— Make the Honor Roll achievable again by HB9BGV —

It is almost impossible these days for new DXers to achieve the Honor Roll status. With FT8 it should be easier, but the problem is that more than 15 entities have not been activated for more than 15 years. The reasons are:

  • Nature reserve.
  • DXpedition is too expensive.
  • DXpedition is too dangerous.
  • Amateur radio banned by authorities (North Korea and Turkmenistan).

The RIB (Radio In Box) concept attempts to activate easily landable conservation areas, thanks to the smaller footprint.

The footprint would be even smaller if these areas were not activated at all. Whether there are 340 or only 320 entities on the ARRL list is completely irrelevant in terms of the performance of a radio station and operating skills.

20 years ago, it took about ten years to get Honor Roll status. This duration has steadily increased, and today it is practically impossible. This is very frustrating for new DX hunters. With the following idea, the Honor Roll should be achievable for newcomers, but it still is a high level goal.

The ARRL country list is based on objective geographic and political criteria, but because of the latter, the list undergoes changes and there are “current” and “deleted” entities.

Financial cost and hazardousness are not objective criteria, and it is up to DXpeditionaries to decide, not upon the ARRL. The accessibility of nature reserves is in the competence of authorities, the legality of amateur radio as well.

The proposal is therefore to introduce a third category of entities: “suspended”.

If a “current” entity has not been activated for more than 15 years (or 20 years, t.b.d.), it automatically changes to the “suspended” category and no longer counts towards the Honor Roll. However, as soon as a qualified activation (e.g. 5000 QSOs, t.b.d.) has taken place, the entity changes back to the “current” entities.

This way, no expedition is banned, but the pressure on quasi-unreachable areas is taken away. And the new DXers would still have a challenging but at least reachable goal. However, experienced hams with an already respectable country count could wait their way into the Honor Roll. I would be happy with them and not immediately call for another death of amateur radio.

And, of course, that would have to apply to the IOTA program as well.

What do you think?