Amateur Radio Country Files

Amateur Radio Country Files

The country files were last updated on 18 July 2012

The Republic of South Sudan has been assigned the prefix Z8

Malyj Vysotskij Island added to DXCC Deleted Entities list

There is now an E-mail “reflector” to which you can subscribe in order to receive announcements of country file updates. The old links to have been removed, however you are free to continue to use this service if you choose.
You can find out more information about the reflector HERE
Release notices will continue to be posted to the various contest and software reflectors. This new list is useful in case you don’t subscribe to any of them, but still want to be notified about releases.
As always, thanks to Scott KA9FOX and the staff at QTH.COM for hosting the services associated with this web site.

Contest (CTY) – last updated 18 July 2012
DX4WIN – last updated 11 July 2012
N3FJP – last updated 18 July 2012
Packet (WPXLOC) – last updated 13 March 2012

This web site represents the home of “Country Files”, databases of entities (countries), prefixes and callsigns that are used by amateur radio logging software. There are three “flavors” of country files:
The history of these databases is varied:
  • The contest country data files have been maintained by Jim Reisert, AD1C since early 1994. Variations of this format have been around since 1986 or thereabouts.
  • The DX4WIN country data file has been maintained by Jim Reisert, AD1C since early 2003. Before that it was maintained by the program author.
  • The packet cluster data file (originally named WPXLOC.RAW) had fallen into a state of negligence over the years. It has been around since the initial version of AK1A PacketCluster ™ and was originally derived from the contest country file format, with some enhancements. Dirk, G1TLH has been marinating the file as part of his DX Spider software, but changes have been minimal. It’s not clear whether anyone who is still running the original PacketCluster ™ software has done any work to the file. Jim Reisert, AD1C took this file over in the summer of 2006. Working with the authors of AR-Cluster, CC Cluster and DX Spider, we developed an enhanced format and named it WPXLOC.DAT. The advantage of all cluster software packages using the same country database is that information passed between nodes will be viewed the same. So far, no one has switched over to the new file, but that is expected to happen during Fall, 2006.
This web site represents a unified approach to managing and generating the data. In the past, each file had its own set of input data. Changes made to one format would have to be made to all three (including the revision histories). Maintaining data separately is both time-consuming and error-prone. This was especially true during the summer of 2006 when two new DXCC entities were added (Montenegro and Swains Island). Furthermore, the input data was not necessarily the same – there were subtle differences (errors) in ITU zones, continents, geographic coordinates and local time offset from GMT. This unified approach is meant to fix all that.
The databases do not necessarily contain the same information:
  • The contest and packet databases only need entities, prefixes and callsigns that are current, whereas a general logging program needs a complete historical list, by date, of those entities, prefixes and callsigns (including deleted entities).
  • The contest logging software authors have taken some shortcuts for certain prefix sets (i.e. United States, Canada, Asiatic Russia, etc.) by encoding them in software. This reduces the size of the data file. General-purpose logging software like DX4WIN needs every prefix specified.
  • One can make use of more specific geographic data for the packet database. For example, being able to get a more specific beam heading for British Columbia, or the sunrise time in Krasnoyarsk. While the contest and logging software could make use of this information, no one does so today (except Writelog, but only through a separate file), and I have heard of no plans to do so.
There is at least one potential downside, which I am have previously announced, and have addressed with contest logging software authors:
  • As of Summer 2006, I am no longer supporting the pre-CT9 formats of the country files (ARRL.CTY, CQWW.CTY and IARU.CTY). These formats are different enough from the CTY.DAT that I do not want to write a new generator for it. Besides, CT9 and CT10 are free, and CT9 has been around since 1994, so it’s time to “cut the cord” on these old versions.
Where do things stand today (mid-August, 2006):
  • I now have a unified input database of entities, regions, prefixes and callsigns
  • I have generators for the three output formats (contest, DX4WIN and packet)
  • WPXLOC.DAT has been released to the cluster software authors for evaluation and testing
  • CTY.DAT has been released to the contest software authors for evaluation and testing
  • I have not tried the DX4WIN data (yet)
What still needs to be done (mid-August, 2006):
  • Reduce the size of the contest and packet output files. The input data still contains many unconstrained callsigns which have not been used for many years. It is a manual process to research these calls and add proper start/end dates.
  • Tweak the contest output data to consolidate data for countries with many prefixes. May need to leverage the contest logging software to offload some of the prefix resolution.
  • Add new exception callsigns since the last release of the DX4WIN data file.
  • (longer term) Standardize on a better set of geographic coordinates for the entities listed in the file. Most of this data can be obtained from the CIA World Factbook. However, this data isn’t perfect and needs to be checked (the location of Malpelo Island is listed incorrectly, for example).
  • (longer term) For packet, add additional regions for countries that are geographically large (i.e. Brazil, Argentina, Scandinavia). This only makes sense if callsign prefixes are specific to a geographical region, and not spread out all over the country. Do the same thing for island pairs (i.e. Agalega & St. Brandon, Palmyra and Jarvis, etc.).
I am expecting to have a final release of the output data by the end of August, 2006. There will be some beta testing in the interim.

