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All really good points and I am not suggesting in any way that we try to be just like amateurs but instead have something we can all work towards.
It's true that Ham world gives much importance to awards and certificates. Almost 100% of them are issued by National Ham Clubs (ARRL, URE,...) or radio clubs. Something allowing the credibility of these documents is that they are issued to somebody holding a Call. My name is Jorge but I get an IOTA award to EB7EFA (my ham call).
SWLers used to work awards when 'diexism' was in its golden years with powerful DXing Clubs that now are dismantled or survive as just e-bulletins or e-groups like us. Personal social interaction has been an important rol with awards and most of the times were given in meetings, or in the Club facilities, etc...
I am officially EA1036-swl. This is my International SWL call. This can be asked here: http://swarl.org/
but it is mainly focused to ham contests, but also widely used in SW listening. That's important as Radioamateur world is still important as they feed corporativism and interaction with authorities, these giving rules to properly use the radioelectric spectrum. Unfortunately, despite e-bulletins or e-groups, DXers are mainly solitary people when listening.
Transmitting a wave involves minimal tech skills. When a SOTA, or IOTA grid is activate, requires to erect an aerial, test it, adjust the SWR and balance the system to be heard by somebody. Getting the place is itself a challenge and be heard away it is also, and be heard by many is again a challenge. That's why DXing awards include a real challenge (number of countries, numbers of stations heards, counties or ### stations in a given time). But getting the same signals from different places is probably not as stations can be widely heard with a pocket portable. It is easy to listen to MW stations every season so not a challenge anymore. Regarding this, and working f. i. FM band, the challenge wouldn't be listen to many stations from a summit, but listen to the same stations from the bottom of the valley and test better aerials to get the better when propagation arrives.
I also feel that NA and maybe Oz are more on getting awards than here in the Old World. People has found other means to show what they get (FB, Whatt'sApp, Instagram forums and so on...).
The ULR Group awards, as it is now, is a real gem, with beautiful classic designs and challenges to be beaten. I am awaiting to prepare the first awards and maybe we could first issue the two Ross DX Challenge awards we got, Paul Logan and me, at the end of year 2020. That interesting exercise was, in a way, what allowed to spread this fascinating side of DXing aroud here.
Sorry if you find some typo, but am writing on a mobile screen, too small in my opinion!
El jue., may. 27, 2021 a 2:08, Paul Blundell
Thanks for all the replies.
The below is something I have started in the past but never got off the ground, do you think this might make a good start? The name and details of it are all "up in the air" so I would welcome any and all feedback.
is an awards program for anybody interested in the radio hobby, which
encourages portable operation in parks and similar areas.
has been designed to make participation possible for anybody interested in the
radio hobby. The rules are very simple and the awards have been designed to be
achievable. The purpose is to encourage portable operation in parks and other similar
locations, making the radio hobby more public and allow radio hobbyists to
enjoy the great outdoors.
do I start?
out in a local park with your radios and log what you hear, it really is that
simple. A log file is available for download on this site.
rules are simple and have been designed to enhance the enjoyment of this awards
program and ensure fairness.
All ParkRXing activity must take part in a public park, lookout, beach,
mountain top or other such public location. All equipment must be portable and
carried by the participant to their operating location.
No ParkRXing activity is permitted on private property for award purposes.
You must walk a minimum of 5 metres from any motorised mode of transport for a
valid ParkRXing activity.
You must log a minimum of 10 frequencies for a valid ParkRXing activity.
You must remain in your location for a minimum of 15 minutes for a valid ParkRXing
All frequencies must carry voice traffic. Data / paging frequencies are not
permitted for award purposes.
All HF/VHF/UHF frequency bands are all permitted for award purposes.
Each location may only be counted once in a 48 hour period for award purposes.
Each frequency may only be counted once per location per ParkRXing activity.
All decisions of the ParkRXing administrator are final
activity counts for 1 point, bonus points are awarded for the first ParkRXing
activity at each location (to encourage ParkRXing activity from different
locations.) This adds 5 points to your tally.
is an example of a valid log.
will be emailed to all participants on the receipt of a valid log for the
achievement levels below:
I think an awards program would be great. Like you said ham radio has all kinds of different awards so why shouldn't we. It might as you said help to get more people in the hobby. Will offer my help in any way I can.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 08:02:59 AM EDT, Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...
Thanks for the information Gary. I was thinking something along the lines of the SOTA program which is very popular in the amateur radio world.
As you said, we need to decide on what awards we want to offer, this is the main thing I am looking for feedback on.
On Wed, May 26, 2021 at 12:09 AM, Jorge Garzón wrote:
Hello Jorge and Paul,
Gary was trying to activate this some time ago and I offered myself as a volunteer for that. Perhaps he could refresh the steps we made!
As most of you know, the original Ultralight Radio Awards program has been inactive for quite a few years due to a lack of volunteers. Previously we had a list of categories (U.S. States, Canadian Provinces, Graveyard Frequency Catches, etc.) which qualified for Award Certificates, and each category had certain levels of accomplishment (10 States, 20 States, etc.).
After John Bryant's accident in February of 2010 I volunteered to do the processing of the Award Certificates, which is probably the most time-consuming volunteer position, requiring Adobe Photoshop software skill, and enough free time to draft multiple certificates. As is typical in any volunteer position, occasionally there will be complaints from certain individuals wondering why their Award Certificates are not received as soon as they would like to receive them. Since I was already pretty much "maxed out" on hobby time around 2013, there really wasn't any option for me to devote more time to process the Award Certificates, despite a steadily increasing demand for them. In addition, my long time Ultralight Radio collaborator Rob Ross was reviewing the applications prior to sending them to me, and he and I both agreed that certain individuals were making it tough for us by requesting multiple certificates in each category, despite the increasing demand by all-new applicants. With well over 1,000 members in the group our volunteer efforts seemed to be taking up more and more of our free time, and the situation reached the point where it couldn't continue. As such, the program went into limbo around 2014.
For a new Ultralight Awards Program to kick off, there would first need to be a consensus on which Award Certificates to offer, and after that, at least two volunteers with plenty of free time (one for reviewing the applications, and the other for processing the Award Certificates with the Adobe Photoshop software). Jorge and I discussed having a separate Awards Program for Europe and North America, and of course if there are volunteers in other areas such as Australia, South America or Japan, those areas can also have their own separate awards.
They key point in planning for a new Awards Program is to have qualified volunteers. The second key point is to respect the volunteer work that is done, because those guys are using their own free time to perform a free service for you. Unfortunately, I don't currently have the free time to volunteer for the North American Awards Program, but I've already provided Jorge with several sample Award Certificates, and would be happy to provide them to any other volunteer for new Awards Programs in other continents. Since the DXing challenges are different in each continent, my recommendation would be for each separate continent to determine which Award Certificates to offer-- after they have enough qualified volunteers to start off off their own program.
73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
Ultralight Radio Group Co-Founder