When a station is calling “CQ DX” on the air, what do they mean? The obvious and easy answer is that they are looking for stations far away (at a “distance”) and outside of their country. So, if I hear K5PI in Texas calling CQ, which I am literally doing right now as I type this, I keep looking for other stations to work. That’s an easy call. Keep looking.
But what do I do if VE7RAC in Canada is calling CQ DX? We’re not in the same DXCC entity. For some Hams that might constitute DX. I was very excited to work Canadians as a Novice in the 1980’s. That seemed like DX to me. But did they consider me DX?
I’ve struggled with this for a while and now I’ve settled on a course of action that’s become easier with age, or at least with years of operating experience. Generally I’ll pass on stations in Canada, Mexico and the US (including Hawaii and Alaska) if they are calling “CQ DX”.
Since 1985 when I was first licensed I’ve worked a lot of stations in all five countries (remember Hawaii and Alaska count separately) and generally don’t have an aching need for any additional one. So I’ll just assume they do not want yet another US station in their logbook.
I have to admit though – I don’t always follow my own advice. Some time back I heard Robert (K5PI) in Texas calling CQ DX and I called him. Robert is actually an old friend from my days back in Austin, TX and I was excited to work him for the first time since getting on the air in California. I did apologize to him after the contact though!