Towards the end of last year, my attention was drawn to the RSGB HF awards and I realised that I probably qualified to apply for some of them.
I downloaded the check sheets for the IARU Region 1 Award and the Commonwealth Century Award and over the course of the next couple of evenings, I dutifully filled them in using both my electronic logbook and Logbook of The World.
At the time I filled them in, the Region 1 award was showing 99 entities (it now says 100) and using LoTW and actual physical QSL cards, I can show I’ve worked and confirmed 97 of them. The two I don’t have are the Republic of Guinea (3X) and Syria (YK). Guinea was last activated in 2018 when I wasn’t especially active and Syria hasn’t seen any amateur radio activity since before I had any HF equipment so I have little chance of working either of them soon.
That qualified me for the IARU Region 1 Level 2 Award which is sixty member countries confirmed. I think that it’s quite a big step from 60 to 99 and feel that perhaps there could be an additional level in between the two as it’s practically impossible for anyone who has entered the hobby in the last ten years to gain Level 1 due to the YK situation.
There are two separate IARU Region 1 awards, the other is band specific to 10m (28MHz) and as I’ve worked over seventy of the countries on 10m, I applied for Level 2 as well.
The final award I applied for is the Commonwealth Century Award and as the name implies, you need to have worked and had confirmation of QSOs with countries in the Commonwealth. The check sheet lists 139 separate DXCC entities and after I worked my way through them all, I could see I had 102 entities confirmed on LoTW with an additional five by QSL cards.
I submitted my applications and they were confirmed in January. I was given a code to fill in on the RSGB shop for the actual awards as there’s a small fee for the pdf and/or printed versions. I chose both and received the pdf files by email and the printed certificates a day later.
I probably won’t frame these like my DXCC certificates but they’re nice to have.
The RSGB offers a range of awards including some aimed specifically at Foundation and Intermediate licence holders. I’m going to take a look at the Worked ITU Zones awards next.