The new EXPLORER category has been established to allow amateurs to participate in the CQ WW Contest while experimenting creatively with Internet-linked stations and other new technologies. The goal of this category is to encourage innovation in operating strategies, station design, and technology adaptation.
The basic rules of the CQ WW DX Contest apply regarding contest period, exchanges and scoring. In addition to the current rules, the EXPLORER category includes the following:
1. Objective: The EXPLORER category is intended to encourage innovation in operating strategies, station design, and technology adaptation.
2. Entry categories (High power only where total power must not exceed 1500 watts):
a) Single-operator, in which one licensed radio amateur serves as the control operator, performing or supervising all operating and logging functions.
b) Multi-operator, in which multiple operators perform or supervise all operating and logging functions. Members of a multi-operator team are permitted to operate from different locations.
3. QSO-alerting assistance and QSO solicitation: The use of QSO-alerting assistance using packet radio, the Internet, local or remote Skimmer-type devices, Internet chat rooms, live streams on social media, etc. is permitted in both the Single-operator and Multi-operator categories. Self-spotting or asking to be spotted is not allowed. All contacts must be accomplished over the air.
4. Locations: All entries may use multiple transmitting and/or receiving sites. All transmitting site(s) must be in a single country and a single CQ zone. Remote receiving sites may be located anywhere.
5. Transmissions: All QSOs made by an Explorer entry must use the same callsign. One transmitted signal is permitted on a given band at any time regardless of site. Maximum signal bandwidth must not exceed the normal bandwidth of a single SSB voice (for SSB weekend) or CW (for CW weekend) signal. This prohibits multiple-carrier or time-multiplexed signals that occupy multiple channels in a single band. It is also not permitted to occupy two frequencies on a single band, even if interleaved. For example, it is not permitted to have “run” stations on multiple frequencies on the same band interleaving their CQs.
6. Control Operator(s): It is the responsibility of the human control operator(s) to ensure that normal precautions are taken before transmitting, such as listening to determine if a frequency is clear before calling CQ. This is critical in the use of automated “robot” stations. Any station found to be causing interference by not obeying this rule will be subject to disqualification and the control operator may be disqualified from entering the CQWW DX Contest in the next year. All cross-border remote operations must comply with the regulations in the country where the transmitting site(s) is/are located.
7. Log Submission: Logs must be submitted by upload at cqww.com. Logs must be in Cabrillo format and include the line: CATEGORY-STATION: EXPLORER.
8. Awards: The winning entry in the Single-operator and Multi-Operator categories will each receive a plaque. In addition, entries demonstrating a significant amount of innovation may receive special plaques at the discretion of the CQWW Contest Committee.
9. Club Scores: Entries in this category are not eligible to contribute their CQWW scores to a club in the Club Competition.