Monday, 29 June 2009
|1821 - What, me rare?!|
I've now gotten two phone calls in the last week from hams looking to talk to me or Paul on the radio. This comes as a surprise...
One popular ham radio activity is to collect awards for making contacts with ("working") stations in some set of locations. Some awards are fairly easy, for example Worked All Continents (since there are only six, as Antarctica is counted along with Australia and the rest of the south Pacific as Oceania). Worked All States is harder, but a bit of persistence pays off.
Some are quite difficult. The best example of this is the DX Century Club, awarded for working stations in 100 DXCC "countries". (There are currently 338 countries on the list; for DXCC purposes, a country is an entity separate from other countries either politically or geographically. Hawaii and Alaska count as separate countries for DXCC purposes.) DXCC itself is a fairly common award, but the DXCC Honor Roll, awarded for working stations in at least 329 current countries (within 10 of every country on the current list; the list changes over time, and there are 58 deleted countries on the list), is quite difficult. It's an extremely sought-after achievement.
For some folks, working hams in all 50 states is nowhere near enough. There's a community known as "county hunters" that aims to work hams in all 3077 US counties. 1185 hams have done it at least once. 388 folks have done it twice; there's at least one ham who's done it
eight eleven times. Some folks do it the other way around, too, traveling to all 3077 counties to give out contacts.
It turns out that Martin County, Minnesota is pretty rare. There are a fair number of hams here, but they don't seem to be all that active. The first caller has 22 contacts left to do it the second time around; the second caller has every county but this one to do it for the first time.
If I can figure out how to deal with grounding, I might throw a wire in the air and see if I can help these guys out - and anyone else who needs Martin County on their list.
current mood: surprised
Are there hams in every county? I would think that some (like Loving County, TX
) wouldn't have any hams in 'em. (Unless they're on a DXpedition, of course! Makes me chuckle just to think of a DXpedition within the US!
(I wonder if Vakko got a QSL card from my dad when he came up here once, after all, he *did* meet a ham ... )
I don't know if there are hams in every county, but I do know there are counties with only Technician-class hams, who don't have HF privileges. People generally make contacts with hams in their cars for the rarer ones, and it's pretty common for hams with radios in their cars to make trips to rare ones that people need to finish off an award.
Hey, if anyone gets a QSL from Yoknapatawpha County, that'll impress me.