Who can use this data?
This an important question to ask. I have invested literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hours over the past twelve years collecting, verifying and distributing the data that makes up these databases. This is completely a volunteer effort, I have not earned one dime for doing so. I want to make sure that amateur radio operators have the data that they need to operate contests and collect awards. More importantly, I want this data for myself to be correct, and I am willing to share the fruits of my labor with the rest of the community.
Anyone is free to use the ASCII data files (contest and packet) long as credit is given to Jim Reisert, AD1C. It is expected that only registered users of the DX4WIN software would use the DX4WIN data.
I would prefer that you not attempt to “reverse-engineer” the data for another purpose. No data file contains the complete picture of what I have collected. If you want to make use of this data in another format, please contact me via E-mail and I’ll try to accommodate you.


This is not the place to download contest country files! You probably want to be HERE

You’ve reached a link to a special version of CTY.DAT which is more tailored to everyday logging. For more information on what CTY.DAT is, go HERE
The last release was on 18 July 2012. To download the file, go to the Version History.
This version of CTY.DAT has callsign data starting with 1 January 2000. This is useful for people who are using contest logging software to log their everyday QSOs, and want somewhat accurate country tracking. Here are the features of this file:

  1. Exception callsigns go back to the starting date shown above. If a callsign was used multiple times, then only the most recent entity is used. For example, TO5M was used from Martinique (FM) in 1993, St. Pierre & Miquelon (FP) in 1995, and Reunion (FR) in 2004. Thus, if you log TO5M using this file, you will get Reunion (FR)
  2. Prefixes do not go back, they are current as of the day the file was released. For example, Montenegro (4O) was added to the DXCC list effective 28 June 2006. If you try to log a QSO with 4O1T in Yugoslavia from 2003, it will come up as Montenegro, because that’s the current entity associated with the 4O prefix. Here is a list of known problems.
  3. This is a complete file, meaning all prefixes that require CQ and/or ITU zone overrides are listed. This is primarily for BY, K, UA9, VE and VK – these entities all span multiple CQ zones. Remember that the normal CTY.DAT has only a subset of these prefixes; many have been implemented in software and therefore don’t need to be listed.
  4. Some software like CT by K1EA doesn’t save the country information in the log with the QSOs. Instead, the country for each QSO is determined when the program is started, based on whatever country file is in use. Thus, it may not be possible to “fix” a QSO that is associated with the wrong country. You could use the override method, like “FO8XYZ=FO0” to assign it to Clipperton Island. However, if/when you over-write your country file with a new one, those customizations will be lost. One known case of this problem is a certain well-known IARU HQ station that uses the same callsign from different DXCC countries, on different bands, at the same time. It’s very hard to get these cases right.
  5. This file comes in only one format: using ‘=’ to distinguish full callsigns from prefixes.

