ARRL DX Phone Contest Brings DX in Full Force to HF Bands
With the 2009 ARRL International DX CW Contest now history, the first full weekend in March brings the next round of competition: The 2009 ARRL DX Phone Contest. Like its CW predecessor, this event focuses on DX station working all US states and Canadian provinces, while US and Canadian amateurs try to work as many DX countries as possible over the 48 hour contest period.
"While the origins of the ARRL DX Contest go back to 1927, the first Phone weekend wasn't until 1937," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. "AM was the voice mode used at that time. The rules may have changed since the event was held back in the 1930s, but the premise remains the same: How many contacts with stations in far-away locales can you make?"
Just as in the CW contest a couple of weeks ago, US and Canadian stations send a signal report and their state or province, while DX stations send a signal report and their transmit power. Remember that for this contest, Alaska and Hawaii are considered DX stations -- this means stations in KH6 and KL7 focus their efforts on working Stateside and Canada.
How can you participate? Kutzko said you're only limited by your imagination and willingness to get on the air: "Even though we are at the bottom of the 11-year solar cycle, there will be plenty of chances to work DX, even for stations running 100 W and a dipole or vertical antenna. If you live in an area where antenna restrictions exist, take your contest effort on the road! Operate from your car, set up a portable antenna in a park or campground or see if a friend's station is available. If you have a station and won't be using it, consider opening your doors to members of your club to try their hand at working some DX. If you make 100 QSOs, you're eligible to purchase a commemorative pin for your efforts."
The ARRL International DX Phone Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, March 7 to 2359 UTC Sunday, March 8. Complete rules and forms are available online. Why let all this DX pass you by? Get on the air and have some fun!