CQ Magazine's Annual DX Marathon

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2021 Helpful Hints


Last Update - 30 Dec 2021


Bad Spots

Callsign Notes

Invalid Callsigns

Zone 2 Callsigns

Shetland Is (GM/S) Callsigns

CQ Zones for Antarctic Callsigns

Map of Antarctic Bases

Map of Turkish Callsigns

China WAZ Zone Map

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 Many pirates - makes sure you can confirm your QSO
    3A3A Valid callsign
    3D2CR Counts as Conway Reef and is valid for the 2021 DX Marathon
    3X2021 Valid callsign
    4U0WFP Counts as Italy
    4U1A Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    4U1GSC Counts as Italy
    4U1WB Counts as USA
    4U1XMAS Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    4U13FEB Counts as Italy
    4U2U Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    4U24OCT Counts as Italy
    4U29MAY Counts as Italy
    4U75A Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    4U75B Counts as Italy
    4U9A Counts as Italy
    4UNR Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    4Y1A Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    5A0YL Pirate on FT8 - February 25, 26.
    5N/KE5GUR Valid for 2021 DX Marathon
    5N7MSF Valid for 2021 DX Marathon
    8J1RL Counts as Antarctica - CE9
    9M4CAS Same as 9M2
    9M4CDM Same as 9M2
    9M4CPH Same as 9M2
    9M4JOTA Same as 9M2
    9M64MA Same as 9M2
    9M64MB Same as 9M2
    9M64MC Same as 9M2
    9M64MD Same as 9M2
    9M64MJ Same as 9M2
    9M64MK Same as 9M2
    9M64MM Same as 9M2
    9M64MN Same as 9M2
    9M64MP Same as 9M2
    9M64MQ Same as 9M6/8
    9M64MR Same as 9M2
    9M64MS Same as 9M6/8
    9M64MT Same as 9M2
    9M64MW Same as 9M2
    9M64MX Same as 9M2
    9M7DX East Malaysia
    B3CRA Operating from Zone 23
    C7A Valid callsign - Same as 4U1VIC
    D60AD,D60AC No 30 meter operation
    DT8A Valid for South Shetlands
    EP 6 meter operation not allowed in Iran
    GB0SI Counts GM/S - Shetland Islands
    HB0/HB9HBY Pirate on July 31
    HC8MA Activity on 9 Feb was from HC not HC8
    I2DMK/MI Activity was from Italy, not Northern Ireland
    J88CD Tentatively approved
    JD1BMH All 60m activity is from a pirate
    OY1R There is a chance that not all Digital QSOs are sent to Club Log.  Suggest working a different OY.
    PJ2ND 60m QSOs on May 8th were from a pirate
    PY0F Nov 2 1335-1900Z - 12m - not valid for USA - operation was 24930 and above 
    R21EURO Will be used from multiple locations on different dates
    SU1SK Pirate on 17m FT8 10 July and 30m FT8 17-18 July
    SV2GJV/A Was operating from Greec, not Mt Athos
    SV2RSG/A Activity from December 4 through 9 was from a pirate.
    T5/IT9HRK As of 13April, no license was issued by Somalia
    TC18QRP Asia Turkey
    TC1919ATA Asia Turkey
    TC23TC Europe Turkey
    TC29ATA Europe Turkey
    TC29OCTOBER Asia Turkey
    TC3A Asia Turkey
    TC5OCK Asia Turkey
    TC568FA Europe Turkey
    TC7G Asia Turkey
    TC83ATA Asia Turkey
    TO1K Same as FS - 22Mar to 5Apr
    TO3F Same as FM - 23May - 5 June
    TO5GR Same as FM
    TO60CNES Same as FY
    TO7A Same as FM for CQWW CW
    TO7O Same as FM - 30-31 October
    TO9PL Same as FS - 4-7 June
    TO9W Same as FS - planned for early Dec
    TO11A Same as FG - 12 June - 5 July
    TX60CNES Same as FK
    TX7MB Marquesas planned for Oct 28 to Nov 7
    TX7O Planned Dxpedition to Marquesas
    TY5AB Valid for Benin for 2021 DX Marathon
    VE9M85A Valid callsign
    VK0PD CE9 - Antarctica, Casey Base
    VK9HR Activity on 1 April was from a pirate; 12m CW on November 1 was a pirate
    VP8/SQ1SGB Same as CE9 - Zone 13
    W1UC/KP2 Operating from a boat - not valid for the DX Marathon
    Z68HZ 2021 Activity is from a pirate
    ZS6JSI/TY Valid for Benin for 2021 DX Marathon
    ZS7ANF Same as CE9 - Zone 38


