The CQ DX Marathon is an annual recognition issued by CQ Magazine. It is the sum total of the number of different entities plus the number of CQ zones worked in a given year.
This conversion program for Microsoft Windows reads an ADIF log file, extracts all of the unique entities and zones worked, and writes the corresponding QSO data to the official Scoresheet.
The current version of the conversion program is 21.1 and was released on 10 February 2021. This version will expire on 31 January 2022. You can click on this link to see the version history and download the installation program.
This program has been tested on Windows XP and Windows 7, so it should function on any version of Windows, XP or later.
IMPORTANT: The conversion program will only recognize QSOs made during the year it was designed for. So for example, the 2020 conversion program (v.20.10) will only work with QSOs made during 2020. You can can NOT use it for QSOs made in 2019 or 2021 (or any other years). Each new release of the conversion program will occur shortly after the current program expires, typically at the end of January the following year.
IMPORTANT: If you have an older version of the conversion program installed (version 20.2 or earlier), you must uninstall that version first before installing the new version 20.10 (or later).
To install the program for the first time, go to the Version History below and click on the highest version number (most recent date) at the top of the list, which is a link to that version of the program. This will download the installation program. When the file is saved on your computer, just open it to begin the installation. The default installation path is:
C:\ADIF to CQ DX Marathon
You may install the program anywhere you wish, but avoid the C:\Program Files directory, due to possible file protection issues with Windows Vista and later.
- Right click on installer(.exe)
- Select properties option.
- Click on checkbox to check Unblock at the bottom of Properties.
IMPORTANT: If this is the first time you are installing the conversion program, you will need to download and install the following Visual C++ library from Microsoft (vc_redist.x86.exe):
Click on the "direct download" link above. When prompted, save vc_redist.x86.exe to your computer and open it to begin the installation.
If you try to run the conversion program, and you see any pop-up error messages from Windows like the following, then the Visual C++ library is not installed correctly:
This Microsoft library is not included in the installation program in order that you install the most recent version available.
HINT: Inside of the installation directory, create a new folder for the current year, i.e.:
C:\ADIF to CQ DX Marathon\2020
This is a good place to download the Scoresheet as well as a place to save your ADIF log file for that year.
Once you have installed the program, subsequent installations (updates) will be installed in the same directory. To change the installation directory, you will first have to uninstall the program before installing the new version. Any callsign configurations that you created can be found in the old installation directory. You can copy them to the new installation directory if you wish.
The conversion program requires your logbook data in ADIF format. The procedure for creating this ADIF log file is specific to each logging program, so those particular details are not included here. If you have the option, only export QSOs for the year of interest. It's OK if you can not do this, because the conversion program will only use QSOs from the current award year. However, it may take longer to process the ADIF log file because the program still has to read all QSOs that are not for the current year.
Each QSO record in the ADIF log file must contain the following fields:
In addition, the QSO record in the ADIF log file may contain the following field:
Most logging programs will export all of the required fields automatically. If the DXCC and/or CQZ fields are not present, the program will not be able to determine the DXCC entity and/or the CQ Zone of the station you worked. Most contest logging programs are unable to write these fields to the ADIF log file (especially the country information). General-purpose logging software like DX4WIN, DXKeeper, Ham Radio Deluxe, Logger32, N3FJP's Amateur Contact Log, etc. usually generates the desired fields in the ADIF log file. If neither DXCC nor CQ Zone fields are present in any QSO record, the program will not convert your log. It will assume the input file is not an ADIF log file.
The conversion program will ignore QSOs with the any of the following properties:
While reviewing your completed Scoresheet, if you don't like a QSO that the program chose, enter a different one by hand. Alternately, mark the QSO invalid in your logbook using one of the above techniques, export your log to ADIF and the run the conversion program again. If you changed the QSO by hand, then run the conversion program again, that change will be lost. QSO data is not retained from one conversion to the next.
After installing the program, double-click on the "ADIF to CQ DX Marathon" icon on your Windows desktop or in the Start menu. You should see a window like the following:
The Title Bar shows the year and version number (the version number is the same as the last two digits of the year). Make sure you are running the correct program version for the year of interest.
The window is divided into four main areas:
IMPORTANT: Required fields are shown with bold labels next to them. If a required field is not filled in, the program will not allow you to fill in the Scoresheet.
The Actions are as follows:
There is an optional check-box next to the word "Confirmed", just below the Action buttons. The program will normally choose the first QSO it finds in your ADIF log file for each country and/or zone credit. However, if the "Confirmed" box is checked, the program will give preference to QSOs that are confirmed over QSOs that are not confirmed. This is to give you additional protection from "busted" callsigns, because QSOs that are confirmed through QSL card, Logbook of the World, etc. are unlikely to be busted.
The Callsign field is a drop-down list. To add a new callsign, click on the arrow and select (SELECT OR NEW). Type in the new callsign and begin filling out the rest of the Operator Information. To select a previously used callsign, use the drop-down list. This will restore that callsign's settings for Operator Information, Entry class and Antenna Description. To delete a callsign you may have entered in error or that is no longer needed, select that callsign using the drop-down list then click on the Delete button.
If you have only used the program with one callsign, the next time you start the program, that callsign and all of its settings will be restored automatically. If you have entered multiple callsigns, you will need to select one from the list.
Sometimes the programmer may change what is stored in the configuration file for each callsign. In that case, when you select a previous callsign, you may see a pop-up window like the following:
The program will reset all the Operator Information as well as the Entry Class and Antenna Description. You will need to type in all the information again. This is to ensure that no corrupt data remains in any of the fields.
