The 2019 ARRL International DX Contest CW weekend is just ahead — February 16 – 17, while the phone (SSB) weekend is 2 weeks later — March 2 – 3. Even if you or your station are not competitive, DX-oriented operating events such as these offer the possibility of putting some new DXCC entities into the log, upping your operating skills, or just getting a feel for how well your station and antennas fare on busy bands.
US and Canadian operators work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. DX stations work as many US and Canadian stations in as many of the 48 contiguous states and provinces as possible. US and Canadian stations send a signal report and the state or province, while DX stations send a signal report and the power output.
On CW, many stations will send “cut numbers,” abbreviations that can confuse contesting newcomers. For example, the letter A = 1, N = 9, and T = 0. So, log “5NN ATT” as “599 100 W.” Also listen for “1K” or “K” to indicate 1,000 W.