Since I started as a shortwave listener back in the 1960s and from 1972 on as a licensed HAM, I have been interested hunting for the difficult to work Amateur Radio Awards. This includes, at least in the higher classes, the Russian District Award “RDA”.
The “RDA” (Russian District Award) is an International Award Program with the goal of attracting interest in Amateur Radio through the communication with various Districts in the Russian Federation. The “RDA” program is established to encourage confirmed contacts with the greatest variety of areas in Russia. The Awards includes entities designated by the Russian Federation. These include a total of 2.642 different districts inside 85 different Oblasts. There are currently 6 different certificate awards varying in difficulty and complexity, and two plaque awards available for “Honor Roll” and “#1 Honor Roll”. With it’s own modern Online confirmation system, similar to the american LotW, it is “state of the art” and made hunting a real smile.
The hunt for RDA districts has a very special charm, because 90% of it (estimated) takes place in CW! Today the RDA 2000 was finally in the mailbox and it will have a special place on the wall in my shack.
2021 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space, one of the most important milestones in the history of all mankind. The first manned flight took place on April 12, 1961. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one complete turn in Earth orbit and returned safely to Earth.
For this anniversary the special call signs R1994YU, R1996VK, R2014NC, RG21DS, RU21DS, RA60YG – RZ60YG, R60MCC, R60CTC, R60YAG and several others are in the air and the Miller-DX-Club “M-DX-C” has developed an interesting Award program. The period is from April 12th to 25th, 2021.
Nice surprise: The ARRL DXCC Challenge Medallion 2500 was in the mailbox today. Just a small round sticker, but so much time and work went into it. Challenge 2500 means an average of 250 DXCC Entities on each of the 10 Bands from 160m to 6m. The next and final level is 3000, but I’m out of business now. Unfortunately it is more difficult nowadays to get the confirmation for a QSO than to make the contact itself. Not to mention the cost of requesting QSL cards or LotW confirmations. Now it has a dignified place on the wall and will remind me of so many nice contacts.
This Memorial Award is announced by Eesti Raadioamatööride Ühing (ERAÜ), Latvijas Radio Amatieru Līga (LRAL) and Lietuvos Radijo Mėgėjų Draugija (LRMD) to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Baltic Way – a peaceful protest against the Molotov – Ribbentrop pact signed on 23rd of August 1939, dividing the independent countries of Eastern Europe in spheres of influence between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. On the same date in 1989 more than 2 million people across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands to form a 675 km long human chain – the Baltic Way, showing their fight for independence.
Although this Award is not difficult to get, it has a special meaning for me. A few weeks ago, I visited all three Baltic States and drove part of the way from Vilnius to Tallin via Riga. This memorial stone is located in front of Cathedral Square in Vilnius and contains the word “stebuklas”. This was the starting point of the huge human chain between Vilnius and Tallinn on August 23, 1989. Nearly two million Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians protested hand in hand, 650 kilometers in length, for the independence of their own states.
The special event station SX60RAAG will be on air from December 1 to 31, 2018 on all HF bands & modes, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Radio Amateur Association of Greece – RAAG. A dedicated award program will support this operation. As usual nowadays the colorful Awards with pictures of Greece will be issued for free and electronically in PDF format.
On November 18, 2018 Latvia celebrated its 100th Birthday. For this reason Radio Amateurs in Latvia activated five special callsigns with the prefix YL100 – one from each of 4 Latvia’s historical regions and one from the capital city Riga – to commemorate this event between November 1st to 18th, 2018. Special awards for working YL100 stations on different bands and modes are issued. More informations are here.
Today K1JT, Prof. Dr. Joe Taylor, Nobel Prize Winner and father of the WSJT Software Package, showed up on 17m in FT8 mode. It was just a short and “digital” contact but very glad to meet this great personality and Radio Amateur on the band.
After waiting for almost exactly 4 months, the postman has finally delivered the long-awaited parcel today: Mail from the ARRL Headquater in Newington, USA, my DXCC-Challenge-Plaque with Endorsement 2.000.
As the name says, this is plaque is a real challenge and a hardcore Award for the dedicated HF-Radio Amateur. The DXCC Challenge Award is given for worked and confirmed at least 1,000 DXCC band-entities on any amateur bands, 160 through 6 meters (except 60 meters). It’s a massive wooden plate with a blue-gold-etched plate on top. The Endorsement 2,000 means an average of 200 confirmed DXCC Entities on every of those 10 bands.
To reach all these band points countless hours in front of the station were required but it was no less tough to get the necessary confirmations. Thanks to the help of the Logbook Of The World, things have become a bit easier in recent years. It would be nice if all stations finally could use this opportunity.
Next stop wants to be 2,500 – that might take a while and it’s great to have a next step in DXing.
I have never been a fan of football before, so I did not pay any attention to all the activities and special stations during the period of this year’s World Cup in Russia. After about 2 weeks I worked one of the special stations on 50 MHz and decided to deal with the topic more closely.
As during other events, the National Radio-Amateur Organization named SRR (Soyuz Radiolyubitelei Rossii) is organizing a radio marathon during the Games called “Football 2018 – Russia”. Dozens of different special stations RC18xxx and R18xxx from Russia were active. In addition, there were also special stations in member countries of FIFA. The exact Award conditions are here. As always, all Awards are free of charge and can be downloaded as a PDF file.
To make it short: I did not reach the highest Award class with 500 contacts, but over 260 QSO’s are in the log. All in all, the activity was a lot of fun and it was worthwhile to work out these beautifully designed Awards.
More and more stations appear on the 60m band and activity increases rapidly. After 7 days of operation 45 DXCC entities and 11 CQ-Zones are in the log, including this nice ones:
A6 (United Arab Emirates), C37 (Andorra), CU (Azores), EA8-EH8 (Canary Is.), EA9 (Ceuta & Melilla), KC4 (Antarctica), KP4 (Puerto Rico), SØ (Western Sahara), UM (Uzbekistan), UN (Kazakhstan), ZS (South Africa).
More fun to come, for sure!