I have a friendly competition with a couple of other hams around # of worked DXCC entities, contest scores, and occasionally, who’ll break through a pileup first. I enjoy the slight gamification of amateur radio. It’s slightly more than “fake radio points” but not by much.
I spend time on the IRC channel affiliated with the Reddit /r/amateurradio subreddit. It’s an incredibly supportive and quirky group of hams. mostly younger and greener than the typical ham population. I find that there’s lots more interest in programming, building, and new digital modes than exists in the general ham population. Sunday afternoon/evening (US-centric view), we coordinate HF skeds in the IRC channel and I’ve been working to be the first to “WAS Reddit.” The goal is to work “redditors” in all 50 US states I have 14 remaining.
Another Redditor (VA3MWL) introduced me to the CQ WPX awards. With some modes, I find that I have no incentive to make more contacts. If I’ve confirmed their state and their grid on JT65, why would I spend 6 minutes calling them? I can’t even have a nice conversation with them (insert commentary about how silly a mode JT65 is). Enter WPX. A unique callsign prefix is “one more” and gives me a “reason” to work them. Awhile back, I applied for the initial round of WPX awards. They’re quite inexpensive and, in contrast to the ARRL, the physical certificate is actually nice. Matt, VA3MWL, asked about my progress the other day and I took a look. Sure enough, a handful more endorsements, below. I’ve also added the complete list to my “About” page.
WPX Mixed 17M
WPX Mixed Oceania
WPX SSB Europe