CQ Magazine's Annual DX Marathon

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2018 Helpful Hints


Last Update - 25 Dec 2018


Bad Spots

Callsign Notes

Invalid Callsigns

Zone 2 Callsigns

Shetland Is (GM/S) Callsigns

CQ Zones for Antarctic Callsigns

Map of Turkish Callsigns

USA/VE Zone Definitions

CQ Statement on Crimea


  • Each year there are pirates, operations that are not approved, callsigns that are copied incorrectly and unusual operations that are valid.   We attempt to document as many of these operations as possible - see the lists of valid callsigns, invalid callsigns,  and callsign notes.  We encourage you to share your findings on pirates, illegal operations or confusing callsigns with us.  Please send your callsign updates to the DX Marathon administrator at: k9el at dxmarathon,com

  • Many points are lost each year due to bad spots on the packetcluster network.  We have assembled an extensive list of bad spots - please check the list before entering any of these callsigns!

  • Please check USA/VE zones carefully - use www.qrz.com to check zones before submitting.   The number in the callsign does not necessarily match the location.  Did you know that West Virginia (W8) is in Zone 5?  and that Alabama (W4) is in Zone 4?  See US/VE zone detail below.

  • Check Zone 2 submissions carefully - see Zone 2 information below.

  • When a prefix can count for more than country (e.g. E51) double check your entry.

  • Although you can use the same QSO for a country and a Zone, if there is an error, two points will be lost!  We suggest using a different QSO for country and zone.

  • Review your submission carefully and make sure your logging program country database is up to date.

