ARRL Board Okays Changes to DXCC Program, VHF and Above Contesting Rules

This was in the ARRL e-letter of 22 Jan 2015. Thanks to Don WA9WWS for sharing.

The ARRL Board of Directors has tweaked the DX Century Club (DXCC) rules to clarify and expand their recognition of remotely controlled station technology. It has also added a rule that puts greater ethical responsibility on operators with respect to remotely controlled operation. In addition, the Board adopted changes to the ARRL VHF/UHF contest rules that are aimed at encouraging greater participation.

The DXCC Rules changes, which affect Section I, subsections 8 and 9, explain and extend how contacts with remotely controlled stations now may be applied toward the DXCC award. According to ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, the changes are subtle but significant. The modified rules make clear that contacts with legally licensed, land-based, remotely controlled stations count for DXCC, but the control point — the operator’s location — of a remotely controlled station no longer has to be land based; the operator can be literally anywhere.

The Board also adopted amendments to the General Rules for ARRL Contests Above 50 MHz to encourage greater participation and band utilization. The changes become effective with the 2015 June ARRL VHF Contest. The changes will permit assistance in arranging contacts, but not in conducting contacts. They will, for example, allow a station to announce its location in a chat room, on a repeater, or even via e-mail.

In other actions, the Board instructed the HF Band Planning Committee — which will soon solicit members’ comments on proposed changes to the ARRL HF Band Plans — to include the possibility of requesting that the FCC add RTTY and data privileges for Novices and Technicians on 15 meters.