Often the DX cluster is used wrongly,. Ofter you can see spots which are fake spots. Also you see spots which not belong on the DX cluster. Read on and see what happens if an angel makes a spot on the DX clusterSpotted by an AngelAfter the CQWW DX CW contest 2012, a new DXpedition came on. It was ZL9HR from Campbell Island, the sub Antarctic Island in the Pacific Ocean, at 50.7266 degree South and 166.1217 degree East. Back in 1999 I had my first QSO ever with Campbell Island. I worked ZL9CI on CW (of course) on three bands, 40, 30 and 20 Meters. ZL9CI (with 11 operators) made over 90,000 QSOs, a new record at that time.Today my antennas are the same as back in 1999, For HF, I have the FB33 Beam, up only 15 Meters on a small tower. Between the legs of the beam you can find a multi-band trap-dipole for the WARC bands. And below the beam, the DX-A, a multi-band sloper for the three low bands is mounted. All antennas are also used for listening on the bands, no extra receiving antennas are available, and there is NO earth system connected. I tune the sloper with the MFJ Versa III tuner. In 2004 I bought a small 400 Watts amplifier (more power is not allowed in the Netherlands). The Yeasu FT-1000 MP Mark V makes my gear complete to hunt for DX.I was ready for ZL9HR, but the propagation was not so good. Only 10 operators this time, and only 11 days of activity from Campbell Island.The DXpedition ended however after eight days because of very bad weather. Their log showed only 26,334 CW QSOs on a total of 42,922 QSOs.I missed the first two days of their activity, but then DX-urge got me active to hunt for ZL9HR. The DX angel was good to me, and after 15 minutes I worked ZL9HR on 20 Meters. On phone, an all-time new one on that mode. And 10 minutes later I entered the second ZL9HR QSO in the log. This time on CW, also on 20 Meters. The DX cluster showed also spots on 160 and 40 Meters. I was thinking about the grey line as I went out shopping in the nearby supermarket. The local time was a few minutes before 11 o’clock. No LF propagation at daylight of course. On day four of the DXpedition, ZL9HR was spotted by an UA station at 0630z on 15 Meters. Excellent copy he said, booming signal, but only noise in my headphones. More and more spots were coming in, this time from Poland and Germany. But, besides a lost policeman, all was quiet in my headphones. A French ham hit me again with his cluster message “ZL9HR 21035, 7 UP super operator”. What that brand of lemon-lime flavored decaffeinated soft drink had to do with Campbell Island was not clear to me, because I could hear nothing. Then, after some more minutes, my door to Campbell opened again. What a booming signal, at least 229 or even more up to 239. Wow. A PA station got a report from ZL9HR, and I was thinking “@#!$! Why not me”. But then it was my turn, bingo. “21035 PAØABM 599”. What a super operator! And 7 up, as my TX frequency was 21042 kHz. This QSO made me smile from ear to ear, because it was a new band point for me. The first ZL9 on 15 Meters. I was wondering if I would have listened so long to nothing without those spots on the DX cluster. 15 years ago, with no DX cluster available, the answer would have been YES, one hundred percent, but now I was not sure about that. There is no alarm-bell ringing in my shack, when a new one is active and spotted on the DX-cluster. However I am very pleased with such DX assistant. Every day I listened to the DX-symphony of ZL9HR. Of course with help of the DX-cluster. I, dummy, had missed the short opening on 12 Meters to Campbell Island. Six other Dutch DXers were smart enough to use that opening. And I, dummy, didn’t take the spot of ZL9HR on 40 Meters RTTY seriously. Probably a joker playing fool with European DXers. Wrong, so no RTTY QSO with ZL9HR in the log of PAØABM. You could count ZL9HR spots for 80 Meters on the fingers of just two hands. Three spots were from Scandinavian stations, one from a DL, and one from a GI. Three spots were from stations asking ZL9HR to show up on 80 Meters. Two spots came from the Netherlands. The first was on 6 December, at 0721z on 3515 kHz. However it was a wrong spot. It was not ZL9HR but 5TØSP working the pile-up. The next day, ZL9HR was spotted again on 80 Meters by another Dutch station. It was at 0829z, ZL9HR on 3535, up 2. The sun was shining, it had been broad daylight for more than one hour. Too late for a DX QSO on 80 Meters. So again I did not show any interest in the spot. But, wait a minute. It was spotted by a Dutch ham. Even though it was daylight time here in the Netherlands, perhaps the sun was going down on Campbell Island. Back in 1999, my 40 meter QSO with ZL9CI was at 0934z, also daylight time. And that QSO was made with just 100 watts. It did take some time for me to get the message, and I started to listen on 3535 kHz, 15 minutes after seeing the spot on the cluster. There is only one moment you can be somewhere at the right time. If you are not on time, you are not there, you are too early or you are too late.And yes, between the noise of the QRN I heard the partial ‘L9H’ and ‘up’. If that was the real ZL9HR, then the Dutch person who spotted ZL9HR must have super ears for very weak CW signals. And also good receiving gear, because it was the only European spot for ZL9HR so far on 80 Meters. At the time I was listening to the ZL9HR signal, ‘EU1SWL’ spotted ZL9HR also. And indeed, it was ZL9HR (or a joker) transmitting on 3535 kHz. I listen always on both the TX and RX frequency. Very few stations (all from G-land) were also calling. Eight minutes later ZL9HR was giving someone an answer. ‘PAØA QRN 9’. Was it an answer for me? I waited a moment, and heard no response on 3537, so I gave the message ‘PAØABM 559 559 TU’. Then I could hear the answer ‘PAØABM TU’ followed by another ‘UP’. And, of course, the few G stations started again their try on 3537 kHz. The DX cluster did not show any more ZL9HR spots on 80 Meters that morning. Five days later, the full log of ZL9HR was uploaded to Clublog. Yesss. PAØABM was in the log on 80 Meters. I was the only Dutch station who worked ZL9HR on 80 Meters. Lucky me, that’s for sure. But of course it was the Dutch ham with his excellent CW ears who made this QSO possible. By spotting ZL9HR that day on 80 Meters. And I was there, at the right time, at the right spot. The spotter was PA5PQ, Charles van de Vijver. He was a good DX friend of mine. Charles got one of the first 5BDXCC awards in the Netherlands. Thanks Charles for the spot! The spotter WAS a good friend of mine. But hold on!!! It was absolutely not Charles, PA5PQ, who made the spots. He could not have done that ZL9HR spot because Charles, PA5PQ is a silent key. He died a long time ago. So, who else spotted ZL9HR on 80 Meters on 7th December, 2012, at 0829z ? Was it someone from outer space? Was it a spot from the DX-Angel? Or did you make that spot?(There are two more spots signed with PA5PQ on the DX cluster, both for DX stations on 80 Meters in 2012.)
DX code of ConductMany hams like to accept the DX Code of Conduct, So Do I. Therefore I publish the rules of this Code of Conduct for DXers on my web.