locked Re: Wanted county #FT8

Paul&Tracy Richards

Hello Laurie

Some further info here.

The County Hunting game is a bit divided at present.

We have the CQ Magazine sponsored WACA which has been around for donkeys years but frankly has fallen into a bit of disarray. CQ accept paper cards and Eqsl but only if the US based Eqsl user has authorised status. As you have noted, even finding a list of counties that qualify for their award is now problematic. Due to the difficulties in non US hams getting confirmations for this program and the old fashioned card checking process this award is mainly chased by US based hams. CQ do not accept LOTW.

The newer player in town is QRZ who have their own Counties Award using a slightly different county list which is easily obtained.
QRZ accept confirmations via their own logging program and LOTW - but not EQSL. For non US hams, confirmations are easy to obtain, the QRZ system auto tallies your worked counties and applying for the award is as easy as pressing one button.

Gridtracker appears to be setup with the QRZ county list. This makes sense as the CQ Award has never demonstrated any interest in appealing to FT8 users or non US based hams in my opinion. Everyday there are county activators who drive around the USA activating rare counties but I have never once seen these activators on digital modes. I am told no station has ever worked all counties on digital (even in the USA) - it seems the CQ Award is focused on ssb and cw and thus probably not a great match for JTAlert.

Currently I chase both programs in the forlorn hope that one day CQ may get their act together with this Award.

It is worth comparing the tired old CQ Award with the Russian Districts Award - the Russians have a fantastic new webpage, easy online tracking, electronic confirmations and electronic award application and issuance.

I hope this info is helpful should you decide to add county tracking down the line - in short - the QRZ program may be better aligned to JTAlert users

Paul - vk4ma

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