CQ Magazine's Annual DX Marathon
2021 Contest Rules
Announcing: 2021 CQ DX Marathon
January 1 – December 31, 2021
Log Deadline: January 5, 2022
The CQ DX Marathon is designed to promote DXing activity throughout the year rather than only on contest weekends and during DXpeditions. Because activity is not concentrated in specific time periods, credit is given for contacts on all ham bands, including those not normally used for contesting (e.g., 60, 30, 17 & 12 meters).
Scoring is simple: you score one point the first time you work a new country and/or a new zone during the course of the year. Add the points up at the end of the year for your total score. There are no multipliers.
Here are the complete rules:
Activity period: The CQ DX Marathon is a yearlong activity, beginning at 0000 UTC January 1 and ending at 2359 UTC December 31. Each year’s event is separate.
Frequencies: Any authorized amateur frequency may be used. Contacts through repeaters or satellites are not allowed for credit, nor are contacts with maritime or aeronautical mobile stations. All contacts must be made entirely over amateur radio frequencies – i.e., Echolink-type contacts do not count.
Modes: Any authorized amateur mode may be used, but three modes will be recognized in the DX Marathon – CW, Phone and Digital. Except for single mode submissions, cross-mode QSO’s are permitted but the mode used by the DX station must be shown in the submission.
General: Each entrant in the DX Marathon may submit one log each year per operating location. Participants submitting logs for single-mode or single-band entries must include only those contacts in their submission. Logs submitted with multiple modes or multiple bands will not be considered for single-mode or single-band awards. Entries with two or more call signs will count as a single entry only if all contacts were made by the same (single) operator at the same station using the same antennas, and each callsign used is listed in the comments section of the submission form. Remote operation is permitted if all transmitters, receivers, and antennas are at a single physical location. A remote station in a different country than the entrant's country of license must comply with all local laws and regulations. If an entrant operates from both a primary station and a remote station, separate entries for each location may be submitted provided such separate entries have different callsigns or a portable callsign designator. Entries that include contacts made with the assistance of remote receivers and/or transmitters in addition to contacts from a primary station are not permitted.
There are three entry classes, “Formula,” “Limited” and “Unlimited.”
Formula: An entrant may choose one of two options in this class: (1) All contacts must be made with a maximum output power of 5 watts, regardless of band or mode; or (2) the operator may run a maximum of 100 watts output to a simple antenna, such as a vertical or dipole (see the appendix below for further rules on antennas used in either option for Formula Class). An operator in Formula Class must select QRP (5 watts or less) or 100 watts and limited antennas at the beginning of the year’s DX Marathon and may not switch between entry modes during the year. All contacts must be made without the use of higher power or prohibited antennas to initially secure the contact. Use of spotting nets such as a DX Cluster® is allowed. Details of antennas used in either option of Formula Class must be included on the official submission form to qualify for Formula Class. Formula Class entries without antenna descriptions (type, height, and length, for example) may be re-classified to Unlimited Class.
Limited: Limited Class entrants are allowed a maximum output power of 100 watts and simple antennas, such as verticals or dipoles, plus small directional antennas such as Yagis and multi-element loop, hex and quad type antennas for the 6-, 10-, 12-, 15-,17- and 20-meter bands, and single-element rotatable dipoles for the 30- and 40-meter bands. See the Appendix below for further description of the Limited Class antennas that are allowed. All contacts must be made without the use of higher power or prohibited antennas to initially secure the contact. Use of spotting nets such as a DX Cluster® is allowed. Details of antennas used in Limited Class must be included on the official submission form to qualify for Limited Class. Limited Class entries without antenna descriptions (type, height, and length, for example) may be re-classified to Unlimited Class.
Unlimited: Any antenna or antennas may be used, along with any power level for which the operator is licensed. Use of spotting nets such as DX Cluster® is allowed.
Each country worked is worth one point. Each CQ zone worked is worth one point. The total score is the sum of zones and countries worked, on any mode and any authorized band. There are no multipliers of any kind. Each country and zone count only once. A single QSO may count for both a country and a zone. If in the year you work 238 countries and 37 zones, your score is 275. If you work all 40 zones and 150 countries, your score is 190. The CQ DX Countries List and the CQ Zone List constitute the official lists. The lists are available on the DX Marathon web site. In the case of ties, the operator whose last scoring contact was earlier chronologically will be judged the winner. Decisions of the DX Marathon Manager are final.
