After a year or so of trying, I finally got the ARRL’s WAS award. For those who don’t know, WAS stands for Worked All States. In order to get the award you have to prove that you talked to someone in every state in the US. You can prove it by either getting QSL cards and having them checked and/or using Logbook of the world (LoTW).
ARRL has an online QSL service that allows operators to upload their logbooks into a giant database. After the log is uploaded, the contacts are crossed checked against other uploaded logs from other operators. If a match is found then the contact is confirmed. Those confirmations can add up and be used for all sorts of awards that the ARRL and CQ.
Before LoTW you would have to use QSL cards that involving printing, sorting, labeling and mailing. Most people want a SASE (Seld Addressed Stamped Envelope) to be included with the card. For other countries, you could save some money by sending the card through the Bureau. With LoTW it makes the process much easier, After setting up an account and confirming it, you can sign and upload logs to LoTW. No cards, SASE, postage necessary.
I wish that all operators would use LoTW. Some choose not to use it for one reason or another. Some people that don’t use it give the excuse that it’s too hard to register and use. I wouldn’t tell you that it’s easy but it’s not that difficult if you follow directions on the ARRL website. It seems difficult because of the security involved in making sure that you ARE the operator uploading the log and that the log belongs to you. If it wasn’t secure then LoTW couldn’t be trusted so that is why I support what the ARRL is doing.
So if you don’t have an account and you use an electronic logging, I strongly suggest getting an account with LoTW
I have the Basic WAS award. It just means that I made contact with every state. It doesn’t matter how you did it. You can get multiple WAS awards for each band and mode. You can the triple play award by working each state using Morse code, Voice and Digital.
Hopefully I can get triple play by the end of the year.
The Quick Way!
You can get the WAS award by casual contact with operators but if you want to make things go faster, there is a couple things you can do to make getting the award a lot easier.
RBN (Reverse Beacon Network) – With SDR technology, computers are scanning the bands and looking for CW contacts. If someone is calling CQ, there is a good chance that an SDR receiver heard it and posted (spotted) your CQ on the internet for all to see. You can use RBN to find state and/or country you need.
Ham Spots – This website collects and indexes the “Spots” from all different networks. It allows you to pick and choose who to make contact with without having to search the bands
Those two services depending on operators “Spotting” other operators. Even though the CW contacts are automatic. The state or country you want to make contact with might now be on the air. You can schedule (sked) a contact with an operator from the state or country needed.
K3UK’s sked page – This is an online chatroom/forum that allows you to schedule contact with other ops in the room. You will both get on the air, make contact, log it and then return to the website to work more
Over the Air Nets – There are many nets on the air that are meant for chasing awards. You check in and wait your turn to make contact with another operator on the net and vise verse. One that comes to mind is the OMISS Net
Hope to catch you on the air. If you need Massachusetts for anything, you can contact me and I will set time aside to help you!
Thanks for reading,