Having worked lots of stations from around the world, many amateurs like to show their achievements by displaying certificates, plaques and cups that are available. Just taking your word for the contact is not enough these days so confirmation is usually needed for each contact claimed.

There are several routes to achieve this. The first and most traditional one is to ask the other guy to send a QSL card to you. Using the bureau is one way or simply ask for one at the end of the QSO. You can also use an internet site such as Club Log where you can check the validity of a contact and claim a card.

There are several electronic sites that are open to all to use, however not all are recognised as secure enough. The American ARRL Logbook Of The World (LOTW) is one that is recognised and can be accessed via Club Log for ease. Obtaining plaques and cups usually requires activity in contests or programmes such as Islands On The Air (IOTA).

So on to this month’s activity. Fairly quiet as I have not been too good for much of the time, however I did put out lots of calls to the DX stations that have been operating. A surprise success was TO8FH on Mayotte island in the Indian Ocean. AF-027 for IOTA. For me a 5th band and on CW this time.

30 Metres produced an FT8 contact with Kenya and a 'bucket full' of eastern US states. The project to work as much of Europe as possible on 5 Meg FT8 is progressing with unworked squares becoming rarer and rarer. During this month I managed to get a particularly rare one, IN79, which is mostly sea but just includes the Lizard point in Cornwall. I still need one square to complete all England, and six to complete Scotland and its islands.

I sometimes check for activity just before bed and that has bought in lots of USA contacts and some far-east Russians as well.

As I write this I am 'recovering' from a session using 1 watt AM, broadcasting (with music) to the Mid-Sussex area. Something different, and more of this next month!

Good DXing

Chris, G4ZCS

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