CQ DX Marathon

Results of the 2022 DX Marathon

First time in many years I was without a beam, tower, and amplifier—so I tried concentrating on 30 meters. A whole new experience, and a lot of fun! I have all DX confirmed except for North Korea, and I can’t do the weekend frenzies anymore; so the Marathon has kept me active. I also note that for those of us “little” guys, FT8 is the difference between having fun and notNI3P

Thoroughly enjoyed the challengeM0VQ

One more year (my 14th) I participate in this great challenge!IK5FKF

Thanks millions to the CQ DX Marathon organizers, sponsors, and everyone involved with this wonderful yearlong activity, 73VE3VEE

Thank you CQ Magazine, the Annual DX Marathon was a blast! - K4AR

A year of amazing and unprecedented growth! With cycle 25 coming in like a “lion”, participation in the 2022 program grew at a double-digit rate, specifically we saw a 46.5% increase in participants from 2021 making the DX Marathon program the fastest growing DX program in amateur radio today!

The participation graph shows the growth in 2022. Total participants in the DX Marathon increased to 21,570. That is the highest total in DX Marathon history.

Total Participants - Unique Callsigns

We also had a record number of logs submitted and the highest ever number of total QSOs as shown in the graphs below.

Logs Received By Year Total QSOs by Year

Some of this growth is attributed to Cycle 25 coming in strong as well as the increasing popularity of the DX Marathon program. The popularity of digital modes is making it possible for those without large stations and linear amplifiers or those constrained by HOA’s and limited antennas to play in the DX game. Digital participation accounted for 79% of all QSOs in 2022. This is an increase from less than 20% in 2015. The Mode graph shows the change over the last few years.

QSOs by mode

During the scoring process, the DX Marathon staff carefully checks the accuracy of the submissions. Since the Marathon program does not require validating QSO’s, we do recognize that the integrity of the program is dependent on accurate reporting of valid QSO’s. As shown below for the 2022 period, we had a much higher error rate as expressed as a percentage of submittals than years past. This was due to a number of items including a much more accurate scoring tool which includes a more comprehensive validating process that we are now using. Another reason was the larger than normal invalidation of QSO’s claimed for Russia and Ukraine. The CQ Magazine’s policy was reflected on the Marathon website in the rules section yet many participants reported QSO’s in the invalidated period. This should not happen in the CY 2023 period, We encourage all participants in 2023 to carefully check their logs and utilize the information that is posted on our new website at www.dxmarathon.com.

Ivalid QSOs by percentage

The highest scores historically in the DX Marathon program have been dependent on 1) propagation, and 2) number of dxpedition activations. Both of these factors resulted this year in a top score in the Unlimited Class of 307. Surprisingly, the Limited Class turned in a top score of 303 which was quite formidable. Competition this year was fierce for the top spots in both Unlimited and Limited Class as 6 scores in the Unlimited and 3 scores in the Limited category exceeded 300 points.

Lastly, we saw an unprecedented number of records broken this year. In 2021 our participants broke 28 all time records which was a threefold increase over 2020. In 2022, 53 all time records were broken! Three new band score hit all time highs, 2M, 6M, and 12M. Three digital continent mode records were broken, one continent Phone, and one continent CW set records. A large 9 zone records were shattered while 29 new country records were broken. These will be posted on our website shortly so stand by for the details.

Some interesting metrics…

The average score in the four categories of Unlimited, Limited, and Formula are slightly higher than 2021: 187 for Unlimited, 168 for Limited, 159 for Formula 100, and 107 for Formula 5W. All combined, the average score was 178. The percentage of participants by class in 2022: Unlimited 65%, Limited 19.2%, Formula 100 13%, Formula 5W 2%.

As might be expected, with Cycle 25 advancing, the percentage of QSO’s submitted for the 10, 12, and 15 meter bands increased from 44,306 in 2021 to 82,327 in 2022. The 10 meter band submissions were 3 times larger in 2022 while the 15 meter submissions were twice the number while 20 meters QSO’s were approximately the same.

