Checking my e-mail earlier today, I saw an e-mail from Jim Sheldon WØEB which was titled, "A1 Ops Club". I figured that Jim had been named an A1 Operator and was relating his excitement and joy. A few seconds later, I saw that Jim was congratulating ME on being nominated, seconded and inducted into the A1 Operators Club !!!!!
I have dreamed about this moment since my days as a Novice operator some 27 years ago. Then, that was a far away dream - a hope that someday I would be considered a top notch operator. I am elated, flabbergasted, shocked, overjoyed and humbled all at the same time! I have nothing to relate this to on the Amateur Radio Scale of Happiness! This is way better than earning DXCC; or joining the 1000 Miles per Watt Club. This is better than anything. Maybe, just maybe, the only thing that comes close was being named "Elmer of the Year" back in 1998 by my local chapter of the QCWA.
No, this is in a class all by itself. This is better than anything. This is extra special because the A1 Operators Club is a club you cannot join. You have to be nominated and seconded by two Hams who are already members - your peers. You have to be deemed fitting in the following criteria, as it appears on the ARRL Web site.
Membership comes after nomination by two Club members who find the nominee qualified to be a member of this elite group. Nominations should be based on the following:
- General considerations. Transmissions stable, well filtered, and occupying the minimum required bandwidth. On voice, clarity of speech, brevity, uses appropriate words and good grammar. On digital modes, clean tones and appropriate operating-frequency selection. On CW, proper character formation and spacing with appropriate speeds (high-speed ability is not a consideration).
- Procedure. Always listens before transmitting. Appropriately short CQs, avoidance of unnecessary repetition, use of proper procedures and abbreviations recommended by ARRL, avoidance of common inanities in making contacts. When operating a message forwarding system, make sure that traffic is routed to its destination.
- Judgment and courtesy. Courteous, and considerate of the other operator's point of view. Takes every opportunity to assist others, especially beginners. Patient and helpful at all times, and never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
- Copying ability. This applies to all modes, for there is a knack to passing information through such difficulties as interference from other stations (QRM), atmospheric noises (QRN), fading (QSB), etc.
To the two Hams who nominated and seconded me ..... I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is the pinnacle of my Ham radio career.
73 de Larry W2LJ