Major contest action this weekend!


This coming weekend is the annual ARRL CW DX international contest. This contest covers the whole weekend and is very well attended by some very nice DX and rare DX as well. Last year during this contest I was using my EndFed antenna and this year I will be using my Hustler 4BTV vertical antenna.

 If you are a CW contester this is a must-contest for you. If you are not a contester but into CW this also can net you some nice DXCC contacts. The exchange is simple, your 599 report and your State or Province and that's it. The DX station will send their 599 and the power they are using.

 Let's say your CW is a bit rusty and contest CW speed is beyond your comfort zone. Well, do what I used to do years ago use a spotting network to find the rare stations. This way you get their call and tune them in, now use a CW decode program such as MRP40 which was the one I used to use. It sets up via your sound card and decodes up to 60wpm. I found it very accurate and there is a full feature trial version available. Now you can read the machine gun code like a pro! 

As for contest software N1MM+ is free and many setup videos are online for most rigs. So there you go with a little effort you can stack up some nice DX over the weekend. 

Who knows maybe you will rekindle the love for CW and start a new adventure in ham radio.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: