When all is said and done, this is the main function of a DX cluster. In its simplest form you can just connect to the node and you will start to receive DX spots almost immediately! You can check on recent postings in either a general manner or on a particular band or mode. You can even check DX by callsign or a fragment of a callsign. Of course, once you get the hang of things, it is expected that you start posting some yourself! After all, there would be no clusters if people did not post DX and you get the added thrill of the hunt!
As we have already said, it is possible just to connect to the cluster and you will receive spots automatically. However, you may wish to check on spots just posted. Maybe you wish to see if a particular band is open or if a certain callsign is active, perhaps a DX expedition. The command to do this is SHOW/DX. Without any other arguments, this command will output the last 5 spots posted. It is possible to look at more than this, for example the last 10 or 20 spots, by adding the number to the command. You can make it even more specific by adding a band in either wavelength or frequency, and/or the mode.
show/dx show/dx/10 show/dx/20
will show the last 5, 10 and 20 spots received by the cluster respectively.
show/dx 20 OR show/dx 14 show/dx/10 20 OR show/dx/10 14 show/dx/20 20 OR show/dx/20 14
will show the last 5, 10 or 20 spots on 20 metres (14 MHz) only.
It is also possible to check for certain callsigns, or fragments of callsigns in the same way.
show/dx g0vgs show/dx/10 g0vgs
would show the last 5 or 10 dx spots containing the callsign g0vgs. Or perhaps you would like to know the last spots posted by a particular callsign.
show/dxfrom g3izd show/dxfrom/10 g3izd
Or you could just check spots by mode.
show/dx #rtty show/dx/10 #rtty
would show the last 5 or 10 spots posted in the RTTY portion of the band. Note the # in front of the mode name. If the # is not there, CLX will think rtty could be a callsign fragment and you will get incorrect information.
You can check for DX by offset, between 2 frequencies and also by specifying a comment to search for.
show/dx/30-40 show/dx 14000-14033 show/dx 'iota'
would show the spots that arrived between 30 and 40 spots ago, the spots in the band segment 14.000 to 14.033 MHz and any spots with the word 'iota' in the comment field. The case of the comment is not important.
Checking DX posted on a certain date is possible too. All you have to do here is to specify the date like this ...
It is of course possible to specify multiple arguments.
show/dx/10 20 #RTTY kl7
This would show the last 10 spots posted in the RTTY portion of the 20 metre band containing the callsign fragment kl7.
As you can see the SHOW/DX command is very flexible, so if you are not sure whether something will work or not, try it and see!
To post DX you use the DX command. The syntax is shown below.
dx (frequency) (callsign) (remarks)
Where frequency is in kilohertz and the callsign is the callsign of the station you have worked or heard, (ie not your own callsign!). The remarks section allows you to add information like the operators name or perhaps a location. The remarks section will allow upto 28 characters. Anything more than this will be truncated.
dx 14004.8 dl6rai OP Ben 599
Note that to specify 100Hz digits, you express them behind a decimal point, not a comma. The example above shows this expression.
The callsign will be converted into uppercase once it is posted. This posting, or callout as it is known, will be forwarded to all other connected stations both at the cluster you are connected to and other active clusters in the network. The callout will also be sent to you as proof of receipt. It is considered bad practice to post your own callsign as a DX callout and for that reason, CLX will not accept spots based on your own callsign.