CX CONSIDERATE OPERATING GUIDELINES
These guidelines have been developed based on comments and complaints received from and by CXers and non-CXers. Recognize that CX is an informal activity that it is successful because everyone has a common goal of enjoying their classic rigs. It is the intention of these guidelines to help all participants have a more enjoyable experience.
As new issues are identified, recommended guidelines will be prepared. Feedback to the CX Newsletter Editor is always welcome and may become part of these guidelines.
NO SSB CX QSOs between 3.880 mc. – 3.900 mc. and 7.280 mc. – 7.300 mc.
These frequencies have been identified by members of the AM community as “AM Windows.” While there is no official recognition of these windows, the AM community uses them very heavily for AM operations. As general courtesy, and so as not to inflame existing tensions, please avoid operating SSB in those “windows”.
The suggested CX frequencies have been selected to avoid conflict between modes.
Avoid uninterrupted multiple QSOs with the same station for multiple rig changes.
While many CXers have multiple rigs and enjoy getting them on the air, if two such stations engage in numerous uninterrupted multiple QSOs with multiple rig changes, it can deter other operators from having a QSO with those stations with all missing out on part of the fun.
If you are in a CX QSO and change rigs while working the same station, please limit it to three consecutive QSOs with the same station before offering an opportunity for another station by sending “QRZ?” and listening for calls. If no call is heard, return to three more rig changing QSOs and repeat “QRZ?”
Listen around for crystal controlled CX participants.
As many recall, our Novice privileges were only crystal controlled and less than 75 watts input. When participating in CX, be sure to listen up and down 10 kc or more after calling CQ or when looking for another QSO. Some CX participants are still enjoying the challenge of crystal control and lower power.
Clarification of multiple rig scoring.
There has been confusion over scoring QSOs when rigs are changed and a subsequent QSO is completed. The basic rule is:A new QSO is counted for both stations when one station changes one or more pieces of equipment and has a qualifying QSO with a previously worked station.So we all score the same way follow the process in this example.
W8KGI using his Viking Ranger and HRO-50 has a QSO with N6KN using his Drake Twins. That counts as one QSO for each.
W8KGI switches to his DX-100 with his HRO-50 and has another QSO with N6KN who is still using his Drake Twins. That counts as one QSO for each.
W8KGI continues with his DX-100 and HRO-50 and has another QSO with N6KN who is now using his Heathkit SB-104A. That counts as one QSO for each.
Where is all the CX activity?
This is a frequent question from newcomers to CX.
Before the peak of the Sun spot cycle it was uncommon to have many if any QSOs on 15m, 10m, or 6m. That has changed somewhat now. A strategy to consider is to check around the nominal CX frequencies in the higher frequency bands for openings and if there is no activity, move on to 20m, 40m, or 80m. Depending upon your QTH, you may want to start in the morning and move in the afternoon on 20m or 40m. Listen for activity and if there is little or none, move on to the next band. Evenings are generally the best time for 80m and 160m. Periodically check back on the other bands for improved conditions.
Always listen 5 to10 kc up and down from the nominal CX frequencies. Frequently the CX activity has moved away from the nominal frequencies to avoid QRM. This also helps to find a QSO with a nearby crystal controlled CXer.
What constitutes a “Qualifying QSO”?
This question arises frequently when there are multiple rig changes during a series of consecutive QSOs.
To be qualified, each QSO after any rig change must include a complete confirmed exchange by both participants.
The exchange must include: Operator’s name; RS(T); QTH (US state, Canadian province, country for DX); receiver and transmitter manufacturer / model; and if homebrew, send final amplifier tube or transistor type.
This benefits both participants by confirming the data and also by letting any station monitoring the QSOs determine if there has already been a QSO with those stations and rigs.
CX is a low key fun contest. Take time with the QSOs and enjoy the classic rigs and operators you are working.
There are many payoffs in CX, such as the enjoyment of resurrecting and operating a classic rig from decades ago, the enjoyment of working other similar rigs thus recreating some long past on-air experiences, and the pleasure of working the same CXers again and hearing about their challenges with a cantankerous rig or battling Murphy to keep rigs operating in the CX.
The scoring is dependent upon both the number of qualifying QSOs and the age of your rigs. In the past there have been winners following strategies based on a high number of QSOs, a high combined age of their rigs, and a compromise of a good QSO count and a good combined age. In addition there are bonus points for operating rigs like your Novice rig, operating the bonus gear designated for that CX, and other bonuses designed to bring a special aspect out of the CX such as the submission of pictures of yourself, your shack, your rigs, etc. Two categories for reporting and awards have been established: three or fewer transmitter-receiver pairs and four or more transmitter receiver pairs. This improves your possibility of achieving recognition for your score. Additionally awards are given for noteworthy performance including, best chirp, best operator, most unusual rig, best excuse for a low score, and other criteria suggested by the actual CX.
The bottom line is enjoy the QSOs and the environment. It only happens twice a year.