    Invalid Callsigns

    1A0KM Pirate on 20 January and July
    1B/TA1HZ Not valid for DX Marathon
    1B/XW0LP Not valid for DX Marathon
    1B1AB Not valid for DX Marathon
    3D2DOM Not valid - operating from a boat
    3D2JK Not valid - operating from a boat
    3D2ZK Not valid - operating from a boat plus license is invalid.
    3V8BB Pirate - call not used since 2014
    4S7EA Pirate (Op is SK)
    5V7SM Pirate use of a callsign last valid in 2018.
    5V7ST Pirate
    8Q7MM Not valid - operating from a boat
    9Q3RAD Pirate  
    A5A Pirate - no current operation
    C5AA Invalid callsign
    C5ABJ Invalid callsign
    C5ACA Invalid callsign
    C5AGM Invalid callsign
    C5ASM Invalid callsign
    C5D Invalid callsign
    C5IN Invalid callsign
    C5NL Invalid callsign
    C5RVD Invalid callsign
    C5T Invalid callsign
    C5XK Invalid callsign
    C5YJF Invalid callsign
    D1 Any callsign with D1 prefix is not valid
    DP0POL/MM Not valid - operating from a boat
    E67A Bad spot
    EP4IRN No documentation as of February
    EZ  No EZ callsigns are accepted.  Turkmenistan has been off the air since August 2006.
    FK8IK/MM Maritime Mobile stations not valid for the DX Marathon
    FM/PE1IGM Not valid - operating from a boat
    FP5XX Invalid callsign
    FW5H Pirate in 2021
    IK7VJZ Uses remotes in other countries with no portable designator - QSOs NOT valid for DX Marathon
    IK7XNF Uses remotes in other countries with no portable designator - QSOs NOT valid for DX Marathon
    J88HF Not valid - operating from a boat
    JH1YJR Operating a remote in grid DM58 
    KL4NE Operating remote or portable in Florida but gives Alaska grid
    KL7J Activity on 6M on 20May was from a pirate
    N2EL/C6A Not valid - operating from a boat
    P2FAP Invalid callsign
    P29HMC Invalid callsign
    P29XMN Invalid callsign
    PA9RD/FR Pirate
    PJ7JA No current valid license
    RR9O Beacon station
    S2TJ Pirate - 80m FT8 April 9th
    S9CA Invalid callsign
    S9EP Invalid callsign
    S9KN Invalid callsign
    S9LO Invalid callsign
    S9OF Invalid callsign
    S9RV Invalid callsign
    S9ZP Invalid callsign
    T2J Not active in 2021
    T3C Invalid callsign
    T3DE Invalid callsign
    T3DX Invalid callsign
    T3EK Invalid callsign
    T3IL Invalid callsign
    T3KT Invalid callsign
    T3KW Invalid callsign
    T3MD Invalid callsign
    T3MG Invalid callsign
    T3MN Invalid callsign
    T3MT Invalid callsign
    T3P Invalid callsign
    T3QAM Invalid callsign
    T3RD Invalid callsign
    T3SCB Invalid callsign
    T3T Invalid callsign
    T3UV Invalid callsign
    T3UW Invalid callsign
    T3X Invalid callsign
    TU2ED Presumed pirate 
    TY7C No operation in 2021
    V6A No activity in2021 - many bad spots
    V6AA Invalid callsign
    V6FI Invalid callsign
    V6I Invalid callsign
    V6TL Invalid callsign
    V6WN Invalid callsign
    V60JKF Invalid callsign
    V61MA Invalid callsign
    V63FD Invalid callsign
    VU2GSM Contacts with VU2GSM not valid for the DX Marathon as he uses remote receivers.
    XU7ACY Pirate
    XX/PD4AI Invalid callsign
    XZ7A Pirate
    YK1AH Pirate - license holder is SK
    Z28DX Pirate
    ZC4A Pirate
    ZC4MK Pirate - valid callsign but not currently active
    ZD9BV Pirate
    ZD9PR Pirate
    ZD9XF Pirate