Submissions must be made electronically via the DX Marathon upload web page, http://www.dxmarathon.com/logupload.htm. Submissions may be sent via email to email@example.com A Microsoft Excel® template into which contacts may be entered is available for download from the CQ DX Marathon website at http://www.dxmarathon.com. The website also provides other options for those without access to Excel®. Software is available to generate the DX Marathon submission form direct from an ADIF file. All submissions must be received by January 5, 2022. If your primary callsign changed during the year, please enter your current callsign at the top of the DX Marathon entry form and add previous (or contest) callsign(s) in the comments section of the form.
Verification: QSLs are not required. The operator is expected to claim contacts only from stations the operator has every reason to believe are legitimate, and only to claim contacts in which an accurate two-way exchange was clearly accomplished (see Appendix for further explanation). Scores will be adjusted by the DX Marathon committee for claimed contacts with pirates or any station not considered legitimate. Submissions may be penalized or voided in cases of fraud or poor sportsmanship. Every QSO may be subject to verification by the DX Marathon Manager. Decisions of the DX Marathon Manager are final.
Clubs: Clubs are strongly encouraged to use the framework of this contest for intramural and regional competitions. Please be sure to enter your club name on the submission form.
Results: The final listing of official scores and winners will be published in CQ magazine and/or the CQ website and the DX Marathon website.
Plaques: The DX Marathon will award plaques as follows: highest overall score in Unlimited Class; highest overall score in Limited Class; highest overall score in Formula Class, both 5-watt and 100-watt options; highest overall CW only, highest overall SSB only and highest overall Digital only scores; highest overall score for single band entries for the 10-, 12-, 15-, 17-, 20-, 30-, 40- and 80-meter bands; highest overall score for each of the 6 continents and highest overall CW scores in Europe and North America. Plaques for CW, SSB, band and continent winners are awarded regardless of class and may only be awarded if the winning scores in those categories are at least 50% of the score of the overall DX Marathon Unlimited Class winner. Entrants may receive only one plaque per year. In the case of a participant qualifying for more than one plaque, that participant will receive a plaque for the highest level based on the above order.
Certificates: Certificates are awarded to qualified participants in this order: highest overall score on the 160, 60, 6 and 2 meter bands; highest overall score for each of the three modes on each continent with the exception of CW in Europe and North America; highest overall score in each CQ zone; highest overall score in each country; highest overall score for each class in the USA; highest overall score in Unlimited, Limited, Formula 100 watt and Formula 5 watt classes in each USA callsign district; highest overall score in each Canadian callsign district. Plaque winners are not eligible for certificates. Only one certificate will be awarded per entrant. In the case of a participant qualifying for more than one certificate, that participant will receive a certificate for the highest level based on the above order. In all cases, the rulings of the Marathon Manager are final.
Formula Class antennas, option 1: 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. Wire antennas may also be used but must meet the criteria of the 100-watt option and may be tower-supported at only one point.
Formula Class antennas, option 2: Antennas for operators choosing the 100-watt option must be either simple verticals or wire antennas lacking significant gain. No arrays are allowed, whether vertical or horizontal. Wire antennas, regardless of type, may not exceed 130 feet or 40 meters in length, may not be higher than 65 feet or 20 meters above ground at any point of the antenna and may be tower-supported at only one point. The tallest point of vertical antennas used may not be higher than 65 feet or 20 meters above ground. Yagis, quads and rotatable dipoles may not be used in this category. There is no limit on the number of antennas that may be used as long as each antenna meets the above criteria.
Limited Class Antennas: Antennas for Limited Class include all Formula Class option 2 antennas for use on all bands plus directional antennas such as Yagis and multi-element loop, hex and quad type antennas on the 20- through 6-meter bands. Directional antennas with no more than 3 elements per band are allowed on the 20- through 6-meter bands. Boom length may not exceed 16 feet (5 meters) for antennas with booms. Single-element rotatable dipoles are allowed for the 30- and 40-meter bands. Directional antennas and rotatable dipoles must not be higher than 50 feet (15 meters) above ground and all directional antennas must be on a single tower or support.
Contacts: Each contact for a claimed country or zone must be a solid contact. The station claiming a contact with another station is expected to have had his or her callsign fully and accurately received and transmitted by the other station, and to have copied his/her own call being correctly sent by the other station. For example, K2MGA may not claim credit for a QSO with a DX station who had his call as K3MGA, even though in many cases the DX station would QSL the contact with the correction made (after receiving a card from K2MGA, realizing the error and correcting his/her log). For a contact to count, both stations must correctly copy both callsigns completely.
Additional Note: Automated contacts are acceptable for credit in the DX Marathon.