Installation instructions

The instructions for installing the CTY.DAT file are specific to each logging program. However, the instructions for installing this file are the same as the normal contest country files, so start HERE. Follow the written instructions on that page, but don’t download the file from those links.
Here are some logging experiments to try to see if the larger file is installed in the right place, and is working:

  1. VERSION – should match the VERSION entity in the revision history
  2. OR4TN – should be Antarctica (not Belgium)
  3. MR6TMS – should be Scotland (not England)
  4. LW7DQQ/Y – should be Argentina in ITU Zone 16
  5. UI9XA – should be European Russia (not Asiatic)
  6. ZS85SARL – should be South Africa (not Marion Island)


Because of its size, this file may cause problems with your logging software. Here are some programs that are known to work:

CT 9.92 (DOS) and CT 10.04 (Windows) both work. Once can therefore assume that CT 9.92 (Windows) and CT 10.x (DOS) also work. It’s unknown how old a CT9 version can be and still work.
version 3.2.38 (Linux)
DL8WAA reports no problems.
version 3.1.1h and later
version 2.0.5 (Linux)

Areas for Improvement

Here are some changes that may be coming – stay tuned for details!

  1. The file contains all possible prefix mappings to determine the correct CQ and ITU zones. If people are only tracking countries, this may not be necessary, and would substantially reduce the number of prefixes in the file.

Contest Country Files

The files were last updated on 18 July 2012

This is the home of the contest country files. These files are used by amateur radio contest logging software (and other related programs) to help determine country multipliers from a callsign. The files are updated regularly throughout the year and changes are announced on the various contest and logging software reflectors.
To download the file(s) you need, please click on the link above that corresponds to the software you are using. Also read “Download Instructions” in the next section below.

Download Instructions

Clicking on any of the country file links below should prompt you to save (download) the file. If the file is displayed in the browser window instead, return to this page (using your browser’s Back button) and follow these instructions to save it:

Chrome: Right-click on the file name and choose “Save link as…”
Firefox: Right-click on the file name and choose “Save Link As…”
Internet Explorer: Right-click on the file name and choose “Save Target As…”
Netscape Navigator: Hold the SHIFT key down while clicking on the hyperlink (file name) and your browser will prompt you to save the file.
Safari: Hold the CTRL key down while clicking on the hyperlink (file name) and choose “Download Linked File As…”

NOTE: All links below are to the current version of the files. To download a ZIP file containing all the files in the current or an older version, follow the Revisions link on the left, and click on the appropriate link to the right of the date.
NOTE: There are two different versions of CTY.DAT, CTY_WT.DAT, CTY_WT_MOD.DAT and WL_CTY.DAT. Beginning with CTY-1805, full callsigns in the file are prefixed with the ‘=’ character. Some older logging programs will ignore these callsigns, so “old” format versions of the files (without the ‘=’) are available. If you click on the appropriate link below for your software, you will get the correct version of country file.

Version Information

To see the country file change history, click on the Revisions link on the left.
Once the file is downloaded and installed, there are several ways to tell what version of the country file you have:

  1. In your logging program, try to log the callsign “VERSION” (on a DX cluster node, use the SH/H VERSION or SH/SUN VERSION command). Each version of the country files will return a different country (except for Win-Test, see #3 below). That country will be indicated in the release notes for that version.
  2. Open the country file using a text editor like Notepad. Find the entry for Canada, VE. In the list of prefixes/callsigns, you’ll find a “callsign” that looks like:

    where “yyyymmdd” is the date of the release. For example, CTY-1812 was released on 10 November, 2008 so the version string in this case is “VER20081110”.

  3. The Win-Test files (cty_wt.dat and cty_wt_mod.dat) have their own version information at the top of the file. You can see the version number only by going to Options | Data Files | Country Files. You can not log the callsign VERSION, it will just come up as Canada, regardless of the country file version.

Except for Win-Test, the CTY file name (i.e. CTY-1812) can not be found in the file.

