What is WAC - Worked All Continents Award

The Worked All Continents award, WAC is an amateur radio or ham radio award given for making confirmed contacts with stations on the six continents around the globe.

Ham radio operating awards includes:
Introduction to ham radio operating awards     DXCC - DX Century Club     WAC, Worked All Continents     WAS, Worked All States     IOTA - Islands On The Air     SOTA - Summits On The Air    

As the name of the Worked All Continents award indicates, this award is given for stations that have made confirmed contacts with stations on the six continents around the globe - Antarctica is excluded because there are so few stations there.

In order to gain the award, confirmation of contacts with stations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia (including Siberia), Africa and Oceania (including Australia and Hawaii).

The award is administered by the International Amateur Radio Union, but applications for awards are administered by the local national member societies.

It is worth noting that the IARU headquarters is located in the offices of the ARRL in the USA.

Requirements for the award

The basic Worked All Continents award is earned by submitting proof of two-way radio communications contact via amateur radio with other licensed amateur radio stations in the six continents.

For the award it is possible to use any combination or amateur radio bands and transmission modes.

The rules for the award state that all the contacts must be made by the claiming station from the same country or separate territory within the same continent. In other words if the radio amateur moves house within the same country, contacts made from both locations may count. That said, some operators may want to start again and gain WAC for their now location.

The proof of the contacts is normally presented in the form of a QSL card. Although awards like DXCC can be directly linked to Logbook of The World, LoTW, there is no capability within LoTW to achieve this currently and copies would need to be made of the entries. The exact methods of achieving this need to be checked with the national society to understand what is acceptable.

There are various types available for the award:

  • Basic Certificate
  • CW Certificate
  • Phone Certificate
  • Image Certificate
  • Digital Certificate
  • Satellite Certificate

It is also possible to have the award endorsed for a particular band or other form of operation.

  • QRP Endorsement *
  • 1.8 MHz Endorsement
  • 3.5 MHz endorsement
  • 50MHz Endorsement
  • 144 MHz Endorsement
  • 432 Endorsement
  • 1296 Endorsement

*   For the QRP endorsement, the output power of the transmitter must be five watts or less.

The applications for awards are often managed by the local IARU member societies such as the ARRL in the USA, or the RSGB in the UK. These organisations certify the claim to IARU headquarters which is located within the ARRL, and the IARU issues the award.

Five band WAC

In addition to the basic WAC award, there is also a 5 band WAC award. This is the equivalent of the 5 band DXCC award, but for worked all continents.

This award is given for amateur radio operators who successfully complete and confirm two way radio communication contacts with each of the six continents on all five original amateur radio bands: 80 metres, 40 metres, 20 metres, 15 metres, and 10 metres.

The Worked All Continents award is one which most keen DX chasers will have gained, and although it is not the most difficult ward to achieve, it is a good starting point for many who are starting to frequent the HF bands to contact stations around the globe and collect operating awards.

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