Friday, October 26, 2007

This Weekend is the Big One!

Every year I look forward to the last weekend in October. That is because in the world of ham radio there is not another activity that can compare to it what happens this weekend. Thousands of hams from around the world will show up to participate.

So what is this monumental event - the CQ Worldwide SSB DX Contest

Yes, starting at 0000 UTC 27 Ocober 2007 (that is 2000 EDT this evening for you folks in Rio Linda California) and running for the next 48 hours the 160-80-40-20-15-10 meter HF bands will be full of amateur radio stations trying to work each other.

And even though there will be a lot of stations participating in this event, we are at the bottom of cycle 23, and will not start cycle 24 for a couple of more months. And while the DX won't be quite as plentiful as in years past (high end of the sunspot cycle), there are still some juicy targets to pursue by hams and SWLs alike.

Here are a few of the highlights to watch for this weekend courtesy of my friend Bill Feidt over at one of the best ham DX sites on the Internet

How many of the countries below do you shortwave broadcast DXers have in your logbook or QSLed? Oh yea, most of the 50 countries on the list below do not have SWBC stations transmitting in the HF spectrum as of presstime.

Afghanistan - T6EE
African Italy - IG9R
Aland Islands - OH0/SP7VC OH0B OH0R OH0Z
American Samoa - KH8/ON5AX
Antigua - V26B
Aruba - P40A P40PA P40W
Azores - CU2A
Bahamas - C6APR C6AQW
Balearic Islands - ED5ON/6
Barbadoes - 8P5A
Belize - V31FB
Bermuda - VP9/OH1VR
Bosnia & Herzegovina - T93M
Brunei - V8AQM
Cambodia - XU7MDY
Canary Island - AO8A
Dodecanese - SV5/G0RIF
Easter Island - CC0Y
Finland - OF4R OF5Z OF8X
Gambia - C50C
Grenada - J3A
Ireland - EI7M
ITU Geneva - 4U1WRC (Special event station for the World Radio Conference, a double collectible - country/special event)
Jamaica - 6Y1V
Kenya - 5Z4/YT1CS
Liechtenstein - HB0/HB9AON
Luxembourg - LX7I
Macedonia - Z37M
Madeira - CQ9K
Martinique - FM/K9NW
Mongolia - JT1DA
Montserrat - VP2MDG
Nepal - 9N7JO
Paraguay - ZP0R
Sardinia - IS0/K7QB IS0T
Scotland - GM0B
Senegal - 6V7G 6W1RY
Sov. Military Order of Malta - 1A3A
St. Helena - ZD7X (Beat the December rush)
St. Kitts & Nevis - V4/NE1RD
St. Martin - FS/K1XM
Svalbard - JW5E
Swaziland - 3DA0WWW
Tonga - A35RK
Tunisia - 3V8SS
Turks & Caicos - VP5T
Uruguay - CX6VM
US Virgini Islands - NP2B WP2/AH8DX
Wales - MW5W

If you are a true die-in-the-wool DXer and your blood isn't boiling after looking at that list - your probably taking the eternal dirt nap.

Now nothing could be easier folks. This is a voice contest. Just tune through the following bands in the mode indicated for contest activity:

Phone Segment (mode) Meter Band
1800-2000 (LSB) 160 Meters
3600-4000 (LSB) 80 Meters
7125-7300 (LSB) 40 Meters (look for possible DX 7030-7100 kHz LSB operating split)
14150-14350 (USB) 20 Meters (look for possible DX 14100-14150 kHz USB operating split)
21200-21450 (USB) 15 Meters (look for possible DX 21150-14200 kHz USB operating split)
28300-29300 (USB) 10 Meters

You can get an excellent full color Acrobat pdf frequency chart showing all the ham bands on the ARRL website at

You can find complete rules for this contest at

Additional station information, qsl routes and other info on this contest can be found at

A good reference aid for this contest is the CQ World Zone map at

If you are a collector of QSL cards, DX contest and contesters are excellent verifiers. And if you need to learn more about verifying amateur station don't forget to order our excellent publication -- the World QSL Book by Gayle Van Horn, W4GVH.

And if your a ham, give the contest a whirl. You might have a chance to put one of these on the radio shack wall.