A Note about USA Callsign Exceptions

Many USA callsigns are not in the CQ or ITU zone indicated by the number in the callsign. For example, K5ZD is in CQ Zone 5, not Zone 4. The country files do list a number of these callsigns with the correct zone. However, they don’t list everyone, only the most active contesters. Here’s how the list is created:

  1. Using the Super Check Partial Database of active contesters, build a list of callsigns that are found in 100 or more logs. 100 is an arbitrary number, but it tends to limit the number of callsign/zone exceptions to around 500, which seems like a reasonable number of active contesters.
  2. For each callsign that met the criteria in #1 above, predict the CQ and ITU zones based on the number in the callsign. For example, ‘1’ is CQ zone 5, ‘5’ is ITU zone 7, etc.
  3. For each callsign that met the criteria in #1 above, look up the callsign in the current FCC database, and determine the CQ and ITU zones based on the state (as listed). For example, Wyoming is CQ Zone 4, California is ITU zone 3. The ITU zone is determined from the state only for states that reside entirely within a single ITU zone (like Indiana, not Illinois).
  4. If the CQ or ITU zone from step #2 does NOT match the CQ or ITU zone from step #3, add an exception to the country file, showing the actual CQ and/or ITU zones.

That’s the process, plain and simple. It’s fully automated, and rewards the most active contesters. If you want to “get on the list”, then “get on the air”!
If you do not live in or operate from the state listed as your callbook address, let me know if it would result in a change to your CQ or ITU zone. Many states cross ITU zone boundaries, so it’s harder to get the ITU zone exceptions correct. If your ITU (or CQ) zone is incorrect, let me know and it will be fixed in the next release.

