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Awards and Contests

Available Contest and Award rules

Amateur radio operators keep experimenting communication technologies and, as a consequence, they contact people of other countries and other cultures. They try also to be useful to the community in emergencies and when human life is in danger.

But hams like also to show their skills during contests over the air. The best among them are also listed in official rolls and often win awards. All this activities are considered very enjoyng my most, but not all, amateurs all over the world and many efforts are done to set up good contest stations and to find the best location for transmitting.

Amateur contests last from a few hours to 48 hours and during this period you must have as many contacts as possibile. There are many contests and each one has its specific rules that you should know before you participate. After the contest, the list of contacts is sent to the organizing committee, with the hope of a good placement. The results are usually published on radio magazines and winners get symbolic prizes, such as awards, placques, coups, etc.
Usually contests are done during week-ends and, while some of them are for a single country, others have the participation of Hams all over the world. Radio contacts are very quick during the contest: operators exchange the data required by the rules and immediately after go looking for another radio station.
To certify the achievement of certain long period targets in the ham activity, some radio magazines and associations give awards. As an example, the most wanted award for beginners is DXCC (DX Century Club) which is obtained when you contact at least 100 different countries, proving this fact with QSL cards.
Interestingly enough, the country definition for DXCC is not the same you find on world maps, because geographical factors are considered to be important as political ones. As a result, Sardinia is a DXCC country, not part of Italy, and the same apply to Canary Islands, not being part of Spain. You got the concept...
Other awards are done in particular occasions, and are usually easier to get. There are contests for all interests, for contacts by satellite or by Moon, for the different bands, etc.
One of most wanted these years is without any doubts IOTA (Islands On The Air), exactly because it is very hard: you must contact some hundred stations transmitting only from islands.
Honour Rolls
Magazines and associations keep also lists of best results for awards. As an example there is a DXCC Honour Roll, listing the stations that contacted a great number of countries, much greater than the minimum 100 required for obtaining the award.

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