Single mode participant entries in 2022 represented 33% of the total while all mode entries were 67%. Single band entrants represented 5% of the total submissions. The 10 meter band represented the largest single band declared for single entry.

North America (including Canada) turned in 33.8% of the Continent entries. The second largest Continent was South America at 27.9%. Oceania had 20.8%.

The breakdown of total QSO’s submitted by mode yielded digital submittals at 73% of the total. CW submittals were 14% while phone landed at 12.8%. 2022 Digital QSO’s increased by 5% while CW decreased by 4% over 2021. SSB was approximately the same percentage of the total QSO’s. The total QSO submitted by all participants set an all time record of 216,505.

And the Winners Are…

The point spread at the top of the Unlimited Class ranged from 307 to 303 among the top 6 participants! John, K2ZJ, who was runner-up last year in this class, squeeked out the top spot with 307 points followed by a tie for second at 306 points by Antonio, IK0OZD and Graham, VK3GA. Ed, K5EK was at 305 for the number 3 spot, while a tie occurred for the number 4 spot with 303 points achieved by both Kent, N6WT and Marvin, VE3VEE. In the Limited Class, the competition was just as keen with Savas, SV2AEL with 303. Savas last year finished in second place. Ali, TA4RC with 302 finished second, and Mehmet, TA1CM with 301 points held down the third position. Congratulations to all of these excellent DX Marathon operators in the Unlimited and Limited class.

In the Formula, 100W Class Karel, OK2FD bettered last year’s score by 6 points finishing in the first position with a total this year of 297 points. Carlos, PY2CER finished in second place with 269 points. Congratulations to Dan, WG5G in the QRP category for a first place finish with 262 points. Anthony, K8ZT finished in second place at 226 points. Working the Marathon with wire antennas is a real challenge but working DX with QRP power is quite an accomplishment.

All categories and scores are posted in this article but it is worthy to mention a couple significant accomplishments. We are trying to encourage club submittals and would like to see a major increase in club participation in future years. In 2022, there was an increase of 23% in club submittals over 2021. For 2024, we have some plans to fuel the growth in club submittals. These proposed changes will be published in the November 2023 edition of CQ Magazine. In the interim time, engage your clubs to submit in 2023 to get ready for some exciting competition in 2024. This year, we had an amazing performance from YB-Land DXING Passion of Indonesia with a record setting amazing total of 40225 points! This set an all time DX Club record by a very large margin. For the first year, we will be issuing a plaque to the top Club Score compliments of the South Florida DX Association.. The Rio DX Club who won first place last year held the number two position with 20869 followed by the CDR Group of Brazil at 9998. Holding the number 4 and 5 positions was the Western Washington DX Club at 9026 and the Northern Illinois DX Association at 7573.

It is fitting to recognize the single mode accomplishments in 2022. Lada, OK2PAY the program’s superstar CW performer with his 8th consecutive first place finish won the worldwide CW mode competition with a score of 275. Julio, W4HY secured the first place worldwide Phone award with 274 points. Julio thanks for keeping SSB alive! Fred, PY7ZZ won worldwide first in digital with a score of 298. These gents will soon hold a beautiful DX Marathon plaque for their efforts.

Turning to NA, Bob Gill, K5BG (Photo E) after tying in 2021 for the NA CW top spot, won it outright this year with 250. Steve Larson, N3SL, secured top digital spot in NA with 287 points. Good going!

