The 2012 ARRL International DX CW Contest Takes to the Air Next Weekend
CW DXing and contesting take center stage the weekend of February 18-19, as the 2012 ARRL International DX CW Contest takes to the airwaves. “After years of lackluster conditions on 15 and 10 meters, 2011 finally saw the propagation gods giving us a break,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “Since September 2011, the high bands have been in excellent shape, with worldwide openings on 15 and 10 meters becoming an almost-daily occurrence. As a result, activity has spiked in almost every major contest, with hundreds more logs being submitted. If conditions hold -- and I don’t see why they wouldn’t -- we’re in for another high-band treat in another week or so.”
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,” Kutzko explained. “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!’”
Stations in the US and Canada work only DX stations (Alaska and Hawaii are considered DX for this contest), while DX stations work only the US and Canada. DX stations will be trying to make contacts with as many 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.
The ARRL International DX CW Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, February 18 through 2359 UTC Sunday, February 19, 2012. Complete rules and forms can be found online. Electronic logs should be sent via e-mail; paper logs can be sent to ARRL DX CW Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Logs must be postmarked no later than 2359 UTC Tuesday, March 20, 2012.