On Friday the 17th of February 2017, I worked EI11WAW on 80m cw and this was the last one that I needed for the Wild Atlantic Way Award.
According to the awards manager Dave EI6AL, over 70 certificates have been issued at this stage and this was the first one to an EI station.
It's also the first one that has been endorsed for all contacts on CW as this wasn't available up to now. The other endorsements available from now on will be for SSB and Digital.
These are the bands that I used to contact the 9 WAW stations...
EI55WAW...CW...20m & 40m
EI77WAW...CW...17m, 20m, 40m & 80m
EI99WAW...CW...20m, 30m & 80m
What has been interesting about looking for these stations on the HF bands over the last 7 weeks is that I actually learnt something about propagation.
1) I had assumed that I could work EI stations on 80m at almost any time. That wasn't the case. With a low solar flux and the daytime critical frequency only getting up as high as 5.5 MHz, the MUF at night dropped pretty low. This had the effect of creating a skip zone on 80m so that I couldn't work other EI stations that were too close.
2) I had assumed that working other EI stations on 20m or 17m would be very difficult. I'm not sure if it was weak Sporadic-E or F2 backscatter but I could often hear the WAW stations on 14MHz and 18 MHz. The signals were pretty weak....down at a kind of level where a contact was possible on CW but not on SSB.
Overall, it looks like it is a very successful awards scheme and is certainly getting a lot of interest. If 70+ stations have already applied for the award after just 7 weeks, then surely that figure will be in the hundreds by the time the award scheme finishes at the end of 2017.
More info about the Wild Atlantic Way Award in this previous post.