In addition to the overall and Mode plaques, each year we award plaques to the top score on each Continent plus the highest score on each of the 6 through 160-meter bands. Top honors for Africa went once again to repeat winner CT3MD with his top score of 291 which bettered his previous year of 279 by 12 points. Second place went to Barry, ZS2EZ with a score of 258. Ever present on the bands, Mikalai, D2UY in Angolo secured third place with 235 points. In Asia, there was a tie for top score at 302 points between Halil, TA2LG and Ali, TA4RC. In the case of a tie, top honors go to the participant with the earliest date of the last QSO submittal. Halil had the earlier date of the last QSO submitted. Tac, JE1FQV finished third in the Asia competition with a score of 297. In Europe, Antonio, IK0OZD took the honor of first position with a score of 306. Savas, SV2AEL from Greece finished second with 303 points. Mehmet, TA1CM in European Turkey rounded out position 3 with a formidable score of 301. In Oceania, Graham, VK3GA from down under took the top spot at 306. Anton, YB5QZ who generously did the translation for our new website (www.dxmarathon.com) into his native language took the third position with a score of 297. Great job Anton and thank you for your special effort on the translation. The top North American score was our Unlimited Class winner, John, K2ZJ with a total of 307. John will receive a beautiful plaque for top unlimited but will just get an “atta boy” for top North American score as participants can qualify only for a single plaque according to the DX Marathon rules. Second place was Ed, K5EK with a strong 305 total followed by the third place Kent, N6WT at 303. Kent shared third position with steady performer Marvin, VE3VEE. Down south, Fred, PY7ZZ took the top spot in South America with a score of 298, followed by Zaza, PY2TC at 295. Alex, PY4AZ was tied for second also achieving a score of 295.

Band winners enjoyed great propagation this year. Six meters this year was won by Eric, F5BZB with a total of 189 points. This was an all time high ever scored for six meters. Last year the 6 meter winner posted a score of 162. Bon travail Eric as this year we will issue a plaque for the top 6 meter winner. 10 meters was won by Francisco, PU2UAF who will enjoy a beautiful plaque for his total score of 283. Last year the 10 meter winner total was 201! Veteran marathoner Bill, K2TQC had the top 12-meter score of 293. Rumor has it that Bill will try another single band for 2023. The 15-meter winner Alex, PY4AZ will secure a nice plaque for this band with a score of 295. Fellow Brazilian Val, PY2XU is the winner of the 17 meter plaque with a 278. Veteran Marathon and king of 20 meters, Marvin, VE3VEE secures the 20 meter win with a formidable score of 303. The 30 meter award first place goes to Bro, LY5O with a 263. It is wonderful to see that our founder of this program, Bob Locher, W9KNI still enjoys participating. He won the 40 meter single band plaque with a score of 271. Thanks Bob for all you have done and wonderful to see you still enjoy participating in DX Marathon. George, HA5WA from Hungary takes the 60 meter honor with a score of 194. 80 Meter honors goes to another Brazilian participant, Sergio, PP5JR with a total of 220. 160 meters for which a plaque sponsor has stepped up was won by Morten, LA3MHA. Congratulations Morten for winning the first 160 meter plaque sponsored by the South Florida DX Association.

This year we are awarding a plaque for the first time to the top youth performer in the program. This year that plaque will go to 14 year old Eduardo Almeida, PU5FJR of Brazil. He is under the tutelage of his father PP5JR. His total score was 221.

In addition to the Plaque winners, we are awarding many certificates of recognition. Please consult the detailed listings for the calls of the certificate winners. Certificates are awarded for the top continental score for each of the three modes, top score in each country, top score in each CQ zone, top score in each Canadian call district, top score in each USA call area for each of the four DX Marathon classes plus the top single mode score in the USA. Congratulations to all the 2022 certificate winners!

Some Operating Advice…

On the Friday during Hamcation in Orlando this year, DX Marathon launched a new website. We encourage all participants to check it out. We also have a Group IO page that is available to exchange information and post questions. Please sign up as there are many great discussions that take place within the group.

Each year the DX Marathon website publishes a large amount of information to help participants minimize errors in their submissions. The Helpful Hints page can be accessed from the DX Marathon home page. (www.dxmarathon.com) In 2022, we published over 1,000 callsign exceptions and notes to help every participant reduce the number of errors in their submissions. We also recommend that you regularly update your logging program callsign database if it has one. Unusual callsign prefixes seem to multiply every year, so updating your program’s database is critical to properly determining the DX location and/or Zone.

