DL0CWG, DL0CWW, DL0HSC, DL0RTC, DL0DA, DL0XYL, EA3HCC, F8UFT, EM0RSE, G4FOC, GX0IPX, HB9HC, IQ3QR, MX5IPX, ON5CFT, etc.

A QSO with the same station may be made on Saturday and again on Sunday.


One multiplier per EUCW Club contacted per day.

Scores : 

the number of points multiplied by the number of multipliers.

The EUCW affiliated clubs are :
Associated non-European clubs  : QRP-ARCI (U.S.A.) CWAS (Brazil) GACW (Argentina).


Date/time GMT/callsign/report/ points claimed/ multipliers.

The list of multipliers for each day.

Summary on a separate page giving details of the station equipment including the antenna, the entry Class, power used and points claimed.

Finally a declaration that the regulations as well as the license conditions have been respected followed by the signature of the operator.

Where possible please submit entries by an ASCII file – either by floppy or by e-mail sent to the corrector

NB : Special callsigns will not be classed.

Entries to be sent before February 8 to :
Ghislain BARBASON, 5 rue de l'Ecluse, F-02190 PIGNICOURT, Email:..f6cel (ay-symbol)

1st Class A A cup.
2nd Class A A trophy.
3rd Class A A trophy.
1st Class B A cup
2nd Class B A trophy
3rd Class B A trophy
1st Class C A cup
1st YL station A cup
1st Class D A trophy
1st Class E A cup.

Further information can be obtained from :
Source: received from F5NQL c/o UFT (translated from French by F6GPA es XYL)

RESULTS: 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


2012 ARRL RTTY Roundup Rules

2012 ARRL RTTY Roundup Rules

1. Objective: 
Amateurs worldwide contact and exchange QSO information with other amateurs using digital modes (Baudot RTTY, ASCII, AMTOR, PSK31 and Packet— attended operation only) on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. Any station may work any other station. Stations may be worked once per band, regardless of mode.

2. Date and Contest Period:
First full weekend of January, but never on January 1. Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, ends 2400 UTC Sunday (January 7-8, 2012).

2.1. Operate no more than 24 hours.
2.2. The six hours of off time must be taken in no more than two blocks.
2.3. Stations are allowed only one transmitted signal at any given time.

3. Entry Categories:

3.1. Single Operator:

3.1.1. Low Power.
3.1.2. High Power.
3.1.3 Single Operator entrants may not use any form of spotting assistance such as from nets or packet. Single Operators that use assistance will be changed to the 

Multioperator, Single Transmitter category.

3.2. Multioperator, Single Transmitter:
3.2.1. This category also includes single operators that use any form of spotting assistance such as from nets or packet.
3.2.2. Includes those that receive assistance with logging or relief operators, etc.
3.3. Power.

3.3.1. Low Power
3.3 2. High Power
3.3.4. Multioperator stations are limited to 6 band changes (maximum) in any clock hour.
3.3.5. The clock hour is from zero through 59 minutes.
3.3.6. Band changes are defined so that, for example, a change from 20 meters 15 meters and then back to 20 meters constitutes two band changes.

4. Exchange:

4.1. United States: Signal report and State.

4.2. Canada: Signal report and Province.

4.3. DX: Signal report and consecutive serial number, starting with 001.

5. Scoring:

5.1. QSO Points: Count one point for each completed QSO.

5.2. Multipliers: Each US state (except KH6 and KL7) plus the District of Columbia (DC), Canadian provinces/territories: NB (VE1, 9), NS (VE1), QC (VE2), ON (VE3), MB  (VE4), SK (VE5), AB (VE6), BC (VE7), NWT (VE8), NF (VO1), LB (VO2), NU (VYØ), YT (VY1), PEI (VY2) and each DXCC country. KH6 and KL7 count only as separate DXCC  entities.
5.2.1. Count only once (not once per band).
5.2.2. The US and Canada do not count as DXCC entities.

6. Reporting:

6.1. All entries are must be postmarked or emailed by 2359 UTC Tuesday, February
7, 2012.

6.2. Entries in electronic format may be submitted to or submitted on 3.5” diskette to RTTY Round-Up, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

6.3. All logs that are created electronically are required to submit their electronic log file in Cabrillo file format. A print out of an electronically generated log is not an acceptable substitute. A hand-written log that is later entered into a logging or other electronic program is considered an electronically generated log and must meet electronic file requirements.

6.4. The Cabrillo entries include the header and the complete QSO list.

6.5. Submissions may be made using the web applet at

6.6. Hand-logged entries may be submitted to RTTY Round-Up, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

7. Miscellaneous:

7.1. Packet radio contacts made through digipeaters or gateways are not permitted.

7.2. All ARRL Contest rules and forms may be obtained from the Contest Branch by sending an SASE with 2 units of postage.

7.3. For contest information contact or (860) 594-0232

8. Awards:

8.1 Certificates will be awarded to:

8.1.1. Top high power and low power Single Operator and Multioperator scorers in each ARRL/RAC Section.
8.1.2. Top high power and low power Single Operator and Multioperator scorers in each DXCC country (other than W/VE).

8.2. Plaques, if sponsored, will be awarded to the top scoring low and high power entrant in each category overall, each ARRL Division, and Canada.
8.2.1. Unsponsored plaques may be purchased from the ARRL.
Other: See “General Rules for All ARRL Contests” and “General Rules for ARRL Contests on bands below 30 MHz (HF)” November 2001 QST.