I have continued to make progress on my operating award goals and have recently received a few interesting new awards. The first one is the Worked All VK CALL Areas. This award is issue by the Wireless Institute of Australia and requires confirming a number of contacts in all 10 VK call areas on the HF Bands (160m – 10m). For me, the VK0 contact in the VK0 area was the most difficult. I was able to work Craig, VK0JJJ a few months back and confirm the contact to complete this award. Contacts in the VK6 area in Western Australia can also be a challenge from my area there are a limited number of HAMs in this rural area of Australia and it’s almost half way around the world from our location. Fortunately, there are a few big stations in the VK6 call area. The Worked All VK Call Areas award is one of the most attractive looking operating awards that I’ve earned and it’s always enjoyable to work HAMs in Australia.
I’ve also recently completed an All Africa Operating Award. This award is issued by the South African Radio League and required working and confirming at least one station in each of the six call areas in South Africa plus at least one station in 25 African Countries outside of South Africa (islands off the coast of Africa do not count for this award). Working some of the more rare entities in Africa can be a challenge as many countries have a limited number of HAMs and most do not have many “big gun” stations making them more difficult to work. It is often possible to work some of the more rare stations in Africa during contests and this is the way that I completed many of the contacts required for this award. I have a goal to contact all entities on the African Continent at some point in the future.
The last award that I’ve recently completed is the Worked All States Triple Play. This award is issued by the ARRL here in the United States and requires one to work and confirm via Logbook of the World (LoTW) all 50 US States in each of three operating modes – Phone, CW and Digital. With all of our contest activity, I have had all the needed confirmations via a combination of cards and LoTW for some time but securing confirmations for a few states on LoTW in CW mode was a bit of a challenge. This award is also very attractive and can be had both as a certificate and in the form of a plaque. This award is well within reach of many US stations and provides great encouragement to expand your skills and station to new operating modes. AB1QB is working toward this award by working all of the W1AW portable stations this year on Phone and CW (she already has all states confirmed on Digital) as all of the W1AW portable stations will confirm on LoTW.
I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to complete quite a few operating awards to date and these make for a nice display in our shack. Right now, I am focusing on a few new awards as well as some additional endorsements to awards that I already have. These include:
- An ARRL VUCC Award on 6m (requires working and confirming 100 grid squares on the 6m band)
- A 160m endorsement for my 8BDXCC Award
- A 1,500 band point endorsement for my DXCC Challenge Award
- The 60m and 6m endorsements for my CQ WPX Award Of Excellence
Operating awards provide good incentives to get on the air and work new stations, new bands and new modes. I hope that you’ll consider working towards a few operating awards – it can be great fun!
– Fred (AB1OC)