I am absolutely blown away by what the URE (Union Radioaficionados Espanoles – their equivalent of the ARRL) – put together to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. The event last for only THREE WEEKS, starting September 19th and containing through October 9th.
Spanish hams have been operating under 14 different callsigns, racking up over 660,000 contacts as of today. That’s a rate of about 50,000 QSOs per day on all bands from 160-m to 10-m; operating SSB, CW and various digital modes.
They have various “print your own” certificates for various achievement levels. For example, the “Gold” certificate for contacting at least 6 different stations on each of 3 different bands looks like this:
Lots of effort and planning clearly went into this, their webpage provides an online log, automatic score keeping and production of certificates. A store gives people options of purchasing printed certificates or buying mementos. Other tools identify AN400x stations that are currently on the air, global rankings, statistics, and team challenge information.
Imagine a DXpedition that had 650,000+ contacts. Now imagine that DXpedition being to Spain! Yet that is EXACTLY what happened. Spain has over 60,000 hams, and over 12,000 of them belong to the URE. What they have accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. Hat’s off to the members of the URE that made this fun event available worldwide. They have provided a template of a successful radio event that could be emulated by many different groups.