Those who have used DX Spotting tools before know how valuable they for making those unique DX contacts.  We are fortunate to have such a tool  right here at socialhams. The DXCluster feature is powered by DXSpider with HTML5 Websockets and provides additional tools other than DX Spotting alone that make this a very handy feature to have.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will provide a definition of the individual options in this tool.


Announcement and Band Conditions

In the upper left-hand area of the DXCluster page you will see links for Top 50 and Top 250.  Clicking either of this links will change how many results will return for each report.


Announcements: Announcements are simply posts from other hams using cluster servers, software or website interface. This can be a useful because  you can view comments and personal condition reports from hams around the world

The announcements are organized in three columns: Date and Time in UTC, From, and the text of the announcement. From this report similar to the other reports, clicking on the senders/spotters call sign will direct you to a look up of that call sign on


WCY: (Short for DK0WCY) Located in north Germany, this beacon station broadcasts its essential propagation data around the world on 10144 kHz via CW, Data and Phone.  But no need to tune in, its available right here in the DXCluster feature. Now we just need to make sense of the data...

The WCY report starts with the same first column which represents the date and time in UTC when the measurements were broadcast.

SFI:  Solar Flux Index (50 - 300) This gives hams a good indication about the ionization in the F layer and is is a direct measure of Solar Radiation being sent to earth. A really low value means the MUF will be low and over all conditions poor.  A high value means turn on that radio it may be time to start making some good DX contacts.

A: "Average" (0:Quiet - 400:Very Disturbed) The A-Index is an average of eight 3 hour K-Index readings. The A-Index can be a good indication of the stability of the band conditions. A High A/K index may indicate unstable conditions.

K: The K-Index (0:Quiet - 9:Disturbed) provides data on disturbances in the earth's magnetic field.

Exp.K: Is the Expected K-Index for the next hour giving us an indication on Band improvements or decline.

R: Sun Spot Count measures the visible spots on the sun and is attributed to solar activity.

SA: Solar Activity Reading (Quiet, Eruptive, Active, Major Flare, Proton Flare, or Warning) is a prediction of the expected future solar activity

GMF: Geo-magnetic field (Quiet, Active, Minor, Major, Severe Magnetic Storm or Warning) reports the reading of the earth's magnetic field with higher values indicating possible HF Blackouts

Aurora: (No, Low Auroral activity, or High Auroral activity)

Logger: This represents the beacon that reported and logged the data. (Pretty easy right?)


WWV: Operating out of Ft. Collins Co, WWv and provides it's own Geophysical reports.

Of course the first column heading is time and date in UTC. Next we will see the SFI (Solar Flux Index) count and the A and K indices. something that is different than the WCY report is the Forecast data.

The Forecast data displays the Solar Activity following the NOAA Space Weather scale



Geo-magnetic Storms

Solar Storms

Radio Blackouts



G5   (K-Index 9)




G4   (K-Index 8)




G3   (K-Index 7)




G2   (K-Index 6)




G1   (K-Index 5)







DX Spotting (HF and VHF/UHF)


Now on to the fun stuff. The other two blocks in the DXCluster feature are the actual spotting tools for HF and VHF/UHF frequencies.  From here you can either choose "All Frequencies" option to scan the logs for that rare station or close the option for that favorite band (in mHz).

The spotting reports are laid out differently than the Announcements and Condition reports. The first column displays the ranking for the spotted call sign. Next column displays the frequency where the call sign was spotted. UTC date and time are also included to indicate when the spot was made along with the spotters comments. Similar to comments field in the Announcement Report this is a great place to find ham to ham band condition updates or other data.


Now that you know all about the DXCluster, go out and DX!


73 - KD0OYR


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DXing is a process of searching, listening and operating far ham radio stations. These are the radio stations that are far away, making it hard for a DXer (a person who does Dxing) to find and operate such a station.
Categories: Beginners 
19.05.2016 · From OE8APR
18.08.2012 (18.08.2012)
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