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Get Ready for the 2009 ARRL International CW DX Contest


The weekend of February 21-22 will be a busy one for CW operators as the 2009 ARRL International CW DX Contest takes center stage. First started in 1929 as the ARRL International Relay Party, the ARRL DX CW Contest is 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 (no contest QSOs are permitted on 12, 17, 30 or 60 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 as many 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 with which they are transmitting.

"If you've never operated the CW contest, now is the time to start," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. "You can work a lot of DX with just 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!'"

After the contest is over and you've had your fill of DX, Kutzko advises that you make sure to submit your QSOs to Logbook of The World (LoTW): "You can get a lot of your DX QSOs confirmed with little effort, and the instant gratification of having those QSOs count toward your DXCC totals just can't be beat."

The ARRL International CW DX Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, February 21 through 2359 UTC Sunday, February 22, 2009. Complete rules and forms can be found on the ARRL Contest Web site. Electronic logs should be e-mailed; paper logs can be sent to ARRL DX CW Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Logs sent via postal mail must be postmarked no later than 2359 UTC Monday, March 23, 2009.



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