CQ Magazine's Annual DX Marathon

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Can I enter more than one category?

A:  The current rules allow each participant to submit one log per location. 

 

Q. I want to submit for a single band but not sure which band I should choose. Will the DX Marathon extract only the QSOs for my best band and use that band for my single band submission?   Or can I submit multiple logs - one for each band?

A: If you want to enter as a single band participant, you must decide when you submit and enter only QSO's for that band and only one log.  The DX Marathon will not decide for you.  If QSOs are entered for more than one band, your entry will become an all band entry.

 

Q. I want to submit for a single mode but not sure which mode I should choose. Will the DX Marathon extract only the QSOs for my best mode and use that mode for my single mode submission?   Or can I submit three logs - one for each mode?

A: If you want to enter as a single mode participant, you must decide when you submit and enter only QSO's for that mode and only one log.  The DX Marathon will not decide for you.  If QSOs are entered for more than one mode, your entry will become an all mode entry.

 

Q. Can I submit multiple logs and have the scoring software choose the one with the best score?

A:  The current rules allow each participant to submit one log per location

 

Q. The DX Marathon rules for Formula Class antennas, option 1 is confusing.  It states: "Operators selecting the 5-watt option are limited to antennas on a single tower and whose height does not exceed 65 feet or 20 meters above ground elevation."   Does the word "whose" apply to the antennas or the tower?

A. Sorry for any confusion.  Many QRP participants do not have towers, so the word "whose" refers to antennas.  No antenna can be over 65 feet in height for the 5 watt class.  The Rules will be clarified further for contest year 2024.

 

Q. Can I submit a log for a single band/single mode combination?

A: Yes, but the scoring software will consider the entry a single mode entry.   At this time, we do not offer single band/single mode awards (for example all 17meter FT8)

 

Q. When are CQ Zones important when submitting on the scoring sheet and why was I penalized one point because of a wrong zone?

A. To qualify for a zone worked, the call entry that you place for the respective zone must be in fact located in the claimed zone.  If you enter a call sign for example claiming zone 3 as an entry, and that call sign is in zone 5, this is an incorrect zone and you will lose a point.  The bottom line, make sure that all zone  calls are in fact located in the zone you are claiming.  

 

Q. What if I miss the deadline and submit after January 5th?

A: We will be happy to accept your log and it will be scored and the results published separately with any other late logs.   We reserve the right to treat a late log as a "checklog" or ignore it entirely.

 

Q. The DX Marathon submission form seems to be locked and I cannot make any changes to the country names, prefixes, etc.

A. In order for the scoring software to accurately score all submissions, every log must be in an identical format.

 

Q. Why does it take so long for the results to be published?

A. High Claimed scores are published within a few days of the submission deadline, but the final results are based on CQ Magazine publication deadlines.  Between the time high claimed scores are published and the CQ Magazine deadline, the DX Marathon team will be carefully checking logs for accuracy.  Official results and rankings will be made available after June 1.

 

Q. Is there any cost to enter the DX Marathon and receive awards?

A. There is no cost to the entrant.   All certificates are downloadable PDFs and the cost for the plaques are covered by the plaque sponsors.  The DX Marathon staff does incur costs and we welcome any donations via PayPal.

 

Q. Does the DX Marathon website provide updates during the year on the top scores?

A. The majority of participants prefer to keep their current scores private, so there is no current progress listing on the website.  Participants can load their scoresheet during the year multiple times.  The last submitted scoresheet will supercede previously submitted scoresheets.

 

Q. I have a summer cottage and have small antennas there and low power.   Can I add  those QSOs to my total form my home station?

A:  The current rules allow each participant to submit one log per location.  You are welcome to enter a second log from your second QTH.  For example, I could enter as WC3W and WC3W/0.

 

Q. I live in a high rise building, with my vertical antenna on the roof.   Although the antenna meets the basic qualifications for Formula Class, it appears my height does not allow me to enter in Formula Class.  With only 100 watts it is difficult to compete in Unlimited Class.

A. The Formula Class was created to allow participants with minimal antenna system to enter the DX Marathon.   With low dipoles and ground mounted verticals, there is fair competition.   A vertical or a dipole on the roof of a high rise building has a significant advantage and is disallowed.

 

Q. Why doesn’t the Marathon offer a 100 watt version of the Unlimited Class?

A. The majority of participants with towers and yagis own amplifiers.   There is simply not enough demand for a low power unlimited class at this time.  

