Get Ready for the ARRL DX CW Contest
The weekend of February 20-21 will be a busy one for CW operators as the 2010 ARRL DX CW Contest takes center stage. First started in 1927 as the ARRL International Relay Party, the ARRL DX CW contest lays claim to the longest running contest in Amateur Radio. Stations from all around the world -- from Australia to Zimbabwe -- should be active for this great event that takes place on 160-10 meters (contest QSOs are not permitted on 60, 30, 17 or 12 meters).
Stations in the US and Canada work only DX stations -- Alaska and Hawaii are considered DX for this contest -- and DX stations only work the US and Canada. DX stations will be trying to make QSOs with all US states and Canadian provinces as they can. The contest exchange is simple: US and Canadian stations send a signal report and their state or province, while DX stations send a signal report and the amount of power they are transmitting with.
“Even though we’ve been in an extended solar minimum, the propagation gods have been giving us some hope lately,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “A giant sunspot appeared around February 1 and the solar flux index has been in the 90s recently. Could this translate to improved conditions on 15 and 10 meters? Let’s hope so!”
Kutzko said that even if you’re new to CW, get on the air and have some fun: “If you’ve never operated the CW contest, now is the time to start. You can work a lot of DX with 100 W and a simple dipole or vertical antenna. If your CW is a little rusty, this event is a great way to get your CW skills back up to snuff and get some new DX countries into your bag. If you live in one of the rarer states -- such as Delaware, North Dakota, West Virginia or Wyoming -- DX stations from all around the world will be looking for you. This is your opportunity to ‘be the rare one!’”
The ARRL DX CW Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, February 20 through 2359z Sunday, February 21, 2009. Complete rules and forms can be found at arrl.org/contests/forms. Submit electronic logs via e-mail; paper logs should be sent to ARRL DX CW Contest, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111. Logs must be postmarked no later than 0000 UTC Tuesday, March 23, 2010.