Saturday, September 18, 2010

The DX Code Of Conduct

It's been several years (about 2 1/2) since I last editorialized about DX behavior in this blog. I try not to get on my soapbox too often, but I think I can write again on that same subject now that some time has passed.

Actually, I'll let someone else do most of the work for me this time, after a bit of an introduction. In response to the increasingly poor standard of operating practice being heard on the bands, particularly when working DX, the First Class CW Operators Club formulated a draft DX Code of Conduct that they are trying to publicize. You can follow the links on their website, but they've also created a website at that has a number of useful resources (as well as the code itself, of course). I recommend that you visit their website and click around to learn more.

DX Code of Conduct
  • I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
  • I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.
  • I will not trust the cluster and will be sure of the DX station's call sign before calling.
  • I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
  • I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.
  • I will always send my full call sign.
  • I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX station calls other geographic areas than mine.
  • When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
  • I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.
  • I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect.


    1. When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.

      Since your one shot QSO may be all of 59(9) 73, according to part 97 etc. your call sign should be transmitted at the end of the conversation, so the call sign has a place and a legal function. Maybe that part ought to be reconsidered, at least for US hams!

      Amir K9CHP

    2. That's an excellent comment Amir. I'm not sure exactly how to deal with that. I suppose for CW you could send 5NN TU DE K2DBK, though that does take up extra time. I'm not 100% sure if you need to have the callsign be the last thing you send, and I know that's one good reason to send a full callsign when calling the DX (so if he never calls you at least you've sent your call.)

    3. Anonymous3:22 PM

      If memory serves, the FCC reg calls for your call to be transmitted every 10 minutes or at the end of every conversation. So, when you send your call that 10 minutes starts ticking. The next time you transmit, unless the entire 10 minutes has passed, you do not have to send your call again, unless it is your last transmission of the conversation. So, to be legal under FCC regs, in that short contest style QSO, you must send your call again. even if you just sent it when you first called the DX station.

    4. Good afternoon Dave, I was thinking of expanding my hamming to DXpeditions your post will come in handy.

    5. Anonymous12:10 AM

      More on the use of the "question mark"
      Picture this: You and a friend standing in the street discussing something when BANG! there’s a stranger, standing between you and with his back to your friend, looks you in square in the face and asks” WHO ARE YOU?”
      If you then make the mistake and answer like, “I’m John Smith”, or whatever, the stranger then just walks away with no further comment or intervention.
      Is it not the same if when you’re in QSO with someone and another station hears your QSO and then sends nothing but a series of question marks and then leaves having received an answer "question mark". Persons of such behavior should be dubbed ….. a “NOCOC” No Code Of Conduct "full stop"
      Keep up the good work guys