*EDITORIAL* The Difference Between a ‘0’ & a ‘DX’

On the topic of working or undertaking rare, most wanted or new DXCC DXpedition activities on eleven metre frequencies, the question is sometimes put, “What’s the difference between a ‘0′ suffix and a ‘DX’ suffix?” 

What’s more, “Why do some DXCC activation callsigns end with a ‘0′ (e.g. 146DA/0 or 344DA/0) while other callsigns (e.g. 87DA/DX or 67DA/DX) conclude with the letters ‘DX’?”


As I understand it, the Alfa Tango group initiated this simple but effective system of identifying the past operating history of a DXCC entity many years ago. 

Essentially, this same system has also been embraced by every known radio group, including our very own Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) but with some slight enhancements in our opinion…


The ‘0′ Suffix – What it means

According to the definition advocated by Alfa Tango, a ‘0′ callsign represents a first ever activation of a DXCC on 11m by a radio group without any member of that group living in that DXCC neither…

  1. At the release of authorization for that activity by the group’s HQ; or
  2. In the DXCC’s past history.

Positively the most prestigious stations and callsigns to work, the ‘0′ suffix can be awarded only once, unless 200 contacts are not achieved. 

In this case it can be used again, and again if necessary, until such time that 200 contacts are realized!


The Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) is committed to delivering ‘0′ activities each calendar year but will only do so when a ‘0’ activity has never been conducted from that DXCC, regardless of t   he DX group involved. 

For non-rare DXCC we use traditional portable callsigns such as 20/14DA011 and 9/3DA011.



The ‘DX’ Suffix – What it means

A ‘DX’ suffix refers to an activation of an already activated DXCC without any resident member when releasing the authorization. 

The ‘DX’ suffix can be used not more than three times. 

If, after the ‘0′ activation, other suffixes are used (IOTA or portable), they will have the same value as a ‘DX’ suffix.


The Portable Prefix – What it means

The term ‘portable’ is commonly applied to mobile operations or when a radio operator goes portable in the field.

For the purpose of this article, ‘Portable’ also refers to a Freeband operator visiting a DXCC which has less than 10 members of his radio club and operating a radio transceiver. 

In this case, the operator’s standard home callsign (his DXCC reference, dx group initials and unit number) follows the prefix of the visited DXCC entity.

For example, if 3DA012 Roger visited Argentina (4 Division) and was working on the radio, he would be classified as a portable dx station. 

His callsign, therefore, would be 4/3DA012 where the / is substituted verbally for the word ‘stroke’. 

Again, if 41DA105 Brian was holidaying in Australia with a radio in tow, his portable callsign would be 43/41DA105.



As is the case with some other DX groups, the request of authorization from DA-RC Headquarters to operate as a portable station is necessary.

Additionally, portable stations must comply with the criteria outlined in DA-RC’s DXpedition Operations Protocol.

This includes filling out a DXpedition information form and submitting it to DA-RC HQ for perusal prior to the activity taking place so that the activity can be supported effectively, providing proofs to the DA-RC HQ Team via the respective Continental QSL Manager within three months after the conclusion of the activity, as well as guaranteeing actions to offset the DX activity’s carbon emissions and so reduce the DXpedition and Club’s carbon footprint.

73 de Darren, 43DA001