 

Q. I received my summary of last year’s entry and I made a simple error for which I have an alternate QSO – why can’t I substitute that QSO and gain back that point?

A. All scoring is done in February to allow time for writing the magazine article in time for publication deadlines.   By the time you receive your score summary, the results have long been determined and awards created.   It is not possible to change anything on your log after the January 5th submission deadline.

 

Q. I submitted my log on January 2nd and after reviewing it, I found a mistake.  Can I re-submit?

A. Yes.  You can re-submit any time as long as the submission meets the final submission deadline of January 5th.  The new log will simply overwrite your previous submission.

 

Q. I worked a station that is not listed on QRZ.COM and not listed on the DX Marathon’s Helpful Hints webpage.  How do I determine if the call is real or not?

A. If you are not sure, please send an email to the DX Marathon Communication Manager, K2CIB@dxmarathon.com.  All inquiries are generally answered within 24 hours.

 

Q. I worked a station in a rare entity, but never received my 73 and there is no online log.  Should I still enter the QSO even though I am not sure I am in the log?

A: Remember the "solid contact rule."  If, on your side of the QSO, you copied the DX' call and copied the DX sending back your call, you can certainly submit the QSO.  It meets our requirements.  That said, it is better, if you can, to submit QSOs you are more certain of.  See "best practices."

 

Q. My logging as most assign a CQ Zone to a Q submitted on my score sheet.  Why did I get flagged for having the wrong CQ Zone?

 A. Each logging program uses different sources of identifying a CQ zone with a call.  If for example, QRZ is used by the logging program, each station call sign operator must manually input their CQ Zone and ITU Zone into QRZ.  If the operator makes a mistake in entering the CQ Zone, you have made a mistake.  All entries when using a logging program that gets the CQ Zone data from QRZ, for example like DXKeeper in the default position, should be double checked by you before submission.   We have found that the country data base maintained by AD1C is highly accurate.  This data base is used by N1MM, WSJT-X, DX4WIN and others.

 

Q. How will the new organization work, and if I have any questions, where should my questions be directed?

A. The administrative work will be split among five functional areas.  Depending on your question, you should direct it to the appropriate person with a cc: to WC3W Program Administrator.  The emails are:

Scoring Manager: WO7R@dxmarathon.com

IT Manager- KI2D@dxmarathon.com

Communications Manager- K2CIB@dxmarathon.com

Awards Manager- K0XM@dxmarathon.com

Rules & Compliance Manager- W4OX@dxmarathon.com

 

Q. What are best practices for submitting QSOs?

A. Some QSOs are easier to approve than others.  Some are more error prone than others. If you have a choice about what to submit, we recommend you follow the best practices listing below in the order that they are listed:

1) QSOs you have confirmed by tools such as LOTW, Clublog, eQSL, QRZ’s logbook.  We don’t require confirmations, but confirmed QSOs are much more likely to be real ones.

2) For zones, prefer Canadians over Americans for zones 3, 4, and 5.  Prefer VO2 for zone 2.

3) For zones, prefer “regular” Russian calls like UA0CA over calls like R1155RW.

4) QSOs whose callsigns are known to LOTW, Clublog or QRZ.

5) QSOs from callsigns we have approved before.

6) Double-check stations with these prefixes:  3D2, E5, FO, FK, VK9.  Their prefix does not always tell which DXCC entity to which they belong.

7) Most QRZ entries have CQ Zone data in them.  But because the user enters that information, zone entries may be incorrect.  Most entities (countries) have one and only one zone.  Use that.  Those that don’t are mostly determined by the call sign (US calls, R0xxx Russian calls, and VK9 calls are the principal exceptions).  Find out what your logger does.  It probably implements a lot of this. 

Avoid submitting these if you can:

1) Busted calls, pirates, or invalid operations we call out in Helpful Hints.  These, we have already promised to reject.

2) Calls from very rare locations (the kind that are only activated once a decade).  The WP5HAM you think you worked was probably WP4HAM or a pirate.  Double check.

3) Rovers, SOTA, POTA stations.  By definition these folks move around.  We may come to a different answer than you do about where they were.

4) Calls with “funny” or “nonstandard” suffixes.   For example: IS0SZU/FB.  Is it France or Sardinia?  If it’s all you have, turn it in, but in our scoring check, our answer may be determined to be different from yours.  We have many multiple sources to check such unusual calls at our disposal.

 

 

Any general questions, please direct them to WC3W@dxmarathon.com