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 DXpedition. The command to do this is SHOW/DX. Without any other arguments, this command will output the last 10 spots posted. It is possible to look at more than this, for example the last 20 or 50 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 any additional information such as QSL details.
show/dx show/dx 5 show/dx 20
will show the last 10, 5 and 20 spots received by the cluster respectively.
show/dx on 20m show/dx 10 on 20m show/dx 20 on 20m
will show the last 5, 10 or 20 spots on 20 metres 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.
You can check for DX by offset 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 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 day is possible too. All you have to do here is to specify how many days ago it was like this ...
show/dx day 30
It is of course possible to specify multiple arguments.
show/dx 20 prefix 9a on vhf day 30
This would show the last 20 spots posted by or about calls with the prefix 9a on vhf 30 days ago.
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! More information can be found in the Command Set section.
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. Actually DXSpider will allow the frequency and callsign fields to be entered in any order.
dx 14004 pa3ezl OP Aurelio 599
In fact, all the following will give the same result...
dx 14004 pa3ezl OP Aurelio 599 dx pa3ezl 14004 OP Aurelio 599 dx pa3ezl 14.004 OP Aurelio 599
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.