When selecting a different callsign, both the ADIF Log and Output File fields will be reset to empty. This is to ensure that you select the correct ADIF log and output file names for the newly-selected callsign.
Under Inputs, select your Entry class (Unlimited, Limited or Formula). Click the ADIF Log button and navigate to the location of the ADIF log file that you saved from your logging software. Double-click on the file name, or click once and choose Open. Do the same for the Scoresheet. This is the official Scoresheet, in Microsoft Excel 97-2003 format, that you downloaded from the CQ DX Marathon website. Finally, click the Output button and choose a name for the resulting (populated) Scoresheet. If you have filled in the Callsign field in the user section, the program will suggest naming the output file with your callsign (i.e. AD1C.xls), but you can change it to whatever you wish. Do not make the output file name the same as the Scoresheet! The program will report an error if you to do this.
NOTE: Please do not rename the official scoresheet that you downloaded. The conversion program expects the filename to have certain properties. If you rename the scoresheet, the conversion program may not recognize it as a valid scoresheet.
In addition to Entry, there are two additional drop-down selection boxes for Band and Mode. The default selection is all bands, all modes. You may use either or both of these to select QSOs for only a particular band or mode (or band/mode combination). There are electronic certificates available for the highest DX Marathon score on certain bands and modes. See the CQ DX Marathon website for details. Note that these two selections are saved with the callsign configuration and will be restored when you select that callsign again. Be careful to review them in case you choose to submit an entry for a different band and/or mode.
After you have filled out the operator information and Entry class, and selected the input and output files, the program window should look something like this:
To begin the conversion, click on the Convert button. The program first checks that all required (bold) fields have been filled in and are valid, and will report any that are incorrect. You will need to correct these errors before you can proceed.
When the conversion has finished, you should see a pop-up message like the following:
At this point, the program will offer to open the filled-in Scoresheet using whatever default program your installation of Microsoft Windows uses to work with spreadsheet files. This is a good time to inspect the Scoresheet for errors, as well as to fill in any missing entities (like IT9 etc.) and/or the optional Comments section at the bottom. If there are no changes required, it is OK to simply close the Scoresheet.
If you forget to open the Scoresheet, or want to take a look at a different one, click on the View button. This will bring up a file browser showing any Excel (.xls) Scoresheets it finds. You can select any file to view it.
NOTE: Once you open the resulting Scoresheet, it will remain open even after after you exit the ADIF to CQ Marathon program (by clicking the Exit button). Leaving the Scoresheet open will prevent it from being over-written. If you try to Convert again without closing the Scoresheet first, you may see an error like the following. You will need to close the Scoresheet first before clicking the Convert button again.
You can use the Convert button multiple times, for example to experiment with different band/mode selections. Note that each subsequent conversion (after the first) will warn that you are about to over-write the existing output file. This acts as a reminder to select a different output file name if you want to keep the results of each conversion. The first time you Convert after changing callsigns, you will not get this warning.
You may continue to maintain your Scoresheet throughout the year, either by converting a new ADIF log file or by hand. Note that the program does not retain any QSO data from the last time that it ran. Therefore, you must select the the ADIF Log, Scoresheet and Output files each time you run it.
When you are satisfied with the contents of your Scoresheet, submit it via the online submission page.
From the Official CQ Countries and Zones list: "This list of separate countries (entities) for the CQ World Wide DX Contest and the CQ DX Marathon is based on a combination of the ARRL DXCC list, additional entities on the WAE (Worked All Europe) list and the Italian islands of Lampedusa (IG9) & Pantelleria (IH9), in CQ Zone 33 off the coast of North Africa. This provides a total of 346 entities, based on 340 DXCC entities, five additional WAE entities (GM/Shetland, IT/Sicily, TA1/European Turkey, 4U1VIC, JW/Bear Is.) and African Italy. "
The conversion program attempts to determine the additional entities listed above from your QSOs based on callsign, prefix or IOTA reference number:
The above list is complete at the time this was written. However, there could be legitimate calls of which the program is unaware. Make sure to check your Scoresheet after the program finishes.
The program will attempt to automatically identify QSOs with these entities if the QSO records in the ADIF log file contain enough information to do so (callsign or IOTA). Otherwise, you will have to find the information in your logbook yourself and fill in those entities in the Scoresheet by hand. If you do enter a QSO by hand, make sure that the QSO wasn't already used as credit for another entity. For example, you can not count a Bear Island (JW) QSO as credit for both Svalbard and Bear Island, so you may need to find another Svalbard QSO in your log to receive credit for that entity.
NOTE: The IOTA information for some of these special entities must be filled in the same way for all QSOs in your logbook. For example, JW9JKA was very active in 2013 from Bear Island, IOTA EU-027. If you fail to fill in that IOTA for any of your JW9JKA QSOs, i.e. by leaving the field blank, or using EU-026 for Svalbard instead, then the program may give you JW/Svalbard credit for one of those JW9JKA QSOs, when he was really on Bear Island. You could also have this problem with GM/Shetland, because the conversion program looks for IOTA EU-012 to differentiate Shetland and Fair Isle from the rest of Scotland. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.
This program was re-written from scratch in 2013 and again in 2020. There are bound to be mistakes in the program, or things that may not work exactly as described above. If you want to report a problem (either program or documentation), or request a feature, send your request to the Webmaster E-mail address at the bottom of this page.
The following features are not implemented yet, but may be added in the future:
To download the installation program, click on the hyperlink containing the version number and date.