By no means could you ever call me a big DX’er. I have a very modest CW station and 2 wire antennas that cover all bands from 6 to 160. However, working new countries has always been a challenge I have enjoyed. Over the past 30 years, (not that it’s any big accomplishment) I have managed to work over 100 countries.
Before the use of computers and dial up telnet clusters came on the scene, a handful of hams from a local radio club were on a telephone call up list. If any one in the group happened to be on the air and worked a ‘new one’ then the call up list got used to pass the ‘new one’ along. Guess we might have called it the ‘Ma Bell Cluster’.
From the old days of monochrome screen telnet clusters to today’s Web based systems, as the saying goes, ‘you’ve come a long way baby’. The old telnet clusters (which are still around today) used a command window where commands were entered to tailor (filter) the DX list to your liking. Entering a command like SHOW/DX would update the list of DX stations.
Today, Web based systems like QRZCQ’s DX Cluster offer much greater flexibility:
Looking back, it’s a bit hard to imagine a DX Cluster which provides all these filters by the way of simple drop down lists and check boxes.
QRZCQ.com has been my go to Cluster for a few years now. The reason I keep coming back to the QRZCQ DX Cluster is that I find it to be perfect for working dx, contests and special events.
Selecting the mode, all bands 30mhz and under, dx wanted and dx receivable in my area gives me the list of dx stations I want to see. Full screen mode enlarges the listing and helps out us senior citizen hams.
Another reason that I prefer using the QRZCQ DX Cluster is that I enjoy working events like the annual 13 colonies special event. QRZCQ offers a ‘prefix’ drop down where I can select ‘K2’ and then choose ‘CW’ as the mode. Doing so removes virtually all other information from the listing. Take al look at the the list of filters, I’d think that you would agree that this DX cluster stands apart from others.
Got a favorite DX Cluster? Tell me about it!
72 de @ke2yk