The ARRL International DX CW Contest Is Just One Week Away!
The weekend of February 19-20 is prime time for CW DXing as the 2011 ARRL International DX CW Contest takes to the airwaves. According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, 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. 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.
“We keep taking about favorable conditions on the high bands, and each year Ol’ Sol gives us a bit more hope,” Kutzko said. “There have been some promising openings on 15 meters this past week, with decent openings from the US to Africa and South America. The low bands have also been in fine shape this past week, with the recent VP8ORK DXpedition to the South Orkneys concluding on 80 and 160 meters early Tuesday morning with great signals to the US.”
Kutzko advised that there are some rule changes this year. “New for 2011 is the inclusion of two new categories,” he explained. “The Single Operator Assisted and the Multioperator/Single Transmitter categories have been subdivided into High and Low Power. Those without amplifiers who want to use spotting assistance (information gathered from DX clusters, chat rooms or e-mail) can now do so in without having to compete with the high-power crowd. Those competing in the regular Single Operator categories -- High Power, Low Power and QRP -- as well as all Single-Band entrants may not use spotting assistance.”
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 said. “If your fist 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 International DX CW Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, February 19 through 2359 UTC Sunday, February 20, 2011. Complete rules and forms can be found online. Electronic logs should be submitted via e-mail; paper logs can be sent to ARRL DX CW Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Paper logs must be postmarked no later than 0000 UTC Tuesday, March 22, 2011.