Save CTY.CSV to the /Library/Application Support/Aether folder. Safari may to add a .TXT extension to the file that it downloads. Aether will only see the country file if it is named exactly CTY.CSV
Save CTY.DAT to the main CQPwin folder with the executable.
CT Win
Save CTY.DAT to your CT Win directory, which by default is C:Program FilesK1EA SoftwareCtWin If you did not install CT in the default location, save CTY.DAT in the same directory as CTWIN.EXE
CT 10 (DOS)
Save CTY.DAT to your CT directory (the same directory where CT.EXE is found)
CT 9.91 and later
Save CTY.DAT to your CT directory (the same directory where CT.EXE is found)
CT 9.90 and earlier
Save CTY.DAT to your CT directory (the same directory where CT.EXE is found)
CT 8 and earlier
Save ARRL.CTYCQWW.CTY and IARU.CTY to your CT directory (the same directory where CT86.EXE, CT286.EXE and/or CT386.EXE is found)
Linux:download CTY.DAT to the directory ~/.fldigi
Mac OS X:download CTY.DAT to the download folder. Open Fldigi and click on File/Show Config – then drag and drop CTY.DAT into the open .fldigi folder
Windows XP:download CTY.DAT to the folder C:Documents and Settings<username>fldigi.files
Windows Vista:download CTY.DAT to the folder C:Users<username>fldigi.files
Save CTY.DAT to the jl/data directory.
Save CTY.DAT to the ~/.klog/ directory.
MixW 3.1.1h and later
Save CTY.DAT to your MixW directory.
MixW 3.1.1g and earlier
Save CTY.DAT to your MixW directory.
N1MM 8.6.2 and later
Save WL_CTY.DAT to your N1MM Logger directory and run Tools | Import Country List from downloaded file into the database you plan to use.
N1MM 8.6.1 and earlier
Save WL_CTY.DAT to your N1MM Logger directory and run Tools | Import Country List from downloaded file into the database you plan to use.
Save COUNTRY.DAT to your NA directory and run NAU.
Save CTY.DAT to your RCKLog directory.
Save CTY.DAT to your RCKRtty directory.
SD uses multiple .CTY files derived mainly from CTY.DAT. They are updated in advance of major contests, and are available from I have no control over what is in, please direct your queries to Paul, EI5DI.
Choose File > Download Countries Database
Save CTY.DAT to /usr/local/share/tlf
TR LOG 6.90 and later
Save CTY.DAT to your TR directory.
TR LOG 6.89 and earlier
Save CTY.DAT to your TR directory.
Save CTY.DAT to your TR4W directory.
  1. Save WF1B.DAT to your WF1B RTTY folder
  3. Choose “Read CTY.DAT”
  4. At “Identify the K1EA Country File(.DAT)”, type in WF1B.DAT then CTRL-Enter
  5. Select Contest Files: “Only CQWW & WAE”
  6. Exit
Win-Test 4.1 and later
Save these two files to the following directory:
c:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataWin-TestcountryFiles
Then in the program, go to Options | Data Files | Country Files to select the file you wish to use.
Win-Test 3.19 and later
Save these two files to your Win-Test directory:
Then in the program, go to Options | Data Files | Country Files to select the file you wish to use.
Win-Test 3.18 and earlier
Save these two files to your Win-Test directory:
Then in the program, go to Options | Data Files | Country Files to select the file you wish to use.
WriteLog 10.78 and later
From the Windows Start menu, navigate to your WriteLog V10 folder and run (double-click on) “Convert CTY to WriteLog”. Click the button that says, “Download wl_cty.dat….” and wait for the pop-up that says, “Successfully downloaded wl_cty.dat”. Next, click the button that says, “Convert wl_cty.dat”. When the conversion is done, it will say “ALL DONE” at the bottom of the text window. Then you can close the window by clicking either “Cancel” or the ‘X’ in the upper right-hand corner.
If for some reason this procedure doesn’t work, follow the instructions for WriteLog 10.77 just below.
WriteLog 10.77
Save WL_CTY.DAT to one of the following directories, depending on your operating system:
Windows 2000:  
Windows 98: C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataWriteLog
Windows XP: C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataWriteLog
Windows Vista: C:ProgramDataWriteLog
Windows 7: C:ProgramDataWriteLog
Next, run the “Convert CTY to WriteLog” program from the WriteLog program group (Start | Programs | WriteLog v10 | Convert..). If you don’t have the shortcut, manually run the REACTY32.EXE program in the WRITELOGPROGRAMS directory. Click on the “OK” button to convert the country files to a format that WriteLog can use.
WriteLog 10.29 through 10.76
Save WL_CTY.DAT to your WRITELOGPROGRAMS directory and run the “Convert CTY to WriteLog” program from the WriteLog program group (Start | Programs | WriteLog v10 | Convert..). If you don’t have the shortcut, manually run the REACTY32.EXE program in the WRITELOGPROGRAMS directory. Click on the “OK” button to convert the country files to a format that WriteLog can use.
WriteLog 10.28 and earlier
Save WL_CTY.DAT to your WRITELOGPROGRAMS directory and run the “Convert CTY to WriteLog” program from the WriteLog program group (Start | Programs | WriteLog v10 | Convert..). If you don’t have the shortcut, manually run the REACTY32.EXE program in the WRITELOGPROGRAMS directory. Click on the “OK” button to convert the country files to a format that WriteLog can use.
You can also update online if you are using a recent version of the program. Files | Web Update Data Files and click on the Download button. Note that there may be a delay between when the country files are announced and when the latest version is available for Web Update. Try test logging the callsign VERSION to see what country file version you received.

AR User
Save CTY.DAT to your “AR User” directory (the same directory that contains ve7cc.exe)
  1. Save ARRL.CTY to C:Program FilesAR-ClusterConfiguration
  2. Click on CFG | AUTO-COUNTRY
  3. Click on IMPORT
CC Cluster
Save WL_CTY.DAT to your cluster directory. If you are running a recent version of the cluster program, click the “Update WL_CTY” button. If you are running an older version, stop and restart the cluster program.
DX Spider
Save CTY.DAT to your spider/data directory. Run spider/perl/ Then log into the cluster as administrator and type “load/prefix”.
No information available.
VE3SUN DX Monitor
In the Help menu select “check for Updates” and click on “Download CTY.DAT” if it shows the availability of a new version. If the “Update CTY.DAT automatically” box is checked in that window, DX Monitor will automatically download the latest CTY.DAT file directly from the country files web site. After the new CTY.DAT file is downloaded, it will be necessary to restart DX Monitor.  
DX Monitor checks the file header of each time DX Monitor is started. The URL can be changed in the User Preferences | URLs