Awards are interesting for us Amateur Radio Operators to chase. There are over 2400 awards around the globe sponsored by every radio society in every country.The top awards usually take a minimum of 15 to 20 years to accomplish and get the certificate on the wall. Others are available for making contacts with just a few areas in a small country. Seven top awards are listed below:
ARRL DXCC Honour Roll Plaque – Mixed 337, Phone 329, CW 326
ARRL 5BDXCC – DXCC on bands. I have DXCC on 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, and 10m
ARRL DXCC Challenge 2000 (I currently have about 2075 and am working for the 2500 level
ARRL 5BWAS – Worked all USA States on 5 bands
CQ 5BWAZ Worked All Zones. I have 198/200 confirmed
WAE-Top The European Award for working over 70 countries and 300 band/modes in Europe. I have the First one ever issued to a ZL.
WAA – Worked All Americas – Achieved by contacting every country in North and South America
WAJA – Achieved by working every one of the 47 Prefectures in Japan
Maple Leaf Award Plaque. – For Working over 50 Prefixes in all 9 Canadian Provinces
DUF-4 and DUF Medal – French Award for working all French Provinces.
A1-Operator Award – You cannot apply for this award. It is awarded to you by ARRL and your fellow radio amateurs who nominate you.
Award hunting never stops as no ham ever achieves them all at a top level which is why the challenge is always there. It is a lot of fun making contacts with for instance all 50 states in the USA or all the provinces in Canada or all the Oblasts in Russia or all the lighthouses in South America. Some awards are historically interesting like the Nine Dragons Award which requires contacting alll nine countries that Kublai Khan conquered in Asia hundreds of years ago. You learn a bit of history and a lot of geography in chasing some of these awards and that is part of amateur radio.