No contest season is complete without the running of our annual ARRL International DX Contest. The CW event is February 20-21; the phone event is 2 weeks later on the weekend of March 5-6.
Whether you’re new to DXing, new to HF, or even new to CW, this contest offers an easy way for you to join in and have a lot of fun! The contest exchange is short and simple, and many participants here and abroad will patiently help you work your way toward success — whether your goal is DXCC, working “a new one,” or just getting accustomed to the rhythm of CW contesting.
While the HF bands have been challenging during this period of declining sunspot activity, many dedicated DXers and DXpedition groups have activated some rare DXCC entities. On his website, Bill, NG3K, keeps up to date with DX operations scheduled to operate during the ARRL International DX weekends as well as during other operating events. Check the page regularly for any updates.)
There have been some bright spots in this HF contest season. If you’re unfamiliar with HF propagation, this event is an excellent opportunity to experience how bands open or close, the changes in MUF, the movement of the grayline (the Sun’s illumination boundary as it moves around the Earth), and other exciting forms of HF band conditions.
Whether you are a newcomer or a contest veteran, this contest is not all about high power or large antennas. The ARRL DX offers several participation categories ranging from QRP (5 W or less), Low Power (150 W or less) and, of course, High Power (up to maximum legal limit). A respectable score is possible even with simple wire antennas or verticals.
The bullet points:
- The CW contest begins at 0000 UTC on Saturday, February 20 (the evening of Friday, February 19, in US time zones) and continues through 2359 UTC on Sunday, February 21, 2016.
- Participants may make contacts on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters.
- 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.
- US and Canadian stations send a signal report and their state or province; DX stations send a signal report and their power output.
Complete rules and forms are on the ARRL website. E-mail Cabrillo format logs; mail paper logs to ARRL DX CW Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Logs must be received or postmarked no later than 2359 UTC on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.