  • Valid Callsigns & Callsign Notes

    3A/I1YRL Valid for the Marathon, but be aware his callsign is sometimes pirated
    3A2MD All QSO's on 19 & 20 April after 2207Z 19Apr were from a pirate
    3A2MD All QSO's on 30 April after 2030Z were a pirate.  No NA worked that day.
    3A2MW FT8 Activity in Aug/Sep was from a pirate.  3A2MW is not currently active
    3B7A A pirate was active 13April around 0030Z on 40M - check online log
    3C0W Station active at 0100, 2 March on 40 CW was actually 3C3W
    3D2EU Rotuma Island - 23 Feb to 16 March
    3D2EU/p Fiji - 19-20 March
    4S7JL/MM Operating Martiime Mobile in April - does not count for DX Marathon
    4U0R Counts as 4U1VIC
    4U0WFP Counts as Italy
    4U13FEB Counts as Italy
    4U18FIFA Counts as 4U1VIC
    4U1A Counts as 4U1VIC
    4U1GSC Counts as Italy
    4U1UN Valid on 22 Aug from 1615-1645Z on 20SSB.  A pirate was active on CW & FT8 on August 23
    4U1WB Counts as USA, CQ Zone 5
    4U1XMAS Counts as 4U1VIC
    4U29MAY Counts as Italy
    4U2U Counts as 4U1VIC
    4U73B Counts as Italy
    4U8F Counts as Italy
    4U8FOC Counts as Italy
    4Y1A Counts as 4U1VIC
    5A0YL Valid for 2018 DX Marathon
    5A1AL Valid for 2018 DX Marathon
    5Z4/LZ4NM Valid for 2018 DX Marathon
    6O6O Was actually E31A on 14195, 15 Jan 1400Z
    7Z1IS Any 30m activity is from a pirate
    9L/KW4XJ Valid for the 2018 DX Marathon
    9M0W Was actually Z60A on 14014 8 March
    9M0W Was actually TN5R on 14170 13 March
    9M4SJSA Sabah, 9M6
    9M4SJSB Sabah, 9M6
    9M4SJSP Sabah, 9M6
    9M61MA Perak, 9M2
    9M61MB Selangor, 9M2
    9M61MC Pahang, 9M2
    9M61MD Kelantan, 9M2
    9M61MJ Johor, 9M2
    9M61MK Kedah, 9M2
    9M61MM Melaka, 9M2
    9M61MN Negeri Sembilan, 9M2
    9M61MP Penang, 9M2
    9M61MQ Sarawak, 9M8
    9M61MR Perlis, 9M2
    9M61MS Sabah, 9M6
    9M61MT Terengganu, 9M2
    9M61MW Kuala Lumpur, 9M2
    9M61MY HQ, 9M2
    9X0T Active on CW and SSB
    9X0Y Active only on FT8
    C7A Counts as 4U1VIC
    DP0POL Not valid for DX Marathon - maritime mobile
    DP1POL Valid for the DX Marathon - Antartica
    DT8A South Shetland Islands
    GR2HQ Used from multiple DXCC locations in the UK.  QSL card indicates country worked.
    IA0/IZ1KHY Valid in Antarctica - Zone 30
    IA0MZ Activity on November 1 was from a pirate
    IF9/IT9PPG Operating from EU-054 - Italy
    IF9A Counts as Sicily IT for the Marathon.
    JW2US Operated from Bear Island until May 31.
    K9AJ/VY0 Fafard Island is in Zone 4
    KD6WW/VY0 Fafard Island is in Zone 4
    KD6WW/VY0 Fafard Island is in Zone 4
    RI1ANL Zone 38 except on March 18, 2018 - activity was from Zone 39
    S21ED Valid for 2018 DX Marathon
    S79LD Valid for 2018 DX Marathon
    TA0/IK8LOV Asia Turkey
    TA0/MM0NDX Asia Turkey
    TA0/ON9CFG Asia Turkey
    TC16BURSA Asia Turkey
    TC179JAN Multiple locations, credit will be given for either EU Turkey or Asia Turkey but not both.
    TC18GL Asia Turkey
    TC19M TBD
    TC23TC Investigating QTH
    TC29OCT Multiple locations, credit will be given for either EU Turkey or Asia Turkey but not both.
    TC3COTA Asia Turkey
    TC3SO Asia Turkey
    TC5OCK Asia Turkey
    TC6EKM European Turkey
    TC80ATA Asia Turkey
    TC95TC Asia Turkey
    TF2IM Pirate using TF2IM's callsign
    TO1A Same as FY
    TO1J October 24-30 Same as FM
    TO2BC Same as FY
    TO2MB Same as FM
    TO3Z Same as FG
    TO40CDXC Same as FM
    TO40R same as FG, operating November 11-25
    TO5A Same as FM
    TO5GI Same as FG
    TO5NED Same as FY
    TO6OK Same as FH
    TO7D Same as FG
    TO8T Same as FM
    TO972A Same as FM
    TX0A French Polynesia
    TX0M French Polynesia
    TX5T Austral Islands - FO/A
    TX5X French Polynesia
    V6J 23July, 14.260, After 0640Z, OJ0C was active.  Many bad spots claimed it was V6J.
    V85SS Any activity since 8 Jul 2017 is from a pirate
    VE2IDX/p Zone 5
    VI50IARU3 Operated multiple locations in Australia - good for Zone 29 or 30
    VI6FOC80 Valid for Australia, Zone 29
    VI70HI Active from both Zone 29 & 30 until 6Jan.  
    VK0AI Macquarie
    VK0HZ Antarctica, Davis Base, Zone 39 
    VK5MAV/9 Counts as Australia - VK
    VK9XG Many spots for VK9XG were actually VP6D on 25 October 
    VU3EBX Is actually located in VU7
    VU4G Station on 20CW around 1300 on 2 March was actually 4U1A.  Check the VU4G online log.
    VY0/K9AJ Fafard Island is in Zone 4
    XX9B Was actually PJ5/SP2GCJ on 15 March 30m CW around 0200Z
    XZ2A Simon is submitting paperwork to ARRL DXCC desk.  
    YI0FIFA Valid for 2018 Marathon
    YI1RZ No longer in Iraq
    YI1SAL Valid for 2018 Marathon
    YI1UNH Valid for 2018 Marathon
    YI3WHR Valid for 2018 Marathon
    ZL5A Antarctica, Scott Base, Zone 30
    ZL80FOC Counts as New Zealand (NOT Kermadec!)
    ZS9V Counts as South Africa


    Invalid Callsigns

    1A0KM Pirate on March 1
    1B/TA7AZC Does not count for any country or zone
    1B1AB Does not count for any country or zone
    1U4UN Does not count for any country or zone
    3A/IK1AIR Pirate
    4M5I Pirate
    5A/PD0LK Pirate
    5A3YAZ Pirate
    5H3PM Pirate
    5U7VV Appears to be a pirate
    BV9P Pirate
    D1IY Invalid callsign
    E51DOM Operating Martime Mobile, so NOT vlaid for DX Marathon
    EP/PH7Y Pirate
    FS/PE1IGM NOT valid for DX Marathon as he is operating from a boat
    HS/RA4AR Illegal operation, does not count for DX Marathon
    HV/R1AR Illegal operation, does not count for DX Marathon
    JX2018A Pirate
    JX3EX Pirate
    JX7A Pirate
    JX7X Pirate
    KH7KEN Invalid callsign
    NH3BGV Invalid callsign
    P5DX Pirate
    TF2IM Pirate using TF2IM's callsign
    TU8/F5LPY Pirate
    VP6/PH7Y Pirate
    VU4I Station reported on 40m, but only in USA 2 hours after VU4 sunrise - PIRATE!!!
    YI1H Pirate
    YI1RZ No longer in Iraq
    ZS6BUU Pirate
    ZS8Z Not active in 2018


    Zone 2 Information and Callsigns

    Zone 2 Official Definition: Northeastern Zone of North America: VO2 (Labrador), the portion of VE2 Quebec north of the 50th parallel, and Nunavut Territories east of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of King Christian, King William. Prince of Wales, Somerset, Bathurst, Devon, Ellesmere, Baffin and the Melville and Boothia Peninsulas, excluding Akimiski Island, Bear Islands and East Pen Island in Hudson Bay).

