Amateur Radio prefixes are those parts of a callsign that contain its country allocation ID and call area number. For my callsign of KA5WSS that would be KA5. KA is part of a block of characters assigned to the United States by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Prefixes are useful for indicating in which DXCC country a station resides. In some cases the call area number even provides the section of the country of the station’s location. Other than that, is it of any use to us?
Amateur Radio award hunters certainly think so. The 30M Digital Group offers up their 30MDGPA award, which stands for the 30M Digital Group Prefix Award. You need to work a minimum of 100 stations with unique prefixes to get the entry level “brass” award.
Does this award sound familiar? It’s an award synonym for CQ Magazine‘s WPX Award.
After the entry level award, 30MDG offers additional award levels for working 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 unique prefixes. All contacts for this award must be made between 10.100 and 10.150 MHz. You may use any valid digital mode to make valid contacts (RTTY, PSK31, FT8, etc.).
There is no cost for the award and it’s supplied in the form of a PDF file.
Applying for the Prefix Award does require the installation the UltimateAAC application (also free!) on your machine. That application scans your WSJT-X ADIF log file and will inform you when you’ve qualified for the various levels of the award. But you can use this application to apply for a long list of awards from 30MDG as well as from a number of different sponsoring clubs.