At the meeting of the Lothians Radio Society on 25th April 2012 Rob Ferguson GM3YTS, dedicated DXer and well-known as the Chairman of the GMDX Group, talked about the ARRL DX Century Club award (DXCC) and ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW), the on-line system for QSLing contacts. As a bonus, Rob also described his DXpedition along with Gavon GM0GAV to Malawi to operate 7Q7GM in Oct - Nov 2011.


Rob Ferguson GM3YTS during his very interesting talk to the LRS. He showed his certificates for not only DXCC but  also for a number of higher awards related to it.



The DX Century Club award (DXCC) is one of a number of awards offered by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). The basic DXCC award is for confirmed QSOs with 100 DXCC "entities", of which there is a total of 340.

DXCC submissions require paper QSL cards to be checked by an accredited DXCC Checker, or via Logbook of the World, or a combination of these two. Details are available at


Scarborough Reef is one of a number of DXCC "entities" which are not countries in the normal sense of the word.


In fact, Scarborough Reef is just that - a reef in the ocean, mostly covered at high tide. The intrepid DXpeditioners had to build an operating platform above the rock. 


Rob's CW DXCC certificate with stickers for a total of 340 entities. 


Rob's 5-Band DXCC certificate for achieving 100 QSOs on each of five bands. 


The DXCC Honor Roll award is for working at least 331 entities out of a current total of 340. 


The #1 Honor Roll award or "Top of the Honor Roll" is for confirmed contacts with all 340 DXCC entities, some of which are only very rarely active e.g. by DXpeditions. 


The ARRL DXCC Challenge award is for confirmed QSOs with at least 1000 band-entities. Rob has stickers for no less than 2500 band-entities.


Logbook of the World is an on-line service provided by the ARRL for the automated checking of QSOs, especially for the purpose of applying for awards such as DXCC. It requires participants first to verify / document their amateur radio licences. In practice electronic logs are uploaded to the LOTW system and matches are made automatically with the uploaded logs of the stations worked. Spreadsheets indicate the status of the participants' QSO totals for DXCC etc. Payment on a per-QSO basis is made only when submitting LOTW enties for an award. Full details are available at:


Rob GM3YTS and Gavin Taylor GM0GAV made a DXpedition to Lilongwe in Malawi, formerly Nyassaland, East Africa from 31 October to 13 November 2011 where they operated as 7Q7GM. By coincidence this is a location visited on a number of occasions for mission work by LRS Chairman Pete Bates GM4BYF and his XYL Kay GM6KAY.


Lilongwe is located near Lake Malawi.


Operating shack for 7Q7GM, kindly provided by local ham Joe Poole 7Q7BP / G3MRC.


One of three operating positions in the 7Q7GM shack.


Gavin Taylor GM0GAV opering 7Q7GM.




More antennas.


Top-loading of antenna by two vultures.


Deadly Black Mamba snake found in Rob's bedroom.


Local "taxi" (note cumfy pillion seat)!


Dr Livingston, we presume.