The CQ DX Marathon is a year-long activity, beginning at 0000 UTC January 1 and ending at 2359 UTC December 31. Each year’s event is separate.
Frequencies: Any authorized amateur frequency may be used. Contacts through repeaters or satellites are not allowed for credit, nor are contacts with maritime- or aeronauticalmobile stations. All contacts must be made entirely over amateur radio frequencies—i.e., Echolink-type contacts do not count.
Modes: Any authorized amateur mode may be used, but three modes will be recognized in the DX Marathon—CW, Phone, and Digital. All modes other than CW or voice modes will count as Digital.
Categories: Each entrant in the DX Marathon may submit one log each year per operating location. Participants
submitting logs for single mode or single band entries must include only those contacts. Logs submitted with multiple modes or multiple bands will not be considered for mode and band awards. Entries with two or more callsigns will only count as a single entry if all contacts were made by the same (single) operator at the same station using the same antennas. Remote operation is permitted if all transmitters, receivers, and antennas are at one physical location. A remote station in a country different from the entrant’s country of license must comply with all local laws and regulations. Entries that include contacts made with the assistance of remote receivers and/or transmitters in addition to contacts from a primary station are not permitted. There are three entry classes, “Formula,” “Limited,” and “Unlimited.”
Formula: An entrant may choose one of two options in this class: (1) All contacts must be made with a maximum output power of 5 watts, regardless of band or mode; or (2) the operator may run a maximum of 100 watts output to a simple antenna, such as a vertical or dipole (see the Appendix below for further rules on antennas used in either option for Formula class). An operator in Formula class must select QRP (5 watts or less) or 100 watts and limited antennas at the beginning of the year’s DX Marathon, and may not switch between entry modes during the year. All contacts must be made without the use of higher power or prohibited antennas to initially secure the contact. Use of spotting nets such as a DX Cluster® is allowed. Details of antennas used in Formula Class must be included on the official submission form in order to qualify for Formula Class.
Limited: Limited Class entrants are allowed a maximum output power of 100 watts and simple antennas, such as verticals or dipoles, plus small directional antennas such as Yagis and multi-element loop, hex, and quad type antennas for the 6-, 10-, 12-, 15-, 17- and 20-meter bands, and singleelement rotatable dipoles for the 30- and 40-meter bands. See the Appendix below for further description of Limited Class antennas. All contacts must be made without the use of higher power or prohibited antennas to initially secure the contact. Use of spotting nets such as a DX Cluster® is allowed. Details of antennas used in Limited Class must be included on the official submission form in order to qualify for Limited Class.
Unlimited:Any antenna may be used, along with any power level for which the operator is licensed. Use of spotting nets such as DX Cluster® is allowed.
Scoring: Each country worked is worth one point. Each CQ zone worked is worth one point. The total score is the sum of zones and countries worked, on any mode and any authorized band. There are no multipliers of any kind. Each country and zone count only once. A single QSO may count for both a country and a zone. If in the course of the year you work 238 countries and 37 zones, your score is 275. If you work all 40 zones and 150 countries, your score is 190. The CQ DX Countries List and the CQ Zone List constitute the official lists. The lists are available on the DX Marathon website. In the case of ties, the operator whose last scoring contact was earlier chronologically will be judged the winner. Decisions of the Marathon Manager are final.
Verification: QSLs are not required. The operator is expected to claim contacts only from stations the operator has every reason to believe are legitimate, and only to claim contacts in which an accurate two-way exchange was clearly accomplished (see Appendix for further explanation).
Scores will be adjusted by the DX Marathon committee for claimed contacts with pirates or any station not considered legitimate. Submissions may be penalized or voided in cases of fraud or poor sportsmanship. Submissions that do not provide detailed descriptions of Formula class antennas (type, height, and length, for example) to clearly demonstrate that the antennas meet the rules and the intent of Formula Class may be re-classified to Unlimited class. Decisions of the Marathon Manager are final.
Clubs: Clubs are strongly encouraged to use the framework of this contest for intramural and regional competitions.
Results: The final listing of official scores and winners will be published in CQ magazine and/or on the CQ website. The scores will also be posted on the DX Marathon website approximately one month after the results are published in CQ magazine.
Plaques: The CQ DX Marathon Committee will award plaques as follows: Highest overall score in Unlimited Class; highest overall score in Limited Class; highest overall score in Formula Class; highest overall CW, highest overall SSB and highest overall Digital-only scores; highest overall score for single band entries for the 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 and 80m bands; highest overall score for each of the six continents.
Plaques for CW, SSB, Band, and Continent winners are awarded regardless of class and will only be awarded if the winning scores in those categories are at least 50% of the score of the overall DX Marathon Unlimited Class winner. Entrants may receive only one plaque per year. In the case of a participant qualifying for more than one plaque, that participant will receive a plaque for the highest level based on the above order.
Certificates: Certificates are awarded to qualified participants in this order: Highest overall score in each CQ Zone; highest overall score in each country; highest overall score in the Formula Class 5 watts or less option. Plaque winners are not eligible for certificates. Only one certificate will be awarded per entrant. In the case of a participant qualifying for more than one certificate, that participant will receive a certificate for the highest level based on the above order. In all cases, the rulings of the CQ DX Marathon Manager are final.