Presentation on theme: "Ham Radio Awards Scott Ginsburg K1OA. Why do we chase awards? Sense of accomplishment Hones our operating skills We like to collect things We’re competitive."— Presentation transcript:
Ham Radio Awards Scott Ginsburg K1OA
Why do we chase awards? Sense of accomplishment Hones our operating skills We like to collect things We’re competitive (what’s your DXCC total?) We need wall coverings It’s downright fun!!!
What can we collect? States Counties Countries (entities – more on that later) Continents Islands Prefixes Grid squares Zones Etc. etc
What bands do we use? All of them This is mostly an HF activity 80-10m are the meat and potatoes Maximize the higher bands when the solar cycle is peaking, maximize the lower bands when it isn’t Good paper on HF propagation -
Worked All States Most ham’s first operating award Administered by the ARRL (must be a member) Endorsements available for CW, QRP, single band, EME Specialty awards for OSCAR, Digital, SSTV, 2m, 440, 220, 6m, 160m 5BWAS available (80, 40, 20, 15, 10)
Worked All Continents Only requires 6 contacts (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America) An IARU award but administered by the ARRL
DX Century Club (DXCC) Premiere operating award of the ARRL since 1945 (must be a member) Basic Mixed award starts with 100 countries, any band or mode CW, Phone, Digital, individual band awards available 5BDXCC (80, 40, 20, 15, 10) available with endorsements for the other bands (must be current)
DX Century Club (DXCC) Countries are more like “entities” – there are currently 340 Based on political and geographical criteria The list is elastic – entities come and go, some multiple times – pay attention to current events! Maximum total available are 400 including deleted (W7KH has 398!)
DX Century Club Honor Roll DXCC Honor Roll is achieved by confirming contacts with (Total-9) entities (331 today) – nice plaque available DXCC Top Of The Honor Roll – work ‘em all! – even nicer plaque available HR or TotHR could take a (near) lifetime to achieve – don’t miss out on the tough ones, Antarctic DXpeditions are rare (VK0/H , VK0/M, 3Y/B, 3Y/P)
DXCC Challenge Tracks current DXCC entities on all bands Basic award starts at 1000 (2x 5BDXCC number of contacts) Endorsements for 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 Using 160-6m, there are 10x340=3400 total available entities The number one ham (I4EAT) has 3203! (#1 USA is W4DR with 3171)
Worked All Zones Administered by CQ Magazine Basic award available for working all 40 zones – mode and single band available 5BWAZ award available starting at 150 zones (80, 40, 20, 15, 10) About 880 hams worldwide have worked all 200 zones
Islands On The Air (IOTA) Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) award Limited to 1200 total islands defined Basic award starts at 100, available in increments of 100 Honor Roll achieved at 750 (F9RM is leader with 1094) Many are part of the DXCC list Lots of IOTA DXPeditions
Worked All Prefixes (WPX) Administered by CQ Magazine Basic mixed award available for working 400 different call sign prefixes Endorsements in increments of 50 Honor Roll available for 600 prefixes – call signs listed in CQ 9A2AA is top of the list at >6400 prefixes!
Worked All Counties (USA-CA) Administered by CQ Magazine 7 award levels starting at 500 in increments of 500 up to 3077 total County Hunters net at very popular Spotting website ch.w6rk.com is useful Mobile Reply Coupons (MRC) typically used to confirm multiple counties from the same op About 1200 hams have USA-CA, some have done it more than once!
CQ DX Field Award Administered by CQ Magazine Grid-based HF award x20 (lat/lon) degree “Fields” 262 contain land, 54 are all water, 8 are ice with no land Basic award starts at 50 fields, endorsements in increments of 50 up to 150, 25 up to 300 Look out for /MM operations K2TQC leads mixed totals with 272
CQ DX Marathon Administered by CQ Magazine CQ DX Countries (348) + CQ Zones (40) worked in a year Starts 0000 UTC Jan 1 and ends 2359 UTC Dec 31 Categories based on antennas, power levels 2011 Unlimited winner was IK0OZD, = 327
VHF UHF Century Club (VUCC) ARRL award for working 100 Maidenhead (2 deg x 1 deg) grid squares VHF/UHF bands only (6m and above) Endorsements available in increments of 25 for 6m, 2m and satellite contacts; 10 for 220 and 440 MHz; 5 for 900 MHz and above
Getting the QSL Card QSL Bureau –Run by ARRL (must be a member) –Slow but cost effective –$12/lb (about 150 cards, $0.08 per card) for outgoing cards –W1 incoming bureau is $0.10/envelope plus postage (run by YCCC, –Not all DXCC countries participate (225 total)
Getting the QSL Card Direct –Send/receive via USPS –Typically include SASE and/or some form of return postage (green stamps, IRCs, stamps) –Might need up to $3 in some countries –IRCs might not be sold by USPS as of 2013! –Nested Euro airmail envelopes are popular (William Plum) –Beware of mail theft – no callsigns on envelope –Some countries prohibit US dollars (India)
Getting the QSL Card QSL Manager –Volunteers who assume QSL duties for DX station – can use Direct or Bureau methods –If direct, same rules apply –QRZ.com good source of managers –Potential source of IRCs in the future –QSL Forwarding Service (WF5E) – bundles requests
Log Book of the World (LOTW) On-line QSL database for electronic confirmation – managed by ARRL Requires digital signature confirmations available for WAS, DXCC, VUCC, WPX - $0.12 per QSO The future of QSLing!
On-line QSL Request Service (OQRS) Enter your QSL data, select delivery via bureau or direct If direct, PayPal used for postage costs (and a donation) Popular with big, costly DXpeditions
Strategies Use logging software Work contests –Sweepstakes, State QSO parties for states and counties –CQ WW, ARRL DX for countries –CQ WPX for prefixes Use DX Packet Cluster (telnet, DX Summit) Subscribe to Internet DX bulletins (OPDX, 425DXNews, DXNL) Monitor DX websites for announcements (dx- world.net) Be on when the DX is on!