Cabrillo Specification – QSO Data

Last update: 15 March 2021

Each contact in the log is reported using the QSO tag. Some items on this line will be different for each contest depending on the exchange information.

QSO Data Example

                              --------info sent------- -------info rcvd--------
QSO:  freq mo date       time call          rst exch   call          rst exch   t
QSO: ***** ** yyyy-mm-dd nnnn ************* nnn ****** ************* nnn ****** n
QSO:  3799 PH 1999-03-06 0711 HC8N           59 700    W1AW           59 CT     0
QSO:  3799 PH 1999-03-06 0712 HC8N           59 700    N5KO           59 CA     0


QSO: qso-data

Each line must begin with “QSO:” followed by a space. The QSO templates show each item at a specific column. All of the major contest sponsors will also accept the fields in any column as long as there is a space between each item.

X-QSO: qso-data
Any QSO marked with this tag will be ignored in your log. Some contests may use this information during log checking. 

Explanation of Fields

freq is frequency or band:

  • 1800 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 3500 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 7000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 14000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 21000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 28000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 50
  • 70
  • 144
  • 222
  • 432
  • 902
  • 1.2G
  • 2.3G
  • 3.4G
  • 5.7G
  • 10G
  • 24G
  • 47G
  • 75G
  • 122G
  • 134G
  • 241G

mo is mode:

    • CW
    • PH
    • FM
    • RY
    • DG

(in the case of cross-mode QSOs, indicate the transmitting mode)

date is UTC date in yyyy-mm-dd form

time is UTC time in nnnn form (0000 – 2359)

call is callsign

only A-Z, 0-9 and / permitted

exch is contest exchange. Each contest will have its own exchange elements. Check with the contest sponsor for their requirements and formatting.

t is transmitter id. Used to identify RUN/MULT, RUN1/RUN2 stations in one- or two-transmitter categories (M/2, and CQWW M/S). Not used in single-op or M/M. It is a single digit of 0 or 1.

QSO Template and Log Examples

Contest sponsors are encouraged to include template and log file examples on their web page along with the rules. This will help entrants to format the log correctly for that contest.

Contest Link to Cabrillo Template
CQ WW DX Contest
CQ WPX Contest
CQ WW VHF Contest
Russian DX Contest (RDXC)
NCJ North American QSO Party
New England QSO Party
UBA DX Contest