Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Code of Conduct for Using the DXcluster

The Code of Conduct for Using the DXcluster

Gary, ZL2IFB  

• The clue is in the name. Only ‘spot’ genuine DX, ie relatively rare or exotic calls on that band, mode and time.

• ‘Spot’ DX stations that are ‘lonely’ but don’t ‘spot’ those who have been found the "proper" way, by operators who actually listen for DX. Give them a chance to get their QSO because the mob will decend on them as soon as they are spotted.

• Dont 'spot' stations that are already very busy or struggling to control their pile-ups – give them a break! Real DXers will probably be in the pile-up, if not in the log already. Repeatedly spotting’ huge pile-ups is showing off and merely encourages yet more QRM from those who are too lazy or incompetent to find DX for themselves.

• Avoid ‘spotting’ stations that have just been ‘spotted’ by someone else, unless you have useful additional information to pass on. Definitely don’t ‘spot’ a station that has just been ‘spotted’ by a million others, no matter how excited you are.

It is impolite to ‘self-spot’ (‘spot’ your own callsign) unless you are desperately trying to start activity on an open but quiet band – and even then it is preferable to ‘spot’ a real DX station with a comment to the effect that the band is open.

Never ‘self-spot’ in a contest; that is definitely cheating. Posting the ‘spot’ under a friend’s callsign or a fake call doesn’t make it any more ethical.

• Please do not ‘spot’ the exact QSX frequency for DX stations operating split – it just makes the pile-up on that frequency even more difficult for them to handle. It is also unnecessary; “Up” or “Down” is reminder enough because real DXers will of course listen first!

• Get the DX call and frequency right, double-check the information before ‘spotting’ and treblecheck
after ‘spotting’. Correct your mistakes promptly and apologetically, and learn the lesson.

• Respect the DX station’s wishes regarding ‘spotting’ if they indicate (whether on the air or on their QRZ page or website) that they do, or do not, want to be ‘spotted’.

• Use your own call (remembering that your IP address is logged automatically) and be polite.

• Never insult anyone via DXcluster; it is only a hobby – and we know your IP address.

• Do not post pseudo-spots begging for QSOs, QSYs, new modes or whatever. DXcluster is not e-mail. Assume the DX is either not monitoring the cluster, or is too busy to respond.

• Do not post lame ‘non-spots’ saying you cannot hear someone. Nobody but you really cares. (Telling us that you cannot hear the DX on your 18 element 160 metre yagi at 600 feet is fine though because we will all be laughing at you for playing ‘chequebook radio’.)

• Do not post brag spots (“Worked with 3mW!”, “Yipeee!!”, “Easy on my 24 ele quad” and “Thanks for DXCC#678”).

• Do not create and ‘spot’ fake callsigns just to test your software; ‘spot’ the station TE1ST as the DXcluster network doesn’t circulate spots with that call. (Definitely avoid ‘spotting’ fake calls starting with exotic prefixes (such as P5) as that is guaranteed to excite those who have DXcluster alarms set for their last few DXCC countries.)

• Do not try to make, complete or arrange DX QSOs via DXcluster. It is unsporting, cheating even.

• Do post helpful comments eg IOTA reference, QSL information etc.

• Configure the DXcluster filters appropriately. If you get annoyed at VHF spots, ANN/ALL announcements or beacon spots, just cut out the QRM using the DXcluster filtering facilities.

• Hint: while you may enjoy the challenge of mastering the DXcluster’s somewhat obscure and limited filtering commands, software such as VE7CC’s CC User and logging programs such as Logger32 make spot filtering much easier and more flexible. Another excellent program is DX Monitor at

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