If you’re chasing any of the DX awards then odds are you’re going to be looking to slowly but surely make contact with various DX entities. At the start there’ll be so many entities you need to contact that a general approach will work fine – but as time goes by and you make your way through most of the more common entities, it will start to get harder and harder to locate the entities that you want to make contact with.
To help you complete any DX award, there are a few tricks that will undoubtedly come in handy:
- Track your progress right from the start
It may sound basic but you’d be surprised how many people don’t really track their progress – especially at the start. Some figure they’ll start tracking it later when the list grows shorter, but if you do then you run the risk of accidentally leaving out some of the entities that you may have already contacted.
What you should do is have a complete list of the entities that you need to contact, and then keep tabs on the ones that you’ve already contacted. For some of the more popular awards (i.e. the DXCC) there are logging tools that will help you to do so automatically.
- Use clusters to find spots for entities that you need
Once you’re keeping track of your progress, you can use that information to scope out clusters for spots of the entities that you need. At first you may want to see if any of the entities you require have been spotted recently, and by doing so can work out when you’re likely to be able to make contact.
Also, if you’re using a client that allows you to set up alerts then you could set it up to alert you when a spot that you’re looking for comes up.
- Keep an eye out for DXpeditions
Nowadays many DXpeditions (especially those to locations required for DX awards) are organized well in advance and there are even calendars available that track most of the big ones. Keeping tabs on the DX community so that you know when a DXpedition is taking place at an entity that you require will help you to complete many of the tough contacts that may be impossible under normal circumstances.
It may even be a good idea to set up calendar-based alerts or reminders so that you make sure you don’t miss out on these opportunities.
The main idea behind all of the above is to ensure that you’re able to make contact with the DX entities needed for your award – even if they’re hard to reach or only available with the help of DXpeditions. For some entities it may be months or longer before you’re able to make contact, which is why it is important that you don’t miss out. By taking advantage of the opportunities that are available, you’ll stand the best shot at completing your award.