I got a diploma in school, but that's not what this is about, is it?
Amateur radio awards, certificates, diplomas? You name it, we mean the same thing.
They form a major motivating force for making contacts day after day. Personally, I find the reward of achieving a beautiful certificate or even a plaque very gratifying. It takes skillful operating practice to qualify. Aside expanding one’s hobby related knowledge, it’s also a fascinating way to learn more about geography, history, political structure of the world or even nature.
Below I try to give an (incomplete) overview of the different kind of certificates waiting to be conquered by the award chaser.
The “must haves” that every radio amateur should aspire to. Each and every one are classics with a long track record and famous history. They deserve an eyecatching place on the wall of every shack and form the backbone of most active HAMs.
Participants and holders demonstrate their perseverance and success in the DX world. The road to the top may prove hard and difficult and usually requires many years of intense activity.
Are generally considered as “must haves” classics:
- DX Century Club (DXCC)
- Worked All Zones (WAZ)
- Islands On The Air (IOTA)
The “Premier League” may be the essential ones for the true blue DXer, for the award chaser there’s a whole world out there. Certificates are issued for a variety of operating merits.
Here’s an incomplete overview.
Awards available for working specific continents or countries.
Examples: Antarctica Award, Worked All Thailand Award, Germany Award.
CQ’s Worked All Zones Award is considered as one the the “Premier League” programs.
Awards are also available for working specific CQ Magazines or ITU Zones and Maidenhead Locators countries.
Examples: Worked ITU Zones Award, Swedish Locator Award, Worked All Italian Squares Award.
Awards issued for working states, provinces, oblasts, counties, etc within a single country.
Examples: US Counties Award, Deutschland Diplom (DLD), Worked All Belgian Provinces (WABP).
Certificates awarded for working stations in a specific city or a certain geographic region within a single country.
Examples: Ljubljana Award, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Award.
Other variants may also be available, e.g. postcode awards etc.
CQ’s Magazine WPX Award may be considered as one of the “must haves” but some regional ones are out there as well.
Examples: Worked Croatian Prefixes Award, LY Prefix Trophy.
International, national, local and/or special interests groups often issue award for contacting their members.
Examples: Worked DIG Members, FIRAC Award.
Following the great success of the Islands On The Air (IOTA) program, many other “OTA” groups followed the trend.
Programs such as Summits On The Air (SOTA), World Flora & Fauna (WFF), Castles On The Air (COTA), quite some lighthouse groups, etc have been generating lots of activity.
The same applies to groups promoting contacts with national islands.
In Belgium we have the energetic “Belgium Outdoor Shack (BOS)” group which I warmly recommend.
Historic commemorations, sport or cultural events, specific birthdays, etc all kinds often see the activation of special event stations. Award are often associated with these events.
Latest Award News
Several special event stations are being activated throughout May ’23 to commemorate the event. An award is available as well. Needless to say, ON4CAS has