    Nunavut Territory is Canada is the most difficult to determine as it lies within 3 WAZ Zones.  Click here for a detailed Nunavut map.


    VA2BK June 7-11 2018 only
    VA2RC starting 1/1/2016
    VA2SG/2 CQWW SSB 2017
    VA2ZM 2017 CQWW SSB
    VE2EKA CQWW CW 2018
    VE2FDJ/P August - NA-084
    VE2GSO Z2 Until July 2015, Zone 5 after that date
    VE2TKH Z2 Until October 2015, Zone 5 after that date
    VE2XAA Silent Key
    VE7ACN/VE2 April 10-17, 2018
    VO2 (any) All VO2 stations are in Zone 2
    VY0ERC Active in 2018
    VY0RST Op: VY0CF

    Known Shetland Islands Callsigns

    The following stations are known to have operated from the Shetland Islands (GM/S) at some time over the last few years.  Not all are currently active.

    2M0SPX GM/S
    2M0VIK GM/S
    GB2QM GM/S
    GM4S  GM/S
    GS7V GM/S
    GZ5Y GM/S
    MZ5A GM/S
    MZ5B GM/S


    Known CQ Zones for Antarctic Callsigns

    4K1A 39  
    4K1B 29  
    4K1C 29  
    4K1D 36  
    4K1E 29  
    4K1F 13  
    4K1G 30  
    4K1H 32  
    4K1J 13  
    8J1RL 39 Syowa Base 
    8J60JARE 39 Syowa Base 
    8T2BH 39  
    D8A 30  
    DH5CW   AN016; Neumayer station, Dec 2017-Feb2019
    DP0GVN 38 Neumayer Station III
    DP1POL 38  
    FT3YL 30 Dumont D'Urville, F6KPQ, Start Feb 2017 AN017
    HF0POL 13  
    HL5BDS 13  
    IA0/IZ1KHY 30 Mario Zucchelli station
    IA0MZ 30  
    KC4AAA 12,13,29,30,32,38,39  
    KC4AAC 13  
    KC4AAD 13  
    KC4AAE 29  
    KC4USB 32  
    KC4USN 12,13,29,30,32,38,39  
    KC4USV 30  
    LU1ZAB 13 Argentine Matienzo Base (LU4DXU)
    LU4ZA   Marambio Base; LU4DXU
    LU4ZS 13  
    OP0LE 38  
    OR4TN 38  
    R1ANC 29  
    R1ANR 38  
    R1ANT 29  
    RI1ANA 39 Molodyozhnaya Base, till March 2017
    RI1ANC 29 End 15 Feb 2017
    RI1AND 38  
    RI1ANL 38 Novolazarevskaya AN-016 Mar2018 to March2019
    RI1ANL 39 March 18, 2018 ONLY - Molodezhnaya Station
    RI1ANM 38 Vostok Station
    RI1ANN ? Progress station till 2/22
    RI1ANP 39  
    RI1ANR 38  
    RI1ANT 29  
    RI1ANW 38 Novolazarevskaya
    RI1ANZ 39  
    VK0GM 29  
    VK0HZ 39 Davis Base
    VK0JJJ 39  
    VP8DPJ 13  
    VP8ME 38  
    VP8ROT 13  
    VU3LBP/P   Bharati Station 
    ZL5A 30 Scott Base
    ZL5AA 30  



    Map of Turkish Callsign Prefixes



    USA/VE Zone Listing

    Zone 1. Northwestern Zone of North America: KL (Alaska), VY1/VE8 Yukon, the Northwest and Nunavut Territories west of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of Victoria, Banks, Melville, and Prince Patrick).

    Zone 2. Northeastern Zone of North America: VO2 Labrador, the portion of VE2 Quebec north of the 50th parallel, the VE8 Northwest and Nunavut Territories east of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of King Christian, King William, Prince of Wales, Somerset, Bathurst, Devon, Ellesmere, Baffin and the Melville and Boothia Peninsulas, excluding Akimiski Island).

    Zone 3. Western Zone of North America: VE7, W6, and the W7 states of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

    Zone 4. Central Zone of North America: VE3, VE4, VE5, VE6, VE8 Akimiski Island, and W7 states of Montana and Wyoming. W0, W9, W8 (except West Virginia), W5, and the W4 states of Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

    Zone 5. Eastern Zone of North America: 4U1UN, CY9, CY0, FP, VE1, VE9, VY2, VO1 and the portion of VE2 Quebec south of the 50th parallel. VP9, W1, W2, W3 and the W4 states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and the W8 state of West Virginia.

    CQ Special Statement on Crimea