WAZ, DXCC, WAS, IOTA; certificates of achievement that are clear testimony to your operating prowess. Chasing awards is a niche segment of amateur radio; some might call it a cult, to aspire to capturing every possible certificate.
After reading up on various awards available, I was inspired to create unique awards to fill in some blank spots.
WOTA – Wal-Marts On The Air
Requires proof of QSO’s with amateur radio stations operating from at least 400 Wal-Mart locations. Individuals or clubs may activate an individual Wal-Mart location at any time and notify WOTA authorities by registering the activation in the WOTA world wide data base. The WOTA committee will issue a unique WOTA number for the location. Each QSO submitted for credit must be a current activation at the time of contact. There are over 6,600 Wal-Mart locations worldwide. Good Luck.
Contact with Sam’s Club locations do not count for WOTA credit. The WOTA committee is contemplating offering a separate award for Sam’s Clubs On The Air (SCOTA) later this year.
FFOTA (Fast Food On The AIR)
To be announced in 2013. There will be special endorsements for MDOTA (McDonalds On The Air), JIBOTA (Jack In the Box On The Air) and KFCOTA ( you can probably figure this one out for yourself). Details to follow later.
Academy Award Award
Given for contact with hams in cities where a movie filmed in that location won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The same city cannot be used multiple times. Only one city per film. Sorry, extraterrestrial locations such as Remulak, Vulcan and other mythical locations cannot be used for this award. In addition to the certificate, each award includes a package of microwave popcorn.
Special 70th anniversary Commemorative Casablanca Award
Commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Humphrey Bogart film. The award is earned for contacts with hams in the area of the former French Morocco whose first names are: Rick, Ilsa, Victor, Louis, Heinrich, Sascha, Carl or . . . Sam (as in “Play it again Sam”)
Ring of Fire Award
This award is given to hams who have contacted portable operations located on the rim of at least five active volcanoes. Considering the element of danger for the expedition operators, this is the only award in the world that is reciprocal . A person may earn this for themselves by going to five different volcanoes and contacting at least one other amateur before running for their life. Note – There is no power limit for this award although Ring of Fire expeditioners favor lightweight QRP gear in order not to hinder their need for a rapid departure!
And, my personal favorite…
The Next Year Award
This is the most prestigious of all amateur radio awards because the standard of achievement is quite high. Off hand, I can’t recall a single person, who has actually won this award. It is given to amateurs who have delayed, put off or deferred making or completing any changes in their equipment, operating skill, club participation or license class. The amateur eligible for the award must apply for themselves. Of course, by doing so , one is automatically disqualified for the award, having accomplished something in the process.
Good Luck Award Hunter!