The DX Clusters!
What is a DX Cluster?
The first Goal of a DX Cluster is to give you the user better access to information about rare DX stations on Ham Bands.
The definition of a DX SPOT is directly relational to the Band on wich it is done; On an HF Band like 20 Meters or 10 Meters it migth be a small African Country like S92AT on Sao Tomé Principe (I dare you to find that one on a Map) or a 1 hour Rag Chewing contact with VK6KH in Australia! But on the other hand on a Band like 2 Meters a DX SPOT could be the Great lakes or the Gaspe Area!!! One of my BEST one was Pitcairn Island that I work January 20th 1993 under my old call sign VE2STN.
The Principle of the DX Clusters is to attach as many stations looking for these DX SPots together as posible to a series of Clusters all linked together, this way these users can pass almost real time information to each other about rare DX stations that the hear! But it is very important to understand that if no one passes information to the cluster then no-one gets any! SO! AFTER making that rare contact, please spot it for the others!
If I take 2 Hams in the Montreal area and I link them together via packet, and they both send one another info re rare DX heard on the band they are on! Then each of them have twice has many chance of making great DX contacts. NOW! If I link 100, 500 or even 1000 Hams via a series of DX Clusters all talking to each other, It would be almost impossible for any rare DX to go by without being spotted! Also Band tendencies can be seen by looking at the spots for the last couple of hours! (Closing of 20M toward an opening of 40M and then 80M etc...)
The Command are very simple;
SH/DX -----> SHow DX gives you the last 5 spots heard on this cluster.
DX -----> under the DX FFFFF ID Comments (ex.: DX 14195 S92AT WOW!) format send a SPOT to all theClusters!
SH/ANN -----> Gives you the last 5 ANNouncement heard by the Cluster.
ANN/FULL Text -----> Sends out an ANNouncement to all the Clusters. (could be something like; ann/full I need alaska bad! please spot it!)
Help ------> Gives you all other available commands on this cluster.
In the greater Montreal Area there are 2 DX Clusters that can be reached, they are;
DXCLS (VE2DX) ----> Located in the Northen part of Montreal it can be reached via the following nodes; DXNOD (VE2DX-1), VE2DJE (LAVAL), TOYNOD, RMTNOD, FFQNOD.
MTLDX (VE2PWI) ----> Operated by The West Island Amateur Radio Club, and located mostly in the western part of the Island it can be reached via; VE2RHH (YUL), VE2RM.
Please note that both of these are linked together and then to the North East USA DX Cluster Network via KD1R (DXNRTH) in Northen Vermont. So, weather you are attached to one or the other you will get the same spots, just pick wich ever one is better suited for you! We are always looking for expantion of the network if you are interrested please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).