All participants work very hard at working country entities and zones. We encourage all to check their logs before submission as each error discovered will result in a one point deduct from your overall score. One of the highest error categories is Wrong Zones which typically result in one third of the errors. Confusion with USA Zones is one of the biggest sources of Zone errors. It is especially important to note that USA callsign numbers are no longer required to match their QTH. A W6 could be in New York, or a KL7 could be in Florida. There are many special callsigns in Russia that do not follow the traditional callsign mapping, thus creating many errors in zones 16,17,18 and 19. Zone 2 also continues to be a problem. Very few VE2 stations are in Zone 2 – most are in Zone 5. The DX Marathon website does list the most active Zone 2 stations. The next highest error category was Invalid Callsigns – callsigns that were entered by participants, but do not actually exist. There are many unique callsigns being used today so it is critical to review your DX Marathon submissions carefully. The number of bad spots on the DX Clusters also remains a big problem.

When logging a QSO from a DX spot, listen carefully to the DX station to make sure the callsign is logged correctly. Almost 40% of all point subtractions are due to Busted or Incorrect callsigns. Some Invalid callsigns may have been busted calls that were so bad that we could not determine the real callsign. Once again there were many mix-ups between “0” (Zero) and “O” (Oh). The computer is not forgiving, so check your log carefully! The database that is used for scoring the DX Marathon includes start and end dates for all major expeditions, so please make sure that dates and times are properly logged along with the callsign, country and zone for each QSO. With more logs being posted online, it is easy to check if you are in the log before entering that QSO in the DX Marathon. We do publish a lot of helpful information on the DX Marathon website, but there is nothing we can do to make sure you are in the log. Unfortunately, subtractions due to pirates tripled from 2020.

As part of this article, you will find a complete listing of all scores plus a listing of the Top Scores in all available categories. The DX Marathon website will include additional information and details on the 2022 results plus photos of plaque winners as they become available. For any questions or comments about the DX Marathon, please contact the author.

Special Note from WC3W…

None of this wonderful program would be possible without you – our valuable participants. I am excited and believe we are in a position to double or triple our program in the next couple of years. I have been doing 3-4 zoom meetings a week to clubs spreading the word. I would encourage all of you to speak up at your clubs and spread the word as well. We are the fastest growing DX program in the world today and I believe we have not even begun to grow. With the advent of digital technology, and Cycle 25, it enables many operators to work DX regardless of station size or tower restrictions. Lastly, we are clarifying the classifications and rules for 2024. The success of our program is insuring fairness and clarity in rules along with appropriate enforcement. Our program operates on the assumption of honest reporting and play and we understand that to preserve our growth and encourage all, we must have rules and penalties for breaking of the rules. We do receive reports from our participants about potential violations of rules and we do vet these out when reported to ensure the continued integrity of our program. I am particularly concerned about the use of multi-locations/remote stations. Our rules are very clear on this issue, one TX/RX location per submission and it is my intent to clamp down on any participants who intentionally violates this rule.

Special Thanks…

The DX Marathon would not be possible without the incredible help and assistance from so many people. The team effort makes the DX Marathon possible. I want to first thank CQ Magazine for developing the Marathon and providing continuing support. Many generous hams have given back to this hobby by supporting the Marathon Program. Just a few include Alex, VE3NEA, Jim, AD1C, and all the plaque sponsors, Dave, AA6YQ for his incorporation of the program within his DX Labs program, Mike, W9MR, John, W9ILY who has done all the certificates, Bob, W9KNI and Oms, PY5EG. Bernie, W3UR, has also been a tremendous supporter by including lots of DX Marathon in his Daily DX newsletter. I also thank Laurie, VK3AMA, for including DX Marathon support in his popular JT Alert software. Lastly, I wish to thank my amazing operating group who have advanced us at least 6 months ahead of schedule for the turnover of the program to myself from K9EL.

Thank you for your participation in 2022 and best of luck in 2023!