As you undoubtedly know – DX award are prestigious and some such as the DX Century Club (DXCC) are regarded as a ‘lifetime achievement’ of sorts. Most DXers eventually decide that they want to work towards one of these awards – but many often tend to be a bit lost when they first start out.
Rather than floundering, there are 4 steps that you need to take if you want to start pursuing a DX award on the right foot:
1. Read the rules
The very first thing you should do when you’re thinking about pursuing any DX award is to sit down and carefully go over the rules. In particular you should take note of the requirements for the award, as well as how you submit your verified contacts. Being clear about the rules right from the get go can save you from a lot of unnecessary hassle later on.
2. Check your logs to see if you’ve already made some contacts
Before you start to attempt to contact any of the entities needed for your award – spend a few minutes going over your logs to check if you have already done so in the past. Assuming you have verified contact with several entities, you may be able to skip them and save yourself time in the process.
3. Track your progress
Ideally you should have a list of all the entities you need to contact and start eliminating the ones that you’ve made verified contact with. For some awards there are tools available to help you do this – but if not you can do so manually too.
By tracking your progress you’ll be able to streamline your efforts and focus on establishing contact with the entities that you need.
4. Watch for opportunities
Some of the contacts you require may be difficult to get under normal circumstances so you need to be aware of opportunities that come by. It could be in the form of spots on DX clusters, or it may even be a specific DXpedition to that location – so be sure to keep your eyes peeled in case they crop up.
Depending on the award that you’ve chosen to pursue you may find that it takes months or even years to get all the contacts that you require. Getting the more common contacts is often a piece of cake and just takes a bit of time, but some of the rare entities that are on the award’s list may take far longer. Keeping tabs on what’s happening in the DX community will definitely help.
It takes no small amount of persistence to complete most of the more prestigious awards – which is part of what makes them so prized. Part of the beauty of some awards like the DXCC and its tiered approach is that you’ll earn the initial award quite easily, but then can continue to work on endorsement stickers to progress even further.