    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.


    The following callsigns are good for Zone 2.  As 2021 expeditions are announced, more callsigns will be added.


    VA2RC Zone 2 on June 24, 2021
    VA2VT Zone 2 November 25-29 2021
    VE2CSI Resident
    VE2IDX Contests only
    VE2IM CQWW SSB 2021
    VE2IM November 22-29, 2021
    VO2 (any) All VO2 stations are in Zone 2
    VY0ERC Resident
    VY0MEL Part time resident


    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
    GB0SI GM/S
    GB2QM GM/S
    GM4S  GM/S
    GM4SSA - Silent Key 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 AN-015 until Jan22
    8J60JARE 39 Syowa Base 
    8T2BH 39  
    D8A 30  
    DH5CW 38 AN016; Neumayer station, Dec 2017-Feb2019
    DP0GVN 38 Neumayer Station III
    DP1POL 38  
    EM1E 13 Vernadsky Base, AN006
    EM1UA or EM1U 13 Vernadsky Base, AN006
    FT3YL 30 Dumont D'Urville, F6KPQ, Start Feb 2017 AN017
    FT4YM 30 Nov 2021 to March 2022, Dumont D'Urville base
    HF0POL 13  
    HL5BDS 13  
    IA0/DK6SQX or DK5SXQ 29 Concordia
    IA0/IZ1KHY 29 Concordia Jan2019
    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 Active in 2021
    LU1ZAB 13 Argentine Matienzo Base (LU4DXU)
    LU1ZG 13 Base Belgrano II
    LU3HRS/Z   ITU Zone 73
    LU4ZA   Marambio Base; LU4DXU
    LU4ZS 13  
    OP0LE 38  
    OR4TN 38  
    R1ANC 29 Vostek Station
    R1ANN 38  
    R1ANR 38  
    R1ANT 29  
    RI01ANT - RI0IANT? 29, 38 Progress and Vostek Station
    RI1ANA 39 Molodyozhnaya Base, till March 2017
    RI1ANC 29 Starts again 10 Feb 2020 with new op
    RI1AND 38  
    RI1ANL 38 Novolazarevskaya AN-016 Mar2018 to March2019
    RI1ANL 39 March 18, 2018 ONLY - Molodezhnaya Station
    RI1ANM 38 Mirny Base
    RI1ANN 38 Progress station till 2/22
    RI1ANP 39  
    RI1ANR 38  
    RI1ANT 29  
    RI1ANV 29 Vostek Station
    RI1ANW 38 Novolazarevskaya
    RI1ANZ 39  
    RI60ANT 38  
    VK0GM 29  
    VK0HZ 39 Davis Base
    VK0PD   Casey Station 2021
    VK0JJJ 39  
    VP8/SQ1SGB 13 Halley VI Base (SQ1SGB)
    VP8CTR 13 AN006
    VP8DPJ 13  
    VP8HAL 13 Halley VI Base (SQ1SGB)
    VP8ME 38  
    VP8ROT 13  
    VU3LBP/P   Bharati Station 
    ZL5A 30 Scott Base
    ZL5AA 30  
    ZS7ANF 38 2021
    ZS7ANT 38 WAP MNB-12 or MNB-11




    Map of Turkish Callsign Prefixes


    Note: Only TA1 Callsigns are in European Turkey


    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