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Joined: Fri, Jan 10th 2014, 17:32 Roles: N/A Moderates: N/A

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Well done, ARRL! N0NB on 1/1/15
Congratulations to ARRL for a fantastic year of operation. I caught the ARRL bug this time last year and didn't realise the journey I would take and where it would lead me. I set out with the goal in January of working 200 Dxcc entities and All states in the USA with Log of the world. Then I came across W1AW.
The first 50 countries were easy and then it started to get a little harder! About mid-February I started noticing W1AW turning up everywhere. By this time I had worked 30 states and had 18 verified on Lotw. I joined ARRL about this time and when I started collecting points and every Tuesday looking forward to the change of states.
I applied for DXCC in July and got my certificate. In the meantime, on the worked all states with W1AW things were going well. Any that I missed first time were coming back round and mostly easy. Dark clouds! I thought I was going to end up with 49 out of 50 because Hawaii (HI) was standing between me and completion of WAS. As most of the Hawaiin operators were working low band data modes which I don't do (yet) I was resigned to the fact, but then on LP on 20 meters I heard W1AW/KH6 and called. I got through on the second call at 6.50pm on Thursday. It was a fantastic feeling to know that I had completed the whole lot!
Meanwhile, I was looking for points and they soon gathered up, and for instance it was great to work N3KN and then find out from the DX Cluster that it was Kay Craigie the President of the ARRL and worth 300 points!
Working from Northern Ireland or the northern part of Europe is not always easy. Not everyone likes it but I think that the stations could possibly use split operation a lot more. It is very difficult to hear some of the stations in the QRM from southern Europe.

Activity from each state has varied a great deal, I understand that there is a big difference between the population of ND at one end and CA on the other. And there were some operators who had to learn quickly (and probably benefited from the experience) but, the overwhelming majority were “tuned in” to what they were doing and managed the pileups well.
I have had a good year just working the bands round work and home life, I now have 202 countries worked and I have my WAS through W1AW (although I am still waiting on ND and SD to complete WAS through Lotw.

So, as an overseas ARRL member, it really gave me the feeling that I was a part of it. Through 2014 I’ve contacted lots of new “US ham radio friends” on the air that I will be looking to work further down the log.
In summing up, I can definitely say that more of us could benefit reading and living up to “The DX Code of Conduct”.
But, to the guys (and girls) who operated the W1AW stations congratulations and thank you to each and every one of you, it’s not that easy in the huge pileups. Well done ARRL and good luck for the next 100 years. GI0JHR

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