Going for Gold with the WAB Award Scheme 9

WAB Going for Gold Award

WAB Going for Gold Award

I’ve been a member of Worked All Britain (WAB) for a number of years, and have been actively collecting “squares” since 2014. For those unaware Worked All Britain is an awards scheme based around working amateurs within the United Kingdom, while collecting squares, which are simply the UK divided up into 10x10km squares. My operating mostly involves working around the UK, this is what I seem to enjoy more than the DXing and I’m fascinated by NVIS propagation to boot.

The Going for Gold award was introduced for two reasons, the first is to mark WAB’s 50th Anniversary year in 2019 and to also increase activity despite bad conditions on 40m (which is the WAB’s scheme primary band). The award started on the 1st of July 2017 and my personal goal (see my amateur radio goals for 2018) is to work over 2500 squares/contacts before it finishes at the end of this year. Why 2500 contacts? Well there are many paper awards before this, but I’m specifically after the trophy available after you work 2500!

You can work the same station/square again and again on subsequent days, which has created a lively WAB net on 3.760 MHz and even 7.160 MHz when 40m has been supporting NVIS propagation (i.e. not often right now!).

Working the same square each day

Working the same square each day

So far I’ve worked 763 valid QSOs for this award since last July, but I had a very slow start to this year by being out of the country for the first 3 months! The first QSO I made was at the start of April, but now I’m warming up nicely, and boy do I need to! I still have to work 1,737 squares/contacts before the end of this year, this is a lot!

Only another 1,737 QSO's to work this year!

Only another 1,737 QSO’s to work this year!

If you want to take part in this award download the Excel spreadsheet tracker and start collecting! You can join the WAB net on 80m (most active in the evening between 7pm-9pm, but starts up during the day as well), tune into 3.760 and get working people, you’ll be most welcome! Even if you don’t collect, others will still be keen to work you, especially me (M0JCQ).

Will I manage the required 2,500 contacts required before the years out? I’m not so sure, but I’m going to make a lot of contacts and fun trying. I find that goals like this gives my hobby some direction and provides me the motivation to be on the air more.

Two WAB trophies received last year

Two WAB trophies received last year

9 thoughts on “Going for Gold with the WAB Award Scheme

  1. Reply Larry Hagemann K9MMA Apr 13,2018 14:15

    A very interesting award. I have not read the details but am curious if mobile contacts are permitted, or if some percentage is permitted. Good luck with your hunting.

    • Reply James Stevens Apr 16,2018 08:06

      Hi Larry,

      It is, certainly generating a lot of activity this side of the pond. Because our little island is so small, the longer skip on 40m is really noticeable with other UK stations rarely workable for the last few years.

      Mobile contacts are actively encouraged, and many members head out and call in while roving the UK in their cars. This adds a certain element of operating skill as these stations are using small (inefficient) antennas on their cars for 80m, so signal strength is well down. It’s very common to hear stations signing /m (mobile), /p and even /mm (maritime mobile).

      73, James M0JCQ

      • Reply Larry Hagemann K9MMA Apr 16,2018 10:38

        Thanks your reply. That can be such fun for the mobile operators. Back in the 1970s (when I was younger and had more mobility) I drove through ALL of the counties in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky in order to give out contacts for the County Hunters of the world. Our equipment was very crude and we had to stop at a petrol station in each county for power, string our 40 meter dipole, and then operate for a half hour or so…until the next county. This was done over three summers with a buddy of mine. It was quite exciting in those days as many of the “locals” thought we were FBI on some sort of clandestine mission!

  2. Reply Tim, KQ8M Apr 16,2018 21:49

    How would I find out the squares of those I work? I work mainly FT8 and, of course, we can’t really ask for them.

    • Reply James Stevens Apr 18,2018 15:07

      Yes, it’s a bit tougher with FT8 Tim! If you had the 6 character grid locator then you can convert this but I think FT8 only sends the first four which is not enough.

      Many UK hams will add their WAB square to their QRZ.com page, alternatively you may have to email them to find it out.

      73 James M0JCQ

      • Reply Tim, KQ8M Apr 18,2018 16:57

        Thank you for the quick reply, James. I do get full 6 character grid squares automatically from QRAZ.com when I log a QSO. So next question, HOw do I convert a 6 character grid square to the UK grids?

  3. Pingback: Worked All Britain Awards so far ← M0JCQ's Ham Blog

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