ETH019 – Awards


Hello everybody and welcome back to the Everything Ham Radio Podcast! In this episode we are going to be talking about Awards.

Amateur Radio Relay League Awards


rw3rq-dxcc - awards


The first award that we are going to be talking about is the DXCC award. This award is probably one of the hardest to get with the exception of the Five Band DXCC award. With this award you have to make 100 confirmed contacts with 100 different countries. For this award you can use 70 cm, 2m, 6m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m, 30m, 40m, 80m and 160m! At the time of this post, you can not use 60m.

  • Mixed DXCC – This award is the easier one of this award because you can use any band, except 60 meters, and any mode.
  • Phone DXCC – This award requires 100 contacts on voice mode on any of the bands above.
  • CW DXCC – This award requires 100 contacts on CW on any of the bands above
  • Digital DXCC – This award requires 100 contacts using any digital mode on any of the bands above
  • Satellite DXCC – This awards requires 100 contacts using only satellites. This mode also does not apply to the Mixed DXCC away

With the exception of Satellite, any of the awards above you can mix and match what band you want to use. You might make a contact with Canada on 80m and Brazil on 20m and it would count towards the award.

The second part of the DXCC award that is even harder to get is the Five Band DXCC. With this award you have to make 100 contacts in 100 different countries on each of the following bands: 10m, 15m, 20m , 40m and 80m. Once you have these five bands down and you get your five band DXCC award you can get endorsements for 2m, 6m, 12m, 17m, 20m and 160m, but you must have the first five bands already.

Both the regular DXCC, the individual mode DXCC and the five band DXCC awards are the hardest to obtain and will probably take you longer than any other award. It could and probably would take you years to get these.

Are you working towards you DXCC award? How long have you been working on it and how many confirmed contacts do you have towards it? Please share in the comments below, I personally, would love to hear about it and I’m sure that all the rest of my listeners would as well

Worked All States(WAS)


The next award that we are going be talking about is probably up there in difficulty as well. It is the Worked All States or WAS Award. The requirements for this award is to have one confirmed contact in each state of the United States on any band except 60 meters. Amateurs that reside in the US are required to be a member of the ARRL to apply for this award. If the amateur resides outside the US this requirement is waived

All contact must be made from the same location. By same location, the rules state that all contacts must be made within a 50 miles(80 kilometer) radius. So it isn’t so much of “the same location” but more of “the same geographic area”.

Just like with the DXCC, there are several types of this award as well.

  • Mixed – This type allows you to use any mode to go towards your WAS award
  • Phone – This type requires you to use voice communications only to count towards your WAS award
  • CW – This type requires you to use CW only to count towards your WAS award
  • Digital – This type allows you to use any and all types of digital communications to count towards your WAS award. You can use RTTY, PSK31, etc at it all counts
  • RTTY – Even though you can use RTTY in the digital type, if you make all your contacts using RTTY you can get this WAS award
  • Satellite – Contacts made through satellites count towards this type of award.


WAS_PinsJust like with the five band DXCC award, there is a five band WAS award as well. Just like it’s DXCC counterpart, the five band WAS award must be earned by making contact with all 50 states on 10m, 15m, 20m, 40m, and 80m. Once you have this award, you can get endorsements on it for 23cm, 70cm, 1.5m, 2m, 6m and 160m


Worked All Continents(WAC)

Worked All Continents or WAC is probably the easiest of the ARRL awards to get. This award is for making contacts on all six continents.  These are North America, South America, Oceania, Asia, Europe and Africa. No where that I read does it say that all contact must be made on one band alone to get the award. There is a five bad WAC as well and you can apply for it when you have made contact with each of these continents on the five major amateur radio bands, 10m, 15m, 20m, 40m, and 80m.

Other Awards

There are a few other awards that are given by the ARRL, like the VHF/UHF Century Club(VUCC), which is a VHF/UHF only award and you have to make a certain number of contacts with people in different Maidenhead grid squares. Check out the ARRL Website for more information.

How about the Fred Fish Memorial Award that you can earn by making contacts in all 488 Maidenhead grid squares in the continental United States on 6 meters. The award was named after Fred Fish, W5FF(sk), who was the first ham to accomplish this feat.

How about the First Contact Award. If you are someone first contact, how awesome do you think it would be to open their mailbox and get a nice certificate that commemorates their first contact?

These are just some of the awards offered by the ARRL, for a complete list of them as well as full rules and other information, check out the ARRL Awards website.

What Other Awards Can You Get?

Now that we have talked about some of the awards that the ARRL provides, what other kind of awards can you get? Last week we talked about SOTA and two awards that you can get with it, the Mountain Goat award and the Shack Slough award. We have also talked about the NPOTA, which I think there will be awards given out as well.

What about your local club? Does your club give any awards away? One of the club’s that I belong to give a Ham of the Year award. Maybe your club gives an Elmer award or a New Ham of the Year. The options are endless and awards can do a great deal when it comes to showing your members that what they do is being noticed. Everybody like a pat on the back every now and then.

More Than Safe Blog

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Amateur Radio Club Spotlight


River Cities Amateur Radio Club



Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm at the Salvation Army Building located at 2212 Carter Avenue, Ashland, Ky


  • Weeknight Net – Every weeknight at 7:30pm on the 146.940 repeater.


  • 146.940 – PL 107.2 – Located on Tarpon Ridge in Boyd County, KY


  • Hamfest – The RCARC hamfest is this coming Saturday, May 28, 2016 from 8a-1p. It will be located in the PNC Bank rear parking lot at 1000 Carter Ave, Ashland, KY.

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Until next time…

73 de Curtis, K5CLM


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